Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Treasure Hunting 101

Hello Tuesday! Summer is absolutely amazing in Toronto and besides my love of peonies in June, hunting for vintage treasures at garage sales, thrift shops, and antique markets is one of my favorite pastimes on the warm, sunny weekends.

Today I am sharing with you my top 5 tips on shopping vintage + a peek at my ever-growing (an addiction really) accessory collection.

Tip 1: Be Focused

Sometimes it's hard to know "what you are looking for", especially when you are spontaneously checking out garage sales and antique markets.  Rather than buying everything you love and ended up with boxes of mismatched decors in random styles, pick a specific design style that speaks to you and make that your focus.

I love mix metals so you could imagine my excitement when I picked up a pair of art deco inspired silver plated candlesticks with brass ball accent when I was in Vienna in spring.  I also like a classic silhouette because its timeless aesthetic works all the time! This bud vase has a gorgeous shape (needs a little cleaning but I love the patina) and it's by Birks!  It also came from one of the most jam-packed shops I have ever walked into and my eyes spotted this beauty under a pile of "stuff".

Tip 2: Be Connected

Local online treasure hunters are a great resource for one of a kind vintage finds.  Best of all, they are locals and you can meet them in person to save on shipping and custom charges.  Kijiji and Vintage Fine Objects are some of my go-to only resources.  Doug_Fritock of Modern Geometry 101 is also fabulous in the states.

I love birds and these glass sticks are just adorable!  Then of course I also couldn't resist the juicy fruit collection for my next summer party.  Thanks Jen!  The hex trays are made in Italy and believe it or not, they were scored from two different thrift stores!

Tip 3: Be Creative

I always look beyond the intended function of the objects and imagine the real potentials.  In this case, a solid glass candleholder is reimagined as a bud vase and this cheerful "Love Brings Rainbow" plate will be framed as wall art!

Tip 4: Be Brave

Vintage shops are often not as neat and tidy compare to regular home decor stores.  So when my friend and I accidentally discovered an AS-IS location of a thrift store, we both thought: jackpot!  This location literally has boxes of stuff and furniture on top on each other.  After some digging into the boxes and peeling back layers of furniture, I found this blue and white marbleized vase and a pair of brass "Z" side tables at unbeatable prices!  I am so going back for another visit.

The hex faux bamboo side tables are local kijiji finds and if you are interested, I have three of them just for you!

Tip 5: Be There

This is a tough one especially when we really don't "need" anything.  But if I only go to the St. Lawrence Antique Market in Toronto on Sunday when I "need" something, I would have never found this stunning coffee set! LOVE the mix metal and those handles!!

This doggie letter opener had be at hello and the tent-like silver box was from my trip to the East Coast last summer.  The faux bamboo chair was a kijiji find while all items on the bottom right image were from a garage sale for $2!

Hope you enjoy my tips on treasure hunting and inspired to check out your local shops or garage sales this weekend.  I would love hear what you've brought home!

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Tea Party w/ bluebellgray

Hello Thursday! Are you all enjoying the beautiful summer? The weather couldn't be any more perfect in Toronto and I am looking forward to spending my weekends at Chris' balcony to savoy every moment of summer.

Now whether you are a tea or coffee lover, sweet treats in the afternoon or breakfast on Sunday wouldn't be completed without the gorgeous fine china from bluebellgray!

images courtesy of bluebellgray
The artistic watercolor florals + delicate delightful palette make the bluebellgray collection my go-to choice for pure elegance and serenity.  The organic white backdrop complements Fi's abstract, oversized watercolor blooms harmoniously and the soft colors make the collection an absolute bliss to decorate / style in our homes.

images courtesy of bluebellgray
A quick trip to bluebellgray (also available at The Bay in Canada), I have found my favorite items for the next tea party:

kettle / toaster / bowl / tea plates / teapot / cups / tray / cake stand 
I can't wait to collect them all, especially the sensational kettle and toaster collaboration with Dualit and the amazing Tetbury large cantina tray, for my next brunch at the patio! 

Are you inspired to host a tea party this weekend? I would love to hear which bluebellgray collection wins your heart! 

Monday, July 11, 2016

Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition 2016

Hello Monday! What a beautiful weekend and it was just perfect for the 55th Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition in Toronto!  I have been a fan of the show for years and this year, the exhibition features 314 artists showcasing their best work and believe me, I wanted many pieces myself!

Today, I am sharing with you some of my favorite artists.

logo and bottom image courtesy of Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition
The first booth I walked into this year was Ben Sellick.  First-timer at the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition, my eyes were instantly captivated by the scale and vibrancy of Ben's work. I was wowed by the intricate patterns, his technique, and I was most impressed by his meticulous attention to detail, patience, and his steady hands! 

Each of these pieces is composed of thousands of small pieces of color papers and magic happens as Ben creates art one tiny piece of paper at a time.  I love the radiant quality of the pink ring but the three dimensional aspect of the aqua ring.  So I debated for a couple of hours and before I could make up my mind, both pieces were sold!! 

Ben we will be in touch to create a showstopper for my living room! 

Speaking about impeccable attention to detail and steady hands, the paintings by Matt Beasant are entirely painted with paintbrushes.  I have no idea how Matt creates the silky smooth texture and seamless transition of colors but Matt did say it takes hours to perfect each piece!  Inspired by the Canadian wilderness, Matt masters abstraction and create harmony between sharp geometric objects and the tranquil backdrop. 

bottom left image courtesy of Matt Beasant
From painting to charming woodwork, I am crazy about these enchanting pieces by JB+DG.  The feather motif surely caught my attention (you all know I love birds), and their wooden planters turn the simple cactuses and succulents into sophisticated centrepieces! The flat round bowl with a little succulent in the middle is so chic!  Joseph and Dayna, we should talk! 

I first met Brett Lundy of Merganser Furniture at the Interior Design Show since I was attracted to his  handcrafted woodwork and superb workmanship. The console table with storage and fancy feet is still one of my favorite pieces to-date, and now I am in love with his wooden vases and the intricate patterns on his benches!

Graving for a glass object to make a statement? You have got to check out these beautiful bubbles  by Courtney Downman.  The juxtaposition between the organic silhouette and whimsical jellybeans inspired hues makes these glass vases sophisticated and fun!  

bottom left image courtesy of Courtney Downman Glass
The translucent quality and the aqua minimal inspired palette have drawn me to the work of Cheng-Ou Yu since I walked passed Harbourfront Centre in winter.  These vases exude elegance and grace when presented individually yet so impactful when they are showcased as a collection.

The crystal-like color reminds me of the turquoise water of Lake Louise and I was blown away by the beauty of Mother Nature.  I may just have to add this watery vase to my pottery collection!

top left image courtesy of Cheng-Ou Yu
The circle motif always gives me a sense of calmness thanks to its quiet and soothing form.  It is not surprising that I love these silver spoons, sugar bowl, and olive picks by Jay Joo.  Love the way Jay presented his products and I may just need to pick up the sugar spoon for my next tea party!    

Last but not least, I am officially obsessed with the brilliant work by Kal Mansur.  Instead of me trying to describe these exceptional masterpieces, here is Kal:

"Klash Inside creates acrylic art objects that reflect and refract light.  The works appear to be paintings, but a complex sculptural arrangement belies the surface and draws the viewer in.  

Each piece has a luminous quality and seems to be illuminated without a source of power.  They change with shifting viewing angles and varying light conditions."

Are you blown away by Kal yet? Well I am and Charcoal Valkyrie 8 is coming home with me!

image courtesy of Kal Mansur Studio
Hope you all enjoy the 55th Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition! I would love to hear what you've purchased for your home! 

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

#ProjectChris ~ Balcony Summer 2016

Hello Tuesday! Hope you all had a fantastic and fun long weekend celebrating Canada Day, Pride2016 in Toronto, and Independence Day! The weather couldn't be any more perfect and the brilliant sunshine ... I LOVE SUMMER!

On that note, it's time to show you how Chris' balcony looks like for Summer 2016! 

Chris moved into his condo two years ago and for its first summer, we created an urban oasis filled with patterns, colors, and flowers.  Big Thank You to the Style at Home magazine for the amazing feature and Donna for your fabulous photo!

image courtesy of Style at Home & Donna Griffith
And for Christmas 2015, we added festive charm to the balcony with hollyberry branches, mini Christmas trees, and filled the planters with fresh cut greens.   

Then of course good old winter took over, leaving the balcony in a desperate need of TLC. 

... and that's exactly what we did in June!

Admittedly we have started the makeover late this season and by the time we tried to hunt down the begonia, all the yellow ones were gone (I love yellow and they looked so good last summer!).  Instead, Chris found a pair of topiary inspired plants with pink blooms for the tall planters and vivid orange begonia for the low planters. 

Orange and pink isn't my usual color palette but I love a challenge and I couldn't be happier with my result!  My first call of order was to introduce a geometric pattern on the floor to give this space a more modern, contemporary feel.  It was love at first sight when I saw this pink quartz and light sand rug from HomeSense.  I put three of them together and with the fringes, this supersized rug looks like a million bucks!

I fell in love with this whimsical butterfly pillow from Indigo at its Spring/Summer preview, and I just love how it enlivens the space.    

Just as Chris thought we were done, I thought why has only one look when we can have two!!  A quick layout switch + a bench doubling as coffee table and voila: an intimate outdoor cafe for two.

Love the tropical vibe of the Swaying Palms from Tonic Living and how it echoes the orange and pink palette.  I am a firm believer of more is more when it comes to something you love ... and that's precisely why I have added Swaying Palms on the bench as well! The navy blue piping looks sophisticated and it allows me to introduce various shades of blue as accent to take it up a notch.

Thanks Janine for the beautiful pillows and cushion for a touch of hollywood glam!

Did you give your outdoor space an update this summer? I would love to hear about your makeover stories!

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

The 2nd Annual DX Design Auction + #Giveaway

Hello Tuesday! Are you obsessed with iconic designs and dream to outfit your home with a piece or two statement pieces to cherish for years to come? Then you will have to come to the 2nd Annual DX Design Auction on June 14th!

Taking place right on the historic Trading Floor at the Design Exchange, the live and silent auction features a curated selection of sought after home furnishings and decor with 100% of the proceeds supporting the museum toward exhibitions, talks, workshops, and youth education programs, demonstrating the relevance and importance of design to everyday life.

Looking through the list of featured auction items, here are my top picks for a vibrant, whimsical home:
images courtesy of Design Exchange Design Auction
As for my next sleek, contemporary living room, I am loving this look!
images courtesy of Design Exchange Design Auction
Tickets to the 2nd Annual Design Exchange Design Auction are available and thanks to DX, I am hosting a giveaway! One lucky winner will be coming to DXDA on June 14th and that person could be you! Simply check out the list of auction items, pick your favorites, and leave me a comment. For additional entries, follow both Design Exchange and Design Maze on instagram and repost my Design Exchange Design Auction pictures with #DMxDXDA!

Winner will be randomly chosen and announced on Monday June 13th!

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Style At Home Blog ~ Summer 2016 at Indigo

Hello Tuesday! What a beautiful day out with bright blue sky and not a cloud in sight.  I am so imagining myself lounging by the deck with a refreshing summer drink and savoring every minute of summer before good old winter waves at us again.

Summer living is all about enjoying life, entertaining with friends, and so why not do it in style? Indigo has done an amazing job this year with its home and style collections, and I am sharing my favorites on Style at Home Blog today!

I love blue and white (in case you haven't noticed yet) and here is one of my favorite shots at the Indigo summer preview.

Chris loves camping in the woods by the lake ... think he will be inspired to camp in style this year? 

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Spring / Summer 2016 ~ HomeSense Edition

Hello Wednesday! It maybe cloudy or even rainy out today but it doesn't dampen my spirit after days of sunshine and a forecast of above 25C for days to come.  We all know that the May long weekend means: spring gardening, opening up the cottage, and more importantly, it is time to shop for fresh home accents to welcome the summer months to come.

Today I am taking you to HomeSense and sharing some of my favorite picks from its spring / summer 2016 collection!

Bold, vibrant, and textile, who doesn't want a tropical paradise right at home?

This richly patterned collection is filled with pops of bright colors.  The embroidery motif on pillows (who doesn't love pineapple?), the tassel details on the curtains, and the tightly woven tribal inspired table linens give this collection a handcrafted, global traveller appeal.  

These colors just put a smile on my face.  What do you think?

A classic nautical aesthetic is always in style and for this summer, HomeSense inspires us with its seaside, breezy beachy collection.

Stripe, polka dot, ikat, tie-dye, marbleize, the timeless blue and white palette truly stands the test of time and really, don't you want it all? Accented with natural wood and fresh greenery, this serene corner is my next best alternative to an immediate getaway to Santorini!

Just like chairs, I am also addicted to side tables.  The buyers at HomeSense have outdone themselves this season with so many incredible pieces at amazing prices.

Quartz, agate, marble, the choice is yours! I am obsessed with the trio of puzzle-like marble side tables.  Not sure where to put them but they are very Kelly Wearstler, and for $100 a piece, this trio is too good to pass up.

Turning our attention to outdoor living, for those who live with less than 100 square feet of outdoor space, this sexy and graphic 3-piece set scores A+ for both style and scale.  Can't keep our plants alive (speaking from experience here)?  These faux fiddle leaf fig trees are so real looking and they will never lose a leaf!

Lighting and music are two key elements to any summer party and these cool outdoor light and wireless speaker (they change colors too) with a sleek silhouette had me at hello! Looking to create your own container garden? I am crazy about this garden tool set and a super chic porcelain white planter with a sophisticated brass base on the bottom right.

For those who have a little more space, how fashionable is this grey and white houndstooth set?  Your neighbors will be jealous!

So is your home ready for summer? I would love to hear what strikes your fancy this summer!