Design & Decor Blog

jewelry: storage, display + your chance to win!

jewelry1 jewelry: storage, display + your chance to win!
Jewelry storage can be a challenge. If you don’t have jewelry boxes at the ready, your pretty baubles can end up in an unsightly heap on your dresser. Stray earrings can lose their partners and necklaces can end up in a tangled mess. I love this idea from Pottery Barn (pictured above). These hardwood jewelry display frames turn your precious pieces into works of art, displayed for your enjoyment rather than hidden away in boxes. It’s a great way to keep things organized and tangle-free. We’ve got lots of other jewelry storage ideas. Check them out!
Jewelry storage
Green ways to clean your jewelry
Organizing 101: Jewelry
Unique ways to display vintage jewelry

jewelry2 jewelry: storage, display + your chance to win!PLUS:

Enter now for your chance to win this gorgeous necklace from Suetables is a proudly Canadian company that makes sterling silver jewelry that’s designed in Toronto and made in the mountains in Mexico. The beautiful pieces are personalized one letter at a time to feature names or sayings that hold a special meaning to you. They make wonderful gifts, too! You can view the entire collection here. TIP: Enter STYLE@HOME at check out for a 10% discount at

Want to win this beautiful necklace (pictured left)?  This sterling silver, custom large Megan “circle of life” is hand stamped with LIVE YOUR TRUTH and comes with an 88″ ball chain. (Retail value: $88.)  Just leave a comment below, sharing your best tip for storing and organizing your jewelry. I’ll choose the winning response on July 19.

Good luck!

Contest closes July 19, 2010 at 12pm EST. Open to all residents of Canada, except those in Quebec. Not open to any Transcontinental Media employees, their families, or any other persons with whom they reside.

tiffany & co. iphone app

engagement app 535x413 tiffany & co. iphone appI said it before and I’ll say it again — I’ve yet to meet a woman who didn’t go bananas over the sight of Tiffany’s signature blue {mainly because they know what goodies lie inside}. Now Tiffany has upped the ante for men everywhere with their iPhone app, meaning there’s no reason why men won’t remember what type of ring their lady love is hoping for.

Called the ‘Ring Finder‘, the app lets you browse through Tiffany’s selection of engagement rings, choosing different settings, shapes and metals {it then allows you to save the ring and its information, or send it to an e-mail address}. If you’re unsure of the quality, pricing or any other information, the app also has a form to fill out to have an expert consultation at your nearest Tiffany & Co. store.

My favourite part of the app? Apart from the fact that it’s free, the app features a ring size finder, where you take an existing ring off your finger, then place it on your iPhone screen where a circle can be adjusted until it perfectly matches the size of the ring.

Visit iTunes to download this app

everything looks better in india

…It helps, of course, if “everything” is the latest and greatest from Anthropologie’s delish summer collection. But wouldn’t it be amazing to produce a photoshoot inside one of Jaipur’s incredibly ornate palaces? I mean check out those columns! And ooh, that intricate painted plaster! It’s a testament to Anthropologie’s wares that they actually manage to hold their own in such stunning surroundings.

Coralie bed, Gathered Sky duvet, Hibiscus Vista rug, Anthropologie

picture 5 everything looks better in india

Sevilla chair, Out At Sea blanket, Toorie curtain, Anthropologie

picture 111 everything looks better in india

Tranquil Paradise hammock, Diving Sea Turtle pillow, Anthropologie

picture 13 everything looks better in india

Great Barrier curtain, Rosette quilt, Diamond Jungle dhurrie, Anthropologie

picture 2 everything looks better in india

Seabed square pillow, Tuxedo duvet, Ombre Gardenia pillow, Seabed rectangle pillow, Diving Sea Turtle pillow, Anthropologie

picture 71 everything looks better in indiaAll images courtesy Anthropologie

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old & now: the blue willow story

Star-crossed lovers, imprisonment and untimely death… Sounds like Desperate Housewives, but it’s the story of the most popular ceramic pattern of all time: Blue Willow.

Blue Willow round placemat in Navy (so hot!), Dransfield & Ross

willow old & now: the blue willow storyTHE LEGEND

Held captive in her own home, and with a miserable arranged marriage looming, the daughter of a wealthy Chinese mandarin runs away with her lower-class lover. Depending on which version of the legend you read, they are pursued and killed by either the angry father or the scorned suitor (or both), or are drowned at sea. Upon their death, the lovers are reborn as doves. The elements of this romantic tale have been depicted in vivid blue detail on millions of plates, pitchers and platters for more than 200 years. But the legend of the Blue Willow pattern is actually an English invention — part of the fanciful western interpretation of the Far East that’s the hallmark of chinoiserie.

When I splurged on eight Blue Willow dinner plates at the Christie Antiques Show a while back, I knew I wanted to display them in a slightly unusual way. Noticing that one plate had a fairly severe stress fracture, I placed it in a cloth tote, and gently tapped on the back with a rubber mallet until it cracked. The result? A clean break into three pieces. I painted a dollar-store plate the same colour as the wall and mounted the broken Blue Willow on the back using strong adhesive. Hanging it with the other plates boosted the display from trad to rad. (From the July 2009 issue of Style at Home.) Photography by Paul Chmielowiec.

willowbw old & now: the blue willow story


Throughout the 18th century, Europe imported blue-and-white Chinese porcelain at great cost. But by the 1760s, the transfer method of decoration (instead of hand-painting) and the ability to print patterns under a layer of glaze (instead of on top) meant that European potters could produce mass quantities at a reasonable price. Blue was frequently used for decoration because cobalt, from which blue was derived, was the only substance that could withstand the heat of glazing. The Spode factory, in the heart of the English Staffordshire pottery district, is credited with launching the first Blue Willow pattern in 1790. Soon, virtually every pottery house in Staffordshire released its own version.


What we recognize as Blue Willow is a variation of Spode’s Blue Willow III, from 1810. Bordered by a scroll and geometric design, the blue-on-white depiction of the legend varies among manufacturers but always includes the eponymous willow tree, a boat, pavilion, tea house, fence, bridge and two birds.


The earliest pieces of Willow available to collectors are from the late 19th century. Most sought after are obscure items, like compotes, wash sets and candlesticks. Also prized are multicolour versions, which emerged after developments in manufacturing opened the doors to pink, red, green, brown and black interpretations. Regardless of form, collectors look for the clarity of the transfer, the condition of the body and, of course, the manufacturer’s mark, which helps establish period and ultimate value.

Although acclaimed designers William Diamond and Anthony Baratta have hung these Willow plates and platters in a traditional manner in keeping with the period furnishings, the pairing of the blue with an analogous green keeps the space punchy and relevant. Love that rug!

db1 old & now: the blue willow story

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kobo e-reader gelaskins

I had the fun opportunity to try out the newest e-reader to hit the market: the Kobo {and also read ‘A Tale of Two Cities’ for the bajillionth time}. I loved the lightweight feel of it and the sleek, minimalist appearance. My colleague and Favourite Things blogger Natalie Bahadur owns one and loves it {be sure to check out her Kobo review}.

Whenever a new gadget comes along, you can be sure that fun accessories are to follow. Gelaskins has been providing the handheld market with artistic skins for some time now, so it’s no surprise that they introduced skins for the Kobo. My faves are below: the vintage Union Jack screams Vivienne Westwood chic, the Van Gogh almond branches is a great cover for an artsy friend, and the black-and-white spray paint graphic is perfect for the urban dweller. To browse more skins for your Kobo, visit the Gelaskins website.

100 gelaskins unionjack 500 white kobo e reader gelaskins100 vincentvangogh almondbranchesinbloom 500 white kobo e reader gelaskins100 nanamicowdroy inkpond 500 white kobo e reader gelaskins

inke heiland’s safari silhouettes

I simply adore Dutch designer Inke Heiland’s fun and funky alternative to mass-produced wall decals. Cut from retro-fabulous vintage wallpaper, Inke’s silhouettes of everything from Ostriches to Orangutans present a safari of sophisticated options for dressing up a kid-friendly space. And, with tons of wallpaper patterns and colourways to choose from, you’ll always find something that’ll work within your existing decor.

room inke heilands safari silhouettes

Look out! There’s something behind you…

lion inke heilands safari silhouettes

Check out those deliciously vintage prints! (The Birds are my absolute fave, and are among the most inexpensive in the collection, running about $32 for a set of two 19cm x 27cm silhouettes.)

birds inke heilands safari silhouettes

Inke’s collection of wallpaper wildlife continues to grow, with the recent addition of a new Baby Elephant silhouette.

babyelephants inke heilands safari silhouettesTo give you a sense of scale, these petite pachyderms run at 94cm x 88cm each. So sweet for a nursery!

Inke Heiland wallpaper silhouettes, InBloomKids, Vancouver, 778-999-1437.

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the fabulous iPhone 4

overview camera 20100607 the fabulous iPhone 4In the words of dear Stevie Wonder: isn’t she lovely; isn’t she wonderful?

The new iPhone 4 is like a dream come true and I could not be happier that I’m approaching the 2-year mark on my phone plan so I can upgrade from my iPhone 3G. Apart from its sleek new look (it’s 24% thinner than the current iPhone 3GS), the 100+ new features are so brilliant it makes me want to cry.

Here are a few of the fab new innovations that Apple has added to the newest generation of the iPhone:

  • FaceTime: basically, it’s iPhone to iPhone video calling — we’re talking Jestons-type stuff, here.
  • Retina Display: a screen definition so sharp that those who have tested it so far are in awe of its crispness
  • Multitasking: the ability to quickly flip through third party apps, allowing you to handle your Facebook, Twitter and FourSquare updates all at once
  • HD video recording and editing: fab video recording, plus it features an LED light so you can take great videos even in low-light settings
  • Second microphone: for sound cancellation so you don’t sound like you’re in a hurricane every time you’re walking down Front St. in the winter
  • 40% more talk time on the new battery

The new iPhone 4 will be available in the US and 4 other countries on June 24th, but won’t be available in Canada until September (boo). That gives us enough time to save up, because you know this bad boy will cost a pretty penny.

beautiful ways to display your books

books blog beautiful ways to display your books
I recently wrote a blog post raving about my Kobo, the new e-reader from Indigo Books & Music. I still love it and take it everywhere with me! It’s a wonderful gadget to have on hand when I’m traveling, commuting or even just waiting at the dentist’s office. But I still love real books. I still love spending a lazy Saturday afternoon strolling through a bookstore and flipping through the pages of beautiful books. And I still love putting the books I do own on display in my home. Check out our 10 suggestions for beautifully displaying your books and using them as decorative items, rather than leaving them in piles around the house!

iPad lap desk

download 535x416 iPad lap desk
Although I’m an Apple fanatic, I’ve yet to be an early adopter of the iPad — I feel like I still need some convincing that it’s not just a bigger iPod Touch. Essentially, it has all the same functions, but it’s a little more awkward to hold and use at the same time. Every now and then, however, I come across iPad accessories that work on convincing me that the iPad is a necessity in my life, rather than a frivolous luxury.

This iPad lap desk is one of them! Made from lightweight and sustainable bamboo plywood, the Cradle lap desk includes a swiveling mat on top that allows you to easily change from portrait to landscape view. A foam cushion underneath the desk makes it comfortable on your legs, whether you’re hanging out on the couch or lounging in bed.

Available in pre-sale for $52.50 US  from

win a body shop gift basket

body shop contest win a body shop gift basket
What better way to end off the week than with a great giveaway? I love Body Shop products not just because they smell good enough to eat, but because they look great on display on the bathroom countertop, too. Clustered together, they make great decorative displays. So today, I’m offering you the chance to win a gift basket featuring six amazing summer products from the Body Shop’s Cooling Peppermint Foot range and the Coconut Bath & Body range. Get your skin and feet summer-ready!

Giveaway: Two gift baskets, each one including Cooling Peppermint Foot Spray, Cooling Peppermint Foot Lotion, Peppermint Purifying Foot Mask, Coconut Body Butter, Coconut Body Scrub and Coconut Shimmer Body Lotion. (Approximate retail value: $110 each)

Leave a comment below and share your best bathroom organizing tip. I`ll choose the two winning responses.

Contest closes June 28, 2010 at 12pm EST. Open to all residents of Canada, except those in Quebec. Not open to any Transcontinental Media employees, their families, or any other persons with whom they reside.

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