10 designer Instagram accounts to follow for holiday inspiration
On any regular day, nothing ignites design inspiration like a good scroll through Instagram; but when the holiday season is in full swing there's nothing we love more than to see homes decked out in their best festive flair.
"The oversized pompoms on this @mindahome holiday blanket have got me like ??" @inthefunlane
"My temporary dinner bench has now become my temporary ottoman. It smells like a log cabin in here. if only it was snowing." @lovenataliechong
"Mornings in here." @ellivenstudio
"Finally had a chance this weekend to do some #christmas decorating. New blog post up (link in profile) about my shopping experience @lowes_canada where the greenery, rose gold ornaments, pine cones, lights and mini tree are from. Final reveal later this week. And I had to bring out the photo I took years ago of the snowy owl." @decorhappy
"Having trouble figuring out how to hang your holiday stockings without putting holes in your mantel? I've got you covered, and the answer is super-duper easy. Like 5-minutes-or-less-and-you're-done kind of easy. Go check it out! Link in profile." @thecuratedhouse
"If it were up to me I'd never leave this very spot." @larkandlinen
"Christmasing 2015" @christinedovey
"Netfix and chill by the cracklin' fire. Does anyone else love this? Anyone?..." @stephaniejvogler
"All is calm.... For now anyway! Lol" @Jillian.Harris
"Happy Sunday friends. Hope the sun is shining where you are." @ramblingreno
Learn more about this rising design star and where she finds her inspiration.
Learn more about this rising design star and where she finds her inspiration.
Check out our interview with the ever-talented textile designer Rebecca Atwood.
She’s a rising design star, her products are something to covet, she just released the bible on pattern play – and here, she takes the time to chat with us about everything else she has in the works.
Well, she’s more of a prints princess, but her patterns are certainly charming. Based in Brooklyn, N.Y., designer Rebecca Atwood is a budding It girl of the decor world, known for her eponymous home textiles line (featuring toss cushions, table linens, wallpapers, fabrics and more). She just released her first book, and we couldn’t be more thrilled for the chance to learn the secrets to her signature style: livable patterns and relaxed luxury. In Living With Pattern, Rebecca proves that layering prints on prints on prints can indeed impart peace and, when employed thoughtfully, truly empower a home.
What do Charleston, S.C., and Zihuatanejo, Mexico, have in common? They’ve both influenced Rebecca’s work. Living in a big city, she’s inspired on a daily basis – but even more so when she travels. “When you’re out of your element, you’re able to see things more clearly,” she explains. The soft colours of Rebecca’s Spring 2016 collection (shown above) capture the lush tones she fell for when visiting Charleston, while Spring 2017 is set to feature elements that caught Rebecca’s eye when she was recently in Zihuatanejo for a family member’s wedding. “I saw this colourful, stylized sun-moon objet on my hotel door,” she says, “and started to paint my own concept of the sun-moon combo. It’ll be featured in some of the fabrics I have coming out next year.”
Follow Rebecca on Instagram (@rebecca_atwood) and guess which of the everyday patterns she captures will appear in an upcoming collection. It's easy to see how these snaps from Charleston, S.C., influenced the prints in her Spring 2016 Gardner Collection.
“My mom saved everything – vintage lace, dresses from the ’20s,” says Rebecca, who appreciates the importance of surrounding herself with items of personal significance. “It’s about making a piece of your family’s history a part of how you live now,” she says, referencing an heirloom quilt in one of the homes featured in her book.
Whether Rebecca is sketching or painting – she travels with the supplies to do both – her top tools of the trade are her hands. “I typically can’t come up with ideas just sitting at a computer,” she says. “I have to start with a hands-on process where I allow myself to be creative and experiment, letting things flow naturally. It’s just about getting started and putting marks on paper or fabric. Then things come to life.” Beyond those basic tools, Rebecca likes working with India ink as well as gouache paints (“They’re like watercolours but are more opaque and have a matte finish,” says the artist). She also loves Muji sketchbooks – unless she’s working directly on fabric, and if so, she favours natural materials.
In Living With Pattern, Rebecca turns her favourite interiors into lessons about using pattern that you can easily adapt to your home. Her advice for making the living room your own? “Use a large neutral rug as your base and define the seating area by layering a smaller rug on top,” she writes. She also says to play with texture and include woven textiles as well as wood and stone. “Remember that linear elements, such as the legs of a plant stand, can become pattern, too,” she adds. “And keep fabric patterns simple and graphic to maintain the focus on the foundation.”
Keep your duvets fresh with these helpful tips.
Keep your duvets fresh with these helpful tips.
Everything you need to know about duvets and how to maintain them.
A duvet is often an investment piece and even infrequent laundering can damage it, so proper maintenance is key. Opt for a duvet cover, which protects better than a flat sheet. Keep the filling evenly distributed and smooth by fluffing the duvet regularly. Also air it out a few times a year by hanging it, sans cover, on a clothesline to preserve its fresh scent. If the duvet and its filling ever get soiled, launder with care. Start by checking the label. If the duvet can handle machine washing, use warm water and mild detergent. Do not wring the duvet before placing it in the dryer on the low setting. Add dryer balls, which prevent clumping, and a few clean, dry towels to speed up the process.
This quality duvet from the Style at Home Collection is available at Sears.
Consider getting separate summer and winter duvets. Dressing your bed in accordance with the season is likely to result in savings on your energy bill. Just be sure to protect off-season duvets from dust by storing them in cotton canvas bags (never plastic ones, which won’t allow duvets to breathe and may lead to mildew).
Time is of the essence
Attend to spills or stains immediately, before they seep into the filling. Push as much of the filling as you can out of the way before spot-treating the casing with water and mild dishwashing liquid.
Fill the gap
Not sure which filling is best? Here’s a breakdown of the most common materials.
Down: The most effective insulator, resulting in light-weight options that pack serious heat; pricey and associated with allergies.
Feather: Cost-effective and firm; allergenic, heavy, and larger feathers can poke through fabric, so look for high-threadcount casings.
Synthetic: Typically made of polyester, low cost and non-allergenic; can get bulky and doesn’t keep heat as well as natural options.
Did you know
Down’s fill power (400 to 900) is a measure of how well it insulates. The higher the fill power, the longer lasting, softer and warmer a down duvet.
Keep this trifecta of duvet care must-haves on hand.
Maintain: Keep your duvet smelling fresh with fabric spray; this one traps allergens, which can then be vacuumed away. Allergen Reducer Fabric Refresher Spray in Unscented, Febreze, $5.
Wash: Calming yet powerful lemon essential oil is the star ingredient in this all-natural laundry detergent. Laundry Detergent in original lemon, Lemon Aide, $13.
DRY: Stop the filling from clumping together with these Canadian-made wool dryer balls. Handmade wool dryer balls, Ulat, $30 per set of 3.
Dos and Don'ts
Do: Use a large-capacity front-loading washing machine (if need be, go to a laundromat) or hand wash in the bathtub.
Don’t: Use a top loader, which can pack down the filling, or a machine too small to comfortably fit the dry duvet.
Find cheap and chic kitchen perk-ups for your home.
Organizing, styling and mini-makeover ideas to transform the hub of your home.
Photography by Stacey Brandford
1 Elevate the everyday – invest in a set of handmade cereal bowls.
2 Granny Smith apples – a stylist's secret weapon – are a pretty countertop accent and a healthy snack all in one.
3 When was the last time your toaster made toast the way you like it? If you can’t remember, it's time for a new one.
4 Use a bench with storage as a kitchen banquette.
5 Treat yourself to a fresh set of dishtowels. Reuse the old ones as rags to polish silver, shine shoes or wipe up paint spills.
6 Display a vintage dishware collection on open shelves.
7 Hot-glue a seldom used vintage kitchen utensil in a shadow box and start a collection to adorn your walls.
8 Overhaul the area under your sink cabinet to make room for garbage, recycling and composting.
9 Bake a pie or layer cake – your kitchen will be transformed in less than an hour.
10 Hide the counter clutter of keys, cellphones and sunglasses inside a Moroccan tajine.
11 Remove everything from the tops of cabinets. Thoroughly clean the area. Do not replace the items!
12 Get rid of any chipped plates or cups – they're getting you down.
13 Dress the windowsill with two or three pots of moss or herbs.
14 If you have glass door cabinets but can't keep what’s inside looking tidy, line the glass panels with wallpaper or fabric, or apply frosted window film.
15 Install energy-efficient under cabinet lighting.
16 Use crystal flutes for your orange juice tomorrow morning. Champagne optional!
17 Create a photo wall of family members with their birthday cakes over the years.
18 Conceal scratches or dents on an old fridge with decorative wall decals.
19 A rough-hewn wooden bowl looks just as great empty as it does filled with rustic breads, artichokes or newspapers.
20 If there isn't a window above your sink, hang a mirror there.
21 Add French flair: opt for a rustic table and chairs in the centre of your kitchen rather than an island.
22 Wallpaper the ceiling.
23 Tall ceilings? Install a large nontypical central light, like a chandelier, lantern or industrial pendant.
24 Cook up some natural air freshener: In a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups of apple cider to a simmer. Add a few slices of lemon, cinnamon sticks and 1 tsp whole cloves. Simmer for a couple of hours, adding more cider as it evaporates.
25 Hang a fabric blind with an elegant swag for a touch of grandeur.
Photography by Robin Stubbert
26 A potted orchid in a white ceramic pot is a sophisticated living accessory that lasts longer than cut stems.
27 Install a new faucet.
28 Use a shallow baking dish to store cooking essentials by the cooktop or stove. It will keep everything exactly where you need it and save your counter from oil rings and pepper grinder debris. Decant olive oil into an opaque or dark glass bottle to protect it from light.
29 Treat yourself to a new set of canisters.
30 Say no to paper napkins and switch to a colourful fabric set.
31 Switch out your dated kitchen chairs for black Windsor chairs. They're a design classic – great with mod or trad tables.
32 Remove a pair of cupboard doors and style the open shelves with your prettiest things.
33 Install invisible touch-latch hardware for a sleek, modern look.
34 Hang wallpaper as a backsplash. Protect it with acrylic or glass panels custom cut and installed by a glazier.
35 Leave only your chicest small appliances on the counter.
36 Conceal an ugly backsplash behind peel-andstick Smart Tiles.
37 Banish old knobs in favour of sexy new ones.
38 Conquer the junk drawer.
39 Get a handsome mortar and pestle. When you aren't using it to muddle mint for a mojito, press it into service as a bookend for cookbooks.
40 Paint your cabinets nature's neutral – green. It will look great with all your fruits and veg.
41 Display a pineapple when you're expecting guests – it's the universal symbol of welcome.
42 Make a pretty message board by placing fabric or decorative paper behind the glass of a large frame. Then use a dry erase marker to write on the front.
43 Add shaped brackets along the toe kick to make your cabinets look like fine furniture.
44 Install decorative casing trim around your pass-through.
45 Banish the smelly dishcloth hanging over the faucet! Organize your sinkside essentials on a rectangular dish or tray. The must-haves: dish soap in a pretty container (or decant some into a translucent white squeeze bottle), an all-natural cellulose sponge for dishwashing, a scrub brush and a plastic scrubber for pots.
46 Install a plate rack. Use it to display a collection of platters or cookbooks.
47 Splurge on a marble-top dining table for your best friend.
48 Keep utensils contained and at the ready in a plain white pitcher – it goes with any kitchen.
49 Perk up a family table with cheerful oilcloth that you can wipe clean in a flash.
50 The next time you buy groceries, bring home a bunch of daisies for the kitchen table.