Summer party menu templates
Summer party menu templates
Image: Donna Griffith / Styling: Ann Marie Favot
A black and white palette, square-tiled backsplash, shaker-style cabinetry and iconic furnishings blend perfectly in this modern and traditional space.
Armed with a wishlist a mile long, Toronto homeowners Meghan Mann and Mike Shannon took the renovation plunge last year. With the help of designers Vanessa Kwan and Ingrid Oomen of Qummunicate, they transformed their dysfunctional, dowdy kitchen into a stylish dream and fit everything they wanted into its compact 198-square-foot space. The open-concept design now features a work station, an eat-in nook and a peninsula that overlooks the dining area. Its classic-chic look with a contemporary edge not only complements the young couple’s style but also suits the 1910 house’s traditional architecture and its up-and-coming west Toronto neighbourhood’s trendy vibe.
Opening up the 11-by-18-foot kitchen to the rest of the main floor and replacing the back wall with a glass-panelled door and sidelights were the first steps in creating a more airy and light-filled space. The kitchen has a timeless aesthetic, with Shaker-style cabinetry, classic architectural details and a neutral palette, while a few of-the-moment touches, such as the brass hardware and pendant lights, keep it hip. “It’s a brick house with traditional details like beams and mouldings at the front, and we wanted to carry that essence into the kitchen,” says designer Vanessa Kwan.
A banquette serves as part of the casual eat-in area for the couple and their children, Sadie, 6, and Spencer, 2. It features storage in the form of legal-sized filing cabinets, with flush brass pulls that don’t get in the way of dangling feet. Finding a table that fit the space proved challenging, so homeowner Mike Shannon built the base himself and had a piece of glass cut for the top. The Eames chairs are a classic pick, and the chandelier provides sparkle and blends in with all the brass.
The kitchen was designed with family-friendly functionality top of mind: The white quartzite countertops are aesthetically similar to marble but are more durable and require less maintenance; the six-inch-square ceramic tiled backsplash, with its grey grout, is easy to keep clean; and the cork floors are great for kids because they’re soft underfoot and don’t scratch easily. For homeowner Meghan Mann, who works in software sales from home, the desk area (with a lower counter and two pencil drawers) was a must.
The black faucets and window frame above the sink create contrast yet establish continuity with the black-painted door at the back of the room. The dark elements, offering the kitchen a slightly industrial edge, are also a nod to the neighbourhood’s commercial architecture. “The area has a lot of old factory buildings, some converted into lofts or artists’ spaces,” says Meghan. “And they have those steel windows, so we wanted to echo that look in the kitchen.”
Curvy iconic shapes and trendy accents make this kitchen down-right covetable.
Round wood and marble serving board, Indigo, $38.
Michael Thonet beech era stool in Black, Design Within Reach, $365.
Cotton Soiree toss cushion in Natural with feather-down insert, CB2, $63.
Jason Wu for brizo mixed metal solna faucet in Matte Black, Masco Canada, $611.
Brass and glass Luna pendant light with shade in Clear, 12", Schoolhouse Electric, $269 US.
Cowhide Koldby rug in Brown, IKEA, $299.
Is there anything better than sliding into a bed laden with good quality sheets? At the end of the day, I can't wait to stretch out under my fresh, soft covers and nestle my face into a good cotton-covered pillow. We spend a third of our lives in bed so quality sheets are key, but how do you get quality for your money? There's no doubt that most consumers believe the higher the thread count, the better the quality, but this isn't entirely true. With the help and expertise of Joanna Goodman, owner of Au Lit Fine Linens, we expose the truth about thread count and what it takes to find quality bed sheets.
Simply put, thread count is the number of threads woven into one square inch of fabric. This number is based on the threads woven horizontally ("weft") and vertically ("warp"). Extra threads can also be woven into the weft threads to increase the thread count. These added threads are called "picks" and are added in the overall count, which is how some sheets end up having thread counts in the thousands. This is why the idea that high counts equal better quality isn't really accurate. Consider this: Joanna says most weavers will say the maximum number of threads that can be woven into one square inch of fabric is 500 to 600. Though the number is arguable and, according to Joanna, "depends on the mill you deal with," it gives you an idea of where the line is between single-ply, unpicked weaves and ones that add threads here and there to bump up the count.
Joanna lists three things to look for on the label: if it's Egyptian cotton, where it's woven and, lastly, the thread count. While thread count is a bit misunderstood, the buzz around Egyptian cotton is true. "The very best cotton in the world is grown in Egypt. So Egyptian cotton will be of a better quality," Joanna says. She also recommends pima cotton, which is grown in America, "though not quite as exceptional as Egyptian." When it comes to weaving, however, she swears by the Italians as being the "master weavers of the world" due to their "long tradition of weaving" and use of the best Egyptian cotton. Be sure the label says 100% or pure Egyptian cotton though, otherwise it may only contain a small percentage of the good stuff. As for the thread count, look for a minimum of 200. From there, it's all about preference!
Joanna's one key piece of advice is to watch out for extremely low priced, high thread count sheet sets. A complete sheet set with a high thread count for $100 or less is probably not the dream bargain you think it is. As Joanna believes, "you always get what you pay for." The price tag for bed linens will vary depending on the sheet size and what items you're buying, such as a duvet cover, sheet sets, or pillowcases. "A superior quality 200 thread count queen set (including flat, fitted, two pillowcases), made of Egyptian cotton and woven in Europe, could retail reasonably for about $150-$250," says Joanna.
After going through the quality checklist, go with what feels best for you. If you're looking for a durable linen, Joanna recommends any percale from thread count 200 to 800. Percale is any cotton woven with a 200 thread count or higher and will be more durable than a cotton satin of the same thread count. It's also less likely to pill than cotton satin because it has a denser weave. Love the feel of a cotton button down shirt? Joanna advises a crisp, dense 200 thread count percale. Prefer a silkier sheet? Go for a 300 to 600 cotton satin. If you want lighter sheets, Joanna says, a 400 thread count sheet can be soft and light, while an 800 percale would be soft and dense. The higher the thread count, the more likely multiple-ply thread is used or picks are added, making the fabric denser and heavier.
Now you know that quality is not just about the number, so don't let numbers rule your bed! Remember what to look for on the label and be wary of too-low prices for supposedly high quality items. Beyond that, go with what you prefer. Get a good feel of the sheets before buying. Whether you're unzipping the packaging or lying down on a display bed, make sure the fabric feels good against your skin and soon you'll be having sweet dreams!
Find out how to keep your new linens crisp and clean with our tips to whiter-than-white sheets.
Style at Home Makeover
Style at Home Makeover Contest presented by IKEA Canada
In celebration of IKEA's 40th anniversary, Style at Home has partnered with the iconic brand for the ultimate room makeover.
Two lucky readers have been selected to receive a bedroom and living room makeover designed by the Style at Home team using IKEA furniture and accessories.
The results are featured exclusively in our Style at Home March issue.
Now, we want to know which is your favourite! Click HERE to vote and enter for your chance to win a $1,000 gift card to IKEA!
FULL CONTEST RULES
« Style at Home Choose Your Favorite Room Contest »
The « Style at Home Choose Your Favorite Room Contest » contest is held by (Groupe TVA) Style at Home . Groupe TVA Style at home is collectively hereinafter named: the “contest organizers”. The contest runs on Styleathome.com, from January 25, 2017 to February 15, 2017 at 23h59 ET (hereinafter: the “contest period”).
This contest is open to all persons residing in Canada of at least 18 years old of age. The following persons are excluded; employees, agents and representatives of Québecor Média inc., of Groupe TVA inc., of Style at Home, and IKEA Canada of their parent and affiliated companies, their advertising and promotional agencies, partners, suppliers of prizes, materials and services related to this contest, or any other party directly linked to the holding of this contest, or their brother, sister, children, mother, father, their legal or common-law spouse and individuals with whom such employees, agents and representatives are domiciled.
HOW TO ENTER
No purchase necessary. To participate in the contest, you simply have to enter the contest by visiting Styleathome.com. Go to the « Contest » section and click on the « Style at Home Choose Your Favorite Room Contest » icon in order to register. After, you can fill in the electronic entry form where you will be asked to choose your favourite room design from the previous Style at Home Makeover Contest.
Once you have accessed the electronic entry form make sure to indicate your exact personal information as follows: first name, last name, complete address with postal code and country and answer what your favourite room design is and what your favourite IKEA piece is. It is every participant’s responsibility to indicate a valid phone number where he can be reached between 9AM to 5PM during weekdays. Click on the submit button in order to send your electronic entry form no later than February 15, 2017 at 23h59 ET. Upon reception of your registration’s confirmation message, you will be automatically entered in the contest. Cookies must be accepted in order to participate to the contest.
Entrants must respect the following limits, otherwise the contest organizers reserve the right to cancel one or several of their entries :
One participation per person per day during the contest period;
A person cannot register more than one e-mail address per person, in the case where a person has more than one;
A person entering more than once a day or using multiple email addresses will be automatically removed from the ballot list;
The following prize is offered :
One (1) prize will be given:
IKEA Canada Giftcard
The total prize value is : 1000.00 $ CAN
The following conditions apply:
The prize is not exchangeable and non-transferable; and
The prize has to be accepted as it is; and
The contest organizers will determine with the winner the date; and
If the prize or a portion of it is not used, no compensation will be given.
On February 16, 2017 at 10:00 am, in Toronto, at the office of Groupe TVA inc., a random selection of entry form will be held among all eligible entry forms registered in conformity with section 3, in order to attribute the prize described above.
The odds of a participant’s entry form being randomly selected depend upon the number of eligible entry forms registered in conformity with the regulations and rules.
HOW TO CLAIM A PRIZE
In order to be declared a winner, each selected entrant must :
Have answered correctly the mathematical skill-testing question that appears on the entry form; and
Be contacted by phone and/or email by the contest organizers within three (3) days following the random selection; and
Sign the declaration and exemption form that will be given to him and return to the contest organizers within 5 days; and
Abide to all conditions related to the Prize;
After the declaration and exemption form is correctly filled out and signed, the contest organizers will contact the winner to determine how the Prize will be remitted (by mail or on hand delivery)
Failing to comply with one of the conditions stated in the section above or any of the conditions provided in these Contest Rules, the entry of the selected entrant will be cancelled without any liability to the contest organizers whatsoever, and a new draw for that prize will be held according to these Contest Rules until an entrant is selected and declared a winner.
Verification. Entry forms are subject to verification by the contest organizers, and contest entrants agree to cooperate fully with contest organizers in such respect. Any entry form which is, as the case may be, incomplete, fraudulent, sent late, that does not bear the correct answer to the mathematical skill-testing question will automatically be rejected and will not give right to a prize, and contest organizers shall have no liability in such respect, or in respect of lost, misdirected of garbled communication, printing, prizing or distributor errors.
Non-conforming entries. The contest organizers reserve the right to disqualify any person or cancel one or many entries of any person participating in this contest or trying to participate by means contrary to these Contest Rules or in a manner which is unfair to the other entrants (e.g.: entries exceeding the permitted limit, computer hacking, etc.). Such person may be referred to the appropriate judicial authorities.
Acceptance of prize. Any prize must be accepted as described in the present Contest Rules and cannot be transferred to another person, substituted for another prize nor exchanged in part or in whole for a sum of money, subject to what is stated in the following section. Prize is accepted “as is” without any warranty whatsoever.
Substitution of prize. In the event where, for reasons not related to the winners, the contest organizers cannot award a prize (or part of a prize) as described in these Contest Rules, they reserve the right to award a prize (or part of a prize) of the same nature and of equivalent value or, at their sole discretion, the cash value of the prize (or part of the prize) as mentioned in these Contest Rules.
Refusal to accept a prize. The refusal of a randomly selected person to accept a prize according to the terms and conditions of these Contest Rules releases the contest organizers of any obligation related to that prize towards that person.
Liability – prize’s supplier. Each participant who is selected for a prize recognizes that upon reception of the confirmation of his status as the winner of the prize, the execution of the services in respect to the prize is the sole responsibility of the supplier of the prize, in this case, (Groupe TVA inc.) Style at Home. A declaration to this effect may be included in the declaration and exemption form.
Liability limit – use of prize. Any selected person releases Québecor Média inc., (Groupe TVA inc.), Style at Home, IKEA Canada and their parent and affiliated companies, their advertising and promotional agencies, their employees, agents and representatives from any and all liability for any and all damages he/she may suffer from the acceptance or use of his/her prize. In order to be declared a winner, any selected person agrees, if required, prior to obtaining his/her prize, to sign a Declaration Form to such effect.
Liability limit – running of the contest. Québecor Média inc., Groupe TVA inc., and (Groupe TVA inc.), Style at Home, IKEA Canada and their parent and affiliated companies, their advertising and promotional agencies, their employees, agents and representatives are not liable for faulty computer components, software, or communication lines, relating to any transmission that is faulty, incomplete, incomprehensible or erased by any computer or network that could limit the possibility or prevent any person from participating in this contest. Québecor Média inc., (Groupe TVA inc.), Style at Home, IKEA Canada and their parent and affiliated companies, their advertising and promotional agencies, their employees, agents and representatives also will not be held liable for any damages or loss that could arise, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, from downloading any Internet page, any software or any form and by the transmission of any data regarding the participation in this contest.
Image: Donna Griffith / Styling: Morgan Lindsay
Thanks to a designer’s masterful eye, this modest modern kitchen serves as a lesson in making the most of the space you have.
If not precisely planned, a tiny kitchen can lead to chaos of all sorts: appliances dominating countertops, overstuffed cabinets that barely shut, even cookware stashed in the oven. The trouble with this Toronto couple’s 235-square-foot cooking quarters came down to its awkward U-shaped layout, which divided the kitchen into two distinct zones: a prep area and an eating nook.
To maximize the kitchen’s storage capacity, Veronica traded in awkwardly positioned uppers for glossy white and oak-look cabinetry that extends to the ceiling. “The original cupboards left all this untouched space above them, so it was important to reclaim that and take advantage of the 10-foot-high ceiling,” she says. The homeowners now use the extra storage to stow away off-season items and other specialty kitchenware.
The pre-reno space featured a pantry that protruded into the nearby hallway. “It resembled a front hall closet and felt very removed from the kitchen,” says Veronica. So the designer got creative. To better incorporate a new pantry into the room, she had custom floor-to-ceiling cabinetry installed in the same spot and then had matching fake doors added to the bump-out wall directly beside it. The clever addition looks like a large unit that was always part of the kitchen.
Though 24-inch-deep cabinets constitute the majority of this kitchen’s storage, Veronica chose to recess the doors above one countertop to add depth and function, ensuring the prep surface is accessible. Incorporating whitewashed-wood-look doors also lends warmth to the predominately white space. “All-white kitchens can come off as cold,” she says. “Introducing wooden elements is one of the best and easiest ways to increase interest.”
Instead of limiting counter space to the kitchen’s cooking zone, the designer had sleek quartz countertops installed along an entire wall, extending into the eat-in area. “This design choice reinforces the idea that it’s one integrated space,” she says. The shallow countertop underneath the TV also acts as a sideboard thanks to the built-in cupboards below, where the homeowners store everything from formal dishware to electronics.
The kitchen’s eating nook is one of the most well-loved spots in the home. It’s where the couple sips coffee every morning and retreats after a long day. Keeping this in mind, the designer didn’t want to be constrained by choosing only compact furniture. She instead used large cushioned dining chairs that “encourage the homeowners to stay longer,” she says. The round aged-elm dining table balances the look and is easy to navigate around.
The original U-shaped kitchen layout impeded traffic flow and separated the cooking hub from the eat-in area. The new linear layout boasts a modern free-standing island equipped with an undermount sink, which allows the couple to move around and entertain guests with ease while cooking.
While outfitting the small space, Veronica was careful to create cohesion. The existing maple flooring was swapped out for the same stained oak that’s carried throughout the rest of the main floor. The new accent cabinetry mimics the look of the dining table. Even the cabinetry hardware mirrors the chandelier’s black framework. These repeated decorative details ultimately tie the room together.
"I wanted there to be huge visual impact when you entered the kitchen, but I also didn't want to compromise the view to the backyard garden," says the designer of her decision to add the stick-like chandelier to the eat-in area. "It was important for the light fixture to bring something unexpected to the space," she adds. "A drum shade, for instance, would have fallen flat. It would've been too predictable."