Toronto - HOME & DECOR
May 23rd, 2012
If you know more facts about Ghery’s Guggenheim than the AGO, and the last time you looked up at the Graduate House was on a drunken night in 1999, then it’s time to take a tour of your local architecture.
Margaret and Phil Goodfellow’s Guide to Contemporary Architecture in Toronto ($24.95) is all the inspiration you’ll need to map out your tour. From private residences (the Levitt Goodman house on Euclid) to eye-popping landmarks (the Eatonville Public Library), this handy book is packed with exquisite buildings you’ve likely walked past, but never even seen.
Case in point: I’m a stone’s throw from U of T and only just discovered the “Trinity College Quadrangle.” —Athena Tsavliris
At Good Egg, 267 Augusta Ave., Toronto, 416-593-4663, www.goodegg.ca
May 16th, 2012
You don’t have to be Banksy to appreciate a decent can of spray paint.
At Homebase, you’ll find dozens of cans of high-end paint ($7) (imported from Germany) artfully stacked on open shelves. If the graffiti outside is anything to go by, the colours spray sharper and more saturated than most other lines and stick to anything from brick, and metal to plastic and wood.
DIY-ers can get cracking on a Miro-inspired mural, or why not paint those garden chairs a bright shade of Schiaparelli pink? My old, neglected bicycle is due for a makeover. A fresh lick of cherry red would suit me fine. —Athena Tsavliris
Homebase, 11 Camden St., Toronto, 647-352-2271, www.thehomebase.ca
May 15th, 2012
Come spring, sensible gals are scrubbing the floors and airing out the attic.
Drop the mop and forage for décor deals at HomeSense’s new downtown store. Set in a former bank (beauty products are shelved in the old safe), stock is geared to fashion-forward, space-challenged condo dwellers. We’re sprucing up with stackable reproduction Panton chairs ($79.99), union-jack pedal bins and a bright orange cooler-cart with built in bottle opener. Get there quick and you might snag one of five Picasso prints signed and numbered by the artist’s granddaughter.
With rooms this pretty, no one will notice the dust bunnies ’til autumn. —Marianne Wisenthal
HomeSense opens today at 82 Spadina Ave., Toronto, www.homesense.ca
May 8th, 2012
The ceramics at Bluebird’s new location suit sleek glass shelves over mahogany cabinets. This isn’t your grandmother’s porcelain dishware.
A Geoffrey Lilge cutting board ($180) would make a wonderful wedding gift, and for you, why not snap up a Victoria Bekerman beaded necklace ($155) or a printed silk cashmere scarf ($135) from Snapdragon?
Bluebird, 758 Queen St. W., Toronto, 416-535-3232, www.bluebirdshop.ca
April 30th, 2012
You’re prepping for dinner à deux – a spicy puttanesca followed by berries with zabaglione – when the fridge breaks down.
Trust Delroy Spence to arrive before the penne is boiled. He’s quick, efficient and likes to whistle (or sing Motown) while he works. Spence fixed our fridge, but he can take on any appliance. —Athena Tsavliris
Delroy Spence, 416-419-8542.
April 20th, 2012
If I were green-thumbed I’d grow my own cutting garden; the flowers are better-looking, better for the environment and easier on the purse.
Eco Flora is the next best thing, delivering fair trade and organic blooms at very reasonable prices.
Owner Scott Graham sources local, organic fleurs and packs them into second hand containers. Only the freshest stems make it into the bouquets.
Wedding and events are his forte, but he’ll happily rustle up a bunch of organic buds just for you. —Athena Tsavliris
Eco Flora, 1982 Islington Ave., Toronto, 416-242-3607.
April 19th, 2012
Eco-friendly has never looked so chic. In honor of Earth Month, here are a few of my favourite things:
I’ve been humming Moon River since spotting the Redux Clementine couch fashioned from a 1918 claw-foot tub. Rest assured, even the cushions are made of hemp and soy-based foam. Holly, you were ahead of your time. $850 at www.etsy.com/shop/Reduxx
Save the planet (and mourn the end of CBC’s Dispatches) with a sustainably-produced mini wooden radio. For every tree used in the making of the retro-style Magno, a new one is re-planted. Better still, it’s iPod compatible. $235 at www.galerie-co.com
Now that toting plastic has become positively taboo, I’ve been on the hunt for a leak-proof option. I love this glass and stainless steel vessel from Toronto design duo Tkaro. It’s recyclable and looks as swish on my desk as it does in transit. Get it engraved so office-mates won’t stake claim. From $36.95 at www.tkaro.com
I’m coo coo for reclaimed Canadiana. My latest favorite is a Hudson’s Bay vintage point blanket jeujed with skull and crossbones. I still can’t decide whether to lay it on my bed or mount it over the sofa. Oh Canada! $650 at Atelier 688, 688 Richmond St. W., Suite 201, www.atelier688.com —Marianne Wisenthal
April 17th, 2012
We’ve managed to banish plastic from almost everywhere in our life, except the laundry room.
With the launch of Seventh Generation’s new 4X Natural Laundry Detergent ($17.99) there’s one less earth-enemy clogging up our shelves. Packaged in 100 per cent newspaper and cardboard casing, the shell can be composted and the inner plastic bag thrown into the recycling bin. Great packaging aside, we like that it’s mild-scented and uber-concentrated so we use less per load.
Have we single-handedly saved the polar bear population with a washload of whites? Probably not, but we feel awfully smug nonetheless. —Marianne Wisenthal
At Loblaws stores, www.loblaws.com
April 12th, 2012
Sure, a bottle of vino is the safe dinner party offering but why not wrap it in something that lasts longer than wine?
Like a good Bordeaux, the tea towels from Fog Linen Work get better and better with age. They are made from linen which is highly absorbent and becomes softer with every use. Choose white gauze with a pink stripe and tie with a piece of natural twine.
Repeat invite, guaranteed. —Athena Tsavliris
At La Merceria, 506 Adelaide St. W., Toronto, 416- 848-0057, www.lamerceria.ca
April 10th, 2012
You love the eclectic, bohemian spaces in the pages of British magazine Living Etc but you can’t quite figure out how to bring it home. For instant colour, style and cultural richness, start with a kantha throw or two.
If you’re not familiar, kantha is an embroidery technique used by women in Bangladesh and West Bengal, India. Made from recycled saris and layered with a simple running stitch, kantha throws live on sofas, beds and banisters and look best layered in a contrast of colours.
The selection of one-of-a-kind kanthas at West Elm is rich with floral, geometric, and folk-art motifs and at $99. It’s hard to choose just one. So don’t. —Athena Tsavliris
West Elm, 109 Atlantic Av., Toronto, 416-537-0110, www.westelm.com