Oct 19, 2014
Video: 10 colorful bathroom tricks
Video: 10 colorful bathroom tricks
Video: 10 colorful bathroom tricks
Can you tell which is the high and which is the low?
Can you tell which is the high and which is the low?
We designed a casual-chic dining area on two different budgets. Can you tell the rooms apart?
We designed a casual-chic dining room on budgets befitting a diner and a five-star restaurant. Can you tell the difference?
1 Canvas brushed brass 5-light Harlowe chandelier, Canadian Tire, $220.
2 Round mirror with gold-painted metal frame, HomeSense, $70.
3 Antique painted pine Windsor-style dining chair, Elle & Eve, $125.
4 Square lacquered plastic tray in Aqua, Bouclair, $20.
5 Vintage hickory dresser with cultured marble top, Carrocel, $2,195.
6 Polyamide Docksta dining table with painted fibreboard top, 41", IKEA, $269.
7 Lacquered rubberwood Lyla dining chair in Black, EQ3, $249.
8 Seagrass and polyester Sinnerlig rug with jute edging, 7' x 10', IKEA, $89.
9 Lacquered stained beech Norraryd dining chair, IKEA, $99.
10 Blown glass Monroe vases in White, Pottery Barn, $70 US ($40 US extra large, and $30 US medium).
1 Brass 6-light geometric frame chandelier with tapered arms, Union Lighting and Furnishings, $2,670.
2 Round mirror with picture-style polished stainless steel frame in Gold, Union Lighting and Furnishings, $1,650.
3 Black-painted pine and ash Windsor-style dining chair, Sharon O'Dowd, $545.
4 Square painted pine Zuma tray in Aqua Sky, Crate and Barrel, $47.
5 Antique walnut dresser with Carrara marble top, Carrocel, $4,500.
6 Round powder-coated aluminum Beauty dining table with marble top 48", Casalife, $2,198.
7 Oil-finished white oak Edwin dining chair in Black, Coolican & Company, $845.
8 Hand-woven jute Popcorn rug in Natural, 6' x 9', Pier 1 Imports, $260.
9 Stained beech Ironica dining chair in Black, Ton, $167.
10 Milk glass vases, Peaks & Rafters, $75 (large) and $50 (medium)
BOTH HIGH & LOW: Behr Marquee Quiet on the Set MQ3-04 wall paint, and Gulf Waters MQ4-52 accent wall & door paint, The Home Depot; Black bentwood dining chair, Design Within Reach; Plates (on dresser), Speck and Stone.
Our High and Low room sets have a uniform yet collected feel thanks to the mismatched monochromatic dining chairs. The true hero, however, is the table, a timeless Saarinen-inspired piece in unassuming white, which makes it easy to play with the seating combinations to create your preferred aesthetic. For instance, using a single style of chair in contrasting hues imparts a playful vibe, repeating one shape in one colour results in a formal look and picking diverse silhouettes in varied finishes lends an eclectic feel. The possibilities are endless!
Playful: Era armed bentwood beech in White, Red and Turquoise, Design Within Reach, $363 each.
Formal: Black-painted pine and ash Windsor-style, Sharon O’Dowd, $545 each.
Looking to beef up your dining room’s storage capacity? Forgo the typical hutch or sideboard and opt for a show-stopping antique dresser. Built in the louis XVI style, our high option, made of solid walnut, features a marble top and brass hardware. more than just a looker, the practical piece boasts deep wide drawers ideal for storing everything from platters and flatware to placemats and napkins.
Even the most casual dining space can use a little bit of sparkle, and our high and low brass-finished chandeliers deliver just that. Their linear silhouettes are quite popular, so the look is easy to achieve on any budget.
1 Brass 6-light geometric frame with tapered arms, Union Lighting and Furnishings, $2,670.
2 Kichler brass 8-light Erzo in Natural Brass, Wayfair.ca, $1,008.
3 Robert Abbey steel 8-light Delany in Antique Brass Finish, Universal Lamp, $965.
4 Canvas brushed brass 5-light Harlowe, Canadian Tire, $220.
For a graphic element, we colour-blocked the door by painting its trim and the wall directly above it teal, but just about any blue will suit this laid-back neutral space – so go ahead and experiment!
1 Bluenose P2116-03, Para Paints.
2 Baffin Island Grey 6161-52, Sico Paint.
3 Olympic Paints Crescendo D54-3, Lowe's.
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.
We designed a Parisian-style kitchen to please any mixed metal lover. Can you tell which is the high and which is the low?
1 Delta Trinsic pull-down single-lever faucet in Champagne Bronze, Roman Bath Centre, $535. 2 Copper-plated stainless steel Russet measuring cups, Anthropologie, $28 US per 4-piece set. 3 Frosted mouth-blown glass Vanadin pendant lights, IKEA, $20 each. 4 Stainless steel-lined copper saucepan & frying pan, HomeSense, $40 each. 5 Powder-coated steel Karpalund table base (customized), IKEA, $80; custom cultured marble tabletop in Platinum Grey Agate, H&M Manufacturing, $450; supplies, The Home Depot, $132. 6 Cotton tea towel, HomeSense, $8 per 4-piece set. 7 Backless counter-height polished stainless steel Rochelle stool in Gold, Black Rooster Decor, $325. 8 Tarkett FiberFloor grey geo-metric vinyl sheet flooring, Lowe’s, $1.70 per sq. ft. 9 Raised foil-coated fibreboard Grimslöv cabinetry doors in Off-white,IKEA, $144. 10 Style Selections zinc arched pulls in Aged Brass, 4", Lowe’s, $5 each. 11 Stainless steel Catering Heritage kitchen scale in Black, Kitchen Stuff Plus, $40.
1 Waterstone contemporary pull-down single-lever 5400 faucet in Polished Brass, Roman Bath Centre, $1,859. 2 Copper-plated stainless steel measuring cups, Williams-Sonoma, $60 per 4-piece set. 3 Cut frosted glass Stamp pendant lights, EQ3, $200 each. 4 Signature Line stainless steel-lined brushed copper saucepan, 1.5 l, Falk, $255; frying pan, 1.7 l, Falk, $320. 5 Free-standing Carrara marble-topped hand-finished cast steel and aluminum French kitchen island, Crate and Barrel, $1,799. 6 Turkish cotton twill tea towel in Jojoba, Williams-Sonoma, $27 per 4-piece set. 7 Backless counter-height stainless steel Metallic stool in Polished Gold, Art Shoppe, $799. 8 White Oak marble Honeycomb Hexagon floor tiles, The Home Depot, $18 per sq. ft. 9 Bevelled lacquered fibreboard Bodbyn cabinetry doors in Off-white, IKEA, $311. 10 Contemporary 141 PULLS in Burnished Brass, 5", Richelieu Hardware, $46 each, through designers. 11 Vintage-style enamelled steel spring kitchen scale, Williams-Sonoma, $60.
Create extra storage with a stylish free-standing island! Find out how we created the budget-friendly customized version using an IKEA Karpalund table base here. LOW: Powder-coated steel Karpalund table base (customized), IKEA, $80; custom cultured marble tabletop in Platinum Grey Agate, H&M Manufacturing, $450; supplies, The Home Depot, $132. HIGH: Free-standing Carrara marble-topped hand-finished cast steel and aluminum French kitchen island, Crate and Barrel, $1,799.
Add some glitz and glamour to your kitchen with a stainless steel stool. LOW: Backless counter-height polished stainless steel Rochelle stool in Gold, Black Rooster Decor, $325. HIGH: Backless counter-height stainless steel Metallic stool in Polished Gold, Art Shoppe, $799.
Add pattern to your kitchen with two fabulous flooring options to suit any budget. LOW: Tarkett FiberFloor grey geo-metric vinyl sheet flooring, Lowe’s, $1.70 per sq. ft. HIGH: White Oak marble Honeycomb Hexagon floor tiles, The Home Depot, $18 per sq. ft.
Both of these pendant lights showcase classic understated elegance. From afar, the white glass shades are unassuming, lending interest with their sleek silhouettes, but up close, beautiful intricate textures are revealed. So what contributes to the lights’ tenfold price difference? While the Low pattern is imprinted on the surface in one fell swoop in a mould using the mouth-blowing method, each of the indents on the High is individually cut into the glass. LOW: Frosted mouth-blown glass Vanadin pendant lights, IKEA, $20. HIGH: Cut frosted glass Stamp pendant lights, EQ3, $200.
Glam up your kitchen with a warm metal faucet like one of these sleek single-lever goosenecks. LOW: Delta Trinsic pull-down single-lever faucet in Champagne Bronze, Roman Bath Centre, $535. HIGH: Waterstone contemporary pull-down single-lever 5400 faucet in Polished Brass, Roman Bath Centre, $1,859.
Glam up your kitchen with a warm metal faucet like one of these sleek single-lever goosenecks. Go for brass (polished, antiqued or matte), bronze or rose gold. 1 Waterworks Henry one-hole in Unlacquered Brass, Ginger’s, $3,365. 2 Waterstone pull-down 5400 in Polished Brass, Roman Bath Centre, $1,859. 3 LaSalle 8DLAL in Matt Antique Brass, The Rubinet Faucet Company, $699. 4 Delta Trinsic pull-down in Champagne Bronze, Roman Bath Centre, $535. 5 Pull-down Spaghetti in Rose Gold, Aquabrass, $650.
Before you update your kitchen cabinets make sure the design reflects the simplicity or complexity of your kitchen and go from there. LOW: Raised foil-coated fibreboard Grimslöv cabinetry doors in Off-white, IKEA, $144. HIGH: Bevelled lacquered fibreboard Bodbyn cabinetry doors in Off-white, IKEA, $311.
While seemingly a small accessory on the counter, this scale is a useful gadget for many cooking endeavours. LOW: Stainless steel Catering Heritage kitchen scale in Black, Kitchen Stuff Plus, $40. HIGH: Vintage-style enamelled steel spring kitchen scale, Williams-Sonoma, $60.
Searching for a stylish pot rail? Look no further than the curtain aisle: Drapery rods make apt stand-ins. Use clip rings for lighter items and S-hooks for heavier pieces.
Copper cookware is a hot commodity – and for good reason. In addition to its pretty shade, the metal delivers superior even results thanks to its high conductivity. However, not all copper cookware is created equal. Unless you’re buying a specialty item, such as a sugar pan, opt for pieces lined with a stable metal like stainless steel (copper can react with acidic and alkaline foods in a potentially harmful way). Look for hefty cookware, as thickness affects conductivity, with sturdy metal handles. LOW: Stainless steel-lined copper saucepan & frying pan, HomeSense, $40 each. HIGH: Signature Line stainless steel-lined brushed copper saucepan, 1.5 l, Falk, $255; frying pan, 1.7 l, Falk, $320.
An essential kitchen item doesn't need to be boring, or hidden! Find a metal or colourful version to fit your decor and put it on display. What a perfect way to show off your skills and keep your drawers a little more clutter-free. LOW: Copper-plated stainless steel Russet measuring cups, Anthropologie, $28 US per 4-piece set. HIGH: Copper-plated stainless steel measuring cups, Williams-Sonoma, $60 per 4-piece set.
Don't forget about your hardware! With so many styles to choose from you're sure to find something that fits your budget. LOW: Style Selections zinc arched pulls in Aged Brass, 4", Lowe’s, $5 each. HIGH: Contemporary 141 pulls in Burnished Brass, 5", Richelieu Hardware, $46 each, through designers.
The go-to paint colours designers' swear by
Find your perfect paint colour thanks to the expert advice of your favourite designers.
When you flip through the pages of your favourite design magazine or scroll through endless photos of gorgeous homes on Pinterest, chances are you’ll find yourself wondering about the paint colours on the walls. Finding the perfect shade of paint can be hard. There are so many colours to choose from so how do you distinguish a great grey from a dull one? How do you determine which shade of white will make your home look uber-chic and which will look like primer? The answer? Ask the experts! Designers know their way around a paint deck so we checked in with six of them, who each provided us with their top three go-to paint colours. Find out which shades are their favourites and where they use them.
I have been working closely with Cloverdale Paints and have three go-to off-whites that I LOVE. OW159 “Dream Nights” is a soft off white, that is the perfect neutral. It’s light enough to brighten a room, but has enough pigment to also provide depth.
CA187 “Silver” is cooler, with subdued blue tones. It’s clean, crisp, and a deep enough colour to contrast with white baseboards or crown moulding. Love it!
8436 “White Delight” is perfect for creating a warm tone on tone white space, a look that I love. Similar to my other two favourites, White Delight offers contrast, which is key to creating visual interest in all spaces.
For people who love dramatic colours (like me!), I recommend Krimson Lake by CIL. It's a deep, moody marine blue that I love to use in a flat paint finish.
My go-to white is Chantilly Lace by Benjamin Moore (see on the ceiling). It's a crisp, clean white – not too much yellow – and I love it for trim and walls.
The colour I specify most during my one-hour interior design consultations is Zeppelin by CIL. It's a warm grey-beige and a reliable neutral. It's a perfect colour when one wants to stay neutral and works in modern or traditional aesthetics alike.
This has been a go-to colour for us for years. It's the perfect warm, yet bright white for any and all rooms in the house including trims and cabinetry. Often, when we use Simply White, it's on the walls, trims and ceiling to create a clean and modern backdrop.
This off-white/pale gray changes beautifully in the light and is often one we use in bedrooms for a soft glow. It has a creamy undertone however does not feel traditional. This is one of my all-time favourites.
Revere Pewter is a classic grey that pairs perfectly with white trims, providing definition and character in a space. It is excellent for living and dining rooms and can steer more towards a traditional feel.
This colour is our top go-to colour at TFI! It is an extremely versatile colour. Silver Satin is a light grey that almost reads white and works in virtually any space. This colour adds a certain freshness to walls without being too white or too grey. Whether it is used on the walls or for cabinetry, we just can’t enough of this subtle yet beautiful colour!
We love this colour as it works well when pulling together taupes and greys. It reads neutral and allows for a lot of flexibility with the rest of the colours in any room. In this kitchen, the colour sets the tone for the room allowing the cabinetry and furniture to stand out. Benjamin Moore’s Collingwood is a classic colour that never goes out of style.
We love Benjamin Moore’s Oxygen when we want to add some colour to our walls. It is a great powder blue which has a certain softness to it. In this girl’s room, we wanted to create a space that was playful and fun but not overwhelmingly girly. Painting the walls with this subdued blue as opposed to a light pink was the perfect way to achieve the type of look we wanted.
This off-white has a drop of cream, making it the perfect, versatile backdrop for any colour scheme or decorating style for those who like to change things up.
I love white rooms but I also like a vibrant pop of color. This cheerful blue brightens up grey days and complements the elaborate mix of patterns and the bold colours I injected into this living room.
Bedrooms are mainly for the evenings so it makes sense to use a darker hue that is soothing and calm. This warm taupe grey is an exact colour match to the grasscloth wallpaper I installed on the main wall, creating a seamless transition from wallpaper to paint. I also selected a high gloss finish so the paint also echoes the shimmers from the wallpaper.
This is a warm off-white that isn’t too creamy. Soft and sophisticated, it’s calming and has a depth that makes it suited for bedrooms and cozy spaces. It looks great with dark wood tones and bronze or black metals.
This grey-green is cool and modern and works beautifully in bedrooms or bathrooms where you’re craving a hint of subtle colour. It can make whatever it’s paired with feel updated and fresh. I especially love it in rooms that get cool northern light; it reads almost like a mint but without the iciness.
This is my go-to grey. Many greys can veer too brown or too blue but this one doesn’t have any strong undertones. It’s a livable colour that would be equally at home in a living room or bedroom. I love it paired with warm neutrals, creams and natural wood tones to create a tone-on-tone palette.