Design & Decor Blog

holiday deal: 20% off from modernemotive

The holidays are upon us and two of my favourite things about the season are sending Christmas cards and wrapping gifts. I’m super picky about my choice of cards and gift wrap, and nine times out of ten, I can’t find what I’m looking for at retail stores. Instead, I click through Etsy.com and order from the artisans themselves.
modernemotive 3 holiday deal: 20% off from modernemotivemodernemotive 2 holiday deal: 20% off from modernemotivemodernemotive 1 holiday deal: 20% off from modernemotive
One of my favourite Etsy sellers is Adele, a British designer living in Toronto, who has created a fabulous eco-friendly paper goods company called modernemotive. She has a very simple, modern style and I find myself buying cards, gift tags and notepads from her all the time. I adore her new line of holidays gift tags for this year {above}. The tags come with vellum envelopes and you can get a set of eight for only $8.50 US. And if you’re looking for some fun holiday gifts, Adele has also introduced her line of 2011 calendars and sassy notepads.

Since it’s the season for giving, from now until midnight on Thursday, November 25th, we’re offering a 20% discount on all products from the modernemotive store on Etsy. Just enter styleathome when it asks for a promotional code.

Happy holidays!

xo,
Lauren

win tickets to a private shopping event at west elm!

west elm event win tickets to a private shopping event at west elm!
Are you ready to shop ’til you drop with your fave Style at Home editors?

On Wednesday, December 1st, Style at Home is hosting a private shopping event at West Elm in Toronto’s Liberty Village and we have 5 tickets to give away — to you! Editor-in-chief Erin McLaughlin, senior design editor Margot Austin and design editor Christne Hanlon will be on site sharing gift and decor ideas {as well as cocktails!}, and you’ll have access to 20% off all West Elm merchandise.

To enter to win one of five tickets, just follow these two easy steps:

1 Follow our editor-in-chief Erin on Twitter:  @erinmclaughlin1

2 Send Erin a reply on Twitter saying why you’d love to attend the Style at Home shopping night

Erin will then choose her five favourite responses as the winners. Good luck!

*Contest closes November 26th, 2010 at 5pm EST. Open to residents of the GTA, or other Canadian residents who can provide their own transportation to event. Not open to any Transcontinental Media  employees, their families, or any other persons with whom they reside.*

travel inspiration: italy {part 7}

As my whirlwind trip in Italy comes to an end, I can’t believe all the beautiful places I’ve been and all the fabulous experiences I’ve had. What began as a wariness towards going on a ‘group tour’ with Trafalgar Tours turned into a huge appreciation for what can be called ‘guided holidays’. I had expectations of being stuck on a bus the whole time, but Trafalgar’s new ‘At Leisure‘ program gives guests tons of time to explore by themselves, but also shows them all the hidden gems of the cities they visit. So, would I recommend? Absolutely.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my travels as much as I’ve enjoyed sharing them with you. I really wish you all could have come on the trip with me and experienced the breathtaking architecture, yummy food and incredible design. Our last stop on the tour was Siena, and I spent several hours walking through its winding streets, soaking up my final hours in Italy. A medieval city, Siena is completely cobblestoned and simply charming — it seemed like every corner I turned, there was a sweet surprise waiting for me in the form of a secluded fountain or hidden courtyard. Here are a few parts of Siena that took my breath away {do you think it’s too much to want those doors for my own house? Perhaps…}.siena alley travel inspiration: italy {part 7}siena door travel inspiration: italy {part 7}siena bread travel inspiration: italy {part 7}siena statue travel inspiration: italy {part 7}
xo,

Lauren

travel inspiration: italy {part 6}

cinque terre cliff travel inspiration: italy {part 6}

Prior to my trip, whenever I mentioned to people the places I was going to be visiting, they stopped and gasped when I said ‘Cinque Terre’. “Oh my goodness, you will love it — it is so beautiful,” was the standard reaction. Turns out, they were right! After a breathtaking bus ride to one of the five villages atop a peak, Trafalgar Tours hooked us up with a fabulous guide who took us on walks through the villages and showed us the most beautiful views of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.
cinque terre village travel inspiration: italy {part 6}
As a self-professed lover of all-white interiors, I was surprised to find how inspired I was by the colourful buildings at Cinque Terre. The pinks, yellows, greens and oranges were bold, but also muted amongst the aged rooftops and cracked foundations. I would love to include these colours in my own home, whether in artwork or ceramics.

Like most of Italy, Cinque Terre also had a bunch of specialty food stores with local treats. I stocked up on fresh olive oil, pesto and — of course — wine. I’m really excited to do some Italian cooking, especially with the extra virgin olive oil. It seriously tastes nothing like the stuff you buy in North America because it is so fresh — straight from the grove to the bottle.
cinque terre food travel inspiration: italy {part 6}cinque terre church travel inspiration: italy {part 6}cinque terre homes travel inspiration: italy {part 6}cinque terre lovers lane travel inspiration: italy {part 6}
xo,

Lauren

P.S. The last image is the walkway along the coast, that takes you from village to village. Nicknamed ‘Lovers Lane’, visitors leave padlocks and make a wish for the one they love. These padlocks are everywhere, from gates to railings to safety grates. Beautiful!

travel inspiration: italy {part 5}

And now for an overload of eye candy.

If there’s one place to visit for inspiration in Italy, it has to be Florence {aka Firenze}. Beyond breathtaking, the city is an artist’s dream, not to mention the chosen home of Italy’s most famous fashion designers, from Ferragamo to Cavalli. I instantly fell in love with the architecture and the beautiful sculptures found around almost every corner. As for Michelangelo’s David sculpture? Sigh. He was the most breathtaking thing I’ve ever laid eyes upon — no picture can do him justice {and unfortunately, you can’t take snaps in The Accademia, anyways}. He is a must-see and — if you ask me — a must-clone, as well.

Here are a few pictures I took throughout Florence that will give you an idea of the feel of the city. Oh, and that last photo is of yours truly!

florence duomo travel inspiration: italy {part 5}florence residential travel inspiration: italy {part 5}florence statue travel inspiration: italy {part 5}florence courtyard travel inspiration: italy {part 5}florence sante croce travel inspiration: italy {part 5}florence lauren travel inspiration: italy {part 5}

So… have you booked your flight yet?

xo,

Lauren

travel inspiration: italy {part 4}

tuscany doorway travel inspiration: italy {part 4}
Next up on the Italy excursion is Tuscany, and my, oh, my — you have to see it to believe it. We traveled on the Trafalgar bus from Rome {have you ever heard of a tour company using a Mercedes bus?} and although I was zonked, it was impossible to fall asleep because the view was so beautiful. On our way to our hotel in Montecatini, we stopped off in Greve at the Castello Vicchiomaggio, a Tuscan castle and renowned wine estate. Although it was cloudy, the view from the top of the hill was extraordinary and the building’s architecture was to-die-for.

tuscany courtyard travel inspiration: italy {part 4}

tuscany casks travel inspiration: italy {part 4}tuscany winery house travel inspiration: italy {part 4}
Isn’t it just the definition of ‘picturesque’? We also had a wine tasting, as the area is famous for Chianti wines. This was such an extraordinary experience and I have to give props to Trafalgar for organizing this, because it’s not a place I would have even known about if I was traveling solo.

Tomorrow: Florence {ahhh, Firenze}.

xo,

Lauren

featured blog: beaux mondes

beaux mondes ladies featured blog: beaux mondes

Blog: Beaux Mondes

Bloggers: Stephanie Trendocher & Jacklyn Warmington

Location: Hamilton, Ont.

What do you do for a living?
Stephanie: I work in Communications & Marketing but I’ve also interned at two magazine publications.

Jacklyn: I recently graduated from school and am working as a sales person by day, bartender by night.

What do you strive to bring to readers?
Our blog is a snapshot of everything we love. We focus on beautiful spaces, lifestyle and interesting people and make an effort to showcase local and Canadian businesses, as well as young creative entrepreneurs. We want to inspire our readers to love their city, shop locally, and find beauty in everything they do.

Where do you look for inspiration for your blog?
We’re magazine addicts and we buy a lot of European titles (many of which we purchase for the visuals alone). We also love fashion, design and lifestyle blogs and books. The city we live in inspires us everyday, the architecture, the heritage, the arts, the vibrant community.

beaux mondes coffee shop featured blog: beaux mondes

A local favourite of the girls: Mulberry Street Coffeehouse in Hamilton

Describe your home in 6 words or less.
Stephanie: Sleek, modern, Victorian, French, elegant, airy

Jacklyn: Eclectic, warm, maximalist, musical

If one song, movie, or soundtrack could sum up your life, what would it be?
Stephanie: Since I was seventeen, I’ve been moved and inspired by Broken Social Scene’s record You Forgot It In People.

Jacklyn: Maria Mena’s White Turns Blue is one of my favourite albums.

What is your fave post?
We love each and every post. They are all different, and with each one we’ve met amazing people with interesting stories. We prefer when our posts are personable, when they offer a little glimpse into our lives.

beaux mondes bowl featured blog: beaux mondes

What has been your fave shopping find under $50?
Jacklyn: I have three maps framed – France, Italy and Europe. They’re actually sheets of wrapping paper that I purchased for $6 each.

Stephanie: I recently purchased an ornate, carved, French style mirror for my bathroom. It had a small chip in the bottom that was easily fixed, but I was able to negotiate it down to $45.

beaux mondes desk featured blog: beaux mondes

Office space in Jacklyn's apartment

Where do you shop for items for your home?
Jacklyn: A lot of the pieces in my home — side tables, shelves, etc. — are pre-owned. I strip and paint a lot of pieces given to me or try and alter them in some way. I also love the antique shops throughout Hamilton. And HomeSense (obviously!).

Stephanie: My boyfriend and I recently purchased and moved into our new home, so furnishing it is a very gradual process. We were lucky enough to be able to design the inside to our choosing, so the past six months have been about selecting finishes. As we’re starting to shop for furniture, I’ve been paying frequent trips to HomeSense. I also love Pure Home Couture, Liv by Au Lit, Ethan Allen, and Up Country.

If you could pick one celebrity (or writer or whomever) as the ideal reader for your blog, who would it be?
We adore both Garance Doré and Todd Selby.

beaux mondes soap1 featured blog: beaux mondes

xo,

Lauren

P.S. Interested in having your blog featured? E-mail us at blog@styleathome.com

cb2.com launches canadian shipping

cb2 cb2.com launches canadian shipping
I’m so excited that us Canucks can now shop online at cb2.com. The retail site went international on Monday and I’ve already clocked a few hours combing through the site to see what’s available.

There’s no bricks and mortar CB2 store in Canada just yet (though it’s coming, hopefully by the summer), but until then, a little online shopping should sate me. You’ll find mostly home accessories online – no large furniture items due to challenges with cross-border shipping, but there’s more than enough great stuff online to excite you.

Favourite part: One of a Finds
This section of the site features original, limited edition pieces with a small release. I love this rustic wagon wheel mirror (pictured above, $299), as much for its beauty as for its history. The recycled wheels used to make this piece originate from the western state of Gujarat in India and have a history dating back to the 1930s.

searching for a new fridge

whirlpool fridge searching for a new fridge
As I mentioned last week, I’m in need of a new refrigerator. I’d already started the search for new appliances because once I updated my kitchen, my old appliances (circa 1988!) just looked tired and out of place. And then, when my fridge breathed its last breath, I knew I had no choice but to replace them all.

But where to start? I’ve never had to shop for appliances before and a new fridge is a pretty significant item for my home. I want something that looks great and works efficiently. But I’m also looking for something that works within the context of both my style and my lifestyle. To learn more about my options, I checked in with Sophie Boudreau, product trainer from Whirlpool, to find out a little bit more about buying a refrigerator.

Q: I live in a small space and I need a new fridge. I tend to have a lot of fresh, perishable foods in my fridge (fruits, veggies, yogurt, milk, cheese, etc.) and I don’t use my freezer very much. What kinds of features should I be looking for when shopping for a new refrigerator?

A: Most refrigerators offer humidity controlled crispers that help preserve the freshness of fruits and vegetables. Increase the humidity for leafy vegetables and lower it for fruits. Given that you tend to have a lot of fresh, perishable food in your refrigerator, this is definitely a feature you should look for. Since you don’t use your refrigerator very much, I would recommend a bottom mount refrigerator. This is a great feature for those who don’t access the freezer much.

Q: Will my small kitchen significantly limit the number of choices I have in refrigerators?

A: The size of the kitchen has an impact on the choice however the cutout dimension of the area that will house your refrigerator is the most important factor when considering a refrigerator.

Q: Given the different fridge/freezer configurations, which is best?
A: Top mount refrigerators is when the freezer is located above the refrigerator. A side-by-side refrigerator is when the freezer is located on the left side and the refrigerated area is located on the right side. The bottom mount refrigerator is great for people who don’t access the freezer a lot and who prefer having access to the entire refrigerator area without having to bend down.

This is helpful information for me. Looks like it’s a bottom mount refrigerator I’m looking for. And of course, I’ll be looking for stainless steel to complement the new look of my kitchen. Stay tuned as I continue the search!

travel inspiration: italy {part 3}

Remember that part in Good Will Hunting when Robin Williams’ character says to Matt Damon’s character, “Michelangelo? You know a lot about him. But I bet you can’t tell me what it smells like in the Sistine Chapel. You’ve never actually stood there and looked up at that beautiful ceiling.”? Today, that quotation took on a whole new meaning to me.

We headed into Vatican City and visited St. Peter’s Basilica and the Sistine Chapel. It was really great to have a specialized tour guide that Trafalgar set up for us, because he literally had an answer to every question we had.

Words can’t describe the overwhelming feeling I got when I walked into the Sistine Chapel and saw the beauty of ‘The Last Judgment’. Good Will Hunting was right — you can never fully understand the masterpiece until you’ve actually stood there starting at it, smelling the incense and taking in the whole atmosphere {they are very strict about photography, so I wasn’t able to snap any pics}.

We also went to the Colosseum which was fabulous and only inspired me more and more. I’ve completely fallen for Roman architecture and how ornate and extravagant everything is. If I had to compare Rome to another city, I couldn’t because it is so different. There are no modern buildings like you see in the business district of Paris or London — everything is so old! They also don’t have skyscrapers because no building in Rome can be taller than St. Peter’s Basilica {fun fact from our tour guide!}.

Here are just a few of the pictures I took today that really inspired me — the lines, the detail, and the architecture in general.

italy vatican travel inspiration: italy {part 3}

St. Peter's Basilica {side view}

italy ceiling travel inspiration: italy {part 3}

A colourful painting on the ceiling of St. Peter's Basilica

italy doorway travel inspiration: italy {part 3}

An entryway to St. Peter's Basilica

italy ruins travel inspiration: italy {part 3}

Roman ruins, as seen from an archway at the Colosseum

Isn’t it crazy to think people actually live amongst this beauty every day?

xo,
Lauren

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