Monday, March 31, 2008

A Tisket, A Tasket

a green Kate Spade basket...




This Kate Spade purse is an interesting spring/summer accessory

I love the bright colour and the seersucker stripe lining, but I'm not sure I'd shell out 375 bucks for a glorified basket. It kind of feels too picnic/lunchbox-esque to me.

No Shrinking Violets!

Purple is one of my favourite colours. It's so commanding, yet has a soft feminine side to it as well. Despite my love of the regal hue, I always thought that purple furniture was probably not a wise investment. But after seeing plenty of interiors with occasional chairs in vibrant hues, I have changed my mind. When it comes time to decorate my own pad I am going to take the purple plunge!

Some searching on 1st Dibs yielded these beauties


Maison Charles chairs upholstered in new purple suede (1965), $4,431

English library chair made of mahogany with plush purple velvet circa 1900 ,$2,200


1930s Purple Child's Chair from France, $2,500


19th Century English Armchairs by Howard & Sons reupholstered in violet linen with white piping, $12,762



The armchairs would play perfectly off of the purple accents in this room...

Friday, March 28, 2008

Earth Hour Dinner

I was going to make reservations for Dave and I at a new local spot for Saturday night, but I was moved by a local radio's suggestion of a candlelight dinner to support Earth Hour instead.

Over 150 cities in Canada are turning out their lights from 8pm- 9pm (even the CN Tower is going dark!)

I'd like to do my part by staying in, unplugging and lighting some candles for a romantic dins. I plan on making a meal that can be served at room temperature to avoid using any electricity for the hour.

I will be serving up a nice herb-crusted salmon dish that I adapted from this recipe from Martha. I love the easy oven-poaching method, which results in such a tender moist fish. It's very fitting for this occasion as the dish is earth-like with all the green herbs.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for parchment paper
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 shallot, very finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
  • Zest of half a lemon
  • 2 pounds skin-on center-cut wild salmon fillet, pin bones removed
  • Coarse salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
    1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees and place a roasting pan filled with water on bottom rack.
    2. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and lightly oil parchment; set aside.
    3. Chop parsley, shallots, dill and lemon zest together until very fine. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in oil and Dijon; set aside.
    4. Season skin side of fish with coarse salt and a pinch of pepper. Place skin side down on prepared baking sheet.
    5. Season top of fish with more salt and pepper and pat on herb mixture.
    6. Transfer to oven, and bake 30 minutes for rare to medium rare.
    7. Remove from oven, and let stand until room temperature.

    You can serve the herb-crusted salmon over a spring salad with some roasted root vegetables or serve with grilled veggies and a simple rice pilaf for a well-balanced meal. Whatever floats your boat!


  • Haunts Me Every Day...


    You will be mine

                      Oh will be mine

    Thursday, March 27, 2008

    Beauty is my Business: Nars Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in "Cruella"

    Jessica AlbaWhen it comes to make up, there is nothing more glamorous than retro red lips like the ones sported above in the vintage images from my blog header.

    The look is a deep scarlet with a matte finish that is creamy and not too  overly glossy (like Miss Alba's red carpet look)

    imagePaired with an understated face, the look is classic and elegant, yet picking the right shade of red and the right formula is rather tricky.

    I've tried drugstore and department store brands without success, but NARS has come to the rescue with their Velvet Matte Lip Pencil in "cruella" (which I sported on my big night with my matching red satin dress)image

    The application is simple with a chubby crayon that you sketch on to your lips. The pencil coats your lips with rich pigment that looks like a creamy lipstick, yet has the staying power of a pencil.  The non-drying formula is enriched with special emollients and unique silicones that create the long-lasting velvet look. Cruella

    I wore it all night at the party and only had to touch it up once before speeches! What a dream!!!


    PS- The name of the shade was the clincher for me in terms of taking the pencil home from the NARS counter. Cruella de Ville was the ultimate diva, even if she was PETA's worst nightmare!

    "Cruella de ville, cruella de ville
    If she doesn't scare you, no evil thing will..."

    Button Up

    With the end of winter finally in sight, it's time to ditch the heavy parkas and look at lighter spring coats. No one knows outerwear better than Canadians, and two of my favourite Canuck labels, Mackage and Smythe, have lovely spring '08 collections.

    Mackage, $520

    Smythe, $575

    Mackage, $550

    Smythe, $650

    A good quality coat can be a pricey purchase, but if you choose a classic silhouette and take proper care of the garment, than it's a worthy investment that will take you through many seasons.

    I'm itching for a classic trench myself...

    Wednesday, March 26, 2008

    Well That's a Chair of a Different Colour!

    When I think of dining rooms, I picture wooden paneling, stuffy curtains and uncomfortable chairs.

    Luckily, some designers are fusing fun with formal to create proper dining spaces that maintain a sense of playfulness. They're elegant enough to host a sit down dinner party, but they have enough colour and vitality to invite a more casual meal as well.

    I think that unique chairs upholstered in vibrant hues are the perfect touch for these colourful dining rooms. They scream "sit on me!" instead of muttering "only use me once a month"


    Sarah Richardson's Design as seen in June 07's House and Home


    Nicky Hilton's Pad, via Alkemie


    Maria Menounos' Home via In Style


    Las Vegas Home and Design Magazine

    Metropolitan Home

    Office in the Attic

    As I know all too well, utilizing an attic space can be tricky when dealing with the sloped walls. Tall storage units are out of the question, and an emphasis on height makes furniture shopping a tricky endeavor. These restrictions can be an extra pain in the ass when it comes to putting together a functional home office.

    To help my fellow attic-dwellers out there, here are some examples that offer some inspiration for those forced to cope with the slope!

    clearchair4clearchair4This black and yellow number from Kemble Interiors packs quite a visual punch! The striped feature wall has a nice airy window to break the lines up so it's not too harsh. The low shelving with black and white accessories makes it functional.

    Sarah RichardsonSarah RichardsonThis sunny spot from Room Service has white-washed wood floors that contrast nicely with the exposed brick. A low wall of shelves makes it organized and vintage office furniture and efficient task lighting adds both form and function! I especially love the white couch that you could lounge on for a work break or cat nap.


    This home office from House & Home's March issue is stunning! Custom built-ins are pricey but look at the storage you can squeeze out of the tiny space!







    I'm loving the little nook where the desk is tucked away. Precious!


    Sarah RichardsonThis other space from Room Service is more of a lounge, but there is still a vanity that could be used as a desk. A large bookshelf is home to books wrapped in unifying fine paper and the soothing palette of pale green, white and gold is so decadent and calming. I'd love to work there any day! Rather I'd like to nap on that couch...

    Tuesday, March 25, 2008

    Interesting Office Idea

    Sarah Richardson

    For a funky twist on a makeshift home office, spray two large filing cabinets  from your local office supply in a festive paint colour. Top with tempered glass and voila: your own utilitarian workstation!      (Image and idea via Room Service)


    Lust-Worthy Bedroom


    This bedroom decorated by Brian McCarthy is simply superb.


    The zebra bench, the cozy chaise by the fire place, the pops of green, my favourite black and white trim - it's totally me!

    (minus the taxidermy which seems to eerily follow me)

    Monday, March 24, 2008

    Giving Back

    Congrats to Dave, my significant other who raised $130,000 for the impoverished community of Kiryat Moshe in Israel with his second annual charity basketball tournament, Hoops 4 Israel.


    Last year Hoops 4 Israel succeeded all expectations by raising enough money to fund the building of an outdoor sports court that has completely transformed the spirit of the community of Ethiopian immigrants.




    Proceeds from the first project also sponsored: a youth soccer team, a youth track team, a performing arts program, a computer comprehension program and a cognitive skills education program.

    These programs ensure the youth of Kiryat Moshe will be steered on the right track with creative and positive outlets to support their development. Instead of turning to drugs and gangs, they can become strong contributing members of Israeli society.

    imageLast summer Dave and I visited the court he built together. We did some hands on work, helping paint the community centre and we also spent time with the kids.


    This year he raised even more money to continue to support the struggling community. I'm so proud of him for taking the initiative and giving back. Mazel Tov Dave!!!


    I was playing on a manufacturer's press section of their website when this cover caught my eye:

    June 2002's (now defunct) House & Garden

    WS Home Taylor Living Room Set-Up, Spring 2008

    From the presence of citrus and wicker to the white sofa and use of traditional Chinese white and blue porcelain, I cannot ignore the similarities!

    Blatant copy? Unconscious adoption? Borrowing inspiration?

    What do you think???

    Hurray for Display

    Being a home decor addict means I'm constantly amassing a range of random objects to call my own. It's hard to resist snapping up chic and adorable accessories, but what is even harder is finding a way to display everything so all the beautiful objects get their deserving share of attention.

    Let's break it down with some simple equations, shall we:

    insatiable shopping addiction + hopeless devotion to pretty things = large supply of materials for creative vignettes

    large supply of materials for creative vignettes - ample display room = need for shelving like the examples below!


    This month's O at Home features a rustic retreat where arts and crafts style pottery is clustered together in a built-in unit against wall paper that complements the soothing clay colours


    April's Style at Home features a classic go-to, the IKEA expedit bookcase. This cheap and cheerful pick is often used for displaying individual vignettes and groupings of books


    Also in O at Home, and featuring local Canadian design player Umbra, this striking book shelf is the perfect place to display a collection of milky white pottery.

    Now if only I had space along my low attic walls for one of these units...

    Thursday, March 20, 2008

    Happy Holidays!

    To my fellow members of the tribe:    Happy Purim!

    "Chag Purim, Chag Purim, Chag Gadol Ha Yeladim...."

    HamantaschenTo those unfamiliar with the holiday, Purim is the celebration of the saviour of the Jews from the evil persecutor Haman in Persia in the 6th century  BCE.

    Queen Esther saved the day, and to celebrate we read Megilat Esther (the story of Purim), wear  costumes, drink and dance, give gifts of food and wine and more.

    Perhaps the most recognizable symbol of Purim to the secular world is the Hamantaschen, the triangle shaped cookie filled with poppyseeds, apples or cherries. I can't vouch for this Martha recipe personally but I'd assume it's tasty! Try it out here.

    Glittered Eggs

    And to those who are celebrating Easter, I am loving this project from Martha.

    Blowing out eggs can be tedious, but if done properly the decorated eggs will keep for years.

    To make this glam verison, simply cover the empty eggs in craft glue and roll in a bowl of coloured glitter.

    I hope you have a lovely long weekend and enjoy celebrating with your nearest and dearest.

    Elegance Personified

    This room is a breath of styled elegant air that I want to inhale!



    It's a perfect example of how to mix traditional features with modern pieces.

    The result is a beautiful balance of old and new.

    Ebonized floors contrast nicely with the creamy white walls and the shag rug injects texture and  into the room.


    I love how the gauzy window treatments reinforce the ethereal feel while the pops of matching brown in the throw pillows help ground the scheme. 

    The white lacquered Le Banc bench by Xavier Lust for MDF Italia adds a sleek touch and the flea-market porcelain dogs on pedestals adds personality.

    MH0308_libin_13.jpgThe most ingenious part of the room is the custom trumeau mirror above the fireplace.

    The mirror is actually a cover for a flat screen TV! The antique glass doors pull back to reveal the screen so you can hide it when you want to entertain.

    (Photos of Jill VanTosh Design via Metropolitan Home)