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DEC/JAN 2013

Kimberley Seldon Editor in Chief

Victoria Drainville Executive Editor / Art Director

Cheryl Horne Managing Editor

Simon Burn Principal Photographer

Bob Seldon Captain Crisis

Design Contributors Lisa Canning, Christine Da Costa, Nyla Free, Erin Mercer, Nicholas Rosaci

Travel Contributors Kathy Buckworth, Heather Greenwood Davis, Stephanie Gray, Beth Halstead, Jennifer Weatherhead

Food Contributors Corey Burgan, Jameson Fink

Design & Styling Team Kathy Seale, Linda Jennings

Advertising and Promotion

Media and Public Relations

Owned and Published by Kimberley Seldon Productions Inc. Cheryl Horne, Managing Director

909 Mount Pleasant Road, Toronto, Ontario M4P 2Z6 101 California Ave, Santa Monica, California 90403 While every effort has been made to ensure that advertisements and articles appear correctly, Dabble Magazine and Kimberley Seldon Productions Inc. cannot accept responsibility for any loss or damage caused directly or indirectly by the contents of this publication. All material is intended for informational purposes only. The views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of its publisher or editor. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part prohibited without written permission from the publisher.


December/January 2013





January 23rd and 24th, 2013 One King West Hotel, Toronto A conference for Interior Designers | Home Stagers | Decorators | Stylists Architects | Professional Organizers | Contractors | Remodelers Landscape Designers | Real Estate Agents | Suppliers | Retailers

growyour success. to grow Don’t miss Keynote Speaker Bruce Croxon from Dragon’s Den! Proudly presented to you by:

EDITOR’S MUSINGS Follow me... t f


A Second Glance In decorating, as in life, there is often more than one way to accomplish a goal. That’s one of the reasons our Take Three column is a personal fave. In each issue of Dabble, we provide our faithful readers (like you) with several design ideas for common spaces. But does the Take Three concept work for holiday decorating? Call it sentiment or tradition, when it comes to decorating the tree most of us are not looking for a change. In fact, most will decorate this year’s tree exactly as they decorated last year’s tree. And that’s just fine. There’s something infinitely satisfying about pulling out treasured ornaments, perhaps remembering the holiday traditions of childhood. If you’re lucky enough to have holiday decorations that bring you joy, I hope you’ll take time to really give the old favourites a second look. No doubt, there are memories there if you just give them a moment to appear. For those just starting a family or looking to create a new tradition, we hope one of our three trees will inspire you. Happy Holidays.

Kimberley Seldon

Editor in Chief

December/January 2013


in eveer y issu


17 Contests 18

Design Express LA


Dabble Digs


I dabble in... Anne Ditmeyer


Just a Dab

ON THE COVER: Benjamin Moore Feature Colour: Blushing Red 2079-20 We’ve created three fun ways to spruce up your spruce (or pine or balsam) for the season.


December/January 2013




Take 3 Christmas Time


Blogger Tips The Perfect Bathroom


Reality Check Choosing Wallpaper


DIY Guy Frosted Flakes


What’s Trending Gold


Special Feature A Colour Story


Industry Profile Sabrina Soto


Infusion Irene Suchocki

December/January 2013





Dabble Dare Fire on Ice


Road Raves Kings of Kerala


Dabble Does Ottawa


Dabble Express Packing a Travel Bag

December/January 2013


Design Express

Los Angeles May 15-19, 2013 5 days, 4 nights

Join Kimberley Seldon in her home town for a truly unique design express experience. customized events: nothing off the tourist menu fine accommodations: stay in the luxurious The Fairmont Miramar Hotel great design: including private home tours shop ‘til you drop: Kimberley’s favourite design shops delicious food & wine: amazing tastes await your arrival good friends: that’s where you come in!

DESIGN | ARCHITECTURE | SHOPPING | FOOD & MORE *visit for more information



Special Feature Cranberry Squeeze


Dabble Chef Lamb Shanks

December/January 2013


CityLine Primetime Holiday Special

here, there,

Dec. 10

Don’t miss CityLine host Tracy Moore and guest design expert Kimberley Seldon for this primetime holiday special.

Business of Design Conference for Trade

Jan. 23-24

Kimberley Seldon presents the first annual Business of Design Conference: ‘Grow your Business’ This exclusive, interactive experience will help design professionals:

everywhere Find out what Dabble’s Editor in Chief is up to.

PGrow profitability PGrow industry presence & influence PGrow business & marketing strategies PGrow project & client management systems PGrow design practices & capitalize on momentum PGrow relationships with industry peers & professionals in synergistic fields

Keynote speaker: Bruce Croxon from Dragon’s Den Where: 1 King Street West, Toronto, ON Venue: One King West Hotel When: January 23 & 24, 2013 Tickets: CA$895 (Includes breakfasts & lunches)

Design Express 2013: LA Join Kimberley Seldon in her home town of Los Angeles for a truly unique design express experience. Hotel: Fairmont Miramar, Santa Monica When: May 15-19, 2013 Tickets: CA$3,495/ double occupancy

May 15- 19


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Tweet to Win!

TASSIMO T55 Brewer & Tim Hortons T DISC Coffees For the Tim Hortons fans on your holiday gift list, the TASSIMO brewing system is the ideal solution. It brews Tim Hortons coffee exactly the way it is meant to be at the touch of a button. Value: $250+ Contest closes December 18th. Tweet to Win! To enter the contest: Follow Dabble and retweet: "All I want 4 the holidays is @dabblemag @TASSIMOCanada @TimHortons" Courtesy TASSIMO Canada and Tim Hortons /

Enter to Win!

KitchenAid Architect Series Raspberry Ice Stand Mixer There's a colour for every kitchen! 30 to be exact. KitchenAid Canada is proud to bring Canadians countertop appliances that offer not only quality and timeless design, but also eye-catching, on-trend colours. We are giving away one KitchenAid Architect Series Raspberry Ice Stand Mixer. Value: CA$550 Contest closes January 28th. Enter to Win! Courtesy KitchenAid Canada Cook for the Cure: KitchenAid Canada is a proud partner of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. Cook for the Cure, presented by KitchenAid, turns entertaining into fundraising simply by asking guests to make a donation to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation in place of traditional hostess gifts. $75 from the sale of each Raspberry Ice Stand Mixer is contributed to the Foundation. For more information, visit December/January 2013


What you REALLY want for Christmas...

Design Express has travelled all over the world, and next year we’re heading to my home town:

Design Express: Los Angeles! Join me May 15-19, 2013 for five days and four nights of Tinseltown treatment in sunny Santa Monica, Pasadena, Laguna Beach, Beverly Hills and more! I personally customize every event for your enjoyment: indulge yourself with amazing wine, incredible food, outstanding shopping, stunning architecture and no less than four private home tours. Each evening, relax and rejuvenate at the luxurious Fairmont Hotel… all in the company of great friends.

Shopping, shopping and more shopping!

This Design Express trip is not to be missed so mark your calendars and let Santa know you’ve been very good this year. I can’t wait to share my home town with you! ~Kimberley

For more information and to register: 18

December/January 2013

Exclusive access to interior design resources

Beach front accommodations

Pampered Indulgence

The perfect gift for design enthusiasts! Tour designers' homes, including refreshments at Suzanne Rheinstein’s home and a private tour of Bette Davis’ Beach House.

Unforgettable dining experiences

Private House Tours December/January 2013


digs It’s gift giving time. For under the tree ideas we turned to Lisa Canning for design, travel and food suggestions you’ll love.

Colour and Glimmer These perky red candlesticks are sure to make a statement on your mantle. NÄSVIS candlestick set of 3, CA$5, IKEA

Marley Sound Audiophiles will love the powerful bass in this compact home audio system. Get Up Stand Up™, CA$350, The House of Marley


December/January 2013

Dark & Dramatic Make a statment this holiday season with classic, chic black and white ornaments. Regency collection, CA$3-$13, The Bay

Snap in Style Designed to work as well as it looks, this 12 Megapixel camera fits easily into your holiday clutch at 4.2” wide. Fujifilm XF1, CA$500, Fujifilm On the Rocks Add some chill to your next holiday cocktail with reusable rocks. Teroforma Whiskey Rocks, CA$25, Chapters Indigo

Creative Cook Give the gift of slow cooking with this stylish Crock-Pot. 4.5 Qt. Crock-Pot Pattern®, CA$30, Crock-Pot

Silly Sticky Cheeky holiday cheer - just right for stuffing stockings. Duh Sticky Notes by Knock Knock, CA$4, Chapters Indigo

Cover and Carry With convenient travel straps, this luxurious blanket keeps you warm on any adventure. Gluckstein Home Throw, CA$150, The Bay

Globe Jotting Take a worldly view with this globe shaped dry erase board. Memosphere desktop memo board, CA$15, Umbra

December/January 2013


Meet some of our featured contributors...

Nyla Free

If it’s interior design related, then Nyla is passionate about it. Nyla also loves travel and says she keeps her bags packed and ready at the never know when Dabble will send her on an assignment.

Nicholas Rosaci

Nicholas appears on City TV’s CityLine as Dabble’s DIY Guy Guest Expert. As a designer, he creates chic environments and believes every space should inspire you to live better, greener and, of course, more fabulously. @nylafree


December/January 2013 @NicholasRosaci

Sabrina Soto

Sabrina is the host of HGTV’s Get it Sold, Real Estate Intervention andThe High Low Project. This year, Sabrina launched her first book, Sabrina Soto on Home Design: A Layer by Layer Approach to Turning Your Ideas into the Home of Your Dreams. Sabrina is also a Style Expert for Home for Target. @sabrinasoto

Mary Taggart

Mary Taggart is Editor in Chief of Ottawa At Home Magazine, the leading décor and lifestyle publication in the nation’s capital. Calling Ottawa home for 30 years, Mary knows the city and its scene. As an interior decorator and lifestyle expert, part of her daily routine is to discover local happenings. @ottawaathomemag

Kathy Buckworth Kathy is an award-winning writer, public speaker, television personality and the author of five books, including Shut Up and Eat: Tales of Chicken, Children & Chardonnay. She is a feature writer for and a columnist for various national and international publications. @KathyBuckworth

Heather Greenwood Davis

An award-winning freelance writer who specializes in travel and lifestyle stories. Her round the world, one-year journey with family continues to inspire Dabble’s readers.


Corey Burgan

Lauren Herbert

Corey fell in love with cooking when he was 13 and has been in the kitchen ever since. His passion is cooking for friends and family. It's just a bonus that it's also his career.

Lauren is the Brand Director for Teroforma, an independent studio that collaborates with designers and manufacturers around the world to create a range of thoughtfully crafted objects for the home. Lauren was a former stylist for Food & Wine Magazine and Martha Stewart and has a passion for photography. @dabblechef @teroforma

December/January 2013


Take 3


The holidays are all about spending time with friends and family, cozying up around the Christmas tree, making plans and sharing laughs. At the centre of it all stands the tree. We’ve created three fun ways to spruce up your spruce (or pine or balsam) for this season.


December/January 2013



Dabble Savvy: A timely look, we sourced our pocket watches from It’s About Time Antique Clocks and More on Avenue Rd. in Toronto.

It’s Time

For a nostalgic look at Christmas past and present we’ve trimmed the branches with strands of pearl garland and hung sterling silver pocket watches from sturdy ribbons. Clock hands hang like icicles, adding sparkle and refection beside white string lights.

December/January 2013



Design Tip

A wide-leaf magnolia garland adds texture and fills visual holes.

Be Fruitful

Big hydrangea blooms, boxwood balls and lemon tree branches provide a fun alternative to traditional decorations. An easy to accomplish look, the artificial greenery can be repurposed throughout the year.


December/January 2013


Two December/January 2013





December/January 2013


Design Tip

For real impact, choose large scale ornaments in unusual shapes, like the red pompoms from Urban Barn.

A Twist on Traditional Raspberry red and turquoise blue are close cousins to traditional red and green, but the energetic combo is way more fun.

December/January 2013


Blogger Tips & Tidbits

the perfect bathroom Everyone has a preferred method of recovering after a long day of work. For many, a steamy shower or decadent soak in the tub clears the mind and recharges the body. Since we use this vital space to prepare for a good night’s rest and to reinvigorate the senses each morning, we asked influential bloggers about their own secrets to a perfect bathroom. Here’s what they had to say:

Axor Starck Shower Heaven, CA$16,042 Axor Starck Single Handle Faucet Tall, CA$1,086

“The most beautiful bathrooms I come across are the ones that have a simple but luxurious feel to them. It’s often one little detail that sets them apart­­—a mosaic floor or dramatic light fixture. For me, a vintage soaker tub with an upholstered chair to its side is the ultimate invitation to unwind.”

Vanessa Francis Décor Happy,

Jennifer Flores Rambling Renovators,

December/January 2013

Sarah Swanson Flourish Design and Style,

What’s the secret to a perfect bathroom?

“A great bathroom is one with ample natural light! But if you’re not fortunate enough to have a window in your bathroom, keep things feeling bright by using reflective surfaces. A glass shower surround, mirrors, or a shiny faucet are easy ways to bounce light around.”


Vitania Liscio Verdigris Vie

“If you share the bathroom with your spouse/partner, two sinks are mandatory!“

“White, white and white! Clean, crisp and fresh marble tiles, crisp towels and creamy walls.”

“A good showerhead with adjustable settings means luxury. I can spend hours in the shower and I love the feeling of a consistent, hard spray of water.“

Sarah Hepburn-Smith Redesigning Sarah,


With so many options, it’s hard to pick just one. Whether you’re aiming for bold pattern or subtle texture, interior designer Nyla Free has advice to help you choose the right wallpaper.




December/January 2013


er December/January 2013




December/January 2013


In the office, Nyla applied grasscloth to the walls: Crown Wallpaper’s Windsong IV. December/January 2013



Step 1: What’s your Style?

Go beyond paint and introduce your walls to pattern, texture and colour. There is a wallpaper for every look, style and budget—from traditional to modern, casual to glamourous.

Step 2: Paper Type

Bathrooms love wallpaper. However in a wet environment, vinyl paper is recommended. Textured papers such as grasscloth, hemp or flocked are ideal for slightly imperfect walls. Papers with a foil or shiny surface will highlight flaws, so use on the smoothest surfaces only. 36

December/January 2013

Step 3: Consider Scale

Evaluate the size of room and choose a pattern to complement the space. A large scale pattern with bold colour may overpower a small space such as a powder room, while a neutral, mini print is lost in a large room.

Step 4: Order Samples

As with paint colours, it’s important to view samples on site during the selection process. Gently adhere a 24" x 24" sample to the wall in order to get a true sense of its look and feel.


Step 7: Roll Over

Let your passion for paper go beyond a straight wall. Why not paper the lower portion of a wall, say 42" high, and add a chair rail? Or, combine two patterns by using one on the ceiling.

“Apply wallpaper in interesting and unexpected ways. Consider wallpapering the ceiling for real drama.” ~Nyla Step 8: Quick Estimate

To calculate requirements (though always rely on a professional before ordering) add the length (in feet) of every wall to be covered in paper (include window and door openings) and multiply this number by the height of the ceilings. Divide the total by 25, the typical square foot coverage of a single roll, and you’ll have the quantity of single rolls needed. Pattern matching or unusual circumstances are not considered here so having your installer provide an accurate quote is recommended.

Step 5: Single or Double?

Wallpaper is typically priced as a single roll but sometimes sold in single or double rolls, an important detail to note prior to ordering. Single rolls cover an area of approximately 25 square feet whereas double rolls cover close to 58 square feet.

Step 6: Take Down

Gone are the days when painting over wallpaper was easier than removing it. Papers are far easier to remove than they once were.

Step 9: How it Seams

Seams are inevitable when working with wallpaper, but a professional installer will hide most of them. Grasscloth is difficult to seam match, so prepare clients for the inevitable “artisan irregularities.” Patterns require careful matching and therefore use greater yardages of paper.

Step 10: Admire the Results

Congratulate yourself on choosing such a stylish finish for your walls. No doubt, with furniture installed, you’ll be able to admire the dramatic difference wallpaper makes to the finished space.

December/January 2013


DIY Guy frosted flakes Snowflakes, gemstones and ribbon enhance a gift as well as the look of your Christmas tree. DIY Guy Nicholas Rosaci dazzles us with inexpensive dollar store finds. MATERIALS REQUIRED Gift wrapping paper Scissors Double-sided tape Gros grain ribbon ½" to 1 ½" width (approx. 3' per gift) Hot glue gun Snowflake ornaments White glue Small paintbrush Artificial gemstones in various sizes and colours


December/January 2013













Wrap gifts in paper that complements your tree. Opt for stripes, damask, paisley, or leather patterns rather than traditional holiday motifs.

Tie a ribbon around the gift as you would normally do but, instead of tying a bow on the top of the gift, cut the ribbon where the two ends meet each other. Use a hot glue gun to secure the ends of the ribbon to the package.

Purchase plastic snowflake ornaments with glitter if possible. Or, to add your own glitter, apply glue to the entire surface of one side of the ornament using a paintbrush. Place the ornament on top of newspaper and cover the ornament in sparkles. Allow the ornament to dry before repeating the step on the other side. The extra sparkles can be kept to make additional snowflakes.

Cut 3 pieces of ribbon at different lengths. Take the longest piece and glue gun the two ends together then glue the ends to the centre of the snowflake. To make sure the ribbon is secure, add glue along the side of the ribbon facing the package. Repeat with the other two pieces of ribbon, finishing with the shortest piece.

For added glamour, glue a faux jewel to the centre of the snowflake and bow. VoilĂ !

Gold Pig Bookends CA$35, CB2

Gooseberry Pierced Bowl US$249, Michael Aram

Gold Cocktail Shaker CA$30, Indigo

what’s trending



Gold rush! Check online for more great picks! Martini Side Table CA$179, West Elm


“All that glitters is bound to find its way into Dabble,” says our style expert Christine Da Costa. Gold, brass and bronze are home design attention grabbers. Gold Wishbone Napkin Ring Gift Set CA$52, Pottery Barn

Gold Ice Bucket CA$60, Indigo

Brizo Solna (Brilliance Brushed Bronze) CA$895, Brizo

Mini Guilded Gold Mirrors, (Set of 3) CA$91 Pottery Barn


December/January 2013

Dabble Savvy: Mix your metals. You don’t have to get rid of silver and chrome accents because gold goes with everything!

Libations Bar Cart US$599, Crate & Barrel



Interior designer, popular television personality and colour-trend expert Jane Lockhart shares her favourite colour combination of the season.

Gone are the days when holiday décor is restricted to red, green and white. Inspired by the runways of Paris, jewel tone colours like the deep-plum purple above are new and exciting this holiday season and all year round. Jane suggests pairing luxe textures in royal shades with metallic holiday accents in silver. To chase winter from the scene, Jane suggests “layering ambient lighting with table lamps and candles to achieve a warm holiday glow.” Tip: Go modern and forgo hanging ornaments and garland on a tree. Instead, place purple and metallic Christmas balls in a crystal bowl for sparkle, or lay silver garlands around a lamp base to add texture to the room.

December/January 2013


y tr us Ind file Sabrina Soto Pro

“I dabble in cooking. If I’m not in the studio designing, you will find me in the kitchen.” Designer and host of HGTV’s Get it Sold, Real Estate Intervention and The High Low Project, Sabrina Soto transforms homes by saving money, time and effort without compromising style. In her latest book she talks about a layer-by-layer approach to home design. We spent some time with Sabrina to find out her approach to holiday decorating. DAB: What does your home look like during the festive season? SS: I love accents of red winter flowers. I like to incorporate pine cones and berries for a quick and easy holiday update. DAB: How can a person use layering to decorate for the changing seasons? SS: Layering is a great tool to use for changing seasons. You don’t need a complete redesign to keep up to date. Switch staple pieces with seasonal items and accessories. New pillows, throws or accessories can easily uplift a room. DAB: What is your favourite holiday colour scheme? SS: I absolutely love the warm colours of the fall season. Deep indigo and spice orange paired with vanilla white and tranquil teal set an ideal holiday tone. Since the holidays are all about 42

December/January 2013

family and together time, I like to surround myself with colours that reflect that holiday warmth. DAB: When is a good time to put up Christmas decorations? SS: The first week of December is the perfect time to decorate for Christmas. There’s enough time to transition from fall and plenty of days to anticipate Christmas day. DAB: Describe the perfect holiday get-together. SS: Fun, laughter, dancing and a beautiful dinner. Of course, being surrounded by loved ones makes the holidays perfect. DAB: What would you like your Christmas stocking to be filled with this year? SS: Shoes and a Nespresso machine!


A wild, white horse and a photograph by Irene Suchocki inspire Victoria Drainville to create a warm and comforting colour palette for the home.

2115-70 oyster

1471 shoreline

1459 metro gray

CSP-145 smoked truffle

983 smokey taupe

CSP-230 quietude

1554 dash of pepper Taken in the Camargue region of France, the movement of the wild horse is reminiscent of the galloping speed of life. Perhaps it’s time to breathe.


Let this confetti-sprayed pillow be the life of the party.

*Find a

store near you.


Belgian linens in taupe, oyster, light grey or coffee are ideal snuggling companions during cooler months.


Add shimmer and sparkle to the holiday mantle with an elegant display of glass finials.

December/January 2013





December/January 2013



Usually the only way I ”do donuts” is by dunking one in my coffee. So when the Porsche folks asked me to come out and do some REAL ones on their ice track in Quebec, I ditched my pastry fantasies and zipped up my parka. I smelled a Dabble Dare in the freezing air. Soon, I found myself on the Mecaglisse, an ice driving track nestled in the Laurentians where Porsche Camp takes place. In the briefing session I learned a few basics: 1. If you saw the tree you hit, you under-steered. 2. If you only heard the tree crashing into your car, you over-steered. 3. The best way to get through winter is sideways. As I stepped on the gas I had some interesting first thoughts: Driving a Porsche on an ice track is not like driving an SUV at home. First of all, it’s a Porsche. Second, it’s on an ice track, not a carefully plowed and salted hockey arena parking lot. To enhance the madcap adventure, we played some games. For instance, starting at opposite sides of a snow-banked circle, two cars (I drove one) chased each other while trying not to catch a bumper or a snowbank. Basically, I attempted every manoeuvre I’ve warned my teenage son to avoid when behind the wheel. And, my goodness, it was fun! Think I might take on a Zamboni next…

IceCamp4 T T T

Porsche IceCamp4 takes place in Jan/Feb 2013. Visit December/January 2013





December/January 2013

TRAVEL India already had us. It wooed us in the North and won us over long before we left Delhi on a flight into Kerala. The sights, sounds, rhythms and smells of the country were no longer foreign to us. By this point, about four weeks into our six-week visit, India and I were old friends. No need for detailed explanations of the statues we were passing or amazement at the camels, cows and pigs that would wander onto rural roads. We—my husband Ish, our two sons Ethan, 9, and Cameron, 7, and I—understood that this is just how things are in India and we embraced it to the point where the very things that knocked us into fits of awe weeks ago, barely caught our attention now. But there was new magic waiting in the South. As we pulled into the driveway of Chittoor Kottaram we sensed we were in for something special. Waiting just outside the gate was Milton Verghese, the residence’s manager and chief host, who welcomed us in the traditional fashion—a fragrant floral garland and deep red bindi. He introduced us to Annie, who cooks all meals on her own here, and Junaid, who does a bit of everything, and then he showed us our palace. Chittoor Kottaram is a one-key palatial heritage property that once housed a Maharajah. The home is the only surviving palace still owned by the royal Cochin family. But when you rent it, it belongs to you and you alone. This is not like the palaces of the north with their ornate trim and elaborate architecture. Instead what we find in Cochin is a simple but stately three-bedroom home with two floors, boasting teak pillars and simple pleasures, set on well-manicured lawns. There is also a gazebo and private spa area, a pond (that was once the Maharajah’s pre-temple visit bathing area), and a secondary building with a traditional kitchen and dining room. It is simple. It is perfect. The luxury here is not in the excess that we have seen in the north but in the complete lack of it. No one else’s needs are being considered but ours, excursions are specifically planned and meals are designed just for us. Abandoned in the sixties, the palace had a turn as a school until Jayasree Varma, a descendant of the royal family who inherited the property in 1996, resurrected it. Along with her husband and a renowned architectural firm, she slowly set about restoring the palace to its former understated glory. December/January 2013


HOME TOUR As the palace’s only guests, we were informed that we were now considered royalty and addressed as such. I can tell you without hesitation that having someone address you as “Queen” repeatedly doesn’t take as much getting used to as one might think. There seems to be only two rules here: Remove your shoes before entering the house (we do and it has the immediate effect of making the palace even more comfortable) and make all of your wishes known. Milton takes the job seriously and seems most concerned that we enjoy our stay to the fullest. But once he has walked us to the door of the palace, he hands us the key and turns to go, leaving us to our own devices. We take to the sprawling space and long lingering days like kittens to milk. Much of the day is spent sitting on the large wraparound balcony reading books, playing board games, writing in journals and gazing out at the solitary fisherman making his way along the famous backwaters just off our back deck. We could’ve taken a sunset cruise in the boat tied up out back but that would’ve required getting up from our perch and we were way too comfortable for that. As a family, we are united in our gratitude for space and time, but division looms. The soft tolling of a hand-held bell outside signals that dinner is served. There is no menu to choose from. This is a home, remember. Instead, we find Annie in the kitchen smiling shyly as Verghese and Junaid serve us a meal fit for a Maharajah. A strictly vegetarian Maharajah. Ish and Ethan take to the silver thali dishes filled to the brim with bright yellow dal, homemade roti, a beetroot and pineapple salad mixture and much, much more, with vigour and glee. Dishes are refilled and replenished with abandon. Cameron and I (borderline carnivores) sample more graciously, focusing on the banana flowers with peanut chutney and the beetroot and pineapple salad. Things get even better the next day. We start the day with the same staff, looking fresh and relaxed despite what we know was a late night and early start, and several courses of traditional breakfast that combine coconut, banana and honey. Fresh juices and tea are balanced with light conversation explaining the history of the area.


December/January 2013

Heather on her journey at:  Follow

DESIGN And then we’re off again, away from the quiet of Chitoor Kottaram and back, past the Chinese fishing nets and street spice sellers, into the neighbourhood that Nimmy and Paul Joseph call home. We’re here for a cooking class (aptly called At Home with Nimmy and Paul) but we soon realize it is also going to be a meal to remember. Nimmy is an Indian cooking legend. Her talents have been featured in magazines as diverse as New York Magazine, Gourmet, Saveur and Travel and Leisure but today, as we sit watching her warm the pans in her backyard, she belies nothing but a humble spirit and a desire to see us cook better. Husband Paul, acting as sous-chef and chief drink provider, is a delight and soon he and Ish are fast friends. The kids watch with glee as shrimp jump and pop in her pan and they fire off questions about the names of spices and the smells wafting towards us. Afterwards we sit down to share a meal that includes Palappam (lacy rice pancakes), Dhal Curry, Malli Char (coriander based curry), Meen Molee (fish in coconut milk) and ginger prawns. The omnivores are satisfied, happy and full as we make the slow, sedating drive back to the palace. It’s even prettier at night. Milton meets us at the gate and guides us down a now candlelit path to home. We bid him goodnight and sit on the verandah looking out at the black sky filled with stars and the moonlight bouncing off the waters. Throughout our stay Milton and his staff ensured that we never felt uneasy or uncomfortable. While there was the occasional knock on the door of the lower floor with a pitcher of something cold or the offer of something warm, the top floor Maharajah Suite was never disturbed while we were onsite. I could sit on the swinging bed in the drawing room while Ish napped on the four-poster bed and the boys played cards on the verandah, without worry of someone knocking unexpectedly. And because of that I could really and truly relax. It was heavenly. On our last day, Milton had a request. Would we be willing to don the traditional garb of royalty for a photo? To stand with them under the palm leaf umbrellas that are signature of the royal family? Of course. The photo remains one of my favourites from the trip and the palace that was our home away from home for a few short days has stayed in our heart long after. To learn more about Chittoor Kottaram, visit To book a visit with Nimmy and Paul, visit December/January 2013


Dabble does



December/January 2013


In Ottawa, Canada’s capital city, politics play a leading role. The parliament buildings take centre stage downtown while the Prime Minister and Governor Generals’ residences face off on Sussex Drive. For a small city, architecture makes a big statement and yet, it’s the capital’s natural setting that leaves a lasting impression on visitors.

December/January 2013



Paliament Hill 54

December/January 2013


With four season offerings for the outdoor enthusiast Ottawa is a year-round destination. But none can deny the magical charms of winter in the capital. Christmas lights emblazen the downtown core as temperatures drop, turning the lively Rideau Canal into the world’s longest outdoor skating rink.

Fairmont Château Laurier December/January 2013




Seasonal accessories at Details Home Apparel.


December/January 2013

“Subtly sophisticated is the best way to describe Ottawa’s unique mix of gothic architecture, slick condos and trendy neighbourhoods,” says Mary Taggart, the editor of Ottawa at Home magazine. The design scene is equally eclectic. Shoppers can expect an intimate experience while perusing the city’s best boutiques for seasonal accessories and furniture finds.






Details Home Apparel offers complete design services in addition to showcasing an excellent selection of custom furnishings, carpets and wallpaper. During the holiday season shop for decorative tableware and seasonally inspired décor items.

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You’ll find Mikaza Home’s flagship store just across the Ottawa River in neighbouring Quebec. They also have a smaller shop on Bank St. in Old Ottawa South. For moderately priced contemporary furniture and a good selection of trendy accessories, check out Suede Contemporary Interiors, in the chic village of Westboro.


Shoppers with sophisticated tastes will love Champagne dit Lambert in Old Ottawa South. The owners have a refined vision for silverware and high quality furnishings. If vintage finds inspire you then head over to Architectural Antique Warehouse in the Lebreton Flats area. You’re likely to find a silver brush and comb set alongside of a neon bar sign. The goods range from modern to retro-quirky.


Tivoli Florists is an ideal stop en route to dinner with friends. This popular boutique takes holiday décor very seriously. Further down the road, in the village of Wellington West, find Thyme & Again Creative Catering. With a reputation for high-end catering and gourmet take-out their storefront is a festive mix of delights.


Ottawa at Home magazine editor Mary Taggart does some early shopping at Westboro Village Tivoli Florists.

In the east end of town you’ll find Jacobsons, the perfect spot for a hostess gift. It’s also the ultimate drop-in for foodies. Warning: you may have trouble leaving without making at least a couple purchases.

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White and glass accents fit in easily with any dĂŠcor style.

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The stunning glass structure of the National Gallery of Canada is most easily identified by the ‘Maman’ spider statue in front. 60

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Tourist attractions are plentiful in the capital city; the problem is fitting them all in. First time visitors will want to allow several days for exploring the many museums and historical sites. Make sure to save time for a skate on the Rideau Canal.






The National Gallery of Canada and The Canadian Mint are just northwest of the bustling restaurant and shopping district known as Byward Market. The gallery focuses on Canadian art featuring works by the Group of Seven, Emily Carr and Alex Colville, but also showcases an impressive display of American and European pieces. Pick up a newly minted or treasured souvenir after a tour at the Royal Canadian Mint.


Founded in 1908 the Royal Canadian Mint is an historic building in the centre of the city.

It’s hard to miss the castle-like structure that houses the Canadian Museum of Nature. Kids of every age will enjoy the natural disasters exhibits.


New skate chalets, found at varying intervals, make changing and resting much easier on the 7.8 km outdoor skating rink known as the Rideau Canal. After a brisk workout on the ice you’ll be able to enjoy (practically guilt free) an iconic Canadian pastry known as the beavertail. Best enjoyed with a steaming cup of hot chocolate. Rideau Hall is home to the Governor General of Canada and, in turn, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II when she’s in town. It’s the only official residence open to the public and it’s worth a visit, especially if you’re prone to royal fever.



On the edge of the Rideau Canal, in the downtown core, the National Arts Centre attracts prominent theatre including Broadway productions and notable performances in a variety of mediums. Annual tickets to shows like The Nutcracker or Handel’s Messiah are a family tradition for many local residents.

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The Fairmont Château Laurier A regal gem within walking distance of Parliament Hill, the Rideau Canal, the Prime Minister’s residence and the Byward Market is the century old Fairmont Château Laurier. Visitors will appreciate the festive holiday décor provided by an annual fundraiser for the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario. Stop in for a warm drink and watch the snow fall.


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TRAVEL Statue of John By, founder of Bytown, Ottawa’s former name

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OTTAWA FOOD Enjoy a glass of wine or a cold beer at The Wellington Gastropub. 64

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For a small city Ottawa features an abundance of first class dining options, though many are a wellkept secret as far as the locals are concerned. Follow Dabble’s picks for a memorable week of meals in the capital city.

RESTAURANTS The Wellington Gastropub has an infectious vibe that makes it one of the most sought-after places to book a table. Busy every night of the week with success that can be attributed to dedicated owners Chris Deraiche and Shane Waldron and their attention to an ever-changing menu.



A lively neighbourhood hotspot Fraser Café is on the edge of upscale Rockcliffe Park. Brothers Ross and Simon Fraser offer fresh, local food served simply in a casual setting. Their brunch menu has earned them a solid reputation with the weekend crowd.


Town owners, Marc Doiron and Lori Wojcik, are a married couple that combine their passion for art and food beautifully in a bustling, atmospheric restaurant in the Golden Triangle neighbourhood. Featuring locally grown food, the commitment to fresh deliciousness is evident in every dish served.


Perhaps the most sophisticated of the top five spots, Beckta makes Ottawa proud. A world-class sommelier owner Stephen Beckta and his partner, award winning executive chef Michael Moffatt, can take on Manhattan. In typical Ottawa style there are no pretensions just haute cuisine served in elegant simplicity.


Atelier’s celebrated owner/chef Marc Lepine artfully creates food worth savouring in an atmosphere that encourages lingering. The innovative tasting menu at Atelier is considered molecular. Diners come for an experience and are never disappointed in a restaurant known as one of Canada’s finest.

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A dessert or hostess gift from Jacobsons will make you a welcome guest.


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! ys da li Ho y Happ December/January 2013


Dabble Express

Packing aTravel Bag It happens practically every time we travel—we forget some grooming essential. Well, not anymore. Next time you travel, use this handy checklist of essentials and you're sure to have everything you need to look and feel your best.

PAntibacterial Sanitizer & Wipes PAspirin, Bandages & Vitamins P Body Lotion PContact Lens Solution PDeodorant PEar plugs & Eye mask PFeminine Hygiene PHair Brush, Elastics & Clips PHair Rollers, Flat/ Curling Iron PHand Lotion PLip chap PMakeup & Brushes PMakeup Remover & Wipes PMagnifying Mirror PMouthwash PNail Kit: Clipper, File & Remover PPerfume PQ-Tips PRazor PSoap & Body wash PShampoo & Conditioner PSlippers & Socks for the Plane

Dabble Savvy Choice: Crabtree & Evelyn’s La Source Train Case. Make sure to pack: La Source Body Wash, Body Lotion and Body Scrub.

PSunscreen/ Sun hat PTissue PTooth Brush, Paste & Floss PTweezers PVaseline


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Follow Anne’s Adventures... f

t @pretavoyager



Anne Stark Ditmeyer is an American in Paris working as a freelance designer, writer and entrepreneur. She’s been blogging about travel and design since 2007, documenting her adventures through Prêt à Voyager. The best thing about her job is she can work from anywhere—a co-work space in NYC or a cool design hotel in the Netherlands. Here are a few other things you don’t know about Anne:

...anthropology “I grew up in four states (Virginia, Minnesota, Kansas and Idaho) and have visited 46 US states, and over 30 countries. Growing up, my family would always take me somewhere new for spring break. What can I say? It’s in my blood.”

“I’m probably the only 6th grader who ever volunteered to do their “culture report” on Swaziland. I studied anthropology in college and now I’m interested in cross-cultural design and communication. I think it’s really important to understand and appreciate how others live. ”

...water “I’m a Pisces, a swimmer and a rower. I was a rower for a long time, but then in college I became a coxswain for the men’s team.”

December/January 2013



Start the party with a “prepare in advance� holiday punch featuring rich, tart blood orange complemented by bursts of cranberry and ginger.

Holiday Cocktail

Cranberry Squeeze Words by Lauren HERBERT Recipe and Photography courtesy Teroforma 72

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FOOD Dabble Savvy: Mild pink peppercorns add a pop of colour to the rim.

INGREDIENTS 6 ounces tequila 2 ounces triple sec 1 ounce Grand Marnier 2 cups fresh blood orange juice ½ cup cranberry juice 1 ounce agave nectar 1 tbsp finely grated fresh ginger 1 blood orange, thinly sliced 2 limes, thinly sliced 2 cups ice Garnish: Mint Cranberries Candied ginger To rim glasses: 3 tbsp salt—pink Himalayan salt for colour 3 tbsp sugar 1 tsp ground pink peppercorns DIRECTIONS Prep glasses. On a plate mix salt, sugar and peppercorns. Wipe a segment of orange or lime around the rim of glasses to moisten. Dip in the sugar mixture and set aside. In a pitcher combine all ingredients and stir well. Taste the drink and add more agave if needed as some blood oranges are more tart than others. Pour over ice and garnish with mint, cranberries and candied ginger.

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f he C e bl Dab

“Cooler weather calls for a hearty meal like lamb shanks,” says Dabble’s Chef, Corey Burgan.



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Lamb Shanks INGREDIENTS 2 tbsp olive oil 2-3 lamb shanks 1 carrot, peeled and diced 2 onions, diced 2 strips celery, diced 2 tbsp tomato paste 2 cups red wine 3 sprigs thyme, washed 2 sprigs rosemary, washed 2 oregano leaves, washed 2 bay leaves 6-7 black peppercorns 3 tbsp salt 1 litre of water

Directions In a large saucepan, heat oil on medium to high heat. When the oil reaches its smoking point, add the lamb shanks and sear each side for approximately 5-6 minutes. Remove the lamb from the pan and set aside. Add carrots, onions and celery to the saucepan and sauté for 10 minutes or until golden brown. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 5 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the red wine until it is reduced by half. Add the remaining ingredients and the lamb and bring to a boil. Turn the heat down to low, cover the pot and let simmer for 3 hours. Once the lamb shanks are cooked, take them out of the liquid and set aside. With a ladle or a spoon, skim the fat off the top of the liquid. Strain the stock into a small saucepan, making sure all of the vegetables and herbs are strained out. On medium to high heat boil the liquid for 5-10 minutes or until it thickens. Add lamb shanks to the sauce until warm. Serve the lamb shanks with the sauce, mashed potatoes and sautéed julienne vegetables.

Chef Corey’s Tips: • Use the entire onion: onion skin has immense flavour, so use it for the stock. • Cook lamb shanks in the oven. Preheat the oven to 375° and wrap the pot with tin foil. Cooking time remains the same. • When skimming the fat, use a paper towel to catch the bits of fat. Lightly place the paper towel on top of the stock and pull to one side. • To thicken the sauce, stir together 3 tablespoons of cornstarch and ½ cup cold water. Pour into the boiling stock.

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b da a t us J

Issue 11 - DecJan'13  

Each Issue of Dabble Magazine brings you inspiring design from around the world, immerses you in cities ripe for discovery, gives you a tast...

Issue 11 - DecJan'13  

Each Issue of Dabble Magazine brings you inspiring design from around the world, immerses you in cities ripe for discovery, gives you a tast...