Category Archives: accessories

One of a Kind Christmas Show


I hope all my American friends had a great Turkey Day!  Thanks to your holiday yesterday, I was able to take the day off work to visit the One of a Kind Christmas Show. This year I received a Media invitation to a preview breakfast and the show.  Media?!  So cool.


There SO MUCH great stuff to see so in case you are planning on attending I’m going to give you a run-down of my favourites, which I’ve broken down into four overall categories: 1. Canadiana, 2. Textiles, 3. Art, 4. Kid Stuff. If you aren’t in the Toronto area, I’ve provided links to all the artisans websites and/or Etsy shops so be sure to check them out!


All the artisans at the One of a Kind show are Canadians, but some really take their national pride to heart and the result are some unique pieces–identity apparel co.(website)

Identity’s brand is based on the ideals of the Canadian identity. Designed for the sophisticated male, they have an awesome collection of wool pillows, tees, bags, and hats bearing images of the queen, antlers, moose, beavers, geese, etc. If I was decorating a man cave, a few of their plaid wool pillows would be on the top of my list.

nicole tarasick (website and Etsy shop)

Nicole is a graphic designer and screen-printer whose work I first spotted at IDS 2011 (review here).  Her pillows and textiles feature Canadian airport codes and images such as the Great Lakes.  I’ve had my eye on a YYZ pillow for more than a year and I finally got one!

freshly printed (website)

Freshly Printed is a Toronto-based company producing household textiles, with a focus on environmentally conscious materials and production methods.  Their hand drawn then screen-printed products feature nostalgic images of flora, fauna, cottage life, and icons like Canadian geese.  This was just one of several booths who crafted lovely tea towels and napkins, it was hard to walk away empty handed.

vicki carruthers (website)

Vicki’s acrylic works are bright, energetic, and feature idyllic Canadian landscapes. Reminiscent of the Group of Seven, her stylized work drew me in and made me smile


I don’t know if it was just me, but there were a LOT of tea towels this year. I’m not complaining, I love them, but it took a lot of self-control not to buy them all up!

avril loreti – modern home (website)

Taking inspiration from antique market excursions, art and design history, icons and concepts cherished in our collective experience, Avril’s collection features playful patterns, and bright bold colours, perfect for the modern home.  I desperately wanted one of her 72″ graphic table runners but sadly my dining table is a smidge too long.

tissage magély weaving (facebook)

The gorgeous muted colours and timeless stripes of the handwoven blankets made by Tisasage Magély Weaving were a real hit for me.  Made in Drummond, NB., this family run business creates blankets, placemats and tea towels using traditional looms.  For my friends in Ottawa, they will also be at the Originals Ottawa Christmans Craft sale from December 6 to December 16, 2012.

bookhu (website and Etsy shop)

Bookhu has a shopfront on Dundas St. West in Toronto which is filled with multidisciplinary works in wood, ceramics, and textile.  The booth at the show mostly showcased their bags, fold-over clutches, and tea towels, all of natural handmade materials. The designs and colours are just so laid-back chic.

kailey hawthorn (Etsy shop)

Kailey Hawthorn is a super sweet girl hailing from Kitchener. Her colourful and fun booth was packed with pillow, stockings, clocks, and upholstered benches in vibrant, bold, and trendy fabrics.  Kailey sells all her work on Etsy so be sure to check out her affordable home decor items.  What really piqued my interest were the upholstered ottomans and benches (crafted jointly be Kailey and her father) at really reasonable prices.  If I had hadn’t been carrying five bags already I would have left with the black and white hounds tooth ottoman (above, bottom right)!

The show runs from today to December 2nd, so you have ten more days to pop in for a visit. Give yourself at least 3-4 hours to browse the booths of all 800 artisans.  It took me about 3 hours to get through the show and to be honest I skipped almost all of the jewelry, clothing, and food vendors.


Ochre’s Arctic Pear

OCHRE is a British based furniture, lighting, and accessory design company and they have the light I NEED.


The dining area in our new home is just begging for this lovely “Arctic Pear” chandelier.

via Pinterest and Elle Decor

via Elle Decor

I want to channel the look of Keri Russell’s laid-back but chic home but dang, the OCHRE  Arctic Pear is expensive! In the Toronto area, I sourced the OCHRE light at South Hill Home (for many, many more pennies than I have to spend), or I could get this Robert Abbey crystal drop fixture from Universal Lighting:

An excellent alternative I think.  Should I go for it?

Faking it With Candles

There is nothing better than a fresh cut tree brought into the home at Christmas time. That unmistakable  scent puts you in the holiday spirit with just one whiff.  The real downside of an artificial tree in my opinion, is that you miss out on that wonderful holiday smell.  But Bath and Body Works has come to the rescue!

“Holly Wreath” smells JUST like the REAL THING!  It’s awesome.  We’ve been burning it day and night.  Faking it with a candle and my nose and spirit can’t tell the difference!

I love many of Bath and Body Works’ candles (but not all – some are just gross – I guess it depends on your taste).  Their candles, unlike many others, actually give off a strong aroma and fill your home with a lovely scent.  I buy several of their candles seasonally. “Leaves” is my #1 fav, especially through the Fall and Winter.

All candles are currently on sale at Bath & Body Works (2 for $25 CDN), so make sure to pick up a couple while you’re out doing your last minute shopping (click here for locations in Canada).  Happy Holidays everyone!


ficus lyrata for the home

A fiddle-leaf fig tree.

Don’t you think these fig trees add so much to the overall vibe of the rooms?  The ultra-large leaf is bold, organic, untamed, earthy. Just right.

This tropical plant is gaining in popularity, as I’ve seen it popping up more and more often in home decor.  So the question is – where can I find one? I’ve read they can be quite pricey at specialty nurseries but  I’ve also heard they can be found at Home Depot. Hmmm, doubtful in Canada but I am definitely going to look into it.

If you are interested in other hip house plants, check out this article from Elle Decor.

(images: 1-grant k gibson, 2-angie hranowsky, 3-emily henderson, 4-peter dunham, 3-the marion house book)

pillow talk

I have a new Etsy addiction: pillows.

It’s not the worst addiction I suppose.

The versatility of pillows render them a key design element in a room since they can be changed up on a whim.  Don’t make the mistake of upholstering a large piece of furniture in the latest trendy fabric or colour that you may regret next year.  Instead, go with something neutral and classic, then add personality to your room with colour, texture, and pattern with pillows!

Here are eight of my favourite pillow vendors on Etsy:

  • The Cottage Cupboard – a Canadian shop with lots of lovely suzani, ikat, and modern designer fabrics
  • Sukan – amazing collection ethnic/global  pillows – think suzanis, ikats, and kilims
  • {me}longins studio – gorgeous Eco-friendly handprinted textiles
  • Nicole Tarasick – for a good dose of chic Canadiana
  • Turquoise Tumbleweed – huge selection of modern and traditional designer fabrics
  • Lajoyade – I am obsessed with this silk ikat
  • Woodyliana – nice selection of Schumacher, Robert Allen, and Kelly Wearstler prints
  • Aletafae – ok, so these aren’t pillows but awesome fabric ottomans! I just purchased one for a client

Do you have any favourite pillow sources? Do share!

(images: 1-country living,


Last weekend while in Montreal, I came across a store with the coolest concept for indoor plants:

How it works: Flowerbox Gallery offers a selection of cardboard, ceramic, and stainless steel boxes, as well as specially sized plants and flowers to insert into the flowerboxes.  Then you hang it on your wall. Cool, eh?  Such a modern way to bring plants into your home! I can see this is a kitchen, a bathroom, a sunroom,…really the possibilities are endless.  I think a Flowerbox is especially brilliant  for apartment and condo dwellers where horizontal surfaces  space can be limited.

Every Flowerbox is totally customizable, from the box itself, to the plants you choose.  From succulents and moss, to mini orchids and peace lilies, they have just about anything you could imagine.  Depending on the plant(s) you choose, you would simply take the box off the wall to water, then re-hang.

Flowerbox Gallery is located at 440 rue St-Denis, Montreal. All other locations are in France.  Ok – so who will open a Toronto location for me?


(images: all by moi)

white & bright week- reality check

I hope I’ve dazzled you all week with beautiful images of beautiful, bright, white spaces -so gorgeous and inspiring.

White expands the space, it creates the sense of having no boundaries. White makes a strong foundation.” (Vincente Wolfe)

White provides a gallery-like backdrop for you to display your art, it highlights architectural details, it reflects light to make a small room feel larger, it can unify an eclectic mix of furniture, and it provides an uncluttered look to calm a space.

But it is time for a reality check – Is white achievable for everyone?

Sadly, the answer is….no.

You may have noticed one common theme this week – most of the spaces had huge, un-adorned windows that provide tons of natural light.  If your space is lacking ample natural light, white walls may look downright dingy.

Do you have kids? Dogs? You may want to think twice about going all-white, as things are bound to get messy pretty quick. Still, if you are willing to give this look a try, think about using white materials that are easily cleaned – white tiles in the kitchen and bathroom, semi-gloss white on the walls,  white slipcovers over furniture, and good quality white bedding that can be bleached again and again.

If you want more advice on choosing the perfect white, check out this great post over at 10 Rooms: Getting White Right.

And in case you missed any of this week’s previous White & Bright posts, here are the links: white & bright [room of the week], white & bright: bedroom, white & bright: nurseries & kids rooms, white & bright: living room.  And a few other old favs: elements for the perfect white kitchen, more white kitchen inspiration.

(images: 1-dwellings, 2-one hour, 3-rue mag, 4-pinterest)

clean up that bedside table!

This past week I was seriously inspired by two blog posts.  The first was the brilliant entryway by Emma over at the Marion House Book.  Both the console table and oculus (which she then turned into a mirror) were found at an architectural salvage store here in Toronto (!). Totally laid back but with loads of personality and style.

Front hall and console table | Marion House Book

Isn’t it lovely? So welcoming.  I also really liked how she styled her console table.  It’s too easy to junk up your console with all those things you walk into the house with and drop on the first horizontal surface.

Then I read this post over on Decor by Christine, where she gave a rundown on how to create a beautiful tablescape or vignette.  So that got me thinking about all the junk that gets piled up on our entryway console and on our bedside tables. Especially on our bedside tables.

Exhibit A:

I would like to point out this isn’t my side of the bed.  That said, I will take full blame for leaving that frame picture-less.  As you know, our bedroom is a work in progress but that is no excuse to ignore the piles of junk as they grow and grow.  Please tell me this isn’t just us – you have junk on your bedside table too, right?

Anyway, as I said I was inspired to clean things up and now I’m proud to say, this is my side of the bed-

Exhibit B:

I am almost certain I’m going to be able to keep my bedside table this nice and tidy.  The key is this lovely tray I picked up at West Elm – because what you can’t see is a bunch of little items sitting inside the tray (necklace, rings, chapstick, nail file, some change, etc.)  Not only does the tray corral those books and mags I’m so inclined to keep on hand, but it also nicely hides all those random items you toss off at the end of the day.

Ok – time to go tidy up your bedside table and try your hand at an attractive vignette.

(images: 1-the marion house book, 2-me, 3-me)

[etsy] decor ideas for nurseries and little kid’s rooms

Hey Moms. I know time is precious when you have one or more lil’ munchkins running around so I thought I’d save you some time and do a round-up of some super cute and affordable decor items for the kiddos.

Etsy is such an excellent source for access to fresh, creative, inspiring, handmade items and art. If you aren’t a regular already, I hope this post will inspire you to browse the online market-space and sign up for an account.

First I’ll start with all things girly:

1. Wall decal – Windy Tree Fabric Reusable Decal  ($87.00 USD) by trendypeasdecals

2. Print – Small Map of Canada ($20.00 USD) by englishmuffinshop

3. Pillow – Baby Pink and White Zebra Print ($35.00 USD) by MiCasaBella

4.  Print – You are so loved ($8.00 USD) by  jessgonacha

5.  Pom poms -  ($4.00 USD) by orangekisses …..(psst- you can totally make these yourself, just Google it!)


And for the little men in our lives:

1. Mobile – Nova Baby Mobile, in Spectrum ($68.00 USD), by thewonderlandstudio

2. Prints (set of 4) – Royal Safari Nursery Print Set – Unframed ($92.00 USD) by LeoLittleLion

3. Bunting – Vintage Little Golden Book Bunting ($30.00 USD), by collectingfeathers

4. Wall decal – Baby Zoo Lion King ($49.00 USD), by  LeoLittleLion

5. Print – Personalized ‘Big Deal’ 11.5 x 11.5 Size ($25.00 USD), by pennypeople


And for you parents who want to keep things strictly gender neutral, I’ll have a post next week just for you.

If you’d like some help decorating your nursery/child’s room or want more decor advice, feel free to contact me!



1. Nursery for a baby girl

2. [inspiration board] Green & brown nursery

3. [diy] Where did I come from map?