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MONTREAL

THE

SPRING

ISSUE

CHAKI AT 80 The artist on his life and art GARDEN GLORY

Feng shui principles in a garden’s design

BODY & SOUL

The benefits of a spa visit in spring

HOT HUES

HER OWN HOUSE

A designer transforms her family home

GIFT GUIDE

Find a great Mother’s Day present

Vibrant colour makes a comeback

NEW LIFE FOR OLD JEWELRY

$6.95

TROPICAL LIFE IN MONTREAL

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PUBLISHER’S LETTER

WELCOME, DEAR READER. The magazine you are holding is a fabulous new publication that shines a spotlight on Canada’s best design and designers. We are thrilled that you are joining us here at Home in Canada. Our cover story is about Chaki, a brilliant and gifted Montreal-based artist with a global reach. I first met Chaki 17 years ago when I sang as the cantor at his daughter’s wedding. We rekindled our friendship last winter when I began the interview for the article that I wrote about him, here in these pages. We have spent many hours together singing to each other – him, Latin romances, and me, Israeli songs of his youth. During our many visits, he spoke of his childhood, spent hidden from the Nazis in Athens, the unfolding of his education as an artist in Israel and Paris, and ultimately the journey that has made him one of the most notable painters in Canada. It was a joy to drink in the creative vibe that fills his studio. I feel very privileged to have seen his works in progress. Read my profile of this fascinating artist on page 22. Our inaugural issue of Home in Canada, published in February, focused on the cutting-edge design we’re seeing in kitchens and bathrooms these days. All of the spaces we highlighted were designed by talented, seasoned interior designers who have made their marks in the industry. In this issue, we introduce you to talented, young designers who are not yet seasoned. In fact, they’re just beginning their careers. They are either just finishing their design studies or were recently graduated and are using their considerable skills to make waves in the industry. Watch these gifted new designers in the years to come. Judging by what they’ve achieved so far, they’re going to hold our attention and surprise us. There’s a lot of creative talent out there. Expect to see more about this country’s rising talent in subsequent editions. We have included in this issue two pages of free advertising – one for Alberta University of the Arts and the other for OCAD University. We hope to interview and celebrate the winners of their competitions in future issues. In fact, here is an invitation to all design schools across the globe: You are cordially invited to place your ads for design competitions in these pages - so long as Canadian students are eligible to apply! Home in Canada is a national publication that celebrates design across this great land. If you know of a great design, home, or designer, please send them to us. We want to be the new bridge for great designers across Canada into all Canadian homes. Wishing you all colourful and creative thoughts. DR. SHARON AZRIELI Publisher

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EDITOR’S LETTER

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ONCE THE VERNAL EQUINOX has come and gone, we Canadians start planning the activities of the warm months ahead. Spring brings with it plenty of chores: indoor and outdoor clean-ups, planting the garden, scrubbing last year’s detritus from the barbecue, changing the tires on the car, and so on. Many of us also use this time of year to give our bodies a spring tune-up. In this issue, Julie Gedeon tells us about spas that offer services that nurture body and soul. Be it massage, exfoliation, saunas, or whirlpool baths, there are treatments that help us awaken from winter and pamper ourselves. Spring also witnesses an acceleration of the real estate market. It is at this time of year that “For Sale” signs pop up on lawns across the country along with swaths of dandelions. If you’re planning to buy a home this spring, do read Tracey MacKenzie’s column. As a feng shui master, Tracey advises us to consider the ancient Chinese principles of feng shui when assessing a home that’s on the market. It does add another layer of deliberation to the process of house-hunting, but it’s well worth it. After all, we want to inhabit auspicious spaces in which we can thrive.

If you’re itching to kick-start your gardening season, you’ll want to read Phillipa Rispin’s feature about an exquisite garden in Vancouver. It incorporates feng shui principles along with spectacular horticulture and lifestyle elements. Wedding season is also imminent. We prof ile a remarkable young designer in Vancouver who, at the age of 26, is creating sought-after wedding gowns that she sells internationally. Writer Susan Kelly profiles Gaby Bayona, who has been designing wedding dresses for the past eight years, and is fast developing her business. May brings us Mother’s Day, so we show you a selection of gifts that have been selected just for Mom. Our gift guide starts on page 44. In her inaugural column, our new interior design columnist Barbara Milner tells us that years of pale and neutral palettes in interior design are gradually giving way to colour, some of it quite vibrant. What better way to welcome spring than with a splash of lime green, turquoise or scarlet in our homes? Pantone’s colour of the year for 2019 is “Living Coral,” a delicious, warm hue that I love. May we see more such colours ahead. Finally, you’ll find some very interesting homes in this issue. There’s something about spring that makes many of us want to spruce up our rooms. Here’s your inspiration.

STEPHANIE WHITTAKER Editor-in-Chief stephanie@movatohome.com There are several ways you can stay in touch with us: @homeincanada @athomeincanada @movatohome

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AM I TOO YOUNG FOR A FACELIFT? Facial rejuvenation is all the rage with injectables, creams and fillers. Yet, despite all these options, the gold-standard remains the facelift. With one surgical procedure, a patient in her 50s can be taken back to her 40s, the effects lasting a decade.

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CONTRIBUTORS

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JEAN BLAIS Photographer Jean Blais says that artist Chaki “loves photography and immediately felt comfortable with me taking pictures in his studio. It’s a spacious and bright studio with paintings all over the place, some recent work and some in progress. Chaki is now 80 years old, but it doesn’t keep him from producing fabulous artworks. His face shows that he’s a passionate man very much in control of his art.” Jean has photographed for various Canadian interior design and fashion magazines and has worked in Montreal, London and New York. LARRY ARNAL Some contemporary design is timeless, as is evident in the Toronto home that Yvonne Whelan designed for her family, says photographer Larry Arnal. “I was surprised to learn when photographing Yvonne’s house that the kitchen is several years old, but it looks as if it could have been done yesterday,” he says. Larry adds that the house is sure to provide plenty of design inspiration for anyone thinking of doing a home makeover this spring.    BARBARA MILNER Journalist, designer and realtor Barbara Milner has had an extensive career in national broadcast television. She writes about real estate issues for premium luxury brokerage Forest Hill Yorkville as well as a wide range of design topics for Houzz America. Barbara brings her areas of expertise to Home in Canada as a regular design columnist, and in this issue, explores colour’s comeback to the North American palette. A fan of colour and curios, Barbara describes her style as “inspired by the unusual.” WENDY HELFENBAUM Montreal journalist/TV producer Wendy Helfenbaum chronicled the restoration and expansion of a 19th century farmhouse near Quebec City. “This family country home is now the perfect gathering spot for three generations, thanks to the thoughtful way the owner – an architect – reimagined the space,” says Wendy, who covers real estate, architecture, design, travel, and gardening. Her work has appeared in numerous magazines across North America. PHILLIPA RISPIN A designer’s control might be the unifying theme of the three stories that writer-editor Phillipa Rispin wrote for this issue. One story features a designer who’s constantly tweaking her home decor to suit changing styles and family needs. Another features a designer who chose nearly everything (even the cutlery!) inside a new home. And the third – well, it’s the opposite: you can design a garden, you can maintain it, but Mother Nature ensures change throughout the seasons, “which is one of the delights of a garden,” says Phillipa.

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Montreal Edition Volume 11, number 2, Spring Issue 2019 Date of Issue: April, 2019 6100 TransCanada Highway Suite 100, Pointe-Claire Quebec H9R 1B9

Call 1-866-846-1640 athomeincanada.ca sales@movatohome.com

PUBLISHER Dr. Sharon Azrieli CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER Stanley Kirsh

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Stephanie Whittaker ART DIRECTOR Randy Laybourne EDITORIAL COORDINATOR Carmen Lefebvre

ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT & ADVERTISING COORDINATOR Neve Foltz CONTRIBUTORS Julie Gedeon Wendy Helfenbaum Elisabeth Kalbfuss Susan Kelly Tracey MacKenzie Barbara Milner Phillipa Rispin

CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER Matthew Azrieli CONTROLLER Jenny Marques DIRECTOR OF SALES NATIONAL Kelly Chicoine ACCOUNTS EXECUTIVE Caroline Rho For sales inquiries, please email Kelly Chicoine: kelly@movatohome.com or Caroline Rho: caroline@movatohome.com To subscribe, go here: www.athomeincanada.ca/ print-subscription/

PHOTOGRAPHY Larry Arnal Jean Blais Ana Cole Janis Nicolay Cory Stevens STYLING Rachelle Gervais Yvonne Whelan TRANSLATOR Marie-Josée Paradis

LEGAL DEPOSIT issn 1920-1370 Home In Canada magazine Inc. 2019. All rights reserved. Any copying or reproduction of content without the written permission of Home In Canada magazine is strictly prohibited. Publication # 41959020


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CONTENTS

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22 ON THE COVER CHAKI AT 80

The celebrated artist discusses his life and art

HARMONY IN LIFE AND LANDSCAPE

A large wind-chime sculpture expresses the spirit of this serene Vancouver garden

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FROM ZERO TO WOW IN FIVE DAYS A near-empty dwelling becomes a full house fast, thanks to a talented designer

72

STUDENT DESIGN

A Toronto furniture company’s competition allows student designers to market their skills

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© 2019 GLORIA BASS DESIGN INC


CONTENTS

6

PUBLISHER’S LETTER

8

EDITOR’S LETTER

16

THIS JUST IN A selection of new items for your home

44

WE LOVE YOU, MOM Our annual Mother’s Day gift guide

76

SEEKING THE BEST Canadian schools of art and design hold annual competitions for their graduating students

86

SPRING TUNE-UP Quebec spas offer rejuvenating treatments for body and soul following the long, cold winter

104

A WARM CLIMATE UNDER GLASS Tropiques Nord is a condominium building with something extra: a half-acre-sized indoor tropical garden

108

BEFORE AND AFTER A riverfront home gets a makeover, resulting in a light-filled open-concept space

110

NEW LIFE FOR OLD JEWELRY Jewelry designer Gloria Bass reworks heirloom pieces to give them an updated look

112

BUYER BEWARE Home buyers can apply the ancient principles of feng shui in their search for the right house

116

GO FOR THE GOLD Warm metallic tones are used as design accents throughout this Toronto condo

124

CREATIVE SHAKE-UP Astrology columnist Susan Kelly says the planets are aligned for change ahead

126

COLOUR COMEBACK The use of vibrant hues is taking over from neutral palettes, says designer/columnist Barbara Milner

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50 WEDDING SEASON

At 26, bridal gown designer Gaby Bayona is selling her dresses globally

A BEAUTIFUL PLACE IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD

A couple buy a waterfront home near where they live to improve their views of the sea

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WORKING AT HOME A designer loves redecorating her own house

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DESIGN

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T H IS JUST IN PEARL PERFECTION South Sea pearls and diamonds come together with 18kt gold in this striking pendant by Gloria Bass Design. Gloria Bass Design 1361-1 Greene Ave., Westmount 514-933-7062 www.gloriabassdesign.com

CORDLESS ELEGANCE These cordless zebra blinds are available in various widths (24 inches to 78 inches) and can be custom-cut for a more precise width. Colours include black, grey and white and a black-out variety is also available. They can be bought online or at any Fabricville store in the greater Montreal area. Fabricville www.fabricville.com

MULTI-TASKING FURNITURE The S-Cube is a five-in-one-piece ottoman that easily converts from a single ottoman to five separate seats. It’s ideal for condo living and small spaces. Available in two colours. Linen Chest www.linenchest.com

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Bunny Berke R

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professional insight, which proved invaluable

efforts, skills, and respect, some of

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in selecting her as my real estate agent. Her

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analysis, thoughts and recommendations

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were consistently accurate, timely and

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any issues with calm expertise. She made me

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which really met all of our requirements.

feel as though I was her only client. Despite her

situations with professional calm and made

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very busy schedule, she was never too busy to

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DESIGN

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ART

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A PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST At 80, the internationally celebrated Montreal painter Chaki continues to produce magnificent work BY SHARON AZRIELI PHOTOGRAPHY: JEAN BLAIS

WRY HUMOUR. A romantic and penetrating mind. An indomitable spirit.

He experienced humble beginnings, the ups and downs of being a creative soul, being an artist in an uncertain world, a child during the Holocaust who was hidden by righteous gentiles. Could this be where his optimism came from? He moved during childhood to

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Israel (before it was Israel), then Paris as a young man. Could this be where his romantic soul came from? Then to the New World and started a family here. Could this be how he developed his determination? –>


ART • HOME IN CANADA • SPRING 2019

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ART

And now, battling Parkinson’s disease, artist Yehouda Leon Chaki is still, at the age of 80, producing some of the most fabulous art of his 70-year-long career. Chaki, as he is simply known, was born in Athens, Greece on December 11, 1938 to Sephardic Jewish parents Flora and Benzion Sciaky. He and his family spent five years being hidden by Christians during the Second World War, and relocated to the city of Holon in pre-Israel Palestine, when the Sephardim were considered second-class citizens.

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Chaki simplified the spelling of his surname and uses it as his only name. All his life, he says, people have referred to him just as “Chaki,” including his adoring wife. When I ask him why, he tells me a story about what his name means. His father explained that the three letters of his name are: ‫ = ׁש‬Shem (name)   ‫ = ק‬Kadosh (Holy) and ‫ = י‬Israel. Thus, the name means that “we should be a holy name or light for our nation.” Chaki’s loyal studio assistant, Hannah Sophia Aronoff-Stachtchenko, says the artist often declares: “It’s a war out there.” Knowing

that he goes to work in his studio every day led me to wonder: Is the studio his refuge or his own private battle ground? Are his canvases the places on which he can find shelter from the world or where he makes his peace with the wars he has fought with the world outside? “What’s the war?” I ask him. “There’s always a war somewhere,” he says. “I’ve been through so many: in ’41, I was hiding. In ‘48, ’56 … Everyone is still trying to find their place. Now, I have a fantastic painting to show you – the flowers are fighting each


ART • HOME IN CANADA • SPRING 2019

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Village drawing by Chaki at age 10, 1948.

other for space on my canvas. It’s fantastic!” In Israel, his family was so poor, there was no money for art supplies. Chaki had only six crayons, but his need to express himself was so irrepressible that he used every resource available. He drew a view of his neighbourhood with shoe polish on a wall in his home. One day, Dr. Itzhak Scheinin, the family physician, making a house call to Chaki’s brother, noticed the sketch on the wall and asked who had done it. Learning that it was 10-year-old Chaki, he decided to take him and his drawings to

Chaki, 1957.

Chaki, Paris 1961.

a friend, Ludwig Schwerin, a famous artist, who recognized the youngster’s talent. And so, Dr. Scheinin, with no children of his own, became young Chaki’s patron. This relationship would become one of the most important inf luences of Chaki’s life, and would last for the rest of Scheinin’s life. The doctor sponsored Chaki’s education at the Schwartzman Arts School for 11 years, then the Avni Academy of Arts in Israel, from which Chaki would be accepted to the École des Beaux-Arts. As a young man, Chaki had such acute

vision and superb spatial sense that when he was called up for military service in Israel, he would climb up hills during the night and return to draw for the army what he had seen. From this experience, he explains, he learned techniques that he would use in his own art later. “My landscapes are not just landscapes,” he says. “There are never any roads; there is no perspective. There are no telephone poles, no human elements. That is why they are so restful. Faces are not restful; faces are not kind; faces do all bad things in the world.” –>

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ART

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Throughout 1958 and 1959, Chaki saved money to attend the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He did so by creating posters and starting a community newspaper, for which he sold advertising. Some of his logos still exist, including one for Pina Aduma coffee and La Favorita coffee machines. He saved only $200 for the boat passage and $20 for the student pass that bought one meal a day for a month in Paris, but he had no money for rent. “I paint ideas. You, as the spectator - you complete the ideas.” Chaki in his studio, Winter 2018

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ART • HOME IN CANADA • SPRING 2019

Needless to say, he describes himself, upon arrival, as “very thin and running a fever.” As he sat in the famous Café Select on his third day in the City of Light, with nowhere to live, and no money to even buy a cup of coffee, he befriended Igal Ma’oz, an Israeli painter. Already enjoying a good career, Ma’oz invited Chaki to his home, prepared him a breakfast of an egg and bread, and found him a job carrying 50-kilo bags of cement. They remained friends for life. Once Chaki regained his health, he took over a sixth-f loor maid’s-room apartment from an Israeli student who was leaving Paris.

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The room was just 10 by 10 feet and it had a slanted ceiling that he would bump his head against; but it had the magnificent light of the Parisian sunsets and enough room for a bed and an easel. The bathroom was two floors down, but Chaki loved it. He went to the students’ kosher cafeterias where he could eat almost for free, and it was there that he met Grace Aronoff, who would become his wife. Theirs was a magical, whirlwind courtship that has resulted in two children, grandchildren, and love and respect lasting 57 years. –>

“If I paint a face, I invent it, We are living in a beautiful time. I don’t copy a face.” Chaki, March 2019

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ART

Chaki cites his time in Paris as the most important formative chapter in the development of his art. He walked through the Louvre every day en route to his apartment across from the Opéra Comique. He reveled in days spent drinking up the greatest of painters, and nights spent in the company of the best singers and artists of his time. He adored, among others, Chaim Soutine, Jacob Epstein, Modigliani, and Yves Klein, whose famous cobalt-blue left a lasting effect on him. “These artists, I was influenced by their aura. They gave me a chance to see that one day, I am going to make a living making art,” he says during a recent interview in his Montreal studio. Sitting in the Café Select, across from La Coupole, he’d watch Marc Chagall and Mané Katz walk by. Occasionally, he says, one of them would wave and buy him a coffee, because he had done one of them a favour. He can’t remember what he did; perhaps it was drawing or copying for them; but he remembers that he met Mané Katz at Yaacov Agam’s house, where the artist was storing his paintings. Just being around these great artists, watching them, was the best education a young artist could dream of.

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ART • HOME IN CANADA • SPRING 2019

Chaki is renowned not only for his large, colourful still lifes, full of energy and generous use of impasto, but also his many installations throughout the years across Canada. He’s widely recognized as one of this country’s most important painters. I am proud to know him (we met when I sang as the cantor at his daughter’s wedding some 17 years ago) not just because I admire his art, not because he sings love songs and

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dances the tango, which helps him move with his Parkinson’s, but because his indomitable spirit and irrepressible good humour are an example for us all, of how to live the best life we can. A life full of fire. Because we all know somehow that there are many wars raging out there, and it is good to be able to look to Chaki and his art as an example of how to win them.

In honour of Chaki’s 80th birthday, the following art galleries will host presentations of the artist’s work. Odon Wagner Gallery 198 Davenport Rd, Toronto, Ontario 416-962-0438 ~ www.odonwagnergallery.coms

Galerie de Bellefeuille 1366 Avenue Greene, Westmount, Quebec 514-933-4406 ~ www.debellefeuille.com

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Change your perspective. If you’re looking for the right answers, you’ve come to the wrong place. If you’re looking for the right questions, welcome to Alberta University of the Arts. We are a community of thinkers, shapers, makers and risk takers. We are students, faculty, staff and alumni rich in diversity of culture and thought, challenged to fearlessly explore what moves us, drives us, and implores us to see the world differently. We continue to educate in ways that test the boundaries of common thought. Ways that will ignite your imagination and fuel your curiosity to go further. To explore deeper. To turn things upside down, inside out, downside in and right-side up again on a journey toward creative discovery.

AUArts.ca Formerly Alberta College of Art + Design


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LANDSCAPE

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HARMONY IN LIFE AND LANDSCAPE A large wind-chime sculpture expresses the spirit of this serene garden BY PHILLIPA RISPIN PHOTOGRAPHY: CORY STEVENS

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LANDSCAPE • HOME IN CANADA • SPRING 2019

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LANDSCAPE

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A 30-FOOT-HIGH CEDAR HEDGE, an old swimming pool and a half-acre of chewed-up ground: that’s what confronted landscape designer Ryan Donohoe when he first saw this now-lush and serene space in West Vancouver. The area had been used to store construction materials for the large home on the property that was being renovated from the studs out. “The client wanted the space transformed into a garden that married contemporary design with Asian influences,” says Donohoe. It had to follow the principles of feng shui, have seasonal plantings throughout, and provide multiple spaces that the homeowner can retreat to at various times of the day.

The view from the street offers a hint of the lushness inside the garden, beyond the hedge of Irish yew. Frank Austrian pines (Pinus nigra ‘Frank’) terminate rows of rhododendrons along the walls. White roses, English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia ‘Munstead’), Japanese spirea (Spiraea japonica ‘Gold Flame’) and white coneflower (Echinacea purpurea ‘White Swan’) spill toward the road.

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LANDSCAPE • HOME IN CANADA • SPRING 2019

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Donohoe, the owner of Donohoe Design Inc., was both excited and somewhat intimidated by the magnitude of the task. But he had years of practical design experience under his belt, supplemented by training at the Inchbald School of Design in London, England, and he was up to the challenge. “My training at Inchbald taught me to conceptualize a garden only after having a deep understanding of the client’s needs,” Donohoe says. “Allowing time for this process provides a richer and more diverse design, giving the client a stronger connection to their landscape.” Time was something he did have. It ultimately took six years from when he first heard about the job in 2012 to completion in 2018 – a seemingly long stretch, but planning and creating gardens of this complex nature do take time, and the house renovations were also under way during most of the period. Donohoe’s client is from Taipei. She lives in Europe and has spent a lot of time in California, which has given her a sophisticated appreciation of Old- and New-World influences in design. “She appreciated my training in England, which gave me international experience,” Donohoe says. “She knew that I was dependable and willing to be really flexible.” –>

Inside the wall, a path of Chinese granite curves across the front garden. Dividers of Cor-Ten steel flanked by black polished river rock keep the lawn from encroaching. Behind the Delavay osmanthus hedge (Osmanthus delavayi) are a hidden table and chairs for enjoying the morning sun.

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The view toward the back of the house reveals the symmetry of the garden and its focal point: the wind-chime arbour. In the foreground, a bed of roses framed by a low hedge of dwarf boxwood (Buxus sempervirens ‘Suffruticosa’) is flanked by groves of flowering cherry trees (Prunus ‘Shirofugen’). To the left are weeping larches (Larix decidua ‘Pendula’).

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The owner’s sister and nephew live in the house year-round, and other family members from around the world visit regularly. “The homeowner and the family had their ideas but they wanted my feedback,” Donohoe says. “We developed many concepts, and after many revisions, hit on the one they loved.” The design was approved in 2014. Houston Landscapes of North Vancouver executed the design, and the last of the softscape installations was done in the summer of 2018. The centrepiece of the garden is a unique wind chime, set in the pentatonic scale. It’s a large curved arbour of eight blades of Cor-Ten steel, bolted into concrete footings, with hanging chimes. Each blade is crowned

by a brass plaque displaying the Mandarin character for one of these words selected by the client: Respect, Reflection, Humbleness, Peace, Effort, Manner, Honesty and Kindness. “The sculpture was my design,” says Donohoe. It was fabricated in England by British sculptor David Harber, who consulted a wind-chime expert in Ohio. Harber’s expertise was valuable, and Donohoe calls the result a combined effort. “The wind chime provides a protective element,” Donohoe says. “The steel blades are like eight soldiers standing guard over the family. The blades are big, almost supersized humans. If they were human-size, they’d be less of a protecting, hugging feature.


LANDSCAPE • HOME IN CANADA • SPRING 2019

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“The curve is repeated behind the sculpture as a walkway. There’s also a curved walkway at the front of the house; it’s the same arc repeated in the front and back.” The rest of the garden is divided into several rooms by plantings and changes in elevation. There are three main seating areas: the pool deck; a firepit in an elevated section at the end of the direct sightline from the house’s central stairway, through the centre of the wind chime to the back of the garden; and a patio in the front yard that catches the morning sun. Also along the sightline is a raised vegetable garden, ergonomically designed so the owner doesn’t have to stoop to enjoy tending it. –>

(Below) A walkway of Black Diamond basalt has a flamed finish, giving it a no-slip surface. To the left of the walkway, spikes of gayfeather partially obscure a pink bigleaf hydrangea. On the right, English lavender and Sutherland hebe bloom in front of the ever-present black-eyed Susans. Creeping thyme is planted between the stone paths. Throughout the garden, premium soil was installed at depths greater than the B.C. standard to ensure that zone-appropriate plants will thrive for decades.

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A concrete bench curves around a firepit by Solas Decor. In front of it are some of the narrow meditation paths, intentionally made two feet wide so that they accommodate only one person at a time.

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All around are flowering plants and ornamental grasses that provide texture and colour. “In design, we typically pick colours that are close to one another, but my client wanted vibrant colours in a mix throughout the year,” Donohoe says. “Other family members visit, and they often arrive when, for example, cherry blossoms are falling or the rhododendrons are flowering. This garden is never dormant, even in winter. There’s a balance of evergreens with perennials and deciduous trees.”

The tall cedar hedge provides privacy for the garden. Renovating the existing pool kept the structural walls out of landfill. Its spacious deck offers room for plenty of furniture as well as built-in planters and a cascading water feature with the wind-chime arbour as a backdrop. Freestanding planters: Pots Incorporated.

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LANDSCAPE • HOME IN CANADA • SPRING 2019

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At one end of the pool deck, a horizontal fence screens a shade-loving garden. On the deck itself, in-ground planters feature a combination of coneflowers (Echinacea ‘Salsa Red’), canna lilies, daisy bush, coleus and Chinese silver grass.

Donohoe’s approach to this garden is typical of his work in general. He and his company focus on single-family residences and develop a high level of personal connection with their clients. They discern the spirit of the family and imbue it in the landscape. The process is perhaps longer than some designers provide, but it’s well thought out and results in “spaces of beauty that people can live in and be connected to family,” Donohoe says. “We’re not creating a space that just looks good; it will suit the people who live in it.”

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DESIGN

We Love Our Mothers The annual Mother’s Day Gift Guide BY TRACEY MACKENZIE

The modern celebration of Mother’s Day – as distinct from the versions observed by the ancient Greeks and Romans – dates to the early years of the 20th century. It was spawned by one Anna Reeves Jarvis, who held a memorial service for her mother, a peace activist, in a West Virginia church. Jarvis later campaigned to create a special commemorative day for mothers. More than a century later, Mother’s Day continues to be celebrated in May. It’s an opportunity to spoil Mom with breakfast in bed, lunch or dinner out, a fragrant bouquet, or a thoughtful gift. If you’re wondering how to honour your mother this year, here’s a guide to some fun and frivolous gifts.

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DESIGN • HOME IN CANADA • SPRING 2019

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The 2019 Mother’s Day Gift Guide

SENSUOUS SCENTS The Lucia line of candles from Pureliving is made of organic soy wax, sourced from farming collectives and perfumed with essential oils. Eco-friendly and aromatic, this candle will cleanly light up your mother’s life. Available at Pureliving www.pureliving.ca

DIAMOND-DUSTED DOME Made of diamond dust and stainless steel, the Quadra Minor necklace from the Continuum collection is as romantic as it is imaginative. Featuring a stylish geometric design and a diamond-dust-infused dome pendant, this handmade necklace is sure to please the elegant minimalist in your life. Available at Konzuk www.konzukshop.com

WELCOME SPRING The “Michel Design” gift basket is a great way to pamper your mom. It includes peony-scented bath bombs, shea butter hand soap, a sachet, and a facial massager. It’s a great way to relax into spring. Available at Le Panier www.thepanier.com

PRETTY PLANTABLES These wildflower-seed bombs from Botanical PaperWorks are a perfect gift for gardeners. Each bomb contains a variety of beautiful wildflowers and is free of noxious weeds. Just plant it and watch the blooms grow. Not a fan of flowers? This company also offers herb and vegetable plantable paper. Available at Botanical PaperWorks www.botanicalpaperworks.com

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The 2019 Mother’s Day Gift Guide

CADDY COMPANION This bathtub caddy features a built-in cup and wine glass holder, room for an iPad or book, and a designated space for an iPhone. Perfect for the workaholic or bather who just wants to catch up on Instagram without interruption. Available at Wayfair www.wayfair.ca

ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE Let your mother know that she is loved with the diamond Love ring from the Everyday Jewels collection by Mark Lash. Some 0.20ct of diamonds are set in 14kt white gold. It can be worn alone or stacked with other pieces, and is crafted for day or evening wear. Available at Mark Lash www.marklash.com

ETIQUETTE EXPERTISE Modern Manners by etiquette expert Dorothea Johnson addresses behavioural dos and don’ts for the 21st century. This stylish and witty book features classical questions and commentary from the author’s granddaughter, Liv Tyler. It’s a must-have for anyone seeking balance in these complex times. Available at Chapters Indigo www.indigo.ca

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DESIGN • HOME IN CANADA • SPRING 2019

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The 2019 Mother’s Day Gift Guide

PERFECT PEAR SHAPE Do a double take on these lovely double pear-shaped hoop earrings. They’re 14kt yellow gold, studded with 0.42ct of diamonds. Available at Mark Lash www.marklash.com

PERFECTLY PURE The PureGlow two-in-one Himalayan salt lamp and ultrasonic essential oil diffuser by Pure Enrichment can be used as a salt lamp and aroma diffuser simultaneously or separately. Add water and your favorite essential oil for instant aromatherapy or adjust the lamp’s brightness to fit your mood and reap the benefits of the handcrafted Himalayan salt crystals. Available at Amazon www.amazon.ca

THE JOY OF GEMS This striking ring from Argent Tonic features tourmaline, labradorite and aquamarine gemstones, set in sterling silver that’s plated in 24ct gold. It’s a one-of-a-kind piece, designed to capture attention. Argent Tonic www.argenttonic.com

KEEP COOL AND CARRY ON Bevi’s insulated tumbler allows you to keep beverages – even wine – at the perfect temperature. Made of food-grade stainless steel, it stands 4.25 inches tall. Perfect for a Mother’s Day picnic. Available at Linen Chest www.linenchest.com

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The 2019 Mother’s Day Gift Guide

COILED CREATION This 18k yellow gold triple coil band by Gloria Bass Design makes the perfect gift for the woman you love. It’s simple but stylish, a classic look. Available at Gloria Bass Design www.gloriabassdesign.com

THE EYES HAVE IT This decorative porcelain tray by potter/designer Jonathan Adler features a graphic of eye-catching 16kt-gold eyes. Perfect for corralling keys on a console or holding jewelry, it measures four-by-4.75 inches, and is packaged in a gift box. Available at Linen Chest www.linenchest.com

DRAMATIC DROP The Meissa drop earrings from the Stellar collection are a fresh take on this classic jewelry genre. Made of concrete, diamond dust and stainless steel, these earrings are perfectly paired with a little black dress for a stellar evening out. Available at Konzuk www.konzukshop.com

CHAMPAGNE AND CHOCOLATE Celebrate Mother’s Day in style with a wine-and-chocolate gift basket from Hazelton’s. The basket includes a bottle of Prosecco, two glasses, a box of chocolates and 10-12 chocolate-dipped strawberries. Perfect for a romantic evening at home. Free delivery in Canada on orders of $100 or more. Available at Hazelton’s www.hazeltons.ca

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DESIGN • HOME IN CANADA • SPRING 2019

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The 2019 Mother’s Day Gift Guide

MOTHER’S MEMORIES The new Floral One Line a Day: A Five-Year Memory Book features vibrant floral watercolour artwork both on the cover and within. With foil-stamped accents and gilded page edges, this diary brings beauty to daily reflections and messages of gratitude. Perfect for the sentimental mother who wants to document special moments. Available at Amazon www.amazon.ca

SIMILAR, BUT NOT IDENTICAL These rare, step-cut, ombré green and red tourmaline and diamond earrings with 18k yellow gold by Gloria Bass Design are truly one of a kind. An unusual and beautiful look. Available at Gloria Bass Design www.gloriabassdesign.com

HEY, BUDDY! You can count on this little guy to hang around, infusing your tea. The Buddy tea infuser by Umbra is a molded silicone holder with a removable stainless-steel mesh that allows you to steep loose tea leaves. Designed to hang onto your mug, it is available in assorted colours. Available at Linen Chest www.linenchest.com

GRACEFUL IN GOLD With its sinuous lines and exquisite detailing, this bracelet cuff is handmade of sterling silver, plated in 24ct gold. Argent Tonic argenttonic.com

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A MARRIAGE OF TALENT AND HARD WORK

At age 26, Vancouver bridal dress designer Gaby Bayona is selling her wedding gowns globally BY SUSAN KELLY

A DESIGNER MUST STAY on top of things to build a global brand in the competitive bridal industry. And so, the location of Gaby Bayona’s workspace seems somewhat symbolic. Poised on a floating mezzanine high above her Mount Pleasant headquarters in Vancouver, she oversees a growing empire of sought-after bridal gowns produced locally and sold worldwide. “It’s a big deal for me,” says the wedding gown designer. “Having this beautiful space just for me to be creative in. There was a time I had to move out of my apartment because I needed it to warehouse fabrics.”

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That was eight years ago, when the 26-year-old CEO had but an online bridal gown shop on Etsy. She worked out of a one-bedroom apartment in a converted warehouse in the Gastown area, zoned for both work and living. Brick walls and high ceilings provided an artsy vibe. Customers would come for fittings and use the bedroom as a changing room. By year two, a major retailer had sought Bayona out, after which her business “just grew like crazy.” –>


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Truvelle wedding dresses

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Today, her company, Truvelle Bridal Ltd., sells four lines of wedding dresses out of two flagship stores – one in Vancouver and the other in Calgary – employing a staff of more than 30. Her dresses are also carried online and in more than 70 independent bridal boutiques across 12 countries worldwide. Plus, she is a partner in two wedding accessory businesses and the owner of a modelling agency. Bayona says that some serendipity was behind the success of her debut line, Truvelle, in 2013. “Brides were just starting to turn away from traditional wedding magazines and look to Pinterest and Instagram for inspiration,” she says. “A new wedding dress aesthetic was popping up, and I was part of the first wave.” Catching it were the designer’s softly romantic flowing gowns, a breath of fresh air compared with old-school gowns with heavy beading or ruching and elaborately pouffed or swagged skirts.

Flagship store Vancouver

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DESIGN • HOME IN CANADA • SPRING 2019

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What hasn’t changed is the importance women place on the dress for their big day. To give them that extra design edge, the designer listens to her customers rather than following trend forecasts. Quality materials and workmanship still count, and both are hallmarks of the 100-per-cent made-in-Canada dresses she produces. Both designing and entrepreneurship may be in Bayona’s DNA as she is the daughter of a fourth-generation seamstress. With no extra cash for daycare, the single mother would take her child to her wedding alterations shop in New Westminster. “Like most Asian parents, she expected me to help out with the family business,” Bayona explains. “But from the age of 10, I really liked sewing. Plus, I got to play with all those special, beautiful fabrics, and I absorbed important things, like drape and fit.” –>

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DESIGN • HOME IN CANADA • SPRING 2019

Aesling wedding line

Those ephemeral and precious fabrics still spark her creativity, she says. Which is why she treasures her wood-railing-enclosed mezzanine aerie. Any space where she works can get a little messy, what with rolls of fabric and patterns everywhere. “Every dress starts with a fabric, perhaps a special lace, and I start looking for interesting things to do with it,” she says. “Crepe is my latest obsession. There’s just something inherently elegant about it.”

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Halseene wedding dresses

Crepe fabric features strongly in her latest elegantly minimal line, Aesling. Bayona’s chiffony Truvelle line continues to be a strong seller, as does Laudae with its slinky and sensual form-fitting gowns. A fourth line, Halseene, combines fabrics in ingenious ways to flatter the curves of plus-size brides. Inclusiveness in fashion is a big issue for the designer and led to the 2018 launch of a modelling agency, Stranger Agency. When

casting for her own photo shoots and bridal fashion shows, Bayona was frustrated by the offer provided by traditional agencies. They seemed to favour Caucasian models who wore a size two or smaller. With photographer Brian Van Wyk, also her boyfriend of three years, she started amassing a database of people of varying sizes and ethnicities with “really cool” looks. “At first it was something we just did for ourselves. Now it’s officially a business,” she says. –>

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DESIGN

New Phrenology collection

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DESIGN • HOME IN CANADA • SPRING 2019

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Gaby Bayona

Laudae line

Bayona still lives in the same Gastown building that birthed her first line of dresses, though in a different apartment. The fabrics and staff have been moved out, and boyfriend Van Wyk moved in two years ago. It took a while for her to adjust, and she admits decorating didn’t come naturally to her. Fortunately, the couple share a love for a minimal look, and took their time with the furnishings. They decided to hold onto a tall A-frame rack used to hang wedding dresses, now repurposed as a statement feature that frames the dining area. The designer tries to spend as much time as possible at home, even indulging in the occasional Netflix binge-watching weekend. And this from an entrepreneur who once worked 14-hour days and slept on the workshop floor to fill her custom orders. Although she has a very full plate in 2019, “I’m more excited than anything,” she says. “I just want to keep growing.”

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A BEAUTIFUL PLACE IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD A couple buy a waterfront home near where they live to improve their views of the sea BY ELISABETH KALBFUSS PHOTOGRAPHY: JANIS NICOLAY STYLING: RACHELLE GERVAIS

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FOR YEARS, a Nanaimo couple strolled around their neighbourhood admiring the waterfront properties not far from their own family home. Then, once their three boys had grown up and moved out, one of those houses went on the market and they couldn’t resist. Its views out over the Strait of Georgia are stunning, says Rachelle Gervais, principal designer of RG Design Inc., who handled the home’s remodel. “Your eye goes straight out to the water. You don’t want to compete with that.”

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Built in the 1980s, the four-bedroom, three-bathroom home had been meticulously maintained by its previous owners as far as its structure was concerned, but they had never updated the original decor. The new owners found the space dark and closed off; they wanted to make it light and bright. Most important, they wanted to be able to see the water from everywhere on the main floor not just from one side of the house.

The homeowners wanted their kitchen and living area to be light and bright. The combination of white cabinetry and warm wood on the islands and floors creates a look that designer Rachelle Gervais describes as “contemporary coastal.”


DESIGN • HOME IN CANADA • SPRING 2019

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Before starting this project, they had remodelled a bathroom on their own and briefly considered managing the main-floor renovation themselves. They planned to put in larger windows and glass doors to let in the light, and knock down a few interior walls to open the space and create those sightlines to the sea. That’s when they called in Gervais who collaborated on the project with Westmark Construction Ltd. “She (the homeowner) was perplexed. She was losing all this storage space and wanted input,” the designer says. –>

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Gervais helped reconfigure the rooms, adding the original dining room on to the kitchen, and carving out new dining and living areas on each side. The design is flexible, she says, and the living and dining spaces could be switched if the homeowners ever decide they want to change things around. “Then the space just lent itself to having two islands in the kitchen,” Gervais says, islands that would make up for some of that disappearing wall storage. “On the BC coast, you get grey days. I knew I wanted it light and white,” says the homeowner. “The view is what gives us all the colour.” In addition to the white upper cabinets, the countertops and backsplash are white Caesarstone, with light-grey veining.

A microwave drawer was installed in one of the two walnut islands. They add storage and contrast to the white Shaker cabinets. Countertops and backsplash: Statuario Maximus (5031) by Caesarstone.

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To add warmth and keep the kitchen from being too white, Gervais chose black walnut for the island cabinets. “It’s the cabinet maker who decided to bookmatch them,” the homeowner says, so that the adjoining wood panels mirror each other. “We really like it.”


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“On the BC coast, you get grey days. I knew I wanted it light and white. The view is what gives us all the colour.”

The children might be gone, but there are other family members who influenced some of the design choices - the couple’s golden retrievers, Sam and Ruby. “Our other house had dark floors and they showed all the hair,” the homeowner says. The new f loors are

seven-inch-wide-plank white oak, with a wirebrushed finish. “It has a lot of black knots and I like that.” Her other reason for choosing it was hoping it would hide any scratches from all the paw traffic. “It’s all about camouflaging.” So far, she says, it’s holding up very well. –>

To better appreciate the view of the sea, the homeowners enlarged the windows and glass doors. White oak floors: West Coast Collection by Timeless Wood Floors.

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DESIGN • HOME IN CANADA • SPRING 2019

Designer Rachelle Gervais used the same style of flat-panel doors and drawers on walnut vanities in both the master and hall bathrooms. Both countertops are in Caesarstone (Nougat 6600). Textured accent tiles in the shower designed to repel soap residue are Modern Line Acero by Porcelanosa.

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In both the master bathroom and hall bathroom, Gervais used the same walnut cabinetry, opting for a double cantilevered vanity in the master and a smaller one in the hall bath. She wanted continuity and the open, contemporary feel that had been established in the rest of the house. The homeowner found a pedestal-style freestanding bath that she loved from a local supplier of reclaimed building materials; it was installed in the master bathroom. “In our old house, the kids were always throwing the dog in the tub,” she says. “I said, ‘No dog goes in this bathtub.’ ”

Because the tub is a traditional element in the room, Gervais says, she chose more contemporary-style fixtures to add contrast. The homeowner says the renovation would never have come together this way had she tried to manage the project herself. “The scope was much larger than they originally thought,” Gervais says, and trying to do it while working full-time would have been very challenging. “TV shows make it all look so easy, and it all comes together in 30 or 60 minutes. It’s not like real life.”

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STUDENT DESIGN A Toronto furniture company’s competition allows graduating student designers to show the world what they can do

TRISH ROQUE LOVES THE SIMPLICITY of Japanese and Scandinavian furniture. So when she entered a competition for interior design students, she created a sleek lounge chair that takes its aesthetic inspiration from Japan and Sweden. The Roque Chair was one of the winners of COFO Design’s 2018 Design Challenge, a competition that allows students in their graduating year or those who were recently graduated to submit designs for consideration. The winning entries are manufactured and marketed by COFO Design. Roque’s design is being sold online by COFO, and it has drawn attention to the 25-year-old graduate of Humber College’s interior design program. “This experience has enabled me to showcase my design sensibilities and has helped put my work out there, to be acknowledged by people in the industry,” Roque says. “It’s difficult for design students fresh out of school to start their careers,” says Randy Simmen of COFO Design. “We created the challenge for every school in Ontario that has a design program.”

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Roque Chair by Trish Roque


DESIGN • HOME IN CANADA • SPRING 2019

49 North lounge chair, table and ottoman by Kenny Nguyen and Ian Buckley

Simmen is a partner in COFO Design with his friend Desmond Chan; they cofounded the company in 2017. COFO is short for “co-founders.” A multi-disciplinary design studio, COFO is associated with Visual Elements, a company that designs and builds high-end retail spaces. Simmen worked with his father in Visual Elements. “We wanted to start a furniture line,” says Chan, who came to COFO from the fashion apparel industry. “Desmond and I wanted to give emerging designers an opportunity to get their designs out into the world,” adds Simmen. The 2018 competition received 100 entries that were judged by industry professionals.

“The design criteria included sustainability, innovation, style and aesthetic quality, and functional usefulness,” Simmen says, adding that seven works from six students and recent grads were chosen. “We figured out how to make the pieces manufacturable and launched a collection six months later, in October, 2018. Because the pieces are sold exclusively online and not in a retail setting, the COFO partners showcase them in public places, such as pop-up shops and specialty retailers. “The exposure students get through this competition is unmatched,” says Ian Buckley, who submitted five designs with fellow student Kenny Nguyen. Both were studying industrial design at Humber College. Three of

the five works they submitted were selected. “Thanks to the promotion we received from COFO before and during Toronto’s Design Week, our work has received a lot of attention and we’ve had tremendous feedback from the design community,” he says. “I’ve been telling every young designer I know to invest in the 2019 competition and submit work.”   The winning entries by Buckley and Nguyen include the 49 North lounge chair, table and ottoman. As for Roque, her chair was launched at Toronto’s 2018 Interior Design Show. “The German Design Council saw the chair and much to my surprise, recognized it in 2019 with an award,” she says. –>

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Cinch stool by Lucas Stanois

Another winning entry was the Cinch stool, designed by Lucas Stanois, a 2017 graduate of OCAD University. The three-legged seat stands just 16 inches tall but packs a strong design punch. “The concept for the original piece was inspired by the idea of what furniture could have been for the nomadic beings of the paleolithic period, an era from which there are no discoveries of surviving

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furniture,” says Stanois. “The people would have had to transport their belongings from place to place. This stool is a contemporized reference in material and form.” The stool boasts a supportive felt back on a base that is available in several woods: birch, walnut and ash.


DESIGN • HOME IN CANADA • SPRING 2019

SOMA Shelf by Olivia Sementsova

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Garcia Side Table Coat Rack by Mary Anne Garcia

Chan and Simmen collaborated with all of the winners to create a unified collection. “The pieces fit together as a collection because of the finishes and colourways,” Chan says. “In six months, we took the conceptual drawings to the finished products. Everything is available online.” Adds Simmen: “We want to go direct to consumers. If we had to go wholesale, our price point would go through the roof. It’s a neat eco-system we’ve created.” The winners were paid for their designs and receive a three per cent royalty on each piece sold.

“The process has been amazing but we’re learning as we go,” says Chan. “When people ask us what Canadian design is, we say it’s working with Canadian designers, engineers, craft-makers, and having it all made right here in Canada. This is Canadian design.” From April through June, COFO Design will display the winning entries in addition to new pieces in a pop-up showroom at the Stackt Market (28 Bathurst St., Toronto), which will feature shipping-container buildings, transformed to accommodate retail outlets and community activities (www.stacktmarket.com).

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SEE AND BE SEEN School competitions for students of art and design are an excellent way to kick-start a career

Getting noticed. It’s a goal to which all students of interior design and art aspire. Even highly talented students can struggle to make their marks in the workplace after graduation. One sure way to draw attention to their talent is through the competitions held by many design schools. Here’s a peek at what some of those institutions are doing during the upcoming graduation season: Alberta University of the Arts presents its 2019 Grad Show from May 16 to June 1. This annual exhibition offers an opportunity to view the work of graduating students from AUArts’s programs: ceramics, drawing, fibre, glass, jewelry and metals, media arts and digital technologies, painting, photography, print media, sculpture, and visual communication design. The show represents the works of nearly 200 graduating students, including the recipients of AUArts’s Board of Governor Awards. Each year, graduates of AUArts go on to transform their fields creatively, becoming important voices in the worlds of art and design in Calgary and worldwide. When: May 16 to June 1 Gallery hours: Tuesday through Friday – 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays: 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sundays and Mondays: Closed Where: Alberta University of the Arts (AUArts), 102-8 Ave. SW, Calgary, Alberta

Photos: Andy Nichols

More than 800 promising young artists and designers are exhibiting at OCAD University’s 104th GradEx. This year, GradEx is a five-day exhibition spread across several buildings on campus, including the Sharp Centre for Design. The university will open its doors to the community to view works by the creative minds of OCAD U’s Class of 2019. Students in undergraduate and graduate programs will display their final thesis work to more than 45,000 guests, some of whom attend the show to recruit new talent for their own galleries and firms. When: May 1 to May 5 Where: OCAD University, 100 McCaul St., Toronto For opening hours, visit ocadu.ca/gradex Photo: Richard Johnson/interiorimages.ca

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Photo: Katherine Nakaska

The Starfish Student Art Awards highlight the work of exceptional students at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD University) across 10 visual-arts disciplines. The winning artist receives a $5,000 purchase prize and their artwork is added to a special section of the permanent President’s Collection. The Awards were founded by property developer and art collector Louis Reznick. The 2019 Starfish Student Art Awards Gala will take place on Wednesday, April 24 at NSCAD University’s Port Campus, 1107 Marginal Road, Halifax. Seamus Gallagher, 2018 Starfish Student Art Awards, and property developer and art collector Louis Reznick

The NSCAD Fashion Show, called “Tooth and Nail,” showcases the collections of student designers. Tooth and Nail uses the language of fashion to communicate the potential of a new generation of artists and designers, nurtured through NSCAD University’s craft division. Proceeds from the event are dedicated to the creation of a scholarship endowment fund for students in Textiles/ Fashion. The 2019 Tooth and Nail show is scheduled for April 27 at NSCAD University’s Port Campus, 1107 Marginal Road, Halifax.

Marina Ostrow, an interior design student at Cégep Marie-Victorin in Montreal, was awarded an honourable mention for work she submitted as part of the North American 2019 FORM Student Innovation Competition. Students of interior design and architecture from across North America were challenged to create a rendering of a “resimercial” furniture design using Formica Brand products. They competed to win cash prizes, national recognition, and the opportunity to see their designs come to life in a public exhibit. The panel reviewed designs from across the U.S. and Canada and honoured five up-and-coming design students. Ostrow is the first Canadian winner of this competition.

Her lighting installation, created with Formica Brand products, was recently showcased at the Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center. “We’re very proud that a Canadian student has distinguished herself in this North American competition, and that her work charmed the judges and made them want to produce and exhibit it,” says Christelle Locat-Rainville, marketing manager at Formica Canada. “Our schools are full of talented students with an innovative spirit, and competitions such as this allow them to be showcased and recognized internationally.”

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DESIGN • HOME IN CANADA • SPRING 2019

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FROM ZERO TO WOW IN FIVE DAYS A near-empty dwelling becomes a full house fast

BY PHILLIPA RISPIN PHOTOGRAPHY AND STYLING: ANA COLE

THE OPPORTUNITY FOR a designer to choose, almost literally, every item in a house – from furnishings to tea towels – is rare. But that was the assignment that designer Ana Cole was given by a client who had just bought a new build by Millstone Homes in London, Ontario’s Byron neighbourhood and wanted it furnished pronto. “I first met the client when he was having his final meeting with the real estate agent,” Cole says. “He and his two children moved in while we were still in the design phase. My client had his own furnishings [from his previous home], but he did not use many of them.” –>

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During their discovery meeting, Cole began to realize the magnitude of the project. It’s a two-storey house with a full basement, encompassing a total of 4,700 square feet. Her client had kept the draperies and a few of the central light fixtures that had come with the house, liked the existing European white oak floors, and was happy not to change the kitchen, but otherwise wanted the house furnished from top to bottom. From paint colours to picture frames, from furniture to flatware, it was Cole’s domain. “It was the biggest project I’ve ever undertaken,” she says, admitting to having been slightly intimidated at first. During the process, her scope was increased even further when her client requested that she select the furnishings for the outdoor space.

Everything was planned thoroughly. After about six weeks, Cole had a final presentation package with details, including upholstery samples and a three-dimensional floor plan with furnishings. “The homeowner definitely voiced opinions, but he was very trusting,” Cole says. “Once we got the scope [defined], Anna Cole Interiors took care of the rest.”

In getting to the final design, she spoke with not only the homeowner but his two children, both under age 10. “It was really cute to talk with my tiny clients,” she says. She designed the rooms to suit children while keeping the spaces in concert with the rest of the home. “These are rooms they can grow up in,” she says. “I held back on youthful elements because the children will add their own.”

In the dining area, the lighting has soft globes that play against the angularity of chairs, table and artwork. European white oak flooring is a soft contrast to the dark wall and furniture. Custom-made walnut table: Stone Mill Cabinetry in Aylmer; chairs, artwork: Sunpan.

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Working on the project was great fun. “The budget was generous, and I could also go out of the box and source things from not just around London,” Cole says. She also custom-designed various elements, including the bed frame and headboard in the master bedroom, and the sleek walnut table in the dining room. One area Cole had very little to do with was the kitchen. The Millstone Homes design is both functional and attractive and is well-suited to the homeowner’s style, so nothing was changed. –>

For the office, designer Ana Cole chose furniture for impact. The table is eight feet long. “Any small-scale furniture would have got lost in this room,” she says. Cabinets: IKEA; table, rolling chair, console: Nuevo Living; cowhide chairs, art: Sunpan.

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In even the best-planned project, circumstances dictate patience. “It took six weeks for all the furnishings to arrive,” Cole says. “There were 180 orders we were tracking. When you have so many moving parts, there will be delays. But the client was wonderful and very understanding.” The decorating phase took place during the summer school holiday. “We even painted while the family was living there,” Cole says. “It was pretty much a nine-to-five job” to be as unobtrusive as possible, occurring while the homeowner was at work and the children were busy with summer activities.

The master bedroom is Cole’s favourite room. Its straight-line motif is softened by such tactile surfaces as the upholstered bed frame and headboard. Bed, headboard: Custom Design; walnut wall panels: Stone Mill Cabinetry; rug: Surya; blinds: Elite Window Fashions; cushions: Tonic Living.

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Serendipity also played its part. For instance, Cole had sourced a large, two-panelled graphic black-and-white artwork for the master bathroom. During the installation phase, it was leaning against a wall in the living room, awaiting hanging upstairs. The homeowner came home, saw it, and loved its effect right where it was, so in the living room it stayed. In the children’s bedrooms, the decor and furnishings were chosen to stay suitable as the children grow older. “I kept the rooms child-friendly but simple, unfussy,” Cole says. “I held back on youthful elements because the children will add their own.”

Over the course of five days, the family saw their home evolving from sparsely furnished to completely decorated. It was an intense but gratifying experience. Although Cole’s influence is in nearly every room, she admits to having a favourite: the master bedroom. “I absolutely love the room,” she says. “It’s not theme-y, and the elements work well together. I love how customized I could make it. The homeowner says that when he shows his home to visiting friends and family, everybody always says it looks so well designed. “This was a once-in-a-lifetime project. It’s so satisfying, curating somebody’s lifestyle. Everything was chosen with thought. It was enormously rewarding, and one of the best projects I’ve ever done.”

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LIFESTYLE

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SPRING TUNE-UP

Spas offer rejuvenating treatments for the body and mind following the long, cold winter BY JULIE GEDEON

WE’VE ALL OBSERVED the look of blissful relaxation on the faces of friends who’ve just been to a spa. Their renewed contentment has them almost floating with delight for days. Once a luxury reserved for posh vacations, spas have become local destinations for mini restorative getaways. We need the break from our hectic lives to rejuvenate, and never more so than after a long winter. Spring is the ideal time to visit a spa, offering the best of the indoor/outdoor world as nature reblooms and most of us crave the vitamin D boost from sunshine. –>

Photo courtesy of Scandinave Spa

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Photo courtesy of Siberia Spa

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“We put out the Adirondack chairs so people can soak up some rays,” says Marianne Trotier, Groupe Nordik Spa’s public and press director. “We help people to reset their internal clock by enjoying the fresh air and sunlight as late as 7 or 8 p.m. in our Gatineau Hills location (north of Ottawa) while relaxing in our heated pools.” It’s also time to shed winter skin. After a sauna to open pores, Nordik’s exfoliation room offers Epsom salts to rub in a gentle circular motion on torso, limbs and neck. “We recommend the eucalyptus-infused salt to re-energize, while the lavender one has a calming effect,” Trotier says. “The result is baby-like skin.”

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A dozen private massage cabins with heated sheets offer panoramic views as muscles are coaxed to relax. Nordik also offers a facial exfoliation treatment called Lumëa, replete with moisturizing oils and creams. “It brightens your skin tone,” Trotier adds. “It’s also a good idea to start with renewed skin before switching to lighter moisturizers. Lumëa consists of gentle procedures: an exfoliating vitamin C mask, facial and scalp massage, and cool lifting mask. It has a lifting effect that tones the face and restores a natural glow.” Of course, spring can also mean April, May, and June showers. A rainy day is no reason to stay away. “It’s quieter,” she says. “And you can watch the mist rise as you relax to the music of the raindrops and feel their coolness on your head and shoulders while relaxing in a heated pool.” –>

Photos courtesy of Groupe Nordik Spa

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After winter’s dryness, our bodies crave rehydration. A great way to get wet is at the Sibéria Station Spa, a Scandinavian-style spa nestled within a forest on Quebec City’s outskirts. It offers treatments that alternate between heat, cold, and rest, until the body experiences profound relaxation. “Our thermotherapy experience involves a series of warm saunas and whirlpools to relax the mind and muscles, followed by a glacial splash to reinvigorate your entire body, and finally a rejuvenating period of rest in nature’s beauty,” says Amélie Gagnon, the spa’s director of operations. “The thermotherapy releases built-up toxins and improves the skin’s elasticity.” One of Sibéria’s 60 massage therapists is ready to restore vitality to those stiff winter muscles with a choice of a dozen unique massage sessions.

(This page) Photos courtesy of Siberia Spa

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LIFESTYLE • HOME IN CANADA • SPRING 2019

If you’re the type who’s out the door hiking or biking at the first sign of spring, check out Scandinave in Mont Tremblant, Quebec. While it caters to everyone, it also offers amenities specifically for athletic individuals, including bicycle parking for those arriving by the adjacent trail. “We realize that Mont Tremblant attracts numerous avid cyclists, hikers, marathoners and dedicated yoga practitioners, so our team of therapists have deep-tissue massages specifically for these active people,” says

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Allison Richard, Scandinave’s marketing director. Of course, more sedate people are just as welcome as long as they’re seeking to unplug for a while to appreciate nature’s serenity. “There’s no Wi-Fi service, or pockets on our robes because everyone is instructed to leave phones in a locker as part of our digital detox,” Richard explains. “We also encourage all our guests to remain silent throughout their stay to get a real break from their usual connectedness, and have time to truly appreciate nature in quiet reflection.”

The spa’s hydrotherapy also uses steam and water of varying temperatures to stimulate the body’s circulation, release stress, firm skin, and produce relaxing endorphins. “We need an opportunity to fully relax after winter’s demands on us,” Richard says. Heated patios and firepit seating allow guests to enjoy the outdoors barefoot as they forest bathe. “Spring is also the perfect time to take a dip in Rivière du Diable because the river isn’t too cold or warm,” Richard says. –>

(This page) Photos courtesy of Scandinave Spa

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A spring retreat is also possible within the heart of many cities. Take Bota Bota at the Old Port in Montreal. You may be surprised to learn that as part of its hydrotherapy circuit you can plunge into a cordoned-off section of the St. Lawrence River. Yikes, but what bragging rights, too. “I both dread and love doing this most in the spring when the river is coldest with all the melting ice,” admits Constance Carpanèse, Bota Bota’s content marketing advisor. “It really gets the blood flowing ... and the endorphins released by the body afterwards feel amazing.” That’s when it’s time for la détente – a period of deep relaxation that has many visitors dozing off in the suspended chairs and bunkbeds overlooking the river.

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LIFESTYLE • HOME IN CANADA • SPRING 2019

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Popular spring body treatments include the exfoliation scrubs and hydrating creams. “Totally rejuvenating,” Carpanèse promises. Mani-pedi sessions are likewise in good order with the gloves off and sandals back. “We encourage men to get mani-pedis, too, so they look their best at the beach or pool,” Carpanèse says.

She highly recommends the Lomi-Lomi Nui massage for anyone wanting to unload some emotional baggage through massage. The massage is based on the ancient Huna philosophy of Polynesia that encourages going within ourselves to access higher wisdom and find the secret to reestablishing health and harmony. “A lot of people cry at the end of this massage because they feel such wonderful emotional release,” Carpanèse says. “What a great way to do some interior spring cleaning!” Photos courtesy of Bota Bota

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DESIGN • HOME IN CANADA • SPRING 2019

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WORKING AT H O M E A designer loves redecorating her own house

BY PHILLIPA RISPIN PHOTOGRAPHY: LARRY ARNAL STYLING: YVONNE WHELAN

CAN A DESIGNER BE her own best client? Yvonne Whelan is, in the sense that she takes her own advice: use neutrals as the basis for major elements and then punch them up with accent colours and accessories. Yvonne, owner of the eponymously named Yvonne Whelan Design, admits that practising her own profession in her own home is fun, “but it’s not so fun for my husband,” she says. “Because of what I do, I’m seeing new things all the time and then constantly changing everything in the house, constantly renovating.” –>

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Yvonne, her husband and their two adolescent daughters have lived in this 3,300-square-foot house in the West Rouge district of greater Toronto for about 13 years. “Through the years, the colour scheme has probably changed about eight times,” she says. “My latest obsession is more black and cream, but that will likely change, I’m sure, in a few years.”

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One constant has been the travertine floors on the ground level. “Being used to hardwood floors, I wasn’t sure I would like having stone floors when we moved in, but I have come to love them over the years,” Yvonne says. “They’re so resilient, easy to clean and scratch-proof.”

The home already had dark-stained wood floors upstairs and cream-colored travertine on the ground floor, which means that “you really can bring in any accent colours you want,” says Yvonne. In the family room, she sticks to her basic blackand-cream scheme, leavened with warm gold-tone accents and plenty of patterned accessories.


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Being so open, the ground floor is perfect for entertaining, but the mostly windowed family room could easily have swallowed up small furniture. Heeding her own advice, Yvonne chose to fill the room with large pieces. She had a U-shaped sectional sofa custom-made, each end featuring a double-width chaise. The other furniture is substantial, too. “The rug is bold and striking and it definitely makes a statement,” she says. “I chose things that will have longevity. For large pieces, you don’t want to overdo it in terms of patterns or colours because you will tire of them. But it’s easy to change up some throw pillows, a rug and some artwork.” –>

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The kitchen, still in its original builder’s design, has ample room for social events.

The kitchen is the hub of the house, where the children complete homework, meals are prepared, and everyone hangs out while entertaining. Although the space is original to the build, it is surprisingly current and chic after 13 years. The lighting and furniture, however, have been tweaked. “People gather in the kitchen, and we put food out on the island,” Yvonne says. “I love it that I can see everyone when preparing a meal.”

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The entertainment often spills outdoors in the summer. Yvonne and her husband designed the backyard together. “I believe the outside is an extension of the inside of your home,” Yvonne says. “For me, it’s important to have zoned areas: eating, tanning, lounging, a cabana in which to change and store pool toys.” Careful planning prevents having to move outdoor furniture around: more time for fun, less time for fuss. Entertaining family and guests also spreads downstairs to the finished basement, which was for years just a simple, bland but functional space. “It was not sophisticated in the least, not somewhere any grownup would want to hang out,” she says. “The basement was recently done, about a year and a half ago.” Here, too, substantial furniture and a mostly neutral palette, with walnut cabinetry adding warmth, keep the large space from feeling cavernous. –>

Yvonne jokingly refers to the basement as a “man cave” for a husband in a house full of women, but in reality, everyone enjoys the room. “I promised my husband that I would design the space of his dreams,” she says, noting that it has “a bit more of a masculine theme,” with concrete-look wallpaper, natural materials, dark colours and a slate-grey sofa.

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In the summer, activities spill into the backyard with its zoned areas, well designed for entertaining.

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The elder daughter opted for graphic wallpaper that spells out “fabulous” (“a little bit cheeky” says Yvonne). Her bedroom makes the most of the contrasting colour scheme and the second-storey room’s angular lines.

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Yvonne calls the younger daughter’s room the “blush room.” Her daughter requested sophisticated decor. “I don’t like putting too much colour,” says Yvonne. “I used blush as an accent.” The room’s ambience is further softened with the use of warm tones for the bed and wallpaper.

On the second floor, the two girls’ bedrooms are in line with the over-all black-and-white colour scheme. This not only leaves room aesthetically for whatever colourful accessories the girls want to add; it’s also a grownup scheme that will continue to suit the young women they’re becoming. In both rooms, Yvonne and the girls started by choosing the wallpaper and then developed the decor around that. The beds and bedding are new, but the designer kept several old pieces of furniture, updating them with paint and more sophisticated hardware.

“I like to mix old with new to keep things interesting,” she says. “Those pieces are so detailed and made impeccably well, that it made sense to keep them.” The home has been freshly decorated, but how soon will Yvonne get the itch to start all over again? She admits, “I’m always tweaking little things. I believe in buying quality, waiting for that perfect piece that really means something.” That makes it sound as though there will be no more big changes, but Yvonne knows herself too well. “A change usually lasts for a good year and a half for me,” she says, keeping her options open.

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REAL ESTATE

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A WELL-KEPT SECRET Tropiques Nord is a condominium building with something extra: a half-acre-sized indoor tropical garden

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VISITORS TO THE ATRIUM AT Tropiques Nord can be forgiven for experiencing a little cognitive dissonance, particularly if they’re there during the winter. The atrium in this 12-storey condominium building is, after all, an indoor tropical garden, replete with soaring Royal palms, banana and mango trees, crotons, koi-filled ponds, waterfalls, a vast range of tropical understorey plants, and little Javanese sparrows that twitter and flit through the vegetation. Can this be Montreal? Yes, surprisingly, it is.

“Tropiques Nord is one of the best-kept secrets in this city,” says Bunny Berke, a real estate broker with Profusion Realty. She and her husband, Larry Lusko, moved into the building several months ago, attracted by the notion of being able to walk out onto their terrace to survey a tropical garden, even in the dead of winter. That terrace, like all 120 in the building, is draped in colourful bougainvillea and is planted with other tropical vegetation. “We love sitting on the terrace, where we can hear the waterfalls and the birds,” Bunny says. “We also eat meals on the terrace; it’s like dining in a warm climate.”


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Tropique Nord’s location is probably one of the reasons that many Montrealers are unfamiliar with it. Built in 1989, the building is on the strip of land between the Port of Montreal and the fast-flowing St. Lawrence River, next door to Habitat ‘67. It was conceived by real estate developer Jean de Brabant, who engaged Herb Ramsaier, a former landscape architect at Disney, to design the vast greenhouse garden. “Of the five years we’ve been here, we have had three horrendous winters, but we didn’t feel them. When you live here, you forget that it’s winter out there,” says Louise d’Anjou, who lives in a fifth-floor condo with her husband, Alain Perez. The couple bought the unit after downsizing from their single-family home in the Town of Mount Royal. –>

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Condos in the building range in size from 1,400 square feet to 3,500. And all of them have balconies with generously proportioned terraces that cluster around and overlook the greenhouse, while the windows on the other sides of the units offer sweeping views of the St. Lawrence River and downtown Montreal. “When we bought our apartment, it had never been renovated,” Louise says. “We redid everything.” The building also underwent recent renovation work. In 2017, the board of directors, faced with expensive upgrades to the heating system, opted for geo-thermal energy. “The building had been heated by natural gas, but it was inefficient and needed to be replaced,” says Alain, who is the board’s president. “The question was how to replace it.”

The new heating system is hybrid, he says, combining geo-thermal energy – which taps into the earth’s naturally warm temperature – with natural gas. “The bulk of the heating and air-conditioning comes from geo-thermal energy. And during peak demand, it’s augmented by natural gas,” Alain says. He notes that the system is the first “residential closed system” in North America, meaning that water is pumped up from the earth and then returned to it in a closed loop. “This is unusual,” he says, adding that standard geo-thermal systems expel excess water. “However, doing so would have necessitated sending water into the St. Lawrence River. It would have been difficult to get permits for that.”

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It took six months of drilling to create the 1,500-foot-deep wells that feed the system, which now heats and cools the entire building and its tropical gardens. The atrium, which covers more than half an acre, is the key source of vegetation during the winter. There is a swimming pool in among the greenery, which is well used by residents, in addition to ponds filled with koi and splashing waterfalls that make a delightfully calming sound. The building’s well-equipped exercise room, complete with squash court, is another draw. During the warm months, residents are lured outdoors to the surrounding landscape, where verdant rolling lawns and soaring trees abound and lead to the river’s shoreline. An outdoor swimming pool and tennis courts offer recreational activities.

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Bunny Berke says she loves her condominium and its terrace. “Every visit to our terrace in the atrium feels like a relaxing southern holiday,” she says. “It’s a wonderful place to read and meditate.” While the building’s location is off the beaten urban path, it is a mere 10-minute drive from downtown. Condominium owners can use the services of a shuttle bus that is shared with residents of neighbouring Profil-O and Habitat 67. Bunny, a resident real estate broker, is working to help people who want to buy units in the complex as well as those who want to sell them. “There are so many people who don’t know about this building,” she says. “I want to change that.”

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A DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH GETS POLISHED

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This riverfront home is transformed into a lightfilled open-concept space BY NADINE THOMSON INTERIOR DESIGNER

Natalie Poulard runs a busy chiropractic clinic in a rural town one hour south of Montreal. She was looking for a weekend retreat away from her hectic life when she stumbled across this diamond in the rough located 30 minutes from her home office on a riverfront property. It was exactly what she was looking for. As her interior designer, I implored her not to buy it or tear it down before I could see it. Natalie’s “nothing’s-too-big” attitude was what this project needed, especially with her tight time line. The renovation was completed in three months and on budget. Here’s what we did together to create this dream retreat.

BEFORE

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1. We reconfigured the ground f loor by

2. The original cottage had a low ceiling

transforming several tiny rooms into an open concept. Two bedrooms were moved to the back of the cottage, creating a spectacular view of the water from the newly relocated kitchen. An open concept is most effective in small spaces since the sight lines of adjoining rooms create visual space and give the illusion of more room than there actually is.

– only six feet, nine inches – that gave it a somber, closed-in feeling. By removing the existing ceiling and exposing the floor joists that support the second floor (two-by-sixes), there is now an impression of more height, and the beams bestow a rustic charm.

BEFORE


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3. We painted the walls in Simply White (OC-117) and the ceiling in Chantilly Lace (OC65), both by Benjamin Moore. By keeping the walls the same colour, we were able to create a coherent ambience that unifies the spaces. This also allowed the outdoors to become the focal point.

4. The kitchen was relocated from a small room facing the back of the house to the main room facing the water. Now that we had more space to work with, we could accommodate a generously proportioned island (4´6˝ by 9´9˝) that is perfect for Natalie and her extended family. The island created an instant sense of luxury; it accommodates four stools comfortably. The kitchen also boasts high-end appliances, including a Wolf gas range and a Sub–Zero refrigerator that didn’t break the bank as they were purchased second-hand at huge savings.

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5. The existing floating plastic floor was ripped up and replaced

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with solid birch flooring with a semi-lustrous finish. The light colour of the flooring makes the space seem larger, and the wood adds warmth. Although replacing the flooring accounted for a significant portion of the budget, it was worth the investment. The secret sauce in any project is knowing where to cut costs and where not to pinch pennies. In this case, new flooring was non-negotiable.

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GIVING NEW LIFE TO OLD PIECES Jewelry designer Gloria Bass reworks heirloom jewelry to give it an updated look

Inheriting a piece of heirloom jewelry can leave the recipient with a dilemma. The piece may be filled with sentimental value but its yesteryear style may preclude wearing it. Often, heirloom pieces get tucked away in drawers, loved but neglected. However, such pieces can enjoy new life, says jewelry designer Gloria Bass. Stones and metals can be reworked and reconfigured, she says. If you’ve ever wondered what can be done with that beautiful but antiquated piece you inherited, Bass has some advice on jewelry remodeling, which she does for her clients in her Westmount workshop/store.

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QUESTION: Gloria, how do you establish if remodelling a piece of heirloom jewelry is viable? ANSWER: I determine if the stones are valuable enough to be reused and reset into a new contemporary design that is suited to the wearer. The metal would be refined and a credit applied to the new purchase. Q: Is it ever not viable? If so, under what circumstances? A: If it is an example of a period piece of very fine jewelry, I would advise against tampering with it. On the other hand, the stones may not have any value or they may have a very low value. In that case, it is not worth reinvesting.


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Q: How do you determine the style that a client would want? A: We usually do a “tour” of my showcases to see what style appeals. I may suggest something that will be totally different from what they have in mind. People tend to stay with what they know. As a designer who has been at this for a long time, I have very good insight into what will suit someone and how far to push the envelope.

Q: Heirloom pieces are often chipped or broken. What can be done to remodel chipped stones? A: Diamonds of a certain size can be recut if they are chipped (they can get chipped!). The crystal should be of good-enough quality to warrant this. Coloured stones may need only a repolishing or a minor refinishing. If the cuts are old, I advise against using them. Q: Do you ever reuse the precious metal in an heirloom piece? A: All the gold from a client’s piece must be refined to remove its impurities. Then it can be reworked. It is very sustainable to do this. Q: How is the cost of a remodelling determined? A: It is basically determined by material and labour costs. I work carefully with a person’s budget as long as it is feasible.

Gloria Bass Design 1361-1 Greene Ave., Westmount 514-933-7062 www.gloriabassdesign.com

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THE RIGHT ADDRESS Homebuyers can use feng shui to help them buy the best house during the spring real estate market BY TRACEY MACKENZIE FENG SHUI MASTER

MONTREAL’S ANNUAL SPRING real estate market is in full swing. As FOR SALE signs pop up across the region, savvy home buyers are out hunting for the perfect abode. They come armed with neighborhood statistics, renovation cost projections, pre-approved mortgages, and a familiarity with the latest decor trends. But buyers seeking the perfect house should also be steeped in another field of knowledge: the principles of feng shui. Developed in China around 5,000 years ago, feng shui is a complex system replete with rules to help people live long lives and prosper by harmonizing the flow of energy in their environments. If you’re in the market for a house this spring, keep feng shui principles in mind while you view properties. Here are a few dos and don’ts: Do buy a house that is surrounded by other homes of a similar nature. Chi (lifeforce energy) flows more smoothly among buildings that are similar. The houses that surround a home are considered protectors and are called “celestial animals.” These animals protect the health, wealth and fertility of a home’s inhabitants. A home with a taller house behind it and equal-sized houses on each side is considered well protected.

(Right) Houses of a similar nature allow chi (energy) to travel smoothly. All celestial animals are present.

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LIFESTYLE • HOME IN CANADA • SPRING 2019

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Do choose a home that is devoid of anything that blocks the front door or windows, so you can benefit from sunlight and thus, sheng chi (good energy). A street with slow-moving traffic is also highly beneficial as your home will be able to capture the chi each time a car passes. If the traffic is fast-paced, the chi will whiz by, eluding your home.

(Left) Nothing is blocking the front door or the view from the house, and the flowers add chi.

If you live in the country, having trees or mountains on three sides and water in front is best.

(Right) The trees surrounding this home are the celestial animals.

Don’t buy a home that is without protection on three sides. Without protection, it will be impossible to retain the chi surrounding your home, making it difficult to earn money or retain wealth. It may also cause health issues and anxiety because the home is constantly buffeted by wind. –> (Left) This house is on a hill with no trees, houses or mountains protecting it. There is no means of retaining the chi.

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Don’t live on a street where the houses opposite are very close as you will not be able to capture enough sunlight, and your home will lack chi.

(Right) This street is dark, and there are no plants to create any chi.

Do buy a home closer to the bottom of a hill or mountainside than the top because chi flows downward. Each time someone living at the top opens his or her main-entrance door, the energy from the house flows down toward those living at the bottom. Since generally, the wealthy are on top, you will be able to benefit from their energy. The steepness of the slope also matters as to how quickly the energy flows. A steep slope will cause the energy to flow much faster than a gradual one.

(Left) The slope on the side of the mountain is steep, so the energy travels very quickly. Living at the bottom, where the water is located, is more beneficial than at the top.

(Right) The slope on this street is gradual, so the energy travels downward at a slow and steady pace. There is also a park in front to assist with the collection of chi.

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LIFESTYLE • HOME IN CANADA • SPRING 2019

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Don’t live in a home that has a “poison arrow” aimed at the main entrance door or front window. Poison arrows are formed by the corners of a building or the building itself aimed directly at your home. These arrows can cause a serious disruption in the flow of energy and may cause anxiety, health issues and a loss of money for the home’s inhabitants.

(Left) The corner of this building is sending a poison arrow out into the neighborhood. The inhabitants of any home with a door or window in line with this corner will have problems.

(Left) New York’s Flatiron building itself is a poison arrow because of its shape.

Don’t live at the junction of a T-intersection. Your front door will be aligned with the street. Each time a car drives down the street, its headlights will be aimed directly at your home, creating an energetic disruption. The only remedy is to hang a bagua mirror above your door to def lect that energy. However, ideally, you wouldn’t move there in the first place. Now that the outside is sorted, here are key elements to avoid on the house’s inside. • Do not select a home with stairs directly in line with the front door as this means the chi is flowing out. • Do not select a home in which the front and back doors are perfectly aligned as they will permit the chi to enter and exit very quickly. • Do not select a home with a bathroom located at its center, which is the heart of the home. Some of these situations can be remediated, but it’s best to avoid them. A house that has a good flow of energy translates into a home where you will live harmoniously.

AT A GLANCE: DOS AND DON’TS Feng shui principles state that the exterior environment is very important, and the improper placement of a home can have a serious impact on its inhabitants. Here are a few additional things to consider when buying a home: • A house should not have a large structure in close proximity either in the front or back because it blocks the chi. • A downward-sloping backyard prevents the retention of chi. Shrubs and trees should be planted to stop the chi from flowing away. • Obstructions such as large trees or shrubs should not be planted directly in front of the entryway because they block chi from entering the house. • Do not buy a house in a noisy or constantly busy neighborhood; its energy is too “yang” and unbalanced. • A house should not be located in front of a cemetery. The energy is too “yin” (lifeless and sad). • A house should not be located in an area surrounded by restaurants as the cooking odours will permeate the home and everything in it.

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GO FOR THE

GOLD Warm metallic tones are used as design accents throughout this Toronto condo

BY ELISABETH KALBFUSS PHOTOGRAPHY: LARRY ARNAL STYLING: SHIVA KHALILNIA, GRECIA GALLO AND CINTYA CASTELLANOS

FEW TORONTO CONDOS are large enough to squeeze in a dining table, let alone one that seats 12 people. But, for a family looking for an urban pied-à-terre while they were planning to build a new home outside the city, having enough space to entertain that many people was not negotiable. The family, a couple with an adult son, chose their high-rise condo both for its size – their unit is roughly 3,000 square feet – and for its west-end location, with easy highway access. Then they gutted the inside and started over with a new layout and all-new plumbing, wiring and floors. –>

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“The clients are perfectionists, and had the resources to make it their own, to build it the way they liked it to be built. They wanted everything done properly. They appreciate the small details,” says Shiva Khalilnia, co-owner and principal designer at Import Temptations, who recreated the space for her clients. That was true both for the structure and its new furnishings. “They definitely wanted the home not to look like everybody else’s home.”

The cabinets are made of smoked eucalyptus, with a glossy finish by Neff Living. The countertops and backsplash are Blue Roma quartzite. The kitchen table is glass, with an anti-scratch finish, made in Italy from Bontempi Casa.

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DESIGN • HOME IN CANADA • SPRING 2019

Planning the kitchen and dining room was a labour of love, Khalilnia says, adding that they took about three months to perfect the kitchen’s design. Its cabinets are made of smoked eucalyptus wood, with a striped grain, complemented by a gold-veined quartzite countertop and backsplash. “It looks like a canvas with a painting on it, but it’s not so busy that it distracts your eye from

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everything.” That work area is separated from the hall by a glassed-in wine cellar. At the other end of the kitchen, a custom-made table from Italy sits under two large red and black octopus paintings. Khalilnia chose a light-coloured table and chairs in a monochromatic theme to not compete with the bright colours of the art. –>

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“They’re an Italian family, they love entertaining, she loves to cook and she loves to have people over. A dining table with 12 chairs, and the possibility of 14 … that was a necessity,” says Khalilnia. Like almost all of the furniture, the dining table was custom-made and, for Khalilnia, it’s the highlight of the new condo. The 12-by-four-foot tabletop is made of exotic wood slabs in an epoxy resin, with a simple gold-coloured metal base. Since a piece that size could not fit into the building’s elevator, it was painstakingly designed so its seams wouldn’t look awkward and detract from the wood.

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In the living room, the furniture needed to be formal enough to entertain guests, but also comfortable enough for the family to relax in every day. Soft grey sofas and chairs are accented with gold fixtures and pillows, similar to the gold finishes found throughout the condo. “Gold is a very popular colour right now,” Khalilnia says. “From the early planning stages, we wanted to use it as an accent. For their part-time home, we wanted it to look sexy and elegant. In a condo, you have to be careful that everything works together; there has to be a flow.” –>

The one-of-a-kind table top is custom-made of exotic wood slabs and epoxy resin, and has a brushed-gold-tone metal base. The light fixture is from Italy, and is made of blown clear glass with a satin-finished gold-coloured metal.


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“Gold is a very popular colour right now. From the early planning stages, we wanted to use it as an accent.” The living room is where the family relaxes in the evenings. It was designed to be elegant enough to also feel like a formal entertaining space. Rug: custom made by W Studio.

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Transition spaces between the rooms were a bit of a challenge; because of the building’s shape, several of the walls are angled. She used gold accent pieces to create that sense of flow around those angled spaces, including a large gold-framed mirror with plush bench seats between the living and dining areas, as well as a bar cart, also with gold accents. Khalilnia says the more vibrant blues and greys she suggested for the entertaining spaces resonated with her clients, but she wanted to give them a softer colour range for the bedroom, which has more taupe and grey, with lighter gold accents. It’s a look she describes as soothing and comforting. The bed frame is also custom-made in an interwoven leather finish.

Gold accents were used throughout the condo, including in the master bathroom, which features gold fixtures, as well as a gold shelving unit for storage. Countertops are marble. Vanity: Neff Living.

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With so many striking, one-of-a-kind pieces throughout the home, it was sometimes a challenge to make them all work together, Khalilnia says. Having clients who were so involved at all the planning stages helped ensure they would be comfortable with every design choice. “If they have doubts, you have to go back through it and work it out. You don’t want clients to spend time and money and not love the final look,” she says. “They need to open the door every night, and feel, ‘Wow.’ ”

The bed’s headboard and frame were custom-made by an Italian manufacturer in velvety nubuck leather, with brandy metal trim in a bronze finish.

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A CREATIVE RENAISSANCE IS ON THE HORIZON Uranus in Taurus sparks a positive shift toward the artistic and innovative BY SUSAN KELLY

The planets portend a far-reaching design shakeup this spring—and in a very good way. EVERY YEAR, SPRING ARRIVES with the sun barrelling through the energetic, get-itdone sign of Aries. By late April, staid and sensible Taurus takes over, reminding us to stop and smell the daffodils. But it is far from business as usual for the sign of the Bull these days. For the planet Uranus has just moved in for a seven-year stay. This planet-sign combo puts Taurean concerns on the front burners. And I believe it could augur a long-term creative renaissance, especially in home design. A planet is said to be in a sign when, looking up from earth, its orbit takes it into that

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patch of the zodiac. The outer planets — Jupiter and beyond — have to do with universal influences, trends that affect us all. A far from restful houseguest, Uranus jolts the collective lightning rod, downloading a spirit of reform, innovation and sometimes revolution. Since March, it zaps the Bull, an earth sign associated with money and possessions. A new current begins to run between us and that which we own, value, or find beautiful. The next few years will see many of us undergoing radical shifts in how we relate to our cash. The same goes for the stuff we own, such as property, and surround ourselves with, such as decor and furnishings. Venus-ruled Taurus is big on beauty as well as art. And Uranus is all about creative

change and inspiration. I think we can look forward to unprecedented innovation in the arts and the fields of design and architecture. And we’ll all find a fresh appreciation of their ability to transform our lives. Because this sign also rules homebodies, a major focus likely will be interior decor trends. Uranus in Taurus will bring a desire to buck the trends and to reform the sign’s love of tradition. This could mean no more white kitchen cabinets just because everyone else is doing them and they are good for resale value. What’s in: Embracing them or any other trend only if it will “spark joy” à la Marie Kondo or, at the very least, elicit a deep feeling of satisfaction.


LIFESTYLE • HOME IN CANADA • SPRING 2019

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Here are six Uranus-in-Taurus-inspired trends in the vanguard of the planetary shift that will have staying power: Sustainable decor: Expect a quantum leap while Uranus is in Taurus. Considering from whom we are purchasing and what they stand for may move from fringe to mainstream. Intrinsic worth and longevity also are big issues for this sign. No wonder antiques are making a comeback! We will see fresh ways of repurposing vintage pieces that are definitely more chic than shabby. Natural elements: Their power to add notes of serenity and authenticity gets the nod from the sign of the Earth Mother. This trend will overtake the tech-obsessed decor seen in 2018. Look for stone, concrete and wood — the more raw and natural, the better — to bring a touch of nature to your abode. And even more ways to bring the outdoors in, such as installing walls of windows. Comfort, comfort and more comfort: It is everything to Taurus, the sensualist of the zodiac. The trend in sofas, beds and armchairs for 2019 calls for rounded lines, lots of padding and plush upholstery. Scatter down-filled cushions and cozy throws everywhere. Underfoot, lay soft carpets that make you want to go barefoot.

Go greener: Verdant colours, faves of earth-sign Taurus, are having a moment. Dulux Paints named two shades of green their colours of the year for their “feeling of lush greenery, recreating a . . . calming yet invigorating euphoria.” This sign also favours such soft pastel shades as blush, eggshell blue and lavender. And greenery via houseplants likely will continue to invade our indoor spaces. Artisanal fixtures: Taurus is the sign of the craftsman or crafts fanatic. And designers now are sourcing fixtures, especially lighting, from local artists or suppliers. One-of-a-kind handcrafted fixtures bring an unexpected way to personalize a home. Even those made by less-thanexpert hands may be favoured over something mass-produced. Copper accents: They had a moment in 2017 and this year are coming on strong in fashion and beauty, which usually indicates a carryover to decor. Copper is one of the traditional metals of Taurus’s planet, Venus. A safer choice would be brass, an alloy made of copper, considered by many designers the ‘it’ metal of 2019. Uranus in Taurus will spark creative change. How will it affect your sign?

ARIES (MARCH 21-APRIL 19) Your relationship to money — especially how you earn, spend, and save it — is up for review. Although you usually like to keep your options open, firm commitments such as a mortgage may begin to look good. Think long-term stability.

LEO (JULY 23-AUGUST 22) Think carefully before you saddle yourself with a big renovation or expansion project. With so many exciting changes coming in your professional life, you don’t need the distraction. Be ready to seize unexpected opportunity as it arises.

SAGITTARIUS (NOVEMBER 22DECEMBER 21) Your health and the way you manage the daily routine may be up for reform. New home technologies can help you incorporate daily fitness sessions. Or find ways to run the household more efficiently and free up more spare time.

TAURUS (APRIL 20-MAY 20) Express yourself! Uranus in your sign urges you to exploit your flair for creating beauty. While you’re at it, inject more personality into your overall image, including decor. It’s all symbolic of important inner changes.

VIRGO (AUGUST 23-SEPTEMBER 22) Your universe is about to expand! The likely vehicle is travel or education — or both. Carve out space for some serious study, formal or informal. Or install new display cases for artefacts from your travels.

CAPRICORN (DECEMBER 22JANUARY 19) Uranus will help you unleash hidden artistic leanings, including your inner decorator. Some inspired changes will be related to children, too, from conceiving or nurturing your own to mentoring other people’s.

GEMINI (MAY 21-JUNE 20) Inspiration comes when you put your busy mind on hold. Tap into your inner world to find creative solutions, which may involve carving out space in your home dedicated to meditation or reflection. Your dreams provide important revelations, too.

LIBRA (SEPTEMBER 23-OCTOBER 22) Joint finances — your partner’s income or what you both owe to whom — will undergo big changes. Thinking outside the box can both create more stability and free you up to explore new possibilities. A windfall is a possibility, too.

AQUARIUS (JANUARY 20-FEBRUARY 18) The big reveal: you can be a homebody! Uranus prompts a major revamp with an eye to creating a launch pad for future growth. Curiosity about your ancestry may be sparked, adding to the family photo collection.

CANCER (JUNE 21-JULY 22) Home improvements now are geared toward creating space to host get-togethers with folks other than your family. You’re now open to new social possibilities, including networking in the name of a good cause.

SCORPIO (OCTOBER 23-NOVEMBER 21) You need more space — and so does your partner. A designated area for a “man cave” or “she shed” can be a relationship life preserver now. Uranus might ignite a new interest in art or architecture as well.

PISCES (FEBRUARY 19-MARCH 20) Your universe is about to expand. It’s all due to a newfound interest in putting your feelings into words through writing, speaking and connecting. Some technology upgrades may be in order to help you reach a wider audience.

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TICKLED PINK BY COLOUR’S COMEBACK The brave new world of North American design

BURGERS OR BEEF BOURGUIGNON? Potato chips or crisps? There is a clear distinction between what North Americans and Europeans find appetizing. Distinct tastes exist on each side of the pond when it comes to just about anything, including interior design. Nowhere has this distinction been more apparent than with the use of colour. From the bold rooms of the Palace of Versailles to the vibrant storefronts on London’s Portobello Road, Europeans have traditionally embraced colour as critical to their environment. This is reflected in the use of eye-popping palettes by modern European designers, which contrast significantly with North America’s traditionally more conservative aesthetic, often devoid of colour. So why, despite its abundance of brilliant landscapes and richly toned forests (about 40 per cent of all land), did colour get the axe in North America? Be it boring or beautiful, the rise of beige in North America was all about business. The economics of the mortgage crisis in 2008 coupled with the rise of television shows about home improvement shifted the North

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American perception of a house from a home to a commodity. Real estate reality TV shows gave birth to the fascination with flipping. The focus of interior decorating became less about the homeowner’s personal taste and more about appealing to potential buyers. Decorating with neutrals became associated with adding value to a home, whereas bold colour choices were deemed “unsafe” or a bad investment. Perhaps if Marie Antoinette had been concerned about flipping the palace, she may not have thrown caution to the wind, but that is debatable. It is said that the comeback is always stronger than the setback, and that seems to be the spirit that’s encapsulating the return of colour to the North American design palette. The digital revolution and the political climate are turning us away from the subtlety of neutrals in favour of a more arresting and bold aesthetic. Playing it safe has become boring, and homeowners are reclaiming their homes as an extension of their expression and taste, essentially evolving our perception of home from commodity to personal brand.

Lamps and wall sconce courtesy of entler.co

BY BARBARA MILNER INTERIOR DESIGNER


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Image courtesy of pantone.com

Influential social media platforms have bridged the gap between European and North American design with endless, 24-hour, global online inspiration. With more than 250 million visitors per month, Pinterest tracks trends in various areas of lifestyle, from food to design and everything in between. The app’s top 100 trends in 2019 indicate there is a growing thirst worldwide for colour. According to Pinterest, people are embracing vivid mustard yellow walls (searches up by 45 per cent between January and September of 2018 compared with the same period the previous year), painting their parquet floors with vibrant colours and mosaic patterns (searches up by 1,276 per cent), searching for bold-print wallpaper patterns (searches up by 401 per cent) and seeking to refresh their walls by painting colourful geometric shapes on rooms big and small (searches up by 225 per cent). Pantone claims that its 2019 Color of the Year, called Living Coral, is also hugely popular on social media. The shade is described by Pantone as symbolizing our

innate need for optimism, lighthearted activity, and playful expression. That’s no secret to Robyn Blair Davidson, named The Most In-Demand Instagram Artist of 2018. Her tremendously popular line of candy art is infused with a kaleidoscope of colour that’s designed to sweeten up a space and make people smile. The demand for Davidson on Instagram continues to grow, with the 2019 title predicted to be well within her reach. Shutterstock, a leading global tech company that licenses images, video, music, and editorial assets, examines pixel data from billions of searches on a yearly basis to reveal the world’s most popular colours and creative trends. According to the Shutterstock Colour Trends of 2019, the world’s fastest growing hues are UFO Green, Plastic Pink and Proton Purple. Precisely the powerful palette recently unveiled in a new rug collection by Canadian designer and long-time purveyor of pink, Karim Rashid. These new pieces, part of W Studio’s Artistic Series, pack a digital punch that are sure to light up any room.

Image courtesy of muralswallpaper.com

Gone is the humdrum period of creative restraint. North Americans are returning to colour and embracing it as a powerful design tool that can bring life, meaning and emotion to a space. While Marie Antoinette may have set the stage, it is RuPaul who said it best: “Life is about using the whole box of crayons.”

Barbara Milner is an interior designer and founder of South Hill Interiors, a design firm that serves the Greater Toronto Area and Kawartha Lakes region.

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BUYERS’ GUIDE

A PORTRAIT OF THE ARTIST Odon Wagner Gallery www.odonwagnergallery.com 416-962-0438 A DIAMOND IN THE ROUGH GETS POLISHED Nadine Thomson Interior Design www.nadinethomson.com 514-775-2259

STUDENT DESIGN COFO Design www.cofodesign.com A MARRIAGE OF TALENT AND HARD WORK Truvelle Bridal Ltd. www.truvelle.com 604-602-0498

Nordik Spa-Nature www.chelsea.lenordik.com 819-484-1112

GO FOR THE GOLD Import Temptations www.import-temptations.com 416-256-3150

A BEAUTIFUL PLACE IN THE NEIGHBOURHOOD RG Design Studio Inc. www.rgds.ca 250-739-2641

Neff Living www.neffliving.com 1-800-268-4527

Westmark Construction www.westmarkconstruction.ca 250-729-7540

W Studio www.wstudio.ca 416-929-9290

Timeless Wood Floors www.timelesswoodfloors.ca

HARMONY IN LIFE AND LANDSCAPE Donohoe Design Inc. www.donohoedesign.com 778-233-7891

FROM ZERO TO WOW IN FIVE DAYS Ana Cole Interiors www.anacole.ca 866-985-8034

GIVING NEW LIFE TO OLD PIECES Gloria Bass Design www.gloriabassdesign.com 514-933-7062

Bontempi Casa www.bontempi.it WORKING AT HOME Yvonne Whelan Design www.yvonnewhelandesign.com 416-602-9303

The following plants are featured in HARMONY IN LIFE AND LANDSCAPE (page 32): Irish yew (Taxus baccata ‘Fastigiata Aurea’), Frank Austrian pine (Pinus nigra ‘Frank’) lavender (Lavandula angustifolia ‘Munstead’), Japanese spirea (Spiraea japonica ‘Gold Flame’), white coneflower (Echinacea purpurea ‘White Swan’) osmanthus hedge (Osmanthus delavayi), variegated Japanese maple (Acer palmatum ‘Okukuji nishiki’), coral bells (Heuchera ‘Forever Purple’), hebe (Hebe ‘Pretty in Pink’, Hebe pinguifolia ‘Sutherlandii’,) stonecrop (Sedum ‘Lime Zinger’), Kwanzan flowering cherry tree (Prunus serrulata ‘Kwanzan’), eastern redbud tree (Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’), dappled willow (Salix integra ‘Hakuro-Nishiki’), oakleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea quercifolia), bigleaf hydrangea (Hydrangea macrophylla), black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida), gayfeather (Liatris spicata ‘Floristan Weiss’), Stardust stonecrop (Sedum spectabile ‘Stardust’),creeping thyme (Thymus serpyllum), dwarf boxwood (Buxus sempervirens ‘Suffruticosa’) cherry (Prunus ‘Shirofugen’), variegated saxifrage (Saxifraga × urbium ‘London Pride’), Japanese maple (Acer palmatum var. dissectum ‘Waterfall’), weeping larch (Larix decidua ‘Pendula’), lamb’s ears (Stachys byzantina), silvermound (Artemisia schmidtiana), dwarf fleece flower (Polygonum affine ‘Dimity’), rhododendron (Rhododendron ‘Cunningham White’), and viburnum (Viburnum plicatum f. tomentosum).

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SPRING TUNE-UP Bota Bota www.botabota.ca 514-284-0333

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Scandinave Spa www.scandinave.com 819-425-9595 Siberia Station Spa www.siberiastationspa.com 418-841-1325

A WELL-KEPT SECRET Tropiques Nord 514-397-0202


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A morning swim in the backyard pool. Tending the garden in the afternoon. Dining under the stars by evening. We Canadians practically live outdoors during the summer months. And many of us have transformed our backyards into lifestyle oases to ensure that the livin’ is easy. Home in Canada’s Summer issue is packed with features about homeowners who have renovated their yards to create outdoor rooms. You can also read about the products that will enable you to do the same. On sale in early June.

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PRESENTING ART INSPIRED FURNITURE

Where each piece is as functional as it is beautiful. Rethink the role furniture plays in your space.

www.avenuedesigncanada.com | 3425 boul. de la Cote-Vertu | Saint-Laurent | 514-340-9351


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Home In Canada - Montreal - Spring 2019  

The Spring 2019 issue features Montreal Artist Chaki and many other features to do with your home.

Home In Canada - Montreal - Spring 2019  

The Spring 2019 issue features Montreal Artist Chaki and many other features to do with your home.