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THE

WINTER

ISSUE

FOR ART’S SAKE A home is redesigned around its owners’ art

BUILT FOR THE VIEWS A shoreline home designed

GO SOUTH

Travel destinations: Mexico and French Polynesia

for vistas of Lake Ontario

SLEEP TIGHT

COCOON ROOMS Make your home winter-cozy

Our guide to beautiful bedding

ENERGY-EFFICIENT WINDOWS AND DOORS

RUG ART

$5.95

CAST STONE MANTELS

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MUD GUARD The well-designed mudroom


“Great design will forever change your perspective...” – Michael Pourvakil, President

Weavers Art has curated a dynamic collection of ten neutral rug designs with a twist! The movement, patterns and subtle hints of colour, give way to a new perspective of sophisticated rugs suitable for transitional and contemporary living spaces. These designs are hand-knotted in silk & wool fibers by our expert team of weavers. Creativity, knowledge and innovation are hallmarks of the Weavers Art collections. I would like to personally invite you to our showroom to view this dynamic collection curated in our gallery setting. Looking forward to seeing you soon!


Top left to bottom right Zenith 109 Satara Modern Mosaic Zenith Glacier Flamingo II Ville Zenith 112 Folding Clouds High Street American Falls


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EDITOR’S LETTER

WHENEVER I MENTION to someone that I really like winter, I am always met with a look of stunned surprise … sometimes, horror. Canadians, it seems, are hardy people, skilled at dealing with the rigours of cold weather. But with the exception of those who want to spend every minute on the ski slopes, few admit to having an affection for the season of snow, freezing rain, frigid temperatures, howling winds and long hours of darkness. What about the dangerous driving conditions, they protest, to say nothing of the time it takes to liberate one’s parked car once it’s entombed in ice and snow. No, it’s understandable that winter is a hard sell in this country. However, winter gives us an opportunity to slow down and cocoon indoors. After spending the warm months being active outside – and there is great joy in that – the darkness and cold of winter persuade us that it’s time to hunker down, light some candles, build a fire in the hearth, brew some tea and curl up with a good book. At least that’s what the season says to me when the wind is screeching outside and the snow is accumulating. The cold outdoors seems to amplify the coziness factor indoors. For those of you who are not yet enamoured of the frigid season, I hope that this issue may change your mind. We asked blogger La Carmina for her guidance on how to cocoon successfully without getting cabin fever. If anyone can sell the virtues of winter, she does in her delightful advice-filled column.

One indoor space that gets plenty of use during the winter months is the mudroom. This transitional area between the outdoors and the inner sanctum of home needn’t be dull and utilitarian, writer Susan Kelly tells us. Her story focuses on how designers are creating mudrooms that are as aesthetic as other areas of the house. They’re a pleasure to behold when their owners come in from the cold. Our bedding guide will show you where to get the best linens and throws for your bed so you can cocoon with that cup of tea and good book under a puffy duvet. And because we know that not every Canadian wants to hunker down indoors all winter, we profile two travel destinations that will make you forget about the cold months in Canada: Mexico’s Riviera Maya and French Polynesia. Whichever camp you’re in – “hurray, it’s winter!” or “take me to the airport; I’m heading south” – this issue of Toronto Home has some fine stories that I know will please you. Now, where did I stow my mittens and windshield scraper when I put them away last spring?

STEPHANIE WHITTAKER Editor-in-Chief stephanie@movatohome.com

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

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THE WINTER ISSUE


FOPE .COM

38 AVENUE ROAD, TORONTO 416 921 9200 • KNAR.COM


CONTRIBUTORS

LA CARMINA Writer La Carmina travels to more than a dozen destinations yearly in search of offbeat stories for the millions of readers of her LaCarmina.com blog. Her trip to the Riviera Maya left her brimming with inspiration. “As a goth, I especially loved the Day of the Dead skeleton art and Mayan pyramids,” she says. “Now that it’s cold in Canada, I’m dreaming of being back on the beach in Mexico!” For now, La Carmina says she’s staying cozy in her apartment, which she details in her story about winter cocooning. She is the author of three books, and appears regularly on travel TV shows, including “Bizarre Foods” and “No Reservations.”

SARAH B. HOOD Sarah B. Hood has often covered the Toronto cultural scene in her writing for such outlets as Spacing magazine, the National Post and Toronto Life. She also has a strong interest in contemporary art, which made it a pleasure to explore a collector’s home for her story she wrote for this issue.

Volume 7, Number 6, Winter Issue 2017/2018 Date of Issue: December 2017

6100 TransCanada Highway Suite 100, Pointe-Claire Quebec H9R 1B9

PUBLISHER Sharon Azrieli CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER Stanley Kirsh

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Stephanie Whittaker ART DIRECTOR

SUSAN KELLY Writer and long-time Toronto Home contributor Susan Kelly takes on another trend for us. This time, she talked to six designers about how to elevate the style of the once-lowly mudroom. “Just in time for boot season,” she says. “But longer term, mudrooms are getting a lot of design attention these days, and rightly so.” Susan also profiled the update of a downtown contemporary condo, and two artists who work in very different media. Rug designer Erbil Tezcan took her inside the process of creating exquisite contemporary works that lie underfoot rather than on the wall. And she caught a glimpse of how Victoria multimedia artist Lyle Schultz translates cartoon imagery into colourful canvasses. “Both have very strong visions and the drive to make them a reality,” she says.

ROSE BARROSO Rose Barroso, owner of Barroso Homes in Toronto, has been a builder of custom homes for the past 12 years. Specializing in building luxury contemporary homes, Rose is passionate about her vocation. For this issue, she did the styling for a photo shoot of a home that she designed and built in the Kingsway neighbourhood of Toronto.

Randy Laybourne EDITORIAL MANAGER Tracey MacKenzie ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT Carmen Lefebvre CONTRIBUTORS Julie Gedeon

CLAIRE NEWELL

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CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER Matthew Azrieli PRODUCTION DIRECTOR Wendy Loper

ACCOUNTING Jenny Marques DIRECTOR OF SALES - NATIONAL Kelly Chicoine DIRECTOR OF REGIONAL SALES - ONTARIO Grant Wells

Sarah B. Hood La Carmina

SALES EXECUTIVE

Susan Kelly

Joanne Mayoff

Claire Newell DIGITAL MARKETING PHOTOGRAPHY

Karine Bellisha

Larry Arnal Michael Graydon Robert Holowka STYLING Ashley Barrey Rose Barroso

Travel expert Claire Newell has visited more than 65 countries and says there are more on her bucket list. She’s the official travel expert for Global News and CKNW radio, and is the bestselling author of Travel Best Bets: An Insider’s Guide to Taking Your Best Trip Ever. Claire has appeared on NBC’s TODAY Show, Fox News and CNN, and has been published in Success, Professional Woman, Reader’s Digest and Today’s Parent. For this issue, she writes about why French Polynesia is an ideal destination for anyone who needs to slow down and unplug.

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COLLECTIONS Trudy Kerman LEGAL DEPOSIT issn

1927-324x Toronto Home

Magazine Inc. 2017.

Rodney Deeprose

All rights reserved. Any copying or

Kirsten Marshall

reproduction of content without the written permission of Toronto Home Magazine is strictly prohibited.


CONTENTS

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118 ON THE COVER CONDO CONTRAST A designer uses vibrant hues in a Toronto condo against a backdrop of black and white

92 WATERFRONT VISTA

A new home is situated on the shores of Lake Ontario to afford views of the water and gardens

40 PARADISE FOUND

French Polynesia is an exotic locale in which to unplug from the busyness of life

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COMICS AND CULTURE

The unusual art of Victoria’s Lyle Schultz has some surprising influences

128


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CONTENTS

IVY LEAGUE

A contemporary home gets a facade with the warm effect that ivy has on traditional buildings

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10 EDITOR’S LETTER 18 THIS JUST IN A selection of new items for your home

50 BIG WINDOWS THAT ARE ENERGY-EFFICIENT The newest technology in windows and doors allows you to keep the heat in all winter

54 BEAUTY UNDERFOOT

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Rug designer Erbil Tezcan transforms photographic images into one-of-a-kind carpets

64 MUD GUARD

SUNSHINE, BEACHES AND AN ANCIENT CULTURE

While useful during inclement weather, today’s mudrooms are also aesthetic spaces

Mexico’s Riviera Maya offers the winter-weary a warm welcome and plenty to see and do

84 FIT FOR A PRESIDENT The presidential suites at the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia offer sweet luxury

88 MANTEL MAGIC Cast stone is a lightweight and customizable material for fireplace mantels

102 SLEEP WELL Our guide to linens and throws that will make your bedroom warm and cozy this winter

134 STAY HOME AND STAY WARM There are many wonderful ways to cocoon indoors this winter

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THE WINTER ISSUE

FOR ART’S SAKE

A home is redesigned to reflect the owners’ collection of contemporary art

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DESIGN

1. WILLOW WOW The Willow sofa from Barrymore recalls the graceful design of simpler times. With dimensions that are appropriate for either condo or home settings, the Willow boasts gently curving arms and features a tight back, comfy seating and turned wood legs. Two lumbar cushions offer support and an opportunity for coordinating fabric. 83˝ W x 37˝ D x 36˝ H. Barrymore Furniture 1168 Caledonia Rd., North York 416-532-2891

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1 3

www.barrymorefurniture.com

3. AN OPEN-AND-CLOSE CASE Italian custom furniture manufacturer Olivieri has developed some of the largest sliding closet doors on the market, measuring two metres wide and as tall as 2.6 metres. Specialized

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2. OPULENCE UNDERFOOT

hardware permits them

“Luxurious and opulent” describes Irvine from the

to open and close easily.

Brittania Collection. This carpeting features a thick

The inner compartment

tencel-and-wool-fibre mix that interlaces to form a

can be customized to include any of a number of

refined braided stripe. It can be ordered as a

shelves, rods, drawers, pull-out racks and LED lights.

custom-sized rug or for wall-to-wall installation in a

Sliding doors available in various matte or high-gloss-

variety of six colours. Ideal for residential use.

lacquered colours and wood veneer options.

Allan Rug

O.NIX Design Boutique

103 Miranda Ave., Toronto

550 Queen St. E., #G121, Toronto

416-787-1707

647-499-1150

www.allanrug.com

www.onixdesigns.ca

THE WINTER ISSUE


FURNITURE & DESIGN

85 Navy Street, Oakville 905.849.8537 8 Brock Road, Guelph 519.822.2929 accentsforliving.ca


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DESIGN

1. PERFECT PEARLS

2. TWISTS AND TURNS

Any time of day is the right time to wear

This 16-light chandelier, made of polished nickel with

these 18kt white gold vintage-inspired drop

matte black accents, is a fusion of Mid-century Modern

earrings that have 5.23ct of diamonds and a

design and urban industrial styling. It’s 28 inches in

16mm pearl on each. 

diameter, and made in the U.S.

Mark Lash

Litemode

480 Eglinton Ave. W., Toronto ~ 416-256-5229

8355 Jane St., Unit 2, Vaughan

9033 Leslie St., Richmond Hill ~ 905-881-5229

905-738-8889

www.marklash.com

www.litemode.ca 2

1 3

3. LET’S TAKE MANHATTAN Called “Lower Manhattan,” this rug’s design includes a unique high-and-low-pile feature in silken woven fibres. Hints of deep purple, seen from afar, are woven into the pattern to create this dynamic design. Weavers Art 1400 Castlefield Ave., Toronto ~ 416–929-7929 162 Bedford Rd., Toronto ~ 416–923-7929 255 Bass Pro Mills Dr., Vaughan ~ 905-660-7929 www.weaversart.com

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DESIGN TORONTO WINTER 2017/2018

4. HANDLING IT WELL The new Prestige Collection from Lepage Millwork features lift-and-slide handle sets. Designed and made in Italy, these contemporary handles add sleek sophistication to a room. Chateau Window & Door Systems 90 Tycos Dr., Suite 1, Toronto 416-783-3916 www.chateauwindows.com

5. FALLING FOR AMERICA “American Falls” is an intriguing design in Weavers Art’s new collection. Inspired by water cascading down falls, it is expertly woven with silk and wool fibres in a neutral colour palette. Weavers Art 1400 Castlefield Ave., Toronto ~ 416–929-7929 162 Bedford Rd., Toronto ~ 416–923-7929 255 Bass Pro Mills Dr., Vaughan ~ 905-660-7929 www.weaversart.com 4 6

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6. STAY IN TOUCH These leather gloves, designed for touchscreen activity, are made of genuine sheep leather and come in both men’s and women’s sizes. The fully

7. VERY VINTAGE

lined interior allows you to stay warm

This 18kt white gold vintage-

Mark Lash

while using your smartphone.

inspired necklace has 128

480 Eglinton Ave. W., Toronto ~

tapered baguette diamonds

416-256-5229

Linen Chest

that equal 1.74ct, and 769

9033 Leslie St., Richmond Hill ~

1-800-363-3832

round brilliant diamonds that

905-881-5229

www.linenchest.com

equal 9.02ct. 

www.marklash.com

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1. WONDERFULLY WOVEN

2. TALL AND SLENDER

Splashes of red, warm greys and

Weavers Art

With 26 diamonds that weigh 0.65ct,

gold hues are thoughtfully woven

1400 Castlefield Ave.,

these 14kt rose gold earrings are sleek

to create an energetic design in

Toronto ~ 416–929-7929

and elegant.

this area rug, called Grigia 2.

162 Bedford Rd., Toronto ~ 416–923-7929

Mark Lash

255 Bass Pro Mills Dr.,

480 Eglinton Ave. W., Toronto ~ 416-256-5229

Vaughan ~ 905-660-7929

9033 Leslie St., Richmond Hill ~ 905-881-5229 www.marklash.com

www.weaversart.com 1 3

2 4

4. VERSATILE CUISINE Cooking outdoors can take many forms with this versatile barbecue grill and fondue pot. The only limit on how to use it is your imagination. Perfect for camping and those who enjoy the outdoors. Cook any food using either the grill or the pot and the telescopic forks. The chimney allows you to get close to the grill without having smoke in your face. It can also be used as a safe fireplace by which to warm up. Linen Chest 1-800-363-3832 www.linenchest.com

3. EASY DRAINAGE The QuARTz Premium stainless steel shower channel drain has a pre-attached waterproofing membrane, making it easier than ever to install. It can be used for drainage in the shower or any wet room. Available from ACO Systems Ltd. ACO Systems Ltd. 1-2880 Brighton Rd., Oakville 905-829-0665 www.acocan.ca; www.acoself.com

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Canada's Largest Most Exciting Home Fashion Store! - Now 6 locations in the GTA -

B E D D I N G • B AT H • D E C O R • K I T C H E N • G I F T S • E L E C T R I C S • TA B L E T O P • G L A S S & B A R W A R E • M AT T R E S S

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Leaside Village (Toronto) 416-425-0533 • Richmond (Toronto) 416-260-2158 • Stockyards (Toronto) 416-760-9704 • Erin Mills Power Centre (Mississauga) 905-828-4449 Heartland Town Centre (Mississauga) 905-502-5399 • Colossus Power Centre (Vaughan) 905-856-6430 • Westwood Power Center (London) 519-680-2615


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DESIGN

1. YOU’RE SURROUNDED

2. SPANGLE BANGLE

Sink into comfort on the Surround sofa from

Exquisite in its simplicity, this 14kt rose gold bangle has

Theodore Alexander. Upholstered in a lush fabric, it

25 baguette diamonds weighing 0.57ct and 144 round

also has an ebony finish. 102˝ W X 36˝ D X 31˝ H.

diamonds equaling 0.43ct. 

Barrymore Furniture

Mark Lash

1168 Caledonia Rd., North York

480 Eglinton Ave. W., Toronto ~ 416-256-5229

416-532-2891

9033 Leslie St., Richmond Hill ~ 905-881-5229

www.barrymorefurniture.com

www.marklash.com 2

1 3

3. BENCH BEAUTY The Transverse bench is a tailored piece, upholstered in chalk-white leather. It has a structured steel base, which is hand-finished in silver leaf. 19˝ H x 57˝ W X 19˝ D. $2,980. Barrymore Furniture 1168 Caledonia Rd., North York 416-532-2891 www.barrymorefurniture.com

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DESIGN TORONTO WINTER 2017/2018

4. FABULOUS FLINT With its slender arms and petite nail heads, the Flint sofa derives its inspiration from the halls of Ivy League clubs. It boasts Windsor Smith

5. LUSTROUS AND LOVELY

upholstery and is 88 inches wide, 37-and-a-half inches deep, and 33 inches

These necklaces of natural Tahitian pearls

high. Available at Accents for Living.

are from the Bolero collection. In deep, mystic peacock colours with gold and genuine briolette gemstones. $570.

Accents For Living 8 Brock Rd. N., Guelph ~ 519-822-2929

Knar

243 Speers Rd., Oakville ~ 905-849-8537

www.knar.com

www.accentsforliving.ca 4 6

5 7

6. FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE

7. CLASSIC AND CONTEMPORARY

Redolent of Russian folklore design,

Brizo’s Litze collection features this faucet that boasts classic elements

FREY WILLE’s colour-intense

with a contemporary twist. Various handle options and finishes are

fire enamel bangle is from the

also available for a personalized look. Available at Atlantis Bath Centre.

Golden Kalinka PASSIONATE

RUSSIA collection. $1,665.

Atlantis Bath Centre 665 Caledonia Rd., Toronto

Knar

416-307-2570

www.knar.com

www.atlantisbathcentre.ca

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DESIGN

2. LIVING IN CLOVER Three leaves prove to be lucky for this shapely ottoman on gold-coloured stiletto legs. Its clover form is eye-catching alone, and coquettish in pairings with other pieces. Try two in place of the usual cocktail table, or

1. PERFECT PETALS

one at the heart of a conversational grouping. 43˝ W X 43˝ D X 15.5˝ H.

These petal-drop earrings are handcrafted in 18kt yellow

Available at Accents for Living.

and white gold, and they feature 1.52 cts of brilliant cut diamonds. $8,190. Perfect petals as the perfect gift.

Accents For Living 8 Brock Rd. N., Guelph ~ 519-822-2929

Knar

243 Speers Rd., Oakville ~ 905-849-8537

www.knar.com

www.accentsforliving.ca 1 3

2 4

4. I PLIGHT THEE MY TROTH Handmade of platinum, this engagement ring is perfect for a brilliant proposal. Alternately, re-style your own diamond. Semi-mount $10,270. Center diamond priced separately. Knar www.knar.com

3. PICTURE THIS! Art meets technology with The

Trutone Electronics

Frame, an innovative design

980 Dundas St. E., Mississauga

concept that functions as a 4K

905-270-3440

television and a piece of art.

www.trutone.ca

Beautify any space by displaying your own photos or works from renowned artists with Art Mode.

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1168 Caledonia Road Toronto North of Lawrence Avenue 416-532-2891 barrymorefurniture.com Handmade in Toronto

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DESIGN

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DESIGN TORONTO WINTER 2017/2018

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LIGHT-FILLED S P A C E S A new Kingsway build is a contemporary take on an ivy-covered home BY SUSAN KELLY • PHOTOGRAPHY: ROBERT HOLOWKA • STYLING: ROSE BARROSO

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DESIGN

ROSE BARROSO WAS LISTENING to the radio as she pondered what to call the home that her company was constructing in The Kingsway area of Toronto. “I give all the homes I build names; they’re all my babies,” the custom-home builder explains. The announcer mentioned Blue Ivy, Beyoncé’s name for her daughter. In her mind’s eye, Barroso saw the striking black stucco of the home’s contemporary exterior, punctuated with wood-clad accents. And she felt it had the same comforting, enveloping effect as ivy on traditional homes. And so the two-storey stunner was christened Black Ivy. The owner of Barroso Homes, who has been a builder for the past 12 years, has been putting her own unique stamp on luxury contemporary homes for the past eight years. For this Hartfield Avenue home, she made two compromises. To respect the more traditional architecture of the surrounding neighbourhood, she would tone down her usual approach, which is highly and boldly modern. “I wanted to respect the streetscape,” she says. “There is nothing traditional about Black Ivy, but I wanted to avoid creating an ultra-modern build, so I toned down the modern theme.” Moreover, this home would be smaller than most she builds, just under 5,000 square feet, in response to demand in the area. “I designed it with a couple in mind, one who were either growing their family or looking to downsize,” she says. There are four bedrooms plus a nanny suite in the basement and a flex space that could easily be a home office or gym. •

The living room’s linear fireplace was strategically placed under the television to create visual balance. Inset wood shelving creates horizontal design interest. Fireplace: Napoleon; porcelain fireplace tiles: Marmol Carrara Blanco Brillo.

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DESIGN TORONTO WINTER 2017/2018

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DESIGN

“It’s all meant to be open, opulent and communal.”

In the kitchen, sleek ultra-high-gloss cabinets provide textural contrast against the grey beech wood veneer millwork. Appliances: Miele.

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Despite what the name might imply, the home’s light-filled interiors feel spacious and airy, largely due to their openness to the backyard. On the main floor, both the dining and living areas have a wall of windows plus two sets of double sliding doors. In summer, both can be completely opened, creating a seamless flow to the back deck and pool area. Since the home backs onto a property at a lower elevation, with no sightlines, it enjoys maximum privacy.

The light effects continue come evening. Drama is added to the entrance by a hallway lined with linear architectural lighting. Inset into the drywall, it creates a discreet welcoming glow. Heard but not seen, future owners can choose to be greeted at the door by the friendly voice of Alexa, Amazon’s “intelligent personal assistant.” With a few voice commands, they can access the sophisticated smart-home system to turn on the lights or adjust the temperature. Or just chat about news and weather, Barroso says.


DESIGN TORONTO WINTER 2017/2018

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“It’s all meant to be open, opulent and communal,” is how Barroso sums up her intention with the main floor’s open-concept layout. It provides a perfect flow between the kitchen, living room and dining area. The large kitchen island, topped with Vicostone quartz, is intended to serve as the focal area for living. It not only makes it easy to interact with guests, but houses two indispensable dishwashers. It also holds a 30-by-six-inch second sink, which can be filled with ice to chill champagne or white wine, or serve oysters. •

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DESIGN

Builder Rose Barroso artfully injected design elements from other styles to contrast with the contemporary backdrop, including a rustic live-edge dining table. The seating area (left, top) features ultra-modern chairs juxtaposed across from a classicalstyle sofa. Chandeliers: WAC/Modern Forms Lighting.

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DESIGN TORONTO WINTER 2017/2018

The wine cellar, usually banished to a basement, here forms a distinctive living room wall feature. “It is designed as a conversation piece but also to be very practical and accessible,” Barroso says. It will store and display as many as 480 bottles. And for those who wonder where to store their cases of wine, the builder designed a custom bench for that purpose. It also accommodates crated champagne bottles.

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Barroso says the Black Ivy theme “crept into the house in a good way.” Adding splashes of black, she finds, makes a bold contemporary statement and unifies the home’s colour scheme. Black accents include lighting fixtures and the living room’s linear fireplace and television. Black hardware on the doors makes an elegant statement as do the black faucets in the kitchen and laundry room. In the powder room, a black sink adds punch along with a black marble Marmo faucet from Aquabrass. •

“I want to show people how comfortable modern design can be.” Cutline 04: Dvira has a flair for original lighting ideas. Over the island, she hung a pair of chandeliers from Restoration Hardware that are made of wooden beads painted white and distressed.

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The exterior is clad in charcoalgrey stucco and is punctuated with black trim and warmer woodtoned accents, all engineered to be virtually maintenance-free.

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The contrast of black elements is striking against white walls, the Italian marble-effect porcelain tiles on the fireplace, and the highgloss white wood-based Polygloss cabinetry from Germany in the kitchen and family room. In addition to being attractive, the cabinets are both UV - and abrasion-resistant.

Beech wood millwork and ash-g rey brushed oak hardwood floors add texture and warmth to the ground floor. “The interior is intended to be contemporary and inviting. I want to show people how comfortable modern design can be,� Barroso says.


DESIGN TORONTO WINTER 2017/2018

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Upstairs, natural light fills the space thanks to a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows in the master bedroom that affords a wide-angle view of the backyard. The white marble master bathroom contains one rogue element, in that it does not fit the Black Ivy theme: the freestanding tub clad with mosaic tiles, a one-of-a-kind piece signed by the artist. A mix-up in the ordering meant that rather than black, each hand-painted tile was a different vibrant hue. But with reaction to it so overwhelmingly positive, it stayed. “Like most of the elements incorporated in this home, it was meant to stand out — and it does,” says Barroso. •

The master bathroom is pure contemporary chic and the perfect backdrop for the one-of-a-kind standalone tub. Tub: Mosaik by Aquabrass; chandelier: Pierce by Artemide; 3D wall tiles: Diamond White by Porcelanosa.

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TRAVEL

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TRAVEL TORONTO WINTER 2017/2018

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PARADISE FOUND

French Polynesia is an idyllic destination for anyone who needs to unplug from the busyness of life BY CLAIRE NEWELL

DINNER FOR TWO AT A TABLE set on a private beach, lit only by a hurricane lamp and the moonlight. We sat with our toes in the sand staring at the ocean and the bright stars in the sky, sipping champagne. My husband and I were at the St. Regis Bora Bora Resort, where our fivecourse French meal with a Tahitian-vanilla flair was being impeccably presented by our waiter, who rode a bicycle from the kitchen to the beach to deliver each course. It was one of the most memorable meals I have ever experienced and something I will never forget from my trip to Tahiti and French Polynesia. •

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TRAVEL

The moment I arrived in the capital, Papeete, I could tell that I would not be disappointed by the trip that I had dreamed of for decades. Stepping off the plane, I inhaled the warm, fresh air and visually devoured the brightly coloured tropical flowers and sparkling azureblue water. Having taken several fine arts courses in university, I immediately understood why French post-Impressionist artist Paul Gauguin spent 10 years near the end of his

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life in French Polynesia, and why most of his paintings from that time depict the people and landscapes of the region. Capturing the stunning beauty, with its sculpted sky-piercing, moss-green peaks and vivid turquoise lagoons, is what Gauguin did best, and what I tried to recreate with the hundreds of photos I took. But no painting or photo can fully capture all that makes these islands so magical. Sultry Tahiti and French Polynesia is a place to completely relax and experience

the warm, laid-back island culture while fully unplugging from the rest of the world. It’s an island paradise for vacationers, rich in culture, nature and hospitality. I liken it to Hawaii of 50 years ago. And it is only two hours of flying time past Hawaii, with direct flights to Papeete from Los Angeles’s LAX. With non-stop LAX connections all across North America, it has never been easier to get to this remote island paradise.


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While French Polynesia is close to Hawaii, it feels as though it’s a million miles away. The eight Hawaiian Islands get nearly nine million tourists yearly; the 118 islands of French Polynesia get about 200,000. This is a destination where you can still have complete privacy and wear nothing more than a swimsuit and cover-up from morning to night. You can spend days not seeing anyone while staying in a gorgeous overwater bungalow, jumping off the deck into the warm, crystal

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clear water to snorkel, passing time watching the fish through the house’s glass floor, and having your meals delivered so that you never have to eat in a restaurant. French Polynesia is composed of five groups of islands, or archipelagoes. Of its 118 islands and atolls, 67 are inhabited, and Tahiti, where the capital, Papeete, is situtated, is the most populated island. •

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TRAVEL

I knew that I was going to enjoy my trip, but I had no idea just how amazing it would actually be. The uniqueness of each island is what stood out most; they are as varied as they are exotic. In many cases, the islands differ quite dramatically from each other, so it is important not to assume that you can do the same type of activities on each of them. For example, you can snorkel everywhere, but some islands are better than others, and some islands have high-end accommodations while others don’t. Another difference to note is that some beaches are smaller and more difficult to access than others. If you are accustomed to popular resort destinations, such as Maui or Mexico, with their wide, long stretches of beach, you may be surprised by these Polynesian shorelines. That said, the scenery will not disappoint – from geometric ridges strung with waterfalls on the high islands to flat, desert-like atolls, where lagoons far outsize the landmass.

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TRAVEL TORONTO WINTER 2017/2018

If you are planning to island-hop, getting around is best done by flying on Air Tahiti, the country’s only domestic airline, or by taking boats between the islands. All of the islands are small and require no more than a day or two to see the sights, but I recommend adding more days if you want to melt into the slow, peaceful pace of island life. A French colony since the late 19th century, French Polynesia has been a “collectivity of France” since 2003.

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I found the French inf luence there far more prevalent than I had expected. I was so surprised when I saw a delivery service dropping fresh baguettes to almost every home. It was interesting to observe how the French culture has been kept alive in such a remote region. I’m sure that this is why so many of the visitors I met were from French-speaking European countries: France, Belgium and Switzerland. Every local I met was friendly, happy and warm. We didn’t

always speak the same language, but I felt completely welcomed. My favourite activity was walking around in the morning while so many Tahitians baked their breadfruit, spreading the aroma of a bakery around the entire island. •

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TRAVEL

Island-hopping is a popular way to see Tahiti and French Polynesia. However, in my opinion, cruising is a better option for a first-time visitor to this destination. Cruising allows you visit multiple islands and experience all of the different areas and activities without having to deal with unpacking and repacking, transportation, airports, changing hotels, ferries, and the like. It would also be expensive and time-consuming to replicate the same type of trip on your own using ferries, planes and hotels. When cruising, I recommend you venture into the towns to try the local cuisine. However, be forewarned that restaurants

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in tourist-heavy areas are expensive. With the exception of fresh seafood and tropical fruit, everything is shipped from a great distance. Also, the high cost of electricity and a currency tied to the Euro (making the exchange expensive for North Americans) drives up costs. Cruising ensures that food, accommodation, drinks and entertainment are included in the price, allowing you to simply sit back and relax on the top deck and watch the sun set behind the islands. Some cruise lines offer regular sailings in Tahiti and French Polynesia, including Windstar Cruises and Paul Gauguin Cruises; others offer seasonal sailings.

While I was taking in the breathtaking views of these stunning islands, I came to appreciate why the postcard-perfect allure of Tahiti and French Polynesia has drawn visitors – and had others dreaming about it – for centuries. Of course, when the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan became the first European to discover the islands in 1521, he wasn’t exactly in search of a place to unplug from the busyness of life. But for those of us for whom, in the words of poet William Wordsworth, “the world is too much with us,” this is an ideal – and idyllic – place to discover. •


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IF YOU GO: Tipping: Not customary or expected Language: French Currency: French Pacific Franc (CPF) Hello: “ia ora na” Bring: Water shoes Water: Safe to drink Entry requirements: Passport validity of three months Average temperatures: 28°C in January, the hottest month, and 25°C in July, the coldest month Wettest month: January - 240mm of rain Best time to visit: May - October

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DESIGN

ENERGYEFFICIENCY IN GLASS HOUSES New technology allows homes to have large windows and doors while still conserving energy BY JULIE GEDEON

WE ARE INCREASINGLY LIVING in glass houses as we install expansive windows and transparent doors to enjoy surrounding vistas. “Fortunately, improved technologies and materials are making products more energy-efficient,” says Edgar Sigal. Sigal, who owns Chateau Window & Door Systems, makes it his full-time business to know about the latest developments and technologies. “For instance, an Ontario Building Code amendment that came into effect last January requires more energy-efficient windows in all new construction,” he says. “The way the windows must be installed has changed, too.” He and his team start every project by listening to their customers’ needs first. They follow up with various questions to ensure they’ve covered all bases before recommending a product within the allotted budget. “People who live in central air-conditioning/heating year-round don’t have the same needs as those who open windows constantly for some fresh air,” Sigal explains. “One client may need to shield the sun, while another may be concerned about security, or require ways to reduce street noise.”

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DESIGN TORONTO WINTER 2017/2018

Always an entrepreneur, he previously owned and managed a web-development business and was ready to marry technology with his technical nature in one tangible business. “I’d worked in the window-and-door industry earlier and recognized the opportunity to build a business serving Torontoarea needs,” he says. Within four years, he became the largest distributor for a well-known Quebec manufacturer. Chateau has since networked with several other leading-edge manufacturers that Sigal has thoroughly researched. “I’m always looking for quality products that offer something unique in terms of design aesthetic,” he says. The company’s exclusive line of steel windows and doors has a “beautiful, slim aesthetic that works well with modern design concepts,” he says.

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Galvanized or enamel-coated steel frames provide superior outdoor durability. The frames have also become popular for wine cellars and as interior room dividers, Sigal adds.   Another of Chateau’s unique offerings includes a variation on the standard casement crank-out window with versions that simply push out or swing inward.  The door systems include a variety of functional options: French, bi-parting sliding, bi-folding, lift-andslide, and others.  “What’s nice is we can solve different challenges with a consistent look,” he says. Sigal learned early on from his dad’s factory days how products should mechanically function along with the importance of precise assembly. He uses the knowledge to assess quality and innovation, while his MBA and past business experience help him to project-manage each job efficiently and in a timely way.  

“If you ask me what I love about this business now, it’s solving tough problems to ensure that a creative vision can become a reality.” he says. “I work closely with the architects, designers and contractors, who know that my staff and I will go the extra mile for both them and their clients.”  The result has been a steady rise in business, based primarily on word of mouth. “I love that people have the satisfaction and confidence to recommend us,” he says. Sigal and his team are also thrilled with Chateau’s move last July. “We have a new 6,000-square-foot showroom-warehouse in the heart of North York’s design district – a more open, collaborative, brighter space that everyone loves working in,” he says. • Chateau Window & Door Systems 90 Tycos Dr., Suite 1, North York 416-783-3916 www.chateauwindows.com

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ART

BEAUTY UNDERFOOT Rug designer Erbil Tezcan’s origins in Turkey may mean that his craft is in his DNA BY SUSAN KELLY

CREATING CARPETS MAY BE IN ERBIL TEZCAN’S DNA. After all, the multi-award-winning designer hails from Turkey, a country with an almost mythical reputation for the art of rug-making, stretching back millennia. “I grew up in Ankara, where every home has Turkish rugs, but to tell the truth I didn’t notice them much,” admits the affable designer, who now lives in New Jersey. Unbound from tradition, Tezcan’s ability to completely re-envision the way rugs are designed and made has won him international acclaim.

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Take Summit, a rug inspired by a photograph by US photographer Art Wolfe, titled “Stacked Boats, Lake Baikal, Russia.” In Tezcan’s hands, upside-down boats frozen in ice morphed into an abstract take on a mountainous landscape, rendered in silk and wool. The rug went on to win the coveted Best Modern Design, Deluxe Rug award at the 2017 Domotex international rug design competition in Hanover, Germany. “I design because I love it, not to win awards,” Tezcan says. “Anyway, I consider myself a translator rather than a designer. It’s this gift I have, to see something and immediately translate it in my head into a beautiful-looking rug.” •


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Summit

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ART

Divine

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ART TORONTO WINTER 2017/2018

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The message seems to be coming across. He and his company, Wool & Silk Rugs, have carted home a top award from the Domotex show every year for the past six consecutively. The rugs are as likely to be displayed in galleries as in showrooms. For instance, for close to two years, his contemporary take on 23 traditional Afghani motifs hung in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. When he left Turkey at age 22, Tezcan was bent on another path: becoming a classical guitarist. He furthered his musical education in the U.S., where he met his wife of 25 years, Danielle. To make ends meet, he took a job in a rug company, working in the shipping department before moving up the ranks to salesperson, manager and finally buyer. It was the last job that gave him entrée to the production chain, from design to execution. In 2010, he decided to strike out on his own. “It was always my goal to make beautiful rugs that were different from what everyone else does,” he says, “even the texture.” After two years of experimentation, he created a new fibre blend with a special sheen. Tibetan wool, which he considers the finest in the world, is hand-spun with silk, in an exact proportion that remains a carefully guarded secret. Ninety per cent of Wool & Silk Rugs’s carpets are handcrafted in Nepal. •

Beautiful People

“It was always my goal to make beautiful rugs that were different from what everyone else does.”

Cyclone

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ART

But design is his real passion, says Tezcan, who has been known to stay up nights for days on end to complete a rug. He derives inspiration from many sources. The rug called Rampart, for instance, was inspired by a snapshot taken by his brother of an an old Byzantine wall in Istanbul. Another rug, called Divine, is based on a photograph of a stream, lake and vegetation on the earth. “The gold and red colours in this rug represent the colours of autumn,” he says. These days, it’s mostly photographs that trigger the creative process. Tezcan alters whatever image he’s working with by using Photoshop until he gets the effect he’s after. The whole process can take as few as three days and up to a month or more. The designer occasionally works with other artists. In 2017, an acrylic-on-canvas work by Texas abstract painter Bryan Debreuiel called The Beautiful People inspired a rug of the same name. Tezcan liked the work’s playful and colourful appeal, softening some of the lines in his interpretation.

Ocean

In Toronto, Tezcan’s rugs are exclusively available at Weavers Art. Last summer, Weavers Art hosted an all-day exhibit of his 2018 collection. Visitors met the designer and were able to speak with him to gain insight into the unique designs. One recent and important collaboration that Tezcan undertook was close to home. Several rugs in the most recent collection were designed by his son, Anka, 24. One, called Circle of Life, Tezcan père calls “cosmic,” and Cyclone was inspired by a patch of concrete floor. “I looked at the same floor every day and saw nothing,” says this proud father. “I taught him my method, but he sees things in his own way.” Perhaps it’s ingrained in his genetic code. •

Weavers Art 1400 Castlefield Ave., Toronto 416-929-7929 Rampart

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www.weaversart.com


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Circle of Life

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Area Rugs • Sisal • Carpets • Vinyl • Hardwood • Laminate • Window Coverings

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Yorkville Village | Toronto 87 Avenue Road | 416 . 922 . 6620 www.yorkvilledesigncentre.ca Find us on Houzz and Facebook


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DESIGN

GO AHEAD! TRACK MUD INTO THE HOUSE Today’s mudrooms are practical, but they’re also beautiful, sought-after spaces BY SUSAN KELLY

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Photo courtesy of Cliff and Evans

DESIGN TORONTO WINTER 2017/2018

ITS NAME IS MUD — mudroom that is. But despite the unpromising moniker, in today’s houses, mudrooms are taking on new importance and lots of style. No longer an afterthought, “Eighty per cent of the large renovations we do have mudrooms on the wish list,” says builder Dave Evans, partner at Cliff and Evans Ltd., a construction company in Toronto. In most homes, it can be found just off a side or rear entrance, as in the detached single-family

home in Moore Park that his company renovated. Families prefer the convenience of using the door closest to the garage or driveway. Front doors, he points out, are reserved to welcome guests. The mudroom sees a lot of traffic, which is why planning one should start from the ground up. Here designer Kate Zeidler gave the f loors a style upgrade using soft grey porcelain tiles that emulate natural stone. Bonus: they are also highly durable and easy

to maintain. Evans often suggests a honed finish rather than a glossy one that can be slippery when wet. And no matter what the period of the home — this one dates from circa 1915 — modern conveniences such as heated floors are a must. “That way, you always have warm boots to put on, and they help speed up evaporation of any water that is tracked in,” he says. •

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People with children and pets perhaps are most keenly aware of how important the mudroom can be, says designer Rhonda Thornton, owner and creative director at Bloomsbury Fine Cabinetry in Toronto. “Between school and activities, there can be a lot of gear and clutter,” she says. “People now are investing more to have a space that is both organized and inviting.” Thornton designed the one in the home north of the city she shares with her husband and three children, ages 22, 19 and 16, plus three dogs. A solid maple bench has served the family well for more than 10 years. Underneath are storage bins carved with the names of each family member. Small children especially like having a space reserved just for them, she says, and they can keep such things as hats, mittens and scarves out of sight.

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Photos courtesy of Bloomsbury Fine Cabinetry

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Thornton was ahead of the curve in incorporating a mix of open and closed storage, now a big trend. Sports gear and other paraphernalia not used every day can go behind a closed door. “People want a less utilitarian, more quality-furniture look today,” says the designer. “It’s also important to respect the

overall style of the home.” By adding a few details, Thornton was able to give traditional English-style cabinetry a look that fits beautifully in the French-style country cottage.


Photos courtesy of Dvira Interiors

DESIGN TORONTO WINTER 2017/2018

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And you can ramp up the style by adding luxe details and personal touches without losing any function, says interior designer Dvira Ovadia, principal at Dvira Interiors in Toronto. She fearlessly covered the mudroom bench in her updated traditional home in the Allenby area with vibrant striped wool fabric by Paul Smith. This despite the fact that her two children, aged five and eight, clamber on it to reach their backpacks on the hooks above. “It’s very durable fabric and the stripes hide stains,” Ovadia says. She ran durable natural slate floors underneath. Not only does she love the rich look, but they also remind her of growing up in Brussels. The farmhouse apron sink is not only European chic, but practical for rinsing gear and potting plants. The designer had both elegance and her children in mind when she chose the white wallpaper. She likes the sense of whimsy the gold bumblebees provide and the fact they are an international symbol of welcome. “Every detail is beautiful and was chosen with my family in mind, to make them feel happy when there,” she says. •

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DESIGN

Every mudroom is different, and there are no fixed rules for decorating it. Except when it comes to combining it with the laundry area; most designers advise against doing so, says Sarah Gallop, owner of Sarah Gallop Design Inc. in Vancouver. “Ideally, they should be in separate areas of the house; a crossover can be messy,” she says. Sometimes that is not possible, such as in the mudroom area she designed for a newly built home in the Cambie Corridor area of Vancouver. Gallop kept the two at opposite ends of the space. They are visually separated through the use of different colours and textures: smooth, pure white surfaces in the mudroom, soft grey tones and a mix of tiles in the laundry area. Dog-washing stations, though, are an increasingly popular feature that does belong in or near the mudroom. Here the designer included one across from the washer/dryer. It consists of a sink large enough to comfortably lift the homeowners’ small French bulldog for a quick rinse. “For larger dogs, I often design a small tiled-in area with hand-held shower attachment,” she says. •

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Photo courtesy of Sarah Gallop Design Inc.


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DESIGN

“In a more contemporary design like this one, clutter will make the room look cramped. You want as much behind closed doors as possible.”

Photos courtesy of South Hill Interiors

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Making the most of available square footage is important. Especially true of mudrooms in smaller homes, such as the “farmhouse chic” one designed by Barbara Mangoni, founder and principal at South Hill Interiors in Toronto. The usual impulse is to use open shelving to create the illusion of more space, but that’s not what was done here, she says of the century home her company recently renovated. “In a more contemporary design like this one, clutter will make the room look cramped,” she says. “You want as much behind closed doors as possible.”

To keep it light and bright, she had white Shaker-style cabinetry built around a window to one side of the door. It faces one opposite, under which a simple open bench provides a place for removing boots. To the side, an industrial rustic wall rack holds coats and backpacks. Underfoot, the same wide-plank engineered oak with a hand-scraped finish runs to the doorsill. “Putting down tile would have broken the line and made the area look smaller,” she says. “Plus, the wood adds a nice warmth, like a big welcome mat.”


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Photos courtesy of Mélyssa Robert Design

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Everyone’s dream: a spacious, gorgeous, organized mudroom. And that was what the owners of a newly built home in the PointeClaire suburb of Montreal requested, says their interior designer Mélyssa Robert, owner of Mélyssa Robert Design. “I put in contemporary sliding barn doors, which can hide any clutter from view,” she says. “But with three kids, the couple still wanted everything as organized as possible.” So the designer created customized solutions for each member of the active family. And, because the family wanted this to be their forever home, Robert made them adaptable to grow with the residents. A touch especially appreciated in winter is a custom rack for drying gloves and mitts set over a heating grate. She also had to meet the challenge of using eco-friendly materials, also a big trend. This mudroom breaks with the new norm in that it’s placed near the front door. Turns out, that’s the one the family uses. “It doesn’t matter where you place the mudroom,” says Robert, “as long as it works for your lifestyle — and is as beautiful as the rest of your home.” •

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FOR ART’S SAKE

A home gets a contemporary redesign to make it congruent with the owners’ art collection BY SARAH B. HOOD PHOTOGRAPHY: LARRY ARNAL STYLING: KIRSTEN MARSHALL AND ASHLEY BARREY

DESIGNER KIRSTEN MARSHALL OF PALMERSTON DESIGN CONSULTANTS INC. STILL LAUGHS at the memory of her client’s first instructions for what was later to become a sweeping makeover of an outdated home. “This client literally emailed us through our website and told us that he wanted us to ‘make our ugly house not ugly,’ ” she recalls. “I thought it was a joke.” But Toronto lawyer Andrew Powers was sincere. He, his wife Danielle Powers, their son Liam, and the family’s Brittany, a French hunting dog called Rosie, had been making the best of their comfortable but outmoded west-end Toronto home for years, and it was time for a change. •

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DESIGN

When they bought the house, “it had just been renovated down to the bricks,” says Powers. “It was well done, but it was never my style; it was traditional.” Nonetheless, he adds, “we did our best to make it work. At the same time, my art collection had begun to grow, and it was going in a different direction; it wasn’t fitting in with the house.” In his law offices, Powers was exposed to an exceptional collection of Canadian art. He was especially drawn to two Edward Burtynsky photographs from his famous Shipbreaking series and two drawings by Marcel Dzama that hung outside his office. They “got me moving a bit more in a contemporary direction,” he says.

He began to pick up pieces in galleries around Toronto, beginning with more traditional work (which he now keeps in storage and refers to as his “teaching art”) and gradually stretching toward more conceptual pieces, including illuminated installations by multimedia artist Kelly Mark, acquired through Diaz Contemporary, and work by the internationally known novelist and visual artist Douglas Coupland from Daniel Faria Gallery. Eventually, the family decided to redesign the house to fit the artwork, quite literally. In some places, walls had been structurally reinforced to accommodate the weight of large art pieces, so one of the requirements was that – whatever else was changed – key pieces in the collection had to return to the same spots. •

The clean lines of the tables (Klaus) and dining-room set (DWR) throw the spotlight on Kim Dorland’s provocative painting “Kill Your Dreams” from Angell Gallery. Throw: Memo Showroom.

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DESIGN

Custom Chubin cabinetry and Wolf and Sub-Zero appliances recede discreetly; Roula Partheniou’s wallmounted paintbrush sculptures – “Brushline #2” – nod cleverly to the rest of the art collection, from MKG 127.

Everything else was fair game, and ultimately the narrow house (less than 14 feet wide in the ground floor living room, and not quite 10 feet in the kitchen) was utterly reconfigured. Stopping short of actually gutting the home, Marshall changed out windows and flooring throughout the house, redesigned the main staircase and converted a second-floor bedroom to a bathroom.

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DESIGN TORONTO WINTER 2017/2018

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The resulting unified interior has the clean, austere feeling of a contemporary art gallery, with an inviting Scandinavian ambience. “We wanted warm wood, so the floors are a light rift-cut oak,” Marshall says. “It was really about keeping it modern, but still keeping it warm.” The furnishings, mainly good-quality transitional pieces bought to suit the home as it used to be, were entirely replaced, beginning with a pair of muted raspberry-coloured Saarinen Womb chairs that Powers picked out for the living room before the renovation had even begun. He remained closely involved; “I’m very particular and I had a vision for many things,” he says. •

When a daring rippled industrial felt wall treatment from Felt Studio arrives, Alex McLeod’s striking golden computer-generated landscape, titled “Frosted Midnight,” will hang from a custom ceiling rail.

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DESIGN

To open the ground floor, a pony wall at the front entrance was replaced by a sheet of gold glass. The front window (from Montreal’s Alumilex, as were other windows and the front and rear doors) was extended down to the floor. The sofa, from Montauk, was chosen for its low back, and a custom armoire from Style Garage created family closet space. The walls were painted white with Benjamin Moore’s Chantilly Lace. The most dramatic alteration was the replacement of the original staircase with custom white oak open-riser treads enclosed by a floor-to-ceiling sheet of glass in place of a railing. “There’s recessed lighting along the floor as well as up the stairwell; it’s quite fantastic in the evening,” says Marshall, who credits contractor Nuno Teixiera of Caliber Group with the execution.

The glass staircase surround is transparently elegant. Large photographic works by Lynne Cohen (foreground) and Addad Hanna face three smaller coininspired drawings by Micah Adams.

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Simply opulent: Carrara-marble mosaic tile from Ciot, stonework by York Fabrica, wallhung faucets from Newport Brass and a chaste, minimalist tub and sinks from Ginger’s.

At the top of the stairs, an office made way for a room that Marshall calls “one of the nicest bathrooms we’ve ever designed: it’s just a gorgeous space to be in.” The end product is an art gallery that can be inhabited. The simplicity of the look gives prominence to the artwork, which, says Powers, “contributes to the narrative of the house and the dialogue between the people who occupy it.” •

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TRAVEL

SWEET LUXURY

The presidential suites at the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia offer lavish indulgence

WHO HAS NOT DREAMED OF ESCAPING into the lap of luxury? Of closing one’s eyes and breathing in deeply as a warm wave of sumptuous relaxation envelops one’s body? Safe, secure and detached, this is what enjoying the moment really means. But what if you could enhance this exquisite sense of timelessness, this feeling of living in the now, by having it all steeped in the style and intrigue of ancient Spain?

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You can make this dream a reality by walking into one of two presidential suites at the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia. Surrounded by the Sonoran Desert at the foot of Camelback Mountain, the resort is in Paradise Valley, just east of Phoenix, Arizona. Here, white-washed villages like those of the Andalusia region of southern Spain provide the backdrop that will make your getaway an unforgettable experience.


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“Guests who stay in these suites are pampered to the utmost level,” says Chloe Dake, public relations and communications manager at Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa. “They are truly a way to escape. You don’t feel like you’re at a normal hotel.” A stay in the Camelback presidential suite is like no other. It is the perfect setting for a special romantic occasion. Among its unique features is the bathroom, which could set the scene for any Hollywood-worthy love story. “Everybody is in awe of the bathroom,” Dake says. “The bathroom is the highlight of the suite.”

A pendant chandelier, framed by a domed ceiling well, projects diamond bursts of light against the rounded walls, like thousands of stars cast in a dark blue sky. The large, luxurious tub is carved from a single piece of stone. “It’s very romantic,” says Dake. “It really sets the mood,” especially with the glow from the small windows and the soft light from flames of the grand votive candle arrangement. Unwinding with your special someone soaking under bubbles in this setting while letting room service deliver a world-class meal to your door to share as you look out at the majestic views of Camelback Mountain is unrivalled. •

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In addition to the romance, the Camelback suite – which includes two bedrooms and three bathrooms – also offers guests the opportunity to share an occasion with friends and family; it opens onto a private 4,000-square-foot exterior event space. This courtyard, equipped with guest bathrooms, is the perfect spot to host an intimate reception, especially before or after a wedding, which is the Omni Scottsdale’s specialty. This resort caters romance. And then there is the Andalusian Presidential Suite. With its stone columns, carved stone water features from the mid-1800s, tiled floors and beamed ceilings, this suite has two bedrooms, three baths and a private pool. “Everything in that suite is designed to transport you to another time and place,” Dake explains.

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If you’re looking for a luxurious private getaway, this suite is more than perfect. With a full wet bar for entertaining, it also includes a private office that will let you stay in touch while not taking you away from quality family time. And if you are planning a wedding at the resort, the suite’s spacious bathroom offers the perfect space for the bride and her bridesmaids to prepare for the big event. It’s a space that will help create a memorable atmosphere

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on a special day, a little something that falls into the category of “priceless.” So you might just want to think about inviting the photographer in, too. And when you rent these suites, you’ll also want to take advantage of the all-day access to the resort’s spa, Dake adds. Still dreaming of escaping into the lap of luxury? It can be done under the Arizona sun. •

Prices for the presidential suites at Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia vary according to the season, but start at $5,000 a night for the Andalusian Presidential Suite and $3,500 per night for the Camelback Presidential Suite.

Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia www.omnimontelucia.com 888-444-OMNI

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LIKE STONE … BUT LIGHTER AND TOTALLY CUSTOMIZED

Cast stone is a smart choice for fireplace mantels given its light weight and customizable shapes

Curling up in front of a warm, crackling fire is one of the joys of cocooning indoors during the winter months. And when the fireplace is graced with a beautiful mantel, the warmth factor gets ratcheted up. New composite materials allow for an aesthetic departure from standard stone, brick and wood mantels. We asked Jerry Clemenzi, project manager at Omega Mantels, for his input on a composite called “cast stone,” a material that can be used to create that gorgeous mantel that will invite you to warm up in front of your fireplace.

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QUESTION: Jerry, what is cast stone? A N S W E R : C a s t s t o n e i s a l i g ht we i g ht alternative to concrete or natural stone (marble, limestone, granite) for which we have formulated three different finishes with various colours and textures in each to emulate the various types of natural products.

Q: Why would a homeowner opt for cast stone over natural stone, brick or wood? A: The weight of cast stone is the biggest difference between these products. Cast stone requires no additional support to the wall or floors of any area in the home, making it feasible for any room.


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Q: How is cast stone customized? A: We create a new mold for every mantel we manufacture, assuring not only that it is in proportion with the firebox but as well with the room. Once the mantel is manufactured, the mold is destroyed as no two rooms or fireplace situations are the same. Q: What is the advantage of this material over traditional ones? A: You get the look and feel of natural stone with a fraction of the weight. Also, it’s custom-made to suit your application.

Omega Mantels 855-712-0123 www.omegamantels.com

Q: Is it available in various styles? A: We have been manufacturing mantels for more than 30 years. So we have an extensive mold library to select from: traditional, contemporary and transitional styles. I believe we have the most extensive collection in the industry. Aside from our own mantels, we often manufacture one-of-a-kind pieces, designed by our clients. •

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Beautiful Lighting. Designer Brands. Expert Advice.

(905) 738-8889 8355 Jane Street, Unit 2 Vaughan, ON L4K 5Y3 litemode.ca


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DESIGN

V IL L A V IS TA S A home is designed and built to take advantage of views of Lake Ontario BY JULIE GEDEON | PHOTOGRAPHY: LARRY ARNAL | STYLING: RODNEY DEEPROSE

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DESIGN

ALISON AND PAUL BRINDLE WANTED their new waterfront home to be designed to capture the spectacular views of Lake Ontario and their cherished gardens. They also wanted a casual environment that would give them ample time to watch their children play in the backyard snow or swimming pool. “It’s like having our own winter chalet and summer villa,” Alison says. She credits builder Aaron Smith of Granite Shore Homes, architectural designer John Williams of Williams Residential Design, designer Rodney Deeprose, as well as Rhonda Thornton and Jack Creasy of Bloomsbury Fine Cabinetry for making their dream home a reality. “They achieved everything on our wish list along with things we didn’t realize we’d love,” Alison says. The Brindles, who previously lived next door, sought a traditional stone cottage on the lot to fit with their established neighbourhood – but the interiors are a contemporary twist. It took two-and-a-half years to obtain the necessary permits because of the cul-de-sac property’s location by the lake and a ravine where city drainage hadn’t been installed. “We used the time well to work out every possible detail,” Deeprose says. “That saved money by not having to rethink plans.” The Brindles opted for stone f looring throughout the house. “To balance this coolness, we added wood finishes in many other areas,” he adds. “We installed coffered ceilings to delineate the distinct living, dining and kitchen spaces within the grand room.” •

Globe bulbs cast a glow across the dining table without hindering the room’s openness or lake views. Coffered ceilings define each space, while the amber veins of the French limestone countertops pick up on the stone floor’s earthiness.

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DESIGN

The library cabinetry, desktop, window frames and other trim were all custom-made of rift-cut oak and stained to match the woodsy wallpaper grain. “To achieve the same consistency, we went through an eight-step process that involved distressing, painting and glazing the wood,” Thornton says. Alison says her family adores the resulting wood effect that was achieved throughout the office with less expense, leaving the budget for the coffered ceiling and the French doors that lead into the garden. “The office is used by our entire family – Paul and me to work occasionally, and the kids to do their homework or colour and read,” she says. Bloomsbury custom-built the kitchen’s walnut cabinetry to produce a toasty ambience that contrasts not only with the stone flooring, but with the expansive glass windows overlooking Lake Ontario. “The wood also helps with acoustics by absorbing sound that would otherwise bounce off those surfaces,” Deeprose says.

Walnut cabinetry and walls bestow a mid-century simplicity to the framed kitchen. The recessed lighting is strategically placed to brighten key work areas.

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Every nook and cranny was designed to take advantage of views of Lake Ontario. The homeowners adore the way their home opens to their garden and pool, which overlook the lake.

Originally from England, the Brindles sought the kind of framed kitchen cabinetry that has been popular in Britain for many years, but with a contemporary flair. “We customized flat doors within a traditional three-quarter cabinetry frame to give them a modern spin on that classic look,” Thornton says. “Framed kitchens aren’t that well-known in Canada yet and there aren’t that many places that build them, but their craftsmanship is increasingly being noticed.” •

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DESIGN

Customized woodwork always instills a higher level of luxury by distinguishing a home, says Deeprose. “And Rhonda and Jack at Bloomsbury are true experts at creating the ideal flow in a kitchen’s workspace,” he adds. Alison couldn’t agree more. “Everything is so handy the way that Rhonda and Jack set it up for us,” she says. “And the kitchen’s openness has led to the whole family becoming involved in preparing meals.” The countertops blend with the fireplace hearth; both are French limestone with a base amber tone that echoes the walnut. “It also has this beautiful charcoal graining that gives it a bit of oomph, so it stands up to the stone flooring,” Deeprose says.

The home’s sleekness is softened by area rugs and lamps at various eye levels, as well as modern furnishings with cozy contours. The library’s textured wallpaper gives the room a woodsy appeal that blurs the line between indoor and outdoor spaces.

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The clean lines reflect a mid-century influence in the great room, but the area rugs, upholstery and drapery add coziness. Deeprose also integrated various table lamps with incandescent lights to produce an instant warm glow at the flick of a switch. “Too many people nowadays want to install pot lights everywhere, but they only shine downwards without any warmth and may actually bleach out vision with their glare,” he says. “They’re much better as task lighting in places where it would be difficult to install other fixtures.” A room with several types of wood is often more inviting and homey than one filled with furniture made from a single species of wood. The walnut dining table makes a subtle reference to the kitchen. And while the living area’s end tables are a rich maple, the imported coffee table is made of pressed steel in a wood-grain pattern to add industrial flair, as well as to wear well in a busy house with young children. The elements have been brought together to create a cohesive whole …. and a happy home. •

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FOR ALL T H AT YO U ARE

38 AVENUE ROAD, TORONTO 416 921 9200 • KNAR.COM

© Forevermark 2017. Forevermark ®,

®

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A diamond for each of your qualities

and Forevermark Tribute™ are Trade Marks used under license from The De Beers Group of Companies.

The Forevermark Tribute™ Collection


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DESIGN

FINDING WARMTH IN A WINTER WONDERLAND A selection of products that transform rooms into spaces for cozy, comfortable cocooning BY TRACEY MacKENZIE

L

et it snow. Let it snow. Let it snow. It’s time to hunker down and enjoy the warmth of the great indoors. At this time of year, there are few spaces more inviting than a well-designed bedroom, outfitted with beautiful linens, puffy duvets and fluffy throws. That goes for cozy living rooms and dens, too, where cushions and coverlets encourage us to sit a spell and warm up by a crackling fire. Here’s a selection of products to help you create rooms that shut out winter’s cold.

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BEDDI NG GU I DE

R EST EASY The Lavato White bedding collection is a blend of high-quality linen and cotton, woven in Italy. The pieces, which are made in Canada, are available in various colours. These super- soft sheets are crafted to transform a bed into a sleep sanctuary. Available at Au Lit Fine Linens www.aulitfinelinens.com

PI L LOW TA L K The blend of 50 per cent Belgian linen and 50 per cent long-staple cotton creates a soft pillowcase with a linen look. Pre-washing it softens the fabric and adds a casual appearance. Woven in Italy and made in Canada, the Lavato Skylight collection features sheets, pillowcases, shams, duvet covers and bed skirts. Available at Au Lit Fine Linens www.aulitfinelinens.com

SU M P T UOUS A N D SI L KY These 100 per cent bamboo pillowcases from the CÊzanne collection are soft and silky, and will keep you cool throughout the night. They’re crafted in Canada of fabric that is woven in Italy. Sheets, shams, duvets and bed skirts are also available. Available at Au Lit Fine Linens www.aulitfinelinens.com

R EL A X ED A N D R EV ERSI BL E The Lavato Dimora Grey collection is made of a pre-washed blend of linen and cotton that has a looser weave than the other Lavato linens. Offering a casual yet elegant appearance, these pieces are reversible, featuring a light grey on one side and a beige-grey on the other. Available in shams and duvet covers. Available at Au Lit Fine Linens www.aulitfinelinens.com

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DESIGN

BEDDI NG GU I DE

GR EAT SH A DES OF GR EY Hand-knitted, this extra-thick, wool-blend blanket was double-knit for maximum coziness. Larger than a lap blanket, it’s an oversized throw, which is a statement piece in any living space. Ships worldwide. 70˝ X 50˝. $317.08 La Reserve Design www.lareservedesign.com

H ER R I NGBON E COM FORT Redolent of classic homespun design, this herringbone wool-blend blanket is perfect for warming up under in front of a crackling fire. Hand-crafted in Canada, it has a fringe border to drape over your favorite sofa or chair. Ships worldwide. Approximately four-by-5.5 feet. $303.87. La Reserve Design www.lareservedesign.com

SI N K I N Carlo Bertelli, the third-generation creative director of Tessitura Toscana Telerie (TTT), the textile mill in Italy co-founded in 1947 by his late grandfather, is the creative brain behind this beautiful satin-stitch collection of 100 per cent cotton bedding. Regular use and laundering makes the 210-thread-count pieces softer. Available at Restoration Hardware www.restorationhardware.com

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BEDDI NG GU I DE

T H E V ELV ET I N E H A BI T Make it an evening ritual to climb into a comfy bed, dressed with this pure cotton-velvet bedding with a stonewashed linen underside. Available in various earth tones, this quilt and sham collection is tuck-embroidered in a subtle grid pattern. Available at Restoration Hardware www.restorationhardware.com

T H E BR IGH T BLU E SEA With a nod to ocean hues, Restoration Hardware’s tribal linen bed throw brings to life the art of mud-resist printing (dabu) of India. Artisans use carved wooden blocks to paint stripes on linen with mud, then dip the fabric in a natural dye bath. Available at Restoration Hardware www.restorationhardware.com

T ENCEL T EM P TAT IONS Tencel is an eco-friendly fabric that is antimicrobial and extremely soft. These sheets and duvet cover sets come in seven colours and are woven in a 600-thread count. Available at Linen Chest www.linenchest.com

COZ Y CUSH IONS Feather-light warmth and sublime texture characterize these Stowe brushed Peruvian alpaca pillow covers. Cozy and modern, these baby alpaca fleece covers are neutral-coloured in graphite and ivory. Available at Restoration Hardware www.restorationhardware.com

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DESIGN

BEDDI NG GU I DE

PA I N T ED PI L LOWS This line of rayon-silk-velvet-blend pillows was designed by Kevin O’Brien’s studio. Hand-painted and down-filled, they add a touch of Old World luxe to any space. $268.00 each. Available at Anthropologie www.anthropologie.com

WA R M I R ISH W ELCOM E From the oldest weaving mill in Ireland comes the April throw blanket by Avoca. Established in 1723, this family-run business is famous for tailored tweeds and colourful throws. Made of Donegal wool, it measures 72˝ L X 56˝ W. $178. Available at Anthropologie www.anthropologie.com

BET W EEN A ROCK A N D A SOF T PL ACE Images of geodes are everywhere this year, including on this featherweight duvet cover by East Urban Home. Made of a light polyester spun material, it’s also perfect for warm climates. Machine washable, it has a hidden zipper closure and ties inside to anchor a duvet insert. $245.00 Available at Wayfair www.wayfair.ca

T UCK I N Add a touch of panache to your comforter and pillows with this Hewitt pin-tuck duvet cover and sham set from VivaTerra. Elegant pin tucks create plushness. Organic cotton has a 230-thread count. Machine washable. Available at Wayfair www.wayfair.ca

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BEDDI NG GU I DE

L EOPA R D LU XU RY Stay warm under this leopard ombre patterned faux-fur throw. Layered or on its own, this soft, luxurious throw makes a statement in a bedroom, living room or den. 47˝ W X 60˝ L. Available at West Elm www.westelm.com

F L ECK ED F U R Soft and fluffy, this flecked faux-fur throw is chic and elegant. Perfect for cuddling up, it’s machine-washable. 66˝ W X 88˝ L. Available at West Elm www.westelm.com

ICON IC WA R M T H The Hudson’s Bay blanket was first commissioned in 1800 and is as popular today as it was then. Made in England, this multi-stripe point blanket is 100 per cent woven wool and comes in the standard bed sizes. $325.00 - $550.00. Available at Hudson’s Bay www.thebay.com

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BEDDI NG GU I DE

A DASH OF EL EGA NCE Pale grey Jacob wool and creamy white Welsh Mule lambswool is combined in the Alta handwoven cushion by Glenbach Weaving. A dash of navy blue is used for contrast. Ships worldwide. Available at Glenback Weaving www.glenbachweaving.com

WOV EN I N WA L ES Hand-woven, these cushions are 100 per cent wool that is sourced from Shetland sheep in the Teifi Valley of Wales. Hand-made by a small family-run business, Glenbach Weaving, they bestow a traditional touch on beds, sofas and armchairs. Ships worldwide. Available at Glenbach Weaving www.glenbachweaving.com

COT TAGE CH IC The Eddie Bauer cotton-blend Stag decorative pillow is as Canadian as you can get. Perfect for cottages or city homes, this red-and-black, checkered pillow with a deer’s-head patch has a concealed zip closure. $60.00. Available at Hudson’s Bay www.thebay.com

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LU X E L I F E These hand-felted fleece rugs come from The Living Rug Company. The raw fleece from each lamb is combined with carded wool and then felted to create the rug. No lamb is harmed in the process, and each fleece is named after the lamb it came from. These 100 per cent wool fleece rugs will add a touch of originality to your home as well as help with the upkeep of the lambs. Available at The Living Rug Company www.thelivingrugcompany.com

LOGICA L LY ECOLOGICA L The Pendleton Eco-Wise wool throw is made of non-toxic, biodegradable materials and is produced using environmentally responsible production methods. The fabric can be recycled or composted. $199. Available at Pendleton www.pendleton.ca

TA K E A SEAT! This seat cover from The Living Rug Company is made of 100 per cent wool fleece. Named after the sheep that donated its wool, the fleece is perfect as a chair pad or as a luxury cover for your pet’s bed. No sheep are harmed in this process and all proceeds go to the upkeep of the animals. Available at The Living Rug Company www.thelivingrugcompany.com

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TRAVEL

HOLA!

THE RIVIERA MAYA WELCOMES THE WINTER-WEARY Mexico’s Caribbean coast boasts beautiful beaches, fascinating culture and ancient sites BY LA CARMINA

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All photos: La Carmina


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THE SNOW IS GETTING ALARMINGLY DEEP. The wind is howling outside. And the furnace is on fullblast. Could there be a better time than now to escape to a place that is warm, inviting and culturally rich? Perhaps it’s time to pack your swimsuit for an escape to the Riviera Maya. Located in Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula, this 120-kilometre Caribbean coastline is home to Tulum, Playa del Carmen, Akumal, Puerto Morelos, and other charming beach towns. If you love both relaxing by the ocean and exploring local culture and archeology, this is your ideal tropical getaway.

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I booked an inexpensive direct flight and travelled in early January, leaving behind a heavy snowfall. Riviera Maya’s hot, dry season begins in November and ends in February, making winter the best time to visit. To avoid the tourist scene, I stayed at the adult-only El Dorado Maroma. As soon as I saw the resort’s thatched over-water huts on a stretch of quiet beach, I knew I was in for a relaxing break from the crowds.


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If you prefer a larger five-star resort, Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso will pamper you with award-winning restaurants and spas. Nature lovers should consider Azulik Resort and Maya Spa near the town of Tulum, where the wood villas have 360-degree views of jungle and the Caribbean Sea, offering visitors the experience of living luxuriously in the wild. Spending time in the sun might be your priority, but don’t miss out on the ancient Mayan ruins in the region. Some of the oldest excavated sites date back 4,000 years. •

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To get around, travellers typically rent a car or take public transportation such as “collectivo� buses. I hired a driver and guide from local concierge company, Loco Gringo, so I could easily visit several sites in a day. My guide, Paulina, took me to Chichen Itza, site of an iconic step pyramid and ancient observatory. Here, I learned about Mayan astrology and human sacrifice. We then drove to the lesser-known archaeological sites Ek Balam and Coba. Wandering through the stone temples without other tourists around, I felt transported back in time.

Next, Paulina suggested a tour of the folk-art museum, Casa de Los Venados in Valladolid, an inland town established by Spanish colonialists atop an older Mayan settlement, which was dismantled to provide the conquerors with building materials. I rode to a yellow hacienda there, decorated with more than 3,000 Mexican works: grinning sugar skulls, colourful deer, and a mosaic of images of painter Frida Kahlo. After walking through the old town, we stopped at a cemetery filled with flowers and rainbow-coloured tombstones.

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Back at the resort, I honoured the sunworshipping Mayans by spending a day relaxing on public beaches. Locals agree that Maroma is the most picturesque, with its soft white sands and clear waters. Xpu-Ha has a charming mile-long stretch of coast, perfect for a long stroll followed by swimming and snorkelling.

Riviera Maya is also famous for its cenotes, or subterranean swimming holes. Dive into Cenote Maya near the Ek Balam ruins, or Ik Kil near Chichen Itza. When you’re floating and looking up at the shaft of light, it’s easy to understand why these wells were sacred to the Maya. •

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I wanted to try authentic Mexican food, so I went to Aguachiles in Playa del Carmen. The namesake dish is an outstanding Sinaloa ceviche, made from raw shrimp cured in lime juice and spiced with chilies. Aguachiles’s fresh seafood tacos and tostadas were also well-priced, and hit the spot. Kay Walten, founder of Riviera Maya vacation company Loco Gringo, encouraged me to eat at El Meson de Marques in Valladolid. “Here you can enjoy terrific Yucatecan food,” she told me. “Our favorite regional dishes are cochinita pibil (slow-roasted pork), sopa de lima (poultry lime soup), and longaniza (sausage similar to chorizo). Their special caldo de marques, a hearty soup with avocado, chicken and spice, is a winner.” Kay also raved about El Pollo Bronco, “the best Mexican grilled chicken place in Tulum.” This unassuming late-night joint serves addictive drumsticks with guajillo chili powder and a side of salsa.

I couldn’t leave without a few souvenirs from local boutiques. On Coba Road, artisans display impressive handmade dreamcatchers and plaster sculptures. My favorite vendor sold organic Melipona honey from stingless Mexican bees, fashioned into candles and soaps.

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You c a n a l s o f i nd u n ique g i f t s at MexicArte, located in Akumal and Tulum. Friendly owner Nayeli sources crafts and jewelry from various regions of Mexico, and gives proceeds directly to the artists. I also recommend Siete Detalles, a small store packed with handicrafts, pewter and glass. This is one of the only shops in Playa del Carmen with authentic talavera, a clay pottery tradition that dates back to the 16th century. A vacation in Riviera Maya is especially delightful during Canada’s coldest months, when you’re craving a fix of sunshine and seafood. With easy flight access and plenty of attractions, the land of the Maya is just the ticket to heat up a long winter. •

IF YOU GO: Getting There: There are direct flights to Cancun on most days of the week, from major Canadian cities including Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto and Montreal. These airlines include InterJet, WestJet, Sunwing, Air Canada and Air Transat. Prices range from $390 to $800, with a flight time of between four and six hours, depending on the city of origin. Ground Travel: If you’re staying at a Riviera Maya resort, the staff can usually provide a shuttle transfer from Cancun International Airport. Travellers may also rent a car and drive south down Carretera Federal 307, a well-maintained highway that follows the coastline; Playa del Carmen is a 45-minute drive from the airport. Accommodation: All-inclusive packages are excellent value, beginning at around $190 a night at a four-star resort. A luxurious, ocean-front villa is generally $500 and up.

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DESIGN TORONTO WINTER 2017/2018

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STARK CONTRAST A designer uses strong hues with a backdrop of white and black in a Toronto condo BY SUSAN KELLY PHOTOGRAPHY: MICHAEL GRAYDON STYLING: GORDANA DI MONTE

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“All-white colour schemes can stray into sterility, which is why it is so important to add life with texture and accents of colour.”

INTERIOR DESIGNER GORDANA DI MONTE is often asked to put a fresh spin on design. But seldom is the request as literal as it was in the case of this two-bedroom condo in downtown Toronto. “Their number one must-have was a working turntable in the living area, which is not a request I get every day,” says Di Monte, creative director at Douglas Design Studio who headed the project.

The young professional couple’s primary residence lies a half-hour outside the city core in a serene lakeside setting. They purchased the condo to serve as a pied-à-terre close to the city’s restaurants, theatre and nightlife. With a completely different vibe, it also would serve as a base from which to entertain. The owners were originally attracted to the 1,200-square-foot condo’s layout, which is wide-open in the kitchen, dining and living

areas. But the property was painted “builder’s beige,” which was not their style. They wanted an all-white colour scheme to prevail throughout the home. And they preferred contemporary design with unique touches in addition to the turntable. •

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“All-white colour schemes can stray into sterility,” Di Monte says, “which is why it is so important to add life with texture and accents of colour.” The designer covered the walls of the living and dining areas with white wallpaper rather than flat, painted surfaces. Slightly textured and shot with subtle flecks of silver, it provides the perfect backdrop for the white modular turntable stand off the dining room. In contrast, the custom sofa in the living room was covered with slick white vinyl, both for the interesting texture and practical stain resistance. And the original kitchen’s gleaming white lacquer-finish cabinets and quartz countertops were retained as well.

The dining room’s unique touch is the showstopper dining table, a tangle of driftwood branches designed by Michigan-based artist Ben Forgey. It was just one of the organic elements injected into the home’s design. In the master bedroom, white cork wallpaper shot with mica provides a backdrop to the sleek Italian-design platform bed, upholstered in white leather. Wool draperies and natural linens add an elegantly cozy appeal. Natural elements also provided a counterpoint to the glossy white and cool metallic surfaces elsewhere. •

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The couple had fallen in love with the vibrant orange hue of the living room’s wow factor, the brilliant sweep of silk carpet. Although on-trend, the colour posed some challenge for the designer, being “not the easiest to work with.” Her solution in the end became one of the home’s most striking features: the large-scale works of art that grace the walls. “The paintings help unify the space,” Di Monte says. “Not because they match the

orange, but because they enhance the overall look and say something about the people who live there.” The vivid colours in the paintings create a context in which the carpet’s bold hue makes perfect sense. The designer made another strong design statement in the entryway that is open to the rest of the space. She had the walls and ceiling painted black to create dramatic contrast with the white walls around it. It also

helps to harmonize the original dark-stained hardwood floors that run throughout — and the black turntable. “Which makes sense, because that is where the design plan began,” Di Monte says. •

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WELCOME TO YOUR NEW BACKYARDâ„¢


CELEBRATING

39 Years

160 East Beaver Creek Rd., #26, Richmond Hill, On. L4B 3L4

www.gppatio.com 905-709-1162


ART

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ART TORONTO WINTER 2017/2018

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COMICS AND CULTURE The quirky art of Lyle Schultz taps into 1990s skate punk and the depths of the subconscious mind BY SUSAN KELLY

“EDDIE HIDES HIS FACE UNDER A JOKESHOP (SIC) MASK.” Victoria artist Lyle Schultz says that lyric snippet from a song by Canadian skatepunk band SNFU about sums up his approach to life and art. “I tend to hide behind a sense of cartoon facade in most of my work,” he says. “It’s still me, but just hidden deep under many layers of paint.” A full-time painter for a decade, at age 39 Schultz has created a serious body of work. Unique, often absurd or provoking, yet somehow profound, his style is sometimes compared to American neo-expressionist painter Jean-Michel Basquiat. Schultz’s paintings have been shown in close to 100 exhibitions nationally, about three-quarters of them on Vancouver Island. His works can also be found in many private collections, including those of Kids in the Hall alumnus Scott Thompson and John Wright of the band Nomeansno. •

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Cartooning dates to Schultz’s teenage years in 1990s Saskatchewan. He and a friend produced Phoxx Hat, a ‘zine filled with “poetry, drawings and insanity.” With other artists who were part of the same film group in college, he received a Canada Council grant to make an animated film: Hello, My Name is B.O.B., a project that took him to the West Coast. The group subsequently fell apart, but Schultz remained on Vancouver Island in 2003.

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The culture of the 1990s – from Terry Gilliam to Sam Kieth comics to filmmaker David Lynch – remains a big influence on his life. But it’s the decade’s underground-alternative and punk musicians, the “intelligent, creative, in-your-face bands that had amazing musicianship and art,” that inspire him the most. He has created album covers for such bands as U.S. punk rockers Lucky Scars over the years.


ART TORONTO WINTER 2017/2018

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And he counts SNFU musician and artist Ken Chinn, who uses the pseudonym Mr. Chi Pig, as friend and mentor. Schultz says it was backstage after a concert when he first saw one of Chinn’s paintings, which spoke to him as nothing had previously. “He also taught me that if you don’t have passion for what you’re doing, no one will care about what you produce, either,” says Schultz. He has a strong support system of friends, and is grateful to his parents who have always been strongly in his corner. Most of Schultz’s paintings have “at least 10 paintings under them,” as he tends to revise feverishly and relentlessly until he gets it right. He works on canvases or panels that range in size from four inches square to sixby-12-feet. He prefers acrylic paints with the occasional mix of other media. Because he prefers to work insulated from natural light, his studio is in a converted sauna at the back of his home. •

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ART

The rest of his apartment is jammed with paintings, books and guitars. To find space to sketch out his ideas, he tapes huge sheets of paper to the walls. That way, he can record his ideas for the many media he works in, including animation, short film, and writing. He also has scattered six video monitors that continually run, usually showing his favourite classic films, such as David Cronenberg’s Naked Lunch or sci-fi classic THX 1138.

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Among the projects in the works now is a mixed-media animation with musician Edward Garbo for a song that’s set for release in 2018. And he’s launched a line of leggings, skirts and bags under his own label, Stitch Cricket. They’re entirely made in Quebec, from the performance fabric to stitching. “And I don’t just transfer a painting onto the fabric,” he says. “I design each item, so each becomes wearable art. And some are limited editions.” The clothing and accessories are

available only at stitchcricketclothing.com. Schultz also sells his paintings mainly online as well, at lyleschultzart.com and on his Instagram site: @lyleschultzart. His most popular works feature cartoonish dogs in often surreal landscapes. It’s again an outsider’s view of the world around him. For in a town where “everyone and his dog has a dog,” Schultz remains a devout cat person. “I am happy people like something I do, but don’t want these paintings to be all I do,” he says. •


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LIFESTYLE

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Photo courtesy of BONE Structure

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LIFESTYLE TORONTO WINTER 2017/2018

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STAY HOME AND STAY WARM Take advantage of winter’s cold and darkness to experience the joy of cocooning indoors BY LA CARMINA

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HAS WINTER GIVEN YOU A CASE OF THE BLUES? A touch of cabin fever? Consider this cold, dark, blustery season a gift. Think of it as an opportunity to slow down, turn inward, and cocoon at home. The Danish concept of “hygge” (pronounced hoo-guh) is being embraced worldwide. The term refers to creating a relaxed, inviting environment that makes you happy to curl up, away from the cold. Take a cue from the Danes, and try these easy tips for warming up your home and body during the long winter months.

SPA SPACE Have a spa day indoors. Forget about going out in the cold to an expensive day at the spa, and pamper yourself in the comfort of your own home. A long, hot bath is especially satisfying in winter. Play relaxing music, dim the lights, and arrange candles around the tub. Throw in f lower petals, orange peels or any bath products that you have. To soothe dry skin, put oatmeal in a nylon stocking and run it under the spout. It’s easy to concoct natural face masks out of ingredients in your kitchen. Mix together yogurt and honey for a facial, and don’t forget cucumber slices over the eyes. For a salon-style treatment, comb coconut or olive oil through your hair. Middle and bottom left photos: La Carmina

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LIFESTYLE TORONTO WINTER 2017/2018

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CHEERS! Make warm drinks that are enjoyed around the world. From Chinese “leung cha” medicinal tea to South American yerba mate, there’s a wide world of hot drinks out there. Many of these international beverages are made with healthful and delicious ingredients, with properties that encourage heating in the body. “Glühwein,” or mulled wine, is a favorite throughout northern Europe. In a saucepan, heat red wine with spices (cinnamon sticks, clove, star anise), lemon and orange slices, and a touch of honey. For a non-alcoholic version, swap the wine for berry tea or pomegranate juice. Indonesians warm up with “bajigur,” a soothing coconut milk and ginger drink. In Japan, traditional matcha (whisked green tea powder) is a winter staple. You can also have fun decorating hot chocolate with Japanesestyle bunny faces and ears. •

All left photos: La Carmina

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WARM DECOR A few decor tweaks in your home can elevate your comfort levels. Decluttering is the first step: discard items that, in the words of organizing expert Marie Kondo, no longer “spark joy.” When a room is free of excess, it feels calm and inviting. To make the most of daylight, create a cozy window perch where you can look out and sip tea. At night, soften the room with candles or light up the fireplace if you have one.

Natural textures create instant hygge. Danish decoration tips include surrounding oneself with plants, and making centerpieces out of such forest materials as pinecones. Don’t forget to arrange comfortable throws and pillows around your favorite lounging areas.

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LIFESTYLE TORONTO WINTER 2017/2018

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GET UP AND DANCE Work out with video games and apps. Chilly weather makes many of us reluctant to hit the gym or exercise outdoors. However, you can still break a sweat and have fun in front of the TV. Video game consoles, including Wii and Xbox, have developed fitness games that track your movements. Gather a group of friends and follow along with “Just Dance” choreography until you reach “superstar” status. You can also get moving to Wipeout (obstacle courses), Zumba, and P90X.

Photo: La Carmina

Online fitness is popular. You can stream hundreds of classes, taught by top instructors. Many programs offer free one-month trial subscriptions, including YogaGlo and Beachbody On Demand. YouTube also has plenty of videos that teach barre, Pilates, kickboxing and other workouts. •

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LOUNGE AROUND Get stylish with loungewear. Hygge extends to feeling good about what you wear at home. Why not brighten up your winter wardrobe with a few comfortable yet chic pieces? Seek out sweaters with whimsical prints, such as the holiday loungewear collections by online purveyors Wildfox and UNIF. Or find a robe and slippers decorated with your favorite cute character. If you enjoy sewing and knitting, this is a chance to treat yourself with new accessories.

Top photos: La Carmina

Photo courtesy of Wildfox

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LIFESTYLE TORONTO WINTER 2017/2018

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PET PLAY Spend cozy time with pets. They tend to be extra snuggly this time of year. Spoil your furry friends with a long grooming session, and then take portraits of them with holiday lights and costumes. Cats and dogs can be delighted by a cardboard box with cut-outs, or a cozy fort made from bedsheets. If it’s snowing outside, make a snowman for them to investigate. And of course, cuddle up. Our animal friends naturally seem to understand the joys of cocooning in winter. • Photo: La Carmina

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BUYERS’ GUIDE TORONTO WINTER 2017/2018

FOR ART’S SAKE Palmerston Design Consultants Inc. www.palmerston.ca 416-924-3800 LIGHT-FILLED SPACES Barroso Homes www.barrosohomes.com 416-723-9984 ENERGY-EFFICIENCY IN GLASS HOUSES Chateau Window & Door Systems www.chateauwindows.com 416-783-3916 BEAUTY UNDERFOOT Weavers Art www.weaversart.com 416-929-7929

GO AHEAD! TRACK MUD INTO THE HOUSE Dvira Ovadia www.dvira.com 416-562-2252 Melyssa Robert www.melyssarobert.com 450-858-3326

Sarah Gallop Design Inc. www.sarahgallop.com 604-952-4448 STARK CONTRAST Douglas Design Studio www.douglasdesignstudio.com 416-538-4692

South Hill Interiors www.southhillinteriors.com 416-970-1703

VILLA VISTAS Bloomsbury Fine Cabinetry www.bloomsburykitchens.com 416-782-7900 ~ 905-853-7700

Cliff and Evans Ltd. www.cliffandevans.com 416-628-7186

Granite Shore Homes Inc. www.graniteshorehomes.com 519-732- 2756

Bloomsbury Fine Cabinetry www.bloomsburykitchens.com 416-782-7900 ~ 905-853-7700

Rodney Deeprose www.rodneydeeprose.com 647-295-1628

LIKE STONE … BUT LIGHTER AND TOTALLY CUSTOMIZED Omega Mantels www.omegamantels.com 855-712-0123 SWEET LUXURY Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia www.omnimontelucia.com 888-444-OMNI COMICS AND CULTURE Artist Lyle Schultz www.lyleschultzart.com @lyleschultzart www.artbombdaily.com

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IN OUR NEXT ISSUE

Is there anything more inviting than a kitchen in full use? The aroma of cooking and baking fills the house, along with laughter and conversation. Our kitchens have become the centre of our homes. We use our kitchens for so many activ ities: homework, cook ing lessons for children, heart-to-heart talks. We cook, eat and entertain in the kitchen. In our next issue, we bring you profiles of some of the best-designed kitchens in Toronto. Don’t miss Toronto Home’s Kitchens issue, on sale in February.

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CLASSIC IN A NEW COMPOSITION Timeless Elegance in Kitchen Interior Design


Kitchen Interior Design www.siematic.com

1055 Bay Street, Toronto 416-286-2222

available at www.binns.net

333 Kingston Road, Pickering 905-509-5555


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B10 - 996 Westport Crescent, Mississauga, ON www.royaldecks.ca | 905.901.3560


Creating Backyard dreams...


‘The most enduring legacies ‘The most enduring legacies a re bor n of the most colour f ul lives’ a re bor n of the most colour f ul lives’

A LIFE IN COLOUR A LIFE IN COLOUR

38 AVENUE ROAD, TORONTO • 416 921 9200 • KNAR.COM

Toronto Home - Winter 2017/2018  

Toronto Home - Winter 2017/2018  

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