Quartier Petit Champlain
Here's why you should put on your parka and visit Old Quebec this winter.
Style at Home managing editor Catherine Therrien braves the cold to get a taste of this UNESCO World Heritage Site in its element during the annual winter carnival.
To fully experience Quebec City’s rich history, you must stay at the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac – even if only for one night. Located in the heart of Old Quebec atop Cape Diamond, the 123-year-old castle-like hotel exudes charm and character in every possible way. When you check in, take a few minutes to admire the stunningly designed lobby, with its ice blue coffered ceiling, numerous vintage chandeliers, intricate woodwork and brass detailing.
Once you’ve unpacked and geared up for the cold weather, head to the north end of the boardwalk just outside the hotel to enjoy a breathtaking panoramic view of the St. Lawrence River. Then take the Breakneck (Casse-Cou) Stairs or hop on the funicular to descend to the Quartier Petit Champlain in the lower town (Basse-Ville).
The pedestrian-only cobblestone main street is jam-packed with souvenir shops, one-of-a-kind boutiques – Amimoc sells the most beautiful handmade moccasins – and quaint restaurants. Stop for lunch at Le Lapin Saute, a delightful little eatery with a creative menu. Step out of your comfort zone and try their rabbit lasagna. Head to La Fudgerie to top off your meal. The boutique has 80 flavours of fudge, such as creme brulee and salted caramel, making it a challenge to pick just one. Don’t miss a cool trompe l’oeil mural during your stroll through the area.
If you happen to be in town between January 29 and February 14, enjoy a host of activities at the Quebec Winter Carnival, from snow tubing to night parades. Spend the afternoon at the Plains of Abraham taking in marvellous works of art made from giant blocks of snow for the International Snow Sculpture Competition – a carnival classic. While exploring, look for the sugar shack and indulge in maple taffy on a stick. Return to the hotel for a relaxing night in. Treat yourself to room service and dine at your own private table in the comfort of a plush robe and slippers.
Start your day by devouring perhaps the biggest crepe you’ve ever seen at Casse-Crepe Breton. It offers both savoury and sweet options – I opted for the strawberries with chocolate drizzle.
Walk off your breakfast with a jaunt to Quebec-based fashion retailer Simons. Check out the home collection on the mezzanine level for well-priced stylish wares.
For a spectacular winter scene, take a 20-minute drive east to picturesque Montmorency Falls Park. The 83-metre-high waterfall can be viewed from ground level, a cable car or the suspension bridge. The main attraction, though, is the famous sugarloaf (pain de sucre), a massive loaf-shaped ice cone that forms near the base of the falls.
Head back to town and have a bite to eat at Aux Anciens Canadiens – a tourist favourite for old-fashioned Quebec specialties. The tourtiere and maple syrup pie are must-haves. Then enjoy a few hours of outdoor ice skating (skates are available for rent) at Place d’Youville, a historic square. Finish off the evening at Fairmont’s 1608 bar and savour the best local cheeses and wines from around the world.
Stay warm and toasty while exploring this historic city in the Great White North. Cold weather coat - Shelburne parka in Red, Canada Goose, $775. Haute hat - Word Logo Pom-pom toque in True Black, Gap, $30. Stylish carryall - Saxby messenger bag in Marone, Brave Leather, $335. Cozy socks - Womens Pop Cabin socks in Lodge Red, Roots, $19 per pack of 2. Comfy skates - Cameo by Jackson CS112 Fleece figure skates, Canadian Tire, $70. Hand warmers - HBC Shearling mittens in Camel, Hudson’s Bay, $120.
Take your bathroom from drab to fab with these easy decorating ideas!
Bathroom and kitchen renovations are known to give homeowners the biggest returns on their investment when they sell. But whether you’re doing a big renovation or just looking for ways to update your current bathroom and whether you intend to sell or not, these ideas for beautifying your bathroom will pay big returns in your overall satisfaction with your home. And you don’t have to have a $50,000 budget to do it. These affordable upgrades will add some serious style to your home without breaking the bank!
Renewal Divinity Small Mirror
What a difference something as simple as a mirror can make. The right one can transform the look of your bathroom and give it an updated, more stylish feel in an instant. The frame is made from hammered aluminum combined with beveled glass and can be hung vertically or horizontally, depending on your preference and the shape of the space you’re working in. Renewal Divinity Small Mirror, Wayfair, $380.46.
Flush Mount Bathroom Lighting Fixture
When renovating, it’s important to consider your lighting options for the type of space you have. So before you head to the lighting store, figure out whether it’d be best to go with flush mount, track lighting or sconces. No matter what you choose, illuminate your bathroom with a stunning light fixture that ties your bathroom’s whole look together and adds an appealing amount of sparkle and shine! Boasting a shiny chrome finish and a laser-cut inspired design on the lamp shade, this flush mounted lighting fixture will bring effortless elegance to your bathroom and is a simple way to take the look of the entire space from drab to fab! Flush Mount Bathroom Lighting Fixture, Multi Luminaire, $349.
Aroura Tile White and Gold Wallpaper
If you’ve always loved the look of wallpaper but have shied away from using it in the bathroom, it’s time to reconsider. Wallpaper has come a long way and today, there are lots of options on the market, many of which are suitable for moisture-rich environments. This gorgeous wallpaper has a mosaic pattern that mimics the look of tile and has a washable finish for easy clean-up. Aroura Tile White and Gold Wallpaper, Graham & Brown, $50/roll.
Metro Basket Weave White and Cobalt Porcelain Mosaic Tile
Flip through the pages of your favourite design magazine and you’re sure to see plenty of bathrooms boasting this contrasting basket weave tile to dramatic effect. Get the look for yourself with these tiles – but may we suggest opting for the white and cobalt colour combo as a subtle alternative to black and white? The rich cobalt will add a decidedly chic and unexpected look to your bathroom. Metro Basket Weave White and Cobalt Porcelain Mosaic Tile, Home Depot, $7.98 each.
Gleaming Brass Bath Collection
Upping the style quotient in your bathroom doesn’t get any easier than this! Swap out your existing vanity vessels for these truly chic options. The full set includes a soap dispenser, tumbler and tray, all in a beautiful brass finish. Gleaming Brass Bath Collection, Anthropologie, $22-$36.
Dot Medallion Shower Curtain
Looking for a quick and easy bathroom update that won’t break the bank? How about a new shower curtain? This 100% cotton curtain is made in India and features a modern medallion motif in a soothing colour palette of watercolour inspired shades of blue and grey. With this one simple addition to your bathroom, you’ll add an air of tranquility that will turn your bathroom into the oasis you always dreamed of. Dot Medallion Shower Curtain, West Elm, $29.99.
DIY project: Stylish storage cabinet
Easy tips for findingi the perfect rug for your home
Style at Home design editor Stacy Begg explains how to track down the perfect rug.
Finding the right rug can be overwhelming. To help, Style at Home design editor Stacy Begg provides some key information for narrowing down your search and scoring the perfect one.
Rug benefits 1 Defines a space 2 Enhances your decor by introducing colour, pattern and texture that coordinate with the rest of the furnishings 3 Softens hard surfaces and provides warmth underfoot Best for high-traffic areas: Wool, cotton, grasses, synthetics Best for low-traffice areas: Silk, chenille Tip: A flat-woven natural-fibre rug is the perfect base to layer a slightly smaller patterned or textured rug on top.
Consider your space's use and traffic level to determine the optimal rug material. Here are some options. Wool Pros: Durable; soft; repels water and stains Cons: Fades; absorbs humidity; sheds for a period of time Best for: Living rooms, dining rooms Silk Pros: Luxurious surface; offers subtle sheen Cons: Expensive; sensitive to moisture; less sturdy than wool Best for: Bedrooms Cotton Pros: Strong; easy to clean; affordable; versatile Cons: Doesn’t wear well over long periods Best for: Kitchens, kids’ rooms, casual spaces Grasses Pros: Very strong; affordable; neutral Cons: Can be coarse to the touch; difficult to clean Best for: Living rooms, hallways, sunrooms Animal skins Pros: Long lasting; soft; available in many designs Cons: Not good for damp or humid areas Best for: Living rooms, offices, dens How is cost determined? "Simply put, labour (time) + materials + experience (who made it) determines quality and, ultimately, the price of a rug." -Jamie Metrick, rug buyer, Elte
Some designers like to have all the furniture sitting within the outer perimeter of the rug, while others place only the front legs on the rug – it’s really a matter of preference.
The table and chairs should all rest on the rug, with about 24 inches extending beyond the table so there’s plenty of space to accommodate chairs when they’re pushed back.
It’s most common to have the rug cover the bottom two-thirds of the bed; you want to ensure you’re stepping onto the rug when you’re getting up in the morning.
IKEA’s neutral jute rug goes with just about any setting, making it a go-to for designers and decor enthusiasts alike. Its renewable natural material, beautiful knotty texture and earthy warm tones make it a durable, low-maintenance option that also feels great underfoot. But the best part about this rug is that it’s extremely affordable. Tip: If a standard-sized rug isn't working for the dimensions of your space, have one custom made.
1 Dream collection bamboo silk DRm7B rug in light Grey & Dark Grey, Imperial Carpet & Home, from $2,399. 2 Antique Finish collection silk amal-6 rug, 9' x 12', Elte, $12,695. 3 Wool anadol Vintage rug, 4' x 9', eCarpetGallery, $320. 4 Jute ticking rug in Indigo, Dash & Albert Rug Company, from $105 US. 5 Viscose and chenille calvin rug, 5' x 7', Urban Barn, $329. 6 Wool and cotton Reverb rug in Blue-green, CB2, from $349. 7 Wool anja rug, Pottery Barn, from $249 US.