American fashion designer Tory Burch brings her preppy-meets-boho aesthetic to her first home decor collection this month. Inspired by her own home and homespun family heirlooms, the accessories range from classic to quirky.
I'm swooning over this graphic black and white box. Wouldn't it look great on a coffee table?
Needlepoint pillows are designed after cushions Tory's parents, both needlepointers, made for each other when she was young. This little guy is calling my name!
The Margaux pillows have a wonderfully retro look.
A graphic throw is the perfect cosy accessory this season.
1-5. Tory Burch
Gathering Canadian tastemakers such as designer Brian Gluckstein and Holt Renfrew's Barbara Atkin together to discuss trends is a fun proposition that guarantees some lively chatter.
Broadcaster Liza Fromer moderated a panel consisting of Barbara Atkin, event designer Bill Fulghum, art advisor Jessica Yakubowicz Herzig, Brian Gluckstein and travel expert Charlie Scott at Eat Drink Give on Oct. 22 by Moms for Sinai in Toronto. The evening raised over $125,000 for two new delivery suites for the David & Stacey Cynamon Mother & Baby Unit at Mount Sinai Hospital. Here are some of the panelists' bon mots about what we can expect to see in the world of fashion, décor, art and travel.
Global influences: "We are attracted to brands but we don't want to look like our friends," explains designer Brian Gluckstein (shown above). "We might like their aesthetic, but we don't want to look the same, and that goes for our homes too." To cultivate an individual look, he advises mixing up styles: put a Louis XVI chest beside a Deco chair and contemporary button-tufted sofa. "People will think it's busy but there is a tension between the high and low, formal and casual, dark and light."
Brian also explains how brands have to adapt to regions. "I went to a hotel in Arizona that had mahogany paneling and ship prints. It was so dark I kept bumping into walls. I thought 'why is this Boston interior in the desert?'" But reflecting local culture doesn't mean checking far-flung influences at the door. "I get emails from clients on vacation sending me photos of floor finishes and I think it's fantastic."
Gallery Walls: Private art advisor Jessica Yakubowicz Herzig (second from right) notes, "Gallery walls are a big trend that we are seeing a lot of. There might be a mask from Africa, a $30 print you bought online, an investment piece and a portrait you inherited. And the Internet is fueling the global marketplace. You can see Instagrams of Banksy's artwork being posted all over New York." Jessica also mentioned the rise of art fairs when it comes to demystifying art purchases. "Art fairs let you see the world under one roof; galleries can be intimidating."
Food as exploration: Charlie Scott (right), the co-founder of Trufflepig custom trip planning, says, "We don't want to take the trips everybody else is taking. We want uniqueness and regional experiences. Your mother was wrong: talk to strangers! Connect with real people." And food has increasingly become a framework for a trip. "Our clients want to go to a market and meet the guy who makes the bread, or the guy that makes the olive oil, then go back to the bakery and find out how he makes it. Food gives great reasons to engage in local customs."
Communal tables: Event designer Bill Fulghum (third from left) explains that at parties, "long tables are absolutely what is happening. It's more conversational." Bill showed a photo of a forest wedding in Caledon, Ontario complete with a moss "aisle" carpet ringed by evergreens, and a tent ceiling dripping with purple Wisteria blooms. "Clients want an element of fantasy, whether it's a destination wedding or a walk in the woods."
Spotlight on Africa: Holt Renfrew VP Barbara Atkin cites customization as the driving trend in fashion. "We live in a globalized world where there are fewer brands, yet we continue to look different. In the 60s everybody dressed the same way. We are unique leaders and have become our own brand. We don't wear one designer, it wasn't like that before." Atkin also pointed out the strong influence of Africa. "It's very authentic, whether it's the country's music or fashion, it resonates. Africa understands how to adorn an individual — whether by braids or tattoos or handmade jewelry — so they look unique."
1-6: Trish Mennell Photography
While silver and gold have always been holiday favourites, opulent Deco touches keep the party going year-round.This post isn't for the safe decorator who, come December 1st, will put out a few shiny balls, clink gold rimmed flutes of bubbly and call it a (holi)day. I've compiled some stunning rooms that might tweak an interest if you are toying with Gilded-Age metallics after the New Years' festivities are over.
I just love how the crosshatched texture of this wallpaper gives dimension to this gold hue. The gold and brass accents are contrasted by a husky, humble desk, lending the room a modest note.
This buoyant polka-dot print injects cheer to an already lively space. If the Mad Hatter had a walk-in closet, I think it would look something like this (with a hat rack of course).
An update on traditional floral papers, this metallic leaf print is a striking addition to any space. Although specialty wall coverings like these can be pricey, think of all the money you will save on art!
Being an animal lover, this is by far my favourite. The faint gloss and intricate menagerie would look lovely on an accent wall in an all-white room. The designer chose to add some understated art, a nice way to break up detail.
This homeowner opted for this delicate botanical-print foil wallpaper, adding a playful red bench for a lived-in charm. See more great wallcoverings in our wallpaper shopping guide.
There's something wonderful about using a map as home decor: a reminder of heartfelt memories from faraway places and a promise of adventure yet to come. However, a map on the wall can sometimes read more college dorm than well-decorated home.
Custom, large-scale map wallpaper by Wallpapered offers a modern, sophisticated take on the motif. The wallpaper is made by an in-house design team to meet the size specifications of any room in your home. I'd love to see one of these used as an accent wall in a bedroom or mudroom, or as an all-over statement in a powder room.
Francophiles will revel in this antique map of Paris.
Get in a New York state of mind with a view of Manhattan.
The London Underground Tube map has an abstract quality.
Would you venture into uncharted territory with your wallpaper or would you rather stick to a blank canvas?
Now that the weather's turning chilly in Toronto, my thoughts are turning to places where the mercury is rising instead. This week, they've landed in the suburbs of Melbourne, Australia, where this lovely, price-upon-request brick estate is up for sale. If you acted fast, you could probably close just in time to enjoy the summer there. Let's take a look inside.
Most signs point to this being a serious property. Known as Redcourt, it was built in 1888 by a glass and timber merchant. It still has grand, historic looks and a whopping seven bedrooms and eight baths. But that statue of kids playing leapfrog out front makes me think this house retains some spark and kid-friendly fun to it.
Indeed, the interiors might be best described as eclectic. (The listing names three separate designers, who seem to have ignored the idea that there should be some flow between rooms.) Still, most of the design actually works. This monochromatic living room could have been bland, but a wealth of textures makes it fascinating instead.
The dining room has a bit more of a traditional bent, with carved chairs and a gilded mirror, but I love the modern effect of the charcoal skirting board and over-dyed ruby rug. Given that the property includes a wine cellar, "meat and cheese room" and an organic vegetable garden, I'd bet that everything served here tastes amazing, too.
Australian celebrity chef Shannon Bennett supposedly designed the quiet, clean-lined kitchen; obviously, its Miele appliances do not date from 1888. The windows look out on the neighbouring coach house, which has been converted to a separate guest apartment. The property itself is in the sleepy-looking town of Armadale, so you might not have too many visitors, but then again, the city of Melbourne is just 30 minutes away.
One of the seven bedrooms looks like it still has its original moulding, though it's been decked out with illustrations from children's books. I might not recognize (or remember) all of the characters shown, but I still wouldn't mind sleeping here. Outside, there's a croquet lawn, tennis court and "secret walks" for kids to explore.
Would this Edwardian beauty draw you to the other side of the world?
For more great kids' rooms, check out Katie Hayden's blog.
1–5: Ken Jacobs Real Estate.
Recently one of my best friends married her high school sweetheart. To anyone that knows them, it really is a match made in heaven, and a perfect couple could only mean a perfect wedding so I was so excited when they asked me to help with the decor.
I quickly learned that wedding decor is a lot like home decor. It's always best to start with a few inspiration shots or a feeling you're trying to capture, then develop a palette and fill in the blanks with various details. The bride and groom are two of the most fashionable people I know and had some great ideas about what they wanted — I just had to help them bring those ideas to life.
The wedding took place on an old estate with a gorgeous property. There were multiple barns, gardens and ponds that gave it so much character and charm. With this in mind, they knew they wanted the decor to be lighthearted and at home in the country landscape.
The palette we developed was very natural yet pretty with lots of burlap, barn board and linen, accented by rich navy blue, sparkling glass and tarnished silver.
The bride knew she wanted long tables and cascading centerpieces, which meant extra long table runners. I found burlap for $1.55 yard at Designer Fabric that I then cut down the middle to make runners. The trick was to figure out how much was needed based on the size of the tables; I waited to cut the individual runners on site so each was exactly the right size. I left the edges raw to add to the relaxed aesthetic.
The bride also had an inspiration shot of great zig-zag fabric being used as runners. I was able to find the same fabric in navy that we then used as accents. I lay the burlap runners down the length of the table, and made smaller runners to place across the width of the table, spaced accordingly.
Like the burlap runners with the raw edges, this was also a no-sew project that saved a lot of time. Instead of hemming all four sides, I folded over the outside edges and ironed them in a way that looked finished. Also, because it was actually an outdoor fabric it hardly frayed and spilled liquid just pooled on top.
I have to admit, when it was all pulled together, the final look was really beautiful. And most importantly, the bride and groom loved it. Various shapes and sizes of jars and bottles were filled with white blooms. Some of the bottles were tied with loose pieces of ribbon, string and trinkets for a more personal touch.
A small thank you message was placed at each setting as well as candles (also in jars) and menu cards.
The bride also requested a dessert table. I hung a piece of Dwell Studio fabric in a vintage bird print behind the table, then flanked it by linen drapes. My favourite touch would have to be the "Love is Sweet" sign painted on barn board and hung above.
1-8. Joel Bray