Click to download: David Boyes Home Concepts
We've scoured the Instagram of Meghan Markle, actress and girlfriend to Prince Harry, and rounded up the 'grams that give us a glimpse of her Toronto abode.
When she's not playing Rachel Zane in Suits or roaming around London with a prince in tow, Meghan Markle can be found in a soothing Scandi-inspired sanctuary that is her Toronto home. From white textiles to fluffy throws and vintage-inspired accents to vases of colourful blooms, Meghan's created a cozy retreat perfect for playing with her pups, working on her site The Tig, and, presumably, enjoying some papparazzi-free time with everyone's favourite ginger prince.
White sofas, a tan throw, black and white pictures and white orchids keep her living space cool and calm.
On one of her walls is a photo of a beach by the photographer Gray Malin, which is complimented by the colourful blooms she placed in a vase on a marble table.
Marble subway tiles line the walls in Meghan's bathroom.
Neutral walls, neutral curtains and neutral seating is the theme throughout Meghan's home.
Aside from the gorgeous blooms that are placed on many of the tabletops in Meghan's home, beautiful books are also scattered about.
By Meghan's bedside, Grace Coddington's book "Grace: A Memoir," a scented candle and bright pink peonies.
Meghan's love for pretty books and blooms continues—she teamed black and white books, photos and accents with cheery pink blooms on a rustic wooden table.
A vintage-looking windowpane mirror lends a whimsy element to Meghan's all-white bedroom.
White furry throws can be found swung across many chairs in her home.
White linens, a simple wooden bedframe, a tan throw and black and white artwork complete Meghan's bedroom.
A gold vintage-inspired mirror, tall green plants and standard Scandi must-haves lend an eclectic hand to her living space.
Colour-coded piles of books are topped with succulents in her bedroom.
An animal-skin rug and antlers give this room a Scandinavian feel.
The best part of Meghan's home? Her two roommates: Guy and Bogart.
An unused front yard is brought to life.
A compelling contrast of textures brings this verdant Vancouver front yard to life.
When the opportunity to enliven an outdoor space arises, few homeowners focus on the front yard, but for one Vancouver couple, who grew tired of walking down chipped concrete steps and passing worn-wood retaining walls to enter their home, it was the area they were most eager to renovate. In 2013, the pair enlisted landscape designer Sarah Carver of Haven Garden Design to devise a functional front garden that would make a glowing first impression (in addition to updating their backyard). “We wanted to create a strong sense of arrival when you enter the property,” says Sarah.
In order to achieve this, the designer used the house’s contemporary cube-shaped facade as the jumping-off point, opting for concrete slabs set in a geometric design to juxtapose the lush and textured plant combinations. The homeowners also wanted to establish a visual connection with the indoors, so Sarah strategically positioned the outdoor sitting area adjacent to the living room and had lights embedded in the concrete and interspersed among the plants throughout the yard. Now, the couple can appreciate the garden’s beauty from inside or out – whether they’re sipping coffee in the courtyard in the early morning or admiring the view from the sofa come sunset.
“They’ll often open up the living room window coverings when they entertain to animate the indoors at night,” says Sarah. The designer’s careful eye for detail makes the outdoor space more than just an arresting entrance. Float down the front steps and you’ll be taken by a tangle of large trees grounded by a rich palette of plants like chartreuse hostas and deep burgundy heucheras, which work with the hardscaping for a result that’s truly distinct. “It’s not about getting from A to B quickly,” says Sarah. “It’s about the experience.”
Garden stats: A front garden featuring geometric concrete hardscaping juxtaposed with a jumble of lively and lush plant varieties.
Size: 25' x 33'
Focus: Low-maintenance part-shade perennials.
For the walkway, landscape designer Sarah Carver opted for shorter stairs with deeper treads (14 inches instead of the standard 12-inch size), along with a large landing “to make the experience more comfortable and leisurely,” she says. Every aspect of the design follows a grid pattern, even the score lines in the concrete, which prevent cracking and lend symmetry and interest. In the evening, lights set within the concrete illuminate the stairs.
To maximize every inch of space, Sarah had the concrete borders surrounding the courtyard raised to seat height and ensured they would be wide enough to accommodate outdoor cushions. “We knew creating a typical furniture layout would be difficult, so this is like built-in furniture that doubles as retaining walls,” she says. In the garden, a Japanese maple nestled in a nook beside the staircase offers privacy from the street, while purple plants, such as hebes and ageratum peppered along the edges, add colourful contrast.
Clockwise from top left: A vibrant green magnolia tree livens up the sitting area, even before exposing its brilliant white blooms (“I try to have something catch the eye, no matter the season,” says Sarah); deep purple heucheras conform to the garden’s quiet colour palette and deliver plenty of texture; to reduce maintenance, the designer sought out shade-loving companion plants like hostas and Japanese forest grass, which flourish under the same conditions; Sarah chose silvery purple Japanese painted ferns to lend the garden a contemporary feel and pick up on the grey tone of the concrete (“there’s a thread of consistency throughout,” she says).
5 easy care perennials: Give your garden long-term interest with these showy low-maintenance plants.
Don't underestimate the power of a stellar side table—it holds the ability to add an instant dose of chic to your living room or bedroom.
Looking for an easy way to upgrade your space with the latest trends? Replace the standard side table beside your sofa or bed with one (or two!) in a stand-out silhouette. To make it easy, we’ve hand-picked the coolest ones to suit every budget. From a brushed brass pedestal option to a wood retro pick, these stylish pieces are sure to make your room so much sleeker.
1. Brass-finished aluminum Oxford side table with marble top , CB2, $349.
2. Powder-coated steel Peggy side table, EQ3, $79.
3. Powder-coated steel Gladom side table in light yellow, IKEA, $29.
4. Brushed brass burnished side table with antiqued mirror top, Art Shoppe, $499.
5. Ash Cavour side table with melamine-finished MDF top, Structube, $99.
6. Lacquered steel stay side table in Stone Grey, Urban Mode, $363.
7. GlucksteinHome polished stainless steel Clare side table with glass top, Hudson’s Bay, $849.
8. Powder-coated aluminum Nero side table with marble top in Grey, Crate and Barrel, $449.
The 10 dirtiest things in your house
Keep your house healthy and clean by learning how to eradicate germs.
What are the 10 dirtiest, grimiest, germiest, stinkiest, grossest things in your home? We spoke to cleaning expert Anne, from Toronto-based Homestead Maid to get the lowdown on the most common, worst-offending messes in Canadian homes.
Here's the thing: Not all these trouble spots are obvious. In fact, many look clean. The good news is it doesn't take a lot of elbow grease – or harsh chemical cleaners – to ensure they truly are clean.
Here's what to look out for and how to get it squeaky clean.
"When it comes to dirt and germs, first and foremost are the actual rags, sponges and scrub brushes you clean with," says Anne. Cleaning 411: • Run sponges through the dishwasher, or microwave them on high for a couple of minutes. • Nylon and stainless-steel scouring pads and brushes can go in the dishwasher. • Rinse, wring out and hang dry kitchen rags after use; launder them either every couple days or when they begin to smell. • Always toss rags into the laundry after they've been used to mop up spills from raw meat.
Don't just clean the toilet bowl and seat. The real mess is usually on the rim, toilet base and surrounding floor. "Especially when you have small children – or men – in the household," says Anne. Cleaning 411: • Always wipe down the toilet rim and base when cleaning the toilet. • Wipe or mop the floor around the toilet base as needed or at least weekly.
"All kinds of food debris gets caught in the drain and causes bad smells," says Anne. Left to build up too long, clogs can develop. Cleaning 411: • Pour a cup of baking soda down the drain followed by a cup of white vinegar, let sit for a minute, then pour a kettle of boiling water down the drain, for an inexpensive, eco-friendly once-a-week disinfecting/deodorizing treatment.
If you leave it dirty, you risk your pet ingesting spoiled food. You may also attract ants, roaches or mice. Cleaning 411: • Promptly wipe up spilled food or water. • Wash bowls regularly. • Protect flooring by placing bowls on a washable placemat or charger plate.
After all, where does kitty step right after she's done her business in her loo? Cleaning 411: • Vacuum, then wipe down/mop with vinegar and hot water. • Alternatively, lay a washable car mat by the litter box. Wash with hot water and dish detergent as needed.
"This actually depends on how vigilantly people in the home wash their hands," says Anne. Cleaning 411: • If you have small kids, wipe down knobs as needed or weekly (use a rag and hot soapy water or wet wipes). • Otherwise, wipe down knobs whenever you clean your baseboards (more frequently on bathroom doorknobs).
"In fact, everything you touch during and after changing baby and before hand-washing needs to be cleaned," says Anne. PRO TIP: Don't use harsh anti-bacterial cleaners in the nursery. Regular wet wipes – yes, the same ones you use during diaper changes! – are perfect for nursery spot-cleaning. Cleaning 411: • Wipe down the diaper pail exterior with a wet wipe, daily. • Clean the interior as per manufacturer instructions, or with hot soapy water as needed.
"People forget to clean the inside of the microwave, so it gets pretty dirty," says Anne. Cleaning 411: • Clean the interior surfaces with hot soapy water and a sponge (a nylon scrubber is also fine, but never use a harsh metal scouring pad); rinse and wipe dry. • If there's crusty food residue, run the microwave with a bowl of water or wet dishcloth for a couple of minutes. Steam softens dry food residue so it can be wiped clean.
Especially near the toilet. "It's the pee factor again," says Anne. Cleaning 411: • Hot vinegar-y water with a rag will clean and deodorize.
We tread on them daily, right? Cleaning 411: • Protect your floors (and children's health) by always removing shoes at the door to avoid trekking in dirt, pollution (yes, lead dust can travel in on shoes!), and germs. • Sweep or vacuum as required or at least weekly. • Mop up spills immediately, spot-clean dirty spots. • DON'T go overboard with harsh cleaning chemicals, says Anne. "A lot of flooring surfaces are very sensitive and hot water mixed with vinegar is safest for the finish. And always really wring out the mop so it's damp, not soaking wet," says Anne.