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April, 2011

  1. More Emma Bridgewater

    April 30, 2011 by admin

    Here’s more Emma Bridgewater pottery – in honour of this special weekend!

    Tea for two?

    Buckingham palace mug in honour of “the big kiss”…

    Royal Couple tea towel – so fun and cheerful!

    This scalloped bowl has tons of quirky Brit style.

    And a perfect biscuit tin.  I’ll eat to that!

  2. Our House: June Issue Has Arrived!

    April 29, 2011 by admin

    The moment we’ve all be waiting for – the teasing is over, the befores are in the past – our house is published in the June 2011 issue of House & Home Magazine!!  Run, don’t walk to your nearest news stand and pick up a copy!

  3. Princess Kate Middleton: The Dress

    April 29, 2011 by admin

    Again, I’m not fashion expert, but dang she looked good!

    Simply beautiful.  Sara Burton for McQueen.  Reminds me of another princess’ dress – Princess Grace (Kelly)!

  4. William & Kate's Big Day

    April 29, 2011 by admin

    Well it’s finally arrived – the Royal Wedding of Prince William and his bride Kate. Did you rise early to see it live? How are you celebrating? In honour of this big day for all of England, I thought I’d post some gorgeous images from across the pond.

    Emma Bridgewater plate…

    Ben Pentreath’s parsonage – another great U.K. wedding site don’t you think?

    Wisteria in Ben’s perfect English garden…

    Perfectly understated kitchen cabinetry from the U.K. via Katy Elliott

    A cozy Farrow & Ball-y bedroom…just dreamy…

    Congratulations William and Kate!

  5. It's HERE! Well Almost…

    April 28, 2011 by admin

    Guess what arrived in the House & Home loading dock this week?  The June 2011 issue!  Guess what’s inside?  Our house!!!

    I’m not exactly sure how long it takes for it to appear on news stands and in mail boxes, but it should be any day now.  Let me know once you see it out there okay?

    This is the cover of the June issue last year – our Family and Affordable issue.

  6. Outdoor Furniture Cravings

    April 27, 2011 by admin

    One of the best parts about owning our first house is having a yard. Our ninety-year-old home came complete with a pretty big back yard with two huge trees and lots of mature hedges. There’s a section of yard closest to the house that gets lots of shade from a huge maple tree. Because the maple blocks the sun and it has a competitive root system, the grass beneath it has a hard time filling in. I’m thinking this will be the perfect spot for a patio some day. I’m dreaming of red brick in a herringbone pattern. But that will have to wait!

    In the mean time I’m on the hunt for affordable outdoor furniture that will someday live on my dream patio. I’d love a table, chairs, umbrella in a fun print, some retro chaises…and…and…

    These french-style metal chairs pull at my heart-strings and are totally affordable available at K Mart online and apparently they ship to Canada!

    This table and bench are simple and classic and perennial favourites from Ikea.

    To add some colour and pattern, how about this retro-style umbrella from Sears US. Again, they say they’ll ship to Canada so my fingers are crossed. I guess I’d have to drill a hole in the centre of the table…But wouldn’t it look like the movie Pleasantville?

    Muskoka chairs in fresh white? Yes please! They’re from…LOBLAWS! Handsome furniture at a grocery store? Why not?

    And for some sun bathing, I’m totally into these teak coloured wooden Ikea chaises – again totally affordable from Ikea.

    What pieces are you looking for for your yard or garden?  Found anything great lately?

  7. New Online TV Episode: Stylist Tips & Tricks!

    April 27, 2011 by admin

    Check out the latest instalment of House & Home TV and a clip of Joel Bray and I at this year’s Interior Design Show in Toronto.  Here, we’re showing some easy and affordable stylists’ tips and tricks for your home.  To watch the clip, click here.

  8. Easy Breezy Tabletop At West Elm

    April 26, 2011 by admin

    I’m in love with some of the gorgeous and artisanal items now on offer at West Elm.  They’re easy breezy summery fun!

    Blue and white water coloured designs, earthenware dishes and vessels, block printed napkins, turquoise caraffes and seersucker placemats – yes please!  Could this be more up my alley?

  9. Mentor: Thomas O'Brien

    April 25, 2011 by admin

    Thomas O’Brien is next on my list of mentors. He is one of the most widely respected American designers, founder of Aero Studios – his design firm and AERO, his NYC boutique. His style is at once cutting edge, and deeply comforting. His trademark is warm, livable modern style which he brings to life with a combination of machine-age modern pieces layered with storied antiques and quirky collections. His palettes are often subtle and subdued and bathed in natural light – all the better to show off the incredibly curated still-life compositions he is known for.

    Design by Thomas O'Brien; Photography by Laura Resen; American Modern, 2010, Abrams

    The image above is the perfect distillation of O’Brien style: A beaten-up painted metal industrial desk, a classic and simple traditional shell of a room, a warm antique chair, a plush neutral wool or silk rug beneath, a modern and architectural lamp complete with a simply understated parchment shade, navy awning striped upholstery, white simple blooms.

    Thomas O'Brien; Photograhy by Jason Penney

    Thomas O’Brien is certainly an influential New York designer with an impressive roster of clients and home furnishings lines with Hickory Chair, rugs by Safavieh, tabletop by Reed & Barton and so on – but – he believes in good design for all and so O’Brien was one of the first all-star designers to collaborate with affordable retailer, Target. His well-designed and well-priced bedding dishes and accessories can still be found on Target’s shelves allowing anyone and everyone to get a taste of this Tastemaker’s style.

    Design by Thomas O'Brien; Photography by Laura Resen; American Modern, 2010, Abrams

    In his lavishly photographed coffee table book, American Modern, O’Brien’s diverse style is beautifully showcased. His work can go from classic and traditional like the home above and below…

    Design by Thomas O'Brien; Photography by Laura Resen; American Modern, 2010, Abrams

    To airy and edgy like O’Brien’s own New York apartment (below). In this most personal space, we see evidence of the master collector that O’Brien really is. He lives with beautiful objects on display and carefully combined to tell a narrative. He juxtaposes rough with refined, high with low, modern with rustic all in an effort to showcase the intrinsic beauty of each. The modern pieces look all the more sleek and fluid next to something old and the antique or vintage objet look all the more patinaed and interesting next to something cool and spare.

    Design by Thomas O'Brien; Photography by Laura Resen; American Modern, 2010, Abrams

    Thomas O’Brien takes care to pay homage to the shell of his interiors, with carefully restored architecture and pristine focal points like these soaring studio windows. This almost gallery-like space lends itself to O’Brien’s layering of object, furnishing, textile and history.

    Design by Thomas O'Brien; Photography by Laura Resen; American Modern, 2010, Abrams

    At The Academy, O’Brien’s Long Island country house, we see a slightly softer side of his trademark style. Here there is a little more colour – soft blue, cream, black and rich woods – and a heavier does of rustic vintage or even country furnishings. Of course the look never becomes cliche because where there is something country, O’Brien balances the composition off with something sleek or even exotic and organic.

    Design by Thomas O'Brien; Photography by Laura Resen; American Modern, 2010, Abrams

    The Academy’s famous kitchen – complete with open marble shelving, a vintage industrial clock and an island fashioned after the Wiener Werkstatte in Vienna.

    Design by Thomas O'Brien; Photography by Laura Resen; American Modern, 2010, Abrams

    And finally a more intimate grouping of pieces that come together with O’Brien’s signature panache. The chest of drawers is a blend of historic and modern with few embellishments, the chairs add warmth and also crispness with the choice of upholstery. The walls are fresh yet warm like veleum and the art? It’s layered on thickly with a push and pull of styles, subjects, framing and colours. And of course don’t forget the Thomas O’Brien tablescape with just a hint of turquoise. Where did turquoise come from?


    Design by Thomas O'Brien; Photography by Laura Resen; American Modern, 2010, Abrams

  10. Happy Easter Weekend!

    April 22, 2011 by admin

    Hope everyone has a nice long weekend.  Enjoy a little down time and a little chocolate with friends and family.  Happy Easter!

    Photography by Steven Lewis; MSL April 1997