Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Sunny Days Ahead

Every spring my tiny balcony (it's only 4' x 8') gets a minor decor tweak. This year the pair of yellow urns I found at Homesense migrated outside, filled with an abundance of faux grass from Dollarama. A pair of yellow toss cushions that I made during one ambitious weekend back in March continued the colour story. The balcony now has a bright & sunny vibe - I just hope Mother Nature follows my lead.

Monday, May 23, 2011


I've referred to Rue magazine several times here at Cherish Toronto. Rue is an online publication which features fabulous design and home decor ideas. Issue 5 is scheduled to launch today - what a great way to spend a few hours on a holiday Monday!! Even better, it's 100% free to enjoy. Happy reading, everyone!!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Lonny Office Lust

While flipping through the latest issue of Lonny Mag, I couldn't help but feel a bit envious of Editor in Chief Michelle Adams' newly renovated office. It looks like such a comfortable and inviting space, with lots of practical but concealed storage. Sigh.

Perhaps I should have an office makeover of my own. Hmmm... All in good time my friends, all in good time...

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sarah 101: Episode 13 Chic City Condo

Since I was in LA when the thirteenth episode of Sarah 101 aired, I've just now gotten around to watching it online. Enjoy this final recap of the series.

Sarah and Tommy tackle a blank canvas condominium in Toronto's St. Lawrence market area, calling the design "vintage urban chic with soul". In the empty space, Sarah visualizes a gallery wall, inspired by the room's view of the surrounding historical buildings. A black and white photo gallery is the jumping off point for the room's monochromatic colour scheme.

After the initial step of removing the popcorn stucco from the room's ceiling (at a cost of $1100), Sarah and Tommy set out to take photos in the historical neighbourhood. By spending a few hours with a digital camera set on a high resolution, Sarah is able to compile enough interesting photos to fill the gallery wall. Tip: To achieve a professional gallery look, have mats custom cut to fit ready made picture frames.

Now it's time for vintage furniture shopping. Tommy and Sarah visit many of their favourite vintage stores, including Filter, Queen West Antiques, and Chair Table Lamp, where they pick up several great pieces to inject old soul into the new space. First up is a unique black and white dining table base with glass top which perfectly suits the room's scheme. A round table provides flexible seating in a small space and allows for optimal circulation. They pair the vintage table with six new Tobias chairs from Ikea.

A pair of rustic chairs lend an eclectic mix to the space, with seats newly covered in a wide black and white stripe. The vintage floating black credenza behind the chairs is the ideal media unit for the television, while also providing additional storage in the room.

Sarah chose a round back single deco chair for one end of the room for its iconic style statement. The vintage block coffee table is made from burled olive wood, which offers warmth and texture in what could otherwise become a cold black and white scheme. The sofa is one of the few brand new pieces in the room. Covered in a charcoal grey linen look fabric, and a splurge at $2700, it will provide durable comfort for many years to come.

Floor to ceiling polyester/rayon semi-sheer drapes with a slightly masculine stripe maximize the view when open and provide privacy when closed. A series of 3 pendant lamps in front of the windows are an attractive alternative to pot lights and they will wash the drapes with light.

The only other ceiling light fixture in the room is the vintage chrome chandelier which hangs over the dining table. Twelve individual lights provide plenty of illumination in the space. Note the wallpaper in the hallway - it features a circular motif which echoes the shape of the dining table and the deco accent chair. Sarah and Tommy created inexpensive artwork by stamping letters onto a ready made canvas, which was then professionally stretched and framed.

The overall scheme of the room is black and white, with many shades of grey. Tip: Minimize the amount of black in the space by using it mainly as an accent (for example, the black lamp shades add a masculine nod). Sarah advises that solid colours are best, and that too many black and white patterns can be very distracting and overpowering. Budget Friendly Tip: For such a large sitting area, Sarah purchased two rugs and had them professionally stitched together to create one large rug for the space.

What did you think of this episode?
Did you enjoy the Sarah 101 series?
Let me know your opinion in the comments!

Photos courtesy of HGTV Canada.

What I've Been Up To Lately

Have you been wondering where I've been for the past 6 weeks? It's an incredibly busy time of year for me at my "real" job, and it's obvious that my time management skills aren't up to snuff. With the exception of a few quick posts, I haven't been able to spend much time here at Cherish Toronto, but I'm hoping to get back into the rhythm again soon.

A buying trip to LA at the end of March kicked off the busy season at my job, where we operate clothing retail stores at beach locations. In addition to my numerous regular duties, I tend to volunteer for extra work, but it's only because I have so many great ideas :-) For example, among several other projects I thought it would be a good idea to create fabric banners for one front window. These banners serve three purposes: (1) block out the hot afternoon sun, (2) provide a backdrop for mannequins, (3) conceal a messy cash counter.

Project Requirements:

6 wooden dowels, each 30" in length
6 eye hooks
3 yards of 110" wide fabric
fishing line
6 strong magnets

I got a great deal on this 110" wide printed cotton at
Designer Fabrics - total $30.00!

I turned and stitched the sides of each panel, and also stitched in a rod pocket at the top and bottom for the wooden dowels. Then I screwed eye hooks into the ends of the top dowels, and attached fish line to suspend the panels from the ceiling. Because this store has an industrial metal ceiling, I tied the other end of the fish line to strong magnets to hold each panel in place. Voila! A fun and functional window display:

For those of you who are curious about what I do, I generally don't mix my "real" job with my personal pursuits, which is why I haven't mentioned the store names. But just for fun, I'll reveal a few photos from inside the store:

Cheers to a great summer season!!!