Looking to add some warmth and personality to your home for the winter? Wallpapering a room — or even one wall — does both and is an easy way to introduce pattern. These 2014 prints from Farrow & Ball are small enough for tiny powder rooms, but would make an impact on a large bedroom wall, too. Here are my picks:
Browse our Wallpapered Rooms gallery for more inspiration.
1-4. Farrow & Ball
Since I was a child, my family and I have spent part of the summer in the south of France. This summer I was lucky enough to spend a month in the Luberon in Menerbes, a beautiful hilltop town dating back to 4 BC. It wasn't my first time there, but because we settled in for as long as we did, I fell into the rhythm of the village and came home with some of the sweetest memories. Here's a glimpse of our time spent there.
The house we stayed in is called a mas – a country house typified by plaster walls that keep the house cool on very hot days, a terra cotta tiled roof, a series of rooms built on to each other over time and painted wood shutters that are used every day to keep the hot air out. It was charming and rustic. The house was perched on the high hills of Menerbes, overlooking the wine valleys below.
There was a long lavender hedge off the kitchen patio. Each morning I would take in its sweet, fragrant smell.
As we would walk into town for fresh croissants, this was our view to Mont Ventoux and the town of Gordes.
We took this pebbled road into town, past clouds that looked like prehistoric birds.
And past the painted doors in inspiring hues.
And above the tiled rooftops that looked like paintings.
And then we'd arrive at the upper entrance to the town.
Along the way we would pass these pretty courtyards and secret gardens between the stone walls and wooden gates.
Some buildings with manicured boxwood, turrets and stone railings were especially impressive.
Sometimes we were greeted with a friendly face from above.
Or a sleepy one from below.
Here is a sampling of the freshly baked breads that would greet us in the morning.
My favourite store in town, La Vie Est Belle, was in the bottom of an ancient building that felt like a cave. I loved the antique kilim by the front door but sadly, it was not for sale.
To cool off, people flocked to the river in nearby L'Isle-sur-la-Sorgue to dip their toes in the bright green waters or paddle around in a kayak.
I loved antiquing at the famous brocante there. I picked up 12 of these brass knobs for a song hoping to retrofit them for my new walk-in closet.
Which worked out perfectly!
Lunches were always languid and relaxed — fresh, simple produce set out in a colourful display.
Or carefully staged culinary masterpieces. Seriously, why can't we have lunches like this everyday?
And of course there were always fresh flowers and incredible local wines.
We attended a poetry reading one afternoon at the house of Picasso's ex-wife Dora Maar, which is now an art school. The gardens were absolutely gorgeous with a playful mix of modern sculptures and traditional outdoor furniture.
Nearby Gordes was such a beautiful town, for this exact view. The homes were all built into cliffs like this one.
My favourite part of each day was dining outdoors in the warm air at dusk, like the evening we spent in this relais situated in the vineyards below Menerbes.
Or in the gardens of the Maison de la Truffe at the top of the village.
Or at one of the lovely restaurants lining the streets in town where waiters crisscrossed the streets.
We finished each day by walking through the town's twinkling glow.
Guided by the clear moonlight to our home away from home in the hills.
For more inspiration, read Hilary Smyth's blog post about Antiquing In France.
Whether you’re a suburban homeowner or a condo-dweller, we all have to tackle this project: choosing the best window treatment for a room. Having numerous, awkwardly shaped or floor-to-ceiling windows can seem intimidating, but there are coverings available no matter your window type.
HunterDouglas offers a variety of smartly designed, custom products available in many fabrics and colours to go with your decor. Here we highlight three common window treatment problems and how you can solve them. (This blog post is sponsored by HunterDouglas.)
Problem: “I like natural lighting, but the sunlight coming in is too harsh.”
Solution: Alustra Silhouette window shadings diffuse sunlight for a softer source of light. This clean-finished window treatment doesn’t have cords, and when you want a completely clear view to the outdoors, the shades disappear into the headrail.
Problem: “I want to see outside during the day but want privacy at night.”
Solution: Pirouette window shadings provide a clear view when the vanes are open (shown above), and offer privacy when closed. The cord-free finish keeps the look streamlined. Bonus: To protect your home’s furnishings from fading, these window shades block up to 81% of UV rays when the vanes are open, and 99% when the vanes are closed.
Problem: “My windows let too much hot/cold air in and out of the house.”
Solution: Duette Architella honeycomb shades keep rooms cool in the summer and warm in the winter for the ultimate energy efficiency. Architella has a double-layered honeycomb-shaped design which helps to block your cooled or hot air from escaping through your window. The honeycomb fabrics all have GreenGuard Indoor Air Quality certification, too.
For more on these window coverings and other window covering options, visit HunterDouglas.ca.
1. Alustra Silhouette window shadings in Soft White, French Linen, HunterDouglas.
2. Pirouette window shadings in Glacier, Satin Metallic, HunterDouglas.
3. Duette Architella honeycomb shades, HunterDouglas.
London is arguably the world's most eccentric fashion metropolis. And judging by the rising success of the London Design Festival, it has become the new hub for interior decorating, too. Launched in 2003, the event attracts professionals from all over the world, while revealing the talent of young British creators.
London was always home to a vibrant artistic community; thanks to prosperous dynasties, the arts and literature were able to flourish for centuries. The place of birth of the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s, the Swinging City remains for many the capital of Anglophone culture worldwide. From fashion runways to music, from theatre to cinema, London style is incomparable.
London also holds a special place in my heart. This is where I took my first trip abroad — visiting relatives, going on exchange programs... I was just a kid when I discovered the unique mix of antique decor and whimsical fashion — walking from charming Sloane Square, where my dear Aunt Esther lived, all the way to the punk stores on Kings Road, the then-centre of counterculture.
Many creative people embark on a London adventure. Artistic director and designer Mikaël Mourgue studied visual design and communications there. Based in Montreal since 2006, the son of famous French designer Olivier Mourgue has been very successful with Toytoy, a collection of cardboard furniture for kids that's playful, eco-friendly and affordable. Let's take a walk down memory lane with Mikaël, and rediscover London.
Corinne Cécilia: What motivated you to study at Ravensbourne College, in London?
Mikaël Mourgue: In the 1990s, London was already in multidisciplinary mode and at the forefront of digital technologies. Ravensbourne College is an incredible university, born out of the Bauhaus movement developed in 1930s Germany. That translates into an extraordinary architecture and campus. We had access to the most advanced professional equipment and training! Our professors were passionate, and very active in the business world and the creative scene; they were international trendsetters (Neville Brody, David Carson...)
CC: Looking back at your London experience, what does it represent for you?
MM: The best years of my life! Creativity, freedom, encounters, discoveries, passions... My first year, I was staying au pair with an artist family, with free board and lodging. Their workshop was near Aldgate East, on Brick Lane, an amazing neighbourhood! Indian culture, flea markets, the Whitechapel Gallery...
CC: When in London, where do you go to relax?
MM: Along the Thames, near Embankment, and to the Hampstead Heath Park.
CC: Where do you like to shop?
MM: At the Camden Market, the Brick Lane's flea market on Sundays, and Greenwich Market. Portobello is also amazing with its spring festival.
CC: Some of your favourite places?
MM: The Tate Gallery is an incredible place dedicated to modern art. Previously a power plant, the building has been entirely restored by Herzog & de Meuron architects. It's on Bankside, Southwark, on the right bank of the Thames.
CC: Do you have a favourite airline?
MM: Sir Richard Branson's new company, Virgin Galactic! Seriously now, British Airways is a great company with great in-flight services. And I always prefer to travel with an airline from the country that I'm visiting.
Corinne's travel tip: Thanks to Digital Theatre, you can now enjoy the finest of British theatre from the comfort of your Canadian home. Based in London, this truly unique organization records and distributes acclaimed shows produced in Great Britain, giving worldwide audiences direct access to talented British playwrights and actors. Tune in on September 18th for the launch of Ghosts, Richard Eyre's triple Olivier Award-winning adaptation of Henrik Ibsen's captivating family drama. Co-founder and creative director Robert Delamere is known for his multidisciplinary projects, such as Shotgun, a theatre workshop/gym/rehearsal he runs with Tom Hardy (the actor/producer has created a poignant documentary about poaching in southern Africa available online, Poaching Wars with Tom Hardy.)
Design in film: Rediscover the international impact of Olivier Mourgue thanks to the popular exhibit Stanley Kubrick to be held at Toronto's TIFF Bell Lightbox from October 31st, 2014 to January 25th, 2015. Known for his futuristic concepts — such as the Djinn chair that became famous through 2001 Space Odyssey — the French designer explored several art forms and reached worldwide audiences. Thanks to the exhibit, cinema and design lovers will discover how Kubrick used interior design in a movie to strengthen the narrative: he constantly used colour, design and space to reflect the moods of the characters. Enjoy!
Read more travel blog posts here.
1. S.M. Tunli
2. Tom Hardy, included in Guinness World Records Ltd.
3, 6, 7. Visit Britain
5. Conran at the Design Museum, photography by Mark Hughes
8a. Clothing stall, Portobello Road Market, Visit Britain
8b. Greenwich Market London
8c. Camden market, Londonview.photoshelter.com, photography by Pawel Libera
9. The Tate Modern and the Millennium bridge, Londonview.photoshelter.com, photography by Pawel Libera
10. MarsScientific.com and Clay Center Observatory
11. Digital Theatre, photography by Hugo Glendinning
12. Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., 2001: A Space Odyssey, directed by Stanley Kubrick (1965–68; GB/United States)
During Toronto International Film Festival season, the infectious buzz around the city could turn even the most modest moviegoer into a celeb-crazed fan. Our team at House & Home caught the TIFF bug early when we began designing the 2014 Red Carpet Suite this summer.
Situated in Roy Thomson Hall, this cocktail lounge is a place for VIP ticket holders and their guests to mingle before the gala screenings, and offers a front-row glimpse at celebrities as they walk the Red Carpet.
Lounges, particularly during TIFF, often bring glamour to mind. In lieu of traditional glamour, we chose a look that depicts the relaxed refinement look we’ve recently admired in our favourite homes and restaurants. Still polished and sophisticated, this “new glamour” is about rich textures like velvets and leather, a saturated colour palette, and strong silhouettes.
This living space by Boston-based designer Frank Roop was our inspiration for the suite. As is his signature, Roop masterfully created a space that is at once colourful and spontaneous, while still elegant and intimate. The success of this look is achieved in the mix, and we frequently referred to Roop’s design over the course of our planning.
By installing khaki-coloured tone-on-tone carpet tiles by Kraus, we easily mimicked the subtle texture Roop had achieved with parchment-coloured wallpaper.
Rather than overwhelming the suite with colour, we accented opposite ends of the room with deep colours – Galapagos Turquoise (2057-20) and Lichen Green (2150-20), both by Benjamin Moore. These bold tones instantly livened the room and made it more intimate.
During my sourcing trips around the city, I looked for furnishings that were low in height, substantial and impeccably tailored.
The Profile Sofa by Roche Bobois is upholstered in rich blue velvet, perfectly complementing the Galapagos Turquoise wall. The scale and craftsmanship of this sofa made it the ideal statement for our centre wall.
The large walls were calling for a gallery arrangement, and movie posters were an obvious choice. We chose vintage posters with strong graphics, and framed them in a variety of ways. It took several sketches to properly arrange the wall and decide how each piece would be framed.
This painterly geometric artwork, called Equation in Blue from Shelter Furniture, anchored the gallery wall.
The Gubi Adnet Mirror from Hollace Cluny is incredibly luxurious with its tan leather strap.
During my visit to the festival this week, it was exciting to see the suite in full-swing — candles burning (flameless, of course), cocktail in hand, anticipating who might walk the Red Carpet next. A night at the movies is still as glamorous as always, just a little more hip this time.
Love the look of relaxed refinement? Watch our Look of the Year video to see how Joel Bray and Stacey Smithers designed a space that brings this concept to life.
Red Carpet Suite Source Guide:
Blue velvet sofa and cream lounge chairs, Roche Bobois
Taupe upholstered sofa, chests and bookshelves, Decorium
Ceramic cocktail tables, Avenue Road
Marble cocktail table, grey lounge chair, velvet stools and blue art, Shelter Furniture
Walnut floor lamp and leather mirror, Hollace Cluny
Citrine high-back chair and mod beige armchairs, Pavilion Modern
Lightbox side tables, Style Garage
Table lamps, Absolutely Inc.
Frames and hurricane vases, Ikea
Custom picture framing, DeSerres
Throw pillows, Tonic Living
Trees, Sheridan Nurseries
Wall colours: Grant Beige (HC-83), Galapagos Turquoise (2057-20), Lichen Green (2150-20), Benjamin Moore
The presenting sponsor of the 2014 TIFF Red Carpet Suite is Quintessentially Lifestyle
Earlier this summer, I had the pleasure of going behind-the-scenes at West Elm's HQ in Dumbo, Brooklyn. Only days before, former president Bill Clinton had also visited the office. He was there to learn more about the brand's commitment to pay $35 million directly to artisans around the world who produce products for West Elm using handcrafted techniques — and the buzz of his visit still lingered, leaving everyone in high spirits.
I was soon being led past beautiful rooms where product for Holiday 2014 was perfectly styled and presented, and into the busy design offices where shelves were messily piled with samples, walls were littered with pictures and palettes, and the seeds of new ideas were being planted and grown.
Jonathan Orr, West Elm's VP of design for textiles and decorative accessories, had recently returned with his team from Peru carrying armfuls of pottery, blankets, knits and photographs that were laid out on tables. Why Peru? Orr said something about it being "in the air" — you see a nod to it here, a hint of it there, and suddenly it's of the moment... or it will be next spring and fall, when the designers at West Elm turn their inspirations into the pieces we'll all be coveting in 2015.
Expect to see lots of fabulous fringe, shaggy textures, bright but earthy colours and beautifully woven textiles. I was surprised to discover that there's a mini loom right in the office, which is used to work out patterns and create the samples that are later put into production.
Indeed, a lot of design work, at least in the initial stages, is still done the old fashioned way — by hand. In an area removed from the main offices, down a hallway and tucked behind industrial shelves stuffed with stock, was what amounted to an art studio. Pots of paint, colour-stained brushes and clusters of mini bottles topped with eye droppers crowded a long desk. I also spotted delicate watercolour sketches that may one day be turned into patterns for bedding and textiles.
Images painted for spring and summer 2015 had already made the leap from paper to pillows.
I was particularly excited to see these two mood boards. Alexander Calder is one of my favourite artists, and while Scandinavian mid-century is hardly a new idea in 2014, never mind 2015, I found myself swooning over the tangerine, midnight blue and cream palette. Perhaps it's time for me to get my own hands dirty with a little paint.
While I was in New York, I spent the weekend at the new Ludlow Hotel on the Lower East Side. The hotel, which is owned by the same team behind The Marlton, opened its doors in early June and was still undergoing construction when I was there, but any resulting inconveniences were overshadowed by the serendipitous moments that came out of the dust. After a maintenance man visited my room to monitor the air conditioning, he kindly snuck me up to the unfinished rooftop to take in the incredible view and peer into the windows of the still-unfinished luxury suites. Once the hammers and the drills fall silent, I will be back.
This is the courtyard, where I enjoyed breakfast.
And here some professional pics of the rooms.
1-10. Kimberley Brown
11-12. Ludlow Hotel