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editor’s note

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l aY N e C h r i s t e N s e N

e ditor@lookmag.ca

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editor-in-chief

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Layne Christensen

Vicki Magnison

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Publishing and sales

Marlyn Graziano art direction & design

Dee Dhaliwal Doug Foot

Adrian Cunningham

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Sarah Richardson is no stranger to creative design on a limited budget. The star of HGTV’s Sarah’s House cleverly mixes vintage treasures with modern furnishings and finishes to create a style that’s all her own. Writer Kate zimmerman caught up with the decorator for our cover story, The House That Sarah Built. West Coast fans can meet Richardson in person when she makes a special appearance at IDSwest, the interior design show coming to the new Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre Oct. 14-17. And if you are a seafood lover, you’ll want to read Underwater Love, food critic Deana Lancaster’s insightful essay on ocean-friendly choices for eating in and dining out. Enjoy!

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The Look team was given a lesson in upcycling — finding new and better uses for discarded items — while shooting our fashion pages at architectural firm MGB’s award-winning Accessory Building. The firm’s multimillion-dollar commissions include international airports but it’s a low-budget interior for Gastown boutique Lynn Steven that’s creating a buzz, scooping up “Best of Competition” at the recent international interior design awards in Chicago. “That little project” with a columnar wall constructed from old paperback novels is the type of work principal Michael Green likes best. “You get way more potency out of creative design than spending money.”

Dee Dhaliwal

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conTriBUTorS michelle bouffard mike chatwin deana lancaster cindy goodman lisa king manisha krishnan fred lee michaela morris deanna Palkowski terry Peters rosalind smith kate Zimmerman look is distributed four times a year as a supplement to Postmedia community newspapers, a division of Postmedia network inc., in select areas of the lower Mainland. Entire contents © 2010 Postmedia network inc. all rights reserved. Privacy statement: Postmedia companies collect and use your personal information primarily for the purpose of providing you with the products and services you have requested from us. Postmedia companies may also contact you from time to time about your account or to conduct market research and surveys in an effort to continually improve our product and service offerings. to enable us to more efficiently provide the products and services you have requested from us, the Postmedia companies may share your personal information with other Postmedia companies and with selected third parties who are acting on our behalf as our agents, suppliers or service providers. a copy of our privacy statement is available at www.postmedia.com or by contacting 604-589-9182. Enquiries can be addressed to: look Magazine, 100-126 East 15th st., north Vancouver, B.C. V7l 2P9 tel. 604-985-2131.


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S m a r t s e a f o o d c h o i c e s at t h e g r o c e r y a i s l e o r r e s ta u r a n t ta b l e a r e g o o d f o r t h e o c e a n a n d g o o d f o r y o u .

words deana lancaster



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orget the environment, just for a second. After a while, the nagging about carbon footprints and food miles begins to sound like white noise; news of oil spills and overfishing depresses; they seem insurmountable problems that no amount of conscientious consuming is going to solve. Chefs have their own reasons for choosing sustainable seafood. “It tastes better,” says Quang Dang, executive chef of Diva at the Met in downtown Vancouver. “When it’s local, when it’s harvested the right way, at the right time, it yields you a much better product. Chefs don’t want to use crappy products.” SeaChoice — the coalition of conservation organizations that publishes Canada’s Seafood Guide — defines sustainable seafood as fish or shellfish caught or farmed in a manner that can be sustained over the long-term without compromising the health of marine ecosystems. The organization uses criteria such as the status of wild stocks, the nature of discarded by-catch, the effect of the fishery on the ecosystem and the effectiveness of its management to determine if a species is a “healthy choice.”

It is about protecting our troubled oceans, but if that seems too big a task to take on, there’s always this: “Sustainability and quality go hand in hand,” says Dang. “Chefs have always done this. Before it was trendy, before people were using the catchphrases like ‘local’ and ‘sustainable,’ building a relationship with your supplier, with the farmer or the fisherman, was just one of those things you did. It was easier, it was more cost-effective, and you knew what you were getting.” Not that Dang was cooking back then. At 30, he is one of the city’s youngest executive chefs, known almost as well for his youthful energy as he is for his deft hand in the kitchen. Make no mistake; this guy can cook. And after three years as executive chef de cuisine at C restaurant, where he worked with Vancouver’s sustainable seafood guru, chef Robert Clark, Dang gets it. It’s unfathomable to him how others don’t. “If we don’t stick to sustainable seafood, we’re going to run out. We have to look to the future, so that we have diversity in ingredients. We’re losing that. Our diets are becoming homogenized.”

If we don’t protect the vulnerable species of seafood — in much the same way that industrial standardization has begun to limit our choices in produce and other ingredients — we’ll lose them. “I’d be sick if the only kind of tomato I could use every day was a Roma tomato, or if the only fish I could get was farmed salmon. There would be no point in being a chef.” The problem for your average home cook or diner is figuring out which of the seafood options available come from healthy populations, have no by-catch and no negative impact on their ocean environment . . . without first taking a course in marine science. Some consumers play it safe by foregoing seafood altogether, but the seafood guide renders that choice unnecessary. It’s downloadable at seachoice.org and includes a list of “Best Choice” options, picks with “Some Concerns,” and species to “Avoid.” There’s even an app: Canada’s Sustainable Seafood Guide application, which updates every 90 days and features sustainability information for seafood products commonly found in restaurants and stores across Canada. Even sushi lovers can use their iPhone,>

illustration dreamstime

C U I S I N E


C U I S I N E

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Enjoy B.C. spot prawns Fast-growing and short-lived, spot prawns have a high reproductive capacity, making them less vulnerable to fishing pressure. Fishermen along the B.C. coast use baited traps on long lines attached to buoys; by-catch and habitat damage is relatively low. Available fresh in early summer, found frozen at other times of the year. Dungeness crab are relatively fast growing, mature at a young age, and are captured using a technology that does little harm to other types of marine life. Fisheries regulations prohibit the retention of immature and female crabs, which are easily released unharmed from the traps. Dungeness crabs are the most sustainable choice of crab on the market and are available year round. Farmed B.C. oysters Oyster seed can be reared in hatcheries or collected from the wild, while grow-out is accomplished in natural, intertidal or sub-tidal waters. Techniques involve suspension of oysters in the water column, via rafts or floats, or bottom culture, in which oysters are fixed to the seabed. Because oysters are filter feeders, oyster aquaculture facilities generally improve coastal water conditions by converting nutrients and organic matter to biomass. Albacore tuna Troll-caught in the Canadian and U.S. Pacific is the most sustainable option. There is minimal by-catch, no habitat impacts, and the management is effective.

Quang Dang, executive chef at Diva at the Met, grates ‘bonito’ flakes onto Seared Albacore Tuna & Tomato Salad with Watercress, and Granville Island Sake Emulsion.

>iPod Touch, or iPad to make sure that only sustainable choices land on their plates. Also available at the SeaChoice website is Canada’s In-Depth Guide to Sustainable Seafood, which goes further, and offers clear explanations as to why certain species should be avoided. Moms who wonder why the haddock or cod they pick up as frozen fish sticks has made the “Avoid” list will discover it’s because of the way those species are caught: by bottom trawling along the ocean floor, catching other fish, marine mammals, corals, sponges and other bottom-dwelling creatures as by-catch. Making ocean-friendly choices is getting easier all the time. Ocean Wise is the program first launched in 2005 by the



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Vancouver Aquarium and C restaurant, which shifts the burden of knowing which seafood items are sustainable from consumer to restaurant or market. It began in just a handful of restaurants; last year, the program went national and now works with more than 300 partners across Canada, including restaurants, retailers, suppliers, culinary schools, universities, and sports and entertainment centres. In order to join the Ocean Wise program, partners are required to remove or replace one unsustainable item on their menu and to highlight the sustainable options. All the consumer has to do is look for the Ocean Wise logo. For home cooks, the conservation program is releasing The Ocean Wise Cookbook this month. Edited by writer Jane Mundy, the book brings together recipes from chefs and restaurants across Canada and includes tasty recipes for everything from abalone to yellow perch, and even more exotic ocean bounty like jellyfish, geoduck and sea urchin. Learning about, purchasing, ordering and cooking sustainable seafood are all important steps. But most important of all, says Dang (whose menu at Diva is Ocean Wise, naturally), is to get involved in our local food culture: buy from the fisherman and the farmer. “You know where it’s coming from and you know where it’s been the whole time. You’re going to be better off no matter what, and if you involve your family in making sustainable choices then you get them thinking about it too.” That’s planning for the future.l

Wild chum or pink salmon Salmon have natural reproductive traits that imply a biological resilience to overfishing, but their resilience is largely dependent on their ocean and freshwater environments. Water temperature, pollution, fisheries management and aquaculture have had an impact on some wild species. These two are better picks.

avoid Sea bass also called toothfish, Chilean sea bass are inherently vulnerable to fishing because they reach marketable size before sexual maturity. The status of stocks is difficult to estimate in the face of substantial illegal fishing and a poor understanding of the species’ biology. The fish are mainly taken by bottom longlines, which involves bycatch of seabirds, including the internationally endangered wandering albatross and gray-headed albatross. Plus they’re high in mercury. Avoid! Tiger prawns Captured warm-water shrimps supply about 80 per cent of the world’s wild-caught shrimp. Most are taken by bottom trawling methods, which take the world’s highest levels of bycatch, including finfish, other commercially important fish, and significant numbers of endangered and threatened sea turtles. Farmed shrimp are associated with continuing reports of nutrient effluent discharge, unregulated use of antibiotics banned in the U.S. and E.U., and habitat degradation in coastal regions of Southeast Asia and India. All of these factors are a high conservation concern. Rockfish Decades of heavy fishing have depleted populations of the 70 species of rockfish that live off the Canada/U.S. Pacific Coast. Rockfish have a late age of maturity and many are caught before they have reproduced. Bottom trawling, the most widely used method for catching rockfish, damages seafloor habitats and has high levels of by-catch. Rockfish is commonly labelled as Snapper or Pacific Snapper in the Canadian market. Farmed Atlantic salmon The vast majority of farmed salmon on the market is Atlantic salmon raised in net pens in the ocean. Many of the environmental concerns with farmed salmon stem from the use of net pens where farmed fish, waste, and chemicals or antibiotics used are in direct contact with the marine ecosystem. Salmon farming operations can also serve as a vector for diseases and ectoparasites, notably sea lice, which can negatively affect wild salmon. Basa or catfish Commercial aquaculture in Vietnam uses low technology with little or no management. The high occurrence of open-cages and the high stocking densities within indicate that there is a clear risk of pollution and habitat effects. This risk is tempered by the already degraded state and high water flow of the Mekong River Delta where the farms are located.


Pistachio-Crusted Sablefish with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

RECIPE

Photo Tracey Kusiewicz

Seafood recipes that are good for the planet are celebrated in The Oceanwise Cookbook (Whitecap Books, $34.95) due out this fall. Among the selections is this recipe for Merluzzo alla Crosta from chef Rob Parrott of Mangia E Bevi Ristorante in West Vancouver. It’s a classic Italian dish that has been on the menu since the Ambleside neighbourhood restaurant opened its doors. Sablefish is also known as Alaskan black cod. Roasted red pepper sauce 2 Tbsp (30 mL) butter 1/2 large white onion, diced 4 red peppers, roasted and peeled 2 cups (500 mL) chicken stock 2 cups (500 mL) whipping cream 2 Tbsp (30 mL) honey 2 Tbsp (30 mL) chopped basil (reserve a few leaves for garnish) Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the butter in a medium saucepan and sauté the onion over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Add the roasted peppers and sauté for another 3 minutes. Add the chicken stock and reduce by half (this should take about 8 minutes). Add the cream and honey and further reduce to a sauce consistency (another few minutes). Purée the sauce in a food processor or blender until smooth and transfer it back to the pan. Add the basil, salt, and pepper. Keep it warm while the sablefish cooks.

Sablefish Four 6 oz (175 g) sablefish fillets Salt and pepper to taste 2 tsp (10 mL) minced garlic 1 Tbsp (15 mL) olive oil 1 cup (250 mL) ground pistachios

Season the sablefish with salt and pepper, the garlic, and olive oil. Roll the fillets in the ground pistachios. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes. To serve: Set out four plates. Pool the sauce into the middle of each plate and place the sablefish fillets on top. Garnish with a few fresh basil leaves.

perfect pairings

Wine expert Tom Firth suggests Pentage Chardonnay Musque, Sandhill Chardonnay (both from the Okanagan Valley) or Bollini Chardonnay Trentino Barricato 40 (Italy).

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M ic h e l l e B o u f f ar d a n d M ic h ae l a M orri s g o in s earc h o f t h e Geor g e C l ooney o f g ra p e s , a ce l l ar - wor t h y s i p p er b l e s s e d wi t h g oo d g ene s t h a t on l y g e t s be t t er wi t h a g e .

Not all wines improve with age. Most are meant to be enjoyed the same day you buy them. Yet some wines naturally have what it takes to stand the test of time; just like some people have better genes and age gracefully. Think of Sean Connery. If you want to cellar a wine, choose one that has enough concentration of flavours, acidity and for red wines, tannin. Over time these wines will shed their primary fruit attributes and take on a more developed, earthy character. Appealing aromas and flavours of leather, autumn leaves, petrol, wet wool and a nuttiness are all characteristics of a well-aged wine. The wine mellows and becomes more complex and harmonious than it was in its youth. Middle age doesn’t sound too bad! Red is the colour people think of when it comes to aging wine. Cabernet Sauvignon in particular is a cellaring champion. Fullbodied and structured, it is the grape that keeps the wines of Bordeaux alive for so many years. Longevity is not exclusive to Bordeaux. We have had plenty of delicious yet inexpensive Cabs from Chile and Australia. While they may not have the depth or complexity of top Bordeaux, the wines have an attractive ripeness of fruit to flesh them out. At a tasting, a vertical of Cousiño Macul (a $20 wine from Chile) going back to the late ’70s was a revelation for Michelle. Aussie Shiraz is another affordable cellar candidate. We’ve had great experiences from both Wynns and Penfolds. What a surprise the 1986 Koonunga Hills was just last year; still so fresh and alive. This entry-level wine from Penfolds currently sells for a mere $17.

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Italy has plenty of red wines blessed with good genes. Brunello is a cellaring classic but also comes with a hefty price tag. Its baby brother, Rosso di Montalcino is half the price and many can stand three to five years of aging. An all-time favourite, Aglianico, is the starring grape in the southern region of Campania and can easily last a decade. Its masculine character becomes elegant and polished with time. The search for affordable, age-worthy red frequently takes us off the beaten track. In Portugal, we seek wines from the Douro Valley. Over in France, we look to the south for wines dominated by Syrah (such as Crozes-Hermitage) or Mourvèdre (from Bandol). For even cheaper options, the Languedoc and Roussillon are teeming with delicious blends based on Syrah and Mourvèdre. Most people don’t think of cellaring white wine. The good news is that most cellarworthy whites fall under the radar and are less expensive. Whites from Burgundy can age for decades but they are the one exception as they tend to be pricy. Even here, values exist; specifically in the region of Chablis. The Premiers Crus offer the best balance of affordability and age ability.

Perpetually unfashionable, Riesling has a proven track record. Its bracing acidity keeps the wine alive for decades. With age, Riesling’s intriguing petrol character intensifies. Germany is renowned for beautiful off-dry to sweet versions. For dry Riesling, look to Austria and Australia. Beyond Riesling, both of these countries produce other collectible whites. Austria’s flagship grape Grüner Veltliner develops characteristics similar to white Burgundy as it matures but at a lower price point. As for Australia, Semillon puts on weight with age. Sound familiar? Chenin Blanc from the Loire Valley is too good of a deal to pass up. The first bottle Michaela ever cellared was the 1996 Domaine Huet, Le HautLieu, Vouvray. Twenty-two dollars and a decade later, it was drinking beautifully — all quince and honey with subtle mushroom notes, an unctuous texture and profound acidity. That’s what we call great bang for the buck. The list of affordable age-worthy wines goes on. But before you start squirreling cases away, determine what style you like. The last thing you want is to crack a bottle five years down the road and not enjoy it. We also recommend that for every bottle you buy for the cellar, you pick up another

to drink immediately. Buying wines in multiples of at least three allows you to follow its evolution. The “perfect” conditions for storing wine are in a dark, humid room at 13°C. A 17th century European chateau comes to mind, but how many of us live in Prince Charming’s castle? Most wine racks end up in the kitchen for convenience but this is often the hottest room in the house. Find the coolest room or closet, preferably no warmer than 18°C. The warmer the temperature, the quicker the wine will evolve. Lack of humidity will cause the cork to shrink, encouraging leakage, while excess humidity will leave wine labels mouldy but won’t harm the wine. Ideally, you want 75% humidity. Remember to store the wine on its side to keep the cork wet. If the bottle is a screw cap there is no reason why it can’t be stored standing up. Most sane people would question waiting five years to open a bottle, but an older vintage can serve as a precious time capsule. It is a unique way to commemorate a special date. If you manage to smuggle a bottle home from a trip abroad, it will transport you back to that vacation months or even years down the road. From a purely practical standpoint, collecting wine simply means you always have something on hand when a drinking “emergency” arises — never a bad thing. Experimenting is the most important criteria when collecting. Our most rewarding drinking experiences have been over a $15 bottle we forgot in the cellar and found five or 10 years later. If you’re debating whether to open a bottle, go ahead; it’s probably the right time. Good genes should be apparent at any age. George Clooney is just as handsome now as he was a decade ago. l

Photo Dreamstime

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ou don’t have to be rich or have a specially designed room to collect wine. Nor does a collection necessarily entail thousands of bottles. The moment you put a wine away you’ve started a “cellar.” We certainly aren’t wealthy but we’ve been collecting wine for well over a decade. When we first started, our wine budget was very tight. Instead of going bankrupt buying Bordeaux, Burgundy and Brunello, we sought underrated gems from $15 to $50. We are still reaping the benefits of our savvy buys today.

The beautiful but remote Douro Valley in nothern Portugal is the country’s premium wine region.

Collectively known as House Wine, Michelle Bouffard and Michaela Morris advocate wine pleasure without pretence. Inseparable since their first sip, they have led tastings for six to 350 people and judged countless bottles of wine.

Photo Chris Mason Stearns

A WINE ROMANCE


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Spanner ruffle-front blouse at Aldila $99 (Lonsdale Avenue) Allison Wonderland tweed vest $128 at allisonwonderland.ca and Dream (Gastown and Granville Island) Cecile Benac knit sweater-cape $275 at Marilyn’s (Caulfeild Village) and Orquidea (Ambleside) Joe Fresh beret $8 at Superstore (various locations) Brave studded clutch $192 at LeslieJane (Ambleside) Fidelity ‘Twiggy’ skinny jeans in ‘Slick’ marine blue $220 at Get Dressed (Parkgate Village and Westview Shopping Centre) Steve Madden ‘Sabra’ over-the-knee boot $300 at Zig Zag (Edgemont Village) Birks Collection watch $4,950 at Birks (Oakridge Centre, Granville Street and Park Royal) and at birks.com Claudia pearl and chain bracelet $110 at Wear Else (Park Royal, Kitsilano and Oakridge Centre) La Vie Parisienne earrings $80 at Blue Ruby (Metropolis at Metrotown, Pacific Centre and Park Royal) Sancha ‘Alchemy’ necklace $510 at Mukado (Dundarave) 14

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JC Studio ‘Plaid Suite’ skirt $155 and jacket $295 at Wear Else (Park Royal, Kitsilano and Oakridge Centre) and JC Studio (Vancouver) Repeat Cashmere turtleneck $110 at Marilyn’s (Caulfeild Village) Adam Russcher copper twist ring $195 at Mukado (Dundarave) Leah Alexandra pearl earrings $50 and Alexis Bittar pearl necklace $215 at Blue Ruby (Metropolis at Metrotown, Pacific Centre and Park Royal) Birks Lady Heart Collection watch $1,890 at Birks (Oakridge Centre, Granville Street, Park Royal) and at birks.com Red Carpet Collection oversized day bag $128 at Town Shoes (Metrotown and Pacific Centre) Suncee socks $8 and Pikolinos oxford shoes $160 at Zig Zag (Edgemont Village)

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Theory dress $375 at Blush (Ambleside) and at theory.com Joe Fresh faux-fur jacket $89 at Superstore (North Vancouver) Hue tights $13 at The Bay (Park Royal and downtown) Adam Russcher gold textured drop earrings $115 at Mukado (Dundarave) Alexis Bittar ring $195 at Blue Ruby (Metropolis at Metrotown, Pacific Centre and Park Royal) Faux fur chain-strap purse $125 at Town Shoes (Metrotown and Pacific Centre) Photography mike chatwin fashion editor layne christensen styling deanna palkowski for lizbell agency hair & makeup marlayna pincott using mac cosmetics model ellyse for lizbell agency Photographer’s assistant allison jodoin location Home of architect michael green, principal, mgb architecture+design mgb-architecture.ca

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fall fall

Edgemont Village Fall has arrived and there is no better place to spend a sunny, brisk day than in the North Shore’s favourite neighbourhood; Edgemont Village. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the personal attention given to you be the individual shop owners as well as the diversity of product found in this quaint North Shore neighbourhood.

edgemont village JEWELLER

3102 Edgemont Blvd • 604-985-1500

Edgemont Village Jeweller specializes in custom made jewellery. Whether it is reworking original pieces or customizing somethng new, their in-house designer will create a stunning piece. Featured here are hand-made earrings of Middle Eastern and Yemeni design. Standard services such as clock and watch repair are also available at this friendly, neighbourhood jewellery store. If you haven’t been in recently, be sure to check them out; they’re sporting a new look and new lines, but one thing remains a constant and that is the exceptional service that the Violette family is known for.

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The place to buy a gift for anyone on your list. Giftworks features a wide array of one-of-kind gifts including local, hand-crafted pottery and ceramics. Over 50% of their store offers Canadian made finds. Displayed over two levels you will find a magnificent selection of home décor, art, jewellery, and a dedicated space to baby items. So, whether it’s a special occasion, or just because, Giftworks is the place to visit.

Lamp Berger lamps and oils GIFTWORKS

3104 Edgemont Blvd • 604-988-8919 • www.highlandoptical.ca

This full service, independent optical boutique has carefully selected, unique, beautifully crafted, European frames and sunglasses that will enable you to distinguish yourself from the crowd. Personable, and professional assistance from the licensed Opticians assures your technical and style advice from this North Shore favourite store!

3131 Edgemont Blvd • 778-340-7660

Edgemont’s newest addition, Pizazz is a must-see store featuring Pandora’s® full jewellery line in a 300 sq. ft in-store boutique. Express your own personal style and wear unforgettable memories every day with Pandora. Pizazz also carries a variety of other unique lines such as St. Genève fine european linens, custom furniture from Vancouver Island and Michael Aram’s home collection. Make sure your next Edgemont visit includes a browse through at Pizazz.

3151 Edgemont Blvd • 604-986-8746

In the Village for twenty years, we specialize in artificial floral custom design for indoor and outdoor spaces. Along with our fabulous selection of high-end artificial flowers and plants, we also carry the comic art sculptures of Forchino plus unique and wonderful home decor... with a sense of humour.

3065 Edgemont Blvd • 604-986-4893

Fashionistas take note: visit Zig Zag this fall for the newest fashion trends in clothing and footwear. As well as outfitting women in fantastic footwear, fashion clothing, jewellery, and purses, Zig Zag caters to women of all ages, from 12 to 70! It takes a certain ‘joie de vive’ to continue riding the waves of fashion year after year, which accounts for the youthful spirits of the faithful Zig Zag customer.

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As seen in the Museum of Modern Art NYC Aquamarine, Pearl & Zircon earrings set in gold filled. EDGEMONT VILLAGE JEWELLERS

Shoes & boots by Prophecy and Eject. ZIG ZAG


F A S h I O N

RetroGlam Ladylike dressing takes a demure turn this fall with ’50s-inspired accessories. words and styling layne Christensen

resin and crystal floral ring $20 at Pilar’s in the Village at Park royal

Zuka silver bead necklaces with crystal and faceted hematite accents $125 and $105 at Wear Else in Park royal

Wool-lined leather gloves $49 at Danier in the Village at Park royal

suede croc-print platform pump $70 at Winners in Park royal Karen Wilson ‘Kelly athena’ leather and fabric handbag $330 at Pizazz in Edgemont Village 1

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Photos CiNdY GOOdmaN / lisa KiNG

on 10 collecti tON fall 20 it u V is u s for lO marc Jacob

trollbeads Fantasy pearl-drop necklace $179 silver and gold strawberry bead $225 faceted golden topaz bead $85 at Tartooful in Edgemont Village


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C O V E R

S T O R Y

S k i l l s , s m a r t s a n d s e r e n d i p i t y s p e l l s u c c e s s f o r HGT V s t a r S a r a h R i c h a r d s o n

w o r d s K at e Z i m m e r m a n

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ou might call Sarah Richardson the accidental decorator. Richardson is ubiquitous on the home decor scene worldwide. She’s a huge hit on HGTV in Canada and the U.S., with two shows taping back to back — Sarah’s House, going into its fourth season, and a new makeover show called Sarah 101, starting up in January. She even has her own paint collection. The houses she orchestrates are so together that it’s startling to hear that this ultra-organized Canadian fell into her career. Admittedly, she says, “I was always a very creative little kid.” The daughter of a professor of history of art and architecture and a director of parks planning and design for the city of Toronto (they divorced when she was five), Richardson believes her upbringing gave her an appreciation for artisans, craftspeople and furniture. That outlook certainly impressed her high school friend Amoryn Engel, who became a segment producer for the Life network. Engel also knew that Richardson had put herself through university with her own decorative art business. In the mid-’90s, Engel asked Richardson, then working as a prop stylist and set decorator, to do a TV segment on crafts. A career was born. Richardson started appearing on a number of different shows. Next stop, her own series, the first of five, called Room Service. In fact, Richardson, who got her B.A. in visual arts at university, seems to have been the last one to recognize that design was her calling. “Other people looked at me and thought ‘This girl needs to be doing this as a job.’”

She calls herself an interior decorator rather than a designer, which doesn’t prevent her from being a popular speaker at events like this year’s International Design Show West, which takes place at the new Vancouver Convention Centre Oct. 14-17. Few viewers would make the distinction as they watch this decorator cleverly solve design problems on show after show. Richardson thinks her fans — who span the globe from Aruba to Zimbabwe — appreciate seeing her work her way around unanticipated snags. “I want viewers to walk away with something,” she says. “Part of the appeal of design shows is that they can and do go wrong.” Maybe misery loves company, but also craves encouragement. Richardson thinks most people who watch her shows are thinking of renovating, are in the middle of renovating, or have just completed a project. “I try to make (each episode) approachable, accessible, inspiring, educational and empowering,” she says. “I believe that if the viewer gives me half an hour of their time, they deserve to walk away with something. They should have some knowledge, they should have some insight, they should have a great new tip or, at the very least, they should have thought it was entertaining to watch.” Her philosophy seems to be on the money, as does her timeless taste. The international interest in her shows generated yet another happy accident for Richardson. A few years ago, she was pregnant and trying to figure out how to oversee the renovation of her own family’s

cottage on a remote island in Georgian Bay, on Ontario’s Lake Huron, while keeping her career on the front burner. Richardson pitched HGTV the idea of a one-hour special on revamping a cottage. The network honchos felt an hour wouldn’t do the project justice and countered with the concept of a series made up of six half-hours, which became the show Sarah’s Cottage. “I think producers were interested in a personal journey,” Richardson explains. Despite its title, Sarah’s House is not about her family’s own home, but features houses Richardson renovates and decorates to make the most of their charms before putting them back on the market. For Sarah’s Cottage, she says, “I was going back and forth, three and a half hours, between a backsplit bungalow in Don Mills, Ontario (being shot for Sarah’s House), and a remote cottage way in the middle of Georgian Bay. So that was a rather crazy spring, but I made it through it and didn’t deliver a baby in a boat, which was really good.” The cottage project evidently got done to her satisfaction. Our interview takes place by telephone from there, with one of her preschool-age daughters visiting a friend and the other slumbering as we talk. The only house on an island on Georgian Bay that’s less than an acre in size, the cottage is 17 miles from the mainland by boat, off the grid, and uses solar power. Richardson arranges her life so she can spend two months a year there with her husband and children. She sees a cottage as a second home that’s primarily>


Photo Brandon Barre

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S T O R Y Photos braNdON barre

C O V E R

the design of sarah richardson’s cottage on Georgian Bay borrows from the richness of nature. the living room extension celebrates a sweeping panoramic view, a front row seat to amazing sunsets. Right the decorator at work with her collaborator tommy smythe.

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You won’t find uncomfortable throw pillows at her place – no matter how gorgeous, if it throws the seat out of whack, it’s a no-go.

> designed for comfort and relaxation. It should, she says, be the antithesis of one’s usual domicile. Key decorating tip: “If you would ever think about putting a piece in your home, don’t put it in your cottage.” She also arranges her life so she can work a lot with Tommy Smythe. A school friend of her older brother, as is Richardson’s husband, Alexander Younger, Smythe has known Richardson since she was 17. Richardson jokingly refers to Smythe as her “days” husband and Younger as her spouse for “evenings and weekends.” She says she and Smythe, who first began working with her behind the scenes on Room Service, “use each other as sounding boards and collaborators, confidants and close friends. Tommy is high end all the way, where I’m a bit more practical.” Their partnership plays out like that of many real couples, she says, with rival perspectives on projects.

Smythe became an on-air personality when Richardson launched Design Inc. “I created Sarah’s House and Sarah 101 with Tommy in mind because our chemistry on and off air works so well and we make great TV together,” she says. It’s clear that Richardson has her life well under control, and has little need for Life’s Too Short to Fold Fitted Sheets, the tongue-in-cheek new book by a former HGTV host, Lisa Quinn. “I’ve never read it but I love folded fitted sheets,” Richardson admits, laughing. “My dad taught me how to fold them. I once showed how to fold a fitted sheet on my show!” She understands the anti-perfectionist backlash, blaming it in part on Martha Stewart’s message that a truly accomplished woman does everything herself. Richardson is a firm believer in delegating tasks when there’s too much on her plate. It so happens, however, that she craves organization, neatness and cleanliness. Richardson likes her house to be “as close to picture-perfect as possible.” >


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C O V E R

S T O R Y

Sarah’s Style How do you determine what style is right for a house? I like consistency when it comes to design. I like the style of the architecture to help inform the interior. I use that as a visual cue. I don’t think it all has to match perfectly, but in a historical home, I don’t normally execute a hard, contemporary, modern esthetic inside. I like something consistent and sympathetic.

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Photos Brandon Barre

> She plans her spaces so that’s not difficult to achieve. “I believe in design that is practical and enjoyable,” she explains. You won’t find uncomfortable throw pillows at her place, for example — no matter how gorgeous, if it throws the seat out of whack, it’s a no-go. Unfortunately, that stellar attention to detail sometimes provides an intimidation factor when people want to reciprocate her family’s hospitality. That’s something she regrets. “People don’t entertain enough,” says Richardson. “To me, there’s no such thing as failure when you’re entertaining — the only failure is if (as host) you fail to have a good time. “I don’t arrive and judge. I’m just there to enjoy,” she says, laughing. “But if that’s the one downside of my professional life, I’ll deal with it.” l

Must the colours in a home echo those the homeowner sees outdoors? Or can you, if you live in a rainy place like Vancouver, use colour to fight against the greys and greens the landscape often offers? If you live in a place like Vancouver, where you are at the mercy of the weather and a lot of rain, then no, you should not feel that you have to dress (your house) in shades of greys and greens, especially if those colours aren’t the colours that make you happy. For me, the blues and the greens make me happy, and it’s what I see as my eye travels through the room (at her island cottage) and looks beyond to the outdoors, and I see these incredible shades. I didn’t want my living room to be red while looking at the blue. That’s because it’s in a location where there’s a compelling vista, and something that is inspiring and really exquisite. Colour is so emotional, and colour is so personal, and I think it’s important to choose the colours that make you feel peaceful, calm, happy, relaxed, you know, whatever it is that you want to feel in your home, while also being aware of the fact that you may want to evoke different moods, and different feelings, in different rooms. It’s never about choosing a single colour scheme and then exploring that throughout the entire home. I try and adjust that balance by thinking ‘When do I want to use this home? How will I use this room? What do I want to feel when I’m in this room?’ And I think that having an understanding of how colours influence you and affect you is very important. l Left The latest project for Sarah’s House is a century home in the Ontario countryside. Sarah Richardson’s vision for taking a little old country farmhouse and bringing it into today was to mix splurges with vintage and antique treasures.


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h o m e

Capel American Originals cross-sewn area rug starting at $595 Bradshaw Carpets in Ambleside

countrycharm Get the look of Sarah Richardson’s farmhouse makeover Words and Styling Layne Christensen

Faux quince branches $12 a stem at Trims in Edgemont Village

Indaba Trading birdcages $75 and $42 at Urban Barn in The Village at Park Royal

Zinc overlay candlesticks $230 a pair at DaVinci’s Home in Ambleside Silk toss cushions by custom order at Dominique Primeau Décor in Lower Lonsdale 26

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Handcrafted maple bowl $166 at Giftworks in Edgemont Village Handmade wax apples $6 apiece at Trims in Edgemont Village

Photos CINDY GOODMAN / LISA KING

Woven basket $42 and 18Karat alpaca throw $264 at Pizazz in Edgemont Village


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Sleek designs

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a f f o r d a b l e t e c h n o lo g y bring wine storage out into the open.

ce l l ar ’ s mar k e t

Photo VinDeGarde.ca

words rosalind smith

oday’s wine collectors are bringing their favourite vintages upstairs into the kitchen, living room, and some places you might not expect. No longer are they tucking away their bottles in dark nooks and crannies, with the help of companies like Vin De Garde Cellar Systems of Vancouver, whose modern installations are putting a new spin on the art of cellaring. “We’ve renovated bedrooms into cellars,” says Billy Carpenter, company president and a certified sommelier. His business provides full turnkey cellars as well as supplies and specification packages for builders. Vin De Garde’s clients are mostly in the Lower Mainland, but also around the world. Carpenter works with architects and builders to provide design specifications during the pre-construction of a home, sometimes up to a year and a half before the room is built. Construction and installation of a new wine storage room, complete with custom millwork, cooling systems and doors, starts at around $20,000. He also works directly with homeowners, designing and installing wine storage units into kitchen islands or other areas. These smaller custom renovations start at about $5,000. But before you build a wine cellar into your attic or other favourite hangout in the house, take note. Wine cellars require cooling, insulation and humidification systems to maintain suitable conditions for storage. Wine is perishable if not stored properly. “The temperature and humidity are equally important considerations in the construction of a room,” explains Carpenter, who notes that wine cellars are generally intended for long-term storage of wine.> f all

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Photo James stOCKhOrst

h O m E

kEEpINg WINE IN thE fRIdgE

Is Just As BAd As

EXpOsINg It tO thE suN

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Previous page the wine storage unit in a West End condo was designed to both feature the homeowner’s wine collection and offer a high capacity in a small space. it hangs on the wall in the entry to the kitchen and can be viewed from throughout the open floor plan. Crafted in black walnut, it incorporates Vin de Garde’s Wine Wall and Vertical series wine cellar racking systems. the custom free-standing wine cellar cabinet above is a main feature of the dining area of a modernist home in West Vancouver. its design both showcases and preserves the homeowner’s impressive sake collection, notes designer Billy Carpenter. the cabinet features mirror-finish stainless steel throughout as well as a custom mechanical and cooling system for temperature and humidity controls. Photo CiNdY GOOdmaN

> The conditions in a wine cellar are meant to mimic conditions in natural underground vaults in places like Champagne, France, where the sparkling wine is produced. A wine cellar design must consider heat, light and vibration in a room, among other possible spoilers, including smells. Corks on wine bottles are permeable, so strong smells nearby (household cleaners or onions) may eventually seep into the wine and affect its taste. Custom designs and millwork contribute to a top-end cost, but there are more affordable options depending on an individual’s needs. Vin de Garde’s most popular seller is its Vertical Series modular system, a DIY kit starting at $700 for a 36bottle rack that can be ordered online and shipped worldwide. Cellars are tailored to suit the space, the collector and the collection. “We’ve built cellars for people who don’t drink,” says Carpenter, noting that the construction adds value to the home.>

Left Billy Carpenter admires a client’s collection in a newly outfitted wine cellar at home in Point Grey. opening onto an expansive media room with wet bar and indoor-outdoor pool, the cellar is ideally located for entertaining.


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Minimalist design lends a modern edge to storage and display. Vin de Garde’s Vertical Series, a modular system of aluminum posts on black walnut panels, increases capacity by 30% over traditional storage styles.

> Stop thinking of wine storage as wood boxes, says the designer. “The way to think about a wine cellar is that it is designed to be a walk-in cool and closed environment.” When you do find the right place for it, Carpenter says a good cellar can add value to an already great space. Glass, aluminum and stainless steel have joined traditional wood construction to create unique cellar designs that enhance and complement the space it occupies. Even beetle-killed pine from Prince George is now used for kit racks. And the exterior appeal of new cellar designs, such as glass doors and walls, means you don’t have to enter the wine storage room to appreciate it. While wine cellars are making their move into higher traffic areas of the home, they haven’t yet become a gathering place of their own. As Carpenter explains, you can’t spend too much time in a wine cellar or storage room because of the room’s controlled temperature and humidity. If you’re considering dipping a nervous toe into the wine pool for the first time and getting a bit more serious about the

popular grape nectar, David Scholefield says now is a pretty good time to do it. “The wine market is going through a really significant transition,” explains Scholefield, a noted wine speaker and vice-president of Trialto Wine Group. Years ago, when the economy was not so topsy-turvy, wine cellars and wine appreciation were reserved for wealthy people who drank expensive wine. “Buying wine that way is part of the old way of treating wine as something exclusive,” says Scholefield. But things have changed, and Scholefield has a couple of fun facts to impart about the current case for wine: Wine doesn’t have to be expensive to improve with age; and wine making today is much better than in the past. That means, you don’t have to buy expensive wine to consider storing it to improve the taste, and conditions for transportation, storage and warehousing of wine have improved the quality of even lower-priced wine. In the past, “something that was very good when it was shipped could have been absolutely hopeless when it arrived,” says


Impress... Photo James Stockhorst

with the natural look of stone

Rift-cut white oak was used for this custom built-in wine cellar cabinet at a home in Vancouver’s Shaughnessy neighbourhood. Designed by Vin de Garde Cellar Systems, it incorporates modern and traditional features and materials, such as racking in stainless steel and solid white oak to accommodate 488 bottles of wine.

Scholefield. Now, he says, if you like wine, there’s no reason not to benefit from a nice collection — as long as you remember that wine is sensitive to light and dislikes extremes of temperature. “Keeping wine in the fridge is just as bad as exposing it to the sun,” he notes. Ten to 12 degrees Celsius is a good temperature for your wine. And aside from avoiding vibrations (a nearby washing machine, say) and strong smells, storing or cellaring your wine “doesn’t have to be a big, hairy deal,” says Scholefield. To prove his point that even lowerpriced wines can improve with simple storing or cellaring, Scholefield suggests a simple test. Buy two bottles of the same wine, and open one right away. Keep the other stored in the same place for a couple of months. Then open the second bottle and compare the taste to the first one. The second bottle that was left cellared or stored for a couple of months should have a “fuller, rounder, fruitier taste,” says Scholefield. And the first bottle that was opened right away will taste more sharp, tart and harsh than the stored one. Scholefield says there is no need to build an expansive, or expensive, vault for your wine. “A couple of cases of wine and that’s your wine cellar,” he insists. To cellar your cases, simply replace the bottles of wine as you use them, on a “first in, first out” basis. And when choosing wines, Scholefield advises checking out a cheaper-priced wine from the same region as a more expensive wine. You just may be surprised. Scholefield notes that while Tuscany, for example, is home to some of Italy’s most notable wines, nearby Calabria with similar growing conditions and care serves up cheaper, satisfying substitutes. “And that’s a beautiful thing,” says Scholefield. l

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Saint Martin 2008 Bronzinelle france

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A great Tuscan vintage. Drink 2013-2018. $40 A crowd pleaser from Languedoc. Drink now through 2015. $22 Chateau Pesquie 2007 Quintessence france

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info@filmgo.ca

www.filmgo.ca f all

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opposite Wal-Mart

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33


w i t h FRED LEE

Summer Sizzlers

Hockey heroes and Hollywood A-listers support the season’s hottest soirées.

It was a homecoming for The Lion King’s Ian Yuri Gardener. Canoodling with lead actor Syndee Winters, the singer and Gladstone grad returned to his hometown for the mega musical���s four-week run at the QE Theatre.

Flanked by Arts Club director of development Natasha Klein and board member Leah Costello, actor Eric McCormack headlined an exclusive get-together in West Vancouver to benefit the theatre company.

B.C.’s Lt.-Gov. Steven Point and The Early Edition’s Rick Cluff played in the Peter Gzowski Golf Invitational at University Golf Club in support of literacy programs and services across the province, generating $60,000 for Literacy BC.

Eclipse actress Jodelle Ferland joined leading men and starlets on the red carpet for the British Columbia film and television industry’s annual Leo Awards, at the Westin Bayshore Hotel Vancouver.

Media personality Vicki Gabereau hosted and CBC funny man Rick Mercer headlined the Fundraising Gala for Kay Meek Centre in West Vancouver, which netted $70,000 for the Artistic Excellence and Youth Opportunity Legacy Fund.

Society maven, philanthropist and Army & Navy CEO Jacqui Cohen welcomed Nickelback’s Chad Kroeger to her Face the World Foundation fête. At $1,500-a-ticket, the posh Point Grey house party raised $1.5 million for local charities.

Canucks hockey legend Trevor Linden’s signed jersey fetched $1,600 at the Pamela Martin-hosted Women’s Media Golf Classic. The event generated $85,000 for the Pacific Autism Family Centre and Mediated Learning Academy Therapy School.

Actor Jason Priestley and wife Naomi Lowde welcomed oenophiles to Osoyoos for the sophomore edition of the Osoyoos Celebrity Wine Festival. The four-day tipple fest generated $100,000 for local charities in the South Okanagan.

>

21

OCT

Datebook

19th HOLE Kids Up Front presents its second annual hootenanny at Rocky Mountaineer Station. ENJOY A unique evening of golf & spa-themed activities, while helping change the lives of children. kidsupfrontvancouver.com

28

2010 INSPIRATION GALA A glittering and heart-warming affair at Vancouver’s Rocky Mountaineer Station. proceeds will fund the BC Cancer Agency’s ANGELYC Project in lymphoid cancer research. bcccancer.bc.ca

DEC

At The Slice golf tournament, Burnaby Hospital’s Peter Matino yukked it up with comedian and MC Roman Danylo. The hospital’s signature event saw $107,000 go to Burnaby General.

OCT

Artists Brent Comber, Sarah McLachlan and Athena Bax attended UNICEF Canada’s Unite with Art benefit at Maynards, generating $460,000 to benefit children battling HIV/AIDS.

2

CRYSTAL BALL Diane Norton fronts the 24th annual gala to support a new BC Children’s Hospital. martini reception followed by four-course dinner prepared by Four Seasons executive chef Oliver Beckert. bcchf.ca

Is there an event in your community that you would like Fred to drop in on? E-mail editor@lookmag.ca. Follow Fred on Twitter at FredAboutTown. 34

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LOOK Magazine - FALL September 2010