Video: Home tour inside Catherine Therrien's townhouse
Video: Home tour inside Catherine Therrien's townhouse
Where to buy affordable fabrics online
There are a lot of people who are obsessed with shoes, artwork or the perfect lamp. And then there are those of us who can't get enough beautiful fabrics - whether they're patterned, printed, silk, cotton, linen or lace, we're all in for buying a yard here and a panel there, either for a project we have in mind or just to hoard away until the perfect opportunity to use it arises. In Canada, though, it's sometimes hard to fulfill this passion, as many of the beautiful materials you see in magazines are available only to designers, and ordering from international sites can include prohibitive shipping and customs charges. But there is help. In the past few years there has been a surge of online fabric shops opening up across the country, full of affordable, practical and whimsical delights. Here, we've chosen a few of our favourite sources to satisfy that textile craving.
Where to buy affordable fabrics online
Double Decker Fabric, doubledeckerfabric.com
Dorienne Fairbanks, the owner of calgary's Double Decker Fabric, credits her children with providing the motivation to start her online shop. "I had all these projects to create but couldn't find the fabrics I wanted," she says. Drawn to prints with both retro and modern whimsical appeal, this lover of textiles fittingly sells collections from Michael Miller Fabrics and Riley Blake Designs.
Fabric Spot, myfabricspot.com
"I'm an all or nothing kind of person," says Markham, Ont.'s Karen Chan, owner of Fabric Spot. Selecting whole collections from designers like MoMo and Heather Ross, Karen believes in giving customers the choice of colour- ways and coordinates to personalize their projects. Organic fabrics are a priority for Karen. "Fabric is what's against our skin," she says. "Given the option, how could I not choose to sell organic?"
Fridays Off Fabric Shop, fridaysoff.ca
"I call myself a fabric curator," says Toronto-based Alanna Banks, owner of the year-old Fridays Off Fabric Shop. "I don't buy full collections - only the prints that jump out at me first, even if they're outside my comfort zone." So far, so good for Alanna, whose inventory always includes stock from modern designer favourites like Lotta Jansdotter and Tula Pink, among others.
Tonic Living, tonicliving.com
Sometimes the fabric just finds you. For Janine Morrison, founder of Tonic Living, the light bulb moment came nearly 15 years ago, when she acquired a lot of vintage fabric for her home collectibles eBay store. Now Tonic Living is one of the heavy hitters in Toronto, with an amazing array of accessible geometrics, florals, solids and prints from the likes of Waverly and Dwellstudio for the decorating market.
Warp & Weft, warpandweft.ca
Owner and former designer Esmari Taylor approaches purchasing wares for Toronto's Warp & Weft the same way she buys new furniture or shops for shoes: "I look for things that are timeless and have integrity." she's succeeded with her inventory from lines as diverse as Cloud9 Fabrics, Design Team and the Victoria and Albert museum. A devoted sewer, Esmari also sells notions from Merchant & Mills and Sajou.
Pictured fabric prints (above)
1 Anna Maria Horner Field Study cotton Fine Feathered in Ghost, Fridays Off Fabric Shop, $9/metre.
2 Braemore linen Sakura in White Tea, Tonic Living, $30/yard.
3 Joel Dewberry Bungalow Cotton Hive in Pink, Warp & Weft, $11/metre.
4 Carina Gardner Evening Blooms cotton Evening Wallpaper in Gray, Double Decker Fabric, $14/yard.
5 Lotta Jansdotter Glimma cotton Flowers in Rosy, Warp & Weft, $12/metre.
6 Waverly Chinoise Chic cotton Peaceful Temple in Porcelain, Tonic Living, $20/yard.
7 Leah Duncan Tule cotton Natie Fringe in Celeste, Warp & Weft, $14/metre.
8 Charley Harper certified organic cotton Upside Downside, Fabric Spot, $17/yard.
9 Valori Wells Designs WIsh cotton Treasure in Patience, Fabric Spot, $11/yard.
10 Natalie Lymer Enchant cotton Birds in Green, Fridays Off Fabric Shop, $10/metre.
11 Michael Miller Fabrics Retro cotton Lunch Box in Red, Double Decker Fabric, $13/yard.
Toss cushion fabric patterns
1 Tula Pink Acacia cotton Raccoon in Sky, Fridays Off Fabric Shop, $9 per metre.
2 Carolyn Friedlander Botanics cotton 14258 in Charcoal, Warp & Weft, $15 per metre.
3 Patty Sloniger Les Amis cotton Socks the Fox in Dusk, Double Decker Fabric, $13 per yard.
4 Dwellstudio Vreeland cotton in Aquatint, Tonic Living, $23 per yard.
5 Leslie Shewring Palos Verdes II certified organic cotton voile in La Venta, Fabric Spot, $17 per yard.
Add coastal flair to your bedroom by following these simple steps.
Designer Shea McGee shares her top tips for adding coastal flair to your bedroom
With ocean views and an abundance of natural light, this master bedroom dictated its own design direction: cozy coastal. Here’s how designer Shea McGee of Studio McGee infused the space with a beach-inspired aesthetic.
1 Stick with calming tones like blues, greens and greys for the walls.
2 Don’t select anything too theme-y – add seaside style with textiles instead.
3 Choose furniture that’s light and airy. Think pale woods, glass and metal, and nothing too bulky.
4 Mix subtle patterns to keep things interesting without overwhelming the room.
5 Use linen fabrics for a relaxed look that doesn’t feel too formal or stuffy.
6 Incorporate organic elements like plants, branches and faux coral as a nod to the coast.
7 Hang drapery right to the ceiling to give extra softness to the space.
8 Layer your windows with woven shades for a dose of texture.
A minimalist backyard becomes a modern Zen retreat
Follow these ten tips for creating an exotic minimalist sanctuary in your own backyard.
Decorating an outdoor space is a matter of taste. Fans of English gardens may go mad for tangles of roses and clematis, but Toufik Sarwa likes a restrained modern vibe. So it’s no surprise that his 960-square-foot backyard in Toronto’s Summerhill neighbourhood is as composed and stylish as an indoor living room, complete with lounge furniture, inky black accents and pretty perches for cocktails – and there’s plenty of those going around.
With exotic accessories surrounded by contemporary-chic fencing and vibrant greenery, it’s an ideal hangout for the bon vivant crowd. Not on Toufik’s guest list? Bring your own urban oasis to life with these ten easy tips.
1 Echo the indoors Toufik Sarwa’s home is fashionably appointed with white furniture, black accents and geometric prints – a confident scheme that extends to his patio in the white and grey seating, black umbrella and fretwork-patterned toss cushions. 2 Divvy it up Whether your backyard is large or small, carve out different “rooms” to make use of the whole space. Toufik’s two sitting areas provide him with options: lounge in the open under the sun or relax in the intimate shaded nook under the pergola.
3 Keep it cozy Plush elements like throws and toss cushions allow you to enjoy the outdoors long after the sun has set and the temperature has dropped. 4 Make a great escape When you step into your backyard and feel swept away to a far-off land, you have an at-home vacation destination. Tropical plants will help get you there. Think Dr. Seuss: Big, zany greenery with spikes and fronds paired with grasses and ferns results in a lush, verdant look.
5 Go low maintenance As a busy bar owner, Toufik needs an outdoor space that doesn’t require much upkeep. The large pavers for the patio look clean and contemporary, the mulch at the back of the yard feels wild and rustic and the simple slate pathway leading from one sitting area to the other is striking, with no mowing required. 6 Rethink tradition Picket fences are for the past! This contemporary cedar fence, with its thin horizontal slats, is at once unexpected, architectural and Zen. The modern design casts interesting shadows and can act as a trellis for climbing plants. 7 Accessorize! Super-stylish Toufik knows accessories are key in both fashion and decor, so he added ample exotic elements, such as the Buddha statue and moroccan-style lanterns.
8 Get a room Covered seating feels like a whimsical hideaway. The vine-wrapped pergola, revealing just a few snippets of sky, lends the atmosphere of a wooded wonderland or vineyard. Its canopy of intertwined grape leaves will eventually shroud the structure, making it feel like its own room. 9 Grow green A sharply dressed yard like this requires uniformity. Keep the look tight and cohesive with mostly green plantings, adding interest via the shape and size of their foliage. 10 Play by the rules Design principles – like the rule of threes – apply outdoors, too, especially when it comes to layout composition. Here, a trio of planters provides a layered backdrop to the chairs and table, creating a beautifully balanced sitting area.
1 Angenäm bowl, IKEA, $25. 2 Garden Treasures Octagon Market umbrella, Lowe’s, $179. 3 Dedon four-seat polyethylene wicker Slim Line sofa, Studio B, $8,945. 4 Estate Zinc Square planters, Restoration Hardware, from $275 US each. 5 Wire side table, CB2, $169.
Daring and dramatic decor using a high-contrast palette
Artist and owner of Made By Girl, Jen Ramos shares design tips for adding dramatic interest to her small space.
Find helpful design tips from artist and owner of Made By Girl, Jen Ramos's stylish New York City abode.
Drama defines this apartment’s small entryway. Homeowner Jen Ramos painted swatches of high-gloss black on top of the matte black walls, which serve as a bold backdrop to a console accented in gold. An organic-shaped white mirror offers a fresh counterpoint.
"To take attention away from the odd indentation behind the sofa in the living room, we created faux panelling with black paint,” says Jen. The treatment also enhances the graphic artwork and lively mix of toss cushions.
Faux fur toss cushions add lushness to a sleek leather daybed, which hides an unsightly radiator. Placed beside a marble-topped coffee table, a pair of python-print stools creates a conversation area without taking up much square footage in the small living room.
Jen and her husband, Mat, customized an inexpensive sideboard, adding an ebony-stained reclaimed-wood top and finishing it with gold knobs to provide much-needed storage to the cramped living room. Jen keeps its surface relatively clear so that it won’t compete with the treasure-filled bookshelf.
Gold is Jen’s go-to metallic for adding instant shine and standout glamour. In the entryway, brass horse-head hooks offer intriguing function and organic form. Here, Jen loves to display her favourite Rebecca Minkoff bag – it’s ready to grab and go when she’s heading out the door.
Jen needed a large work table in her office/studio, so she and Mat merged two storage cabinets and affixed a countertop to the surface.
Normally a diehard fan of gold, Jen brought in silver for this high-impact installation of her graphic love print. She mounted 12 posters made of metallic foil on heavy card stock, alternating gold and silver to showcase the warm and cool tones.
When living in a small space, every inch has possibilities – even a ledge. “I like to use decorative and personal items that reflect light and shine in the sun,” says Jen.
Jen created a sophisticated vignette in the master bedroom by painting a ceramic lamp base glossy black and placing it on an ebony-stained nightstand, both of which disappear against the soft black wall.
In the master bedroom, Jen painted the wall behind the bed black, allowing the white bedding and leather headboard to provide relief. A gallery wall breaks up the darkness. “I used personal art and photos, while mixing up their frames; it makes things more interesting,” says Jen.