9 ways to revamp your bathroom without undergoing a large-scale renovation.
According to designer Robin Siegerman, principal of Sieguzi Kitchen & Home Inc. and author of Renovation Bootcamp: Kitchens, bathroom renovations can be surprisingly expensive for the (generally) smaller size of the room, because so much of the expense is hidden in the walls, such as electrical and plumbing. But if your bathroom is in relatively good shape but uninspired from a design standpoint – often the case with condo units, for example – there’s much you can do to give it a spiffier look, with little or no professional help. Here are a few tips.
Replacing an ugly bathroom faucet with a pretty one has become a relatively simple do-it-yourself task, with many faucets now sold in kits that include all the fittings and complete instructions. Make sure you have the right type for the number of hole openings in the sink.
There are companies that will come in and reface your countertop with a ¼-inch veneer of granite, for the look of solid granite at a fraction of the cost. Alternatively, you can have a boring or worn laminate counter refaced with new laminate—there are ones on the market now that closely mimic stone, wood or other natural finishes, or go for something more fanciful if you like.
Replace a boring plate-glass mirror with a framed version you can hang like art. Scoop up an ornate frame at an antique store (or pick out a nice one at a framer’s) and have the framer make it into a mirror for you. Attractive framed mirrors in every style from Victorian to modern can also be found at thrift stores, antique markets and home stores.
If your bathtub or shower is tiled inside the enclosure but stops at the edge, and you can find matching tile, have it extended (or do it yourself, with new ceramic tile mounting kits available at box stores) the rest of the way around the bathroom to the 48” mark, like wainscoting. The advantage to doing this is more than aesthetic; it makes your bathroom much easier to clean, since you can wash the walls at the same time you do the floors.
Many bathrooms are cursed with a single light fixture directly above the mirror, which creates unflattering shadows. If you don’t want to have side sconces wired in, look for a fixture with two lights side by side, which will at least direct the light a little more to either side of your face.
If your bathroom floor is ugly, cover it with a small pure-wool area rug. Unlike synthetics, wool is moisture and mildew resistant, resists dirt (and can be cleaned relatively easily), and if you choose an Oriental or Persian style, adds a touch of class. If it gets very wet, hang it up to dry.
It’s amazing what a beautiful bathroom wall colour will do to add interest to the plainest room, and a small room takes only a day or so to paint. Be careful choosing colour, though: some blues and greens can be cold and unkind to skin tones, while too bright a colour may be overwhelming in a small room like a bath. At the very worst, if you choose a colour and don’t like the effect, it’s easy to paint over again.
Making your own shower curtain is an easy job, even if you’re not a sewer. Measure the shower opening and purchase a few yards of beautiful fabric from a fabric outlet store. Finish the edges with iron-on hemming tape and sew curtain rings along the top. Buy a plastic curtain liner from a bath shop, and hang.
Think scale with bath accessories, but don’t think you have to display only small things. One beautiful vase or piece of artwork (a sealed print is best if your bath gets very steamy) can have fabulous impact in a small space.
Decorate for Halloween with these stylishly spooky decor accessories.
Boo! It’s that time of year again! Halloween is lurking just around the corner and if you love this haunted holiday, now’s the time to get some inspiration for adding a spooky look to your home. But forget tired and tacky … we’ve rounded up Halloween decorating ideas that are chic and stylish. Each one will help you add the spirit of the season to your home in an effortlessly elegant way.
1 Pumpkin and Ornament Garland
Garlands are traditionally a Christmas decoration but this Halloween-inspired garland is an easy and elegant way to bring the spirit of the season into your home. The jet-black garland is accented with shiny glass balls, faux orange pumpkins and shimmery curls of ribbon that come together to make a dramatic decorative statement! Pumpkin and Ornament Garland, Pier 1, $39.96.
2 Black Glitter Light-Up Tree
Another twist on a classic Christmas decoration, this bare tree features black glitter and safety candles that twinkle in the night and will add a spooky atmosphere to any room in your home. Cluster two or three trees together for a more dramatic effect and consider using them as a centerpiece on your table when you have guests visiting throughout the month of October. Black Glitter Light-Up Tree, Pottery Barn Kids, $47.
3 Matte Black Pumpkin
Pumpkins are a sure sign of Halloween, but in this beautiful black painted finish and with their gold foil stems, they take on an eerie effect that’s quite striking. Made from Styrofoam and plastic, they’re light and easy to move from indoors to outdoors and make a great addition to your seasonal decor. Matte Black Pumpkin, Pottery Barn, $39.50.
4 Creepy Crawly Polyester Window Treatment Collection
This fine-gauge lace window treatment adds the appearance of a large spider’s web to your window, adding just a hint of a haunted Halloween to your house! Easy to hang and subtle in its style, this is the perfect Halloween decoration for anyone who prefers to keep things a little more subtle. Creepy Crawly Polyester Window Treatment Collection, Wayfair, $39.99.
5 Falling Leaves Small Pumpkin
What’s black and white and chic all over? These gorgeous embellished pumpkins, that’s what! Made by Mackenzie-Childs, designers who revel in creating decorative items that feature traditions with a twist, these painted resin pumpkins will be the star of your Halloween décor, year after year. Fall Leaves Small Pumpkin, Horchow, $54.
6 BOO Outdoor LED Sign
Let trick or treaters know you mean business the moment they approach your front door. This pre-lit orange LED sign comes with hanging hooks and a removable kickstand to help make set up simple. Perfect for indoor or outdoor use, this sign will add a playful touch to your Halloween home. BOO Outdoor LED Sign, Balsam Hill, $49.
7 Black Branch Wreath
Gnarled bare black branches twist together to create this exceedingly creepy Halloween wreath, perfect for your front door or hung over a mantel. Black Branch Wreath, Crate & Barrel, $69.95.
8 Mr. Skeleton Figure
Granted, this skeleton is pretty creepy, especially if encountered in the dark. But it can also be a hilarious homage to Halloween when placed in amusing positions around the house. If your style is more funny than frightful, this might be the perfect decoration to add to your Halloween repertoire! Mr. Skeleton Figure, Urban Outfitters, $60.
lead image by Pier 1 imports
Make this twist on traditional lasagne with this recipe from Elana Karp and Suzanne Dumaine's new cookbook Plated.
1 Preheat the oven to 425°F.
2 On a baking sheet, toss the mushrooms and squash with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and salt and pepper.
3 Arrange in a single layer and roast until tender, about 18 minutes.
4 While the vegetables roast, strip the stems from the kale leaves, then cut the leaves into bite-sized pieces. Thinly slice the garlic. In a large pan, heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the kale and garlic and cook until the kale is wilted and bright green, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper; set aside.
5 Remove the roasted mushrooms and squash from the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 400°F. Using a fork or spoon, mash the squash.
6 To make the béchamel sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. When the butter is foamy, sprinkle in the flour and whisk until the mixture is smooth and golden, about 2 minutes. Slowly pour in the milk, whisking continuously, until no lumps remain. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thick and coats the back of a spoon, 6 to 7 minutes. Season with the nutmeg, salt and pepper. Add 1/4 cup of the Parmesan, stirring to combine; remove the pot from the heat.
7 Spread a thin layer of the béchamel sauce over the bottom of a 9" x 13" baking dish. Add a layer of the lasagna noodles, followed by a layer of squash and mushrooms, the kale, more sauce and a sprinkle of Parmesan. Repeat to make 2 more layers: noodles, vegetables, sauce and Parmesan. Top with a final layer of noodles and the remaining béchamel sauce. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan and the Gruyère.
8 Loosely cover the dish with foil, transfer to the oven and bake until the lasagna is bubbling, about 30 minutes.
9 Increase the oven temperature to 450°F.
10 Uncover the lasagna and continue baking until golden, about 10 minutes longer. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before cutting into pieces. Wrap with foil and store in the fridge for up to 5 days or in the freezer for up to 1 month. To reheat, microwave the lasagna or warm it, covered, in the oven at 350°F.
Excerpted from Plated by Elana Karp & Suzanne Dumaine. Recipes Copyright © 2016 Elana Karp & Suzanne Dumaine, Photography copyright © 2016 Robert Bredvad. Excerpted by permission of Clarkson Potter/Publishers. All rights reserved.
A bohemian-style bedroom display at Anthropologie.
Cover all of your decorating bases with our insiders’ guide to the top 50 design stores across the country.
We’ve all dreamt of a truly magnificent home that we’re eager to enter and proud to call our own – but beyond deciding how to decorate it, there’s an equally important (and often overlooked) first step: where to shop. With the bounty of home decor stores out there, each with its own unique appeal, the wild world of mesmerizing furnishings and accessories can make our heads spin. That’s why we’ve created this handy guide of our favourite interior design destinations across Canada. So grab hold of your list of decor must-haves and come shop with us.
Fed up with your ho-hum coffee machine and drab dishware? Look to Alessi for inspiration. The iconic design company transforms archetypal household items into wares so innovative, you’ll never view the standard versions the same way again. The Italian-born brand also offers products by prolific designers like Philippe Starck and Ettore Sottsass.
When a store boasts a chic bohemian-inspired aesthetic that most would happily reside in, and said store also happens to offer an expansive home collection, you better believe you’re in for a treat. Shop here for beautiful textiles in bold hues and mosaic patterns, artful furnishings, delicate ceramics and more.
Stylish and original artwork that’s accessible and affordable? Does such a thing exist? Thanks to Toronto-based gallery Art Interiors, the answer is a resounding yes. The store’s comprehensive collection of artistic works range in style (from paintings to photographs) and in price (from $25 to $6,500). Most of the pieces can also be purchased online. Cue the countrywide applause!
Located in Toronto’s Castlefield Design District, this furniture staple artfully fuses traditional elements with modern must-haves. The family-owned business (now in its third generation) features high-end items from across the globe in addition to a variety of Canadian-made products. Visit the 70,000 square foot showroom to find anything from contemporary credenzas to stunning sofas.
Think selecting paint colours is a mundane task? Think again. Benjamin Moore is one of our go-to brands for transforming literally anything – be it an entire space or a tired piece of furniture. Not only does the company provide affordable high-quality pigments, but it carries a variety of different types, from its eco-friendly Natura paint to its Chalkboard Paint collection.
For the ultimate in contemporary high-end furniture, make your way to BoConcept. The home decor shop sells Danish furnishings and accessories that will lend your home a sleek and sophisticated feel. The store’s stock is also designed to complement all lifestyles, whether you live in a compact condo or a spacious abode.
A Canadian decor staple, Bouclair is one of those design stores you can walk into and find exactly what you need (or an accent piece you never knew you needed but now suddenly do) – all thanks to its expansive collection of affordable furnishings and fixtures. The company also has its own atelier line that consists of stylish, higher-end items.
Characterized as the Canadian and curated version of Etsy, BRIKA is a Toronto-based retailer that specializes in well-crafted artisanal gifts and home goods. Though primarily an e-commerce site, the brand recently opened a permanent storefront on Toronto’s lively Queen West strip. Expect to find (and quickly fall in love with) colourful accessories, pretty prints and quirky cookware.
For home improvement needs, Canadian Tire is our trusted one-stop shop. But what’s more is that the company’s ever-expanding furniture collection is worthy of the same praise. Make a style statement with these sleek two-tone side tables that boast a trendy dipped look.
No matter your decor need, CB2 will help you meet it while ensuring you stay on trend. Stop in to find fashionable furniture and accessories that have the power to transform a space, from gold-plated bookshelves to faceted side tables. The brand is also big on design collaborations (they recently teamed up with Lenny Kravitz to create an earthy, ‘70s-inspired collection).
Light fixtures are often said to be the jewellery of a room, and Circa Lighting only reinforces that idea. The company provides a wide selection of eye-catching pieces fashioned by some of the world’s most influential brands and designers.
While owned by the same parent company as CB2, Crate & Barrel has been a leader in the design industry for far longer (since 1962 to be exact). The store carries modern-meets-traditional furnishings that will never fall out of fashion, from plush leather sofas to elegant pendant lights.
Committed to providing their customers with beautifully designed pieces that stray from the everyday, the owners of this Vancouver mainstay have amassed a large collection of tasteful pieces that will make your living space sparkle, from ornate mirrors and gilded coffee tables to tufted pouffes and decorative objets.
Forget furniture replicas – DWR prides itself on making authentic designer pieces accessible to the masses. Translation: it’s a sweet retreat for any design enthusiast. Here, you’ll find Eero Sarineen’s signature Tulip and Womb chairs, Charles and Ray Eames’ sought-after molded plastic seats and George Nelson’s ever-popular Bubble Lamps.
This family-owned business – now in its fourth generation – has long been a top Canadian importer of fine quality rugs. The 200,000 square foot Toronto furniture emporium also offers a vast selection of upscale pieces, light fixtures and accessories thanks to brothers and general managers Jamie and Andrew Metrick, who travel abroad in search of new finds to add to the collection.
Keeping first-time homebuyers in mind, the Elte brothers recognized a need for more affordable offerings and opened a market-style showroom in 2014 (which spans 50,000 square feet). The store sells well-priced furniture pieces sourced from around the world that are still of top quality and style.
Purchasing high-end furniture is about more than just the quality of the pieces themselves, at least if Ethan Allen has anything to do with it. In addition to selling elegant items for the home, the popular furniture chain provides free design services to help each customer dream up a masterful living space.
Browse the whimsical online world of Etsy and you’ll find it near impossible to leave. The e-commerce site, which sells handmade and original pieces by talented artisans, may seem overwhelming at first, but after a little exploring, you’re bound to discover a few one-of-a-kind gems.
Minimalist modern furniture with Canadian appeal – that pretty much sums up the glorious products sold here. Most of the furnishings can be customized for a reasonable price, and all of the upholstered pieces are manufactured in Canada. The Winnipeg-based company also sells items by iconic brands like Herman Miller and Alessi.
Dress your walls in a Farrow & Ball paint or artisanal wallpaper and you’re destined to create a thing of beauty. The premium paints and papers are produced in Dorset, England using top-notch ingredients and age-old methods, resulting in products that will add an extra layer of depth, texture and sophistication to your space.
Also part of the Elte empire, Ginger’s is the kitchen and bathroom arm of the company. If you’re looking to splurge on an ultra-fancy faucet or freestanding tub that will lend a luxe look to your space, this is the place to shop.
After spending (too) much time admiring H&M’s trendy decor products from across the border, we’re thrilled that the brand’s home collection has entered the Canadian market, too. Just as the company's garments will uplift your wardrobe for a new season, its stock of homeware goods will instantly refresh your living space.
Few things are more satisfying than remodelling a space from scratch or conquering a once-daunting DIY project. While not always easy, count on Home Depot to arm you with the tools you need to get started. Go ahead and enliven a room with the store’s collection of Behr paints or create this stylish storage cabinet using its hardware supplies.
The best thing about HomeSense (aside from the affordability of its products) is that you never know what you’ll find inside each store. It’s basically a giant treasure hunt for the design inclined. Maybe you’ll discover a show-stopping rug that ends up dictating your living room’s palette, or perhaps you’ll buy a dresser with the intention of updating it DIY style.
The most patriotic of companies, Hudson’s Bay brings all things Canadian to the forefront of the design scene. It also makes international brands more accessible. While you can’t go wrong with the store’s HBC Collection (just look for items clad in the iconic multi-hued stripes), we’re equally obsessed with other homeware brands on offer, including The Drake General Store, Gluckstein Home, Bluebellgray and Nespresso.
Believe us when we say well-made window coverings are worth the investment. Hunter Douglas designs custom, energy-efficient shades and blinds that control light exposure, insulate rooms (which preserves energy) and protect furniture from UV damage. Best of all, the window treatments have a stylish, refined look fit for any home.
Few need to be acquainted with the magical design world that is IKEA, but let us just say that part of our love for the company lies in the freedom it affords us to think outside each ready-to-assemble box of furniture. In other words, the DIY possibilities are endless – and we’ve got proof: from an easy dresser makeover to a budget-friendly mirror project.
Every bookworm knows that the only thing better than a compelling read is a beautiful space to hole up in while doing so. That’s the magic of Indigo. In addition to selling a mass of tomes, the bookstore boasts a stunning home collection chock full of stylish brands (we’re currently eyeing Torre & Tagus and Rifle Paper Co.).
When it comes to getting the designer look for less, Jysk makes it all too easy. The popular chain carries trendy patio sets, indoor furniture, gardening essentials, storage solutions, mattresses, accent pieces and more. The slender side table featured here is one of our favourite finds.
Create a dreamy bedroom or stylish playroom for your youngster with the help of Land of Nod. The children’s decor shop offers a plethora of inspiring pieces that have major staying power for when your tot grows older (we won’t judge if you happen to find a few pieces for yourself, too!).
Think of your outdoor living space as an extension of your home’s interior – and put just as much care into its design. Selling a wide selection of quality gardening tools, cabinetry hardware and other outdoor essentials, Lee Valley will help you transform your humdrum yard or balcony into a pleasing haven.
As one of the world’s largest home improvement retailers, Lowe’s is a brand we’ve come to rely on for an array of quality materials. We’re big fans of its expansive collection of Valspar paints, as well as its selection of Metrie mouldings. In other news, Lowe’s announced plans to acquire Rona, which means more good things to come.
Support independent artists and designers in exchange for inspiring home decor goods by shopping at this online marketplace. Minted boasts a curated collection of design must-haves (read: customizable stationery, Instagram-worthy party decorations and limited-edition artwork) created by independent artisans across the globe.
Sometimes all it takes to wake up a tired room is a quirky statement piece. If your home is in need of a playful pick-me-up, visit Morba. The Toronto-based furniture store looks like a well-curated flea market, with a bounty of Scandi-inspired light fixtures, chairs and accessories protruding from every corner. Not able to visit the store? Browse the shop’s website and place an order online.
For all of your tiling desires, look no further than this trusted company. The Canadian tile and stone manufacturer is an industry leader that offers a wide selection of striking materials. Dreaming about new bathroom floors? Opt for a dramatic porcelain tile. Kitchen backsplash in need of a major refresh? Update it with a dreamy marble.
If your backyard has you feeling less than inspired, trust Pier 1 to provide a quick and easy fix, whether that means adding a striped patio umbrella or a string of colourful paper lanterns. Outdoor decor isn’t the store’s only strong suit, either. Shop here for cheerful dishware, stylish pendant lights, plush furniture and more.
Part of the appeal of Pottery Barn is that the furniture and decor pieces on offer are undeniably timeless. The majority of items boast a chic rustic look to suit most living spaces. And as far as home decor is concerned, the store pretty much sells it all. We’re currently eyeing the brand’s expansive outdoor collection.
If you have a penchant for dazzling light fixtures, allow us to introduce you to Rejuvenation. The Portland-based lighting manufacturer sells a wide-range of arresting pieces meant for any design scheme. While lighting is the company’s claim to fame, it also carries high-quality furniture and a whole lot more.
It comes as no surprise that RH began as a small hardware business (one look at the brand’s collection of metal pulls and knobs and it’s clear they're an industry authority). Fast-forward to today, however, and the store has expanded its product offerings to include everything from home furnishings and light fixtures to outdoor pieces and window dressings. We also love its baby and child line.
Everyone needs a dependable store where they can stock up on the essentials, such as a new mattress (check out our buying guide here) and a feather-filled duvet (see here for how to keep yours fresh). Sears is that such place. We’ve also collaborated with the brand to bring forth an exclusive Style at Home collection comprised of everything from bedding to bath accents.
A home that boasts a relaxed, California-cool vibe is easy to fall in love with – which probably explains why we’re head-over-heels for Serena & Lily. The decor brand injects that beachy West Coast style into each of its products, whether it’s a nautical rattan-framed bistro chair or a coastal-inspired toss cushion.
When a furniture store’s mantra is to “think small”, you know it will be a refreshing departure from your typical big-box retailer. That’s why we love Shelter Furniture. The expansive showroom, located in Toronto’s Castlefield Design District, offers up Mid-Century Modern items alongside more contemporary furnishings.
If you’re searching for budget-friendly furniture with a modern edge, Structube has you covered. The Montreal-based business, which has more than 45 stores across Canada, sells affordable home decor that feels fresh and innovative.
What makes a retailer stand out from the pack? Its ability to cater to customers’ needs. In the land of home decor, that means creating customizable pieces. StyleGarage sells made-to-order furniture that’s produced in Canada using sustainably sourced materials whenever possible. If you prefer ready-made items, check out the store's collection of Gus* Modern products.
With a curated collection of beautiful fabrics, Tonic Living is a trusted source for all of your custom sewing needs. Whether you fancy pastel-hued florals, vibrant geometric prints or simple solids, the Toronto-based decor store’s textiles speak to every style.
As Canada’s largest lighting showroom, located in Toronto’s Castlefield Design District, this spacious store will ensure you never again underestimate the power of a great light fixture. Inside, you’ll find an array of shimmery showpieces, from chandeliers and wall sconces to floor and table lamps. To provide more of an all-in-one experience, Union also sells furniture and other adornments.
The first step to achieving a character-filled living space is simple: Introduce stylish elements with rustic appeal à la Urban Barn. The Canadian furniture store sells cabin chic items that are still decidedly modern, quickly taking a room from stark and sterile to warm and welcoming.
As the largest online furniture and home decor retailer in the U.S., Wayfair already had a lot going for it, but now that the company has launched its Canadian website, it’s become far more appealing to us all. The new homegrown site features more than 7 million products along with a host of local suppliers worth discovering.
Set foot inside one of West Elm’s 65 retail locations and you’ll soon see your space in a brand new light. That’s because the company partners with local makers and independent designers to bring forth inspiring collections that are just as modern as they are meaningful. Be sure to check out the store’s limited-edition collaborations for handmade, one-of-a-kind pieces.
Aspiring and seasoned chefs alike need not look far for deluxe cookware. Upgrade your kitchen cupboards with help from Williams-Sonoma and its specialty tools, ranging from essentials like Le Creuset stoneware sets to fun extras like ice cream sandwich makers. Need recipe inspo? Browse the brand’s eye-catching Instagram account for appetizing ideas.