Toronto - HOME & DECOR
March 14th, 2012
It may still be winter but birds are chirping and crocuses are blooming. Ignore the calendar and step into a spring state of mind.
Nothing says spring like a vase filled with tulips in every hue. Pick some up today.
Florals are a perennial favourite for spring/summer and this season sees more colour combinations than ever. If Dries or Katrantzou are out of reach, get your flower fix at any one of your go-to high street options.
The topknot is still going strong, but for spring, try adding a colourful scarf aroundit (if the bun is big enough) for a quaint, slightly Parisian twist. —Athena Tsavliris
March 9th, 2012
We’re reliably stocked up on red wine and Touche Éclat but somehow the larder always seems bare.
In lieu of butter chicken on speed-dial we’re getting sensible with a new healthy food delivery service from nutrition expert Rose Reisman. Personal Gourmet meals (including veggie and gluten-free options) are made from locally sourced ingredients and come frozen so we can stock up for the week.
Three days after ordering on-line, a swish cooler bag appeared on our front porch filled with delish dinners like red tofu with basmati rice and sautéed carrots, and grilled chicken with Israeli couscous. Don’t be put off by the vacuum-sealed packaging — once heated up (ten minutes at 400 F) and transferred to a plate, we (almost) believed we’d made it from scratch. —Marianne Wisenthal
Meals from $6.55, Rose Reisman’s Personal Gourmet, 416-721-0560, www.personalgourmet.ca
March 7th, 2012
Even with the crocuses flowering about town, there's time yet to savour your favourite winter soups.
Sopa soups are made in Toronto with organic ingredients, and contain no dairy, meat, wheat, gluten, white sugar or salt. Flavours include roasted cauliflower, black bean and winter minestrone.
Last-minute dinner guests? Fill bowls with veggie rich winter minestrone and serve with warm ciabatta and a smorgasbord of cheeses.
Soup's on! —Athena Tsavliris
See website for stockists www.sopaorganica.com
March 6th, 2012
There was a time when my hallway looked like a luxe garage sale filled with racks of party frocks, piles of handbags and shoeboxes stacked precariously high.
Enlisting Simply Closets to create a custom wardrobe was the first step. A quick consultation with owner Daniel Wilkinson was all it took to come up with the right configuration for my space and needs. I chose basic white melonite with contemporary stainless steel hardware and added shoe fences, baskets and a laundry hamper.
Clutter phobes beware; you’ll be colour coding your delicates in no time. —Athena Tsavliris
Unit 27, 71 Marycroft Ave.,Woodbridge, 416-385-8855, www.simplyclosets.ca
February 23rd, 2012
Since wallpaper emerged from the doldrums, walls are better for it. These papers from Paris-based textile atelier Minakani merge art and décor.
Paste any of them on your walls and you’ve got an instant art installation. —Athena Tsavliris
February 13th, 2012
Just in case you haven’t read the memo, it’s Valentine’s day tomorrow. We searched the web for a few last minute DIY projects to impress your lovey dove.
Many of you may have seen this amazing cake doing the rounds in the blogosphere, but have you tried to make it?
What man wants heart patches sewn on his favourite sweater? Yours? Follow this easy step-by-step and he’ll love you forever. —Athena Tsavliris
February 2nd, 2012
Mere weeks into our New Year’s cleanse and we’ve fallen off the no-bread wagon.
One visit to Le Matin bakery and we were cruelly brought down by a sourdough boule. Chef Jean-Pierre Challet’s new Leslieville shop is also sinfully stocked with raspberry clafoutis, lemon tarts, quiches lorraine and pain au chocolat. Dense and delish, the soft-crusted baguettes ($2.75) are made with beer yeast giving them a certain je ne sais quoi. We guiltily slathered ours in butter and red fig jam.
Alas, there’s always next year. —Marianne Wisenthal
Le Matin, 5 Coady Ave., Toronto, 416-778-1509, www.lematinbakery.com
January 31st, 2012
“Lampshades are like the shoes and handbags of the home,” says doyenne of design, Nina Campbell. “The right shoes can make an outfit – but if you have the wrong shoes, you can feel old-fashioned in the smartest suit.”
This super-cool shade ($315) from Shana Anderson is up there with our favourite pumps and clutches. The local textile designer covers shades in Toronto skylines pulled from archival and current photos of the city.
Hang it the guest loo or above the dining room table. Just don’t let city politics be the only thing you talk about over dinner. —Athena Tsavliris
At Made, 867 Dundas St. W., Toronto, 416-607-6384, www.madedesign.ca
January 16th, 2012
Even on the tightest deadline I can find myself wandering over to Twitter, taking the Downton Abbey quiz or streaming the latest episode of The Vampire Diaries. If you too can find seemingly endless ways to procrastinate, check out this simple solution.
The Pomodoro Technique is a five-step time management process created by Francesco Cirillo. It is based, in part, on the idea that taking breaks while you work is a good thing. The steps are as follows:
1. Choose a task to be accomplished
2. Set your timer to 25 minutes (One “Pomodoro”)
3. Work on the task until the timer rings (no checking Facebook, no texting – just 25 minutes of focus)
4. Take a short break of about three to five minutes
5. Every four Pomodoros take a longer break (15-30 minutes)
It might seem basic, but what’s bizarre is how much you can accomplish in those first 25 minutes of uninterrupted work. Sure I might check the timer once or twice, but after investing a full Pomodoro or two on writing a proposal or section of a report, I often find I’m over the hardest part—the start.
Download a Pomodoro Technique cheat sheet here www.thepomodorotechnique.com
January 10th, 2012
Mae West said, “keep a diary and it’ll keep you.”
Here’s a clever idea for modern diarists. From print-on-demand publisher, Ether Press, a stylish book ($10-25) of tweets is a neat way to archive your online musings.
And unlike our lugubrious teenage outpourings, this journal shouldn’t embarrass as much in five-years time. —Athena Tsavliris