For 16 years, the H&H Trends Breakfast has forecasted the looks and products we will be coveting for our homes.
This year, the event was held on December 4 at Toronto's Arcadian Court in the Hudson's Bay store in Toronto.
The annual breakfast represents not only an opportunity to thank the advertisers who support our publications (including Maison & Demeure, our Quebec edition), but offers a chance to talk about the way we live, and use our homes.
Publisher Lynda Reeves kicked the breakfast off with a compelling description of the new Super Cocooning trend. Now that homes can be equipped with every technological gadget, we're more connected than ever, but, she explains we still feel the need to congregate the old fashioned way.
She shared how she reluctantly joined a high-powered knitting circle, only to find she was thoroughly drawn in by the simple pleasure it offers. Gathering together to knit and gossip was something our mothers and grandmothers enjoyed, but they weren't surrounded by iPhones, iPads and flatscreen TVs. Even in a digital age, we still crave personal connection, and authentic, handmade goods. (FYI, knitting is a big trend among — surprise — the 25-34-year-old set. Lynda recommends newbies check out The Knit Cafe).
Then editor-in-chief Suzanne Dimma called out the big decor trends for 2014. (I'd hate to wreck the surprise, to see them all pick up the January Trends issue on Eastern newsstands Dec. 8 and in the West on Dec. 15). In it you'll find out the answers to: what's replacing the chandelier? What does this year's must-have coffee table look like? And what design trend is Suzanne most excited about? Here's a hint: it's groovy.
After the breakfast, Mark Challen announced the winner of the annual H&H Table Game. Each table was given the challenge of building their own inspiration board, complete with a fun write up.
Here's the winning entry (judged by editors Joel Bray and Stacey Smithers), which painted a vivid picture of the decor of fictitious young homeowners, Miley and Liam. Check out their furnishing choices — deemed suitable for the in-laws, and twerking.
1-8. Wendy Jacob
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
Fans of handmade crafts will want to check out the Brika pop-up shop that opened on October 9 in The Hudson's Bay flagship store in Toronto.
Founded in 2012 as an online site featuring products from sometimes under-the-radar makers, Brika celebrates the creators as well as their wares on their well-designed site.
Co-founders Kena Paranjape (left) and Jen Lee Koss were on hand to explain how they started this venture. "I was looking at a lot of lifestyle blogs and I found out the author of one of my favourites was right here in Toronto. So we agreed to meet at a coffee shop, in broad daylight," jokes Jen, who has heady business chops with a degree from Harvard biz school. After a successful store launch in San Francisco, the pair compiled a variety of Canadian-made ceramics, textiles, jewelry and bags for the Bay pop-up shop.
Heather Dahl's striped cylinder vase has a vaguely mid-century appeal.
Toronto-based designer Nicole Tarasick's screen-print pillow is filled with 100% feathers, and is pure Canadiana.
Heyday Design's vintage porcelain jar is a genuis play on the Mason jar. Heyday potter Claire Madill is a Vancouver-based artist who was inspired by her 92-year-old grandmother's collection of vintage jars.
Avril Loreti's Green Forest Tea Towels add a graphic pop in the kitchen.
Textile maker Heather Shaw (we featured her home in November 2009) of Pi-lo works out of a Victorian coach house in Toronto. These linen napkins display her typical understated, feminine attention to detail.
1-6. Wendy Jacob
We gave a sneak peek of Tiffany's glittering new Art Nouveau store on Bloor Street in Toronto in our November 2013 issue, but I was lucky enough to attend the opening on September 18.
The new design made me feel like I had just walked into a jewelry box. Just inside the front doors is a stunning installation hanging from the ceiling that resembles floating leaves by Japanese artist Nami Sawada.
Here I am wearing a favourite Tiffany necklace with fine jewelry sales manager Liz St. Louis (left photo), and Chrissie Rejman, supervising producer of CityLine.
This model is adorned with some gorgeous rocks, but I was equally impressed by the stair runner — the Art Nouveau-style magnolia motif runs throughout the store, and obviously extends to the food presentation. A tray of white macarons are almost too pretty to eat.
It's hard not to be impressed by the double-height foyer's 25-foot ceilings and carved stone walls. The metal balustrade resembles wheatsheaves, another recurring Tiffany motif, symbolizing golden fields and the harvest.
A striking hand-forged chandelier by New York-based artist Michelle Oka Doner dominates the salon, which is enveloped by powder-blue lacquer walls.
It's no surprise that Tiffany blue plays a starring role in this private area used for selecting wedding rings. Fully-leafed glass panels by John Opella act as a backdrop for the consultation desk.
And of course, I love what comes inside a blue Tiffany box, too. Some of my favourite designs include my Elsa Peretti Sevillana ring in sterling silver. I am obsessed with the graphic look of circles.
See? Obsessed. Ditto for the Elsa Peretti Padova teaspoon.
I was given Breakfast at Tiffany's sunglasses as a gift and think they are so glamorous, you feel like Audrey wearing them.
Here's another classic: the Elsa Peretti Bone cuff is one of my go-to pieces of jewelry.
The contrast of the silver bean with the rustic leather on this Peretti Bean keychain is so chic.
And the Thumbprint bowl by Peretti is just as sculptural as her jewellery.
Here's stack of Tiffany invites I keep as beautifully designed mementos.
I chat with Brent Ridge (that's him on the left below), Manhattan doctor-turned-goat-farmer extraordinaire, as he and partner, journalist Josh Kilmer-Purcell launch The Fabulous Beekman Boys on the Cottage Life Television on Tuesdays at 10 p.m. And the pair recently penned their latest book of well-loved recipes, The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Dessert Cookbook.
House & Home: You and Josh won the Amazing Race in 2012. What's tougher, the race or goat farming?
BR: Goat farming. Your livelihood depends on it.
H&H: Tell us a little about how you, a doctor and your husband Josh Kilmer-Purcell, a writer for The New York Times, ended up farming the 19th-century Beekman farm?
BR: We bought a farm in 2007 in Sharon Springs, New York just as a weekend place, we had jobs in the city. Shortly after a local farmer approached us because he couldn't pay the mortgage on his farm and lost it. He asked if he could graze his herd of 120 goats on our property, otherwise he would lose those too. We thought it would be fun to have goats to play with. Then we both lost our jobs in the recession in 2008 and that's how we started our business, Beekman 1802. We sell products like goat cheeses, jam and our soaps to Williams-Sonoma and Henri Bendel. And Josh wrote a book about it, Bucolic Plague.
H&H: Now you and Josh have another book launching, The Beekman 1802 Heirloom Dessert Cookbook (Raincoast 2013). Who is the best cook?
BR: I am better at savoury, Josh makes a fantastic pie crust. (We've got their recipe for Apple Tarte Tatin, shown above, try it here.)
H&H: Do you miss any cuisine from the city?
BR: No, we have everything we need. We have 110 varieties of heirloom vegetables. We produce our own beef, pork, chickens and turkeys. We keep two pigs a year, you get attached to those animals over time and it's difficult to harvest them but that is part of the process. It should be difficult, and you should think about what is on your plate. Our farm in Sharon Springs in 3 ½ hours outside New York City. We go into the city about twice a month and really appreciate the creativity and energy, it's the best of both worlds.
H&H: Your show is going to be airing in Canada, what will fans love most about The Fabulous Beekman Boys?
BR: When you work in an urban setting you are often working for someone else and don't see immediate rewards. Watching the Cottage Life Television is about a weekend that lasts all week, dreaming of a life outside, and maybe one with more meaning. Others might live vicariously through us, watching us launch the business and save the farm.
H&H: Why is rural life a cause célèbre for you? Why are small farms so important?
BR: We have to work hard. We're here to tell the story why food produced on a small farm tastes better and is worth more than what comes from factory farms or imports from China. It's reassuring to know there are people who don't want the cheapest thing, that are willing to pay a premium for a great product. Anybody who chooses to be a farmer should be able to make a living, on par with a teacher or fireman or any other professional. Farmers are the backbone of the country, if you run a small farm you shouldn't be living below the poverty level.
The velvet ropes, black SUVs and throngs of screaming fans that proliferate during the Toronto International Film Festival have once again disappeared, but some of the best things to pop up during the star-studded event can be enjoyed year-round — whether you're a VIP or not.
For the fifth year, CBC's George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight commissioned a Made in Canada lounge for the festival, a kind of extension of the green room where guests of the show are treated to a selection of goodies that are, well, made in Canada. I dropped in one day to check out the space conceived by Best PR Boutique and Montreal's Apartment 4 (and to find out what celebs were snapping up). The stars that passed through included Jesse Eisenberg (The Double, The Social Network), Ryan Kwanten (The Right Kind of Wrong, True Blood), Taylor Schilling (Stay, Orange is the New Black), Idris Elba (Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom, The Wire), Joseph Gordon-Levitt (Don Jon, Inception), Don McKellar (The Grand Seduction), Paul Dano (Prisoners, Little Miss Sunshine), Zoe Kazan (The F Word, It's Complicated), Joel Edgerton (Felony, The Great Gatsby) and Alan Cumming (The Good Wife), among others.
The set-up evoked a cozy cabin, with a branch chandelier by the Brothers Dressler adding wow factor to a snug seating area decked out with a sofa, chairs and tables by Style Garage, pillows by Pehr and Room 2046, a rug by Flor.
Painted paddles by Atelier 688, hung above an EcoSmart fireplace from Company B, gave the vignette a dose of hipster chic, while resin photo art of Georgian Bay by Christine Flynn (who owns both Love the Design shops in Toronto) stood in for windows with scenic views of cottage country.
This is Canada, so a partial wall was covered in Sher-Wood hockey sticks — a clever idea to raise money: stars could sign them for charity.
What swag was getting the most love? Those with tastes sweet and salty were satisfied by bags of caramel corn by Toronto's Bobbette & Belle. Manitoba's Wendell Estate Honey will be sweetening Hollywood's tea cups and breakfast tables, and Neal Brothers Foods captured the taste of the Great White North with its Maple Bacon potato chips. (Yum!)
For something a bit more spirited, Dillon's small batch white rye, gin and bitters proved popular, with Bitter Pear emerging as most people's first choice.
On the décor front, ceramic versions of mason jars by Vancouver-based Heyday Design were picked up for use as vases and tea light holders.
Nearly every visitor asked why the lounge smelled so good. The answer: Smells Like Canada. The company's candles come in four fragrances — Toronto Smoke, Saskatoon Wheat, Red Deer Rose and Fraser Valley Wood — with Toronto Smoke winning the most compliments.
Who says you have to walk the red carpet to treat yourself like a star?
Am I the only person who is owled out? This season, the motif of the moment appears to be owls. In the past week alone, I've received a slew of press releases featuring owl this and owl that. Every website I browse also has some sort of owl ornament, accessory, ceramic piece or textile inspired by that cute nocturnal creature.
I wonder who decided the owl should be the "it" motif of 2012? What will we do in two years time with all the owl objets we've acquired? Will we still want to arrange our flowers in owl vases, drink our coffee from owl mugs or cosy up against owl cushions?
Portlandia's Put A Bird On It spoof illustrates my point quite effectively.
Don't get me wrong — as an editor of all things decor and design, I love the notion of bringing nature into the home and taking inspiration for our interiors from the great outdoors. But sometimes, a theme or motif just gets too darn gimmicky. At this point, I don't give a hoot about the owl.
With that said, there are some very compelling owls on the market right now, and I've rounded up a few of my faves below:
Glazed Tawny Owl from Anthropologie.
Nature Nursery Owl from Anthropologie.
Caviar Owl from Anthropologie.
Owl Pillow Cover from West Elm.
Owl Dessert Plates from West Elm.
Owl print from Natural Curiosities.
What do you think of the owl motif? Comment below! Any guesses as to the next big trend for 2013?
1. Glazed Tawny Owl, Anthropologie
2. Nature Nursery Owl, Anthropologie
3. Caviar Owl, Anthropologie
4. Owl Pillow Cover, West Elm
5. Owl Dessert Plates, West Elm
6. Banzanini Owl Studies 1, Natural Curiosities
The results are in! After polling our readers online about top holiday decorating dilemmas, we can now share the votes. Much like the designers and homeowners who commented on these questions in our November 2012 issue, the numbers are close.
1. CHRISTMAS TREE: Real or faux?
57% prefer a real tree. Nothing beats the smell of natural pine.
2. ON TOP: Angel or star?
The results were especially close for this one, with 53% voting in favour of a star tree topper, and 47% would rather top their tree with an angel.
3. ORNAMENTS: Homemade or chic?
Personally I love the look of homemade ornaments, but 62% of readers polled opt for chic ones.
4. OUTDOOR LIGHTS: White or coloured?
When it comes to lighting up your home's exterior, 60% of readers favour white lights over rainbow strands.
5. DOOR WREATH: Ornaments and sparkle, or natural boughs?
Here's where we saw a clear winner — 71% of readers would pick natural boughs over wreaths with ornaments and sparkle.
Thanks for voting, everyone! Find out what Suzanne Dimma, designer Nicola Marc and more homeowners had to say about these hot holiday topics in our November 2012 issue.
Discover more Christmas and holiday decorating ideas in our guide.
1, 3. House & Home December 2011 issue, photography by Virginia Macdonald
2. House & Home November 2012 issue, photography by Angus Fergusson
4. House & Home November 2010 issue, photography by Donna Griffith
5. House & Home November 2010 issue, photography by Michael Graydon
Though the true Canadian in me tells me I shouldn't start complaining about the weather until at least November, the fact of the matter is, it's starting to get cold here in Ontario! So I've started my cold weather regimen of taking all the warm blankets out of the storage closets, keeping an unlimited supply of hot chocolate in my cupboards, and fidgeting with the heaters to find a comfortable room temperature.
The next step, of course, would be to snuggle up next to a charming fireplace for the winter season, which would be great if I actually had a fireplace. This inspired me to look into the different fireplace options available. As I browsed around, I was faced with presumably the most commonly asked new-fireplace purchaser question: "Gas or wood burning?" Here are my favourite inspiration photos for each:
Aesthetically, both are beautiful. So I ruled that out as a deciding factor. Then I had to consider the ventilation system, installation process, fuel requirements, maintenance and other aspects of owning a fireplace.
Keeping all of this in mind, I still decided that you just can't beat the smell of a wood-burning version, which has influenced me in that direction.
Do you prefer gas or wood burning fireplaces? Comment below!
See our Fireplaces & Mantel Displays photo gallery for more cosy inspiration.
Summer's been a scorcher in southern Ontario, so I'm always surprised to see the immaculate, plush lawns that surround my neighbourhood. Sure, a good gardener goes a long way, but it seems more and more homeowners are opting for a fuss-free lawn: one made of polyethylene. Growing up, I've never had to care for a lawn myself (thanks, Dad!), therefore I'm not one to understand the burden of caring for grass — so I'll leave this debate up to you. But first, can you tell which of the following photos showcase real versus artificial grass?
The answer is: all these lawns are fake!
Sure, faux-lawns have come a long way since AstroTurf. They don't require upkeep like irrigation, pesticides or fertilizers and keep a lush appearance year-round. They're also the only viable option for many patios and rooftops... but how do they compare to the feel and smell of freshly cut grass? Weigh-in in the comments section below.