Botanically inspired sunroom.
We designed a botanically inspired sunroom on budgets befitting a seedling and a mature plant. Can you tell the difference?
1 Frayed cotton canvas botanical No.81 and No.33 PRINTS (mounted on wooden dowels), Pottery Barn, $119 US each. 2 Hand-blown glass TERRARIUM, Crown Flora Studio, $55. 3 Steel Dark Leaf CONSOLE with reclaimed barnwood top, Urban Barn, $649. 4 Bar-height powder-coated iron Burke STOOLS with adjustable swivel elm seats in Grey, Structube, $159 each. 5 Woven BASKETS, HomeSense, $25 each. 6 Sugar Hill laminate FLOORING in Smoke Plank, Torlys, $3.70 per sq. ft. 7 Viscose blend Bohemian RUG, 5' x 8', Urban Barn, $329. 8 Gus Modern ash Truss ARMCHAIR with polyester Leaside cushions in Driftwood, Style-garage, $950. 9 Cotton TOSS CUSHION COVER, 20" x 20", H&M Home, $15; duck feather INSERT, H&M Home, $13.
1 Botanical linen canvas Cherry and Sunflower PRINTS (mounted on wooden dowels), The Evolution Store, $219 US each. 2 Handmade faceted soldered glass TERRARIUM, Crown Flora Studio, $165. 3 Custom handmade polished steel CONSOLE with reclaimed wood top, Junction Wood + Metal Co., $1,200. 4 Turner bar-height black-finished metal STOOLS with adjustable swivel seats, Crate and Barrel, $299. 5 Beachcomber extra-large round hand-woven seagrass BASKETS, Pottery Barn, $129 US each. 6 Artisan Elite maple engineered hardwood FLOORING in Bracken Hill, Torlys, $7.90 per sq. ft. 7 Hand-knotted wool and bamboo silk Bal Harbour RUG in Antique White & Ocean, 6' x 8', Weavers Art, $3,950. 8 Huppe beech Citta ARMCHAIR with leather cushions in Boston White, Shelter, $1,999. 9 Polyester Swaying Palms TOSS CUSHION with down alternative insert, 20" x 20", Tonic Living, $54.
Be inspired by spring in the sunroom. With the perfect chair the room will be nothing short of the ideal spot to grab a book, make a lemonade and check out your budding love for nature. LOW: Gus Modern ash Truss ARMCHAIR with polyester Leaside cushions in Driftwood, Style-garage, $950. HIGH: Huppe beech Citta ARMCHAIR with leather cushions in Boston White, Shelter, $1,999.
Some like to decorate with piles of books, others with an array of candles. But if you ask us, nothing beats the impact of plants, and this less-is-more tableau is a case in point. The key to this look is the negative space, created by loosely arranged unobtrusive glass vessels. The plantings are few but carefully chosen, varying in height, colour and texture. And don’t forget an element of surprise – did you notice the animal figurines in the terrariums? LOW: Hand-blown glass TERRARIUM, Crown Flora Studio, $55. HIGH: Handmade faceted soldered glass TERRARIUM, Crown Flora Studio, $165.
A long day doesn’t seem so daunting when you come home to stylish decor. That’s why we love these slender minimalistic consoles. Whether your place is ultra-modern or a bit rustic (and whatever your budget), there’s a choice for you. LOW: Steel Dark Leaf CONSOLE with reclaimed barnwood top, Urban Barn, $649. HIGH: Custom handmade polished steel CONSOLE with reclaimed wood top, Junction Wood + Metal Co., $1,200.
Introduced in the early 19th century, oversized botanical charts were a staple in classrooms throughout Europe, used to educate youth about the anatomy of various flora (such as the sunflower) and fauna. As close to the real deal as you can get, our High prints are exact copies of German charts from the 1950s and ’60s. In fact, they’re produced by the original internationally recognized manufacturer using the same film and methods. LOW: Frayed cotton canvas botanical No.81 and No.33 PRINTS (mounted on wooden dowels), Pottery Barn, $119 US each. HIGH: Botanical linen canvas Cherry and Sunflower PRINTS (mounted on wooden dowels), The Evolution Store, $219 US each.
Host a "welcome spring" party with a new smoothie recipe or take a seat while you care for your plants. Whatever the occassion, keep around some stylish seating to blend into the natural ambience of the space. LOW: Bar-height powder-coated iron Burke STOOLS with adjustable swivel elm seats in Grey, Structube, $159 each. HIGH: Turner bar-height black-finished metal STOOLS with adjustable swivel seats, Crate and Barrel, $299.
Greenery has a way of livening up any room, and when that verdant touch doesn’t require any maintenance and remains bright year-round, it’s a clear winner. From banana to palm leaves, the motifs of these printed toss cushions have a moving quality that calls to mind a tropical beach – a sunny ambience every Canadian household can use. LOW: Cotton TOSS CUSHION COVER, 20" x 20", H&M Home, $15; duck feather INSERT, H&M Home, $13. HIGH: Polyester Swaying Palms TOSS CUSHION with down alternative insert, 20" x 20", Tonic Living, $54.
In a room like this the only burst of colour should be coming from the plants. Keep your flooring and rugs low-key with a simple pattern that blends the flooring together to create a faux grass or dirt area. LOW: Sugar Hill laminate FLOORING in Smoke Plank, Torlys, $3.70 per sq. ft.; Viscose blend Bohemian RUG, 5' x 8', Urban Barn, $329. HIGH: Artisan Elite maple engineered hardwood FLOORING in Bracken Hill, Torlys, $7.90 per sq. ft.; Hand-knotted wool and bamboo silk Bal Harbour RUG in Antique White & Ocean, 6' x 8', Weavers Art, $3,950.
Nothing makes a space like this just a bit more unique like putting your own taste into the planters. Decorate your own pots or go for something more special, like these teacups for smaller plants. It doesn't really matter what you plant them in, just make sure it reflects you and the room you want to create. HIGH AND LOW: Teacup (used as pot), Crown Flora Studio, prices vary.
Tour this lovely cottage on Lake Simcoe!
A designer lends her expertise to help a couple resolve a colourful debate over the scheme for their family cottage.
"He wanted dark tones and a woodsy Aspen vibe. I wanted everything white with clean lines." The “he” referred to is the husband, the “I” speaking is the wife, and in terms of their decor preferences for this new-build 4,900-square-foot cottage overlooking Lake Simcoe in Innisfil, Ont., they were clearly at odds. But the Toronto-based couple, who has a seven-year-old daughter, a five-year-old son and a Samoyed puppy, did agree on one thing: The design had to be practical. And after many reassurances on the wife’s part that her vision could be inviting and relaxing, she says, “My husband eventually gave me free rein. I wanted a gorgeous unfussy space that was easy to maintain.”
To get the look, she turned to Lidia van Zyl, a designer based in Barrie, Ont., who’s well known for decorating waterfront properties in the area. “When I was hired in 2014, the cottage was in its planning stage,” says Lidia. “This allowed us to pore over the plans and confirm almost every detail before the walls went up.” The walls themselves played a crucial role in setting the tone for the space. “Honouring the husband’s preference for a traditional look, I incorporated shiplap into the mix,” says Lidia. The wooden boards, which were most often used in the construction of homes, were applied horizontally in the kitchen, powder room, foyer and master bedroom. “Shiplap, even when painted white, provides a rustic contrast to drywall and has an informal feel that really adds to the casual cottage vibe,” says the designer.
While the scheme may be all white, it’s anything but stark. “The key to decorating with white is to use different shades of it,” says Lidia. “If you look closely, you’ll see the walls are a crisp white, while the beams are coated with a warmer shade.” Wide-plank pale hickory flooring completes the airy backdrop, which Lidia chose to punctuate with bold hits of black. “I love contrast, so I added black accessories to almost every room,” she says. Lidia extended this theme to the furniture as well and, with the kids and puppy in mind, paid specific attention to practicality. “The grey sofas in the living room are covered with indoor-outdoor fabric, so they’re stain resistant and easy to clean,” she says. “And some of the pieces, such as the living room coffee table and foyer console, are crafted from steel, so they’re pretty much damage-proof.” She also introduced a few well-placed antiques throughout the cottage to create interesting tension between old and new.
The 18-month process of building and decorating netted a year-round family retreat that Lidia describes as “refined but rustic.” And even though the wife had total control, she did make an effort to include her husband – sort of. She says: “He really wanted dark floors, but even he conceded the light ones looked better. So I let him think he helped with that decision in a roundabout way. Now we’re all happy!”
Accessories like the rope-hung mirrors and the lantern-style pendant lights make this practical space feel decorated. “I don’t like to take risks when decorating,” says one of the homeowners, “but I did want to mix things up in the kitchen so it didn’t read as plain.”
Designer Lidia van Zyl played the natural tones of wood and stone against sleek black accents to create character in the living room. The tall armoire holds things like games, books and blankets, while the bare floor, a practical option, is easy to clean. A trio of metal sculptures above the reclaimed wood mantel is a departure from the expected mirror or artwork.
In the foyer, the staircase’s natural wood handrail and treads were a purposeful choice. “If we had painted them black, it would have drawn the eye up the stairs as opposed to straight through the cottage to the lake,” says Lidia.
A mix of neutral tones creates subtle depth in the dining area. “The table and chairs appear white at first glance, but they’re actually a soft shade of grey,” says Lidia. the chandelier, painted white to downplay its ornate shape, illuminates everything from meals to crafts.
“This cottage always makes me smile,” says one of the homeowners. “It’s an amazing feeling to open the front door to beautiful surroundings.” the stone skirting – a concession to the aspen look the husband wanted – ties in nicely with the herringbone brick walkway.
The artful arrangement of dark-hued antiques in an all-white area of the living room makes a graphic statement. the antlers are a family heirloom.
“I love a white kitchen because I don’t like distractions when I’m cooking,” says one of the homeowners, “and I can also see what needs to be cleaned.” low-maintenance Caesarstone countertops and a glossy tiled backsplash on the range wall make cleanup even easier. the massive island is outfitted with cupboards that hold cottage necessities, such as candles, batteries and a tool kit.
While the silhouette of the chandelier in the master bedroom is traditional, its wooden beads give it an earthy appeal that suits a cottage. the wicker basket, sisal rug and rustic artwork (it’s made of wood and says “I Love Us”) echo that earthiness, which is tempered by the black furniture.
Hooks and baskets are enough to keep the mud room in order since the basement has ample storage. The built-in bench always comes in handy.
Like the rest of the cottage, the powder room is energized with hits of black. “I love the graphic mosaic-look floor here,” says Lidia. “It’s actually 24-by-24-inch tiles, and they have just the right amount of pattern for a small space.” Vintage racquets used as informal artwork perfectly fit the laid- back vibe of this family retreat.
DIY pumpkin decorations
Decorate your dining table for fall using mini pumpkins and a few simple tools.
Dressing up your home seasonally for holidays is a great way to better appreciate what each season has to offer, as well as give your space a quick makeover. For Thanksgiving and Halloween, using mini pumpkins is the perfect choice: they are inexpensive, can be found at most markets and are a great way to bring a little bit of nature into your home decor. Whether with paint, ribbons or glitter, these decorations are easy to make and adapt for any room of your home. We've presented them as centrepieces for your dining table, but they also look beautiful atop a mantel or stacked in a large glass vase or bowl on a coffee table.
Keeping it simple
For a simple centrepiece, gather cream and orange mini pumpkins and arrange them in a bowl. Add a pumpkin at the center of each plate, alternating between both colours, for an easy festive tablesetting.
Plates, placemat and glass courtesy of Crate and Barrel.
Paint it black
For spooky yet elegant decor, paint mini pumpkins using black and silver matte paint. Add a first layer of multi-surface paint and wait until thoroughly dry. Add a second layer for a perfect finish.
Mixing it up
For a less monochromatic look, try alternating between black and silver paint. This combination of colours works beautifully for a chic fall table setting. Simply add silver placemats, black napkins and scatter the pumpkins at the centre of the table. When entertaining, give a pumpkin to each of your guests to take home at the end of the evening.
Add a little shimmer
For a whimsical look, try adding a little shimmer to your table. Using a flat brush, paint a layer of all-purpose glue on the pumpkin. Sprinkle with glitter and thoroughly shake off excess. You can leave the stem as it is or paint it a darker shade of green.
For this easy DIY project, you'll need an array of pretty ribbons and double-sided tape. Secure a circle of tape around the centre of each pumpkin. Cut a piece of ribbon and tighly place atop the tape. Press gently to make sure it stays in place. We've used some of our favourite ribbons here, including black velvet, stripes and polka-dots but the centrepiece will also look beautiful using one kind of ribbon only and different sized pumpkins.
How to: Paint outdoor furniture
When undertaking a DIY project, there are usually a few things to consider. Add tempermental weather to the list and suddenly that little list has multiplied. How do you prepare your furniture for painting? What type of paint do you use? How does it differ for different types of material?
Though the process of painting outdoor furniture may seem daunting now, the best way to go about a DIY job is to be prepared. We talked to an expert at Canadian Tire to do just that. Michael Bache, Category Business Manager at Canadian Tire, shares his prepping and painting how tos to help put your DIY nerves at ease.
1 What supplies will you need for prepping and painting?
Depending on the state of the furniture (e.g. new wood, old plastic, painted metal, painted wood) and the type of paint chosen, a variety of items should be considered.
If using brush-on paint, consider using a primer before applying a new fresh coat of colour. When priming your furniture, make sure to use a good quality paintbrush and rags or drop cloths for clean-up. However, if you're using Krylon® Fusion™ no primer is required.
If repainting a metal or wood surface that has loose peeling paint, it must be removed for best adhesion. You can use sandpaper, steel wool, wire brush, scraper, or a stripper. You may require a tack cloth to clean up dust residue when sanding. If sanding a latex paint, a simple damp rag will work just fine.
2 Do these steps differ when prepping different materials, such as metal, plastic, wicker or wood?
Yes. Some products don't require primer, saving you a prep step. Using an aerosol is a benefit, too, as you also save a step in the prep. It generally dries faster and doesn't require clean-up since no paint brushes are involved. Even better, aerosols tend to give a factory style, air brush finish when applied properly, as opposed to a brush-on paint.
Bare wood generally requires a primer to seal the wood prior to painting as the surface is porous. The primer is used to provide a nice, smooth finish. Krylon Dual saves a step on both bare wood and metal since it primes and paints in one easy step. This saves time and allows people to have more time enjoying their furniture and less time prepping it!
3 What type of paint should you use for outdoor furniture?
Always follow the directions on the label for specific product use. This will ensure proper adhesion to your surface.
Plastic patio furniture should only have a paint specifically designed to adhere to plastic and hard-to-bond surfaces. Many general purpose paints can adhere to most surfaces except plastic.
For wicker or rattan, spray paints tend to make a nicer finish and easily gets into the grooves. Muskoka chairs are also easier to paint when using an aerosol as opposed to a paint brush. Now there's even an aerosol wood stain by Krylon. Spray stains make fast work of Muskoka chairs and planters - no brushes to clean up either.
5 What about rust prevention?
Paint designed especially for metal surfaces tends to add rust protection into the paint - make sure the paint says "rust proofing" or "rust inhibiting".
As our climate changes, U.V. rays are also a consideration - they're hard on our skin and our exterior patio furniture! Some paints actually have U.V. protection in their paint. This will help protect your finish to resist harsh weather conditions. We suggest storing patio furniture during the fall and winter months when not in use. If space is a problem, a variety of covers and tarps are available to help protect your investment.
6 What are the best painting methods to use?
Much of this is personal preference. However, some surfaces, like wicker and rattan, have a nicer finish when sprayed versus brushing.
7 What kind of finish, if any, should you use?
Most paint companies offer a variety of finishes to choose from - satin, gloss, textured, metallic, hammered, and more. As long as you use an appropriate paint for your exterior surface and follow the instructions, you should achieve the finish you want. The really nice thing about the variety of paints and finishes available is that people can turn "garage sale finds" into treasures. Mixing and matching old and new creates a different and personalized patio set.
8 How many coats should you use
Follow the instructions on the can, however many paints suggest two coats. When painting remember this rule of thumb: Thinner coats are better than thicker coats. Thinner coats dry faster and produce a harder finish.
9 What should you look for in a brush?
Is it the right paint brush for your paint? Oil-based paints generally have different bristles than latex paints. The brush label will specify this.
Is the paint brush the right size to do your project? If you are painting furniture, smaller brushes may be better. Ensure it fits into your paint container.
A roller can be great for large flat surfaces, like a tabletop. This can help reduce brush marks, too!
10 How does climate affect the painting process?
Weather is a big factor. For the most part, if you're getting a sunburn and sweating, it's probably too hot to paint. This will cause the paint to dry too fast. If it's too windy and you're using an aerosol paint, your paint may dissipate before it reaches the surface. Either wait for the wind to die down or use cardboard to build a spray tunnel. Humidity can affect the paint's dry time, which leaves more time for surface imperfections to take place on your finish. In general, 21ºC and about 50% humidity are ideal conditions for painting.
12 Any last tips?
Remember to protect other surfaces if working outside by using masking tape and drop cloths. Most importantly, regardless of your project, remember to always read product labels thoroughly and follow directions.