Sunday, October 31, 2010

Inside City Hall

With another round of municipal elections completed this past week, I thought about getting more involved in the community. That's when it dawned on me that despite living in this city for almost 20 years, I've never been inside Toronto's "New" City Hall. That changed today when I popped in for a quick look.

New City Hall was designed by Finnish architect Viljo Revell and his team: Bengt Lundsten, Seppo Valjus and Heikki Castren. Working together with Toronto architects John B. Parkin & Associates, the building was completed in 1965. Although considered by some to be too futuristic at the time, the design continues to feel modern in 2010.

The staircase radiates a distinctly Finnish aesthetic
with its gleaming teak & mahogany railings:

The stunning floors were cut in Canada
from imported Italian Carrara marble:

This nail relief sculpture is one of several
public art installations at City Hall.
"Metropolis" by David Partridge, 1977:

The copper nails at the core of the piece
represent the heart of the city:

More than 100,000 nails comprise the sculptural mural:

The handles of the double front doors
cleverly form a capital letter T:

All photos by Pamela Graham for CherishToronto.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Homesense Opens in Leaside: My Picks

Just this week, HomeSense opened a new location in Leaside at Eglinton and Laird. This isn't just any old store, though, my friends, it's 30,000 square feet of home decor!!! The store is well stocked with fresh goods, and as always, the prices are right. I toured the store Thursday evening and snapped some photos of my favourite pieces.

These globes ($16.99) are very on trend right now, and would look great on a bookshelf in the study or den:

This upholstered tufted ottoman ($299.99) with turned wood legs is fab-u-lous!! Perfect for putting your feet up while watching a movie:

These lamps ($59.99 each) are totally industrial chic. I'm picturing them on end tables in a very modern space:

These pheasants ($34.99 each) have a very regal look about them. They're extremely heavy, and would make a unique set of bookends:

These jars ($24.99 and up) are statement pieces which would complement any decor. You can never go wrong with white ceramic:

With Hallowe'en almost upon us, the Christmas decor is just starting to come out of the woodwork. With so many amazing holiday items available, you may be inspired to adopt an entirely new holiday theme!!

Traditional Red & Gold:

Gorgeous Green & Gold:

Icy Winter Wonderland:

All photos by Pamela Graham for CherishToronto.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Chic Black Candles

Black candles are not only for witchcraft and voodoo rituals - they can also be a very chic way to decorate your home for Hallowe'en without going over the top. This weekend I swapped out all of my white candles for black ones, and voila, Hallowe'en decorating done!

Martha Stewart thinks black candles are a good thing.

Black candles look great with pewter & crystal.
Image: Country Living magazine

Hallmark Magazine creates a simple Hallowe'en vignette.
Image: OhDeeDoh

Katie Bower knows how to do Hallowe'en chic.
Image: BowerPower

And they're not just for Hallowe'en:

Eddie Ross chose black tapers for his Thanksgiving table.
Image: LonnyMag.

Jenna Lyons' living room chandelier sparkles with black candles.
Image: Domino magazine.

Happy Hallowe'en decorating!!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Think of the Fish

Since our Thanksgiving weekend weather was so comfortable, we took the opportunity to spend some time outdoors at Etienne Brule Park, near Bloor Street & Old Mill Drive. We visited this park in particular with the hope of catching a glimpse of the salmon which travel upstream to spawn at this time of year. It was also nice to see some of the autumn colours:

We saw several salmon attempt to jump this weir in an effort to reach their spawning grounds further upstream:

Thanks to Mother Nature for a beautiful weekend!!

All photos by Pamela Graham for Cherish Toronto.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Celebrating Canadian Thanksgiving

This past Saturday morning started with a trip up to Avenue & Davenport to choose flowers for the Thanksgiving dinner table. With so much selection it was difficult to decide:

After about 20 minutes of dithering, I eventually decided on a scheme of burnt orange and deep yellow from Yang's. The late afternoon Sunday sun streamed through my condo's west facing windows, highlighting the gorgeous roses:

The amber water glasses continued the Autumnal theme, and what's even better, they were a fabulous Value Village find - set of 4 for $1.99.

My second annual Thanksgiving dinner went off without a hitch. No burnt offerings and no Pepto Bismol required. A rousing success!!!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Cool New Stuff at West Elm

I'm a big fan of affordable home decor, and West Elm has come through again this season with modern furnishings and accessories at what I call "real people prices". Canada's only West Elm location is right here in Toronto on Atlantic Avenue in Liberty Village. These are my picks for favourite new items:

Essex Ottoman, $299 USD

Organic Herringbone Blanket $79-$99 USD

John-Paul Phillipe Pillow Covers $29 USD

Safe Radio $99 USD

Convex Mirrors $24-$39 USD

Ion Glass Round Coffee Table $299 USD

Ceramic Owls $9-$16 USD

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Status Symbols at Home

As an impressionable teenager in the 1980's, I learned that a person could attain social status by wearing the "right" designer labels. You know the usual suspects: Polo Ralph Lauren, Lacoste, Swatch, Tretorn, Ray-Ban. Now that I've reached a certain age, I read a lot more "House & Home" than "Seventeen", but the status symbols still exist, even in home decor.

Exhibit A:
The Hermes Avalon Blanket ($1125 USD)

Calvert Wright

Fern Simon

Jennifer Ferreira
Canadian House & Home

Kyle via Knight Moves

The Hermes Avalon blanket makes quite a statement when draped across the arm of a couch or folded at the foot of a bed. Although it may not be the kind of statement we can all afford to make, there is no denying its role as a status symbol in the home.

Nuit Blanche 2010 in Toronto

Saturday night was Toronto's 5th annual nuit blanche, a dusk to dawn art event sponsored by Scotiabank and free for those who wish to attend. The night involved a lot of walking, several hot beverages ('twas a cold night), and the occasional "I don't get it". A good time was had by all.

Monument to Smile
Images appear set to Michael Jackson's 'Smile'.

Auto Lamp
A perforated van lit from within - quite pretty, actually.

Creepy clown heads wedged between buildings,
of course I get it, don't you?

Friday, October 1, 2010

For Sale: 2193 Hixon Street

Well, the house is on the market!! The extreme home renovation project which my brother in law undertook this summer is complete and ready for a new family to move in. The project included the following:
  • Removed overgrown trees & shrubbery, resodded front lawn.
  • Replaced garage door, replaced siding, replaced all windows, painted exterior brick and installed new roof.
  • Introduced new antique bronze door hardware throughout.
  • Installed new hardwood flooring throughout main floor and refinished hardwood floors on second floor.
  • Designed a contemporary kitchen with new cupboards and central island, open to living and dining rooms.
  • Created completely new 4 piece main bath upstairs and 3 piece second bath on lower level.
  • Freshly painted throughout.
I think the house looks absolutely amazing, check out the final results:

Main Floor Wall Colour: Benjamin Moore Manchester Tan HC-81
Trim: Benjamin Moore Cloud White CC-40

Main Bath Wall Colour: Benjamin Moore Palladian Blue, HC-144

Lower Bath Wall Colour: Benjamin Moore Alexandria Beige, HC-77

For those of you who can attend, there will be an open house this Sunday, October 3rd from 2-4 pm, or you can check out all the details on the MLS listing here: 2193 Hixon Street, Oakville