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MONTREAL

THE

TRENDS ISSUE

Sharon Azrieli presents

CANADIAN BY DESIGN

KARIM

RASHID DESIGNER

TRASH TALK

GLORIOUSLY GREEN

How to reduce household garbage

ZERO-WASTE STORES

SENSIBLE SHOES AND CLOTHES

Two spectacularly designed net-zero homes

Retail without packaging

SUSTAINABLY BUILT HOMES

Environmentally respectful garment design $7.95

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How builders are going green

EARTH-FRIENDLY HOUSEWARES

LANDSCAPE ARTIST GORDON PYM


PUBLISHER’S LETTER

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Hello dear readers, Welcome to our annual Trends issue. I am thrilled to give you the second of my stories in a series of articles about extraordinary Canadian architects, artists and designers. Karim Rashid is regarded as one of the most creative designers of his time. With 4,000 designs in production, he is unusually prolific. However, it is also the sheer scope of his work that is stunning: he has designed everything from housewares to hotels. I was honoured and thrilled that he recently slowed down long enough to allow me to interview him in his light-filled New York studio. Born in Cairo and raised in Toronto, Karim studied industrial design at Carleton University in Ottawa before making his home in New York. His designs are exuberant and always meaningfully colourful. Even products that a have a serious agenda behind them are rendered fun by Karim. He has whole-heartedly embraced the digital age, as you’ll learn from my feature story about him on page 20. Canada boasts a stunning line-up of talent in the realms I am profiling. I am so excited that in the next two issues, you will learn more about two of Canada’s most celebrated architects: Moshe Safdie and Frank Gehry. Please look for the upcoming issues on newsstands or subscribe on our website (www.athomeincanada.ca). We will also launch a fabulous new feature on our website: videos of all my interviews! As you’ll see, there is good reason to celebrate the contributions these remarkable people have made and will continue to make to the world. And as always, dear reader, we value your feedback, so please tell us how much you love these amazing Canadians! SHARON AZRIELI Publisher

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New trends and quick fixes: Are they always better? One thing that has always held true is that youthful beauty is a winning formula. The aura, the energy and the attraction to this has created a business like no other, from hair products and cosmetics, to surgical and non-surgical treatments. Each option, however, has its purpose and limits, depending on the desired result. For hair colour, going purple is probably not the most natural result, and too much makeup is something to be avoided. Similarly, with non-surgical treatment using fillers, too much can give an unnatural rubbery looking face, whereas just-enough can be great. Also, these procedures need to be repeated regularly, which can become expensive.

E. Hashim, Plastic Surgeon

MD,CM, M.Sc, FRCS(C), FACS • First Prize in Surgery at McGill University • Diplomate of American Board of Plastic Surgery (United States)

On the surgical side, a facelift is a treatment that is a world apart, and nothing compares to its effectiveness. The effect of a facelift manages the sagging of the cheeks, the jowls and the neck in one fell swoop by lifting these components; no injections can duplicate the results. From a short procedure lasting a couple of hours under local anesthesia, and a recovery of a 2-3 weeks, 10 years can be removed and thrown in the trash bin. After that, your face will age more slowly than it would have, something you might notice when you secretly compare yourself to those around you and quietly smile.

• Fellow in Plastic Surgery (Royal College of Surgeons Canada) FRCSC • Fellow in Plastic Surgery (American College of Surgeons, U.S) FACS • MSc.(Experimental Surgery) McGill University

facelift | breast & silhouette | non surgical treatments 2381 Gouin West Blvd. (near l’Acadie) www.ccpmtl.com | www.surgeryclinic.ca | info@ccpmtl.com | Phone : 514 277-6644 |


EDITOR’S LETTER

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WE ARE AT A CRITICAL TIME. Our planet is suffering the effects of what some scientists call the “Anthropocene,” the epoch of human habitation on Earth. As a species, we’ve done plenty of damage to the planet, and each day brings alarming news of just how much hurt we’ve inflicted. But at the same time, there is also a constant stream of news about the work people are doing worldwide to mitigate the damage. As someone who is innately optimistic, I believe that we can create a better future. We got ourselves into this mess; we can think and act our way out of it. We are now ubiquitously aware of the widespread environmental damage that besets us, and can use that awareness to change our behaviours. That brings me to the theme of this edition, our annual Trends issue, which is all about what we as individuals and communities can do to make things right, to clean up the environmental chaos we’ve collectively created. Let’s start with packaged household consumer products. Writer Elisabeth Kalbfuss reports on stores across Canada that specialize in unpackaged products that allow us to reduce our packaging waste. By refilling containers when we buy food, household cleansers, cosmetics and toiletries, we can eliminate a lot of the plastic that is choking the planet. If you love beautiful clothing but are concerned about the environmental damage that the fast-fashion trend has done, do read Susan Kelly’s profile of Canadian fashion designers who take a sustainable approach to their work.

Interior design columnist Barbara Milner shows us the latest building materials with a light environmental footprint. A story by Julie Gedeon about household waste tells us how we can reduce the garbage that we send to landfill. Canadians produce more garbage per capita than any other nation, so there is a sense of urgency about why we must change our wasteful ways now. We take you into two net-zero homes, designed to produce more energy than they consume. A home can be elegant and luxurious without putting pressure on the environment. Karen Seidman’s profile of a net-zero home in Edmonton that is delightfully designed attests to that, as does our profile of one in Puslinch, Ontario. We also profile two builders who construct sustainable houses. One specializes in rammed-earth construction, the other in several building styles, including straw-bale homes. These are ancient building techniques that are being resurrected to lighten our pressure on the planet. Like the net-zero homes, they also happen to be beautiful. There is so much we can do to help heal Mother Nature. She feeds and nurtures us all. We absolutely must return the favour.

There are several ways you can stay in touch with us: @homeincanada @athomeincanada @athomeincanada

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STEPHANIE WHITTAKER Editor-in-Chief stephanie@homeincanadamagazine.ca


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CONTRIBUTORS

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JULIE GEDEON Julie Gedeon has been writing about environmental issues for various publications for more than 20 years. In this issue, she focuses on several people who have become role models in reducing their household waste by taking a serious look at their purchasing decisions. She also explores the practicality and beauty of rammed earth homes as well as other sustainable building practices. JEFFREY HORNSTEIN Jeffrey Hornstein is a Manhattan-based photographer, known for his intimate portraits of working actors, celebrities, cultural icons, and executives. He is currently working on a coffee table book featuring legendary actors and notables in the arts and culture. They include Carol Channing, Tony Randall, Tony-winning directors and playwrights including Terrance McNally and Jack O’Brien, opera singer Marilyn Horne, actress Tovah Feldshuh, and the late editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine Helen Gurley Brown. For this issue, Jeffrey photographed “the innovative and iconic industrial designer Karim Rashid in his colourful Manhattan studio.” His work can be viewed at www.jeffreyhornstein.com. BARBARA MILNER Toronto journalist, designer and realtor Barbara Milner has built her career on the frontline of homeownership. In this issue, she explores inventive products designed for healthier, smarter homes. Innovations in the area of sustainable design have become an increasing focus of her work. Barbara, who is Home in Canada’s regular design columnist, also covers the latest trends in real estate for luxury brokerage Forest Hill Yorkville and a wide scope of design themes for Houzz America.  SUSAN KELLY Trends have long fascinated writer and astrologer Susan Kelly. And as a concerned citizen of this planet, she is deeply gratified to see eco-responsible design having such an important moment. Susan believes it reflects a major shift in how we see the world. “For my story, five women in the sustainable-fashion industry who were ahead of the curve shared their insights,” she says. “Each takes a very different approach and makes a significant contribution in her own right.” In our astrology column, Susan also examines the connection between planetary patterns and what we will choose to build and decorate with now and in the future. Read her weekly forecasts on Facebook at Susan Kelly Astrology. ELISABETH KALBFUSS Toronto-based writer Elisabeth Kalbfuss is a regular contributor who, in this issue, explores the growing influence of zero-waste stores that aim to help us reduce the packaging, plastics and other waste in our lives. Growing up in Montreal, she recalls how her mother composted food waste eons before it became a trend and reused every jar, plastic container, and even plastic milk bags, that found their way into her home. “It’s just one more reminder that in this, as well as every other life lesson she tried to teach me, my mother was always right,” she says.

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Montreal Edition Volume 11, number 4, Trends Issue 2019 Date of Issue: July, 2019 6100 TransCanada Highway Suite 100, Pointe-Claire Quebec H9R 1B9

Call 1-866-846-1640 www.homeincanadamagazine.ca sales@homeincanadamagazine.ca info@homeincanadamagazine.ca

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 Cheryl Cornacchia Julie Gedeon Elisabeth Kalbfuss Susan Kelly Tracey MacKenzie Barbara Milner Phillipa Rispin Karen Seidman Nadine Thomson PHOTOGRAPHY Maxime Brouillet Stephani Buchman Luisa G. González Jeffrey Hornstein Gillian Jackson Joel Klassen Cheryl Silsbe Raphaël Thibodeau STYLING Ali Budd Valérie Gilbert Carly Nemtean Alykhan Velji TRANSLATOR Marie-Josée Paradis

CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER Matthew Azrieli CONTROLLER Jenny Marques DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Artur Kozyra DIRECTOR OF SALES - NATIONAL Kelly Chicoine ACCOUNTS EXECUTIVE Caroline Rho For sales inquiries, please email Kelly Chicoine: kelly@homeincanadamagazine.ca or Caroline Rho: caroline@homeincanadamagazine.ca To subscribe go here: www.athomeincanada.ca/ print-subscription LEGAL DEPOSIT 1927-324x Home In Canada Inc. 2019. All rights reserved. Any copying or reproduction of content without the written permission of Home In Canada is strictly prohibited. issn


CONTENTS

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20 ON THE COVER THE FUTURE IS KARIM

This indefatigable Canadian designer is leading the world into the brave new digital age

54 A LATERAL MOVE

A Mississauga real estate agent considers doing a costly renovation, but buys the house next door instead

OF THE EARTH AND FOR THE EARTH

Rammed-earth homes, made of compressed subsoil, are an ancient building technique, revived as a sustainable option

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108 ZERO-WASTE RETAIL

A growing number of stores are offering products without packaging to reduce environmental impact

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YOUR KEY TO SUCCESS

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BAER REAL

THE ESTATE AGENT

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CONTENTS

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RESPECTFUL UPDATE 6

PUBLISHER’S LETTER

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EDITOR’S LETTER

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THIS JUST IN A selection of new items for your home

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REDESIGNED, REPURPOSED, REDONE An architect and builder work together to transform a century-old triplex in Montreal

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TRASH TALK Several change-leading Canadians are showing us how to end our wasteful ways

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GREEN HOME Our guide to eco-friendly housewares

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SUSTAINABLY LUXURIOUS A home in Puslinch, Ontario is built to be both green and sumptuous

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BUILDING BETTER HOMES AND COMMUNITIES A non-profit cooperative constructs homes holistically for minimal impact on the earth

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THE BUSINESS OF BEAUTIFUL BEDDING This company, specializing in bedding and housewares, has offered value and luxury for almost 60 years

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NARROW SPACE / WIDE IMPACT A new home in an old neighbourhood fits perfectly in a modest footprint MATERIAL MATTERS New products for building, renovating and furnishing are being created with an eco-friendly sensibility

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BROADEN YOUR HORIZONS The paintings of artist Gordon Pym take viewers to the point where earth meets sky

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ODE TO JOY A makeover featuring a reconfigured staircase and vivid colours creates a cheerful ambience in this historic home’s music room

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GREEN IS IN FASHION Some Canadian designers are making clothes with minimal environmental impact

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ART WITH HEART In addition to representing local artists, this Montrealarea gallery is active in community life

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LET’S NURTURE NATURE The celestial bodies now support our efforts to respect and care for our planet

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MIX AND MATCH An eclectic combination of colours, patterns and shapes makes a lively home for a young family

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INSURING AGAINST THE UNFORESEEN Rosenthal Life Group serves both homeowners and businesses

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A 1970s architectural gem is brought artfully into the 21st century

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116 A NET GAIN

A net-zero home in Edmonton is both environmentally benign and beautifully designed

132 STIRRING IT UP A Calgary couple ask their designers to combine eclectic influences in their new home


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2018

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2016


DESIGN

IN T S U J T H IS

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SEA BREEZE FEEL South Sea pearls are teamed with coral and turquoise for a summery feel in these 18kt gold drop earrings from Gloria Bass Design. Gloria Bass Design 1361-1 Greene Ave., Westmount 514-933-7062 www.gloriabassdesign.com

TABLE TALK This stunning handmade stoneware collection is expertly glazed using pottery skills passed down through generations. Each piece has a subtle and flecked design, beautifully contrasted with darker rims. Designed for living; made to last. Linen Chest www.linenchest.com

SUSTAINABLE STORAGE The Stasher is a revolutionary eco-storage solution that features an innovative pinch press™ seal to make the bag airtight and leak-proof. Made of 100 per cent pure platinum food-grade silicone, Stasher offers all the convenience of plastic storage bags without the harmful effects. BPA- and BPS-free, these bags are freezer-, microwave-, and dishwasher-safe. Available in two sizes: 7.25˝ x 7.5˝ (15 oz) and 7.5˝ x 4.75˝ (10 oz) and in various colours. A must-have in every home. Linen Chest www.linenchest.com

SHAPELY SHOW Star-shaped angel-skin coral, diamonds and 18k yellow gold are combined in earrings that are both geometric and curvaceous. Gloria Bass Design 1361-1 Greene Ave., Westmount 514-933-7062 www.gloriabassdesign.com

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DESIGN

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COLOURFUL CONTRAST Warm carnelian agate contrasts with cool diamonds and 18kt gold in these elegant coil earrings from Gloria Bass Design. Gloria Bass Design 1361-1 Greene Ave., Westmount 514-933-7062 www.gloriabassdesign.com

JOY IN GEOMETRY A dramatic and architectural use of mixed metals and geometric forms, this refined and bold lamp juxtaposes organic feminine curves with sleek masculine precision. Full of modern sophistication and soul, it’s available in Antique-Burnished Brass with Antique White Shade or Antique Black Shade. Avenue Design 3425 Côte Vertu Blvd., St. Laurent 514-340-9351 www.avenuedesigncanada.com

SANDWICH SAVVY Nothing says summer like a delightful frozen treat. The Ricardo ice cream sandwich mold makes four homemade ice cream sandwiches. Made of silicone for safe baking and easy release, the set includes a spatula for spreading and Ricardo’s recipe for delicious results. Linen Chest www.linenchest.com

LAND AND WATER The colours of earth and sea are represented in this lovely ring, which features a turquoise stone with rubies, set in 18kt yellow gold. Gloria Bass Design 1361-1 Greene Ave., Westmount 514-933-7062 www.gloriabassdesign.com

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|


DESIGN

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THE FUTURE  IS KARIM This indefatigable Canadian designer is leading the world into the brave new digital age BY SHARON AZRIELI PHOTOGRAPHY: JEFFREY HORNSTEIN

THE MAN IS a tall drink of clear water. Lithe and long, all in white, as is his wont, he floats into his studio, exactly on time. His flowing ideas are waiting impatiently for my camera man to get set up; like flowing liquid swirling through glass – I am concerned they will overflow, and I will not catch them! He looks at me expectantly; what will I bring out of him this bright, sunny day? Karim Rashid is easily one of the most prolific industrial designers on the planet, with an astounding 4,000 designs in his portfolio. Moreover, his work spans a vast range, from housewares, lighting, furniture and eyewear to hotels, houses, stores and spas. He created the Bobble bottle in 2010. In 1996, he created the Garbo waste basket, now used ubiquitously. –>

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DESIGN • HOME IN CANADA • TRENDS 2019

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DESIGN

Born in Egypt and raised in Toronto, he graduated from Carleton University in 1982 with a bachelor of industrial design before launching a career that has made him globally famous and sought after by some of the most recognizable brands in the world. On this warm spring morning, we have met at his studio in New York, the city he has adopted as his home. For all his dark hair and dark tattoos, still he radiates light. He’s so long and lean that he seems to have to fold down to speak to me on the sinuous grey sofas. He likes to sit close during interviews, partly because he is so softspoken. I am worried the microphone will not pick up his quiet voice. Once his thoughts start coming, they flow like a waterfall, and eye contact is essential to ensure that I am following his train of thought. Karim’s studio is a reflection not just of his principles as an artist but of the man himself. Everywhere you look, there is something to learn about him. Many of the products he’s designed over the past 30 years are on display here: the iconic OH Chair, those curvaceous bottles that hold Method cleansers, the Artemide Cadmo lamp. But the space cannot possibly represent the vast scope of his work, some of which is in permanent collections and museums around the world.

Artemide Cadmo lamp

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Meeting room, display and office space at Karim Rashid’s studio

Orange & Green Chess Set by Bozart Toys


DESIGN • HOME IN CANADA • TRENDS 2019

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Phase chair by Skandiform

Aurora bamboo towels by SFC International

String tiles by Italica

The building in which Karim’s firm is headquartered was redesigned in 2013. The front room, where we sit, is flooded with light from a two-storey skylight. It allows natural light into the front reception area, into Karim’s personal office, which is set back on a second-floor mezzanine, and into a glassed-in conference room behind us. “Space has a huge effect on how you feel,” Karim says, “I used to hate to come to work, doing 12 to 14 hours of my sketching; all of my real design was done at my home. Now I love to come to my studio!” We discuss his fascination with colour, his love of white and pink particularly, and how not just colours, but stones and materials have energies that affect our bodies and the space around us. Pink, for example, in both natural stones and colours, has protective, healing, and joyful properties. “All life is energies, all light and colour,” he says “Anything that’s not inert is aging, changing with time. Everything exerts an energy. We have to influence this.” –> Sharon and Karim in the front reception area

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DESIGN

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The middle room is an open bank of computers. Designers sit together in a large space, on the east side of which is a long, open window. After our interview, Karim immediately goes and sits amongst them and starts working on a myriad of designs and projects. At the moment, he says, he is working on the design of hotels all over Europe – Germany, Austria and Italy – along with a second resort for Temptation in Punta Cana and a hotel renovation in Greece. He’s also designing a six-star hotel in Bahrain, a hotel in Jaffa, Israel, offices and a youth hostel in Budapest, offices in India, and condominiums in Texas, Washington D.C., and Moscow. Other projects include a raft of products for companies around the globe: beds, baths and sinks, glassware, a pet collection, a seating system, lighting, new outdoor furniture, tiles, carpets, and packaging for such products as toothpaste, food and kitchen items. The lobby at Temptation Resort & Spa, Mexico

In the last room, almost a warehouse behind the designers’ workshop, full of chairs and tables and the “product archive,” there is still plenty of natural light. The archive area has windows that face east onto the adjoining condo courtyard. It is here that I found my favourite chair, and when I ask Karim about his most romantic design, imagine my delight to learn that it was this same design: the pink Veuve Clicquot loveseat, he tells me. “I was asked to design a loveseat where the lovers would have to be seated in an old-fashioned way, drinking, facing each other, but opposite, seeing each other, unable to touch,” he says. “And in the middle of these very pink, tall two chairs, is a bright gold plastic bottle to chill the champagne, a very romantic idea. I had fun designing this chair.” In the debate about form, function and beauty, he says he cannot understand the “conceit of beauty for its own sake.” “A thing must be functional,” he says. “A chair must be comfortable. Function must conform to form; form must conform to function.” Loveseat by Veuve Clicquot

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DESIGN • HOME IN CANADA • TRENDS 2019

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“WE ARE INDEED LUCKY WHEN THE WORK WE CHOOSE TO DO IS OUR LOVE.” prizeotel Hamburg-St. Pauli

Switch restaurant, Abu Dhabi

While he’s enamoured of sugar-based polymers as a substitute for the toxic plastics currently used in products, he concedes that the higher cost of these polymers is similar to the premium paid for organic foods. Consumers don’t want to pay more for them. How can we create a safer, greener Earth by producing products with sugar-based polymers if consumers refuse to pay for them? “It’s coming,” he says. “They will. We have to be the influencers who create the products that eventually become so ubiquitous that the days of waste are gone.” Like all great artists and thinkers, he has invented his own lexicon. Brilliant and well-educated, he has converted the words “art history” to “style.” –>

Park Inn by Radisson Amsterdam

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DESIGN

“EVERYONE IS BORN CREATIVE; ALL ARE BORN WITH DESIGN IN THEIR SOULS.”

Dottie by Tonik

Goby by Tonik

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DESIGN • HOME IN CANADA • TRENDS 2019

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Kreate By Karim Luggage

Jug by Bobble

Garbo by Umbra

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DESIGN

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“WE ARE HERE ONLY TO CREATE. OUR INTELLECTUAL OR PHYSICAL CREATION KEEPS OUR EXISTENCE ALIVE!”

Authentic collection by Riva 1920

Toward the end of our interview, I challenge Karim on some of his ideas. He says we are now in an era of “democratic art. We are all now bioneers.” I argue. “Not everyone is born to be a designer like you,” I say. He counters: “Yes, everyone is born creative; all are born with design in their souls. It is just that at some point, it is beaten out of them!” “Nevertheless,” I say, “you can’t expect every adult to be capable of designing their world as you do.” He is undeterred. “All children are creative; it is innate in us,” he insists. “But for most people, once they cannot be creative as artists, the procreative act becomes their creative act. Courting is a creative act!

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We are here only to create. Our intellectual or physical creation keeps our existence alive!” I love the optimism of this man. I love that he has such faith in the human spirit. And, guru that he is, we leave it at that. He loves to talk about destiny, about work being one’s destiny. I agree. I say: “We are indeed lucky when the work we choose to do is our love.” He says (again) that everyone has a destiny, and that he is lucky that he knows that his has always been to be a designer, that he knew it from the age of six because his father, Mahmoud Rashid, a set-and-costume designer, gave him pencils and allowed him on his sets.

Karim’s pencils for designing


DESIGN • HOME IN CANADA • TRENDS 2019

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Solid collection by Vesta design

For this series of articles in which I am interviewing extraordinary Canadian designers, architects, painters, builders, I will be asking each one of them the same overarching questions: “Why do you do what you do? What spurs you on and what do you have left to achieve?” In this interview with Karim Rashid, we found, as with Chaki, that there is the drive to create, the optimism of belief in one’s destiny, and the need, no matter how much one has achieved before, to continue the creative process. I am not sure that all people are so singularly lucky to know their destiny and to follow it. But I am sure that we are lucky that Karim Rashid has found his, and that he is following it. And I know that we will all enjoy whatever he has to show us next!

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Left: Martine Legrand “Rentrons a la Maison”, Right: Luce Laforest “Boisé d'hiver”

VIVA VIDA GALLERY

278 Lakeshore Road, suite 2 Pointe-Claire, QC, H9S 4K9 514-694-1110 www.vivavidaartgallery.com www.vivavidaeshop.com Denise Buisman Pilger “WistfulWalk”


DESIGN

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REDESIGNED,

REPURPOSED,   EDONE R An architect and builder work together to transform a century-old triplex in Montreal BY ELISABETH KALBFUSS PHOTOGRAPHY: RAPHAËL THIBODEAU STYLING: VALÉRIE GILBERT

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IT’S A TIRED OLD CLICHÉ, but there are times when doing less really can look like you did more. Called in to renovate a ground floor condo in a 1908 triplex, in the Outremont borough of Montreal, architect Marie-Eve Lamarre knew that her clients wanted a brighter, more contemporary space. But she also knew they had a budget. So instead of gutting the inside and undertaking expensive, structural work, she didn’t touch any of the bearing walls and let the bones of the old building dictate her design.

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“When we started, everything was partitioned,” says Lamarre, principal architect at Atelier SUWA. “The main goal was to make it much brighter by removing some walls, changing some finishings. Places that were not in the sun, we used them for the bathroom, the laundry.” Leaving the two bedrooms in their original location at the front of the house made sense, and so did using some of the master bedroom space to create storage and a laundry room. “The front bedroom got smaller,

The master bedroom is slightly smaller now, with some of the space carved out for storage and to create a separate laundry room. The vintage lamp in the child’s bedroom came from architect Marie-Eve Lamarre’s own home. “You become connected with your clients if things go well,” she says. “It was obvious it would look better in their house.”

but previously it was an odd space – either too big for what they were doing with it, or too small to do more,” Lamarre says. “We made it more efficient.”


DESIGN • HOME IN CANADA • TRENDS 2019

She enlarged the bathroom by taking some space from the hallway to create a water closet or powder room, with a walk-through to the tub and shower, a feature that a lot of her clients have been requesting. She removed the wall between the kitchen and dining

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rooms, and installed custom-made eightfoot-tall glass doors behind the dining room to bring in light from the sunny back room that her clients planned to use as an office. “We were taking advantage of what the house wanted to do,” Lamarre says. –>

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DESIGN

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The bathroom is separated into zones: a powder room area and a bath and shower area. Contractor Evan Bond Pierce custom-built the hanging vanity. Bucket sink: Alape; floor tiles: Daltile.

To make the most of her clients’ budget for cabinetry in the kitchen, laundry and bathroom, Lamarre used a mix of pre-fab cabinets (many from Ikea), and custom work, most of it made on-site by the project’s building contractor, Evan Bond Pierce, and his crew. Pierce’s firm, Brodsky & Bond, often teams up with Atelier SUWA on renovation jobs. “What’s special about the relationship

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we have is that we’re brought in early in the design phase so we can help maintain the clients’ budget. Typically, the architect designs something, the clients love it, and then the clients spend more.” In the bathroom, Pierce custom-built the vanity and a niche shelf for toiletry products that runs not just above the sink but across the wall into the shower. They kept costs

down here by choosing an inexpensive bucket sink and heavy-duty janitorial-style faucets, like those the architect used in her own home renovation. Together, Lamarre and the clients designed the floor tile patterns here and in the entrance way to look as though they might be original to an Edwardian building similar in age to this one. –>


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In the kitchen, the lower cabinets are from Ikea and everything from the countertop up is custom-made or a vintage repurposed piece, including the glass cabinet and long shelf. Cabinets along the side wall are also from Ikea. “We use it as a simple element and usually change the handles. Evan is willing to alter cabinets so that you can integrate a high-end fridge with an Ikea finished panel. That’s not always easy,” Lamarre says. On this job, she switched out the new handles with old ones the clients had found and had them re-plated. –>

The fixtures are a mix of Ikea cabinets, pieces that were found and repurposed, such as the island and glass cabinet, and others that were custom-made, including the shelf that runs the length of the kitchen and dining area. The owners spent many weekends during the renovation hunting for unusual accent pieces, says architect Marie-Eve Lamarre.

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The back office is one of the sunniest parts of the home but still needs to be private, so the homeowners chose glass folding doors, custom-made by Atelier Fabricat. Fluted glass on the lower panels add privacy and won’t easily show children’s finger marks.

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Contractor Evan Bond Pierce custom-built the storage unit under the television; the owners get a piece that fits perfectly into the niche and it was less expensive than it would have been to repair the floor.

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Lamarre did the basic design for the folding glass doors leading to the office, but they were fine-tuned by the metal worker at Atelier Fabricat who devised the best way for them to open. The architect designed an inexpensive way of hiding the condo’s electrical panel, which is next to the door: she created a suspended coat rack beside it. “Lots of people build around their panel in ways that don’t follow building codes. This way, it’s accessible,” Lamarre says. “Their parking space is in the back and it turns out to be a practical place to leave their coat when they come in the back door.”

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LIFESTYLE

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TRASH TALK

Several change-leading Canadians are showing us how to end our wasteful ways

WASTE DOESN’T EXIST IN NATURE. Ecological systems recycle natural elements over time to replenish Earth’s resources. By contrast, people create inordinate amounts of garbage that won’t easily – if ever – disappear, and we Canadians are the worst offenders. Canadians produce more garbage per capita than any other nation, according to the Conference Board of Canada. We generate 31 million tonnes annually, which is the equivalent of 2.7 kilograms (almost six pounds) by each of us daily! Less than a third is recycled. Some folks are showing us a cleaner lifestyle. These waste warriors, as I call them, insist that we can make a huge difference through small but important changes in our daily thinking and habits.

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Photos: Randy Laybourne

BY JULIE GEDEON


LIFESTYLE • HOME IN CANADA • TRENDS 2019

Photos: Camilla B Creative Studio

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Tara McKenna started The Zero Waste Collective after family and friends responded to her personal waste-reduction efforts. “I created a platform (online) to share what I’ve discovered, and provide a voice for other people’s experiences,” says McKenna, a presenter this August at the first Zero Waste Festival, which will be held in Guelph, Ontario. Her 101 approach has attracted international followers. “It’s taking stock of your lifestyle,” McKenna says. She inventoried every kitchen and bathroom product in her house in a search for environmentally friendlier replacements. “I buy granola from a bulk store instead of boxed cereals,” McKenna says. “I found a grocer with a glass bottle program for milk and organic yoghurt.” While the cost runs slightly higher, the food tends to be more healthful. “Our budget remains the same because my husband and I now buy only what we really need ... there’s no waste,” McKenna adds.

She notes that health-oriented stores offer the most refill options, but others are following suit. “It’s good that the Métro (supermarket) chain in Quebec is encouraging people to have containers refilled at its deli counters,” she says.

The Zero Waste Collective offers a free pantry inventory and other resources, as well as a how-to guide and journal for purchase. McKenna will soon post how-to videos. “It’s not about being perfect,” she says. “Just more aware of what we buy in the first place.” –>

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LIFESTYLE

Tippi Thole launched the website Tiny Trash Can to document her waste-reduction efforts so others could learn easy ways to reduce their own household trash. “I started by replacing the kitchen trash can with a bathroom wastebasket so I could see what I was throwing away,” she says. “Having a smaller trash can makes us more conscious of what we’re throwing away. I was able to significantly reduce waste the first week just by changing how I shopped for groceries.”

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LIFESTYLE • HOME IN CANADA • TRENDS 2019

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The Montreal family (Thole, her son, and their cat) now fits its weekly trash into a small Mason jar. At the start of her zero-waste journey, Thole analyzed every bit of trash, then eliminated it or replaced it with a more sustainable option.  For instance, she foregoes store receipts or asks to have them emailed rather than accept unrecyclable and BPA-laced thermal paper. She buys cat litter made of recycled newspaper rather than clay-based products. She put a sticker on her mailbox to refuse junk mail, and has opted out of all mailings, choosing instead to receive everything by email. She also replaced all disposables with reusable alternatives, buys second-hand where possible, and shops at bulk stores “because the vast majority of my waste was plastic food packaging.”

In addition to reducing her garbage, Thole has reduced her output of recyclables. “I’ve taken out my recycling only once this year,” she says. “Living with a tiny trash can isn’t about recycling more — it’s about recycling less. Our recycling system is flawed, and so much material (especially plastic) never gets recycled.” Moreover, she adds, “Living a minimal-waste lifestyle doesn’t take more time than a wasteful one. But it does require time-consuming research at the beginning, which is why I share everything I learn.” Her research has uncovered some ugly truths. “I was so upset to learn that biodegradable bags aren’t compostable or recyclable.” A new study by the University of Plymouth’s International Marine Litter Research Unit notes that biodegradable bags were sufficiently intact after three years in soil or seawater to still carry groceries. Thole became concerned after learning about the plastics crisis. Of the 8.3 billion tonnes manufactured between 1950 and 2015, 91 per cent has become waste, according to 2017 research. Canada likewise recycles only nine per cent at best. –>

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Chantal Plamondon and Jay Sinha became concerned about plastic’s health implications when expecting the birth of their son. “We let things slide for ourselves, but when it comes to our children ...” Plamondon says. The Wakefield, Quebec mother acknowledges that she and Sinha began their company, Life Without Plastic, in 2006 because they could not find high-quality, non-plastic alternatives for baby bottles, dishes and toys in regular retail stores. So, they had to buy them in bulk directly from manufacturers. Life Without Plastic finds plastic-free alternatives to daily-use items. “We started out trying to be a one-stop shop, but as regular stores have adopted more items, we’ve focused on essentials we’ve developed or improved to be as convenient as possible,” Plamondon says. “And we make certain they’re not packaged in plastic.”

Photos: Riley McKenna

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For instance, most bamboo toothbrushes can’t be composted unless someone pulls out the nylon bristles. Plamondon found a German company that uses natural bristles from long-haired pigs raised for meat. With a background in ecotoxicology, biochemistry, and environmental law, Sinha regularly writes about plastic. He and Plamondon co-authored the book Life Without Plastic to share their vast knowledge and experience. –>

Photo courtesy of Life Without Plastic

Best-selling items include the ‘spork’ – a spoon with tongs that folds in half and tucks into a cotton bag that can be used to dry it after washing. The stainless-steel straw also has a carrying case and cleaning brush. Flat-bottomed pouches make bulk-buying and storing easier. A bar of dish-soap eliminates bottles. “We test products for quality and require foreign suppliers to fill in a questionnaire regarding certifications, along with manufacturing and employee conditions,” Plamondon says. “We also ensure we don’t cause further detriment to animals.”

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“When we need chips, we get them made fresh, and locally and put into a paper bag at Big Bang Burrito,” Byrne says.

Rochelle Byrne filling produce bags at the grocery store

Rochelle Byrne, the Oshawa-based founder of A Greener Future, does her best to live waste-free with her husband and three-and-ahalf-year-old son. “We started and stuck with one challenge until it became second-nature,” she recalls. The family’s initial challenge to eliminate plastic bottles resulted in glass-bottle substitutes or making iced tea and other beverages from scratch. “We even make almond milk,” Byrne says. “A lot of our waste is related to food, so it helps that my husband, Mike, knows how to make bread, crackers and many other things we used to buy in packages,” she adds. Mason jars are filled at the bulk store with only a week’s worth of pasta, rice, other grains, pancake and cake mixes. Reusable mesh bags are filled with grocery produce. “We’re eating healthier, having eliminated overpackaged processed food,” Byrne says. “My son doesn’t even realize all the boxes at the grocery store are food and just asks for a banana or apple.”

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Byrne doesn’t hesitate to ask family or friends to take along plates, mugs or cutlery for large gatherings to prevent the use of disposable options. “We even made edible soup bowls for one party.” She founded A Greener Future in 2014 when she realized that coordinating one community shoreline cleanup wasn’t enough. She now organizes the Love Your Lake program that involves volunteer trash collections from Niagara-on-the-Lake to Kingston. Every attempt is made to recycle everything from beverage cans to cigarette butts. Canvas bags – rather than plastic – are used to collect the litter with reusable garden gloves. Water is offered from stainless steel jugs instead of plastic bottles. Byrne’s former town of Pickering has lauded her efforts, which include recording her one-millionth piece of litter last year. “That was my original goal,” she says. “The second million will happen faster with more volunteers.”

Rochelle Byrne’s waste kit that she takes everywhere (available for sale at www.agreenerfuture.ca) to raise funds for the organization’s non-profit programming.


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Rochelle Byrne’s husband and son hiking in Georgian Bay Islands National Park. Byrne says they get out more since simplifying their lives. “Likely because we save a lot of time and money with this lifestyle,” she says.

Byrne’s beauty routine now uses more natural products and those without packaging.

Of course, the ultimate goal is to eliminate trash. That’s why she dissects collections to determine and prevent waste sources. “We’re seeing a surprising amount of Styrofoam from takeout food, coffee cups, along with larger packaging materials and lifejackets blown off docks. “The waste we collect changes, depending on location. In highly populated areas we still find a lot of food-related items. In more remote areas we find a lot of plastic that has washed up. We find Styrofoam (polystyrene) in almost every location. Food wrappers, cutlery, and straws are some of the easiest things for people to reduce. Last summer, we picked up 6,512 food wrappers, 479 utensils, and 2,766 straws. Overall the majority of what we pick up is made of plastic, whether it’s food wrappers, bags, straws, bottles, or Styrofoam and that’s a real problem because it breaks down into smaller pieces but is never absorbed back into the land like a natural material would be. “Moreover, it can take years for plastic to surface,” she adds. “The other day I came across a tag from the Woolworth chain, which shut down in 1997.”

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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.

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DESIGN

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Moving Next Door A Mississauga real estate agent considers doing a costly renovation, but buys the neighbouring house instead BY CHERYL CORNACCHIA PHOTOGRAPHY: STEPHANI BUCHMAN STYLING: CARLY NEMTEAN

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TORONTO-AREA REAL ESTATE AGENT Sanya Rambally took a long look at the layout of her house and had strong second thoughts about her plans to renovate it. Then she embraced a bold alternative plan. Instead of renovating the four-bedroom Mississauga home she shared with her 14-year-old daughter, she decided to sell it – and instead buy, and renovate, the four-bedroom home up for sale right next door.

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Matte grey cabinetry with flat-panel doors contributes to the kitchen’s fresh, clean look. Wide-plank white oak floors and a grey wood island warm up the space.


DESIGN • HOME IN CANADA • TRENDS 2019

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(Left) The boutique-hotel aesthetic is carried into the living room with an inset fireplace, porcelain wall tiles and flat-panel cabinets on the entertainment wall. (Above) The dining room was given the same grey and beige palette.

Despite the obvious extra work related to moving, Sanya’s decision proved smart. She had wanted a house with an open-plan design that would offer clear sight lines and give an impression of luxury. But to achieve that dream in her original house, it would have been necessary to remove load-bearing walls and build new ones at considerable cost. By buying the house next door, Sanya didn’t have to remove any walls, and the money she saved was funneled into higher-quality materials and finishes in her new house. Another big plus was that once the renovation was done, she was in the same neighbourhood she had come to love. The new house, like her old one, backed onto the natural beauty of the Credit Valley Conservation. –>

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“The renovation required absolutely no structural work.”

The master ensuite bathroom is about understated luxury. The walls, shower and floor are covered in oversized porcelain tiles. The vanity’s dark wood cabinetry is offset by a white Caesarstone quartz counter.

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“I knew it could be turned into something great,” Sanya says of her decision to buy her neighbour’s 3,400-square-foot, two-storey home. “His floor plan was a lot better than mine,” she says. The house boasts three bathrooms – two of them ensuite – and a main-floor powder room. Its staircase to the second floor is on the far side of the house, while Sanya’s former one was located in the middle of the main floor and would have had to be moved to create an open-concept space. “We saved a ton of

money,” she says. “The renovation required absolutely no structural work.” The work was done by Carriage Lane Design-Build, a Mississauga-based full-service design and construction firm. Principal designer Carly Nemtean worked with Sanya during the six-month makeover. “It was a really nice project,” Nemtean recalls. “We rarely have an all-female client. She was single, has made her own way in life and is embracing that. She wanted elegance, sophistication and luxury, but she was realistic at the same time.”


DESIGN • HOME IN CANADA • TRENDS 2019

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Nemtean visited Sanya’s old house to get an even clearer idea of her client’s style. “I could see she was drawn to pieces with an oversized feel.” Nemtean says. “The style was almost hotel-like.” To create a boutique-hotel aesthetic, Nemtean says, she recommended oversized materials – for example, 48-by-32inch soft-beige porcelain tiles around the living room fireplace as well as in the bathrooms (floors, walls and showers); cabinets in the living room with four-by-four-foot doors; and the white-oak floor boards throughout the house that are five inches wide. The overall result is a clean aesthetic with few lines. –>

Pendant lights, dark grey walls and an unusual sink fashioned out of iridescent glass come together as the powder room’s wow factors.

The light dances in the second ensuite bathroom. A Caesarstone white quartz-topped vanity and pale wood cabinetry give the room a fresh look.

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The foyer makes an impressive statement with its oversized red oak door topped by a Palladian-style window, and its matching charcoal-coloured wood and glass open staircase.

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Everything was conceived in a neutral palette of creams, beiges and greys, which served as the perfect backdrop for some of the more dramatic design elements used throughout the house, notably the show-stopping iridescent glass sink in the powder room.

“It’s a light fixture we turned upside down,” explains Nemtean. “It cost $10, but it makes a wow statement.” Cut limestone strips were used to create a stunning basket-weave-patterned kitchen backsplash. The oversized red-oak front door was stained a deep charcoal and crowned by a large Palladian-style window to allow light to stream into the main foyer.


DESIGN • HOME IN CANADA • TRENDS 2019

An eclectic mix of wood grains give the master bedroom a luxurious, textured feel. An oversized fabric headboard and simple linens complete the picture.

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“For me, it’s amazing,” says Sanya. “I wake up to stunning sunrises (over the nature reserve) and my daughter goes to bed with stunning sunsets.” As fate would have it, she says, she met the man of her dreams soon after the renovation was completed. But he loves the house as much as she does. She says after looking a bit at what else was out there in the real estate market, they both decided they already have the house of their dreams.

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DESIGN

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GO GREEN

Be kind to the earth by choosing environmentally benign household goods BY TRACEY MACKENZIE

T

he pressure that human habitation has put on the planet is becoming increasingly untenable. And the pressure is now on us to change our ways. New environmentally responsible behaviour begins at home. Here are some products that can contribute to a greener home life.

BASIL IN A BAG Take your container gardening to the next level with this unique idea from Potting Shed Creations. Perfect for a sunny window sill. Flowers and herbs are grown easily in the supplied leak-proof bag. Available in many varieties of flower and herb, these plants will supply you with a piece of nature throughout the year. Available at Ecoexistence www.ecoexistence.ca

FAREWELL, FABRIC SOFTENER These dryer balls, made of 100 per cent Canadian wool combined with a recycled-sweater core, eliminate the need for chemically laden fabric softeners and dryer sheets. Colourful and durable, they help dry and fluff laundry. Available in a set of three, they last for up to three years. Available at Etsy www.etsy.com/ca/shop/AmberGoesGreen

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TOWERING DESIGN A tribute to water towers, The Tower by AQUAOVO is a multi-layer filtration system that removes chlorine and other contaminants from water. The glass tank has a capacity of eight litres, and the supplied Aquacristal water filter is functional for four months. No plumbing is required, so you may use The Tower straight out of the box. Available at AQUAOVO www.aquaovo.com

THAT’S A WRAP These kitchen wraps can cover everything from half an onion to a large bowl or pie dish without holding odours. Created by Vermonter Sarah Kaeck, the antibacterial wraps are made of organic cotton infused with beeswax, organic jojoba oil, and tree resin. They’re a washable, reusable, and compostable alternative to plastic wrap. Wash in cold water with a mild dish soap – avoiding all sources of heat such as hot water - and then air dry. They come in three sizes – small, medium and large. Available at Bee’s Wrap www.beeswrap.com

COZY CAT CAVE This cat cave has been hand-felted in Nepal using 100 per cent New Zealand Merino wool, soap and water. Perfect for adult cats and kittens alike, this soft and durable cat cave keeps your cat warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Made without chemicals, it can also be flattened into a kitty mat. Available at TwinCritters www.twincritters.com

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COLOURFUL COLLARS These colourful Green Market dog collars from Up Country come in three widths and are made of bamboo, which is a renewable resource. The hardware is cast brass and the buckles are Coast Guard-approved for high-weight hold. Soft and durable, these collars are available in many colours and may be personalized. Available at Up Country www.upcountry.com

SUPER STORAGE This five-piece reusable storage bag kit from (re)zip contains one four-cup bag in aqua, two two-cup bags in moss and two one-cup bags in orange. All bags are food-safe, leakproof, lead-free, BPA-free, may go into fridge or freezer, and they stand up. Not intended for microwave or high-heat use. Perfect for food, travel and home organization, each bag replaces up to 300 disposable baggies. Hand-wash recommended. Available at Well.ca www.well.ca

BACKYARD B & B FOR BEES Bee hotels work as a rest stop for the solitary bees that are called pollinators. These bees don’t produce honey, but instead pollinate the plants that surround us. Without them, we would not have many of the fruits and vegetables that we eat. Populations of these bees have diminished greatly in recent years, so why not add a backyard B & B for them where they can rest and reproduce and create a positive impact on our environment. Available at Atelier Zabie www.atelierzabie.ca

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PEBBLE PILLOW Made of felt crafted to resemble rocks, this pebble pillow was designed by internationally acclaimed textile designer Ronel Jordaan in South Africa. This unique pillow is filled with North American-approved down, features an invisible zipper in the pillow case, and adds visual interest and texture to sofas and armchairs. Dimensions: 18 inches square. Available at Snob Stuff www.snobstuff.com

PERFECT PRODUCE Keep your produce fresh and healthful with these Kitchwise reusable produce bags. Made of recyclable polyester material, these environmentally friendly bags are durable enough to withstand frequent use and are easy to clean. This pack of 12 reusable bags comes in various sizes and they have a lifetime warranty. Available at Amazon www.amazon.ca

THE RIGHT PICK FOR PICNICS The zero-waste kit from Colibri Canada includes a stainless-steel straw and cleaner along with a high-quality, sustainably sourced bamboo cutlery set, housed in a unicorn-motif travel pouch. The travel pouch is lined with a food-grade material for easy cleanup and is available in various motifs. Available at A Greener Future www.agreenerfuture.ca

THE SCRUB HUB Say goodbye to your detergent with the all-purpose Spaghetti Scrub, made of natural peach pit abrasives to eliminate the need for soap. Reusable, mould-, odour- and rust-free, this two-piece set will last six months. The scrub also dries quickly and may be tossed into the dishwasher (top rack) or microwaved for 10 seconds to disinfect. Available at Amazon www.amazon.ca

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DESIGN

The kitchen island, in a black leathered granite, can seat 10 to 12, The wall behind it has black cabinetry with built-in Wolf and Sub-Zero appliances, and a white quartzite backsplash. A separate pantry includes a beverage fridge and a second dishwasher. Island lighting: Il Pezzo.

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S U S TA I N A B LY

LUXURIOUS A home in Puslinch, Ontario is built to be both green and sumptuous

BY ELISABETH KALBFUSS PHOTOGRAPHY: GILLIAN JACKSON

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HOMEBUILDERS Shawn Marsh and Eve Claxton had one big criterion when they set out to build their own eco-friendly home: it had to ooze luxury. “My wife didn’t want people to drive by and say, ‘Why, what an awesomely engineered environmental home,’ ” says Shawn, the president of Claxton and Marsh. “For us, it was about not sacrificing anything.” The house, in Puslinch, Ontario, near Guelph, won three Canadian Home Builders’ Association national awards this year, one for detached custom homes in the 3,501-to5,000-square-foot category, as well as the net-zero home award, and another for its interior design.

(Right) Homeowner Eve Claxton designed the four-season room to be a great place to entertain, and spends most of her time there. The furniture is from Restoration Hardware, the lighting from the visual comfort series by Kelly Wearstler.

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Homeowner Eve Claxton wanted the bathrooms to be contemporary. The master bathroom features black Nero Marquina marble. Tub: Norm Architects; sinks: Blu Bathworks; shower: Aquabrass; faucets: Zucchetti.

To achieve net-zero certification, the home must produce as least as much energy as it consumes. “We do this by building what we call low-load homes,” Shawn says. “This is achieved through increased insulation levels, upgraded windows, and an extremely airtight structure. This combination of building factors gives us a low-load home that can be heated and cooled with ultra-efficient heating and cooling equipment. Because these loads are so small, we are able to power the home with solar power. This home is, in fact, net positive; that is, it produces more energy than it consumes.” Tesla Powerwall-2 backup batteries are an added benefit for extra resiliency during power outages; they also manage peak and off-peak power consumption. “When we first sat down to plan the house, we were told, ‘You can’t do that,’ ” Shawn says. “Why not? To me there are always challenges and solutions.” As a homebuilder, he was able to meet with manufacturers to have them develop the systems he wanted, all with an eye to building similar custom, luxury net-zero homes for his clients. When it came to the floor-to-ceiling walls of glass in the design, Pella Windows brought in their engineering expertise to analyze the location and orientation of each window panel to determine which windows needed additional coatings, and the best window type for each particular spot. –>

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For Eve, who is the company’s design and realty specialist, having those window walls was critical, because of how the house needed to be situated on the lot. “If we walled it off, we were going to lose all the light,” she says. For her, designing the 4,600-square foot home started with the kitchen. “In our opinion, the kitchen most often dictates the flow and feel of the rest of the home,” says Eve, who worked closely with Meredith Haslam on the company’s design team.

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The main feature in that kitchen is a 22-foot-long island, made of black leathered granite; it can seat 10 to 12. On one side, the kitchen opens to the great room, with living and dining space, but it also faces another iron and glass window wall that leads out to a four-seasons room, with 20-foot ceilings and a f loor-to-ceiling limestone wood-burning fireplace. “We pretty much live in there,” Eve says. “It’s the ideal space for entertaining, allowing you the ability of opening it up to the outdoor space.”

The black-and-white theme extends throughout the entire house, including the bedrooms. In the master suite, the bed is from Baker Furniture, the lighting from Restoration Hardware.


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The rest of the main floor includes four bedrooms and five bathrooms, as well as a 480-bottle temperature-controlled wine room. Downstairs there are an additional three bedrooms and three bathrooms, a home theatre, a games room with a bar, a rec room and a gym. Most of the rooms in this house feature 16- and 12-foot ceiling heights. The outdoor space includes a pool, a covered, screened patio with two gas fire-tables and an uncovered patio with a built-in kitchen and barbecue. That black-and-white kitchen theme extends throughout the house in a style that Eve describes as modern Art Deco. “We did contemporary elements in the bathrooms; all of the cabinetry is clean-lined with no frills.” The Art Deco influence can be seen in some of the fixtures and accessories. –>

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“The basement was designed so it would be a space that people would actually go into,� says Eve. It features a walk-out to the garden, and is home to a rec room, games room, home theatre, gym and additional bedroom and bathrooms.

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To keep the continuous flow of blacks, whites and greys from looking stark, Eve opted for white oak floors in a herringbone pattern, and a soft paint colour, Benjamin Moore’s Silver Satin (OC 26) on the walls. “It’s not a true white. When you’re in a room with 16foot high ceilings, it warms it without making it look dull or traditional,” she says. Shawn says that even in the short time since he began constructing his own home, companies have been developing greener technology for use in home building. “As more companies get on board, the price has

gone down,” he says. A number of net-zero home builders are clustered in the Guelph area, he adds, a trend he hopes will spread across the country. He predicts that the next big boost for net-zero homes will be when Tesla shingles become widely available – durable glass shingles with solar panels inside that look like a regular roof, but that aren’t in widespread use yet, and are not yet available in Canada. “Now it’s becoming more mainstream,” Shawn says. “I’m extremely proud to a be part of this.”

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DESIGN

OF THE EARTH AND FOR THE EARTH Rammed-earth homes, made of compressed subsoil, are an ancient building technique, revived as a sustainable option

BY JULIE GEDEON PHOTOGRAPHY: RILEY SNELLING

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SYLVIA COOK WAS APPROACHING retirement from her career as a high-school physics teacher when she began looking for a dream home for her husband and herself. She wanted its construction to be as kind to the planet as possible. “I looked into the most sustainable ways of building a house and kept coming back to rammed earth,” says Cook, who founded Aerecura a decade ago in Castleton, Ontario, to construct the first insulated rammed earth home in the province for herself, and subsequently built more such dwellings for others.


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“Most of the home is made with subsoil, available in abundance pretty much everywhere on Earth, as opposed to almost every other building material that has to be processed or shipped a great distance, or removes precious topsoil,” Cook says. “We use what’s left once the gravel has been removed from a local pit for other purposes.” Cook’s home not only met her sustainability goals, but captured her heart with its natural beauty, consistently pleasant warmth, and overall quietness, created by its striated walls. “As musicians, my husband

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and I appreciate the wonderful acoustics, too,” she says. She originally teamed up with architect Terrell Wong, the president of Stones Throw Design Inc., to create her home. Their companies have since partnered and they build several homes annually. “The walls tell each home’s story,” Terrell Wong says. “You see the layers, all of which can be made as wavy as our customers want; each layer is distinctive and has variations in colour, shape, and tone.”

Rammed-earth buildings are, as the name suggests, constructed of layers of compressed earth. The building process involves compacting a damp mixture of  sand, clay, gravel and a stabilizer into an frame or mold to create walls. The building method lends itself to creatively sloped or curved walls, soft colouring, as well as imprinted designs. “You can do many things with rammed-earth homes, but straight walls with openings that extend to the top of the wall make construction simpler,” she says. –>

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Construction costs run about 10 per cent higher than traditional building, but the difference is soon recouped through energy efficiencies. “In Sylvia Cook’s home, we used heat from the hot water tank to put radiant heating in the floor below the living area. The only other heat source is an infrared panel in the dining area for the occasional cold evening,” says Wong. Predesigned rammed-earth homes use simple electric baseboards, she says, because they consume less than 25 kilowatts per square metre for heating; she adds that there is typically no requirement for air conditioning in rammed-earth homes.

“We recently built another 3,000-squarefoot home that consumes only a third of the energy of a comparably sized stick-frame building,” she says. The house’s thermal mass establishes a stable microclimate. “There’s no big swing in temperature or humidity once the home is warmed up because the walls naturally absorb and then spread any heat or moisture until they’re all the same,” Wong explains. “This absorption makes it easier to incorporate solar heating without glassed areas becoming too hot when the sun is strong.”

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Another advantage is the lack of maintenance. “You don’t need to install and maintain a furnace, never have to paint, nor replace siding,” Wong points out. “The walls are strong and more ductile than concrete so under expected stresses, they do not crack.” Modern stabilization and waterproofing technologies have improved the enduring technique used in the Great Wall of China and introduced to Europe by the Romans 2,000 years ago. “Numerous peasants built rammed earth houses after the French Revolution but these homes were subsequently considered lower class and covered up with stucco to look more like area châteaux,” Cook says. “These homes are built to last centuries and withstand the extremes the climate crisis is throwing at us – fire, floods, and even earthquakes – with their modern stabilization,” she adds. “Obviously, they won’t save the Earth’s climate all by themselves, but I’m hoping they will change the climate within the building industry towards more sustainable construction methods.”

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BUILDING BETTER HOMES AND COMMUNITIES A non-profit cooperative constructs homes holistically for a minimal impact on the earth

BY JULIE GEDEON PHOTOGRAPHY: RILEY SNELLING

CREATING ENVIRONMENTALLY friendlier homes in sustainable, healthy communities is the driving force behind The Fourth Pig Green & Natural Construction. It’s a non-profit worker cooperative owned and operated by its members in southern Ontario. “We look at each project holistically,” says Melinda Zytaruk, the general manager and a founding member. “Everything is considered, starting with the integration into the natural habitat and community need for affordable housing, mixed green space and urban gardens, to the initial construction/renovation

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impacts, the healthiness of the users’ space, as well as the energy efficiency and overall longevity.” The Fourth Pig derives its smile-inducing name from imagining a smarter hog that recommends combining the straw, sticks and bricks of the original fabled trio to create an even better home. Every material is environmentally assessed. “A plastic or foam might offer a higher R value (thermal resistance) per inch, but if it embodies a lot of carbon in its creation or contains toxic chemicals, that negates those

other advantages,” Zytaruk says. “We also look at whether materials can be recycled when they need to be replaced or the building is no longer in use. Hopefully, the building would be carefully deconstructed.” Design elements also strive to minimize impact. “Building the foundation with helical piles that screw into the ground rather than excavating a large hole is less disruptive,” she says. “It also eliminates concerns about water or other moisture creating an unhealthy basement area.”


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Energy modeling ensures that no space becomes too hot or cold at certain times of the year. “Being able to always comfortably use an entire house means you don’t need as big a place,” Zytaruk says. The Fourth Pig focuses on using sustainable materials that have proven themselves over time. Cellulose from recycled newsprint pulp is used as insulation in walls and ceilings. Local Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) lumber typically frames a house, while fibre board from lumber industry waste is used as insulation. Straw bales provide another insulation superior to most conventional forms. “We use materials such as clay and lime instead of cement for mortars and plasters,” Zytaruk says.

Many of these materials are integrated into the low-carbon wall and ceiling panels that the Fourth Pig routinely orders from Tooketree Passive Homes, a related company specializing in building passive homes requiring little or no new energy for heating or cooling. “The prefabricated walls and ceilings are made to measure for a home’s design so there’s no waste,” says Zytaruk, Tooketree’s CEO. “The panel systems also facilitate us building homes more quickly, which makes them more affordable.” She says that anyone considering building a green home or renovating a conventional one to make it greener should start by finding a specialized team to coordinate all aspects of its design, energy modeling, air flow, materials integration and so forth before any work begins. “It’ll save time, hassles and money in the long run and ensure the work lives up to its promise,” she says.

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REAL ESTATE

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RESPECTFUL UPDATE

A 1970s architectural gem is brought artfully into the 21st century BY SUSAN KELLY PHOTOGRAPHY: JEAN-FRANCOIS GRÉGOIRE

THE 1970S — the decade that brought us split levels, large windows and great flow — are having a moment in home design. These qualities and more are found in this six-bedroom home of that era on Lexington Ave. in Westmount. All of which the current owners sought to enhance during its 2013 renovation. “Not everyone could update a unique house like this and do it justice,” says Rochelle Cantor, a real estate broker with Engel and Völkers Montreal, who is handling the home’s sale. “They not only respected its contemporary design but brought it to a whole new level.” –>

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The house dates to 1971 and was the family home of legendary real estate developer and philanthropist David Azrieli. At the time, he was just starting to build a reputation as an architectural innovator. Azrieli would live there for more than 27 years with his wife and four children. Although Azrieli designed the home, because he was not yet a licensed architect, he worked with architect Max Wolfe Roth. Split level or cottage — the home is difficult to define. When viewed from the street, an unassuming facade suggests a modest onelevel structure. Built on a steeply sloping lot, in the rear it opens into an ingeniously configured 4,385-square-foot, two-storey home. The interior has been reconfigured to create a whole new flow, Cantor says. “The home is divided into two wings, with the more public living areas on one side, the bedrooms on the other,” she notes. Great bones: The Westmount home, built in 1971 by philanthropist and builder David Azrieli, was given a stylish basement-to-rafters update in 2013.

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On the bedroom side of the home, the master suite commands an entire level. The spacious bedroom lets into a massive walk-in closet. Upgrades to the adjoining 11-by-19foot master bathroom include expanses of Statuario marble tiles and a rectangular tub in a contemporary design. It lets onto an adjoining private office and den. The floor above has three bedrooms, each with its own ensuite bathroom. –>

(Top): Two views of the master bathroom, which measures a spacious 11-by-19 feet. (Middle) One of the ensuite bathrooms. (Below): The private home office and lounge area.

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On the family living side, a large formal dining room was created to the left of the front entryway. To the right lies an area devoted to an open-plan kitchen with adjoining breakfast nook. There is also a family room — a modern convention that evolved from the 1970s rumpus room — one of this home’s three informal living areas. One is found on the basement level which also includes a state-of-the-art gym, two-car garage, walkin cedar closet and art studio for one of the homeowners, an amateur artist.

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The formal living and dining rooms provide ample space to entertain and display works of art, both of which are important to the homeowners.

The home’s public and private sides meet in its showpiece: the central formal living room. Here the ‘70s innovation of sunken lounge has evolved into a great room, complete with soaring ceilings with beam details overhead. No shag carpeting underfoot, though; instead the contemporary look of wide-plank jatoba hardwood floors. Woodand-glass staircases provide access from all levels and additional architectural interest. With windows that extend virtually from floor to ceiling on two sides, the room is flooded with profuse natural light. “This home is unique for Westmount for both the size and number of windows throughout,” says Cantor, who has toured hundreds of luxury homes in the area over a career spanning nearly 20 years. “It is hard to find a nook or cranny that is not flooded with light.” –>

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Open-concept living went mainstream in the 1970s. The home’s original design was honoured in the distinctly modern update of the wide-open kitchen, dining area and family room areas.

And yet the home also boasts copious square footage of wall space. The homeowners, both professionals, love to display their extensive collection of art. Among the hundreds of works are many large-scale paintings. Unlike most homes, this one provides many opportunities to display them.

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Now at the empty-nest stage of life, the homeowners are ready to move on to a new home. Their artistic sensibilities are also evident in the attention to detail found in the home’s updated design. There is not one drawer pull, handle or door frame that is not as it should be, Cantor says. “The home is now very au-courant, both in design and materials used, yet completely respects the original,” she says. “I think both the first owner and architect would be happy with it.” This home is for sale. For more information, contact real estate broker Rochelle Cantor: www.montreal.evrealestate.com/Bio/ RochelleCantor

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DESIGN

HIGH-QUALITY BEDDING IS ALWAYS IN DEMAND This Quebec-based company specializing in bedding and housewares has offered value and luxury for almost 60 years

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WHETHER YOU LIKE white, quality cottons or rich jewel-toned sateens, one thing doesn’t change when it comes to bed linens, says Stan Leibner. What was true in 1961 when Linen Chest opened its first boutique on Queen Mary Road in Montreal’s Snowdon district remains true today. “The perfect mix of value, fashion and quality,” says Leibner. “That’s what customers want.”


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Six decades on, Linen Chest continues to expand, and Montreal brothers Stan and Sheldon Leibner continue to credit the company’s success to the winning retail formula their mother, Sylvia Leibner, established in the early 1960s. Stylish furniture, well-chosen window coverings and great paint colours can take a home’s decor only so far. What transforms an ordinary bedroom into a sanctuary are fluffy duvets and pillows, European matelassé, cozy chenille throws and quality cottons in fresh whites, vibrant colours and fashion-forward prints. –>

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Today, many loyal shoppers go to the company’s stores throughout Ontario and Quebec in search of Linen Chest’s own Hotel brand (400-thread count) or Palace Hotel Egyptian cotton deluxe fitted and f lat sheets with ribbing, trim and other architectural-type features. “They are high-end, but 40 per cent cheaper than what you will find in other retail stores,” says Leibner. Other shoppers, he says, seek out a bedding collection in trendy new colours – this summer, those hues are coral, grapefruit and navy – or an eye-catching print they haven’t seen before. “We have really focused on being ahead in the fashion game for the mid- to upper-end customer,” he says.

In addition to its own brands, Linen Chest carries all the well-known major brands: Vera Wang, Kas, Nautica, Tommy Bahamas, Tommy Hilfiger, Simmons, Tempur and many others. To be sure, big box stores and online shopping have made the past decade challenging, says Leibner, “but Linen Chest has always found ways to offer better quality and fashion at guaranteed lowest prices.”

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Over the years, he says, Linen Chest has expanded to include kitchen, bath and home decor lines to its inventory to find new ways of attracting shoppers. This fall, the company will launch a new line of bedding not available elsewhere in Canada. Linen Chest will have an exclusive collection of Ugg’s new bedding line, which includes comforters, blankets, throws and sheepskin pillows. The company will also open three new stores this summer, bringing the total number of outlets in the home-fashion chain to 32. One of the new stores will be at the northern reaches of the Greater Toronto Area, and the two others will be located in the Quebec cities of Drummondville and Vaudreuil. Other stores are in the works.

Linen Chest www.linenchest.com

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NARROW SPACE / WIDE IMPACT A new home in an old neighbourhood fits perfectly in a modest footprint BY ELISABETH KALBFUSS PHOTOGRAPHY: MAXIME BROUILLET

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La SHED’s architects used two materials on the outside of the house: brick along the lower facade up to the roofline of the neighbouring homes, then a galvanized sheet metal on the upper floor, similar to the older metal roofs in the neighbourhood.

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DESIGN • HOME IN CANADA • TRENDS 2019

NELSON DE SOUSA’S NEW family home in Montreal’s Plateau Mont Royal district started out as extra parking space. For a few years he lived right next door to it, in a small old house he bought after moving back from Europe. “The house wasn’t really to our taste, but the property had two parking spots and we thought it had potential and that we could build there someday,” Nelson says. The plan was to subdivide the lot, and eliminate the parking spots to make way for an income property, either a duplex or triplex. But plans change. He called on the architects at la SHED, to talk over his ideas. He had seen

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some of their work before, and was impressed. To his surprise, they suggested that instead of opting for rental units, a better choice might be to build a new home that could be exactly what he wanted, and sell the one they were living in at the time. “We thought that was a crazy idea,” Nelson says. Gradually, though, it started to make sense. Because the neighbourhood is older and densely populated, there aren’t many building lots available, and few opportunities to create something new, says Sébastien Parent, one of the architects at la SHED involved in the home’s design. –>

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The biggest constraint his team faced was the small size of the lot and the neighbourhood zoning requirements. The house could be no more than 20 feet wide and 25 feet deep, on its 20-by-35-foot lot. “The living spaces couldn’t physically fit on the same floor,” Parent says. “They wanted vast open spaces with light; they didn’t want tight little rooms.” Since it wasn’t possible to build out, they would have to build up. The kitchen and dining room take up the main floor, with a double-height ceiling over the dining area, and a mezzanine over the kitchen that is a living area. The mezzanine has a view to the back outside wall with its large windows and glass doors. It also has its own floor-to-ceiling window to provide still more natural light. The ceiling is a little lower than usual on the mezzanine, but that adds a sense of intimacy to the space, Parent says. “Because it’s completely open, it makes the space very comfortable. You don’t feel squished.” –>

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The home’s style is minimalist, but very refined, says architect Sébastien Parent of la SHED Architecture. The kitchen was designed for intense contrast, from white cabinets to the black island and countertop to the oak table, made to measure by Kastella. Dining light fixture: Vancouver Lighting.

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Upstairs there are two bedrooms and a family bathroom, with stairs that lead to a rooftop terrace, complete with hot tub. In the basement, there’s office space, a small home theatre and a second bathroom. The space, Parent says, is compact, but complete. Everything the owners wanted is there. “Each floor has a different vibe, a different purpose.” Nelson says, and each floor also has an area set aside for his young son to play and store his toys. On the bedroom level there’s a cozy cupboard, Harry Potter-style, tucked under the stairs to the roof deck. It’s large enough for both play and storage space. The toys need to be tucked out of sight, he says, to preserve that contemporary, minimalist design.

The minimalist style carries through to both bathrooms. The family bathroom has marble tiles and a white vanity, designed by la SHED. The downstairs bathroom, used by guests, has an open shower. “It’s like a water room,” says Sébastien Parent. “You can get it all wet.”

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The mezzanine living area is atop the kitchen and opens to the dining area. Sébastien Parent of la SHED Architecture says its floor-to-ceiling window faces the street and was placed on the side of the room for privacy.

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The home’s best feature, he adds, is its abundant natural light, though he concedes that there are drawbacks to having extra-large windows. One day, Nelson says, he counted how many of the neighbouring homes could see into his dining room - and hit 14. “We put in these huge glass doors, 11 or 12 feet tall, so at first we thought, ‘Oh my God, that’s too big, what can we do?’ ” he says. “We got rolling blinds, but we never put them down. You just get used to it.” That close proximity to so many neighbours is a small price to pay to live in such a great neighbourhood, Nelson says. He doesn’t need a car, can walk to work or the metro, is close to trendy Mile End and, before his son started school this year, the day care centre was practically next door. The project didn’t exactly stay on budget, he concedes, mostly because he loved so many of the ideas the la SHED team proposed. “They’re artists, and when you see what they can do it’s hard to say we’re going to cut this, because it looks awesome.”

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DESIGN

Photo: Paul Grdina courtesy of Smithwood Builders

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THE MATERIAL WORLD

New products for building, renovating and furnishing are created with a green sensibility

BY BARBARA MILNER, INTERIOR DESIGNER

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GREEN IDEAS ARE BRIGHT IDEAS. And bright ideas create new experiences. The sustainable-design movement has married science with sexy, a union that has given birth to inventive and alluring spaces that challenge the way we think about where we live and how we live. Awareness of our environment and community is driving household innovation as architects and designers look for ways to create homes that are healthier for their inhabitants and for the planet. Beautiful, smart spaces have become a growing global trend and they’ve spurred the emergence of new ingenious materials and the renaissance of ancient elemental techniques. From the woods of 18th century Japan to luxury fashion houses of France, these products are produced in remarkable ways, are planet-friendly and awe-inspiring.

BURNED AND BEAUTIFUL: Shou sugi ban If you lust over minimalist black cabins on isolated and rugged terrains, chances are you already have a design crush on shou sugi ban. It’s a wood treatment that’s impactful to the eye but not the environment. Shou sugi ban is the 18th century Japanese technique of charring wood with fire, which adds to its lifespan, resilience and beauty. It’s a counterintuitive idea: heat wood to make it last longer. To achieve the shou sugi ban effect, planks of wood are treated with heat on their outward side. The technique produces a scorched layer of carbon that is highly resistant to water, fire, mould and insects. The process also produces an elegant deep charcoal-black surface with distinct lines and textural beauty, making it a sought-after exterior cladding material by eco-minded designers and architects worldwide. Using wood in building requires minimal energy compared to such inorganic building materials as steel and concrete.


DESIGN • HOME IN CANADA • TRENDS 2019

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Photos: Robin Grasby

SURFACING FROM WASTE: PaperStone and Altrock Originally used on half-pipes in skateboard parks, PaperStone is making its way into residential design projects as a countertop material that can stand up to the gnarly wear and tear of daily kitchen life. PaperStone is made of 100 per cent recycled paper fibers, bound with a non-petroleum resin and natural pigments to create a solid, dense material that is food-safe and resistant to abrasion and temperatures as high as 350 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s also impervious to moisture and won’t support bacteria growth. One of the advantages of PaperStone is that it is available in longer sections than natural stone, which can eliminate seams in long kitchen islands. It can also be used for tabletops, cutting boards, furniture, cabinets, and indoor and outdoor wall cladding. Altrock is another sustainable solid surface material that tolerates high traffic. It’s a bold idea with an even bolder aesthetic; it takes byproducts from the natural stone industry and transforms them into contemporary terrazzo-like slabs. Altrock is comprised of 87 per cent recycled marble, including dust, chunks of offcuts and broken pieces of marble slabs. The recycled marble is then mixed with a small amount of resin to produce durable, waterproof and stain-resistant slabs of all shapes and sizes. The terrazzo is modern and striking, proving one person’s trash is indeed another one’s treasure. –>

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Photos courtesy of Hollis + Morris

LIT BY WIT: Hollis + Morris Lighting While energy-efficient LED light bulbs consume less energy than their incandescent, halogen and fluorescent counterparts, sustainable lighting design goes far beyond the bulb. Materials, manufacturing processes, shipping practices and product lifecycle also contribute to a light fixture’s carbon footprint. Canadian design firm Hollis + Morris combines energy-efficient LED lighting with nature-inspired forms in its new Bloom Collection, hand-crafted with the environment top of mind.

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The contemporary lighting collection speaks of the natural world through the combination of light, spheres and textures. Bloom centres around the visuals of the catkin bud, which appears on trees as the first sign of spring. The Catkin and Willow pendants incorporate oak and walnut, sourced in Canada and the United States. Hollis + Morris outsources its industrial production to local wood factories and metal shops and then assembles the pieces in the company’s studio.


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Photos courtesy of Coolican

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FOOT STOOLS WITH SMALL FOOTPRINTS: CALLA x Coolican Just as designs reflect the designer, your home ref lects who you are and what you love. Furnishing it with sustainable products indicates a level of awareness that is shaping our interiors. With this in mind, Toronto-based Coolican & Company partnered with Paris-based fashion designer Calla Haynes who wanted to do something with her unused fabrics. Together they developed CALLA x Coolican, a collection of accent benches made from the refuse of French luxury fashion houses.

Recycled fabrics are hand-twisted to create a traditional Moroccan rag cord, which is hand-woven to form the seat. Each item is produced for durability, a quality that defines the company’s approach to design: buy it once, and leave more of those resources where they belong. Barbara Milner is an interior designer and principal at South Hill Interiors, a design firm that serves the Greater Toronto Area and Kawartha Lakes region. The firm’s real estate arm offers realty services with Forest Hill Real Estate Inc.

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ZERO-WASTE RETAIL A growing number of stores offer shoppers products without packaging to reduce environmental impact BY ELISABETH KALBFUSS

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Photo: Maxine Bulloch

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SIA VEERAMANI AND HER HUSBAND have a tradition around New Year’s: they do a big clean-up and take out the trash – all the trash they’ve accumulated over the previous 12 months. This year, it fit into one small bag: stickers and twist-ties from fruits and vegetables, labels, broken rubber bands, scotch tape, band-aids and a few other assorted things that couldn’t be reused, recycled or composted. Veeramani has lived the zero-waste ethic since 2012 and, along with business partner Valerie Leloup, is the co-founder of Ottawa’s NU Grocery, one of a growing number of stores across the country that aim to help people reduce their waste. These stores have moved beyond selling bulk supplies in bins. They are designed for zero-waste shopping and aim to reduce waste along the supply chain. They encourage customers to bring their own refillable bags, containers, bottles and jars for all their food and/or lifestyle items: everything from ketchup to toothpaste.

And they carry everything from compostable bamboo toothbrushes to ingredients for do-it-yourself cleaning products. For Veeramani, with her background in environmental sustainability, it was about “walking the talk,” she says. “It took a while to start, but once we had our routine it became easier.” She and Leloup connected through Bea Johnson, the guru of the zero-waste movement, who chronicled how her family of four started to live more sustainably and almost completely eliminated their garbage in her book, Zero Waste Home, published in 2013 and translated into 25 languages. Both had either attended her workshops or been in

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touch with her separately, and each hoped to set up a zero-waste store. They connected by email, opened NU in 2017 and, since then, have doubled the number of products they sell to more than 700 from 350. Their biggest sellers are accessories that help minimize waste: produce bags that eliminate the need for disposable plastic, beeswax food wrap, compostable kitchen brushes. Many zero-waste stores have similar histories: their owners wanted to make a difference and help others reduce their waste, too. All of them say consumer response has been enthusiastic; many are planning to expand or open second locations.


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In Halifa x, Kate Pepler says she felt depressed with the state of the world upon graduating from Dalhousie University a few years ago with a degree in sustainability and environmental science. “There’s definitely a shock factor when you hear about another (dead) whale washing up with a belly full of plastic. People are just getting fed up with it and with having to deal with the waste,” she says. Tired of travelling around the city to various stores to source the package-free or sustainable products, she put together a business plan to bring them together under one roof. She recently opened The Tare Shop, a combined package-free grocery store and café. There are no disposables at the café, but rather mugs for customers who drink their coffee in-store. However, anyone wanting to take out coffee or tea must take their own travel cup or “borrow” from the mug library. Sometimes, new customers are caught by surprise, she says, but almost all of the borrowed mugs have found their way back. –>

Photo: Enrique Flores

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One of the biggest challenges in running a zero-waste store, says Thomas Tiberghien of Montreal’s Vrac et Bocaux grocery, is finding suppliers who will sell their products in returnable/reusable containers, and persuading them that they, too, need to rethink their packaging and find ways to cut waste. Building relationships with them becomes important, he says. “We choose the people we want to do business with, who have similar values.” Almost all his products are organic, and he tries to provide as much of the variety of a regular grocery store as he can, including fruit, vegetables and dairy products. All his customers are keen to try to reduce their waste, he says, and he hopes larger grocery chains will recognize that and adapt. The news this spring that Montreal-based Metro grocery chain will allow customers to use their own reusable containers shows that they’re starting to listen, he says. “It’s a first step for them. They will get there, but it will take a lot of time.”

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Vrac et Bocaux grocery

Toronto’s Karma Co-op didn’t start out with a zero-waste mission when it was established more than almost 50 years ago. Run by a co-op board and its membership, at first it focused on where the food it sold was coming from and how it was being grown, what general manager Talia McGuire calls “the socio-political implications of food.” There was an early emphasis on organic products, then locally grown produce, and now its mandate includes limiting waste. “We’ve hit all of the food trends,” she says. Sometimes that can come at an increased cost for consumers, but it doesn’t have to. Prices at the co-op are fairly competitive, McGuire says, though members pay a fee and contribute time and work at the store. The co-op doesn’t get the volume discounts larger stores do, but that’s offset by lower prices in the bulk section. She’s managed to cut her own grocery bill almost in half, by choosing just what she needs and not being forced to buy a pre-packaged amount. “A lot of people think buying bulk is like Costco. We think it’s buying what you need, not committing to a six-pack of cereal.” Karma Co-op

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This spring, Tara Meyer and Lisa Watt opened Canary Refillery & Zero Waste Market in Calgary as an alternative to buying heavily packaged personal-care items, such as shampoo, conditioner, body wash and more. Customers who don’t have their own containers can buy them. As well, the store owners hope to lure customers to try a wider range of sustainable products, a metal razor instead of their usual plastic disposable or natural-fibre cleaning brushes. “We’re part of a much larger movement that is calling for change in Canada and globally,” Meyer says. “Individually our actions may seem small, but collectively they can have a significant impact.” –>

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Photos: Maxine Bulloch

The drive to reduce garbage has also created a sense of community, both in many neighbourhoods and online, in forums and Facebook groups, says Brianne Miller, co-founder of Nada Grocery in Vancouver. Before opening the retail store last year, she and her business partner ran pop-up shops and made sure they had a presence at local markets and festivals to spread the word. Now that the grocery, which also includes a zero-waste café, is up and running, they often clear space to host community events, such as clothing swaps and repair workshops. “We spend a lot of time and energy promoting a transparent supply chain, use urban farms and local farms. A lot of our suppliers are audited for things like their carbon footprint and how they treat their employees,” Miller says.

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Photos: Fahim Kassam

Also in Vancouver, Linh Truong opened The Soap Dispensary planning to sell just refill soaps and cleansers. “I was selling olive oil for soap-making and people were asking, ‘Oh, can I eat this?’ ” That’s when she realized there was room to expand. When the neighbouring shop gave up its lease, she took it over, adding Kitchen Staples to her name and groceries to her inventory list. Like Tiberghien at Vrac et Bocaux in Montreal, she often gets frustrated with how much waste some suppliers create with their packaging when she’s working so hard to reduce it. “Every six months or so I email a few and say, ‘How about taking this bucket back?’ Sometimes they’ll relent or see the value in what we’re trying to do,” she says. She has become creative at finding new uses for some of that packaging. Empty boxes are cut up for note paper. Even the string used to seal grain bags finds a second life, and is used to hang things in the store. To get into the zero-waste idea, she says, people need to realize how much waste they generate, and how little of what they put in their blue box actually gets recycled. “I think a lot of people are still embarrassed to bring their own containers to restaurants or regular grocery stores; they don’t want to rock the boat,” she says. “There’s a social shift we need that encourages that and makes it cool.”

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GREEN IS BEAUTIFUL A net-zero home in Edmonton is built to be highly energy-efficient and aesthetic, too BY KAREN SEIDMAN PHOTOGRAPHY: CHERYL SILSBE

LINDSAY BROMMELAND and her husband, Todd Homan, describe themselves as modern-day hippies: they are vegetarians, urban beekeepers and have a focus on edible landscaping around their new home in downtown Edmonton. So it was only natural that, when they decided to build their new home, they wanted a net zero (or carbon-neutral) house that would meet their goals for sustainability. “There was nothing we wanted to do more than contribute to an environmentally friendly way of building and living,” says Lindsay. “This was something that was very important to us.” –>

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Of equal importance to the couple was that the home should have a contemporary and cool vibe: “I would call it modern glam,” says Lindsay. “I didn’t want it to be cold, but I wanted it to be clean.” Lindsay devised the layout and design of the home, but the couple hired Koen de Waal of De Waal Developments Ltd. as the builder because he specializes in creating net zero homes. It’s a niche area he developed after trying to build an energy-efficient home for himself in Edmonton several years ago. There were no builders willing to do it in his price range. A civil engineer by profession, de Waal decided

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he could use his expertise to do it himself, and in a more affordable way. Four years later, he left his engineering job to build homes full-time. The striking two-storey-high bookcase in the living room fulfilled a lifelong dream of Lindsay’s. She wanted a bookcase with a sliding ladder; the honeycomb motif that overlays it was her daughter’s idea as a reference to her parents’ beekeeping hobby. That is not the only personal touch Lindsay was able to work into the home. The wallpaper used in the TV room resembles a jukebox, and she was able to incorporate the couple’s favourite rock songs onto it. –>


DESIGN • HOME IN CANADA • TRENDS 2019

The funky bookshelves set the tone for the living room, which is enhanced by the cool colour combinations. Sofas: The Bay; chairs: Structube; coffee table with inlaid stones for texture: HomeSense.

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The IKEA dining table and chairs work well with the light fixture above from Park Lighting & Furniture in Edmonton.

And the custom f loating staircase, constructed of ash wood, incorporates pipes that were specially welded to create its spine – a unique feature that references Todd’s career in the oil and gas industry. Although not a designer by occupation, Lindsay relied on her life experience to create the home of her dreams. Her former house, built in 1912, was dusty and lacked cupboard space as well as a spacious kitchen. Her displeasure with some of those features fueled many of her design decisions regarding the new home.

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“This is my passion project,” she says. “I wanted to create the perfect flow and I think I have.” She also worked with de Waal to develop a perfect net-zero home, and they have succeeded on that level as well. The house he built for the couple relies on no natural gas or oil. Instead, it has air-source heat pumps that move heat from one place to another and provide all the heating and hot water for the house. Even in minus-20 Celsius temperatures – in fact, in anything that is above absolute zero, which is minus-273 degrees Celsius – the system can take whatever heat is there and use it to heat the air and water. “There is no combustion of any natural gas or oil,” explains de Waal. “There’s just a little compressor which takes heat from one place and moves it to another with the help of electricity.” –> The concrete floors create the contemporary look that the homeowner wanted. Much of the kitchen cabinetry was made of bamboo, a sustainable material.

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It relies on a complex calculation, he says, but the system is two times more efficient than most available heating systems. And it can save homeowners about $1,000 a month. An added bonus is that it also cools the home in summer. All of that at a cost of only about $5,000 to $8,000 more than a regular furnace. One of the things the system depends on is the home’s air-tightness. “The leakier a home is, the more heating you need to stay comfortable,” says de Waal. Newer homes are typically five times more air-tight than older homes, he says.

Functionality was important to Lindsay, so she insisted on a useful mudroom and butler’s pantry.

The home used almost twice as much insulation in the walls and attic and under the concrete floor as a typical house. This ensures that less air escapes. It also means that the concrete floors – something that might seem cold for the Edmonton climate – stay warm without requiring heating. “The floors are always warm – warmer than my wood floors,” says Lindsay. The concrete acts as a thermal sink which absorbs any heat in the home and slowly releases it overnight, says de Waal. “It’s almost like a solar panel that helps regulate the temperature in the home,” he says.

The master bedroom is the only bedroom in the 1,900-square-foot home. The sliding panels in the room are from India via Wayfair and allow the couple to look down on the main living space. They gave the panels a custom look with barn door hardware.

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The TV room is the “travel room”: The area rug was bought on a trip to Turkey and the leather poofs were purchased in Fez, Morocco. The other accent tables are from HomeSense. The sectional sofa from IKEA allowed the homeowners to choose the exact dimensions they needed.

Other features of this very green home include triple-paned windows to retain more heat, and solar panels on the roof which produce all of the electricity to operate the home. The homeowners also invested in heat-recovery ventilation, which brings fresh air into the interiors and expels stale air. From his point of view, de Waal was pleased the clients had as much interest in design as in sustainability. “If a house doesn’t look good, nobody wants to buy it no matter how green it is,” he says. “This home sets a very high efficiency standard. This is the future of homes. It’s just a matter of time.”

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ART

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THE LURE OF THE HORIZON The paintings of artist Gordon Pym take viewers to the elusive place where earth meets sky

BY ELISABETH KALBFUSS

GORDON PYM WAS WALKING down a street in Westmount, Quebec one day when he stopped at an art gallery, transfixed by the landscapes he saw inside. “They blew me away,” he says of the paintings by artist David Bierk. “I thought: ‘if I could only paint like that.’ ” Inspired, he bought some oil paints and, in his words, “started fooling around.”

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As a young man, after completing a science degree and starting work in a lab at a textile company, he had enrolled for a parttime art degree at what was then Sir George Williams University in Montreal, but he never finished – his career was taking off and his family was growing. –>


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Gradually, he began exhibiting work in small venues, joined an artists’ group, and decided he needed to return to school. He put together a portfolio and was accepted into the Bachelor of Fine Arts program at Concordia University. He was graduated in 2009, retired from his day job in the textile industry, and converted part of his suburban Montreal home into a studio. One of his early breaks came while he was still in school, exhibiting his work at a popular restaurant, an arrangement that was supposed to last six months. “Seven years later, I was still there. I’d change the work up often. I sold a lot of it; it gave me confidence,” he says. More small shows and group exhibits ensued and then, in 2012, he had his first solo show at the Viva Vida Art Gallery in Pointe Claire, Quebec, the gallery that still represents him. Most of his work sells locally, though some pieces have found their way into collections across Canada and in the U.S.

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Pym’s work is heavily inf luenced by Tonalism, a New England school of painting landscapes popular from the 1880s into the early decades of the 1900s. “A lot of people adopted that hazy, gauzy quality,” Pym says, describing it as “an envelope of colour. It’s very atmospheric. The skies typically take on surrealist colours. David Bierk was at the peak of this kind of work.” Pym says his own work “was kind of a stylistic thing that developed. The horizons started to get lower in the paintings, the skies came to dominate. That really appealed to me.”

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Many of his earlier landscapes tend to be on the darker side. However, in the past year, and for most of the paintings in his current show at Viva Vida, he adapted his palette, opting for brighter colours. “I made a vow to stop using burnt sienna or burnt umber,” Pym says. Instead, he added more turquoise, blues and quirky greens. He describes his subjects as minimalist: trees, seas, skies, vistas with limited human interference - no barns or buildings, just the occasional road. “I’m constantly vacillating between overt realism and a symbolic kind of abstraction,” he says. –> Gordon Pym

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“I’ve probably been painting the same two or three trees over and over. A lot of the things I’ve been painting have been internalized. I’ll often use photographic references, but most of what I paint is made up and imaginary and part of that symbolic alphabet I have in my mind,” he says. Even so, he adds, he occasionally needs to get outdoors to reinforce those mental images: “I need to restore the imagery, to go and look at things again, study it so I can use it in my work.”

With a vacation home near the ocean in Maine, it might seem a natural fit to paint in that setting, but Pym says it’s something he’s never managed to do successfully. “I’m a studio painter; I’m not a plein air person. I’ve tried it,” he confesses. Between worrying about his composition, the ever-changing light and colours, struggling with large canvases – not to mention battling bugs and sunstroke – he prefers the studio environment. “Some people do wonderful work outdoors, but it was never my thing.” Recently, Pym’s canvases have been large – mostly 40-by-60 inches, though he says he feels drawn back to painting smaller canvases. “I want to go back to a more intimate size, smaller and in a series, so you could see eight paintings on a wall in a gallery and say they’re all part of the same theme.” Known primarily for his landscapes, Pym also loves drawing. To fulfill his degree requirements at Concordia, he needed drawing credits, and found he was passionate about roads: the elevated highways and overpasses that were built in Montreal in the 1960s, when he was young and impressionable.

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“They were Quebec’s introduction to modernism. I’ve always thought they were really neat and dramatic,” he says. “Then, when I started to draw them, I realized that, like me, this modernist construction had started to get old and fall apart. I got very proficient at it and got a reputation for drawing.” On the basis of that reputation, he was asked to teach a drawing class at the Beaconsfield Arts and Cultural Centre, which he did for a number of years. Now he teaches at the art centre at Viva Vida Gallery, where he’s given classes both on painting and drawing. “I have this belief that everyone can draw,” he says. “It’s my experience that if you just give people the right push, a little bit of teaching, that everyone can draw.” Gordon Pym’s artworks can be viewed at Viva Vida Art Gallery, 278 Lakeshore. Rd., Pointe-Claire, Quebec 514-694-1110, www.vivavidaartgallery.com

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ODE TO JOY

A reconfigured staircase, refurbished mantel, and vibrant colours create a cheerful ambience in this Regency-style plantation home’s music room BY NADINE THOMSON, INTERIOR DESIGNER PHOTOGRAPHY: LUISA G. GONZÁLEZ

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This gracious room in a restored Regency-style plantation home was redesigned so that the homeowner, an accomplished musician, would have a highly functional music room. As a prominent opera singer, she had one key requirement: that the refurbished room have superb acoustics and be central to the flow of the house. What better spot than at the foot of the main floor’s staircase with its 14-foot-high ceilings and openings to the third floor “attic” rooms. Moreover, it is the hub of the house. The room makes a grand statement as a pièce de résistance – a spectacular space that would be the envy of any musician. Here is how the vision became reality:

1. The first and essential element was the reconfiguration of the straight-run staircase. This took enormous courage and vision on the part of the client, who saw the area at the foot of the existing staircase as the ideal space to practice her music as well as perform small, intimate concerts. By turning the staircase on itself and creating two small landings, she paid homage to some of the stately homes of the Regency and BEFORE

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Jacobean periods. The original staircase was shortened by at least three and a half feet to recoup extra square footage in the new music hall. One of the landings creates a half wall, which defines the music room, while the other creates a small hallway effect that gives visitors a sense of entry into the space. The intimacy of the music hall was accomplished without having to sacrifice the space required for a baby grand piano, bookcases, desk, and BEFORE

filing cabinets. It offers ample space for the owner/artist to perform alongside her pianist. The design of the new staircase works harmoniously with the original design by respecting certain elements, including the spindles and the intricate skirt board. Similarly, it was stained in the historic colour. The original portions of the handrail were reused and the same profile was applied to all of the new sections.


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2. Shortening the staircase changed the

4. Blue and yellow are complementary col-

perception of the room’s now-noticeable fireplace, which is centered in the space, and adds warmth and grandeur. The fireplace mantel was relocated from the owner’s previous home; it had been acquired during one of her many “just-found-it-shopping” moments. The over-sized and intricate carving in the mantel is majestic and harmonizes perfectly with the egg-and-dart custom plaster cornice around the room as well as the stain of the meticulously restored windows.

ours, and using them together can create a highly vibrant ambience. Therefore, it is no coincidence that the homeowner used aqua blue as the complementary colour in her new music room. The fireplace’s aqua-blue glass tiles also repeat the colourway used in the adjoining library, which visually connects these two spaces and provides coherence throughout this section of the house. The aqua blue is repeated in the spectacular glass chandelier that hangs over the piano to create a focal point as well as a ‘wow’ factor in the space.

3. The owner is not short on personality, charm and warmth, and naturally gravitated to dynamic colours, often referring to the yellow of her music room as “the happiest of all yellows” (Farrow & Ball Dayroom Yellow 233). The warm and inviting hues create a joyful atmosphere and welcome people into the space.

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A MIXTURE OF STYLES

A Calgary couple ask their designers to combine eclectic design influences in their new home BY SUSAN KELLY PHOTOGRAPHY: JOEL KLASSEN STYLING: ALYKHAN VELJI

THE JOY OF BUILDING a home from the ground up is that everything can be customized, down to the last finishing nail. Emily and Chad Wignes knew what they wanted for the bare bones of their new-build modern house in the Charleswood area of Calgary: about 3,000 square feet over two storeys to share with daughter Sophie, 10, and son Beckett, 8, with three bedrooms, two guest bedrooms, home gym and entertainment area in the basement. But when it came to appointing the main floor’s interior, the couple found their tastes difficult to define. “We wanted a casual and inviting, yet sophisticated home,” says Emily, an executive in the energy industry. “We like some mid-century and some modern, but are rather eclectic and hard to pin down.” –>

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An oak insert on the ceiling over the island helps define the space and create a light and airy look. Pendant lights: Ambit by Muuto; backsplash tiles: Timeless Amani Grey by Cerim; counter stools: West Elm.

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Understated elegance prevails in the dining room, which is used mostly for entertaining. A walnut dining table harmonizes with the surrounding millwork. Table and

For help interpreting that into basic finishes, their builder, West Ridge Fine Homes in Calgary, referred them to interior designers Brent Ellergodt of Brent Ellergodt Design and Lindsay Wilder of Lindsay O. Creative. One of the first things they proposed, the wide-plank engineered white oak flooring, got a big thumbs up from Emily. She finds it adds a fresh and modern touch throughout the home. As well, they reminded her of the Scandinavian-style home she grew up in. Walls painted white with a cool grey tint provide contrast.

The kitchen was a key area for the couple. “Preparing dinner is usually a family affair,” says Emily. “We’re all big on making things from scratch, and we were able to customize the storage so all utensils and such are right where we need them.” And the large centre island provides ample room for all to prepare meals and sit down to enjoy them. In both the kitchen and dining room, contemporary flatfront white cabinetry provides an unobtrusive backdrop, letting the backsplash tiles take the spotlight. For a mid-century touch, all lower cabinetry in both areas plus the dining room’s built-in server are of walnut veneer. –>

chairs: CF Interiors; chandelier: West Elm.

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Adding items with personal meaning was very important for the couple. To that end, they commissioned two original paintings by Calgary artist Megan Jentsch. “They’re beautiful pieces, and we used the vibrant colours for inspiration in furnishing the ground floor,” says Aly Velji, principal designer at Alykhan Velji Designs, whom Emily called upon for the all-important task of pulling together a look through the finishing touches. The larger painting dominates one living room wall, making a bold focal point. To complement it, Velji placed a large sectional sofa in muted aqua over a grey tribal-print rug. He then added a colourful mix of throw

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pillows: textured chartreuse and blue velvets that pick up tones found in the artwork, played against orange botanical-print linen pillows. “Our design firm is known for the way we can combine several styles,” says Velji. “And in the living room, we were able to express all the homeowners’ preferences in the furniture design.” The curved wood-frame armchairs have a mid-century look, while their low-slung profiles add a casual note. The wood coffee table is on the rustic side with an industrial influence. The cubist wood hassocks are modern yet a little tribal, with a touch of whimsy.

With its casual yet chic decor, the family finds the living room an inviting spot in which to hang out. Sectional: CF Interiors; rug: Article; wood and leather stools: CB2.


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(Above) One of the two paintings by Calgary artist Megan Jentsch that the homeowners commissioned sits in a niche in the dining room wall.

With an open-concept layout like this one, Velji says, conformity is what creates cohesion, a flow from front door to kitchen. He accomplished this by repeating certain colours and textures in every room. Leather upholstery, for instance, appears on the stools in the living room, the kitchen counter stools and a front hallway bench. He also added black accents, using the colour on a mirror frame here, an occasional table or rug pattern there. “It ties in the black metal framing found on many doors,” he says. “Plus, all rooms need small touches of it to anchor the eye.” –>

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As well, linen drapery found in the dining room gets a repeat performance in the living room. Emily initially resisted the idea as too old-fashioned but now agrees with Velji that it adds understated elegance and softness to the rooms. He also convinced her that luxury fabrics have become more family-friendly. These days, many come with protective treatments to resist stains. Or there are eco-friendly options homeowners can apply to them, he says. The small touches make the biggest statement in the study off the front hallway. The designer chose a whimsical orange-and-pink take on a Persian rug. It echoes the design of the oriental carpet in the kitchen, a family heirloom cherished by Emily. Lindsay Wilder chose wallpaper that was applied behind floating shelves.

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A dual-sided fireplace, inset into a dividing wall, can be enjoyed from the living room or the kitchen, on which side interior designer Aly Velji created a small lounge area. Rattan armchairs: Ikea; side table: HomeSense; wall tiles: Porcelanosa Ona Blanco.

Velji placed white accessories on the shelves to create an interesting vignette. “We like to style open shelves in an eclectic way, with books and plants, Velji says. “And we interjected mementos of the family’s travels, which were important to them.” The redesign was completed in 10 months and proved a pleasant surprise at every step for Emily. Going in, she had heard it would be a stressful, even nightmarish, process. “But it turned out to be really fun,” she says. “Everyone we dealt with listened to us and was very invested. I love the outcome — it really expresses our ‘un-style’ and totally works for us.”

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FASHIONABLY SUSTAINABLE Some Canadian designers are making clothes with minimal environmental impact BY SUSAN KELLY

FASHION MAY BE MANY THINGS to many people, but good for the planet it is not. Take “fast fashion,” clothing so inexpensive it can be worn for a very brief time. Producing it accounts for millions of tonnes of carbon emissions and other pollutants. And once the fleeting purpose is fulfilled, it becomes disposable and ends up in landfills. Led by such celebrities as Michelle Obama, Cate Blanchett, Emma Watson and the Duchess of Sussex, there’s a growing movement towards sustainable fashion. Which means wearing items made of eco-friendly fabrics, such as responsibly grown cotton, or recycled materials. And they’re preferably produced locally under fair conditions. For now, the number of designers and retailers of environmentally conscious products is limited. Meet five Canadian women working to change that, making sustainable and stylish fashion more accessible.

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PRELOVED – TORONTO Julia Grieve calls herself “an accidental environmentalist.” “When I founded the company in 1995, I just wanted to create unique clothing made from the vintage sweaters I loved,” she says. “Then I took it a step forward.” Preloved pioneered mass-producing women’s sportswear using many types of recycled knitwear, plus men’s suits or fabric overruns from other manufacturers. Julia Roberts, Kirsten Dunst and Anne Hathaway are among the long list of celebs spotted wearing the label designed and made in the Scarborough facility.

Regular folks can buy online or from boutiques across Canada and the United States. It was no accident that Grieve walked the 2019 Canadian Arts & Fashion Awards red carpet in May; Preloved was nominated for the H&M Sustainability Award. She is often called to speak or appear on panels about sustainable fashion and believes she brings a fresh take. “While there are many serious discussions ongoing about sustainability, I think it’s important to also focus on the positive side,” she says. “You can make a difference and still have fun; it is fashion, after all.” www.getpreloved.com –>

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INNER FIRE – VANCOUVER Serendipity also played a part in Leah Emmott’s transition from yoga teacher to designer and company CEO. Eight years ago, she developed an ovarian cyst that required surgery. During her recovery, she played with creating yoga tops with catchy slogans, employing her skills in graphic design and marketing. And her designs quickly ignited interest in the yoga community and beyond. “I called my company Inner Fire because the tumour had been replaced by a new kind of fire in my belly,” she says. Today, her label produces yoga and lifestyle wear for both men and women sold in hundreds of boutiques across North America. Known for nature-inspired prints, Emmott also continues a yogic dedication to promoting more mindful consumerism. Every item is made to last many years and produced in Vancouver of responsibly sourced materials. She credits much of her success to the community of people attracted by her brand’s ethos and the story behind it. “People want authenticity in more than just the fabrics,” she says. “That is an important element of my business as is making an impact in both the local and global communities.” www.myinnerfire.com

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Photos: Peter Nguyen

Model: Michaela Zinsmeister

TANYA THÉBERGE – TORONTO This sustainable fashion designer once sewed close to $750,000 worth of ethical diamonds on a Garrison Bespoke jacket worn by Drake. And couture embroidery, minus diamonds, features highly in her most recent women’s collection, Théberge Army. “I’m both an army brat and a rebel, so the collection puts a new twist on military,” she says. She learned haute couture techniques in Paris at the École de la chambre syndicale, whose alumni include Issye Miyake and Valentino. Every one of the dresses or jackets she produces is unique, made to order for the customer. And Théberge insists on sustainability in every link of the supply chain. It wasn’t enough to use fabric made from recycled water bottles; she visited the landfills in Haiti from which they were culled. In her next collection, out in the autumn, she tackles denim, a fabric known to be highly polluting. For now, she lets her collection, only available through her website, to shine on its own merit. “I want my designs to be wearable way beyond one season, yet not look sustainable,” she says. “I don’t follow trends or cycles; my designs are strong and timeless.” www.tanyatheberge.com –>

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SOULiers STUDIO – OTTAWA For many, veganism goes beyond dietary choice to infuse a lifestyle. SOULiers Studio founder and owner Lise Beutel wanted to walk the talk. But finding stylish shoes and accessories that were also vegan proved an exercise in frustration. “I figured there were other women out there like me, and so, two years ago, I set up an online shop to make it easy for them,” she says. Through the website, you can order a killer set of statement stilettos or browse the core collection, meant to be worn everyday in the real world. She carries major brands of animal and cruelty-free products,

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such as Meghan Markle’s fave sneaker line, Veja. There also are lesser-known labels that combine European flair and craftsmanship, including Bordeaux-based Minuit sur Terre or Fera Libens of Milan. Beutel also sells men’s shoes, and women’s handbags, belts and other accessories, available through her website only. Orders over $100 ship free of charge in Canada. “I have an excellent return policy,” she says. “Plus, I offer the kind of personalized service you’d expect from a small boutique.” Which means she’s available via email to consult on any fit or style dilemmas you may have. www.souliersstudio.com


Photos: Naomie Tremblay

FASHION • HOME IN CANADA • TRENDS 2019

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NOÉMIAH – MONTREAL A flight of fancy took Noémie Vaillancourt into the world of fashion design. In 2008 while pursuing a master’s degree in French literature, she started making fun, flirty jewelry with feathers as a hobby. They were a hit with classmates. “I loved playing with the colours and natural patterns in each,” she says. Fast forward: she abandoned academic life to study the technical side of fashion production, interning with prominent Montreal designers Valerie Dumaine and Travis Tadeo. In 2015, she founded Noémiah and launched her first prêt-à-porter collection, combining her sense of whimsy with crisp, minimal lines. And using responsibly produced natural fibres and biodegradable fabrics, sewn locally. Vaillancourt is best known for her playful original prints and embroidered patterns, all developed in collaboration with local artists and graphic designers. “I try to be aware of my surroundings and the planet the best I can in my little business,” she says. “Now, even the big fashion players are moving in the sustainable direction. Maybe together we can create a critical mass.” www.noemiah.com

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ART

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ART WITH  HEART

In addition to representing and promoting local artists, this Montreal-area gallery is active in community life

BY CHERYL CORNACCHIA

THINK OF IT AS the little art gallery that could. Since opening at the end of a recession, in 2009, the Viva Vida Art Gallery has grown and prospered from a small storefront locale representing a handful of artists into an exciting and vibrant arts centre in the heart of old Pointe-Claire Village, in suburban Montreal. This summer, it celebrates its 10th anniversary.

Martine Legrand

There is so much happening at Viva Vida these days, it’s difficult to keep track. The gallery now represents more than 25 contemporary artists who work in paint, mixed media, glass, metal, sculpture, fibre arts and prints. It holds exhibitions and one-of-a-kind shows, and operates a website for online sales (www. vivavidaartgallery.com). Amélie Montplaisir, David Kelavey, Lorne Wisebrod, Gordon Pym, and Denise Buisman Pilger are among the artists the gallery represents. Throughout the year, Viva Vida plays host to hundreds of local children at its one-week art camps. (The very first camp saw one child sign up.) And it has become a community Nedia El Khouri, gallery owner 146

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hub: this spring, close to 100 people turned out at the gallery for an art auction in support of the Pointe-Claire Historical Society. The event was just the latest of many local causes the gallery has sponsored over the years. “We want to be part of Village life,” says Nedia El Khouri, the gallery’s Brazilian-born owner. “ ‘Viva Vida’ is Portuguese,” she explains. “It means celebrate life, live life (to the fullest).” She says the Brazilian phrase represents her philosophy perfectly. She loves contemporary art and wants to use it to educate the young and enrich people’s lives. “Art adds to our quality of life,” she says. “Art is life and life is art. It’s been my motto since the beginning.”


ART • HOME IN CANADA • TRENDS 2019

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Gordon Pym

El Khouri graduated with a fine arts degree from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD University), and she furthered her studies, eventually obtaining a masters degree from Boston University in arts education. After a five-year sojourn in Brazil following her studies in Halifax, she decided to make Quebec her home, the gallery her life: “I just jumped in,” she says. “I thought if I don’t do it, I would always regret it.” El Khouri’s efforts have not gone unnoticed. Viva Vida Art Gallery was a finalist for the West Island of Montreal Chamber of Commerce Accolades Award for Small Business in 2012, and that same year, it was recognized for the WIMCC Ambassador Status for Exceptional Business Community Leadership. In October, the gallery will host the 2019 Elected Members Exhibition for the Society of Canadian Artists. “It is quite a substantial event,” says El Khouri. “This is an across-Canada exhibition and when held in Quebec, it has usually been hosted in downtown Montreal.” As Viva Vida marks its 10-year anniversary with several fun activities this summer, including the painting of a new mural in

Denise Buisman Pilger

David Kelavey

Pointe-Claire Village by its young art students, the owner is thinking of new ways to expand the gallery and its reach even further. To that aim, says El Khouri, she has teamed up with an art collective in Curitiba, the largest city in the southern Brazilian state of Paraná. Her goal is to take the work of Montreal-area contemporary artists to Brazil and bring the work of Brazilian artists to Quebec. “Viva Vida,” she says. “Art is life; life is art.”

Viva Vida Art Gallery 278 Lakeshore Rd. Pointe-Claire, Quebec 514-694-1110 www.vivavidaartgallery.com

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LIFESTYLE

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HERE TO STAY

The alignment of the celestial bodies instills in us a need to respect, revere, nurture and clean our sacred planet BY SUSAN KELLY

VIRTUALLY EVERY 2019 trend report included green or sustainable decor. Will it still make the list in 2020? If the planets have anything to say about it, this issue will feature highly for many years to come. A planet is said to be in a sign when, seen from earth, its orbit takes it into that zodiac neighbourhood. The slower-moving planets from Jupiter on out have to do with collective influences or trends. And three out of five are in what are known as earth signs now, becoming four, once Jupiter enters the club in December. The earth signs — Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn — are very – well, down to earth. When a planet embraces this energy, the focus shifts to what’s real, to being productive and creating tangible results. Along with

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this comes a desire to conserve, put down roots, build or craft things. These signs tend to value life and the planet that sustains it, too. The ecology movement began in the late 1960s, around the time when two outer planets conjoined in the earth sign of Virgo. Looking ahead to 2020, there will be three planets in Capricorn and one in Taurus, an intense concentration. Many astrologers are predicting a giant reset button will be hit then, with far-reaching social, political and economic ramifications. And high on that list is the sustainable agenda. Here are just some of the trends that bear the earth sign stamp of approval for 2019 and beyond:

New kinds of new builds: The planet Uranus, bringer of innovation, will be in Taurus for the next seven years. Expect to see sweeping changes in how land is used and homes are made. The rise of tiny homes and “cargotecture,” homes built mainly or entirely of recycled shipping containers, is only the beginning of a creative new wave. Affordable and sustainable: Earth signs are very thrifty and abhor waste. This should shift the trend toward affordable, sustainable building materials into high gear. Look for more accessible options from floorboards to roof tiles, even recycled steel beams. And it’s not just for new builds; existing homes will be retrofitted with the latest eco-friendly upgrades to energy and water systems.


LIFESTYLE • HOME IN CANADA • TRENDS 2019

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More conscious design: Capricorn is all about doing more with much less. With three planets in that sign, minimalism could become an obsession. Smaller homes and condos have opened our minds to furniture that incorporates more function. And possibly multi-tasks, as in a coffee table that converts to dining table. Expect more retailers to provide furniture and storage options that help us make better use of space. Handmade elements: Designers are tuning into clients’ earth sign-driven need to feel more in touch with terra firma and their roots. Look for a surge in demand away from mass-produced items to the one-ofa-kind, which use such responsibly produced natural materials as jute, stone and clay to ground a space’s design. Repurposed and upcycled: Waste is anathema to both Taurus and Capricorn. They also share a practical approach and tendency to become attached to material things. This could lead to a rise in interest in preserving family heirlooms or antique items with historical value. Quality is a big issue for Capricorn, a sign that has a penchant for designer labels, too. There should be a greater call to employ recycled materials in an upscale way, with no sacrifice of style or elegance.

Sustainable communities: Capricorn has to do with government and major institutions that make regulations and standards. Through 2020, we could see a strong call for federal and local incentives to make sustainable living easily achievable for more people. In 2021, communal-minded and progressive Aquarius will enter the mix, perhaps making sustainable home communities a mainstream option. Go Greenery: Houseplants have made a huge comeback in interiors of all styles. This growing trend ties in with the earth signs’ love of Mother Nature and healthy living, since they are known to improve air quality. Living walls will probably continue to invade our inner spaces, and there will be an even greater call for green roofs on the outer. The trend for sustainable decor and housing is far from fleeting — and not just for earth signs. When it comes to giving back to the planet, every zodiac sign has a unique gift to contribute. Here is a brief guide:

ARIES (MARCH 21 - APRIL 19) Your gift: Being a warrior for change. You possess an innate need to lead the way and activate. Pick a green cause that others overlook and then use your fiery nature to inspire others.

LEO (JULY 23 - AUGUST 22) Your gift: Attracting attention. You bring flair to everything you touch, living a stylish, even luxury lifestyle others envy. Challenge yourself to set a more responsible example, building and decorating responsibly.

TAURUS (APRIL 20 - MAY 20) Your gift: Naturally doing the right thing. Simple green measures such as recycling come easily. Dare yourself to be more extreme, perhaps drastically retrofitting your home to be more eco-efficient.

VIRGO (AUGUST 23 - SEPTEMBER 22) Your gift: Doing the right thing. Concern for your immediate environment tops your hierarchy of needs. Expand your horizons to think more about the community at large. And try to keep criticism on the helpful side.

GEMINI (MAY 21 - JUNE 20) Your gift: Getting the word out. But you need to do more than just talk a good green game. Air quality is very important, so perhaps focus on that in your home. Do your bit to be carbon-neutral.

LIBRA (SEPTEMBER 23 - OCTOBER 22) Your gift: Bringing people together. Make every gathering a chance to forward your agenda. Steer on and offline conversations towards green themes. Or, host a fundraiser for an eco-cause close to your heart.

CANCER (JUNE 21 - JULY 22) Your gift: Nurturing others. You know the importance of good food but don’t always buy consciously. Shop more at farmers’ markets or find a backyard or urban communal garden in which to grow your own.

SCORPIO (OCTOBER 23 - NOVEMBER 21) Your gift: Research. Use it to discover the latest options in green living. Is there a major polluter nearby or unsafe product on store shelves? You could mount a campaign that will lead to needed change.

SAGITTARIUS (NOVEMBER 22 DECEMBER 21) Your gift: Walking the talk. You’re good at big-picture thinking. But with your love of world travel, are you really offsetting the CO2 emissions it causes? Look for inventive ways to do so. CAPRICORN (DECEMBER 22 JANUARY 19) Your gift: Setting the agenda. Your management abilities are the stuff of legend. Use them to make the sustainable cause integral at home and at work. Then use your negotiation skills to get others onboard. AQUARIUS (JANUARY 20 - FEBRUARY 18) Your gift: Innovative solutions. You either love or hate technology, nothing in between. Either way, green living is a logical choice for you, and you’ll find inventive ways to incorporate the latest trends in your home. PISCES (FEBRUARY 19 - MARCH 20) Your gift: Sensitivity. You can use it to pinpoint contaminants in your home and make the space as green as possible. And globally, you naturally support efforts to clean up the oceans or water supply.

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DESIGN

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MIX AND MATCH An eclectic combination of colours, patterns and shapes makes a lively home for a young family

BY PHILLIPA RISPIN PHOTOGRAPHY: STEPHANI BUCHMAN STYLING: ALI BUDD

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DESIGN

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THERE’S AN OLD SAYING: Children should be seen and not heard. It makes one wonder because, until about the middle of the 20th century, the open-plan concept for home design wasn’t common. The average house was divided into many rooms, and it wasn’t all that easy for Mum to keep an eye on the children while she was busy in the kitchen. This Rosedale heritage home used to be one of those houses. Lauren Levy and her husband Benjie liked the site and the bones of the structure when they saw it but knew immediately that it would need to be renovated.

(Left) Bright splashes of rose gold add sparkle to the main-floor powder room. (Above) In the living room, the pale floor, sofa, coffee table and soft furnishings are contrasted against the intense dark blue of the walls and built-ins. All millwork: Watchtower Interiors.

“It wouldn’t suit our lifestyle,” says Lauren, who has a large extended family and co-owns the maternity clothing boutique Ani + Wren. “It had an outdated style and a lot of closed rooms. We have four kids age six and under, and we need to see what they’re doing.” The house also had other quirks, including a master suite that occupied the entire third f loor. A full gut job was called for, courtesy of builder Bryan Letofsky of Jordyn Developments, with the rebuild following the design of architect Drew Laszlo. Because it is a heritage house, the front facade is unchanged, but the rest of the place is now thoroughly 21st century. –>

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“You have to juggle, play with scale, proportion and finishes, mixing and matching until you have just the right amount of crazy.”

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DESIGN

It’s also thoroughly the Levy family’s eclectic style, achieved with the help of interior designer Ali Budd. “Lauren and her husband like a lot of colour,” says Budd. “This is not like anyone else’s house. Lauren’s in the fashion biz, and she’s willing to take risks. The decor is specific to her.” How specific is specific? In the Ali Budd tradition, the home features many custom-made furnishings designed by her company, including a standout dining table whose Escher-like surface design was suggested by Lauren and interpreted by Budd, then built by the craftspeople at Cabinet and Marble Treasure.

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“It’s still one of my favourite pieces,” says Budd. “Two different companies worked on it. It’s inlaid wood clad in marble, and there are three different wood finishes.” In the same room, there is a wet bar with a backsplash of tiles flown in from Germany. It has a pattern different from the tabletop, which is different from the buffet front, but the patterns work together, because they all feature angular designs in shades of black, white and grey. Dark teal green velour upholstery on the curvy dining chairs provides a warm contrast.

The hard edges of the furniture and patterns in the dining area of the great room are softened by dark green chairs, which are curvy and plush. Custom-made upholstered furniture throughout the home: Cooper Brothers.


DESIGN • HOME IN CANADA • TRENDS 2019

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There’s plenty of room in the 3,000-squarefoot home to accommodate all that pattern and colour without the space seeming overdone or crowded. Budd got there by “constant mixing and matching and pulling; designing all at once,” she says. “You have to juggle, play with scale, proportion and finishes, mixing and matching until you have just the right amount of crazy. It’s always about the edit.” Adds Lauren, “My husband and I love colour. We’re open to colour and pattern. We like a cool, chic aesthetic but it must be functional. There’s a fine balance between looking amazing and being highly functional. Ali is so good at that balancing act.” –>

The bar in the dining area features yet another pattern, but because it’s in black and white and is geometric, it mixes well with the table’s and sideboard’s patterns. Gold-coloured accents appear in many rooms of the home.

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DESIGN • HOME IN CANADA • TRENDS 2019

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The basement includes a bathroom and a playroom for the children. The home’s aesthetic of geometric patterns and bold colours extends into even the laundry room.

During construction, Benjie was very involved in terms of logistics, while Lauren gave most of the input to Ali in terms of furnishings and decor. “The biggest thing was the kitchen, the main-floor area,” Lauren says. “I knew the great room would be used a lot. As that area began to come together, I visited often. I was so excited to see it evolve over time. I knew it was where the family would be spending the most time together.” The Levy family has been here for three years now. Lauren says that the home feels lived in. She and Benjie wanted their home to feel “modern and current but not cold and sterile. This is a home, not a museum.” That conclusion is amply illustrated in home life. “We entertain a ton,” Lauren says. “We have a big family, lots of friends. There’s a pool in the backyard; we have no cottage. In summer, the house is just a revolving door. Every Sunday we have people over, or they drop by. It’s what I’ve always wanted. I love that we have a place where people can hang out.”

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LIFESTYLE

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INSURING AGAINST THE INEVITABLE AND THE UNFORESEEN Rosenthal Life Group serves both homeowners and businesses

HAVE YOU HEARD THE EXPRESSION house-rich and cash-poor? It refers to someone who has much of their equity tied up in real estate – be it a starter home, a substantial principal residence, or a vacation cottage – and has little ready cash. It can be a perilous situation but, according to Peter and Lowen Rosenthal, good planning can ensure that you’re not caught short when something unexpected happens. The Rosenthals, père et fils, are co-presidents of Rosenthal Life Group, a financial service insurance business that offers not simply insurance but also strategies for living benefits and wealth management as well as tax and estate planning. Lowen founded the company in 1974, and Peter joined in 2006. They’re a dynamic team in a thriving enterprise. With two Bachelor of Commerce degrees, an MBA, and a wealth of experience between them, the Rosenthals are bullish on what they can do for clients.

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“There is no father and son team in the city of Montreal as successful as we are,” says Lowen. “I’m tooting my own horn, but there’s a reason for it: for example, many of the strategies we have apply to people who own property.” The two men tend to have their clientele in different life stages. Peter has mostly younger, successful clients, and offers financial

planning for their families and their growing businesses. “The younger generation buys insurance to protect their mortgages and to protect income for their family so that they can survive in the event of a death or disability,” he says. They also want to insure their business partners for key person and buy/sell needs. Thus, the company brokers such products as individual and corporate


LIFESTYLE • HOME IN CANADA • TRENDS 2019

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“Everything we do is applicable to not only homeowners but also to suppliers who provide all the products that homeowners buy.”

life insurance as well as group, disability and critical-illness insurance. Lowen concentrates more on wealth transfer and estate-planning techniques, serving older clients who want to leave an inheritance for their children but have large tax liabilities. “Many of my wealthy clients are investing either personally or within their family holding companies in different types

of investments, including real estate,” Lowen says. “I can show them how we could join a life insurance policy and a tax-exempt investment so that, at the end of the day, it ends up in their children’s or grandchildren’s hands at a rate of return that is both guaranteed and variable but is far greater than any rate of return they could get for an equivalent type of risk product.”

The Rosenthals provide specific corporate insurance strategies for their clients. Says Peter: “We provide life insurance for business purposes in a unique and tax-efficient way in order to minimize insurance costs for the purchaser.” A particular strategy marries a life insurance product with a bank loan, thereby reducing the cost to a fraction of traditional life insurance premiums. Whether you own one home or several properties; are building or renovating your home; are salaried, self-employed, or own a business, insurance issues must be dealt with. You’d be wise to ensure that your suppliers and tradespeople are properly covered as well. A large business that builds homes and buildings to a medium-sized company that installs swimming pools to a small company that makes and installs ornamental railings. “Everything we do is applicable to not only homeowners but also to suppliers who provide all the products that homeowners buy,” says Lowen. Rosenthal Life Group Inc. 4612 Ste-Catherine St. W., Westmount 514-932-2577 www.rosenthallifegroup.ca

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BUYERS’ GUIDE

GREEN IS BEAUTIFUL De Waal Developments Ltd. www.dewaaldevelopments.ca 780-708-3138

HIGH-QUALITY BEDDING IS ALWAYS IN DEMAND Linen Chest www.linenchest.com

OF THE EARTH AND FOR THE EARTH Aerecura www.aerecura.ca 289-251-3611

RESPECTFUL UPDATE Rochelle Cantor, Real Estate Broker Engel & Völkers rochelle.cantor@engelvoelkers.com 514-507-7888

TRASH TALK The Zero Waste Collective: www.thezerowastecollective.com 226-343-0657

Stones Throw Design Inc. www.stonesthrowdesigninc.com 416-898-8089

THE LURE OF THE HORIZON Viva Vida Art Gallery www.vivavidaartgallery.com 514-694-1110 ODE TO JOY Nadine Thomson Interior Design www.nadinethomson.com 514-775-2259 ART WITH HEART Viva Vida Art Gallery www.vivavidaartgallery.com 514-694-1110 A MIXTURE OF STYLES Alykhan Velji Designs www.alyveljidesigns.com/team/ 403-617-2406 Ellergodt Design www.beginwithdesign.com Lindsay O. Creative www.locreative.houzz.com 403-869-8653 THE FUTURE IS KARIM Karim Rashid www.karimrashid.com 202-929-8657 REDESIGNED, REPURPOSED, REDONE Atelier SUWA www.s-uwa.ca 514-654-7892 Brodsky & Bond www.brodskybond.com 514-581-2635 MOVING NEXT DOOR Carriage Lane Design-Build www.carriagelanedesigns.com 905-625-1444 SUSTAINABLY LUXURIOUS Claxton + Marsh www.claxtonmarsh.com 226-780-0234

Tiny Trash Can: www.tinytrashcan.com 514-430-4732 Life without Plastic: www.lifewithoutplastic.com 819-957-0710 A Greener Future: www.agreenerfuture.ca 705 791 5358 MIX AND MATCH Ali Budd Interiors Inc. www.alibuddinteriors.com 416-519-5328 Cabinet www.cabinetfurniture.ca 416-923-9234 ~ 416-777-9234 Cooper Bros. www.cooperbros.com 416-789-7671 ~ 1-877-785-4330 Drew Laszlo Architect Inc. www.dlarchitect.ca 416-781-5800 Jordyn Developments www.jordyndev.com 416-637-2046 Marble Treasure Inc. www.marbletreasure.com 903-303-8007 Watchtower Interiors Inc. www.watchtowerinteriors.com 647-341-1927 NARROW SPACE / WIDE IMPACT la Shed Architecture www.lashedarchitecture.com 514-277-6897 BUILDING BETTER HOMES AND COMMUNITIES Fourth Pig Green & Natural Construction www.fourthpig.org 888-391-4474 416-778-5223 Tooketree Passive Homes www.tooketree.com 705-767-2392

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FASHIONABLY SUSTAINABLE Preloved www.getpreloved.com 416-703-1936 Noémiah www.noemiah.com Souliers Studio www.souliersstudio.com 613-680-7608 Inner Fire www.myinnerfire.com 604-828-0698 Tanya Theberge www.tanyatheberge.com 647-969-8757 ZERO-WASTE RETAIL The Tare Shop www.thetareshop.com 902-266-6253 Vrac et Bocaux www.vracetbocaux.ca 514-379-1007 Nu Grocery www.nugrocery.com 613- 729-1995 Karma Co-op www.karmacoop.org 416-534-1470 Canary Goods www.canarygoods.ca Nada Grocery www.nadagrocery.com 778-806-3783 The Soap Dispensary and Kitchen Staples www.thesoapdispensary.com 604-568-3141


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NEXT ISSUE

As summer winds down, we turn our attention toward the interiors of our homes. Autumn gives us the impetus to warm up our rooms for the cold weather ahead with woolly throws, oversized cushions, scented candles and drapes that keep out the drafts. The Autumn issue of Home in Canada is all about design that brings us joy and makes us want to hunker down. We’ll also take you into some of the coolest restaurants across the country that specialize in Indigenous cuisine. And we’ll look at various arts – from ceramics and painting to the ancient practice of stringing mala beads. The Autumn issue will be on sale in early September.

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Home In Canada -Montreal - Trends 2019  

Contains a feature interview with Karim Rashid by our publisher Sharon Azrieli

Home In Canada -Montreal - Trends 2019  

Contains a feature interview with Karim Rashid by our publisher Sharon Azrieli