Sunday, January 31, 2010

Toronto Resource: Designer Fabric Outlet

In my younger days, when my mom needed fabric, whether it be for new drapery or for a special dress, we always went to Uptown Silk Shoppe on George Street in Peterborough. I remember how the floorboards creaked underneath the carpet, and the smooth feel of the banister that ran up the staircase to the second floor. The printed cottons were kept upstairs, upholstery fabrics were housed in the basement, while silks and taffetas were found at the back of the main floor. When we found just the right fabric, the shop assistant would measure the fabric, turning the bolt with a thunk, thunk, thunk on the counter as she counted off the yards. It's funny how I remember some things so vividly...

... For me, visiting a fabric shop represents the beginning of something new. It's often the first step in a project, and it can also be a great source of inspiration for a future endeavour. Now that I live in Toronto, the only fabric store I frequent is Designer Fabric Outlet.

Designer Fabric Outlet
1360 Queen Street West, Toronto

Image courtesy of

The store is divided into 3 areas on the main floor:

The first area consists of rows and rows of fabric swatches hung neatly according to fabric content, colour and price. These 12"x12" samples are available to be rented for 10 days in order for customers to see how a fabric coordinates at home. Once a decision is made, the sample is taken to the cutting table to have the yardage cut.

My friend Jackie considers a soft grey silk:

The second section of the store is the clearance room, where you can find textiles often priced as low as $6.99 per yard. You will find end of line and small quantities here, so these fabrics are well suited to small projects.

Fabrics here are displayed by the bolt:

The third section of the main floor is bursting with tassels, trims, ribbons and other notions. There is also an excellent selection of drapery rods and hardware here, which could save you a trip to The Home Depot.

Tassels and trims line the entire east wall:

As mentioned, just browsing through fabrics can become the source of inspiration for an upcoming project!! So although I didn't find just what I was looking for during a recent visit , I did make note of these fabulous wovens for future reference:

This bold print would make great toss cushions:

This would make a pretty duvet cover:

Perfect for lavender sachets:

Check the Designer Fabric Outlet website for further information.

Dining in The Home Office

Since I write most of my blog entries at home, and since I've been writing Cherish Toronto from my couch for more than a year, the plan was to put a small console style desk in the corner of my living room. Well, finding just the right piece of furniture isn't that easy, and I'm still hunting for a desk or console table which meets the following criteria:
  • Must be 60" wide or less
  • Must be 30" high
  • Must be no more than 18" deep
  • Must be white
  • Must have at least one drawer
  • Must be under $300
In the meantime, I have made the kitchen table into a temporary home office. I don't actually eat at the table that often, so I've decided that the best use of the space is to occupy one end of the table and the console top as Cherish headquarters:

The live/work concept still allows plenty of space at the opposite end for a single girl to enjoy a meal:

On rare occasions when guests arrive for dinner, I can just whisk away the tray of office supplies:

The console holds magazines and reference materials as well as the printer and extra supplies:

Now I can truthfully say the I make use of my kitchen on a daily basis!!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

23 Perry Street Back on the Market

This story is short and sweet. It is up to you to determine the moral of the story on your own.
  • October 2004: Katie Lee, 23, marries Billy Joel, 55. You do the math.
  • June 2009: Katie Lee Joel and Billy Joel announce they will divorce.
  • October 2009: Billy sells his half of their NYC home to Katie for $3 million.
  • January 2010: Katie lists said house for $12.9 million.
We already know that money can't buy happiness, but it sure can buy a lovely townhouse in the West Village. Nate Berkus decorated the Perry Street home of Katie Lee Joel and Billy Joel, which was featured in the June/July 2008 issue of Domino. What a gorgeous home!!

Surely Katie and Billy would always know how to survive.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Yellow Decor: Use Sparingly

The temperature in Toronto today is -13 degrees Celsius, making it one of the coldest days of the season so far. In an effort to counteract the cold, I'm thinking about sunny yellow to warm up the day!! Decorating with yellow can be difficult, since it's such a strong colour it can be dizzying if overused. But as an accent with grey, blue, black or white, yellow can look just right!!

Eye catching, all the way from the curb.
Home of Designer Ann Nicholson
via Country Living Magazine

This door is an invitation to enter.
Unknown Source
(For more yellow doors, check out this set on Flickr)

The front door says "welcome home".
Albert Hadley
via House Beautiful

A warm & welcoming entry hall.
Christopher Drake
via House Beautiful

This is a true study in yellow.
Ann Nicholson
via Country Living Magazine

Yellow wallpaper works with black & white accessories.
Skona Hem
via Apartment Therapy

A modern geometric print in yellow works in an otherwise neutral room.
Sarah Richardson
Sarah's House Season 1

Yellow walls pop against a black & white space.
Ann Nicholson
via Country Living Magazine

A touch here and there goes a long way in this strong hue.
Mary McDonald
via House Beautiful

Black & white take a back seat to yellow accents.
via Apartment Therapy

Blue and yellow with a white background create a nautical feel.
Tom Stringer
via House Beautiful

The yellow of the wallpaper & couch are soft as butter.
Unknown source

Wow!! A pair of stunners.
via Apartment Therapy

Yellow in various textures: Ceramic, linen, leather, shag & silk.
Viceroy Hotel Library

Spines of National Geographic add a dash of yellow to this library.
Jeffrey Bilhuber
via Elle Decor

Blonde wood gets energy from yellow accents.
Leslie Klotz
via House Beautiful

Chartreuse yellow and teal are harmonious in this dining room.
Jonathan Adler
via House Beautiful

This vignette is not for the faint of heart.
via Apartment Therapy

A painted awning stripe brightens this bathroom.
Leslie Klotz
via House Beautiful

Sunny yellow can make laundry fun!
Sarah Richardson
Sarah's House Season 2

Modern Barn Door as Accent Wall
Paige Schnell, Texas Idea House
Southern Living Magazine

Yellow gives Grey a sunny disposition.

Yellow bedding attracts the sun's rays.

Awning Stripe Fabric
Tom Stringer
via House Beautiful

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Replacing the Foot Board

As the focal point of the bedroom, every bed needs a headboard, but it seems that the foot board is currently out of fashion. I recently wrote a post about Upholstered Headboards, and while browsing through photos of designer bedrooms, I noticed that (where space allows), an alternate item of furniture is used to replace foot board. There are no design rules here, the piece could be a bench, a settee, a trunk, or a pair of stools or chairs.

In my condominium, I use an upholstered ottoman at the foot of my bed where I store extra towels and bed linens since I don't have a linen closet. You can catch a glimpse of it in this earlier post. And when it's not covered in laundry that needs to be put away, I can even sit on it while I put my socks on.

These are some of my favourite images of great ideas for how to finish the foot of the bed:

Jonathan Adler
via House Beautiful
Contemporary Tufted Bench

Unknown Designer
via Apartment Therapy
Leather Bench with Nailhead Detail

Elizabeth Dinkel
via Veranda
Twin Beds with Upholstered Velvet Benches

Taylor Howes
via Apartment Therapy
Upholstered Velvet Bench with Piping Detail

Unknown designer
via House Beautiful
Antique Upholstered Stools

Unknown Designer
via Coastal Living Magazine
Upholstered Divan

Unknown Designer
via Coastal Living Magazine
Rustic Bench

Kay Douglass
via House Beautiful
Pair of Tufted Chairs

Marshall Watson
via House Beautiful
Antique X-Leg Benches

Meg Braff
via House Beautiful
Upholstered & Tufted X-Leg Benches

Marshall Watson
via House Beautiful
Pair of Cubes

Betty Burnham
Bamboo & Nylon Webbing Stools

Chad Eisner
via House Beautiful
Rustic Chest

Pair of Leather & Chrome Crosby Stools

Pair of Leather X-Based Stools

Pottery Barn
Blakely Rustic Bench

Steamer Trunk