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April, 2012

  1. Pretty Wallpaper

    April 30, 2012 by admin

    Thibaut has some very pretty new papers at the moment.  They’re light and airy and I love the combination of classic furnishings against their subtle patterns.  Also the mix of mod pieces with the traditional ones and the historic architectural details is always a winning combination for me.  How do these rooms strike you?  Nice for spring don’t you think?

    Soft blue and cream is always refreshing and I love this sofa!  The cocktail table reminds me of the one I just got in at Penney & Company.

    A medium scale trellis print on the walls is traditional and sophisticated I think. The dark chairs add punch and I especially like the way their dark painted finish plays up their silhouette.

    What I love here is the mix of the tulip table with white painted bamboo chairs (always a fav of mine) and then the grid of prints on top of subtle wallpaper.  Lovely layering here.  And yet totally uncluttered.  Hope you’re inspired!

  2. New Scores!

    April 27, 2012 by admin

    Okay if you’re sitting at your desk trying to plan your weekend and you’re even considering coming to Whitby to visit me at Penney & Company – here are just a few reasons that you really should do it!  I promised to show you my recent scores, so here they are!

    First, this amazing vintage moroccan style tray table.  The bottom is all chippy white paint and the top is an embossed brass tray.   Perfectly unusual and perfect for that well-travelled look.  $349

    This antique cupboard is full of charm and patina with cracks and knots and everything you could want!  Perfect for warming up a newer, colder room.  And so great for a flat screen tv – you can hide the components in the cupboard beneath!  $425

    The dovetail drawers slide beautifully!

    Since the sofas are flying out the door I’ve got a new one just in time for the weekend!  This camelback sofa is upholstered in an ultra soft moss green velour.  It has gorgeous nailhead detailing and classic curves along the back and arms but has a lean modern silhouette to keep it fresh.  This is a steal at $1100!



    It can be so hard to find coffee tables and cocktail tables with any personality, don’t you think?  This chinoiserie tray table has personality in spades I think!  Just love the elegant legs, the touch of black and the gold details on top…$349

    In the window this week, I’ve got this little charmer – a painted wicker vanity with drawer.  Perfect for a cottage, dressing table or even in a front hall pulled up against a staircase with a special lamp.  All this charm for $225.  Oh and by the way the powder coated aluminum benches in front are for sale too – $199 and totally weather resistant!

    Over in the other window was this gorgeous highboy painted in a Swedish feeling blue/grey but it just sold!  The milk glass lamp is available though for $199.

    The vintage robin’s egg blue paint on this rustic little table is so perfect!  That’s another good option for the front hall I think.  $195

    I’ve also got lots of unusual smaller accessories too!  This swirly white glassware is so serene and ethereal and ranges in price from $8 – $20.

    Or how about these unique little paperweights with birds and butterflies and old fashioned imagery?  Just $12!

    People are loving these handmade lavender soaps wrapped up in twine for $5 each.  They’re the perfect gift and I’ve already had to replenish my order!  The soap dishes are totally timeless and go with any style for $8.

    If you find lots to buy you can carry them home in one of these stylish market totes for $30.

    And I couldn’t forget this gorgeous celadon painted dresser I just found on Sunday!  $349

    So if you’ve got some time or want to stroll down the quaint streets of Whitby’s downtown, be sure to head to Penney & Company!



  3. Handsome Vintage Wing Chairs

    April 26, 2012 by admin

    Now here’s a reason to believe in reupholstery!  I found a pair of amazing vintage wing chairs in a tragic forest green upholstery and freshened them up with charcoal linen fabric and newly stained legs.  I’m totally in love with them and all of their special details…

    Penney & Company

    Penney & Company

    Penney & Company

    Penney & Company

    The classic solid fabric lets you appreciate the elegant silhouette and also gives them substance and presence.  I especially love the turned arms and the little button detail – so special!  These chairs were completely made over, yet maintain the gorgeous vintage shape and design integrity and cost $1250 per chair.

    If they look like a great place to curl up with a book by the fire, give me a shout at Penney & Company!

  4. Work it! Work it!

    April 26, 2012 by admin

    Isn’t that the classic photo shoot phrase?  Well today Penney & Company had to work it and get ready for it’s close up – House & Home Magazine photographed my little shop for the August 2012 issue!  It’s such an honour to be featured as a store to watch by H&H and I had so much fun at the shoot with photographer Michael Graydon,editor Kimberly Brown and photo assistant John Brown.  They’re an amazing team and so talented!  It was pouring rain and they made it look like a sunny August day!

    Above you’ll see the famous Michael Graydon hard at work capturing a detail of a mossy green sofa and some bud vases.  Can’t wait for you to see it in the August issue!  Of course I had to smile for my close up too (never my favourite) and ham it up for the camera.  And yes Sara, I wore a tie.  And converse sneakers.  Ha.

    Thanks House & Home!!!

  5. Painted Lamp Shades

    April 25, 2012 by admin

    I’m really feeling these glossy painted lampshades.  It’s something a little different and feels fresh even though it’s totally old-school.  I hardly ever see these rigid cardboard type lampshades out there, so I must keep my eye out for them at flea markets and thrift shops.  Maybe I can paint some in some fun colours for spring!

  6. Ruthie Sommers Stunner

    April 24, 2012 by admin

    Well guys I’m just in the midst of rearranging the store – it’s taken me all day!  Sara and I went on some long distance buying trips and found some wonderful new product for Penney & Company (more on that soon!) and I’m just trying to squeeze everything in now.  In the mean time, I needed a little inspiration and came across this Ruthie Sommers project that resonates with me especially now.  It’s a nice mix of rustic country pieces, preppy traditional ones and fresh, cheerful colour.  Just what I’m trying to achieve here in the shop today!  Breathe in this loveliness and feel inspired like I did…

  7. Parting is such sweet sorrow…

    April 23, 2012 by admin

    Well, it’s happened – I’ve had to sell one of my little Penney & Company babies.  This gorgeous vintage camelback sofa, recovered in a fresh aqua and cream ikat fabric sold over the weekend!  I love everything I’ve brought into the shop, but I especially love this sofa.  The good news is, it’s going to a really good (and stylish) home.  The proud new owner was almost jumping for joy when she arrived after a drive all the way from Hamilton to claim her prize.  I’m happy she’s happy, but will be a little sad I think when she comes to pick it up.  Maybe I’ll go sit on it one more time…for good measure…

    Here she is all fresh from the upholsterers, covered in plastic...

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  8. Bold and Beautiful Rugs

    April 23, 2012 by admin

    For quite a few years now, big bold rugs have been de rigour.  They add life and verve to almost any space and seem to update formal rooms and warm up modern ones.  Here’s a great example (from Madeline Weinrib I think) in a gorgeous midtown Toronto apartment designed by my good friend Montana Burnett.

    Designed by Montana Burnet; Photography by Michael Graydon; House & Home Magazine

    Designed by Montana Burnett; Photography by Michael Graydon; House & Home Magazine

    Well I’ve been doing some hunting around for bold and beautiful rugs myself and found quite a few lovelies – here they are!

    The two flat weave dhurrie style rugs above are from West Elm – always a good source for punchy and current rug designs.  I tried the black and cream one above on the Marilyn Denis Show set but it did crazy things to the camera.  Darn!

    Pottery Barn has some great new options – like a classic stripe in reds and blues and this great grey patterned guy above.  This is a nice option because you get the bold geometric design but the colour is softer and maybe easier to live with longer.

    Madeline Weinrib is the master of dramatic dhurries  and right now there are lots of fun, on-trend sorbet hued examples.

    Anthropologie is known for bold style across the board and their rugs don’t disappoint.  I love this blue/green wonder below!  It might be my favourite!

    And for some original bold rug design, you could go antique with these colourful examples from ABC Carpet in New York.

    But if all else fails, and you just can’t pick one (or maybe bold is not for you) – there’s always the Ikea Tarby jute rug!  A stalwart standby and quite the steal!


  9. Busy Week

    April 21, 2012 by admin

    Sorry for the lack of posting on Friday guys!  I was working in the city for the day doing an exciting project for HomeSense.  It was a fun all-day shoot and required me to stuff about 10 carts full of product into my little car!  I am the master packer of the car – just ask Sara…

    How hilarious is that picture?  I look like a nomad – or a complete shopping addict!  Speaking of shopping, I recently scored a pair of large vintage ceramic lamps with a cool mid-century vibe.  I chose to update their creamy bases with block printed lamp shades in ivory and taupe.  They’re quite the stunners now!

    Here they are in Penney & Co this morning with some cheerful tulips.  Come check ’em out if you’re in the area!

  10. Penney & Company on Facebook!

    April 19, 2012 by admin

    Okay pigs are flying…Penney & Company is now on Facebook.  For those of you who know me well, you know that I’m the least tech savvy guy around so this is huge.

    Well I may not be tech savvy but I wanted to keep everybody updated on what’s new at Penney & Company – from new finds, to unique transformations and things that are inspiring me and the look of the store.  This way, when you’re seeing what your friends got up to on the weekend, you can also see what’s going on here with me!

    I hope you’ll join Penney & Company on Facebook and ‘like‘ us?  Is that the term?

    And I promise there won’t be any shots of a drunken decorator partying it up!