Design & Decor Blog

the new ikea catalogue is here!

…And they’ve pulled out all the stops for the 60th anniversary of the cheap chic showcase, which is now officially the biggest publication in the world, hitting 198,000,000 copies. Insane!

I’m loving the folkloric look that graces a bunch of the new merch -a reinterpretation of ethnic and global influences, loaded with embroidery and other hand-hewn details.

ikearoom the new ikea catalogue is here!

The star of this look, in my opinion, is the new Klippan Navestad 2-seat sofa cover ($329). This is “Trad/Rad” in a nutshell, and turns the very cool lines of the Klippan into a stunning statement piece.

ikeaklippan the new ikea catalogue is here!For a sweet, artisanal accent, look no further than the new Birgit cushion ($20). Love those delicate embroidered flowers…

ikeabirgit the new ikea catalogue is here!And another stunner from the Birgit line – this beautifully embroidered crisp cotton duvet cover and pillowcase set ($80/King).

picture 1 the new ikea catalogue is here!

Birds and botanicals flit across Krokek —  a new upholstery option for the Skruvsta swivel armchair ($199).

ikeachait the new ikea catalogue is here!

You can’t go wrong with a set of three tea towels for $6 — especially when they’re as vibrant as the new Ellakajsa prints. The very definition of cheap and cheerful!

ikeateatowel the new ikea catalogue is here!Cosy up to new Birgit throw - 100% wool, with a magic-carpet vibe courtesy of yet more decorative embroidery ($50).

ikeathrow the new ikea catalogue is here!

And although it’s not part of the “haute folk” vibe going on here, my top fave new find from the catalogue is the rather delicious new Kivik furniture series. I’m quite taken with the Two-seat Sofa (shown here in Tranas light brown, $769)… Looks so deep and comfy!

ikeasofa the new ikea catalogue is here!Have you had the chance to scour the savings yet? What’s YOUR fave new find from the IKEA 2011 catalogue?

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the downside of renovations

Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out. It seems I have to keep reminding myself to just breathe these days. If you’ve been following along with my blog posts, you know that I’m mid-renovation right now. I’m working with the talented and infinitely understanding designer Lisa Canning and we’re making great progress. This process is turning out to be a lot of work (Lisa is doing most of the hard legwork!), a lot of decisions and a lot of fun. But there are moments when I see my home turned upside down and my heart stops. But I just have to remind myself: It’s only temporary. Everything will be returned to its rightful state soon enough.

So here’s how things are looking right now:

condo kitchen the downside of renovationsThis is my kitchen minus its cabinet doors. We’ve sent the door and drawer faces away to be lacquered white. I think it’ll look great and am excited to see the final results but seeing my kitchen like this makes me unhappy. And reminds me I need to get organized.

condo floors the downside of renovationsThis is the living room. We’ve removed the baseboards in preparation for laying new floors and installing new baseboards. The flooring is from Tarkett and I’ve chosen a bamboo wood in Solid Onyx, a deep, dark brown. I think the new floors will make an enormous difference and can’t wait to have them installed. Installation is scheduled for Monday by the folks at End of the Roll, Milton.

condo bedroom the downside of renovationsAnd finally, here’s my bedroom. My bedroom isn’t even getting a makeover but it’s become the storage space for all of my old furniture from the living room because there’s nowhere else to put it at the moment. So basically, everything I own has been crammed into my bedroom.

So, as you can see, my home is turned completely upside down. I can’t wait to reach the end of this process!

choosing an armchair for my condo

I was away on vacation for the past two weeks but I’m back now and I’m really excited to return my focus to my condo makeover. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m working with Lisa Canning, a wonderful designer who is demonstrating so much patience as I hem and haw over furniture choices, colours, patterns, fabrics. Right now, we’re trying to find the perfect chair. Below are a few we’re considering. Even though you (readers) have only seen glimpses of my space in previous posts, I’d still like to know which one you like best! Leave a comment below and share your opinion!

chairs for condo choosing an armchair for my condo

back-to-school month: philips flexcare+ toothbrush

screen shot 2010 08 09 at 121708 pm back to school month: philips flexcare+ toothbrushFor the month of August, I’m going to be featuring cool tech goodies for home and lifestyle that are essentials for going off to school. So whether you’re a student yourself or the parent of one, take note of these great products that will make life away from home a little easier.

First up is the Philips FlexCare+ electric toothbrush. Through my experience of living in dorms back in university, many students let their dental hygiene slide once they flee the nest. One word: gross. That’s where the Philips FlexCare+ comes into the picture. This is one serious toothbrush, leaving your mouth feeling like you visit the dentist every day.

The toothbrush comes with 5 brushing modes, taking into consideration factors like sensitivity, speed and gums. It’s also designed to let you know how much time should be spent brushing each quadrant of your mouth (it vibrates when it’s time to move on).

What sets the FlexCare+ apart from the rest, however, is the brush head sanitizer included in the charger. Just take the brush head off the body and put in the little case on the charger body. The UV sanitizing technology cleans the bristles and gets rid of up to 99% of bacteria and viruses on the brush.

The brush comes with 2 replaceable heads and retails for $220. Find out more info at

contest winners: speck cases + flip mino hd

congrats contest winners: speck cases + flip mino hdThe winners have been picked! The contests to win the Speck iPod/iPhone cases and the Flip Mino HD have come to an end and I got an overwhelming amount of entries — I loved reading all of your stories!

Congratulations to the winners listed below, and thank you to all who entered. Stay tuned for more great contests!

Winners of the Speck cases

  • Lauren Sullivan from Whitby, ON
  • Suzette Mac Nevin from Enfield, NS
  • Melanie Griffiths from Fort Saskatchewan, AB

Winner of the Flip Mino HD

  • Abigail Malungkit, Milton ON

htc legend review

htc legend image1 htc legend reviewAs an iPhone gal, it’s hard for me to find a phone that compares to the one I hold dear to my heart. But after trying out the HTC Legend for a week, I have to say, the iPhone has some big time competition. The Legend has some seriously cool features that were fun to play around with, but it’s also super functional, an awesome combination.

Here are a few of my fave features that I think you’ll like as well:

  • an incredibly crisp screen that is clearer than any phone I’ve ever tested
  • several different homescreens that you can swipe to view or pinch to see all at once
  • your contact updates are organized by people, not applications — meaning you can click on a contact and view text messages, phone calls, Twitter and Facebook updates all in one place
  • a sleek, aluminum body with a glass touchscreen as well as 5 buttons for easy access to common functions

The HTC Legend is available from Virgin or Bell, and is $80 a pop with a three-year contract from either.

style at home day on cityline – august 3

Join host Tracy Moore, IKEA’s Tamara Robbins-Griffith, Style at Home’s Kimberley Seldon and me on the Tuesday, August 3, “Style at Home Day” episode of CityLine!

cityline style at home day on cityline   august 3

I’m elbows-deep in dye for this segment, presenting some easy, breezy dyeing techniques that bring fashion’s hottest summer look home!

Check out the dyed looks we love by clicking here!

Image courtesy CityLine

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the ultimate w expert challenge

Don’t I look intimidating?!?

erin brett karen the ultimate w expert challengeWho am I kidding? I’m just a big softie, and couldn’t pull a Simon Cowell even if I tried!

My stint as a guest judge on the W Network’s Ultimate W Expert Challenge is just around the corner, and it’s time to get acquainted with this season’s contestants: six experts who are vying for the chance to win a development deal with the network. Check ‘em out here and let me know what you think after you vote online! Who would you choose as The Ultimate?

Julie Arora, Food & Nutrition expert

picture 61 the ultimate w expert challenge

Bruce Krahn, Health & Wellness expert

picture 7 the ultimate w expert challenge

Nadia Albano, Beauty & Style expert

picture 1 the ultimate w expert challenge

Jennifer Reid, Home & Garden expert

picture 31 the ultimate w expert challenge

Sasja Nieukerk, Personal Development expert

picture 82 the ultimate w expert challenge

Steve Duncan, Home & Garden expert

picture 5 the ultimate w expert challenge

The new season premieres on Wednesday, August 4 at 8PM EST, and I’m behind the judge’s table —  shown here with Style at Home’s editor-in-chief Erin McLaughlin and host Karen Bertelsen – on the episode airing August 11.

In the meantime, check out host Karen Bertelsen’s absolutely stunning home in the hot-off-the-presses September issue of Style at Home magazine!

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lee jofa’s new verdmont fabric collection

It’s a crewel, crewel summer.

Sorry, Bananarama. (Or Ace of Base, if you missed the ’80s.)

To-the-trade stalwart Lee Jofa captures the essence of summer with Verdmont – a bright, bold collection of luxe linen, chintz and prints, including these to-die-for crewelwork beauties… The exotic embroidery has been popping up everywhere we look this season, and on these cushions, the contrast welt proves the perfect finishing touch!

Tyler Crewel in Sorbet, Lemon and Aqua

leejofacushions lee jofas new verdmont fabric collection

Paying tribute to the Verdmont mansion – an early 18th century Bermuda estate – the collection reimagines some of Lee Jofa’s archival prints in very contemporary colourways. This little vignette serves as a great lesson in pairing printed florals, stripes, solids and embroidery. Hello, instant room!

(From left) Chirk embroidery in Grass, Maia in Multi/White, Gilbraltar Silk in Mango and Remo Stripe in Melon (on seat cushion)

leejofabench lee jofas new verdmont fabric collection

Check out the exquisite, large-repeat print on these loose-fitting slipcovers: another easy, breezy summer trend to swoon over.

Tree of Life in White

leejofachairs lee jofas new verdmont fabric collection

Even as we move towards autumn in terms of new launches, chintz seems to be gaining momentum. These are particularly tasty examples… And that saturated, salmony wall colour makes these fancy florals anything but frumpy.

(From left) Trentham Hall in Vanilla, Chirk Embroidery in Surf, Trentham Hall in Mist

leejofamudroom lee jofas new verdmont fabric collection

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painting the walls

painting painting the walls
Today: Painting! It was a long day. My dear friend Jen and I painted from 10am til 9:30pm (with a handful of breaks thrown in). The colour I used is called Satin, part of the Style at Home paint collection from Home Hardware. Covering my dark green walls required one coat of primer and three coats of paint but wow – what a transformation! My condo instantly felt brighter and, more importantly, larger. It’s amazing what an impact paint can have.

Painting with white can be a bit tricky. Because the paint colour (when wet) was so similar to the primer, it was sometimes difficult to see where we’d stopped painting. So you have to keep a close eye on what you’re doing. Good lighting is key, too. As the sun started to set, it became more and more difficult to see what was painted and what was not. But overall, the most important thing was to have patience, a keen eye for detail and a good friend to help, who shows up bearing Timbits.

I’m thrilled with the change and can’t wait for the rest of the space to start coming together!

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