Thursday, July 31, 2008

Beautiful Things are Faithful Friends

My mother and I had the best time winding our way up and down the floors of Charlotte Moss’s lovely townhouse, where we ooh’d and aah’d over the beautiful china, furniture and general array of pretty things.

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Ms. Moss may have a flair for living but she also has a flair for not letting shoppers take photos inside the townhouse. It was a real shame too as an accidental fire alarm triggered a mass of handsome NYC firefighters to parade into the store and check on the false alarm in person -- it was quite the sight!


Despite wanting the vast majority of what was displayed, we went home only with a delicate silver toast caddy which we’ll use for mail and a stack of hysterical note pads that make me smile every time I write on them. I chose quite the obnoxious quote but I love it.


PS- Even though I’m photo-less, the good news is Habitually Chic snuck some pics last summer so you can get this gist by clicking here.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Charley Harper: An Illustrated Life

When  I was browsing through Barney’s stellar home department, I had to tear myself away from Charley Harper: An Illustrated Life, By Todd Oldham. 

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The late artist Charley Harper called his work “minimal realism” and with a focus on wildlife, his paintings and illustrations are vibrant depictions of a world you only dreamed about as a child.


Flipping through the pages is like jumping into a magical universe like the kids in Bedknobs and Broomsticks. With the sense of playfulness and whimsy, it’s fitting one of Harper’s most famed achievements is  illustrating The Golden Book of Biology.


Todd Oldham, who was a longtime admirer of Harper and released the book just after his death in 2007, captured the imaginative and magnetic appeal of Harper’s work so well when he said:

"I had the giant 'Golden Book of Biology,' which was one of my favorite things I've ever had in my life," reminisced Oldham. "I kind of remember, it was like I crawled into that book. It wasn't like a book in the room. It was this fort, this immersion for me.”


Visit this site to look at more of Charley’s work or pick up your copy of the coffee table book at amazon at a great discount.

Forget Place Mats…Place Map!

A large unfolded map can make for a pretty table topper when a traditional cloth is MIA. Not only is it  kind of kitschy and visually appealing, but it’s also provides a platform travel-centric conversations.


Martha suggests using a hikers' maps made from Tyvek, a tear- and drip-resistant paper, but you can also pick up a single sheet of map wrapping paper from your local paper goods store and just toss it after.

(Image and idea via Martha Stewart)

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Gratuitous Christian Bale Photos


Ever since Newsies and Little Women, I have been really big into Mr. Christian Bale.


Throw in some sexually repressed tension from Laurel Canyon and frames of an impeccably-suited Bruce Wayne and I have trouble stopping myself from plotting ways to magically replace his wife Sibi.


I don’t care if he yelled at his circus-freak mom, he’s by far one of the most beautiful men to walk the planet earth.


Snapshots from Bergdorf’s 7th Floor

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Kelly Wearstler, John Derian and Alessi –- oh my!

Monday, July 28, 2008

ELTE Picks

Toronto is lucky to have many great home stores, but one of the go-to’s most designers and shoppers can agree on is ELTE. With over 200,000 square feet in the Castlefield design district, ELTE stocks a wide selection of rugs, furniture, lighting, linen and accessories that they import from all over the world.


Right now there is a massive sale going on, so if you’re in the area, go in person to check out what’s available as the website is only the tip of the iceberg. For you non-Torontonians, ELTE ships worldwide so if you like what you see online or here, give them a call and they’ll give you a quote.


Here are my favourite picks from the showroom:


Chrome Bat Cart, $665

elte- red murano

50% off -- Red Murano Glass $1,737.50 (was $3,475)


Thompson sofa, $6,895


50% off – table with chrome finish, $597.50 (left) coffee table with gilded finish (right), $342.50


Cowhides, starting at $695


Nickel Plated Irvington Bed,  $1,975 (for queen size)


50% off -- Black Murano Glass $5,742 (was $11,485)


Tray table, $765


Nickel Stool, $445

Hogan’s My Hero


I wouldn’t normally take myself for a Hogan fan, but I humoured my mother and checked out the store in Soho, only to walk out with a brand new pair of purple kicks for myself!


The combo of deep violet and graffiti-esque touches is almost as thrilling to my eyes as it was to my wallet – I snagged them at half-price! Gene…

Friday, July 25, 2008

Weekend Cocktail #13: Passion Fruit Caipirinha

Made with cachaça, sugar and lime, the caipirinha is Brazil's national cocktail. Cachaça is made from sugarcane just like rum, so if you can’t find the Brazilian spirit at your local liquor store, sub in regular rum.


This Martha Stewart recipe adds in passion fruit juice for an even fresher tropical taste.

Passion Fruit Caipirinha

  • 2 teaspoons superfine sugar
  • 1/4 cup cachaça
  • 1/4 cup passion-fruit juice
  • 1/2 lime, juiced, rind reserved plus slice, for garnish
    1. Place lime rind in a heavy 12-ounce rocks glass; sprinkle with sugar.
    2. Add lime juice, cachaça, and passion-fruit juice; let stand 5 minutes.
    3. Fill glass with ice and stir until well combined.
    4. Garnish with lime wheel.

    (image via Martha Stewart)

    Distant Origin

    I stumbled upon Distant Origin online a few months ago and was determined to make it there in person on my trip to New York.

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    Located on Mercer Street in SoHo (right by Marc Jacobs), the gorgeous selection of furnishings and accessories was pretty arresting.

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    Not for vegans, a majority of the pieces involve some blatant use of animal skins, horns or fur -- such as the elaborate antler captain’s chair below.

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    Snakeskin x-benches and Moroccan poufs are scattered on the floor of the elegant space, where beautiful displays are set up for customer perusal.

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    Shelves of furry pillows begged for a tactile inspection and the plethora of horn nesting tables topped with unusual lamps were simply stunning.

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    Tons of decorative boxes were stacked on shelves, along with the humorous photo chairs I posted about not too long ago.

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    Visit the website to see a wide selection of their offerings or go in person to drool over the exotic offerings if you’re in Soho.

    Onion Soup Dumplings

    Yes they do exist! I could barely contain my excitement when I saw this culinary creation on the menu as onion soup is a fave, as are dumplings in any shape or form.

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    Visit the Stanton Social in NYC’s Lower East Side to eat them live and in person!

    Thursday, July 24, 2008

    Thanks Kim!

    First it was Leya's turn, now little mis miu is having her day on Desire to Inspire!

    Thanks Kim for being my kindred animal spirit...if only my fam wasn't allergic to cats than maybe you'd get your switch! haha

    The Fruits of My Labour of Love

    As promised, here are snippets from the sign-in book I made for my mother's 50th birthday last week. It was a big hit and my mom thankfully loves it after the countless hours I spent crafting it.

    Wednesday, July 23, 2008

    Treasure Chests

    This image from Decor’s Spring issue has totally wedged itself into my mind. Perhaps it’s the interesting table scape or the framed maps, but mainly it’s the vintage trunk displayed of the bottom rung of the console. The trunks adds so much charm and history to this cozy place and I love the studding detail.

    I also love these beautiful photos I found via Desire to Inspire, of Tobi Tobin's designs - the trunks add such rustic charm to both designs and work equally well in these differently-styled spaces.

    I’ve seen a few trunks around TO, but none are ornate as the studded version from Decor. I’m convinced I’ll find something comparable one of these days on one of my vintage hunts but until then, here are a couple of the trunks I've found:

    The Public Butter