Wrap the prettiest presents under the tree with these 10 essentials
Instead of traditional red, white and green, add a pop of pink to your holiday packages this year! This pretty paper features a repeat candy cane pattern that’s sweet and whimsical. Illustrated by Canadian artist Lindsay Stephenson, this paper is sure to charm this Christmas. There are three sheets per roll and rolls are shrink wrapped to protect the paper. Candy Cane Wrapping Paper, The Penny Paper Co., $12.
This red and white wrapping twine will instantly add a festive look to all your gifts. It’s also perfect for securing cellophane if you’re preparing plates of baked goods to give. Red and White Twisted Rope Ribbon, Minor Thread on Etsy, starting at $3.25.
Dress up your gifts with pretty ornaments affixed atop with twine or ribbon. These 100% wool snowflake ornaments will not only make every present look special, but they’re also an extra little gift for someone to hang on their tree and think of you for Christmases to come. Felt Snowflake Ornaments, West Elm, $6 for set of 4.
Printed on luxe paper and featuring an adorable winter-inspired illustration, this gift tag will make a wonderful first impression! Choose from four different paper types to personalize your gift tags just as you like them. Winter Snow Friends Gift Tags, Minted, starting at $30.
Recreating a vintage-looking holiday scene, this gift wrap from Rifle Paper Co is perfect for dressing up your presents. If you can’t get enough of this pattern, greeting and ornament cards are also available. Holiday Snow Scene Gift Wrap, Rifle Paper Co., $8.50.
Washi tape is perfect for decorating everything from gifts and cards to envelopes before you pop them into the mail. Add your own personal touch to all of your holiday gifts and cards with this variety pack of Washi tape, which features six rolls in different patterns. Christmas Washi Tape, Hobby Hoppers on Etsy, $11.
This two-pack gift wrap set comes with a festive plaid pattern and a fun, printed pattern expressing the cheerful sentiments of the season. Printed on premium paper with a satin finish, these co-ordinating papers will add a decidedly chic look to all your gifts this Christmas. Holiday Wrapping Paper Gift Set, Ashley Brooke Designs, $30.
This cheeky Christmas card paints an all too familiar scene for many of us (guilty as charged!). Make friends and family chuckle when you send out these less traditional but highly entertaining holiday cards this season. Everyone Was on Their Phone Card, Indigo, $15.95.
We have two words for these bunny Christmas gift tags: Simply adorable. This pack of 10 gift tags is professionally printed on white card stock and comes with white and gold metallic twine for an added touch of chic. Bunny Christmas Gift Tags, Paula and Waffle on Etsy, $8.
You probably won’t get through the holiday season without needing a gift bag or two so stock up on bags of all sizes to fit those awkwardly shaped gifts or ones you just don’t have time to wrap. This premium bag has sturdy handles so it can bear the weight of a heavy(ish) gift, yet looks stylish all the same. Oh What Fun Plaid Bag, Indigo, $6.
Pretty powder room.
We designed a Deco-inspired powder room on both a Gatsby and a Carraway budget. Can you tell the difference?
1 Laundry Studio Diamante wallpaper in Turquoise, Hygge & West, $140 US per double roll. 2 UberHaus metal Naples sconces with fabric shade and faux crystals (removed), RONA, $32 each. 3 Aluminum-bordered Ronglan mirror, 32", IKEA, $119. 4 Town Square widespread cast-brass faucet in Polished Chrome, American Standard, $460. 5 Fitzgerald 3-hole fireclay pedestal sink in Canvas White, 24", DXV, $520. 6 Ceramic Hexagon floor tiles in White and Black, 1", Saltillo Imports, $5 per sq. ft. each. 7 Cotton terry cloth Linen-edged bath towel in White,Anthropologie, $48 US. 8 Vintage monogrammed linen hand towel, Putti Fine Furnishings, $25. 9 Moen Iso steel towel bar, 18", RONA, $43. 10 Illume poured candle in glass vessel, Indigo, $18.
1 Paper & Ink Coastal Chic Lace Doily wallpaper in CO10412, through designers, Crown Wallpaper & Fabrics, $159 per double roll. 2 Hudson Valley Lighting 1-light brass Sanford sconces in Polished Nickel with silk shade, Sescolite, $551 each. 3 Mother of Pearl mirror, 30", Cocoon Furnishings, $1,046. 4 Keefe widespread cast-brass faucet in Polished Chrome, DXV, $680. 5 Town Square 3-hole fireclay pedetsal sink, 24", American Standard, $705. 6 Enamelled-glass mosaic Hexagon floor tiles in White, Cobalt Blue and Light Blue, 2", Saltillo Imports, $19 per sq. ft. each. 7 Cotton terry cloth bath towel in Off-white with linen border in Natural, per pair, Zara Home, $50. 8 Embroidered-linen Honeycomb hand towel in White & Silver, Au Lit Fine Linens, $48. 9 Valsan brass Porto towel bar in Chrome, 20", Upper Canada Specialty Hardware, $129. 10 Tom Dixon poured Eclectic candle in brass vessel with marble lid, Medulla & Co., $95.
Simple sconces against patterned wallpaper will brighten up any powder room, especially when framing the mirror over the sink. Low (left): UberHaus metal Naples sconces with fabric shade and faux crystals (removed), RONA, $32 each. High (right): Hudson Valley Lighting 1-light brass Sanford sconces in Polished Nickel with silk shade, Sescolite, $551 each.
The stars of our high and low powder rooms are the statuesque art deco-inspired pedestal sinks (these gals have got some gams!). Though their silhouettes are quite different, each embodies the celebrated glamour of old Hollywood and makes for one lavish lavatory. Low (left): Fitzgerald 3-hole fireclay pedestal sink in Canvas White, 24", DXV, $520. High (right): Town Square 3-hole fireclay pedestal sink, 24", American Standard, $705.
Racks and hooks are great hanging options, but consider a towel bar, whatever your price point. It allows plenty of ventilation for speedy drying, so your towels stay fresh. Low (left): Moen Iso steel towel bar, 18", RONA, $43. High (right): Valsan brass Porto towel bar in Chrome, 20", Upper Canada Specialty Hardware, $129.
When the first residential bathrooms began appearing around the turn of the last century, the floor covering of choice was mosaic tile. The diminutive size of the tiles – an inch or so wide – suited the scale of the generally cramped spaces and allowed for a wide variety of patterns, which ranged from simple to intricate. To lend our powder rooms that signature old-world charm, we recreated the look by installing hexagonal tiles in a scattered flower motif. The Low features basic one-inch black and white tiles, while the High comprises bolder two-inch white, navy and powder blue ones. We combined segments from single-colour mesh sheets, but you can buy a sheet with a preset pattern for easy installation. The options are as pleasantly plentiful as ever. Low (left): Ceramic Hexagon floor tiles in White and Black, 1", Saltillo Imports, $5 per sq. ft. each. High (right): Enamelled-glass mosaic Hexagon floor tiles in White, Cobalt Blue and Light Blue, 2", Saltillo Imports, $19 per sq. ft. each.
If you're going to add a softly-scented candle into your powder room, you might as well make sure it stays with the glam look of the room by placing it in a gold candle holder. Low (left): Illume poured candle in glass vessel, Indigo, $18. High (right): Tom Dixon poured Eclectic candle in brass vessel with marble lid, Medulla & Co., $95.
Faucets are never a bathroom item to overlook. They are the element of the powder room that will pull the sink, mirror, sconces and added accessories together so choose wisely. Low (left): Town Square widespread cast-brass faucet in Polished Chrome, American Standard, $460. High (right): Keefe widespread cast-brass faucet in Polished Chrome, DXV, $680.
Anticipate your guests’ needs with a toiletry essentials kit. Stock basic hair, nail and dental care products, as well as common medicines. Toss large items, such as dry shampoo, right in, but corral small bits like bobby pins in mini envelopes. Brass and glass Callie box, Pottery Barn, $104. Large cotton Fouta bath towel, Au Lit Fine Linens, $98.
For a special touch, layer hand towels in various materials and textures with unique details, such as pleats, fringes or embroidery. Stick to a single palette for uniformity. 1 Cotton terry cloth Heather Fringed in Oatmeal, Pottery Barn, $24. 2 Cotton terry cloth in Off-white with linen border in Natural, Zara Home, $20 per pair. 3 Cotton terry cloth Linen- edged in White, Anthropologie, $28 US. 4 Fringed-cotton honeycomb-woven Fouta in Powder Blue, Putti Fine Furnishings, $22. 5 Vintage linen with crocheted edge, Putti Fine Furnishings, $295. 6 Antique-French-linen with vintage-linen pleated edge, Putti Fine Furnishings, $80. 7 Vintage monogrammed linen, Putti Fine Furnishings, $30. 8 Embroidered-linen Tangier in Oat & White, Au Lit Fine Linens, $48. 9 Cotton terry cloth jacquard Isaac Floral Sculpted in White, Pottery Barn, $30. 10 Cotton terry cloth jacquard, Zara Home, $14 per pair.
Can you tell which bathroom is high and which is low?
Can you tell which bathroom is high and which is low?
We designed a luxe bathroom using two different budgets. Can you tell which is the high and which is the low?
We designed a luxe old-meets-new bathroom using both a flood and a trickle of cash flow. Can you tell the difference?
1 Brass Colebrook 1041 pendant light in Aged Brass, Universal Lamp, Hudson Valley Lighting, $375.
2 Gold-leafed carved wood Empire-style mirror, Barrymore Furniture, $4,730.
3 Unisex cotton Antiochia bathrobe in Grey & White, Au Lit Fine Linens, $139.
4 Carrara marble and antique-brass-finished iron Darcy side table, Pottery Barn, $399 US.
5 Hand-carved oak and linen Louis sidechair, Art Shoppe, $699.
7 Hammam-style cotton Antiochia hand towel in Grey & White, Au Lit Fine Linens, $34.
8 Brass floor-mounted Traditional tub filler in Champagne Bronze with cross handle, Delta Faucet, $2,425.
9 Framed Harmony artwork by H. Kalisher, 24" x 24", Barrymore Furniture, $400.
1 Polished brass-plated steel geometric pendant light, CB2, $120.
2 Gold-leafed metal and MDF Valonia mirror, Barrymore Furniture, $810.
3 Unisex washed linen bathrobe in Light Grey, H&M, $60.
4 Carrara marble and steel Solo side table in Gold, Shelter, $299.
5 Lacquered oak and linen blend Louis side chair in Beige, Structube, $299.
7 Hammam-style cotton hand towel, HomeSense, $8 per pair.
8 Rubinet brass Raven tub filler in Satin Brass with cross handles, Taps Bath Centre, $2,199.
Harking back to the late 19th century, free-standing cast iron clawfoot bathtubs flooded the decor world roughly a decade ago. The traditional tub has enjoyed a variety of modern manifestations and manipulations. One trend we’re particularly fond of is painting the tub’s exterior black, a clever DIY that adds a dramatic edge. But oceania has done one better: the Milano bathtub replicates the look without the work, and (bonus!) it’s made of acrylic, so it’s lightweight, easing installation.
Oceania Influence free-standing acrylic Milano bathtub in White & Black, Taps Bath Centre, $2,299; Arto handmade concrete Conche floor tiles in Charcoal Gray with smooth finish, Creekside Tile, $18 per sq. ft.
Whatever your style, a set of lush white terry towels is essential to bath time. Don’t let this simple staple fool you: all towels may look alike, but higher quality means a better feel as well as superior performance and durability. So read the fine print before making your pick – regardless of your budget.
1 Double-sided cotton Portofino face cloth, $13, hand towel, $23, and bath towel, $34, all in White, Au Lit Fine Linens.
2 Style at Home Collection double-sided three-ply ring-spun cotton face cloth, $13, hand towel, $17, and bath towel, $26, all in White, Sears.
3 Canadian Living double-sided one-ply ring-spun Egyptian cotton face cloth, $10, hand towel, $15, and bath towel, $20, all in White, Bed Bath & Beyond.
4 Springmaid one-sided two-ply combed Egyptian cotton face cloth, $6, hand towel, $9, and bath towel, $12, all in White, Walmart.
Our luxe loo gets its undeniable grandeur from the large gold-framed mirror. Similar vintage-style looking glasses are popping up everywhere, and we’ve taken the liberty of rounding up a few of our faves. Whether you prefer ornate ornamentation or minimal embellishment, we’ve got an option for you. Good luck picking the fairest of them all!
1 Gold-leafed metal and MDF Valonia, 42" x 59", Barrymore Furniture, $810.
2 Gold-leafed wood louis Philippe Gilt, 34" x 56", Restoration Hardware, $545 US.
3 Iron Gleaming Primrose in Gold, 39" x 39", Anthropologie, $398 US.
4 Made Goods gold-leafed wood Philippe, 30" x 64", The Cross Decor & Design, $1,575.
When a popular piece transcends trendy to become timeless, the decor world benefits. Such is the case with the crowd-pleasing peshtemal, or hammam towel, a go-to that bears all the makings of a classic. With origins in turkish bathhouses, it’s traditionally handmade from organic fibres in muted tones and features tassel edging and decorative stripes for a touch of frill. This towel is also flat-woven and compact but dries fast and wicks moisture well. Best of all, it’s equally at home in the kitchen and in the bath. Hammam-style cotton Antiochia hand towel in Grey & White, Au Lit Fine Linens, $34. Le Bouquet de Lili bar soap, Lothantique, $7.
Small space: Contemporary and artistic duplex
When the opportunity to purchase the great space you've been renting for a year arises, you grab it. And that's exactly what Leah Belford and Kris Dirksen did."We were so attached to the home and couldn't bear the idea of moving," says Leah, "so when the owner decided to sell, we pulled together an offer and got it!" That "it" is a three-storey, 1,080-square-foot duplex set in Kits, the local moniker for Vancouver's vibrant Kitsilano neighbourhood.
As new homeowners, the couple was keen to synthesize the space's design with their needs. Overall, they wanted to eradicate the dingy yellow walls, dated popcorn ceilings and '90s builder-quality finishes to a cleaner design.
In the living room, a new large picture window keeps the view to the garden unobstructed and lets in lots of light. A mix of modern furniture and worldly finds, such as the vintage throw blanket that was picked up on a trip to Buenos Aires and repurposed as a rug, reflects the couple's eclectic approach to decorating.
The couple knew their fresh finishes had to be practical, and a serious lack of storage space (just two tiny storage cupboards and two closets) meant the organizing solutions had to be savvy. The stacked drawer units in the hallway provide optimal organization in the small space.
Jewellery storage trays
Leah, a jewellery designer, uses funky trays for storage to hold strands of pretty gemstones. "They have to be stored in a single layer to avoid becoming a tangled mess," says Leah.
With saving space in mind, Kris built a sliding cedar barn door between the master bedroom and ensuite. An antique armoire scored on Craigslist holds most of Leah's clothes; off-season items are stashed in storage baskets under the bed. An African feather headdress lends a tactile softness to the room.
Here, the couple shunned the traditional bathroom vanity for pre-fab lower kitchen cupboards. "They're easier to customize because there are more sizing options, and they are higher and wider than standard bathroom cabinets so there's more room for storage." In addition to housing toiletries, the cupboards hold extra bedding, blankets and cleaning supplies.
The skylight illuminates the professional-looking results of leah and Kris's DIY bathroom renovation. A ladder handcrafted by a local woodworker is an interesting perch for the bath mat. It stands beside Uma the cow, an oil painting by Leah's artist cousin.
In homeowner Leah Belford's Vancouver duplex, her second floor studio (where she creates jewellery for her line, Leah Alexandra) remains clutter-free thanks to clever storage solutions, some of which are artfully placed in the bay window.
Third floor: 130-square-feet
Initially Kris set up his studio on the third floor, with Leah's on the second. But the arrangement proved problematic: "There's no door on the top floor to shut out sound," explains Leah. "Since I was working right below, either Kris was complaining about my music being too loud for him to do his work or vice versa!" Eventually he converted the garage into his own soundproof studio, and the top floor is currently a "bonus" space that Leah uses as a home office.
In Leah's home office on the third floor, white IKEA exposed shelving units deliver both practical storage and an ever-changing lively vignette of books and favourite objects. A vintage bench upholstered in bright pink linen injects a decidedly feminine air, while the gold-leafed pendant light adds a layer of rustic glamour.