Design & Decor Blog

contest: win a flip mino hd!

untitled 1 contest: win a flip mino hd! If there are two gadgets that I can’t leave the house without, it’s my iPhone and my Flip Mino. My phone keeps me in contact with all my friends, and my Flip captures spontaneous occurrences on my travels — you never know when you’re going to spot a fabulous free concert in the park or catch everyone singing ‘Take Me Out to the Ballgame’ at the Skydome.

Flip has recently come out with a new Mino HD II video recorder, this time with a wider viewing screen and 2 hours of recording time, which is fab. The new version has all of the same great features as its predecessor — super-clear picture, easy-to-upload technology and a customizable design, just to name a few {plus the price is sweet at $240}.

I love it, my friends love it, and now you can love it, too! To celebrate the new Flip Mino HD II, I’m giving one away to one of my fabulous readers. To enter, just leave a comment below letting me know what you would record this summer, whether it be a music festival or tubing at the cottage. I’ll pick the best answer as the winner — good luck!

*Contest closes July 29, 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.*

six fab black and white finds for your home

Black and white are a truly timeless combination that never go out of style. I love the crisp contrast of the two, somehow managing to always look effortlessly elegant. And since black and white will easily match colourful accessories you may already have in your home, it’s easy to incorporate this look into your existing decor. Here are six fab finds. What are your favourite colour combos? Leave a comment and tell me!

polka dot pillow six fab black and white finds for your home
Ziggy Black and White 16″ Pillow

fabric by the yard six fab black and white finds for your home
Fabric by the Yard – Dot Palampore Print

black and white rug six fab black and white finds for your home
Terra Luna Woven Area Rug

down the lane pillow six fab black and white finds for your home
Down the Lane 20×20 Pillow, Black

graham and brown wallpaper six fab black and white finds for your home
Graham and Brown 17153 Elizabeth Wallpaper

bedding six fab black and white finds for your home
“Dylan” Bed Linens
Starting at $35.90

guest blog: ashley agueci’s 5 fave decorating apps

ashley guest blog: ashley aguecis 5 fave decorating apps

Toronto's newbie techie Ashley Agueci

Editor’s note: A PR rep and lover of all things aesthetically pleasing, Ashley is always looking for ways to make her space and life more beautiful. She escapes into food and design magazines and relishes in a good meal, great wine and even better company. A newbie techie, Ashley has gathered 5 of her fave apps to help you with decorating projects in your home.

decorating apps guest blog: ashley aguecis 5 fave decorating apps
Say goodbye to the days of fabric swatches, paint samples and measuring tape. The iPhone is your own personal handyman that helps with all your decorating needs. Leave the tool kit at home and check out these handy apps that make home decorating a breeze.

1 Mark on Call, $2.99
The Mark On Call app is the DIY designer’s dream — it helps you visualize your space so you and your partner can see your dream home come true, one room at a time. It`s simple to upload a unique palette of finishes or fabrics  – just use the camera on your iPhone to take a picture of the flooring or fabric you wish to use and apply them to any surface in the room you`ve created.

2 Handyman Sidekick
, $1.99
This app has it all — especially for those that shied away from math in high school. It`s a multipurpose calculator, helping you determine how much paint you need for a room or how much wood you need to complete those new floors. If you`re anything like me, you`ll thank your lucky stars you aren`t stuck with a boatload of extra paint when your own calculations go awry.

3 iHandy Carpenter, $1.99
The iHandy Carpenter lets everyone be their own Mrs. Fix-It. The app is equipped with a level that makes picture hanging a breeze and also includes a caliper, ruler, and plumb bob (you`ll learn the lingo) that takes contracting to a whole new level. Lighten up your tool kit and try this one on for size.

4 Ben Color Capture, free
This app by Benjamin Moore matches paint swatches with any item that serves as colour inspiration. Simply take a photo with your phone and you`ll receive paint recommendations within seconds, as well as where the colour can be purchased at a store near you (want your walls Tiffany blue? Take a pic of the iconic blue box to get a paint shade match) .

5 Color Change, $2.99
Never regret your colour choice again! This app lets you manipulate any image to visualize what a room would look like in a different colour. Don`t let bright walls keep you up at night anymore — use this app to get it right the first time.

win an iphone case from speck!

contest speck win an iphone case from speck!
Some girls dress up dolls — I dress up my iPhone. I don’t even know how many cases I’ve coveted for my dear phone {she’s currently clothed in a pretty Kate Spade cover}, but it seems like there are never enough.

I’ve shown one of these fabric hard shell cases from Speck before, but a few new designs have recently come out and I’m aching to get all of them. Who can choose between plaid, argyle and houndstooth? Not this girl!

My friends at Speck completely understand the obsession with gadget accessorizing, so they’re letting me give away 3 cases! Leave a comment below telling me which two designs you would love to have for your iPhone or iPod Touch, and you could win 1 of 3 of these fabulous cases.

Good luck!

*Contest closes July 21, 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.*

sonos speakers

sonoss5 1 sonos speakers
As much as I love my tech, I seriously hate setting it all up. So, you can imagine how excited I was to set up a new speaker that I got the chance to test out *eye roll*.  It was the Sonos Wireless Multi-Room Music System, which already just sounds complicated. What happened next changed my tune {pun intended}. I kid you not, it took me all of 5 minutes to hook up the Sonos and wirelessly play music from my iTunes playlist. Basically, I’m in love.

The Sonos is a fabulous music system that can play music out of one speaker, or multiple Sonos speakers throughout your house. Here’s how it works:

  • plug in the speaker wherever you want, and plug in the Zone Bridge to your router (one cable each!)
  • take 2 minutes on your home computer to install the software
  • download the free app from iTunes on your iPhone or iPod Touch
  • press play and let the music rip!

The speaker itself is super sleek and only has a button to move volume up or down {not that you need it, because you can control the volume from your iPhone}. You also have the option of playing the music from your iTunes library, from over 100,000 internet radio stations, or from Napster’s library of over 8 million songs {the Napster subscription is $10 a month}. And if you don’t have an iPhone or iPod Touch, you can purchase a Sonos remote to control your tunes.

The speaker goes for $479, which is pretty awesome considering the hassle-free set-up makes it worth its weight in gold. It’s available at a ton of stores across Canada, so just check out for retail locations and more info on the sound system.

flensted’s marvellous mobiles

horses11 flensteds marvellous mobiles

Prowling through Copenhagen’s legendary Illums Bolighus last summer, I fell deeply in love with this mobile from Flensted. Not only did the gorgeous grown-up silhouette offer a slice of Danish design on a dime (I snagged it for a mere $25 CAD), but it made the perfect souvenir, as mobiles are a traditional Danish craft. It was Christian Flensted, back in 1954, who conceived the mobile as a moving work of art for the home (and not just something to hang above the crib), and his legacy of perfectly balanced and sophisticated hanging sculptures is now carried on by his wife and son.

Flensted launched his collection over 55 years ago with “Lucky Storks” - a design that’s just as popular today. Now that’s staying power!

storks1 flensteds marvellous mobiles

This design, “Flowing Rhythm”, featured prominently in the bedroom of Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor in the film “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf?”. Very midcentury modern!

rhythm1 flensteds marvellous mobiles

I love “Andersen’s Ballet” - a nod to famed Dane Hans Christian Andersen.

f nutcracker flensteds marvellous mobiles

But it’s the swirling, twirling animal mobiles that first got me hooked…

“Feline Mobile”

f buddy flensteds marvellous mobiles

“Seahorse Mobile”

f seahorses flensteds marvellous mobiles


f swallows flensteds marvellous mobiles


f swans flensteds marvellous mobiles

And no, you don’t have to catch the next flight to Copenhagen to get your hands on these graceful works of art – they’re now available at retailers across Canada from about $27 each. Call Euro Design Canada at 866-932-0261 for your closest dealer.

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reflect on these: new mirrored furnishings

Whenever I think interest in mirrored furnishings is on the wane, a gorgeous new collection fires things up again.

Check out the new Andrea line from the always-gorgeous Bungalow 5: Hollywood Regency, but a bit chunkier and more substantial than what you might expect. The desk is positively dreamy, albeit utterly impractical for my home office, as one of my hands would constantly be gripping the bottle of Windex. If they ever resurrect Dynasty, I can see Joan Collins seated behind this baby, brokering billion-dollar mergers and checking her makeup at the same time. Over the top elegance!

picture 3 reflect on these: new mirrored furnishings I think I could handle the side table though. They’d be very so pretty flanking the bed as nightstands…

picture 6 reflect on these: new mirrored furnishings

And then there’s the ever-innovative Jonathan Adler, whose new series of brass side tables go for the gold… Not really mirrored, per se, but polished to such a brilliant shine that the magpie in me just had to include them here. I’m blown away by those striking silhouettes! (The hourglass is my fave…)

picture 10 reflect on these: new mirrored furnishings

picture 9 reflect on these: new mirrored furnishings

picture 81 reflect on these: new mirrored furnishings

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the moggit girls dish: on trends they hate!

Guest post by The Moggit Girls
Visit: Moggit: The guilty pleasure of the decorating world

First, we dished on the design trends we love. And then there are these…

mural the moggit girls dish: on trends they hate!
1 No more murals!
We’re just gonna say it. Murals = Bad seventies flashback. Can’t we just all just agree to be done with them now? Via: Design Milk

decoupage the moggit girls dish: on trends they hate!
2 We’re done with decoupage
Listen, mod-podging the hell out of a piece of furniture is way too time-consuming and labour-intensive, especially when you know it’s going to end up in next year’s yard sale. C’mon, you know it’s true! Via: Apartment Therapy

monochromatic the moggit girls dish: on trends they hate!
3 Mundane monchromatic
Too much of a good thing is… not necessarily a good thing. Yawn. Via: Fresh Home

nautical rope the moggit girls dish: on trends they hate!
4 Nautical rope
This is one of those five-minute trends we warned you about. We think it’s just way too literal and thematic not to get on your nerves really fast. If you see this anywhere, do yourself a favour and hoist anchor, matey!

geometric pattern the moggit girls dish: on trends they hate!
5 Too much is too much– Of a geometric print, that is!
This is a trend that we’re actually sitting on the fence about. Don’t get us wrong, we do love us a great graphic geometric print (as evidenced here!) and not just on rugs. And we’re not saying you shouldn’t love them either. But what we are saying is that you shouldn’t love them too much. Because too much ‘graphic’ going on in one space … well, you get the point. Just be judicious in your graphic print judgment. That’s all we ask. Thankyouverymuch.

the moggit girls dish: on trends they love!

Guest post by The Moggit Girls
Visit: Moggit: The guilty pleasure of the decorating world

Some trends we love … Others? Not so much!

Decorating. Trends. Two words that when put together can strike fear into the very heart of the average homeowner or renter. Not to mention confusion. Why? Because just when you think you’ve got the look of your space all pulled together– wham!– you get slammed with a new ‘must have’ trend. And they can be so … daunting. So much so that they often leave us shelter mag junkies scratching our heads and thinking, ‘Now I have to go and buy what?!”

These ‘trend’ things — they also come and go, sometimes seemingly faster than some people change their underwear. So how do you know which ones to invest your time and hard-earned cash in? Or which ones will be so-five-minutes-ago in about, say, five minutes?

For us, these decisions are based on personal taste. Basically, we say if you love a trend, have at it. But beware: Some trends you really only want to dip into as sparingly as you would a jar of La Mer face cream. Others just have a timeless look about them — they’re the ones that you know will be sticking around for a while and are deserving of your attention.

We’ve checked out some of the latest trends for you (you’re welcome!) and have detailed which ones we think are actually worthy of the name (meaning you can figure on it lasting a year or so), and also which ones we think are, to quote the Eagles, ‘Already Gone…’

Trends we love:

white and bright the moggit girls dish: on trends they love!
1 White and bright

We gotta say — We. Still. Love. White. And we probably always will. It’s one of those trends that is never really not a trend, it is just that perennially dependable. You can always count on white to be classic, fresh, crisp and clean. What’s trendy now is how white is being paired with bright pops of colour. There can be no denying that colour is back, so pairing your existing whites with a set of spicy orange cushions on your sofa, or gracing your kitchen table with a bowl of sunny yellow lemons or sharply verdant Granny Smiths brings your space stylishly up-to-date — without breaking the bank. Image source: Style At Home

grasscloth the moggit girls dish: on trends they love!

2 The grasscloth is always greener …

Or orange-er. Or yellow-er. Or patterned with great, punchy graphics or whimsical florals. Grasscloth is suddenly everywhere — the mark of a true trend. But new variations in colour, texture and pattern, as well as the prevalence of great fakes for this possibly pricey old ‘design standby’ make it modern, fresh and fun. In other words, this ain’t yo’ Momma’s grasscloth! And a nice thing to remember is a little can go a long way toward making your space one that is trendily on-point. Image source:

filigree the moggit girls dish: on trends they love!
3 Filigree-dee-dee!

We do declare — filigree is a trend that is as hot as poor Scarlett’s beloved Tara at the end of Gone With The Wind. That said, this is one trend that we really think you won’t want to over-do. Indulge in small doses. A touch here and there is all a space needs to exude the elegance that filigree is meant to provide. Scarlett might not agree, but we are of the mind that with this trend, less is definitely more. Image source:

geometric rug the moggit girls dish: on trends they love!
4 A great graphic geometric rug

The great thing about a great rug is that it can instantly change the vibe of a space. And if your great rug happens to sport a great geometric graphic, then the vibe of your space suddenly becomes edgy, and up-to-the minute trendy. A fabulous graphic rug (we’ve already used great way too many times) pulls a space together, sets the tone and energizes the room. And for those worried about too much contrast stealing the limelight, a tone-on-tone graphic might just be the ticket to, well, greatness! Via: casa sugar

eco chic the moggit girls dish: on trends they love!
5 Eco-chic

We think this ‘design trend’ is so prevalent and so beneficial that it should be upgraded to ‘design staple’. Being eco-chic is not only eco-friendly, it’s ultra-cool. Plus, there are tons of great new eco-minded products available. It’s a whole new world, people. Literally. So wherever you can make the switch to eco-chic, get eco-on-it! Source: Style At Home

Next up: Trends we could live without!

luxe launch party at 1212 decor

If you are in any way involved in Toronto’s interior design scene, you were very likely at the grand opening of 1212 Decor on Wednesday, June 9.

1212a luxe launch party at 1212 decor

We’re talking HUGE turnout here, including (amongst the 300+ who were packed into the showroom) Arren Williams, designer Erin Feasby (whose work we’re featuring in an upcoming Style at Home issue! Can’t wait!), the CityLine crew, and of course, the guest of honour, the inimitible Larry Laslo.

1212b luxe launch party at 1212 decor The world-renowned interior and product designer was on-hand to share his latest pieces gracing the 1212 showroom, while sharing some details on his latest fabric collection for Robert Allen. I was a little disappointed that Larry only took the mike for a few precious seconds, as he’s the consummate showman who has THE best stories to tell. I had the pleasure of interviewing him two years ago when his Robert Allen collection first launched, and he’s an absolute scream (“I love everything. It’s unfortunate. And expensive.”) had me laughing the whole time. A great choice of guest for 1212 to bring in!

Also on-hand was fashion designer Lucian Matis, whose latest collection worked the showroom floor throughout the evening.

1212c luxe launch party at 1212 decor

But the real reason for all the excitement was the chance to check out the truly extraordinary collection of home furnishings, art and accessories. Alex Donovan of 1212 has assembled a carefully curated collection that’s truly inspiring. Trad and rad, all rolled into one inspirational space…

1212d luxe launch party at 1212 decor 1212 had me won over long before this big bash, though, as the dealer of Kindel Furniture’s staggeringly beautiful Dorothy Draper Collection. Insanely expensive, but oh-so-elegant…

American Baroque Mirror, Dorothy Draper

picture 14 luxe launch party at 1212 decor

Console and Curio, Dorothy Draper

picture 51 luxe launch party at 1212 decor

Café Side Chair, Dorothy Draper

picture 61 luxe launch party at 1212 decor

Take a peek at 1212 yourself! The store is located at 1212 Yonge St. (appropriately), just south of Summerhill Ave., in Toronto. Hours are Monday to Saturday from 10AM to 6PM, and Sunday from 12noon to 5PM. Happy shopping!

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