Category Archives: SHOPPING GUIDE

HOW TO PREPARE FOR GUESTS AND WHY I AM GOING TO TREAT MYSELF LIFE A GUEST IN MY OWN HOUSE!

This weekend we had some guests over so I went through my usual get ready in a frenzy clean up routine. It felt amazing to have clean surfaces, disinfected floors, flowers on the table.

The amount of effort I went through made me realize that I wished I was a guest in my own house! Why only save all the pomp for guests? So I am going to make the goal, although somewhat ambitious with a house with 4 very small people in it, to as much as possible, feel like a guest in my own house. Here are my new found top tips for hosting guests / making yourself feel like I guest that I will carry over to my house after my #canningreno is completed, and actually stick to (I promise!)

1. CLEAN
Every day, I promise to do a 15-minute tidy. I am going to keep an attractive basket in my living room (and when I say basket I mean BIG TIME wire bin) that will be the catch all for all the toys, papers, crap that does not belong in my pretty living room- the basket will get hauled around to all the appropriate rooms where things have a place to live. Maybe if I am lucky I will make encourage my children to do their share!
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2. DISINFECT
I find cleaning such a chore (tell me I am not alone?) So it makes me so happy when I have products like my Rowenta Delta Force Extreme Lithium 18V Stick Vacuum that make cleaning easy with its cordless capability. And somehow I feel stylish doing it when it is this happy shade of teal. And I try to stay natural with the cleaning products with brands like Method or Seventh Generation. I am also going to make a schedule for cleaning and put it as an appointment in my iPhone. With a really loud obnoxious alarm!
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3. MAKE PRETTY
My #riverdalereno clients, without fail, have had fresh flowers in their home every time I have gone over since they moved in. I don’t care how much this costs, even if it’s $10 tulips at the grocery store- they just feel special. Maybe I will even take up floral arranging classes?!?!?!
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4. MAKE SPECIAL
I want to eat with cloth napkins, not paper towel ripped up haphazard. I would love to drink out of beautiful mugs or tea cups and actually try to enjoy my cuppa rather than leave it to get cold on a shelf. The same way the guests get the gorgeous plates- let’s make everyday gorgeous plate day.
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How do you make your guests feel special? And what do you do to feel special too?

WAYSPA SPA WEEK

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Sometimes us working moms need a little treat to recharge (remember my post on saying no more?) and recharge I did at Caesar Spa in Richmond Hill as part of WaySpa’s bi-annual spa week (thanks to the kind team at WaySpa for inviting me!) I enjoyed a revitalizing salt scrub- which, to be honest, I had no idea what would entail (except for the obvious inclusion of salt). But oh my was it relaxing. What was enjoyable about it was that it wasn’t intense like a deep tissue massage (which for me often hurts, although the pain is obviously for good) but more of a light massage with exfoliation through the salt scrub. I left feeling refreshed and peaceful with super soft skin.

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I chose to go uptown as it was easy parking, closer to home and to be honest, I just don’t have the kind of time to devote a full day or half day to spa time. I was in and out, with a bit of time dedicated to enjoying a cup of tea and aimlessly reading a magazine, in an hour and 20 minutes- and for me that was the perfect amount of time to decompress.

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From a design point of view this particular spa is lovely in the public areas but needs a little bit of love in other areas (really really small change rooms, a few somewhat dated / not exciting decor choices). Staff were friendly and the treatment was delightful.

The deal WaySpa is offering is pretty awesome- until April 27 you pay $50 for select services that are typically valued at MUCH more (some packages I looked at were a savings of $250). And there are some pretty swank locations on the list of Toronto spas- the Trump and the Holt Renfrew spas included on the select list. If I had more time I probably would check out both! It’s a delightful price for the value- and investing in some me time is always a good one.

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Check out the full list of spas in your province here. Happy decompressing!

Images courtesy of WaySpa.com

WEEKEND DENIM

Happy Monday- I hope everyone had a fabulous weekend. I spent mine somewhat warp speed- which is why I am carrying the spirit of the weekend forward today with a little fashion post that is very weekend relaxed.

Lisa Canning Interiors designs Knot PR. 04.05.2014 (Katherine Holland) Lisa Canning Interiors designs Knot PR. 04.05.2014 (Katherine Holland)
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Lisa Canning Interiors designs Knot PR. 04.05.2014 (Katherine Holland)

A well fit denim jacket never goes out of style. With a glossy red lip (and red sunglasses to match) I’m still so much in relaxed weekend mode in this outfit. Jacket, shirt, cropped pants: Bluenotes. Shoes: Zara. Sunglasses: Karir Eyewear. Photo by Katherine Holland.

SHOPPING ON-LINE VS IN-STORE: A LOVE NOTE TO A FAV RETAILER

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This morning over my tea I read this interesting article in the National Post’s Financial section, on the topic of Amazon as an “everything” store, and what retailer Indigo has to do to keep up. At the end of the article, Peter Foster posits that “[Indigo] has to find some way of doing it better, or go the way of Eaton’s”. (Which incase you are not familiar was a Canadian retailer that closed its doors in 1998 after 130 years as being the largest department store in the nation).

It got me to thinking about shopping on-line, vs in-store. I must admit- shopping on-line is pretty darn convenient. I have been known to shop in my pj’s, and with small kids sometimes it is just easier to point and click from the comfort of my home.

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But as these images from Indigo’s Instagram feed would suggest, it is pretty darn inspiring to step into a well
merchandised retailer (cheers to whoever designs Indigo’s product displays). And beyond pretty merchandising, Indigo’s product assortment is just so lovely. And to view the lovely in person is just way more fun. Full disclosure- I often go to the Bayview Village Indigo just be get inspired. Rainy day? Go to Indigo. Cranky kids? Go to Indigo. Need a coffee? Go to Indigo. It has become a spot of comfort for me in my neighborhood, like a reliable friend , a warm hug. A spot of infinite possibilities to be discovered in books, a destination for instant mood elevation by way of updates for my sofa, my walls or my arm candy collection.

While shopping on-line is so convenient, it won’t ever replace the in-store experience for me. You just cannot replace it.

Disclaimer- no part of this post was sponsored in any way. This is a sincere love note to one of my favourite retailers. Ironically, (or not ironically), the tea set I drank out of this morning pictured in the first image above was purchased, you guessed it, from Indigo.

SHOPPING AT ARTEMANO TORONTO

I had the fun experience this morning to take a tour through Artemano, a beautiful new to Toronto retailer in the Castelfield / Caledonia design hood in Toronto.

I am going to let the images speak for themselves- but I will say this place is beautiful. Handcrafted pieces, lots of reclaimed woods, live edge tables and the mix of metal and wood that is so on trend right now.

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Pricing is what you would expect with handcrafted products of this quality and I was pleasantly surprised to find several small pieces for under $200 (side tables, wooden iPad stands, mirrors). Best surprise was that most products are available immediately from their warehouse on site- which is rare for the custom look of many of the products.

Visit Artemano at 698 Caledonia Rd. in Toronto.

HOW TO MAKE THE BEDROOM BEAUTIFUL

20140223-195549.jpg One of my favourite bedrooms designed for a client- love the dark walls!

Happy Monday- I hope you all had a great weekend. I spent mine obsessed with the Olympics, and obsessed with my house. We are undergoing a significant home renovation this year, and pretty much every room is getting some attention- including our master bedroom.

At a recent seminar at Toronto retailer Elte, sleep expert Dr Neil Stanley implored upon the audience the importance of the environment you sleep in, in order to actually sleep well.

Well my environment is pretty crappy. I am not brave enough to post a picture today- but it’s basically a gong show of laundry baskets, diaper boxes with kids clothes, falling apart furniture, window treatments that are too short.

But the end is near and I’ve been thinking lots about what makes a beautiful bedroom. Here are my top 5 things that I will be keeping in mind when tackling my bedroom:

1. MATTRESS QUALITY
Dr. Neil Stanley told the National Post that you don’t have to buy the most expensive mattress- he believes in purchasing something that works with your budget and lifestyle. He explains in the article above that a $1000 mattress per night over 10 years is $0.14 per night, while a $5000 mattress at $0.70 per night. Purchase what works for you.

2. SHEETS
Joanna Goodman from Au Lit Fine Linens converted me on sheets as an investment vs something to pick up last minute at the big box store- quality does make a difference here. This is an area I think you should spend as much as your budget allows.

3. CLOSED STORAGE
20140223-202048.jpg Master Bedroom at my #riverdalereno project. So much storage!

Through many client projects I have discovered how much good organization contributes to a better quality of life. Thus I am all about organized drawers and closed storage like what we did above at #riverdalereno. No more staring at piles of clutter in the bedroom! Closed storage for the win.

4. MOVE THE LAUNDRY OUT
On a similar point to the point above- I never want to see laundry in my bedroom again. I’m moving all dirty laundry to a hamper in a closet just outside the room. It’s a simple shift to create a more serene, beautiful space.

5. GO DARK
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It’s definitely not for everyone- but if you’re open to it, go dark. Dark paint or wallpaper on the walls can feel intimate, dramatic, cozy, and certainly conducive for sleep.

What makes a bedroom feel beautiful to you?

Blue bedroom photos by Larry Arnal, #riverdalereno provided by Black GC

IDS14 HIGHLIGHTS

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A big big thanks to everyone who came and visited me at the National Bank Design Stop at the Interior Design Show this weekend. It was a great pleasure to meet with so many show goers to talk about their renovation and decorating projects. It was also a great to chat with a few design students about career direction and how to get started in this business. It was a great weekend all around. Here are a few things that stood out to me:
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This is Avani, a new line of kitchens by Aya Kitchens. 2 most fantastic things about this kitchen: the colour options (matches my pants!) and the counter moves- it shifts to create a larger island, or tucks away completely into the back millwork for more space. Love the sleek European lines and made in Canada quality.
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Tony Koukos, photographer and down right lovely person, showcased his wall coverings, rugs, and my new obsession- table tops. I have plans for a tabletop in my house in the near future.
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In the VIP lounge Roche Bobois provided the furnishings. Love this rug and sofa colour combination.
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Korhani, a rug line I have used in many of my television and client projects, installed this very creative, slightly psychedelic, fun installation where their rugs were fashioned into outfits on mannequins. This company has worked hard to position itself as a fashion forward rug maker- and installations like this certainly show its’ prowess.

For those of you that attended IDS14, what were your highlights from this design filled show?

IDS14: OPENING NIGHT

20140124-221316.jpg The Interior Design Show is here and I am so excited. As I mention in this awesome article by Sara Duck for Home Decor and Renovations, IDS is like home coming for the design community. And this year it was so glam!
20140124-221841.jpg Starting with this dressing room by Ikea. What I love about Ikea’s booth at IDS every year is that they show how (with an expert eye) high and low items can be combined for striking results. Amazing- and gold! Huge trend for 2014. Lots of gold to be seen at the show.
20140124-222142.jpg This Town and Country fireplace has been outfitted with their brand new (soon to be mandatory in 2014) safety screen. I love that it is seamless, blends in with the gorgeous brass frame, and provides an important layer to keep little hands safe.
20140124-222603.jpg I am booth neighbors with the always on trend Andrew Richard Designs. Love the product- and their booth is always so graphic, linear and glam. Another great one this year.

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And of course, so excited for my booth the National Bank Design Stop where I will be offering complimentary consultations on Saturday and Sunday. Bring your photos, fabrics, inspirations to the show and I will help you strategize and start your renovation or decor project off to a great start!

Thanks to Larry Arnal for the pics of the National Bank Design Stop!

NESTING WITH ETSY

It’s been 5 glorious days getting to know our new baby girl Rose. She made her entry into the world on Sunday and we just can’t get enough of her sweetness. Our kids have embraced her with adorable joy (and lots of kisses)!

With being at home for a few days I’m in a bit of nesting mode, now noticing a lot of the unfinished projects and clutter that has built up. I am also craving some pretty- and of course turning to Etsy, my new favourite on-line shopping destination for unique finds. Love that I can shop with a newborn sleeping on my lap : )

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I need to find a spot for these somewhere.

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This simple watercolour piece could be the jumping off point to a gorgeous room colour scheme.Image

I am overflowing with winter coats in my front hall closet with 4 little ones now- this would provide some glam assistance!

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And more glam for me, for my table, and my night stand.

These are just a few of my favourites- so many more collected here!

In other news, very special thanks to Matthew Hague & the Globe and Mail for featuring me yesterday in this article on Black and White Decor. So flattered to be included!

Lastly, a big thank you to everyone for the wonderful messages and posts on our recent new arrival. I am overwhelmed by the support I have felt from you all and know that every tweet, post, message has been read with love and gratitude : )

A BV HAUTE HOLIDAY

As an entrepreneur who works from home I am always looking for great spots to have meetings with clients and collaborators. In my neighborhood of North York, Bayview Village has been that spot- lots of places to have meetings, work on projects, and be inspired by pretty things. 20131107-014311.jpg
Loving this pretty (and bump friendly!) Smythe blazer available at TNT.

So when Faulhaber Communications invited me to their Haute Holiday event I was game for their morning of programming- which included a stylish scavenger hunt throughout the shops. 20131107-014631.jpg20131107-014643.jpg
An assortment of jewels and bobbles, sparkly fun from new boutique Oui

We ended the morning with a delicious brunch at Origin North. I sometimes camp out at Origin with fabric samples and my laptop planning design schemes and completing client correspondence. Delicious food and a beautifully designed interior keep the inspiration going!
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Probably the most delicious French toast I have ever ingested and some lovely decor from Teatro Verde.