Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Hallowe'en

Scared you!

Cherish Toronto would like to wish everyone a Happy Hallowe'en. Take it easy out there tonight, and don't forget to make a donation to UNICEF in support of Schools for Africa. Visit for more information.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Treatments for Basement Windows

Just recently, a reader (aka my Uncle Garry) asked for my opinion about what type of treatment would work best for his newly finished basement windows. These windows swing up and latch or the window can be completely removed. This means no blinds or other contraptions within the casing which would interfere with the mechanism.

Hmmm...while I'm thinking, take a look for yourself (note the beautiful millwork!!):

Wall Colour: Benjamin Moore Wheat Sheaf CC-220

These are my top 2 suggestions for window treatments:

(1) Plantation Shutters.

Image courtesy of

Clean and simple aesthetic.
Good amount of light when louvers are open.
Complete privacy when closed.
Light dusting required to clean.
Can be stained to match the millwork.

May hide the beauty of the existing millwork.
Expensive due to custom work required.

2) Floor Length Drapery Panels.

Images courtesy of

Floor length drapes create the illusion of a higher ceiling.
Drapes add warmth to the space.
Maximum amount of light when panels are stacked back to sides.
Total privacy when lined panels are closed.
Neutral colour blends with wall colour for continuity.
Affordable since custom work not required (except hemming).

Curtains will require vacuuming & occasional laundering.

Final Thoughts

The most difficult part of offering an opinion is that the advice seeker often does not share the opinions of the advice giver. In light of this, I have developed a backup option:

3) Window Film

Image courtesy of

Provides privacy.
Easy to install.

Not pretty.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Accessible Art at Canvas Gallery

Many things make a house a home. It's all in the details, such as a cozy blanket thrown on the couch, a scented candle burning on the table, or a dog-eared book on the bedside table. Each of these items create a sense of personality in your home. One of the most effective ways to say "home" is to surround yourself with art that you love. Bare walls indicate that the resident is still developing a relationship with the space, as it can be a long process to find just the right piece of art.

There is a great place in Toronto, Canvas Gallery, that features accessible art for your walls. I say that it's accessible because the gallery isn't an intimidating space and clients are free to casually browse through the plethora of paintings and photography.

I have purchased two small, affordable pieces from Canvas Gallery, and both experiences were comfortable and painless. The website features an extensive Artist Catalogue, or you can visit the gallery in person at 950 Dupont Street in Toronto (within G.H. Johnson's).

My Featured Picks:

Chris Albert
Jardin des Tuilleries
Photography, 16 x 20, $125

George Pavlasek
Red Doors, Chicago
Photography, 9x9 Matted, $40

Stacey Camp
Untitled 5
Mixed Media on Canvas, 12x12, $200

Jim Cobban
Eggs and Sunlight
Oil on Canvas, 36x48, $3500

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Batkin Rings from Eddie Ross

I'm not one to overdo the Hallowe'en decor, but these Batkin Rings from Eddie Ross were quick & easy to make. They'll add a touch of fun to the Hallowe'en dinner table.

Click here to link to Eddie's blog where you'll find the bat template and simple to follow instructions.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Project Recovery

They may not look all that glamorous now, but just wait until I get finished with this set of 5 shield back chairs which I discovered by chance at Captain's Treasures this past Saturday:

Photo courtesy of

The plan is to sand the wood and paint it white, then recover the seat cushions in a new fabric. Everyone's doing it - check these fine examples:

The dining table in Sarah's House Season 1 featured a set of 4 antique chairs painted a dove grey with seats recovered in a modern tonal print.

Photos courtesy of

Earlier this year, Eddie Ross updated a set of two upholstered seat shield back chairs which he found at Goodwill:



Photos courtesy of

If my project turns out as well as these I'll be a happy girl!! Just give me a few months to work on this one - I have no idea where I'll be doing the messy sanding and painting.

Coming soon to Craigslist: Set of 4 White Ikea Gilbert chairs, gently used!!

Winter Projects

With the cold fall & winter months looming, it's time to start thinking about creative projects to tackle while trapped indoors. Today I managed to get the ball rolling on two ambitious winter endeavours.

Here's a sneak peek into what I'm calling "Project 3.14":

Expect news later this week regarding my other undertaking, "Project Recovery".

Friday, October 23, 2009

Velocity Art and Design

I came across a really interesting website today that offers interesting items from a variety of sources including Dwell Studio, Inhabit, Marimekko, Perch, Kikkerland and Fluf, among others. Velocity Art and Design is a great place to browse for unique gift items. The site offers international shipping, and you can arrange to have a gift shipped directly to the recipient.

I've selected a few super cool pieces and highlighted them below. To find out more about any item, simply click on the photo to be linked directly to the web page:

Stretched Canvas

The 1948 by Inhabit
$72.00 (16"x16") to $295.00 (34"x54")
Handprinted & Handmade

The Ailanthus by Inhabit
$70.00 (16"x16") to $326.00 (60"x34")
Handprinted & Handmade


Basket Bowl by Perch
$48.00 (6" diameter)
Handmade White Glazed Ceramic

Apron Vases by Perch
$46.00 each (7.5" high)
White Glazed Ceramic with Decals

Campfire Candleholder by Kikkerland
$20.00 (4.5"x4.5"x2.5")
White Porcelain, Holds One Votive


PopMat Placemats by Publique Living
$25.00 (Pkg of 10)
Disposable, Made of 100% Recycled Paper

Raja Round Placemats by Simrin
$48.00 (Set of 4)
Handmade, 100% Cotton


Punch Pillows by Fluf
$134.00 (17"x17")
100% Woven Wool
95% Feather, 5% Down Fill

Kanteleen Kutsu Tea Towel - Horse by Marimekko
$24.00 (Pkg of 2) (19"x28")
100% Linen

Eames Chairs Card Case by AcmeStudio

Coloured Pencils Set by Roost
$9.00 (25 Pencils)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Casting Call

This announcement goes out to all residents of the GTA who are interested in having a room decorated by Sarah Richardson and her design partner Tommy Smythe. This is strictly a design project - no extensive renovations will be conducted. PRIMEVISTA television will contribute $10,000 towards the budget.

The nitty gritty details:
  • You must live within the GTA
  • Your room must be at least 15' x 15'
  • You must own the home or have your landlord's permission to redecorate
Follow this link to fill out the detailed online casting form:

Good Luck!!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Pendant Lighting

I have lived in my new home for just over 2 years, and I still haven't really thought about placing a light over the kitchen/dining table. I blame the condominium builders for my procrastination, because they didn't center the electrical box over the area where a logical person would place the dining table. I have resigned myself to the fact that I will have to swag a cord from the junction box to a hook centered over the table. SIGH...

At least I've found lots of fabulous options for fixtures. Check it out!!

Random Light by Moooi
Material: Epoxy & Fibreglass
Designed by Bertjan Pot

Orten'zia by Terzani
Material: Welded Nickel
Designer: Bruno Rainaldi

Hook Suspension Lamp by Terzani
Material: Nickel Plated & Glass
Designer: Jean-Francois Crochet

Flame.mgx Lamp by Materialise
Material: Clay
Designer: Beth Grossman

Dandelion by Moooi
Material: Laser Cut Powder Coated Steel
Designer: Richard Hutten

Milkbottles by Droog
Material: Glass & Stainless Steel
Designer: Tejo Remy

Raimond Light by Moooi
Material: Stainless Steel
Designer: Raimond Puts

Phrena by Artecnica
Material: White Tyvek
Designer: Karl Zahn

Knappa by Ikea
Material: Polypropylene
Designer: Bryelle/Jacobsen

Maskros by Ikea
Material: Polypropylene & Paper
Designer: Marcus Arvonen

Kina Pendant
Material: Australian Hoop Pine Untreated Plywood
(Sustainable Plantation Grown)
Designer: David Trubridge

Coral Pendant
Material: Moso Plywood
(Sustainable Plantation Grown)
Designer: David Trubridge

Agave by Lucepan
Material: Injection-Molded Mathacrylate
Designers: Diego Rossi & Raffaele Tedesco