These products will help you stay warm and cozy all season long.
These products will help you stay warm and cozy all season long.
Seasonally perfect products for staying warm and cozy indoors all season long.
As the mercury drops this fall, don’t despair about the cold, dark evenings that have you heading indoors to seek refuge. With the right at-home accessories, you can enjoy your coziest fall at home ever! You’ll be so comfy cozy indoors that you’ll be perfectly happy to settle in and enjoy the season from the comfort of your couch!
1 Cable Knit Throws
There are blankets and then there are blankets (like the one that everyone in the family fights over when it’s time to curl up with a movie on a crisp fall evening). These gorgeous throws from Boll & Branch are truly luxe. They're certified organic and made with eco-friendly, non-toxic dyes. Best of all, a portion of every sale is donated to Not For Sale, an organization dedicated to helping end forced labour and human trafficking. Cable Knit Throws, Boll & Branch, $125 each.
2 Philosophy Living Grace Shampoo, Bath & Shower Gel
When the wind is whirling outside and the leaves on the ground are swirling, seek solace in your own personal at-home sanctuary. Run a hot bath and top it off with Philosophy’s Living Grace Bath Gel. The luxurious formula will cleanse, condition and soften dry, tired skin, leaving you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. Philosophy Living Grace Shampoo, Bath & Shower Gel, Sephora, $31.
3 Mahabis Classic Slippers
Chilly fall nights mean chilly floors. Keep your tootsies comfy and cozy with these stylish slippers that look as good as they feel. With their distinct focus on design (they have a Scandinavian aesthetic and boast European craftsmanship), these aren’t any slippers you’re used to. With Mahabis, the simple slipper gets a luxe makeover: Lightweight and breathable with a wool lining, they also come with detachable wool soles so you can wear them outside, too. Mahabis Classic Slippers in Larvik Dark Grey, Mahabis, $138.
4 No. 35 The Earl Grey Tea
Nothing warms up a cold night like a hot cuppa tea. But this fall, take your tea to the next level with something a little more special than the tea you normally buy at your local grocery store. This classic blend Earl Grey tea is made from organic full-leaf Ceylon black tea and is scented with Sicilian bergamot. The rich taste combined with the intoxicating aroma will make you forget how cold it is outside and relish every moment indoors this season. No. 35 The Earl Grey Tea, Bellocq Tea Atelier, $15.
5 Blanket Wrap
You’ll never feel fall’s chill when you’re swathed in this handsome wrap that’s part blanket, part sweater. It’s interchangeable, offering two colour options and can be converted to two different lengths. Plus, it’s 70% wool and 30% cashmere, making it totally luxurious. You’ll look chic wearing it but feel like you’re still in bed. Win, win! Blanket Wrap in Teak/Ebony, Kit & Ace, $428.
6 The Couple Next Door
There’s nothing like a gripping thriller to get you through those long dark evenings. Once you’re completely sucked into this novel's suspenseful storyline, you’ll forget all about the wicked weather outside. A New York Times Bestseller, The Couple Next Door is quickly gaining acclaim from readers and thriller authors alike and is poised to be the book of the season! The Couple Next Door, Amazon.ca, $15.36.
7 Staghorn Cable Reading Socks
Speaking of books … when you’re curled up on the couch with your latest can’t-put-down read, you’ll adore the coziness of these cable knit reading socks. Super soft, warm and soothing to cold, tired feet, they’re just what you’ll long for at the end of a long day. Staghorn Cable Reading Socks in Grey, Indigo, $20.
8 Byredo Bibliotheque Candle
There’s something about the rich fragrance of a luxe candle that fills a home with a sense of place. An aroma you love can quickly become strongly associated with positive memories and the gentle glow of candlelight is no doubt relaxing and romantic. Which means that adding candles to your home is always a good idea (just don’t forget to keep an eye on them and don’t leave them lit and unattended!). We love this candle from Byredo Parfums. Handmade in France, it has notes of peach and plum, violet, leather and vanilla. Byredo Bibliotheque Candle, Holt Renfrew, $108.
Style the perfect #shelfie.
We all have a slight obsession with decor, especially our own. Here is a list of how to know you're a little too obsessed.
The thing that has you the most excited about visiting NYC and South Florida is ABC Carpet & Home, of course. In Paris, it’s Clignancourt flea market! London is all about that visit to Conran Shop. But wait, isn’t that what every vacationer does? Nope. It isn’t.
Not only are blockbuster designer-meets-retailer collaborations on your radar, like Kate Spade Saturday with West Elm, and the pairing of the Novogratz husband-and-wife team with CB2, you eagerly await the obscure ones too, like NYC’s Fishs Eddy with West Elm.
What’s more, you think to yourself, “Doesn’t everyone instantly recognize an iconic George Nelson bubble lamp versus a less-expensive imitation?” Uh. No, the average human does not. Your intense scholarship has seriously paid off.
Although you already own a perfectly serviceable and stylish armchair, coffee table, dining table and sofa, you are always adding to a mental shopping list of what you want next, like this Saarinen Womb chair. Oh, and bonus marks for obsessiveness if you have an actual Pinterest Wish List board on the go.
Every now and again you actually lose sleep wondering whether you should paint your bedroom or kitchen or living room or the whole darn home in all white. And, naturally, that white is Benjamin Moore’s famously warm Cloud White CC-40 also known as OC-130. Duh.
Do you know what a chevron pattern is? Do you know what Ikat looks like? Can you identify toile and damask at merely a glance? Do you know trellis from lattice? If you can summon up a mental image at each of these patterns and you are not a stylist or designer then congrats, you officially indulge in way too much time in thinking about decor.
The whole reason you have Instagram installed is so you can salivate over interiors from all over the world. Oh, and here are 10 more designers worth following. What? You didn’t expect us to cure you from your design addiction, did you?
A friend/your mom/your neighbour is renovating and you’re wayyyy more excited about the renovation than they are. All of a sudden you’re picking out tile, hardwood flooring and helping them weigh whether they should install custom cabinetry or save money by jazzing up pre-made units. And the whole time you’re thinking, Oh man, this is the most fun I’ve had all year. Diagnosis: You’re a decor addict and your social network is enabling you.
Not only do you have a favourite decor store, the staff have begun to recognize you. And it’s a big-box store. Bonus marks if you have a favourite staffer. Double-bonus marks if she tells you when the next sale is happening. Triple-bonus marks if she knows your name.
You have a favourite historical paint colour by this esteemed English company, and a favourite wallpaper pattern too (even though it’s hard to have favourites with F&B). Too bad you’ve totally ran out of rooms to re-do, so you’re hoping a friend will invite you over to help decorate his new place.
The books on your bookshelves are arranged by the colour of their respective covers, not alphabetically. And the truly ugly ones are stored away and don’t make it onto your prized shelf. Why would you have it any other way?
Not only do you fluff up your down filled cushions on the regular, you can’t help giving them a little karate chop on the top too when you pass by.
Some people can’t bear to part with shoes, out-of-fashion coats and outfits they don’t wear anymore. You, on the other hand, have a stockpile of fabric swatches, random pieces of sample tiles and paint chips galore. Just in case you need them, even for reference. And in case of the zombie apocalypse. Hey, that’s ok. We do it, too.
Becoming an interior decorator or stylist is your dream job. Seeing as you’re daydreaming about design and your next decorating project most of the day anyway. While at your actual job.
A totally perfect evening of relaxing consists of you, your laptop, the sofa, a stylish throw blanket and all the free time in the world to check Pinterest, Houzz, Apartment Therapy and the rest of your virtual pantry of favourite design sites.
Pretty summer patio
We designed a pretty patio on budgets both palatial and petite. Can you tell the difference?
1 Steel and glass Malta Lanterns in Silver Finish, Pottery Barn, $34 US each (small), and $49 US each (medium). 2 Eight-light Retro Café String Lights with iron cages, The Home Depot, $40 each. 3 Parklane powder-coated aluminum armchair and sofa in Driftwood with foam-filled Sunbrella cushions in Heritage Granite, InsideOut Patio, $949 (armchair), $2,199 (sofa). 4 Outdoor polyfilled polyester Moravian Star Toss Cushions, CB2, $62 each. 5 Double-knit cotton Tempo Throw, CB2, $100. 6 Innit galvanized steel Sidechair in Black with woven vinyl cord seat in Blue, Innit, $430. 7 Resin Madison Planters (used as table bases) in Caviar Black, 16", and 20", Sheridan Nurseries, $120 (16”), $180 (20”). 8 Polypropylene Cane Grid Rug in Capri, 8' x 10', Pier 1 Imports, $820. 9 Acrylic Abbott Throw in Apricot Brandy, Pottery Barn, $39 US. 10 GlucksteinHome outdoor polyfilled cotton Zig Zag Toss Cushion, Hudson’s Bay, $40.
1 Hometrends chrome-finished steel and glass Lanterns, Walmart, $25 each (small), and $35 (medium). 2 Ten-light Clear Café String Lights, The Home Depot, $20 each. 3 Canvas FSC-certified eucalyptus Modena Armchair and Loveseat with polyfilled polyester cushions, Canadian Tire, $350 (armchair), $650 (loveseat). 4 Outdoor polyfilled polyester Toss Cushions, HomeSense, $25 each. 5 Grey and white cotton Throw, HomeSense, $30. 6 Enamelled steel and plastic Sidechair in Blue, Studio Pazo, $150. 7 Round clay fibre composite Stacey Planters (used as table bases), 18" and 22", Jysk, $50 (18”), $60 (22”). 8 Reversible plastic Cayaan Rugs in Blue, 5' x 8', Jysk, $35 each. 9 Coral acrylic Throw, HomeSense, $40. 10 Beynac outdoor polyfilled polyester Toss Cushion, Jysk, $20.
Of course a pop of colour is nice in an outdoor space, but what will really impress you (and any guests that try this fun chair) is how comfortable it is! It's a must-add piece this summer. HIGH: Innit galvanized steel Sidechair in Black with woven vinyl cord seat in Blue, Innit, $430. LOW: Enamelled steel and plastic Sidechair in Blue, Studio Pazo, $150.
Put away your glue gun; no need to bust out that screwdriver. This DIY is as easy as pie. All you need to make these outdoor side tables are some oversized planters and a couple of circular trays (we painted ours white for a sophisticated monochromatic look). Place the trays atop the planters, and you’re done! The removable tops can be used to graciously serve guests some refreshments, while the interiors are perfect for hiding extra toss cushions and throws. HIGH: Resin Madison Planters (used as table bases) in Caviar Black, 16", and 20", Sheridan Nurseries, $120 (16”), $180 (20”). LOW: Round clay fibre composite Stacey Planters (used as table bases), 18" and 22", Jysk, $50 (18”), $60 (22”).
Though it’s more resilient than its indoor counterpart, outdoor fabric is vulnerable to all manner of mess. Keep it clean by brushing off surface dirt regularly. If you spill, act fast: Blot (never rub) the liquid off and then spot clean by spraying with a solution of warm water and dish soap. Rinse thoroughly and air-dry. HIGH: Parklane powder-coated aluminum armchair and sofa in Driftwood with foam-filled Sunbrella cushions in Heritage Granite, InsideOut Patio, $949 (armchair), $2,199 (sofa). LOW: Canvas FSC-certified eucalyptus Modena Armchair and Loveseat with polyfilled polyester cushions, Canadian Tire, $350 (armchair), $650 (loveseat).
Everyone loves a good toss cushion, but they'll really love these patterened cushions that make the couch pop with only a black and white graphic pattern. HIGH: GlucksteinHome outdoor polyfilled cotton Zig Zag Toss Cushion, Hudson’s Bay, $40. LOW: Beynac outdoor polyfilled polyester Toss Cushion, Jysk, $20.
Next time you’re entertaining outdoors, fool guests into thinking they’re lounging in your living room by laying out comforts like an outdoor rug and toss cushions. HIGH: Polypropylene Cane Grid Rug in Capri, 8' x 10', Pier 1 Imports, $820. LOW: Reversible plastic Cayaan Rugs in Blue, 5' x 8', Jysk, $35 each.
Think outside the bucket when creating a beverage station. Why not use a pretty planter filled with ice to keep bevvies cool under the sun? HIGH and LOW: Black faceted planeter (used as ice bucket), HomeSense, price varies.
Melamine plates deliver the durability of plastic without sacrificing the texture, pattern and colour variations of ceramic and stoneware. HIGH and LOW: Melamine plate, Pottery Barn, price varies.
Nothing is better than watching the sun set and seeing the stars come out on a summer night. Be prepared to get cozy for the long-haul with a throw blanket - perfectly matching your decor and nightly plans. HIGH: Acrylic Abbott Throw in Apricot Brandy, Pottery Barn, $39 US. LOW: Coral acrylic Throw, HomeSense, $40.
String lights are out and lanterns are in! Home decorators have been loving lantern lighting for a while and it's finally being brough outside - and on a string! Enjoy a night of cards with friends or a book on the couch all summer. HIGH: Steel and glass Malta Lanterns in Silver Finish, Pottery Barn, $34 US each (small), and $49 US each (medium). LOW: Hometrends chrome-finished steel and glass Lanterns, Walmart, $25 each (small), and $35 (medium).
Buying guide: The truth about thread count
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.
What is thread count, really?
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.
What to look for when buying sheets
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!
What to avoid when buying sheets
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.
What do you prefer?
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.