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TORONTO

WINTER

BIG IMPACT

ISSUE

The pandemic’s effect on design

TRAVEL NEAR HOME

HOME GYMS

Quarantine workouts

Winter sojourns in Canada

THE NEW STEW

$6.95

A fresh way with comfort food

HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE

COZY BEDDING

GUITAR STANDS

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PHOTO BY LARRY ARNAL

PHOTO BY LARRY ARNAL

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Peace, white walls and goodwill for all. That’s what a complete transformation of this three storey S addition brought to our client who fondly refers to it as their “personal sanctuary”. Soaring ceilings, window backsplash and modern appeal. A perfect example of what you can achieve working with t designers at Yorkville Design Centre.

Redesign shelter at home.


Summerhill , horizontal the


PUBLISHER’S LETTER

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Dear readers, The magazine you are holding is the last print issue of Home in Canada. The past year has been difficult for all sectors of the economy, and the publishing industry has not been spared. As advertisers have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, so has Home in Canada. It’s been a difficult year. Indeed, the message of 2020 that will surely remain firmly lodged in everyone’s memory is: hunker down, stay home, stay safe. As you’ve stayed home to stay safe, we have tried to make these challenging times easier for you, our dear readers, by showing you beautiful homes, ways to enhance your own homes, and imaginative ways to improve your lives. I have loved publishing, writing and everything having to do with Home in Canada. The delight and honour of meeting and interviewing the architects, designers, creatives, and painters that you have seen with me here in these pages and in the videos has been one of the highlights of my life. From my first visits to the immense, almost-overwhelming Maison et Objet show in Paris to the intimate video interviews I did in offices and homes, it has been a voyage of fun, joy and learning. While we will cease to publish our print publication, we do intend to keep our website active, and to stay au courant with you. We will continue to publish articles of interest, and we will answer you if you write to us. Every ending brings new beginnings, and we plan to evolve in digital format to bring you new, evocative content. The world needs to know about beauty and art, and we need to learn and grow. This has been our mandate and will continue as we share this odyssey of discovery with you. My thanks go out to you, our readers, many of whom are subscribers, to our advertisers who have supported us, to our printer and distributors, and to our staff. Stay tuned for new adventures ahead. Let’s transition together into a digital format. Please meet us here: www.athomeincanada.ca.

DR. SHARON AZRIELI Publisher

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Canadian owned


EDITOR’S LETTER

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I RECENTLY SAW this amusing meme: “Don’t know about y’all but I could sure go for some precedented times.” It’s funny because . . . well, aren’t we all just a little tired of being told that we are living through unprecedented times? The past nine months have changed our lives so much that it’s difficult to remember what “precedented” looks like. In this issue, writer Susan Semenak tells us about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on design and architecture. And here’s something that is unprecedented: the number of homeowners—former gym goers—who are building dedicated spaces in their homes for exercise. It’s the safest way to enjoy a workout these days, and writer Julie Gedeon tells us all about it. For those of us pondering a winter vacation this year, travel writer La Carmina urges us to discover destinations in our own backyard here in Canada. She’s also crafted a compelling narrative about how her sojourn in a Buddhist temple in Japan prepared her mentally and spiritually for the challenges of lockdown. Because this is our winter issue, we give you our annual gift guide, discuss cozy bed linens for cold winter nights, and show you how to cook new variations on a beloved cold-weather comfort food: stew. In addition, writer Barbara Milner tells us how to make the interiors of our homes cozy for winter cocooning. And we take you into some beautiful homes that I know you’ll love. The idea of home as sanctuary, after all, has taken on a poignant meaning this year. As you’ve no doubt read in our publisher’s letter, this is the last print issue of Home in

Canada. What a fascinating run we’ve had, and what fun. I extend my gratitude to all the homeowners who have opened their doors to us over the years and allowed us to profile their spaces, to the designers who designed them, the photographers who shot them, and the stylists who styled them. Throughout my editorship, I have been fortunate to have collaborated with talented, professional contributors: writers, photographers and stylists far too numerous to list here (you all know who you are). They’ve made my work life a joy. The same goes for my colleagues here at the magazine, dedicated folks who have always pulled together as a team to ensure that we produce this high-quality publication. It’s been an honour to collaborate with all of you—contributors and co-workers. An editor’s constituency is her readers and I am so thankful for ours. Everything I do is with our readers in mind, and it has been my great pleasure to bring you this magazine’s varied content over the years. I am grateful, too, for our advertisers, printer, distributors and everyone else who has contributed to the success of Home in Canada. It takes a village. Finally, I send deep gratitude to our publisher, Sharon Azrieli, for the vision she has held for this magazine and for steering the ship through creative waters. These are difficult times. I hope that you will find solace and comfort with those you love and in the safety of your home. Best wishes for the upcoming holiday season and may the new year be safer and happier than this “unprecedented” year. Goodbye.

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

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


CONTRIBUTORS

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LA CARMINA Travel journalist and TEDx speaker La Carmina is the recipient of the 2020 Bronze Award from the Society of American Travel Writers. She typically visits a dozen countries a year, but 2020 has kept her grounded at home in Vancouver. Writing about getaways from major Canadian cities has made her eager to embark on local adventures. “I’m excited to explore destinations in my own backyard that I’ve long overlooked,” she says. “And I’ve realized just how much my experiences abroad— such as staying in a Japanese Buddhist temple—have taught me to be resilient in challenging times.” Follow La Carmina’s journeys on @lacarmina Instagram, and on her award-winning blog lacarmina.com. JEAN MONET Jean Monet is a designer who has styled interiors for this magazine since its inception. For this issue, Jean styled a Montreal apartment that he had previously decorated for his clients. “In the condo belonging to Joanne and Howard Nemeroff, we were striving for a New York sensibility,” he says. On the opposite side of the St. Lawrence River is a historic jewel in Boucherville, Quebec that Jean also styled. “I applied my personal touch while styling both of these projects for our photo shoots,” he says. “It resulted in amazing photos. We are living through difficult times, and my goal was to show off these beautiful interiors to offer our readers that sense of comfort that everyone is seeking now.” GILLIAN JACKSON Gillian Jackson is a Toronto-based photographer specializing in interiors and architecture who works across North America. When California-based Tuvalu Homes asked her to photograph a lakeside cottage in Muskoka, she jumped at the opportunity. The area is special to Gill; she spent summers there during her formative years. “I was so impressed with Tuvalu’s design for this family cottage,” she says. “The combination of Tuvalu’s iconic Laguna beach aesthetic of soft tones and pastels, mixed with Muskoka’s rustic stone and wood elements, created such a wonderful, restorative and restful atmosphere, just perfect for family gatherings and lakeside entertaining.” SUSAN SEMENAK Susan Semenak is a Montreal writer and cookbook author. She has survived the pandemic by escaping to her kitchen and her garden. She’s not alone. In her story about how the pandemic has influenced architecture and design, she looks at the ways homeowners are making their spaces cozier and more efficient. And in her Kitchen Chronicles column, she heads into the kitchen with new ideas for jazzing up winter stews. DREW HADLEY Montreal photographer Drew Hadley says he had a lot of fun working with stylist Jean Monet on two projects featured in this issue. “Both locations are meticulously decorated with splashes of robust colour,” Drew says. “In the historic home in Boucherville, the homeowner did a superb job of lovingly restoring the structure to its original glory. I love the exposed wood beams and stone chimney. And the apartment in downtown Montreal that we photographed is beautifully appointed. I admired the simplicity of its design with those clean walls, adorned with artworks.” Drew specializes in design and architectural photography.

The two photographs on page 141 and the right-hand photograph on page 143 of the Autumn issue were incorrectly attributed. In fact, the photos, which show a project by Accessible Daily Living of Toronto with tiling done by Tileworx, should have been credited to Accessible Daily Living. Home in Canada regrets the error.

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Toronto Edition Volume 10, number 5; Winter 2020 Date of Issue: November, 2020 6100 TransCanada Highway Suite 100, Pointe-Claire Quebec H9R 1B9

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

PUBLISHER Dr. Sharon Azrieli, CQ CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER Stanley Kirsh EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Stephanie Whittaker ART DIRECTOR Nader Meleika PROOFREADER (English) Phillipa Rispin EDITORIAL COORDINATOR Carmen Lefebvre CONTRIBUTORS Cheryl Cornacchia Julie Gedeon Lana Harper Wendy Helfenbaum Elisabeth Kalbfuss Susan Kelly La Carmina Tracey MacKenzie Barbara Milner Phillipa Rispin Susan Semenak PHOTOGRAPHY Patrick Biller Mike Chajecki Drew Hadley Gillian Jackson Joel Klassen La Carmina Alex Lukey Virginia MacDonald Susan Semenak STYLISTS Laurie Alter Joel Bray Alison Connor Wendy Grand Pre Emily Griffin Stephanie Houghton Shiva Khalilnia Stephanie Molinaro Jean Monet Katie Mooney Alykhan Velji

CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER Matthew Azrieli CONTROLLER Jenny Marques DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Artur Kozyra DIRECTOR PARTNERSHIPS MARKETING & SALES Liliana Da Costa LEGAL DEPOSIT 1927-324x Home In Canada Inc. 2019. All rights reserved. Any copying or reproduction of content without the written permission of Home In Canada is strictly prohibited. issn


CONTENTS

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18 HOLIDAY-READY

A design team outfits a Muskoka vacation home in time for Christmas

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CLOSE TO HOME

As the pandemic slows international travel, Canadians have an opportunity to vacation in their own country this winter

HISTORY RESTORED

An 1835 Quebec house is brought back from decrepitude by a man who could see its potential beauty

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VASTLY TINY THINGS

A photographer captures images of oysters to create large, fascinating artworks

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Frankly Sharon EXCLUSIVE FREE TRACK FEATURING SOPRANO SHARON AZRIELI As a heartfelt thank you to the loyal readers of Home of Canada, Sharon Azrieli is offering access to one free track from her newest album that came out on November 13, 2020 – Frankly Sharon. Listen by visiting www.sharonazrieli.com/frankly-sharon-exclusive or scan the QR code.

Soprano Sharon Azrieli and composer Frank Wildhorn create a dream team for this album featuring musical theatre and world songs from sultry French to passionate Italian and poignant Hebrew, with translations all done by Sharon Azrieli.


CONTENTS

6

PUBLISHER’S LETTER

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EDITOR’S LETTER

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THIS JUST IN A selection of new items for your home

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TIMING TRAVAILS Downsizing during a pandemic was challenging for a Montreal couple, but it nonetheless gave them the perfect new home

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STRIKING A BEAUTIFUL CHORD These hand-crafted guitar stands are—like the instruments they support—works of art

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HOME FOR CHRISTMAS Holiday decor and dining with fine tableware is more important this year than ever, says designer Joel Bray

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ALWAYS CREATING Montreal jeweller Gloria Bass continues to innovate and craft original pieces

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MODERNIZING THE MODERN A Mid-century Modern home in Calgary is updated for today with reverence and respect for its past

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A LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS The pandemic has inspired new ways of celebrating Hanukkah, the Jewish festival of lights

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THE PRESENT MOMENT Our annual gift guide helps you find the right holiday gifts

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CHANGE OF DIRECTION As it transforms our lives, the COVID-19 pandemic is also exerting an impact on interior design and architecture

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TEA TIME We take teaware for granted, but it has a fascinating history

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COZY, COMFORTABLE AND COVETED The latest bedding from UGG promises to warm up the winter nights and beautify the bedroom

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THE NEW STEW An updated version of this hearty, cold-weather dinner goes beyond meat and potatoes

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CANADIAN COZINESS Warm up to winter by making the interiors of your home light and inviting

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TRADITIONAL AND FAMILY-FRIENDLY This Toronto home is given Old-World style that is both elegant and welcoming for children

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READY TO LAUNCH It’s time to work some decor magic for a fresh start in 2021

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VIDEO BARISTAS The JURA Hospitality Centre teaches you to make perfect coffee, and you won’t even have to leave your house

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SUITE RETREAT A renovated bedroom and bathroom provide a Toronto couple with a cozy sanctuary

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STAY HOME, STAY FIT

As fitness buffs eschew workouts in commercial gyms, some are creating dedicated exercise spaces at home

LUXURY LIFE

A Toronto designer adds glamour and warmth to a King West condo

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IN PURSUIT OF STILLNESS AND PEACE

A stay in a Japanese Buddhist temple was this travel writer’s preparation for the COVID-19 lockdown


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DESIGN

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DESIGN • HOME IN CANADA • WINTER 2020

FAUX FUN

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CHOOSE YOUR MUSE The chic and opulent Muse Collection is the result of a creative collabor-

Add a luxurious and warm touch to your living space with the soft faux fur

ation between Maison Berger and designer Jonathan Adler. The elegant

collection, available at Linen Chest. Choose a cushion, a throw or a bed run-

porcelain lamp is a replica of the iconic Muse vase. It’s adorned with white

ner, available in five styles: timber wolf, bobcat, rabbit and white or black

embossed lips, while some are marked in hot-stamped gold. This unique

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HIS AND HERS The Mr. & Mrs. Collection by Maison Berger was created by designer Jonathan Adler. Inspired by painter Salvador Dalí, this black and white collection reflects contrast: darkness and light, yin and yang. Each lamp gift pack comes with its own 250-millilitre home fragrance: citrus breeze with the Mrs. lamp and a fresh-and-woody wilderness scent with the Mr. lamp. Linen Chest www.linenchest.com

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DESIGN

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DESIGN • HOME IN CANADA • WINTER 2020

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READY FOR CHRISTMAS A design team outfits a Muskoka vacation home in time for the holidays BY PHILLIPA RISPIN PHOTOGRAPHY: GILLIAN JACKSON STYLING: LAURIE ALTER, STEPHANIE MOLINARO AND WENDY GRAND PRE

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DESIGN

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In the Muskoka room, plenty of seating provides for relaxing, chatting, playing board games and just generally enjoying the surroundings. The spectacular antler chandelier was a favourite find for designer Laurie Alter and her team at Tuvalu Home Environment.

THERE’S TURNKEY, and then there’s turnkey. The owners of this home on Lake Joseph in Ontario’s Muskoka region presented designer Laurie Alter with a newly built but empty property and said, in effect, “It’s all yours.” In 2019, Alter and her team from Tuvalu Home Environment in Laguna Beach, California were responsible for completely outfitting the place, both indoors and out:

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furniture, linens, soft furnishings such as drapes and cushions, accessories, lighting, deck furniture and umbrellas, cutlery and utensils, decorative elements such as vintage lifebuoys—everything, even down to natural sponges for the bath. About the only things they weren’t asked to provide were the boats in the boathouse. Alter’s clients knew her work, for they had a home in Laguna Beach that had benefited

from the Tuvalu touch a few years earlier, and they were familiar with Tuvalu’s two California stores. Alter and her team met them at the Muskoka property during the summer to discuss the project. The owners didn’t ask for a specific style, but they did want something different from their Laguna Beach house and different from neighbouring places on Lake Joseph.


DESIGN • HOME IN CANADA • WINTER 2020

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The property’s blue-and-orange palette is echoed in the lakeside boathouse apartment’s furnishings.

“We had literally a suitcase with loads of different fabrics to start the design process,” says Alter. “We pulled out a few collections, and it was then that they gravitated to a warmer, burnt-orange colour vibe. Once that was established, they kind of let us loose. We . . . didn’t see them until the project was installed.” –>

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DESIGN

And what a project it was: the main house of 3,800 square feet, the boathouse of 1,200 square feet with guest quarters attached, and numerous decks. The main house alone comprises a kitchen, living room, dining room, Muskoka room, powder room, in addition to two bedrooms upstairs and three downstairs, each with an ensuite bathroom. All this had to be furnished and decorated for the clients and family and friends to walk in and feel right at home, just in time for Christmas.

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The designer and her team searched for little touches of luxury and whimsy (such as the framed vintage bathing suit in the principal suite’s bathroom) that combine to make this family retreat a welcoming getaway.


DESIGN • HOME IN CANADA • WINTER 2020

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The kitchen features vintage pendant lights and wood cabinetry that fit well with the house’s wooded surroundings. In two of the bedrooms, custom-made bunk beds accommodate the youngest generation in the owners’ large family.

“When I saw the place, it was pretty much completed,” says Alter. “The builders were finishing the Muskoka room.” She says that the only structural change she suggested was to reconfigure the kitchen and add vintage pendants to make it more functional. Once that was done, the empty house awaited. The result is all about comfort and accommodating a crowd. One easy furnishings decision was two custom-made sets of bunk beds in each of two of the bedrooms, ready for visits from the owners’ large extended family. The living room and the Muskoka room both feature generously proportioned pieces for seating. Outdoors, there are multiple lounging and seating areas spread over several decks. –>

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DESIGN

The Tuvalu team started sourcing items for the home over the summer. Most came from Tuvalu or were ordered from trusted suppliers, but Alter and team also had fun visiting stores and flea markets in a wider area. Round Top, Texas is famous for flea markets and antiques shows, and there Alter was particularly

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excited to find two original Stickley rocking chairs. She and the team also visited stores and markets in the Muskokas, finding accessories and art with a local flavour. Alter calls the resulting style “contemporary rustic cottage.” It combines antiques such as the Stickley chairs, rustic elements such as

cow-hide rugs, and decidedly contemporary items such as the clear acrylic stools near the fireplace in the main living room. The look is “timeless but unique,” says Alter, “as though the furnishings and accessories had been collected over time.”


DESIGN • HOME IN CANADA • WINTER 2020

Keeping to a distinctive colour scheme in a room creates perfect partners out of such disparate elements as vintage life preservers and an ornate chandelier.

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A constant throughout is colour and texture. Alter based the colour scheme on shades of orange, ranging from soft and faded in the living room through to bright tangerine on the decks. In some rooms it’s

taken even further, going into decisive red. Many rooms have blue accents in the same manner, gentle in the living room and amping up into brilliant turquoise in the boathouse guest quarters. –>

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DESIGN

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DESIGN • HOME IN CANADA • WINTER 2020

A mix of texture and colour, always with some version of blue and/or orange, gives a sense of continuity among the various rooms, including the boathouse apartment (opposite, top), a bedroom (opposite, bottom), and the principal suite in the main house (this page).

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The texture story is also varied. In the master bedroom, grasscloth on the walls provides subtle texture. The look of twig-framed mirrors, rattan and bentwood seating, and rustic cabinets is softened over-all by plumply upholstered furniture and plentiful soft furnishings, with rugs and cushions throughout the rooms. The process of preparing the country retreat was demanding, because of its distance from stores. Alter and her team of five employees eventually moved into a local hotel in late autumn and worked full-time on the project. The weather did not necessarily cooperate: Alter recalls heavy snowfalls that required the

driveway be plowed twice a day so that delivery trucks could get in. But she and her team completed their mandate, putting the last touches on the house right before Christmas. She remembers the snow and the trucks and all the sourcing of items, but mostly she remembers the joy of being let loose to do a whole property from scratch. “We like to take chances, which sometimes clients are unsure of,” Alter says. “They have concerns because they can’t see the end project. . . . It truly is a designer’s dream to have such trust to let us work our magic and not be limited.”

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TRAVEL

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WINTER WONDERLAND GETAWAYS In this era of reduced global mobility, we can enjoy a holidayseason vacation close to home BY LA CARMINA

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TRAVEL • HOME IN CANADA • WINTER 2020

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Photo courtesy of La Corporation ski & golf Mont-Orford 

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TRAVEL

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Photo by John Entwistle/Whistler Blackcomb

A FRIEND ONCE DESCRIBED yearning to travel as “having itchy feet.” His catchy phrase popped into my mind many times in 2020—the challenging year of COVID-19—as it aptly described my growing longing to explore far-off places. While many foreign countries remain open to Canadian visitors, I don’t feel comfortable with flying during a pandemic, or quarantining for two weeks upon my return. It’s fortunate that there are many satisfying ways to scratch “itchy feet” while staying close to home. Take a short drive from any of Canada’s major cities, and you’ll find splendid attractions that you can enjoy as a day trip or

weekend getaway. Why not treat this winter as an opportunity to try offbeat activities such as dog-sledding, ancient caving, or snowshoe wine tours? We Canadians love to travel during the holiday season, often to warmer climes. This year gives us an opportunity to do it close to home and to discover the beauty of our own country and its winter season. From Vancouver, Calgary, Toronto, Ottawa, and Montreal, here’s a variety of ideas for safe, local travel that allows you to bask in the great outdoors. We may not be able to venture too far this season, but we can still make memories with our families, and re-capture that invigorating sense of adventure. Photo courtesy of Tourism Laurentians

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TRAVEL • HOME IN CANADA • WINTER 2020

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Photo by Justa Jeskova/Whistler Blackcomb

Vancouver Some of the world’s best ski and snowboard runs lie only two hours from Vancouver, at the famous Whistler Blackcomb resort. At year-end, Whistler Village gets a glow-up with holiday lights and activities for all ages, including storytelling and crafts. I recommend planning a visit for early- to mid-December to avoid the crowds and steep hotel prices. If you prefer a more peaceful and less expensive getaway, opt for a multi-day trip to Sun Peaks. Take the five-hour scenic drive to Kamloops, and you’ll be rewarded with world-class ski runs and backcountry skiing for the entire family. Sun Peaks offers its unique Alpine Fondue and Starlight Descent that lets you indulge in a three-course dinner and then swoop downhill under the stars. You can also climb into a Cat Trax groomer to see how the resort paves its runs, or try ice-fishing for trout inside a heated tent on the lake. –> Photo by Robin O’Neill/Whistler Blackcomb

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TRAVEL

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Calgary Travelers worldwide are familiar with Banff and lake Louise, the scenic mountain hamlets located around a two-hour drive from Calgary. Shrouded by dramatic peaks, the glacier-fed lake looks especially stunning in the wintertime. Plan a visit between January 20 and 31 to catch the Ice Magic Festival, where top artists carve intricate sculptures out of enormous frozen blocks. It would be a mistake to overlook Canmore and Kananaskis, the Rocky Mountain town and valley located just over an hour from Calgary. This wildlife haven offers cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, dog-sledding, and a handful of unusual winter activities. Book a tour of Rat’s Nest cave in Canmore, which has an underground temperature of four degrees Celsius year-round. As you meander through the passages, you’ll learn about fossils and 7,000-year-old rock paintings. As an alternative, take an “ice walk” to see dazzling frozen waterfalls in Kananaskis. Then, go glamping at Mount Engadine Lodge: each tent is heated and has such amenities as a shower and private deck.

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Photo courtesy of Discover Banff Tours

Photo by Sebastian Buzzalino

Photo courtesy of Travel Alberta / Mike Seehagel

Photo courtesy of Discover Banff Tours


TRAVEL • HOME IN CANADA • WINTER 2020

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Photos by Nataschia Wielink

Toronto Escape from Canada’s largest city to Stratford, a Victorian town that is particularly charming during the holiday season. Take a 90-minute car ride through the countryside and arrive hungry. Stratford’s foodie experiences include the Bacon & Ale Trail, which lets you try pairings of craft beer and smoked

pork. If you have a sweet tooth, embark on the Chocolate Trail to sample artisanal desserts and meet the makers. For wine tastings with a twist, join a snowshoe tour at an Ontario vineyard. Beamsville is an hour’s drive from Toronto, and can be visited on the way to Niagara Falls. Stop at

Thirty Bench and learn about the grapes while snowshoeing through the grounds. Or you could drive two-and-a-half hours northwest to Annan, home of Coffin Ridge Boutique Winery. Visitors can trek the 25 acres and learn about the winery’s history and growing process, before warming up with mulled wine paired with cheese. –>

Photo by Nataschia Wielink

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TRAVEL

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Ottawa If you drive half an hour north from the nation’s capital, you’ll find yourself in Wakefield, a Quebec town known for its creative scene. Get inspired at outdoor art exhibitions, and catch a live music concert by locals. Children will love dashing through the snow on a horse-drawn sleigh at Captiva Farms. For a memorable date night, book a table at Nikosi Bistro-Pub, which has a cozy dining room and patio overlooking the Gatineau River. The dishes fuse Indigenous and rustic French influences, such as warm bannock bread with aged cheddar, maple-sweetened mushrooms, and duck sausage.

Photo by Ali Kazal

Photos by Wapokunie Riel-Lachapelle, Owner/Operator of Terrasse Nikosi Bistro-Pub

At Lac-des-Loups, a Québécois village under an hour’s drive from Ottawa, you can experience ice skating on a three-kilometre trail through a forest. Patinage en Forêt invites you to glide on a pristine, open-air ice path surrounded by trees and gentle wildlife.

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TRAVEL • HOME IN CANADA • WINTER 2020

Montreal Quebec’s largest urban centre offers plenty of local getaways for those who love snow sports. Mont-Orford National Park is a 90-minute drive eastward from Montreal. The 850-metre mountain has the steepest vertical slope in the Eastern Townships, plus spectacular snowshoeing and cross-country and alpine ski trails. Mont-Tremblant is located the same distance away, albeit in the Laurentians, but feels like a European alpine town. In addition to having world-class terrain for all levels, Mont-Tremblant excels in the art of après-ski.

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Treat yourself to hearty food and wine, and try your luck at the casino. For an exhilarating family activity, conquer the winter slides at Saint-Sauveur, found in the Laurentians, an hour outside Montreal. Slide down 19 chutes for single-person snow tubes, or zip down two trails for multi-person snow rafts. After, warm up in front of the fireplace at the old-fashioned Sugar Shack.

Photos courtesy of La Corporation ski & golf Mont-Orford 

Photo courtesy of Tremblant

Photos courtesy of Tourism Laurentians

TIPS FOR TRAVELLING SAFELY IN CANADA THIS WINTER In the era of COVID-19, research and preparation are key for having the smoothest possible journey. Check your province’s official website for the current safety recommendations regarding local travel, keeping in mind that regulations can change. When planning your trip, try to avoid weekends, holidays, and peak hours if possible to keep away from crowds. Research each hotel’s policy on maximum capacity, physical distancing, and sanitation, and book your accommodations well in advance. It’s wise to pack a mask with you at all times, as many places will require you to wear one. Don’t forget to take water and snacks for the drive, to prevent making unnecessary stops. If you’re ever in doubt, remember the words of British Columbia’s health officer, Dr. Bonnie Henry: “Be kind, be calm, and be safe.” And have fun.

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DESIGN

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A TALE OF TWO HOMES Moving into a condo and upgrading its decor proved to be challenging during the 2020 virus lockdown BY STEPHANIE WHITTAKER PHOTOGRAPH: DREW HADLEY STYLING: JEAN MONET Floral arrangements: Le Marché aux Fleurs du Village

IT WAS THE BEST OF TIMES, it was the worst of timing. Joanne and Howard Nemeroff were downsizing. They’d sold the home they’d owned for 35 years and had bought the perfect condo in downtown Montreal. That was the best of times. The plan was to move in on May 1, 2020. That was the worst of timing. The COVID-19 pandemic had paralyzed Montreal. There were restrictions on who would be permitted to enter the building that housed the couple’s new 2,150-square-foot condo. “We had to be out of our house by April 30,” Joanne recalls. “But in order to move into our new place, we needed to meet a specific COVID protocol. That included the fact that we couldn’t even have anyone in to measure the windows for blinds. We couldn’t have chosen a stranger time to move.” –>

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The building, an iconic structure built in 1907 in Montreal’s Golden Square Mile, is called the Linton, and is not actually a condominium but a New York-style co-op. Residents own shares rather than condo units. Moving into the building at the height of the pandemic, when no one other than residents was permitted to come and go, required special

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permission from the co-op’s board of directors. Once the directors were satisfied that the moving company and the new owners would comply with the protocols, the move was approved. Joanne and Howard were moving from their five-bedroom house in Montreal West because it was too large for their empty-nest lifestyle. They had pared down their belongings to fit

into the smaller floorspace in the Linton, but discovered once they arrived that they, nonetheless, had brought too much furniture and it didn’t look right in the new setting. And thanks to the lockdown, it would be another month before they could admit a designer into the space to transform it into “home.” Once the restrictions were lifted, they called


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on designer Jean Monet to weave his magic. He had designed their previous home and their Florida condo. “It didn’t need any structural work,” says Monet. “The last owners had done all the necessary renovations. It just needed rethinking and redecorating. What looks good in a house can look all wrong in a condo. They had brought too much furniture and it was choking the space.”

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He encouraged the couple to pare down their belongings. Then, he rearranged furnishings to create better flow, hung paintings, reupholstered several pieces, added wallpaper in the master bathroom and the den, and created a joyful bedroom for the couple’s grandchildren. “My task was to redecorate so that the new canvas would work with these particular interiors,” Monet says. –>

Furniture from the couple’s former living room was transplanted to the new space. Joanne sourced the area rug on Wayfair. “I learned a lot about online shopping because of the pandemic,” she says. “I bought rugs, towels and chairs for the kitchen.” Floral artwork between windows by James Lahey (Galerie de Bellefeuille). The collages on each side of the Lahey painting are by Samara Golden (Night Gallery, Los Angeles).

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A case in point was the homeowners’ beloved antique oak dining table. Its rusticity—perfect in the previous house—didn’t fit here. “I had it painted a glossy white to give it a New York look,” the designer says. The eight brown dining chairs also had a makeover. “The frames were painted black and we reupholstered the seats with a hot-pink silk rayon fabric.” The den also got a refresh. All the walls in this room were a solid navy blue as was the large sofa that dominates the space. “We had bought the furniture in the den from the previous owner,” Joanne says. “And while Jean liked the navy colour, he said there was just too much of it.” So Monet created contrast by having the panelled insets on the walls papered with a creamy blue wallcovering.

The walls in the den were entirely navy blue when Joanne and Howard moved in. Designer Jean Monet tempered the monochromatic decor by adding a linenweave wallpaper in a creamy blue to the panels. Wallpaper: Chambray by Genon, from Crown.

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The oak dining table, which bestowed a country vibe in the couple’s former home, was given a new look with white paint, applied by Siècle en Siècle Inc. Brown dining chairs were reupholstered with a hot pink fabric. The chandelier was given a refresh with new linen shades from Robert Franco Inc. Chair upholstery: Frack by JF Fabrics; area rug: Wayfair; artwork: abstract (left) by Wanda Koop (Night Gallery, Los Angeles) and James Lahey (right).


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One of the bedrooms was transformed into a space for the couple’s grandchildren, who visit for sleepovers. Monet made best use of the floorspace by amalgamating a pair of twin beds into a bunk. A little crystal chandelier was given custom-made shades in bright primary colours. A whimsical area rug was sourced online. And a silver credenza that had been in the entry hall of the couple’s previous house became a storage unit for toys. –>

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The ensuite bathroom had been renovated by the previous owners. Its large steam shower and freestanding bathtub confer a spa look. To offset the expanses of whiteness, designer Jean Monet added wallpaper inside the panels on two of the walls. Wallpaper: Collection CB30207 from Crown.

The main bathroom, with its freestanding tub, marble floor, and his-and-her vanities had already been renovated by the previous owners. “No upgrades were necessary here,” says Monet. “I just added panels with a glittery paisley-embroidered wallpaper in them to add glamour.”

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The homeowners had enjoyed an orange-and-charcoal colour palette in their previous home, so the designer used the same hues in the main bedroom.


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A colour palette that features charcoal and burnt orange brings warmth to the main bedroom. The raised floor upon which the bed sits was created during the previous owners’ renovation; it houses the plumbing for the adjacent ensuite bathroom. Painting by Bruno Côté.

The biggest challenge in decorating the overall space, Monet says, was pulling elements together into a cohesive whole. He succeeded by eliminating excess furnishings and refreshing various features. The transition to life in downtown Montreal has been an adjustment for Joanne and

Howard. “Our dog was not happy with the move but she is being trained to accept her new surroundings,” Joanne says. “When we decided to move into the city, it was because we wanted to be in the middle of everything, including going to the jazz festival or walking to local restaurants.”

While the pandemic has put that on hold, Joanne and Howard are adjusting to urban life. “It took us time to figure out how to live here,” Joanne says. “We cook a lot more now and have music on. This is my idea of what urban living would be.”

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LIFESTYLE

STAY HOME, STAY FIT

As fitness buffs eschew workouts in commercial gyms, some are creating dedicated exercise spaces at home BY JULIE GEDEON

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Photo by Adrien Williams

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LIFESTYLE • HOME IN CANADA • WINTER 2020

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Photo by Justin Koscak

I WAS FINALLY GOING TO THE GYM daily when the pandemic hit and shut everything. Before long, I started to gain the “quarantine fifteen” that has plagued those of us attempting to eat stress away. Something had to be done, quickly. So I pushed aside the coffee table and rolled out a mat, but this less-thanideal space has me rethinking a home gym. Home fitness equipment has improved in terms of technology and ergonomics. “Competition is expanding options and lowering prices,” says Justin Koscak, the founder/owner of Custom Home Gyms Canada. He’s seen

skyrocketing demand for his services in the Toronto area since last spring. “Manufacturers are designing for home spaces with a squat rack, for instance, that wall-mounts and folds away on itself.” The many options available can make it challenging to know what to get. “Start by determining your overall goal,” Koscak advises. “Is it to build muscle or just stay fit?” Women now recognize the importance of weight training in conjunction with cardio and stretch workouts, so equipment preferences tend to relate to people’s age,

physical health and fitness ambitions rather than whether they’re male or female, he says. “For instance, rowing equipment can be tougher to use for some older people who might prefer an elliptical machine that’s gentler on joints. Either can ultimately lead to good fitness.” Establishing a budget is essential. “I try to buy Canadian for the quality and lower shipping costs that can become substantial,” Koscak says. –>

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Unless they’re well-insulated and heated, most Canadian garages are too cold for wintertime workouts. “Keep in mind that metal barbells retain the cold,” Koscak cautions. “However, garage gyms are a viable option for Canadians if they are properly finished. I have worked and continue to work with my clients on building both basement and garage gyms.” Creating a good shell is wise. Koscak recommends a plywood platform with a rubberized covering to create a level surface if the basement or garage floor slants for drainage. “The platform can be levelled by adding thin pieces of wood (shims) under one side to account for slanting,” he says. “Ideally, you also want good lighting, mirrors, ambient sound and a smart TV to entice you to use the space, and soundproofing if it’s a man cave or teen space.” Photos by Justin Koscak

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Photo by Phil Crozier

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Reena Sotropa, the principal designer at In House Design Group in Calgary, devised a clever yoga studio/guest bedroom as optimal flex space. “I wanted to give my empty-nester clients a reason to go into every room of their redesigned home,” Sotropa says.

Customized millwork was key to bolting a large mirror (above) to a Murphy bed so its frame could be used to lower the bed. Otherwise, most folks don’t realize the bed’s there. “The ceiling wallpaper is pretty to see when lying on the bed or on a mat,” she says.

“A woollen carpet makes the room cozier for guests, and provides some knee cushioning.” Customized cabinetry is used to store clothing and equipment. “We also reinforced the window bench to store weights,” Sotropa adds. –>

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Photo by Ema Peter

The designer recommends using walk-in closets to roll away today’s smaller treadmills and stationary bikes. “Our client also has a flat screen for her guests to watch TV and for her to play exercise DVDs.” Some homeowners are taking exercise space into account when planning new construction. Denise Ashmore, the principal designer at Project 22 Design in Vancouver, created a basement gym space for children who never miss an American Ninja Warrior episode. “The rings and pull-handles along

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the reinforced ceiling beam give this active family an outlet when the weather isn’t great,” Ashmore says. “The modular carpeting absorbs sound and can be removed to clean.” Ashmore says that bodyweight-resistant straps are becoming popular for home workouts, but cautions about proper installation. “You need a stud-finder and secure anchors.” Expert engineers had to be called to secure the open space and “floating” bedroom cubes in a winning design (opposite) by Montreal architecture firm naturehumaine.


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Photos by Adrien Williams

“The property owner wanted a fun apartment for her two kids in their 20s,” says Stéphane Rasselet, the principal architect. “Her son was really into fitness, so they asked for gymnastic rings.” Sections of the building’s second and third floor were opened to provide swinging space that is naturally brightened with skylights. “Adjustable straps can raise or lower the rings,” Rasselet says, adding that the chinup bar was simply reinforced with plywood bolted to wall studs. No worries if you don’t have such a generous mom. Montreal fitness instructor Jennifer Arditi reassures us that we can effectively start working out with little space and next-to-no equipment. “If you have a mat, a chair, and some light weights, you’re good to go,” she says. –>

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Photo by Danika Choptain

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Photo by Danika Choptain

Arditi (opposite and above) launched Gear Up for Fitness online with her business partner Kelly Dodds last May in response to the closing of gyms. She now has about 15 instructors and upwards of 500 members for the virtual classes. “When we started out, no one could go shopping for equipment, so we suggested soup cans as weights,” she recalls. Arditi notes the increasing popularity of yoga, Pilates, Tabata, HIIT (high-intensity interval training) and other exercises that make use of body weight so there’s no need for equipment other than yoga blocks or an elastic band. “There tends to be less injury

with body-weight exercises because we can adjust more easily,” she says. While gym-goers are eager to return to post-pandemic normalcy, Arditi believes that home fitness is here to stay. “People will continue to both work and work out at home more often because they realize how much time it saves,” she says. Ashmore says that many are welcoming the convenience, especially with online connectivity. “Look at the popularity of Peloton classes,” she says. “And there’s often a wait for those bikes.”

Reflecting on his own weight-loss journey, Koscak says he would have liked the privacy and flexibility of his own home gym “instead of being uncomfortable at a regular gym. “As people discover the efficiency and comfort, they’ll continue to invest in their home equipment,” he adds. And that means there’ll be no excuse for not exercising.

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ARCHITECTURE

A LABOUR OF LOVE Despite its shocking state of disrepair, an 1835 home is respectfully preserved and rehabilitated by its owner BY ELISABETH KALBFUSS PHOTOGRAPHY: DREW HADLEY STYLING: JEAN MONET

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IT WAS A JANUARY EVENING when a Boucherville, Quebec man went for a stroll and decided that the rundown, traditional Québécois-style home by the river was in exactly the spot he wanted to be. He knew the house; it was one street over from where he lived, and he knew it had been on the market for a while, “but I had never thought I could buy it,” he recalls. “It was very difficult to imagine how I could turn it into a beautiful house.” Despite its decades of neglect, he had a sense that day of what this historic 1835 home could become if someone took the time and money to restore it. He bought it and spent a year getting the plans in place and meeting city officials to win approval and permits for the heritage project.

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That’s when reality set in. One day when his mother and other family members had come for a visit, he took them to see the house that he’d bought. Their excitement turned to shock as they questioned whether it could even be saved. “I was pretty discouraged; they thought I was crazy,” he says. “I said, ‘Come see it when it’s finished.’ ” There were other moments—looking around the inside after all the demolition for example—when he wondered whether they might be right. But as work got underway, it became his labour of love over two years of rebuilding to find and hire the right trades and craftspeople who would respect the home’s history as much as he did. –>


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ARCHITECTURE • HOME IN CANADA • WINTER 2020

“She couldn’t imagine it was the same house.” A metal roof, by Toits Métalliques des Cantons, and dormer windows give the home its traditional, oldQuebec look. Its grey colour allows it to harmonize with other heritage buildings in the neighbourhood. The homeowner wanted to restore and recreate as much of the original appearance as possible.

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Luckily, the house’s stone foundation was sound. The floors, made of wide-plank red pine, needed repairs, but spoke to how solidly the structure had been built; those old planks were two inches thick. Outside, the homeowner replaced the roof with a traditional metal one, opting for a warm, light-grey colour to harmonize with the other historic buildings in the neighbourhood. “I didn’t want any modern additions,” he says. “There are no patio doors or even modern doors that fit the style. I wanted it to be close to what it would have been when it was constructed.” He did want an outdoor area to enjoy the riverfront location, and

created a porch seating area. Boucherville artisan Eric Dumais Tourneur transformed the house’s exterior by creating an expansive, wrap-around veranda complete with columns and spindles. He also added ornamentation on the dormers. The windows, too, needed to be replaced, and he found a window maker who could create casements with metal rods and latches. The homeowner acted as project manager for the rebuild, but says he had a lot of help from the team he worked with at Au Fur et à Mesure Inc. “I think they had as much love for the house as I did, and an appreciation for its history,” he says. –>

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ARCHITECTURE • HOME IN CANADA • WINTER 2020

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(Opposite) With corner windows looking out onto the river, this is where the homeowner likes to set up his computer to work. He chose minimal window treatments to make sure the view would be visible all around.

(Above) The homeowner confesses he has a weakness for French Neoclassical style, and purchased the white carved marble mantel and most of the furniture at auction. He commissioned artist Jacques Marcas to paint scale reproductions of classic artworks, including Jacques-Louis David’s Napoleon Crossing the Alps and others by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres and PierreAuguste Renoir. (Opposite, below) The main kitchen area was designed to look like a service counter with seating. The homeowner didn’t want to clutter the space with wall cabinetry; instead, he had designer Jean Monet choose a plain white

Inside, it was a bit of a puzzle to determine how to preserve that historic integrity while accommodating such modern concessions as heat, running water and electricity. To avoid adding ducts for heating and air conditioning, the homeowner opted for, if not quite authentic period heating, at least an older-style radiator heating system. Plumbing and electrical works were concentrated in the middle of the house, behind the kitchen walls, where they could remain unseen.

On the main floor, the two living areas stretch along the outside walls, now newly insulated, with the kitchen at the centre. There are two fireplaces: a large stone hearth in the kitchen, and a more elegant one in the living area, with a mantel in carved white marble. While the house itself is true to its Quebec roots, the decor is European-inspired, in what the homeowner describes as a French Neoclassical style. Like much of the furniture, chandeliers, mirrors and objets d’art, the mantel was purchased at auction. –>

marble tile in a chevron pattern along the back wall. The refrigerator, freezer and pantry are hidden behind custommade doors around the corner from the seating area.

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Upstairs, the homeowner reconfigured the space by transforming four small rooms into two good-sized bedrooms. Closets and the bathroom are in the centre of the home, accessible from both bedrooms.

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Upstairs, the original ceiling height was only seven feet. “We raised it to eight feet, but there’s almost no attic left,” the homeowner says. When he bought it, the space had been divided into four small rooms. Now there are two good-sized bedrooms, with a bathroom and closets in the middle. The bathroom is accessible through sliding doors from both bedrooms.

Three years after her first visit, seeing the completed restoration, the homeowner’s mother was amazed at the home and gushed her approval, he says. “She couldn’t imagine it was the same house.”

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STRIKING A CHORD These hand-crafted guitar stands are—like the instruments they support— works of art BY SUSAN KELLY

A PASSION FOR MUSIC poses an interior design dilemma: How to keep a beloved instrument close at hand while complementing a room’s decor. That was the question Caleb Blake, a Calgary woodworker with an eye for design, set out to answer. “I was raised in a musical family and I play guitar as does my wife,” he says. “Like most music lovers, we regard musical instruments as special, almost works of art, and feel they should be displayed as such.” However, finding a way to do so for their half-dozen prized instruments proved to be an exercise in frustration. And so, the 26-year-old entrepreneur set out to build a better guitar stand. He drew upon skills learned through a lifelong love of crafting fine woods, further refined while he worked in construction, building timber-framed homes, involving much detailed work by hand. From his home shop in his two-car garage, he tinkered for close to seven years on original designs. It culminated in 2019 with the launch of Natural Collection Stands, the resulting collection of artisanal stands for guitars and other string instruments, each crafted by hand. The company was the winner of the 2020 Made in Alberta Award in the Furnishings and Home Decor category.

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There is a practical aspect to properly showcasing an instrument, as Blake learned the hard way. When his son was two years old, he accidentally destroyed a favourite one left propped against a chair. “Hanging a guitar on the wall not only elevates it to wall art, but keeps it out of harm’s way,” Blake says. He h a s d e s i g n e d t wo ve r s ion s o f wall-mounted solid hardwood brackets just for guitars: one in walnut, the other in maple. Both are available in different sizes to fit ukuleles as well. His innovation calls for inset stainless steel pegs covered with a neck-protecting cushion of handsewn Portuguese cork. An ingenious cleat-mounting

system cleverly conceals all screws and is easy to install. Blake also has designed an artfully curved f loor stand for those who prefer a more sculptural approach to displaying a guitar. The original concept was born during a trip to visit family living on Vancouver Island. In the music room stood an extraordinary one-of-a-kind guitar stand, handcrafted by his brother-in-law’s father. Fascinated, Blake set out to recreate the design, learning hardwood-bending techniques to do so. After many years and many revisions, he now provides his own take, available in maple or walnut.


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Even with a streamlined process, it now takes between eight and 10 hours to complete each stand. And Blake’s custom-made performing stool requires a full 40 hours or more of painstaking hand work to produce. Made to order, it features a sculpted seat and supports to ensure a musician can play comfortably. There is also a stand to hold the guitar at hand, whether onstage or, as preferred by the customer in Hong Kong who recently purchased one along with a guitar stand, in the living room. Natural Collection Stands may be purchased online or through the company’s Etsy shop. The craftsman is open to discussing

custom projects as well. Eventually, he would like to expand his offerings to include other string instruments, and perhaps some in the brass family. “Mass-produced metal stands do exist for every instrument,” Blake says. “I want to make ones that are unique and beautiful in their own right.”

Natural Collection Stands www.naturalcollectionstands.com 403-991-4584 calebdblaketen@gmail.com

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DESIGN

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HOME FOR CHRISTMAS

Toronto designer Joel Bray says that decorating for the holidays and dining with fine tableware is more important this year than ever BY STEPHANIE WHITTAKER PHOTOGRAPHY: ALEX LUKEY STYLING: JOEL BRAY

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CHRISTMAS 2019 was going to be different from the previous ones. Joel Bray and Andrew Dunn had always celebrated the season by visiting extended family in Bothwell, Ontario. But their aged cats were in no shape to travel, so the couple decided to celebrate the holiday at home in Toronto. Joel, a designer who owns Joel Bray Design, decorated their home in the South Riverdale neighbourhood to make it festive and cozy. “We’ve been together for 10 years, but last year was the first Christmas when we would wake up in our own home,” he says. They bought the 135-year-old row house four years ago and set to work breathing new life into it. “It had been badly renovated during the 1960s,” Joel says. “Then, someone bought it before we did; they gutted it with the intention of rebuilding it but then ran out of money.” That meant that the house’s Victorian architectural details had been stripped out. “The only original element left is the brick inside the fireplace.”

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The house had been gutted when Joel and Andrew bought it four years ago and it had been stripped of period details. They created a new staircase. The side chairs with their original velvet upholstery were found at ReStore. “The magic is in the mix,” says Joel. Marble-topped coffee table: West Elm.


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The original two-storey structure had had three bedrooms and a bathroom on its second floor. The couple added a third floor to build a guest suite, and transformed the second storey into two bedrooms and a bathroom. They also rebuilt the home’s staircase.

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As Christmas approached last year, Joel created a festive, seasonal decor. “When we decorate for Christmas, we are essentially decorating over decorating. The home is already decorated, so I was adding to it,” he says. The starting point for colour was the red

velvet drapery in the dining area. Joel had found the material “at a reasonable price, which meant that I could justify having special drapes just for Christmas. As it turned out, we kept them up all winter and returned to our yellow drapes in the spring.” –>

(Right) Set for four, the dining table is topped with red linen napkins that pick up the colour of the rose hips on the mantel and the red velvet drapes. The Christmas tree is decorated simply and elegantly and includes little wooden ornaments that Joel has had since childhood. The red velvet drapes were made last year for Christmas but will spend the winter at the window. Hoffman caned side chairs: Design Within Reach; walnut-topped table: vintage. (Below) A festive collection of tea caddies comes from Joel’s best friend, who lives in England. “Every year, he sends us some Fortnum and Mason tea for the holidays,” Joel says.

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Sprigs of rosehips adorned the mantel. Red linen table napkins ref lected the seasonal colour scheme. And the Christmas tree was decorated with ornaments that included wooden ones from Joel’s childhood. Andrew’s parents joined the couple for the holidays, so the table was set for four. “We cooked beef tenderloin on Christmas Eve, had a traditional Christmas Day breakfast and a turkey dinner that evening,” Joel says. (Below) The kitchen boasts a custom-built banquette, upholstered in velvet from Romo fabrics. The countertop and backsplash are honed Carrara marble.

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DESIGN • HOME IN CANADA • WINTER 2020

This year will be another quiet holiday. Because of the COVID-19 restrictions, most people will spend Christmas without the company of extended family and friends. And this designer recommends that it’s a good idea to decorate as if to celebrate with others. “There’s never been a better reason to bring out the best china and fine crystal,” Joel says. “We don’t use it daily but we will use it

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at Christmas because it’s uplifting. This year, we have to do for ourselves what we would normally do for others. We should not stray from those traditions.” Whatever holiday we celebrate around the winter solstice season—Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Yule, Hogmanay, or Divali—this is excellent advice for the end of a strange and extraordinary year.

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ART

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THE VASTNESS OF TINY THINGS A Prince Edward Island photographer captures images of oysters to create unusual and fascinating artworks BY ELISABETH KALBFUSS

DEBBIE BRADY IS PASSIONATE about oysters. It’s not their taste or texture—in fact, she never eats them. It’s the beauty she finds in their shells: the lines, unexpected shadows and shades of colour that are invisible until she searches out and exposes them in her photography. Living on the Oyster Coast in Prince Edward Island, and armed with a new macro camera lens, Brady decided it was only natural that as she explored the up-close intricacies of the world around her, she would turn her eye to the shells on nearby beaches. “If I can get to the shore, it’s my happy place,” she says. “I looked at weathered oyster shells; it was so exciting. They had this beautiful texture.” Other subjects came and went, but her fascination with oyster shells kept growing. Each of her works magnifies a tiny portion of the shell—sometimes no more than a quarter-inch section—until it is unrecognizable as a mollusk. Instead, it resembles much larger views: seascapes or views of space. “It looks like a galaxy or a satellite view of the earth,” Brady says of much of her work. “The smallest of things and the largest of things come full circle in an oyster shell.” –>

Channeling, St Peters

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ART • HOME IN CANADA • WINTER 2020

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Exuberant, Malpeque in room

Now 66, Brady realized she wanted a life in the arts during her third year as a nursing student at Dalhousie University in Halifax. “I met somebody creating art and thought ‘Oh my goodness, I’m doing the wrong thing,’ ” she recalls. Not wanting to abandon her program so close to the end, she stuck with nursing, graduated, and then spent years as a stayat-home mother raising four boys in Tyne Valley, P.E.I., surrounded by an apple orchard. When her youngest child started junior high school, Brady began commuting to Charlottetown to study graphic design at Holland College. “I wasn’t sure what that was,” she admits, but it sounded as though it had some connection to art, so off she went. She spent the next two decades running a graphic design business out of her home. Then, after

having directed her share of photo shoots as part of her business, she decided that her place was behind the camera, not beside it. She bought a DSLR camera and a macro lens, and confesses that for a while, she didn’t dare switch it out of the “auto” setting. She read manuals and photography books, but the basic concepts of changing f-stops and shutter speeds remained a mystery, until one day, when she was at a photography workshop and it all suddenly clicked. Her work is more than simple images that are photographed and enlarged. At high levels of magnification, only a fraction of each image is in focus, which can require as many as 72 individual images, taken 0.3 millimetres apart, digitally assembled into one, to create an in-focus composite of that one tiny portion of the shell. –> Photo by Lisa Enman Photography

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ART • HOME IN CANADA • WINTER 2020

Metamorphosis, St Chrysostome

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High Tide, Cascumpec

Tumult, Brackley in room

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Enchanted, Sandhills

To find the images she wants to photograph, she uses her camera lens to scan the entire surface of each shell she collects, looking for the right view. She describes how she found the section of shell she photographed for the artwork she calls Enchanted, which has a fairytale-like feel. “I was scanning part of it, having a cup of tea and going through a collection of shells, saying, ‘That’s no good; this has potential.’ As I got to the end of it and I came to a halt, all of a sudden, things just made sense visually,” she says.

Fluctuation, Greenwhich in room with Shell

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ART • HOME IN CANADA • WINTER 2020

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Sea Squall, Savage Harbour inspiration shell

Sea Squall, Savage Harbour

Each piece Brady sells is accompanied by a photo of the original shell, information about where it was sourced, and a highlight marking the section that she photographed.

The more she studied oysters visually, the more curious she grew about these creatures, and visited aqua farmers for what one called her “oysters 101 lesson.” She even went out on a fishing boat “tonging”: harvesting wild oysters with tools that look like long-handled rakes.

Photo by Caley Joy Photography

Brady, an award-winning accredited member of Professional Photographers of Canada, says the support she received early on from people involved in the oyster industry and art community helped to reinforce the feeling that she was on the right track. She says she loves getting feedback from clients and visitors to her home gallery. One comment left by a visitor seemed very apt and has stayed with her: “It’s humbling to get a glimpse of an unseen world that was always in plain view.” Debbie Brady’s photographs can be seen at www.oysterart.ca

Whitecaps, Malpeque in room

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DESIGN • HOME IN CANADA • WINTER 2020

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LUXURIOUS

LI V I NG A Toronto designer adds glamour and warmth to a King West loft BY WENDY HELFENBAUM PHOTOGRAPHY: MIKE CHAJECKI STYLING: SHIVA KHALILNIA

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(Left) In the hallway, the console table’s acrylic legs do not overpower the narrow space. An oversized mirror features an inlaid crack with gold leaf, and is flanked by matching lamps. (Right) An iron bust with hundreds of hand-applied butterflies sits atop a white marble base. “We loved this piece and thought, ‘What’s better than having the butterfly lady greet you when you come in?’ ” says Khalilnia.

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WITH TH E IR E XP OS E D CO N CR E TE ceilings and pillars, lofts can often feel cold and unwelcoming. So Shiva Khalilnia was determined to warm things up with plush furnishings, rich textures and hits of gold throughout the 2,200-square-foot condo she recently transformed for her clients. “They wanted a space that was conducive to entertaining, so I wanted everything to be kind of sexy, dim, very sophisticated yet practical, elegant and usable. Nothing was

too delicate,” says Khalilnia, the owner of Import Temptations, a Toronto furniture and accessories store. Khalilnia worked with the existing white oak floors and floor-to-ceiling windows, and while the long, narrow entry hall and its imposing pillars posed a particular design challenge, she saw it as an exciting opportunity. “When I first walked down that huge hallway, my mind was just racing,” she recalls. “I wanted it to have that super wow factor, as if it were a 100-foot gallery.”


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To that end, Khalilnia hung large acrylic and gold-leafed prints down the hallway and an oversized mirror with a gold-leaf crack. They share space with a sleek console table, topped with wrought iron, and antique gold-leaf lamps. She also perched an eclectic iron sculpture atop a marble pedestal to greet visitors. “We wanted art that brought a little bit of life to the hallway, but because you can’t look at it

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straight on, we couldn’t hang anything that had a lot of perspective,” she explains. Once the chosen black walnut kitchen cabinets were in place, Khalilnia focused on the finishing touches, including a Belvedere leathered granite waterfall island and matching backsplash. “The homeowner originally wanted a light counter, but we decided on this dark, stunning one, which is hard-wearing, plus

it doesn’t show stains,” says Khalilnia. Italian silk-velvet bar stools bring a jolt of pink to the palette. “When you enter the space and come down that beautiful hallway, it’s kind of exciting when your eye hits these hot pink, heavenly bar stools,” says Khalilnia. –>

To brighten up the deep brown and black hues in the kitchen, designer Shiva Khalilnia added four bar stools upholstered with rich pink fabric. The gold stretchers connecting the legs mimic the metallic accents throughout the loft.

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Around the glass dining table with its solid brass base, Khalilnia placed chairs that spoke to the homeowner’s passion for automobiles. “He loves cars, and the diamond quilted stitching on the fabric dining room chairs looks like the stitching on a luxury car, which makes them beautiful without feeling too heavy, like leather,” she explains. An intricately carved Canaletto walnut sideboard from Italy lends depth and texture without taking up a large footprint. The homeowner chose commanding artwork by Toronto artist Ramona Nordal, and Khalilnia decided to showcase it above the sideboard against a black velvet curtain. Paired with two gold lamps and a display of greenery, this area provides a lovely focal point when the owners entertain.

(Below) “I love the colour and the texture of these, because they add just a little bit of warmth and bling without being too busy,” the designer says.

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DESIGN • HOME IN CANADA • WINTER 2020

(Above, left) The olive-green tufted sofa features luxe throw pillows with a gold foil appliqué. “They’re very distinctive yet simple, and provide a little bit of interest,” says Khalilnia. (Above, right) Two chic leather swivel chairs seem to float in the space, while offering the perfect spot to sip cocktails.

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In the living room, the homeowners wanted a comfortable space in which to lounge, read and watch television that could also double as an elegant setting for guests. “For the sofas, we decided on a beautiful, warm olive-green tone,” says Khalilnia. “It’s got a lot of comfort, yet it’s chic and sleek. It’s tufted but it’s not fussy. They sit there every day.” Two Italian leather armchairs feature a curved brass base that feels light yet substantial, adds the designer. “These are great drinking chairs. They’re so comfortable when you sit and swivel in them. They’re very stylized, but uncomplicated,” says Khalilnia.

Above the sofa, the designer hung two giclée prints from the ceiling to add depth and perspective to the living room area. “Everything’s kind of low, and sometimes it’s nice to draw your eye up higher. I love the richness, warmth and texture in the art,” she says. By layering softly hued area rugs, plants and luxurious fabric, Khalilnia created a welcoming oasis in the heart of the city. “I love the feeling this apartment gives me: There’s warmth, there’s happiness, movement and colour,” she says. “Even the chandeliers make me happy. In the evenings with the lights on, it’s so magical. All the warm elements make me want to stay, have a drink and enjoy.”

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THE CREATIVE URGE Montreal jeweller Gloria Bass continues to innovate and create BY SUSAN KELLY

THE FAMOUS PSYCHOANALYST Carl Jung once claimed, “Nothing can discourage the creative spirit.” And pandemic or not, the creative fires within jewelry designer Gloria Bass blaze brightly. “Any time I consider not working, I find a project that excites me— usually more than one,” Bass says. Throughout the uncertainty of 2020, she has continued to produce new work for an international clientele, and has made it easier for them to buy via her online store. And when allowed, the doors of her store on Greene Ave. in Westmount, Quebec are open to customers by appointment. It’s an offer that people such as chanteuse Lara Fabian

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take advantage of. Fabian has worn Bass’s creations to events for years and now serves as spokesmodel. Fabian heads a customer list that contains myriad prominent names. Examples of the pieces designed for them appear on the Gloria Bass Design website under the Private Collection tab. But you will not find the name of the person who commissioned, say, the striking black granite and diamond cufflinks there. “I could not have stayed in business for 45 years if I were not discreet,” Bass says. “But I make each piece to express something about the person wearing it, so there is a story behind every single one.”

About 50 per cent of the award-winning designer’s time is spent crafting custom commissions. An artist at heart, she sometimes designs pieces just for the sheer love of creating. She draws inspiration from nature, art, architecture, popular culture, and the world around her. Often, it is a gemstone from her private dragon’s horde that serves as her muse. She loves them all: sapphires, rubies, emeralds, diamonds, and more. “I also have a lot of unusual stones that people haven’t heard about: spinels, coloured sapphires, beryls, moonstones, tourmalines, peridots,” she says. “They are of fine gemstone quality.”


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Bass recently designed a ring inspired by a vibrant blue tanzanite stone. “It was cut into a rare shape called a ‘sugarloaf’ cabochon, which Cartier used for sapphires in the 1920s,” she says. “It makes the stone ever-more translucent and beautiful, just crying out for the right setting in which to shine.” In this case, platinum and pavé diamonds. With women dressing for Zoom these days, demand has shot up for earrings in Bass’s signature style: large chunky gemstones

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or statement pearls, used in combination to exquisite effect. For an unexpected and chic twist, she proposes something like a pair of earrings with large South Sea pearls and diamonds—black for one ear, white for the other. Early in her career, Gloria Bass pioneered a way to interpret what was originally a basket-weaving technique into metal. The result— delicate wrapped wire coil that has become a hallmark of her work—graces designs for both men and women. And it is used in another of

her signature styles: the stacking rings. They make a unique addition to the large and diverse collection that showcases the wide range of her artistry. Next up, Bass is tinkering with a way to reimagine the engagement ring. “I’m really tired of the looks available to brides today,” she says. “There needs to be a style that is simple and classic, but dynamic. I intend for it to be something truly novel and timeless.”

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

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DESIGN • HOME IN CANADA • WINTER 2020

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MODERNIZING THE MODERN A Mid-century Modern home in Calgary is updated for today with reverence and respect for its past BY CHERYL CORNACCHIA PHOTOGRAPHY: JOEL KLASSEN STYLING: ALYKHAN VELJI, KATIE MOONEY AND ALISON CONNOR

JODY MCGINN and her husband Troy knew that when it came time to renovate, they would want a new eat-in kitchen, more storage, a new home office and a large, functional mudroom that would look tidy, even with all of the family’s comings and goings, including those of two tweens and a dog. But at the same time, the Calgary couple knew that they didn’t want their two-storey house, circa 1967, to lose its mid-century charm in the process. If anything, they wanted to see that Mid-century Modern style ramped up. Their 3,400-square-foot, five-bedroom home is located in Calgary’s southwest Lakeview Village neighbourhood. When the couple first saw the property in 2013, the year they bought, they were immediately attracted to how the home connected them to simpler days and happy memories, made at mid-century homes belonging to their grandparents. “As soon as I walked into the house, it felt good . . . like my Nanna’s house,” says Jody. “Even the fireplace was like my Nanna’s.” –>

The home’s original stone fireplace is now the centrepiece in a remodelled family room. The room’s original ceiling beams and wood ceiling were painted white. A neutral palette with splashes of yellow and blue give the room an airy feel. Vintage chairs: Reclaim Vintage; fabric and pillows: Tonic Living; drapery and custom-designed cabinets: Alykhan Velji Designs; coffee table and side table: West Elm; rug and sofa: CF Interiors; sofa table: Structube.

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A bachelor had been living in the house and very little had been changed. The kitchen still had its original linoleum flooring and Arborite counters. There was even a blender/ knife sharpener built into the kitchen counter and a vintage home intercom system, recalls Jody. All of it would eventually have to go, she remembers thinking, but the features vouched for the era. When it came time to renovate in 2018, the couple sought out Alykhan Velji of Alykhan Velji Designs, the eponymously named

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Calgary design firm. Velji is also a fan of Mid-century Modern design; in fact, he incorporates the style into many of his residential and commercial projects. In explaining what needed to be done, Velji prefaced his remarks by underscoring how certain structural issues needed to be addressed. The house lacked storage. The entrance from the garage into the house was too small. There was no mudroom or main-floor laundry room. It was difficult to see how to accommodate a home office to be shared by both daughters.

Velji gutted the entrance from the garage into the house and installed a combined mudroom/laundry room. To create the extra space needed to do that, a wall of a room, located immediately adjacent, was moved farther back. With the custom millwork and lockers, Jody says, she couldn’t be happier with the new dual-purpose room: “There’s no chaos, backpacks or swim bags,” she says.


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Whimsically patterned wallpaper gives the new study a youthful feel. Open shelving and a floating wraparound desk maximize the space without making the room feel crowded. Rug: Wayfair; file cabinets: IKEA.

The new home office, although reduced in size, was redesigned with custom millwork for more space efficiencies. With new storage cabinets, shelving and floating desks, there is a place for everything and surface space for both daughters to do homework at the same time, and for mom to take care of her own business, too. –>

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DESIGN • HOME IN CANADA • WINTER 2020

The home’s mid-century vibe hits a crescendo in the kitchen. A stylish banquette and a stunning counterto-ceiling yellow backsplash add pizzazz. Table: Style in Form; chairs: CF Interiors; banquette: custom,

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Another change involved the new kitchen and adjoining family room, or as it is known in the house, “Mom’s room.” The opening in the wall between the two rooms was moved over. With the newly positioned opening, the sight lines were improved; the fireplace is now visible from the kitchen. The new floor plan also created space for a custom-built leather banquette. Here, the family can dine facing one another instead of lined up on stools at an island. The handsome blonde-stone fireplace in the family room was retained. But the shallow shelving on each side of the hearth was removed to create a cleaner look, says Velji. The yellows and blues used in the kitchen were carried over into that room. –>

AVD; tile: Stone Tile International; tray: Mobilia-Modern India Collection.

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DESIGN • HOME IN CANADA • WINTER 2020

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Walnut-slat cladding and a new marble surround updates the living room’s fireplace while retaining a Mid-century Modern aesthetic. A television is concealed in the picture frame above the hearth. Artwork: Zoe Pawlak; sofa, chairs: CF Interiors; coffee table and side table: West Elm; pillows: Tonic Living; television: Samsung Frame; drapery fabric: Tonic Living.

In the more formal living room, the fireplace was reworked. The new hearth is marble, and the surrounding wall is covered with a custom architectural screen made of walnut slats. The new feature gives the room a focal point and a decidedly mid-century feel. The same dark-wood screening wraps around the wall from the fireplace and connects to the adjacent dining room. A chandelier original to the house continues to overhang the table and warms the space. “The overall look I would now call Eclectic Mid-Century!” says Velji.

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A DARK YEAR ENDS IN LIGHT This year’s celebration of Hanukkah will be different because of the pandemic, but it still gives us pause to feel grateful BY STEPHANIE WHITTAKER

Photo tomertu/Shutterstock.com

EVERY YEAR AT HANUKK AH, Susan Schwartz and Markus Martin go to a party at the home of friends. “There are usually between 20 and 30 people there, about seven families,” Susan says. “Each family brings a menorah and lights the candles on it, and a beautiful light fills the room.” That “beautiful light” is the whole point of the annual Jewish holiday that occurs around the time of the winter solstice. Hanukkah, the festival of lights, commemorates the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem more than two millennia ago. During

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the Maccabean Revolt, a small group of Jews successfully drove out the Syrian-Greek oppressors who ruled Israel and were trying to impose their customs and religion on the Jewish people. After reclaiming the Temple, the Jews had enough consecrated oil to burn the sacred lamp for one day, but it burned for eight. The eight-day celebration of Hanukkah commemorates this miracle. The symbolism of the light bears new poignancy in 2020, a year that’s been metaphorically dark because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Many Jewish holidays are centred around celebrating with friends and family,” says Susan. “This year will be different because we won’t be with others, but Markus and I will be together and we will feel happy and grateful for the fact that we’re well and have made it to another holiday.” Home in Canada’s publisher, Sharon Azrieli, says Hanukkah, which takes place this year from December 10 to 18, will be celebrated on Zoom by many Jews. “We did Passover and Rosh Hashanah on Zoom earlier this year,” she says.


LIFESTYLE • HOME IN CANADA • WINTER 2020

Traditionally, Sharon has celebrated the holiday by lighting menorahs with her children, preparing potato latkes (pancakes) and exchanging little gifts. “The holiday is a time to await the return of light and for the Earth to complete its journey around the sun,” she says. It’s also a time for holiday songs in the Azrieli household. Sharon’s first job was as a cantor at Temple Adas Israel in Sag Harbor, New York. After returning to Montreal with her sons in 2000, she was the cantor at Temple

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Emanu-El-Beth Sholom in Westmount, Quebec from 2001 to 2003. “I love the Hanukkah songs,” she says. “I sing them with my family, and that’s one of the best parts of lighting the menorah. As we light the candles, we sing the songs.” Rabbi Lisa Grushcow of Temple EmanuEl-Beth Sholom says her synagogue has “had to get creative” this year with online services and holiday celebrations. Far from being a setback, Rabbi Grushcow says, the pandemic has created opportunities

to unite communities. “We can connect with people we wouldn’t normally connect with through technology,” she says. That became obvious when Temple Emanu-El-Beth Sholom live-streamed its service on the eve of Yom Kippur (Day of Atonement) in September. “We had 5,500 people watching it on Zoom,” she says. “And they were from all over the place. With Hanukkah, we can have grandparents reading stories with their grandchildren online or lighting candles together.” –>

Luigi Ademollo, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

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Montreal artist Chaki drew this artwork for Sharon Azrieli after she sang as cantor at his daughter’s wedding.

Photo by tomertu/Shutterstock.com

Photo by Asya Nurullina/Shutterstock.com

The synagogue, which serves 800 households, plans to make available a Hanukkah image combined with the rainbow of hope that many Quebecers have displayed in their windows throughout the pandemic. And because the holiday represents light, the Temple will use the season to do community outreach through its Tushes & Toes program, which provides socks and underwear to people experiencing homelessness. “Hanukkah’s universal theme is about bringing light,” the rabbi says. “Miracles also require human participation.” Sara and Danny Waldston say that their Hanukkah celebration is limited to six people this year, including their daughter, Dalia, son-in-law, Tom, and two grandchildren, Sam and Sophie. The family moved in with Sara and Danny at the beginning of the pandemic when they were facing renovation woes in their own home. Baby Sophie was born in October.

Photo by grafnata/Shutterstock.com

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LIFESTYLE • HOME IN CANADA • WINTER 2020

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Photo by ChameleonsEye/Shutterstock.com

“Here’s what we won’t change this Hanukkah,” says Sara. “I’ll still make corn latkes, which are my specialty. The world’s best potato latkes will be made by my 93-year-old mother; she usually makes eight to 10 dozen but we’ll need only a couple dozen this year. “We’ll light candles every evening and have Zoom visits with our two other daughters who are in Toronto.” There are also plans to have candle-lighting ceremonies by Zoom with their extended family of 27. “We did this on Friday evenings at the beginning of the pandemic and during the high holidays,” says Sara.

In addition to latkes, are there any plans to prepare sufganiyot, the traditional jelly doughnuts enjoyed at Hanukkah? “No,” says Sara. “I don’t make doughnuts because I don’t like them.” And, jokes Danny, “I won’t have doughnuts because I’m not allowed.” The couple, who live in Hampstead, Quebec, say they will “bring attention to gratitude during the holiday.” “We are so grateful for our place in the world right now,” says Sara. “And it will be particularly special this year because we get to share the holiday with another grandchild.”

Susan Schwartz says one of the things she loves about lighting the menorah is how its brightness increases each day as a subsequent candle is kindled. It is, after all, about the light at the darkest time of the year. “The past year has been a dark time,” says Sharon Azrieli. “So we must bring as much light as possible into each home. The seasons must turn and as seasons pass, this too shall pass. We have to find inner strength.”

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A TRANSFORMATIVE TEMPLE SOJOURN

Staying in a Japanese Buddhist community was preparation for the COVID-19 lockdown TEXT AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY LA CARMINA

IN 2017, I spent several nights living in a simple Buddhist temple surrounded by trees, high up on Japan’s Mount Kōya. I booked this retreat because several friends had recommended it to me as an intriguing cultural immersion. At the time, I thought of the trip as nothing more than an enjoyable break from city life.

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I didn’t realize how meaningful my temple stay would be until 2020, when my life was shaken up by COVID-19 and seemingly endless months of lockdown. Now that I’m holed up in Vancouver, I often find myself thinking back to the nature walks and seasonal meals I shared with the Buddhist monks. By adapting their gentle practices to life in a pandemic, I have found a surprising source of resilience in these difficult times. –>


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A mystical mountain I encourage a visit to Mount Kōya once the world has reopened for international travel. Kūkai, creator of the Shingon sect of Japanese Buddhism, founded this otherworldly temple complex in the year 819. Since then, both monks and laypeople have come to “Kōyasan” to learn about Esoteric Buddhism. From Osaka, visitors can take an approximately two-hour train journey north to Gokurakubashi Station, followed by a five-minute cable car up the mountain. Most visitors stay for one to three nights in a shukubo, a Buddhist temple guesthouse. To make a booking, foreigners may visit the Kōyasan Shukubo Association website, and fill out a request form.

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TRAVEL • HOME IN CANADA • WINTER 2020

The joys of walking outdoors At Kōyasan, there’s nothing much “to do” other than taking forest walks, which is the point of the journey. Without an itinerary or distractions, I could stroll aimlessly, and simply be present with the wild, natural

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surroundings. I vividly recall the gentle thrill of coming across Japanese rock gardens, koi ponds, and ancient red gates. Nowadays, I rarely leave my apartment because of the pandemic. It’s no longer possible to go to a concert or house party to be

entertained. However, I’ve rediscovered the meditative pleasures of walking outdoors in uncrowded areas. I’ve grown to appreciate the tiniest seasonal changes in my neighbourhood, such as the bud of flowers and scent of falling leaves. –>

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Healthful home-cooked meals Perhaps the most memorable aspect of my temple stay was the meals. Every morning and evening, I sat down to a tray of healthful food prepared by the resident monks. Little compartments were filled with such colourful dishes as miso eggplant, pickled vegetables, steamed tofu, and rice. Everything was vegetarian, local, seasonal and delicious. Dining out is limited in 2020, but I’ve learned that I feel my best when I eat balanced, home-cooked meals like these. Inspired by the Shingon Buddhists, I’ve enjoyed making easy dishes such as soba with tofu and vegetables, and miso fish with a side of seaweed.

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TRAVEL • HOME IN CANADA • WINTER 2020

Connecting with my community While staying at the temple, I felt as if I were part of the “sangha” or community. At 6 a.m., I watched the monks chant sutras in front of glowing candles and gold relics. Then, I shared meals and went on walks with friendly guests from around the world. COVID-19 has removed our ability to socialize in person. Remembering the lessons of Kōyasan, I’ve sent messages to friends and family members, and organized regular video calls. These small efforts have had an enormous effect: I’ve rekindled friendships and felt supported by many while remaining in isolation.

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The peaceful pleasures of staying at home When night fell over Mount Kōya, I retreated to a room that contained nothing more than a futon mat on a tatami floor, and sliding doors. I climbed into the enormous bathtub for a long, hot soak. Then, I wrapped myself in a robe to read or look at the stars, before turning in. I admit that during these long months at home I’ve had periods of ennui. To break the spell, I pretend I’m on a mini retreat like the one I did in Japan. This reconnects me to the pleasures of doing yoga or getting lost in a good book. And it helps me appreciate what I have right here, rather than lamenting the things that have been taken away. –>

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Lessons of impermanence and loss Anyone who visits Kōyasan should spend time in the Buddhist graveyard, Okunoin. Located deep in the forest, this is Japan’s largest cemetery and a site for spiritual rituals. I saw how locals honoured their loved ones

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with bodhisattva statues, which they dressed in hand-knit hats and bibs. Many graves were over a century old, including Kūkai’s mausoleum. Covered with moss and illuminated by fingers of light, they seemed to have become one with their surroundings.


TRAVEL • HOME IN CANADA • WINTER 2020

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COVID-19 has forced us to come faceto-face with the hard truths of uncertainty and loss. The virus crumbled my plans for 2020, and it remains unclear when things we took for granted—flights or festivals—will rebound. I also know people who contracted the virus and continue to struggle with its effects. My Kōya experience has helped me come to terms with the impermanence of all things. I’m learning to be gentle with myself and others, and to take things moment by moment, rather than getting caught up in dreams of the past and worries for the future. Inner peace may not come easily in these challenging times. But the lessons I learned from my Buddhist temple stay have helped me get a little closer to acceptance.

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LIFESTYLE

HOLIDAY

GIFT GUIDE

’Tis the season to bestow presents on the ones you love With the right furnishings and accessories, BY TRACEY MACKENZIE spending time outdoors this winter is an opportunity to create backyard bliss 110

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LIFESTYLE • HOME IN CANADA • WINTER 2019

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GI F T GU I DE

DISTINCTIVE DUFFEL The Herschel Supply company’s Sutton duffel bags are available in a

A WINNER FOR WINE LOVERS

variety of colours and patterns, which are both unisex and easy to tote.

Designed to fit a full 25-ounce bottle of wine, the BrüMate

Perfect for travel, these bags have a roomy interior and a pocket on the

Winesulator keeps wine at its optimal temperature for more than 24

outside. Shown here in the Night Camo colourway.

hours. Available in 18 colourful designs, this wine canteen is triple-

Available at Herschel Supply.

insulated and has a leak-proof lid.

www.herschel.ca

Available at Wine Craft. www.winecraftstore.ca

VOCAL VISITOR Perfect for travelers, the JoneR Voice Language Translator Device offers instant two-way translation of 55 languages and 75 dialects. In less than

FRESH SCENT

one second, your speech is translated into a voice message and a text

Coco Mademoiselle is a fresh scent by Chanel Paris. Evoking

record with 98 per cent accuracy. Noise-cancelling microphones enable

lightheartedness and mischievousness, this eau de parfum will be a

the JoneR Translator to work in noisy environments, and the translation

welcome gift to the fragrance fans in your circle.

result is easy to read.

Available at The Bay.

Available at Amazon.

www.thebay.com

www.amazon.ca

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GI F T GU I DE

SCI-FI SPEAKER The 7 Arc Star floating Bluetooth speaker fuses design and technology for advanced sound quality and a sci-fi look. A built-in rechargeable battery offers more than 10 hours of continuous playing at 60 per cent volume, and a USB port in the base charges the speaker. Available at Amazon and Walmart. www.amazon.ca and www.walmart.ca

COLOURFUL CUSHIONS These pillows, designed by Joana Vasconcelos for Roche Bobois, are part of the BOMBOM collection, which includes cushions, rugs and sofas. They’re available in three sizes and six designs, with a white or black background. Available at Roche Bobois. www.rochebobois.com

CONTEMPORARY CORKSCREW

BRANCHING OUT

The Peugeot rechargeable electric corkscrew is sure to

Made of alloy, these vintage-style napkin rings make a statement on the

be a holiday favourite. Fully automatic, this beechwood

holiday dinner table. Each gold branch has a stunning leaf design with

corkscrew in matte black is equipped with a foil cutter

intricate detailing. Sold in a set of four.

and LED charging indicator.

Available at Linen Chest.

Available at Linen Chest.

www.linenchest.com

www.linenchest.com

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GI F T GU I DE

GIVE ME A RING

SELF-CLEANING SAFETY

Perfect as a stocking stuffer, these beautiful stacking rings from Gloria

The LARQ self-cleaning water bottle purifies water every two hours

Bass Design are available in three kinds of gold: white, yellow and rose.

while keeping your beverage cold (for 24 hours) or hot (for 12 hours). An

Mix and match the many styles (gear, coil, diamond) for a personalized,

integrated UV-C light also helps neutralize up to 99.9999 per cent of all

original look.

bacteria, making this an excellent gift for the exercise buffs in your world.

Available at Gloria Bass Design.

Available at The Bay

www.gloriabassdesign.com

www.thebay.com

PICTURE-PERFECT

STYLISH STAND

The Meural WiFi photo frame showcases the digital pictures in your

This elegantly crafted guitar stand by Natural Collection is designed

phone. Simply link the albums in your smartphone to the digital frame to

to complement the beauty of the musical instrument it supports. It’s

bring your photos to life. Available in two sizes: 13.5 inches tall and 15.6

available in maple or walnut wood and has a hand-stitched cork fabric

inches tall.

sleeve, which provides a layer of protection between the guitar and the

Available at The Gadget Flow and Meural.

stand.

www.thegadgetflow.com and www.meural.netgear.com

Available at Natural Collection. www.naturalcollectionstands.com

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GI F T GU I DE

YOU SPIN ME ROUND Made from sustainable bamboo and designed in collaboration with members of Bob Marley’s family, the “Stir It Up” turntable by House of Marley has an automatic start feature, anti-skating control and a recyclable aluminum platter. Perfect for spinning 45 or 33 RPM vinyl records. Available at House of Marley. www.thehouseofmarley.ca

PERFECT PUTTING INDOORS Golf aficionados appreciate the Accelerator Indoor Pro Putting Green with its automatic ball return and high-quality turf that simulates grass. Perfect for the home or office, this putting green allows golfers to practise throughout the winter. Available at Sport Chek. www.sportchek.ca

NOTICEABLE NOTES The Wacom Bamboo Smart Pad Folio takes written notes and converts them into digital files. Organize, edit and share your notes and sketches on your IOS or Android Bluetooth-enabled devices using the Wacom Inkspace app. The Inkspace cloud service allows you to sync your notes and access them anywhere at any time. Available at Canada Computers and Electronics. www.canadacomputers.com

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GI F T GU I DE

SPEAKER SHADES Sunglasses or speakers? The Bose Frames Tenor glasses are both. Protect your eyes from sunlight while discreetly listening to music. Polarized lenses and audio technology are combined to produce high-quality sound that you’d never expect from sunglasses. Be freed from headphones and able to interact with the world around you. The acoustics are hidden at the temples. Available at Bose. www.bose.ca

PERSONALIZED PRINTS Wirelessly connect and print photos using the Canon Ivy mini wireless photo printer. Customize your photos—adding emojis, filters, text and stickers—by using the companion app before printing and distributing. A convenient peel-and-stick back lets you adhere photos to any surface, and the durable photo paper is smudge-free, water- and tear-resistant. Comes with a pack of 10 sheets of two-inch by three-inch ZINK paper. Shown in rose-gold but also available in mint green and slate grey. Available at Best Buy. www.bestbuy.ca

DISCREET DASH CAM With a car key-sized profile, the Garmin 1080p mini dash cam is discreet and practical. Mounted behind a car’s rear-view mirror or on the windshield, this camera offers a 140-degree viewing lens and automatically records footage when plugged into a power source. Wi-fi and Bluetooth technology make it easy to upload saved footage, and a built-in G-sensor and accelerometer automatically save a backup of the current recording when an accident occurs. Available at Costco and Best Buy www.costco.ca and www.bestbuy.ca THE WINTER ISSUE

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GI F T GU I DE

SNOOZE AND SCORE Learn about the quality of your sleep with the Withings sleep pad monitor. Slip it under your mattress to monitor your sleep cycle, heart rate and snoring. Fully compatible with Alexa, this monitor analyzes your data to provide you with customized reports, designed to advise you of the parameters that impact sleep duration, sleep depth and interruptions. It also measures the time it takes to fall asleep and awaken. Available at Withings. www.withings.com

PORTABLE PARTY

PRETTY POPPIES

The vintage-look Marshall Stockwell II Bluetooth wireless

Designed by Sami Ruotsalainen as part of the Oiva

speaker keeps the party going. Perfect for poolside

dinnerware collection, this Marimekko Unikko teapot

gatherings, the IPX4 water-resistance rating is combined

recalls the flower-power aesthetic of the 1960s. It has a

with a durable build. Play music with any Bluetooth

porcelain strainer to ensure an excellent brew. Perfectly

device at a range of up to 30 feet from the speaker. Multi-

paired with the matching mug and plate, this set is

host functionality also lets you connect

designed to make teatime cheerful.

and easily switch between Bluetooth

Available at EQ3.

devices so anyone can connect to

www.eq3.com

play music. Available at Best Buy. www.bestbuy.ca

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GI F T GU I DE

COASTAL CANDLES Inspired by the majestic forests of the Pacific Northwest, Hollow Tree is a small-batch candle company in the coastal mountains of British Columbia. Connect with the scents of the trees: pine, fir, cedar, redwood and balsam, to name a few. These candles are aromatic, clean-burning and last 60 hours. Available at Hollow Tree. www.hollowtree.ca

SIMPLE STORAGE Compact and foldable, the Leo basket can be used to store toys (for children or dogs) or laundry, depending on your needs. A large circular bamboo frame with a magnetic closure for easy transportation functions as a handle and encases a neutral grey fabric. Available at EQ3. www.eq3.com

ARTISTIC AROMATHERAPY This incense holder, made of rose quartz and brass, is sold with a 50-stick package of incense by Cinnamon Projects. A functional objet d’art, it includes a chunk of rose quartz that cradles an incense stick atop a brass tray. Rose quartz is said to promote love and relationships. Available at Goop. www.goop.com

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DESIGN

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PANDEMICINFLUENCED DESIGN COVID-19 is having an impact on interior design and architecture as it transforms many elements of our lives

SINKS NEAR THE FRONT ENTRANCE for hand-washing. Guest bedrooms and broom closets that double as home offices. Backyard vegetable gardens. More durable furnishings and finishes. These are just a few of the changes that the coronavirus pandemic has sparked in interior design and architecture. The virus, it turns out, isn’t just changing how we live and work in the midst of a global health crisis; it is also influencing interior design trends that will continue to shape our homes long after the lockdowns are over. “With people not travelling and spending so much time at home, their focus has shifted to their homes and second homes,” says Andrew Curtis, a Montreal-based architect and partner at RobitailleCurtis. That’s apparent, he says, in the high volume of inquiries he and his partner, landscape architect Sophie Robitaille, are receiving for both interior and exterior projects. It’s also spurred heightened demand for construction materials and qualified workers, making it difficult to find everything from cedar posts to bathroom tiles, and the people to install them. Curtis says clients are looking to tackle jobs they’ve been putting off for years: eat-in kitchens, backyard spas, chalet renovations. There is also more interest than ever in country homes. –>

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Photo by Ema Peters, courtesy of Falken Reynods Design

BY SUSAN SEMENAK


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Spending so much time at home placed extra demands on our living spaces. Our apartments, condos and houses had to do double-duty as offices, classrooms, gyms, playrooms, workshops. People made adjustments to get through in the short term, but interior designers say they are now busy helping clients find longer-term solutions. Montreal interior designer Eugenia Triandos, co-owner of Hibou Design & Co., says there’s a bigger-than-ever emphasis on adaptability and versatility . . . and hygiene. “This thing rocked our world. Our everyday lives and routines of going to work, picking up the kids, coming home has changed,” she says. “How we use our homes has changed, too. The guest bedroom is also a home office and the living room serves as a homeschooling station.”

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Triandos says all the handwashing we’ve been doing, and our redoubled emphasis on hygiene, have led to numerous requests for mudrooms with handwashing stations, or powder rooms at the front of the house. “It makes sense, even if you put COVID aside, to have a place to wash your hands close to the entrance,” she says. Va ncouver inter ior desig ner Negar Reihani, founder of the firm Space Harmony, says the pandemic made a lot of homeowners more resourceful and budget-conscious than they were before. “Many of us found that there were small projects we could do ourselves. And if our budgets were restricted, we found bargain solutions,” she says.

Photo by Ema Peter, Falken Reynods Design

Photo by Drew Hadley, courtesy of Hibou Design

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Reihani and her husband, an optical engineer who found himself briefly furloughed, used their time in lockdown to convert a rundown, unused workshop on a rural property that they own near Victoria into a cute cabin. They did most of the work themselves and used vintage, upcycled and discounted end-of-line materials. “It was a little out of our comfort zone but we did it and it made us realize how resilient and adaptable we are,” Reihani says. Vancouver interior designer Chad Falkenberg, a partner in Falken Reynolds Interiors, says comfort is a major theme spreading through interior design, as it is through fashion. “I think we will shift to simplicity in the things that are closest to us, like the sofa we sit on to watch Netflix or the armchair we curl up in to read a book,” he says. –> Photos by Daniel Zemancik, courtesy of Space Harmony Interiors

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Photo by Ema Peter, Falken Reynods Design

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Here are a few emerging pandemic-influenced interior design trends, according to Falkenberg, Triandos, Curtis and Reihani. COZINESS Warm colours, nubby textures, houseplants. Everybody’s looking for comfort where they can get it. Falkenberg is a self-proclaimed minimalist, but when he and his partner Kelly

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Reynolds moved to a new condo during the first wave of the pandemic, they opted for “more soothing and warmer” colours than they would have otherwise. That turned out to be a prescient decision: the couple tested positive for COVID-19 in September and had to isolate at home for 10 days. Fortunately, they’ve fully recovered. “We wanted the space to feel cozier than our previous home, so we bought more

shelving for our books and things we’ve collected on our travels, and quite a few new plants to bring a bit of natural life into the space,” he says. “Spending so much time in the space during isolation, when the fatigue and tiredness were a very real thing, was made easier. And even now that we’re working at the office, it’s so nice to go home at the end of the day to a place where we can relax and rejuvenate.”


DESIGN • HOME IN CANADA • WINTER 2020

Photos by Drew Hadley, courtesy of Hibou Design

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M O R E D U R AB LE , E A SY-TO - CLE AN SURFACES Eugenia Triandos says homeowners are demanding more durable, washable surfaces as their homes come under more intensive use. There is also more interest in materials such as unlacquered bronze and copper, which are believed to have anti-microbial properties, and in colourfast and moisture-repellent outdoor fabrics used for interior upholstery. “When the whole family is home more often and the walls are being touched and the sofas are being sat on, everything needs to be lower-maintenance,” Triandos says. PRIVATE SPACES Open-concept design has reigned for a long time, but anyone who worked at a crowded kitchen table during lockdown knows how cherished a private, closed-off space is. Negar Reihani says she has had many requests for home offices, even in the smallest condos. “Sometimes, all it takes is a small nook, like a broom closet, which can be turned into a mini-office,” she says. –>

Photo by Chris Rollett, courtesy of Falken Reynods Design

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Personality “When you are home 24/7, you really see how a space affects your mood, how it makes you feel,” Reihani says. Many of her clients are looking for ways to personalize white and neutral decor, which is often standard in new builds. “All day long in a grey and white house, things might start to feel sterile,” she says. “People yearn for colour and warmth.” For a quick fix, Reihani recommends better, warmer lighting, unusual pendants to replace generic flush-mount lights, and bold wallpaper or one brightly coloured piece of furniture. Photos by Daniel Zemancik, courtesy of Space Harmony Interiors

Archictural renderings by RobitailleCurtis

A greater appreciation for nature Andrew Curtis says confinement has led to a greater respect for the great outdoors. That has led to more interest in second properties in the countryside, but also to a flurry of interest in backyard improvement projects. “People are looking for fire tables and spas. They want raised beds for growing vegetables,” he says. “They want to make their backyards more comfortable.”

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Photo by Ema Peter, courtesy of Falken Reynods Design

DESIGN • HOME IN CANADA • WINTER 2020

Better home organization Negar Reihani says that people who live and work at home are looking for ways to keep the various parts of their lives in separate compartments. She says better storage is one answer: “A place that is ordered and tidy, with space to hide things away, makes your brain work better,” she says. “And emotionally, it’s calming.”

bit of a switch that got flipped with COVID,” The COVID-19 pandemic will continue to he says. “People are asking for more thought- transform our lives, and those changes will begin at home. ful design that considers the Earth.”

Photo courtesy of RobitailleCurtis

Greater respect for the environment Andrew Curtis says that environmental concerns have been gaining traction for some time and are now front and centre in the consciousness of many of his clients. “There was a

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Minton fabric taken from the 19th century Minton pattern book

TEA TIME

We take teaware for granted while sipping a hot brew, but it has a fascinating history BY LANA HARPER

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ONE OF THE THINGS that never changes is the desire to meet over a cup of tea. The drinking of tea is such a pervasive custom in England, for instance, that we sometimes forget it originated in Asia. Tea was expensive when it first made its way from China to Europe. Although the Chinese had been imbibing it for a couple of millennia, it wasn’t until the 18th century that it was embraced by Europeans. Its cost ensured that only the wealthy could afford it. Concurrent with the growing fashion of tea-drinking at that time, the production of

porcelain—which furnished teaware—was evolving into an industry in England and Europe during the 1770s. The early porcelain was delicate and translucent. Hold a piece up to the light and you can see right through it. My daughter, Gillian, believes that part of the appeal of the teacup is that while it appears to be delicate, it’s strong. In fact, if you turn a teacup upside down on a carpet, its bell shape will withstand a person’s weight. This was a selling point when my son, Russell, worked for Royal Doulton.


DESIGN • HOME IN CANADA • WINTER 2020

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English c1810 coffee cans

Drinking tea has long been a social custom at gatherings of such groups as embroidery clubs, church assemblies, and family get-togethers. Any reason to congregate merited a cup of tea. And damp, cold weather in the absence of central heating enhanced its appeal. Rather than today’s traditional cup and saucer, early 19th century tea sets included 12 trios; each trio consisted of a tea cup, a coffee can and a saucer.

TEACUPS Early teacups—copied from Chinese prototypes—were small, and they lacked handles. The most famous ones, made at the Meissen factory by Böttger, and decorated by Johann Gregorius Höroldt, date to the 1720s. One such cup was up for auction in Vienna last July for between €7,000 and €10,000. Handleless cups were difficult to hold when hot, so an accompanying saucer was developed to be raised to the lips.

18th century tiny tea bowls and early 19th century larger tea bowls

As handles were developed, they evolved in shape as teacups were made larger. Usually unmarked, the handle’s shape was a way of determining a cup’s factory of origin. The Minton teacup, inspired by designs in old Minton pattern books, became a favourite. During an antiques-buying trip in England, I found a salesperson who sold me the display Minton teacup fabric in a shop window that I was desperate to have.

Meissen factory tea cup, c1720, decorated by Höroldt

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TEAPOTS Teapots are another essential element in a tea service. They were often copies of early silver-teapot shapes. Teapots made between 1775 and 1800— copied from Chinese models—were globular, barrel-shaped and small. Because tea was a luxury, it was kept in caddies and tea boxes for safe storage. Tea boxes were crafted of wood, tole, and even rolled paper. There were small single ones and large double ones, fitted with separate containers for black tea and its green counterpart. By 1810, the drink had become more affordable, resulting in the production of larger teapots. Some had steam holes in their lids. Others, called turreted pots, had a single hole in the centre of a turret-shaped knob. (see photo, right). In the Victorian era, teapots were raised on feet to prevent them from leaving marks on tables. Earlier teapots often had matching stands that complemented the pots in shape and decoration.

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Globular shape c1800, larger oval shape c1825

New Hall c1810 tea pot with steam hole in knob Tea boxes, wood and tole Porcelain tea caddies

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DESIGN • HOME IN CANADA • WINTER 2020

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Sugar boxes: Spode c1815, Ridgway c1825

Milk jugs: Worcester sparrow beak, Coalport helmet shape, Chinese with cover

Some teapot s were decorated w ith hand-painted names, dates, mottoes, and verses. In some collections, the pot is the only piece marked with the name of the factory where it was produced; the name and mark might be under the lid. Many an hour has been spent by experts consulting books and examining patterns and shapes to determine what factory produced a piece.

Waste or slop bowl for tea dregs

MILK AND SUGAR The development of vessels for milk and sugar followed. Popular in the 1800s were small sparrow-beaked jugs that had pointed spouts. There was also the helmet shape (turn the jug upside down and it looks like a helmet) copied from Chinese versions. Sugar bowls, sugar pots and sugar boxes were other components in tea sets. Some were covered, others were not, but their shape was similar to that of the teapot.

Slop or waste bowls were also standard items. They were used to pour out the dregs of tea leaves from teacups before refilling. Spoon trays held six teaspoons. They tend to pre-date 1800. After that time, a teaspoon could be placed on a saucer, designed with an indentation for the cup and a wider rim for the spoon.

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Cup and saucer gifted to me from Ellen Lyons

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DESIGN • HOME IN CANADA • WINTER 2020

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Worcester c1800 trio and Ridgway c1820 trio

TEAWARE AS GIFTS AND DISPLAYS A lovely use for a tea service is display. I have three sets on mahogany shelves in my dining room: Spode, Ridgway and Coalport. Each exemplifies the history of porcelain-making in the early 19th century. Teaware is given to commemorate special occasions. In my case, Ellen Lyons gifted me an English New Hall cup and saucer (circa 1810), decorated with flowers. It was accompanied by a note asking me to be her partner in the antiques business.

I also have a fond memory of my 50th birthday celebration: high tea at the Ritz Carlton. The maitre d’ allowed me to bring in teapots as centrepieces for the tables. Taking tea continues to be a ritual all around the world. I am reminded of the words of William Gladstone, one of England’s longest-serving prime ministers during the 19th century, who wrote:

Lana Harper, who holds a bachelor of arts from McGill University and a masters in translation from l’Université de Montréal, is a member of the Canadian Professional Appraisers. For 30 years, she partnered with London-based Ellen Lyons in buying, selling and exhibiting porcelain at fairs in Canada and the United States. Currently, she does estate, private and online sales and appraisals. (www.lyonsharperantiques.com)

If you are cold, tea will warm you; If you are too heated, it will cool you; If you are depressed, it will cheer you; If you are exhausted, it will calm you.

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COZY AND COMFORTABLE Here’s how to make your bed warm and inviting for the cold season ahead BY SUSAN KELLY

COMFORT NOW TOPS THE LIST of musthave decor trends throughout the home. “People want to surround themselves with things that not only make them feel good, but are beautiful,” says Stan Leibner, co-owner of the Linen Chest, which has stores in Quebec, Ontario and the Maritimes. “And creating a cozy bedroom retreat is more important than ever. Along with warm layers, we want to add some style.”

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That’s why he has expanded the Linen Chest’s offerings of UGG bedding. Founded by an Australian surfer in 1978, the UGG label shot to fame two decades ago for its slipper-like boots, made of sheepskin. Its fashion lines have expanded greatly since then, with many making it to Oprah’s “My Favorite Things” lists.

The Linen Chest carries UGG slippers and robes for adults and children, to which it has added such bedding lines as UGG Hyland, a chic update on a classic plaid flannel duvet cover. Made in Portugal, the 100 per cent cotton fabric features a grey-and-white, subtly specked colour story for a fresh contemporary look. The crisp tailored finish is accented with stylish wooden-button closures.


DESIGN • HOME IN CANADA • WINTER 2020

For fans of the endless-summer feel, inspired by the Southern California coastal look, the UGG Jules collection will appeal. This soft, 100 per cent prewashed cotton duvet cover features a relaxed waffle fabric with a textured tattersall design. The effect is both elegant and relaxed at the same time. Details include a beautifully crafted fabric tie closure. It’s available in queen and king sizes with matching Euro pillow shams. UGG is also known for using only premium materials and high standards of craftsmanship. “I find people now are more discerning. They will spend more for bedding that combines fashion, high quality and

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comfort,” Leibner says. “Which is why we are excited by the UGG bedding line and are the only major Canadian retailer to carry these full collections.” The latest addition heading into winter is UGG’s take on a luxurious and faux fur comforter set, which is faced with what the company calls “micro mink.” Called Alondra, this plush set features fine tailoring and hidden zippers on the two included shams. Just add some coordinated decorative pillows for the ultimate fashion statement. Alondra also fits in with the trend toward faux fur in the bedroom. Linen Chest has long been the place to go for on-trend collections of

throws and accent pillows in this style. Look for such standbys as wolf, lynx or Russian sable. And, since sheared looks are big for 2020-2021, you will find versions that emulate mink, ermine or ocelot, some accented with ruching. “A faux-fur throw is a quick way to add a touch of luxury,” Leibner says. “Plus, you can be environmentally responsible and have all the warmth of the real thing without the weight.” Linen Chest www.linenchest.com

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THE NEW STEW

An updated version of the hearty, cold-weather dinner goes way beyond meat and potatoes TEXT AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY SUSAN SEMENAK

STEW: A dish of meat and vegetables cooked slowly in liquid in a closed pan. Quintessential winter food. A pot of stew simmering long and slowly on the stove warms both the kitchen and the soul. But the traditional beef or lamb ragout that so readily comes to mind isn’t all there is. Stew is more than meat and potatoes in brown sauce. The “new stew,” as I call it, comes together much like the old classic, but is lighter and less meaty than grandma’s version. It is often vegetarian, relying on chunky vegetables for heft, and bright, bold spicing for spark. Maybe it is something like a Mediterranean ratatouille, with eggplant and red pepper slow-cooked

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until they seem to melt. Or a Middle Eastern stew that derives its luxurious richness from the starches released by lentils, chickpeas or lima beans cooked in broth over low heat. Layering flavours and textures is the key to cooking interesting stews. Sometimes, I toss cut-up vegetables (such as cauliflower, carrots, sweet potato, red onion or winter squash) in olive oil, salt and whole spices and then roast them in a high-heat oven until the edges are dark and almost charred before adding them to the stew pot. (The roasting coaxes extra flavour out of them.) It’s exciting, too, to include ingredients that are unexpected. Coconut milk—borrowed

from south Indian and Thai curries—adds a sweet creaminess. Grated ginger, Thai curry paste, miso, chopped anchovies or tomato paste whisked in as onions and garlic are sautéing add another dimension, and a hit of umami. At the end, I might whisk in a spoonful of Dijon mustard, or maybe a splash of apple cider vinegar or lemon or lime juice, just for the zing. The downside to old-school stews is their boring brown colour. But there are plenty of ways to make both meat and vegetable-based stews look as beautiful as they taste. A teaspoon of turmeric, for instance, turns the


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sauce golden. A handful of fresh chopped parsley, mint, dill or cilantro stirred in just before serving lends a fresh green hue. Nobody thinks of garnish when it comes to stew. But a spoonful of toasted, chopped nuts or sunflower or sesame seeds scattered on top adds crunch and texture. Here are three of my favourite new stews: Chickpea, Tomato and Pasta Stew This is a simple recipe for my version of the hearty southern Italian classic pasta e ceci. Serves 4 to 6 3 tablespoons olive oil 2 medium onions, chopped 2 carrots, peeled and chopped 1 stalk celery, chopped 2 cloves garlic, crushed 6 cups (1.5 L) chicken or vegetable broth 1 796-mL can whole tomatoes 1 cup (250 mL) dried small pasta (such as ditalini or macaroni) 1 teaspoon dried oregano 1 540-mL can chickpeas, rinsed and drained 2 cups (500 mL) chopped spinach or kale Salt and pepper, to taste Finely grated pecorino or Parmesan cheese, for serving • Heat the oil in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more. • Stir in the broth, tomatoes, pasta, oregano and chickpeas, breaking up the tomatoes and some of the chickpeas with the back of a spoon or a potato masher. • Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is al dente, about 10 minutes. The water will mostly be absorbed by the pasta. If you prefer it brothier, you can add a little more water or broth and simmer until warmed through, a minute more. • Add the kale or spinach and continue to simmer just until the greens are wilted (a minute or two). Season with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and top with grated cheese. –>

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Lemony Chicken with Artichokes and Olives This dish is a stovetop marvel – marinated chicken thighs braised in a sauce with artichokes and olives. The finished dish is most deeply flavoured when the chicken marinates overnight, but it will also be fine if all you’ve got is an hour or so. Serves 4 to 6 1 lemon ¼ cup (60 mL) olive oil 3 garlic cloves, crushed 8 fresh sage leaves, chopped Salt and freshly ground black pepper 2 lbs (1 kg) boneless, skinless chicken thighs 6 anchovy fillets, mashed with a fork 3 tbsp capers

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¼ cup (60 mL) finely chopped fresh parsley ¼8 tsp red chili pepper flakes 1 onion, chopped 1 cup (250 mL) chicken broth 1 cup (250 mL) marinated artichokes, drained ½ cup (125 mL) pitted green olives, cut in half • Finely grate the zest of the lemon and reserve in a covered container in the fridge. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze it to get about ¼ cup (60 mL) of juice. • In a shallow baking dish, combine the lemon juice, 2 tbsp of the olive oil and the garlic, sage leaves, salt and pepper. Add the chicken thighs and coat thoroughly in the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour, but preferably overnight. • Remove the chicken from the fridge and

place in a sieve set over a bowl to catch the marinade. While the marinade is draining, combine the mashed anchovy, capers, parsley, chili pepper flakes and reserved lemon zest in a small bowl and set aside. • In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, sauté the onion in the remaining oil over mediumhigh heat, stirring, until tender and lightly coloured, about 5 minutes. Add the drained chicken pieces and cook for 5 minutes, then flip over and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the reserved marinade back to the pan along with the anchovy-caper mixture, chicken broth, artichokes and olives. Turn the heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Uncover the pan and simmer for another 10 minutes, until the liquid has thickened into a sauce.


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Smoky Seafood Stew This is a simplified Provençale bouillabaisse which incorporates smoked mackerel fillet; its smoky, salty flavour lends the dish a wintery allure. To make things even easier, I use frozen shelled mussels and shrimp, thawed, from the seafood section at the supermarket. Serves 4 3 tablespoons olive oil 2 medium onions, chopped 3 stalks celery, chopped 2 cloves garlic, crushed 2 bay leaves 2 tablespoons flour ½ cup (125 mL) white wine

2 8-ounce (240-mL) bottles clam juice 2 cups (500 mL) vegetable broth 3 medium potatoes, peeled and diced 1 lb (450 g) mussels 1 lb (450 g) small shrimp, peeled 8 ounces (225 g) smoked mackerel, torn into bite-sized pieces Freshly ground black pepper ¼ cup (60 mL) chopped fresh parsley • Heat oil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan. Add onion and celery and cook over medium-high heat until softened and lightly coloured, about five minutes.

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• Add garlic and bay leaves and cook for another minute. Whisk in flour, and cook for 2 minutes, then add wine and cook another five minutes, until reduced by half. • Add clam juice, vegetable stock and potatoes. Continue cooking, covered, for 15 minutes, or until potatoes are tender. • Add mussels, shrimp and smoked mackerel, lower heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes or until mussels have opened and shrimp is pink and cooked through, about five minutes. • Season generously with pepper and serve in individual bowls, garnished with parsley.

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CANADIAN COZINESS Warm up to winter by making the interiors of your home light and inviting BY BARBARA MILNER

MOST OF THE CUSTOMS, symbols and rituals of this season are rooted in the winter solstice celebrations of ancient pagan cultures. The winter solstice, also known as Yule, signals a period of optimism. The shortest and darkest day of the year, typically December 21, simultaneously marks the rebirth of the sun, longer days and better weather for growing crops. Today, we have largely lost this connection. Electric lighting and central heating buffer us against the changing seasons. The joy of dancing in the winter darkness has been replaced with a melancholy mindset,

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and for many, an eagerness to escape from the season altogether. To embrace “the most wonderful time of the year� is to go back to basics and celebrate elements of the natural world that are key to survival. Winter is a time when, like nature itself, we should stop, rest and look hopefully forward. In our homes, it is a time to be consciously cozy by celebrating the simplicity of elements such as fire, light and texture. Hibernate happily, practically, sustainably and stylishly with these Canadian-made winter essentials.


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KEEP THE EMBERS BURNING IN THE HEARTH Winnipeg-based designer Thom Fougere returned home from work on a dark, frigid winter day and began his routine of decompressing by the warm crackling of his wood burning fireplace. While working to keep the flames alive, Fougere came to realize that his fire tools lacked a certain sparkle factor. That sparked his lengthy research process exploring fireplace tools of the past. “I began to realize that a lot of standard fire tools had not been addressed and updated in a modern way,” he says.

Fougere’s Fire Tools are a modern interpretation of three essential fireside instruments: poker, shovel and brush. The fire tools come in two types of brass, raw brass and blackened brass. The raw brass darkens with use and the blackened brass starts to wear, allowing the gold tones of the natural metal to surface. “The more they are used, the more they wear and improve. The patina adds character and beauty to the product. The tools look their worst when they are new and look their best when they are used,” says Fougere. The handles are available in oak and walnut and all the materials are sourced in Canada. Now in his 12th Winnipeg winter, Fougere has come to embrace the inevitability of the season. “I love winter. It’s unavoidable so I’ve consciously tried to appreciate it more,” he says. “I don’t have a fireplace anymore which is unfortunate, so more candles are lit.” –>

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BAN I S H WI NTE R DAR KN E S S WITH SCENTED CANDLES Hollow Tree founder Tobias Douglas was walking away from a 20-year career as a forester in British Columbia when she realized she could keep her cherished forest scents alive by launching Hollow Tree. It took Douglas three years to develop her line of scented candles, and no detail was overlooked. Douglas perfected a sustainable coconut wax formula, ethically superior to formulas made from soy, which are heavily associated with deforestation. She sourced cotton wicks that produce a cleaner burn than the traditional lead wick. She worked with perfumers in France who produced 400 sample tree scents which she narrowed down to 15 for the Hollow Tree signature collection. During that time Douglas also perfected her packaging, developing a unique ceramic mason jar and adding such local details as a map of Whistler from 1928 to the inside of each candle box. For Douglas, forests are libraries, and each Hollow Tree candle shares a story from that library. In fact, she shares the story of the scent on each box. Hollow Tree’s The Lions is a bestseller yearround despite its balsam scent that is typically associated with the holiday season. Other scents range from Golden Spruce, a mix of woodsmoke and spruce, to the pine scent of Canoe and the smell of sandalwood in Lumberjack. A new holiday scent for 2020, Log & Hearth emits notes of balsam, clove and cedar.

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SPEND WARM TIME IN THE KITCHEN The kitchen becomes the go-to warm place in the house during the winter, and having the right tools to cook a hearty meal is essential. Ryan Fleming, a carpenter for 20 years, channels his passion for wood craftsmanship into creating handmade home decor and kitchenware items from his 16-foot-square workshop in Muskoka, Ontario. “It’s not very big but I feel that I can do much more in a small shop with hand tools than a bigger shop with electrical tools,” says Fleming. Fleming handcrafts wooden spoons, cutting boards, charcuterie boards, bowls, pizza peels and canoe paddles using walnut, ash, maple and cherry wood. All the wood is locally sourced, some of it directly from his 10-acre property. “I put a lot of time and effort into different ways to do products and I think you really notice it,” he says. “I try to incorporate different species of woods.” Interesting textures include burled wood and spalted maple. The grains are unusual, giving each handmade item a sculptural feel. “All the products can be used daily in the kitchen or as decor pieces—or both,” Fleming says. “When someone sees my products in my house, it puts a smile on their face. It contributes to a sense of comfort.” –>

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WARM UP THE LIVING ROOM WITH FAUX-FUR SLIPCOVERS Comfort and sustainability are critical to Montreal-based furniture designers Element De Base. Thien Ta Trung and his sister My Ta Trung founded the company four years ago with the desire to provide stylish, “renewable” furniture to conscientious consumers. Key to their design is offering a wide range of textured slipcovers for their furniture items.

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“Our pieces can be renewed. Your sofa is never over with us; you can buy a new cover and it really comes back to life as a new couch,” Thien Ta Trung says. “Because we’re in Canada, we felt comfortable introducing a faux fur line of slipcovers. It really makes things feel extra cozy.” The faux-fur slipcovers are available in brown, cream and a bold blue. Other wonderfully wintery textures for a seasonal

swap include velvet and boucle. The boucle collection is expanding this year to include new colourways using sustainable yarn fabric made from recycled bottles, harvested from the ocean. “We want to be creative, keep people happy, have fun but without destroying the planet,” says Trung. “Boucle is so popular because it’s nubby. It’s like having a little lamb in the living room; it’s really comfortable.”


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CUDDLE UP UNDER A WARM, WOOL BLANKET Topsy Farms began as a hippie commune in the early 1970s on Amherst Island, Ontario. The first sheep were purchased in 1974, and today the farm continues to operate with its eco-ethical farming philosophy intact. “Topsy raises happy sheep,” says Jacob Murray, son of one of the original founders and now a key member of the Topsy team. Central to the Topsy approach to farming is that sheep should live in freedom and spend most of their time outdoors. The ability to roam freely allows the sheep to adapt to the elements with their wool. “The harder the

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winter, the better the wool. Wool is really a celebration of winter,” says Murray. Most commercial wools are subject to sulfuric baths that remove the lanolin out of the wool. Topsy sheep wool is washed with soap that preserves the natural oils, producing a soft wool fibre with a subtle organic scent. “It’s a superior, softer wool and has a lovely fragrance to it” says Murray. “It’s not your grandma’s itchy wool blanket but can still be passed down as an heirloom.” Topsy wool blankets are made in small runs and as a result, no two blankets are alike. The company’s new Live Edge Collection of blankets blends sheep wool with local alpaca

wool. Only 400 are made at a time and each blanket is numbered like an art print. “A wool blanket is a winter staple,” says Murray. “It should look good, feel good and appeal to all your senses. Soft, not scratchy.” And it should smell like piles of autumn leaves, the morning on the ski lift, the wind over the waves; it should smell like Canada at its best. Columnist Barbara Milner is an interior designer and principal at South Hill Interiors, a design firm that serves the Greater Toronto Area and Kawartha Lakes region. The firm’s real estate arm offers realt y services with Forest Hill Real Estate Inc.

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TRADITIONAL AND FAMILY-FRIENDLY This Toronto home is given Old-World style that is both elegant and welcoming for the children BY ELISABETH KALBFUSS PHOTOGRAPHY: VIRGINIA MACDONALD STYLING: EMILY GRIFFIN

THERE WERE A FEW STIPUL ATIONS that the homeowner had when she called designer Emily Griffin in to transform her North Toronto house. The first was that her treasured piano had to have pride of place in the front room. “Trying to do a furniture plan with a massive Steinway was a challenge,” says Griffin, founder of Emily Griffin Design. But it was a good one. “Everyone in the family plays. It’s not collecting dust; it gets used.” Another must-have: a classic English pedestal table for the dining room. Not many families with three school-aged children opt for traditional furniture and designs, Griffin says, but in this instance, it suited the house. A new build, the home has such architectural details as coffered ceilings and moldings that lend themselves to a classic look. –> Everyone in the family plays piano, says designer Emily Griffin, so the instrument is the focal point in the front room. The walls were hand-painted by Robert Sangster both here and in the dining room to create a Venetian plaster effect.

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“She wanted really traditional, not old-fashioned,” says Griffin. Old-World, but definitely not stuffy. “Something that had youth and modernity.” For the designer, that meant she could mix antiques such as the pedestal table, which she found in an antiques shop in Paris, Ontario, with such new pieces as a walnut credenza that she describes as “uber-contemporary. It has, like 100 coats of high-gloss lacquer to give it that sheen, and very modern brass hardware.” Griffin loves juxtaposing old and new pieces, and the look it creates. “I love a room that feels as though it’s from a bunch of different eras. It feels collected rather than designed.” She added Italian chairs, reupholstered in blue linen. For the walls, Griffin called in painter Robert Sangster, who hand-painted the dining room in a shadowy leaf pattern, and did a cloud-like effect in the piano room. Using Designers Guild drapes as an inspiration, they chose tones of mauve, taupe, cream and grey for the walls. “It took him days,” Griffin says. “It’s a very specialized paint treatment that gives you the effect of Venetian plaster.” Having spent all that time and energy on the dining room walls, she chose to highlight them with brass wall sconces, rather than art. “Once Robert had taken all that time to paint the walls, putting big art there would have been tragic.” –>

The classic English pedestal dining table was a must-have for the homeowner. Designer Emily Griffin found this one, along with the chandelier, at Maus Park Antiques in Paris, Ontario. The Wellington credenza is high-gloss walnut with a red lacquer interior, from Industrial Storm.

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With three children, it was

In the family room, Griffin chose a darker look, opting for walnut cabinetry. She removed the old entertainment unit and instead created seating nooks on each side of the fireplace. “The kids live in them,” she says. “They turn on the lights, read, curl up. They’re not only beautiful but they’re a handy spot where everyone can hang out.” She shifted the television into a Julian Chichester cabinet. “I abhor exposed TVs,” she says, laughing. The unit also has storage for toys. –>

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important to the homeowner to have lots of seating in the family room. So along with the sofa, seating nooks were built into the cabinetry surrounding the fireplace. The millwork was done by Garry Ewing at Ashburne Designs. A freestanding cabinet by Julian Chichester, from South Hill Home, hides the television and toys. Rug: Weavers Art.


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The biggest transformation was in the main bedroom. Mother-of-pearl tile surrounds the fireplace, and custom-made cabinetry by Sdao’s Carpentry hides the television and provides storage. Cherry-blossom wallpaper: Crown.

The biggest transformation, Griffin says, happened in the main bedroom. The space was massive and felt cavernous before the remodel. To create warmth, she started with a large, light-coloured silk carpet, and chose a cherry-blossom wallpaper. “It made it more cozy.” The room lacked storage, so she designed cabinetry around the fireplace that could also hide the television. A physician, the homeowner sometimes does paperwork at home at the end of the day, so the designer carved out a small desk area for her on that

wall. She chose mother-of-pearl tile to get a jewel-like glow around the fireplace and created a separate seating area for reading and relaxing in front of the window. Griffin says that after years of seeing a mid-century inf luence dominate interior design and in so many design publications, she’s developed a new appreciation for traditional styles, and says it seems poised for a comeback. “It’s time for a change, and this may very well be it.”

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READY TO LAUNCH The stars advise working some decor magic now for a fresh start in 2021 BY SUSAN KELLY

Photo by Jamie Street

NEW YEAR, NEW COSMIC ORDER; something completely different is coming. And we begin to see the light in the final days of 2020, glimmers of a time for hope and healing, aliveness and growth, ahead. On December 21, the winter solstice, the Great Conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn occurs. It falls in Aquarius, a sign that’s all about the biggest and brightest picture. Depicted as the Water Bearer, it is the bringer of higher wisdom, hence its association with visionaries and innovations in ahead-of-thecurve technology, avant-garde design and civil rights movements. The Great Conjunction not only sets the tone for the coming year, but also inaugurates a new and vastly different 200-year cycle. Expect change, even revolution, in everything from how we govern ourselves to how we do business, create and design, or relate

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with people around us. It will not happen overnight, of course. In 2021, we will face lingering challenges posed by the pandemic. But there will be breakthroughs and flashes of brilliance as well. Until then, there are the final days of 2020 to navigate. And as days grow shorter, three major planets continue to camp in sombre and controlling Capricorn, casting a pall. Also, on the horizon are two eclipses, a lunar on November 30 in the busy, multi-tasking sign of Gemini followed by a solar on December 14 in party-hearty Sagittarius. Eclipses tend to put a damper on the above qualities associated with the signs, just in time for the holidays. Some people will rebel, seeking distraction and busy-ness as release after a long and stressful 2020. But this would not be the best strategy.

A time for magic If nothing else, the pandemic has taught us all about the value of taking a pause. And eclipse periods always are best navigated by taking one. December’s eclipses can help us focus with laser precision, and they occur in signs that are about learning and truth. Taking time to reflect on the tumultuous year past can bring illuminating insights, dramatically different from what you expect. The first day of winter, too, should be considered a resting time of year according to the I Ching, an ancient Chinese divination text. “Thus, the kings of antiquity closed the passes … And the ruler Did not travel through the provinces.” (Hexagram 24). Many nature-based religions celebrate the solstice as a magical turning point, the return of the light after long darkness. Decorating trees and our homes with holiday


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Photo by Toa Heftiba

lights comes from this tradition. But this year, you might want to perform a more personal ritual or make a vision board, all with the aim of manifesting your new path for 2021. In a pinch, just making a list of the positive changes you want to see coming will do. The ancient art of feng shui is also a magical practice as it is about shifting energy to create a desired result. Around the solstice, the front door is an important area as it symbolizes welcoming new energies, so consider a quick refresh to the decor there. More Aquarius-inspired design magic • Add an eclectic lamp, side table or other unexpected touch—the bolder and more contemporary, the better. Bonus points for exceptional functionality. • Create an airy open-concept floor plan. It will invoke Aquarius’s air sign qualities of wider vision and room for out-there thinking. • Hang quirky artwork that makes a strong graphic or social statement, especially if from a little-known local artist.

• Look for large vases made by local potters or glassware artisans. The vessel will symbolize your readiness for whatever the water bearer is ready to pour into your life. Jupiter is all about dreams and Saturn the structure that makes them a reality. With the two working in tandem on the solstice point, there is power in focusing on one major overarching goal. Set your sights lower than the moon, but shoot for something you previously felt was too great a reach. The Great Conjunction is the start point, and from there the trajectory will be different for everyone. Where in your home should you work some magic? Here is a short guide by zodiac sign: If you’re a fire sign (Aries, Leo or Sagittarius), improve the areas in your home in which you entertain or in 2021, you will experience change and growth through your relationships. Close ones will draw closer as your social circle expands. Communication is the key; look for new ways to share your story and stay social online, too.

If you’re an earth sign (Taurus, Virgo or Capricorn), make your home office a permanent fixture; you’ll need it in the future. Upgrade the technology and make sure it is as stylish as it is functional. Whether it’s a new position or kudos, you’re in for some recognition on the career front. The downside: you will have to venture far outside your comfort zone. If you’re an air sign (Gemini, Libra or Aquarius), carve out more personal space and me-time. Thanks to the Great Conjunction, prioritizing your creativity and personal projects brings the most rewards. It will also help you widen your horizons and set your sights higher than ever before. Get a makeover and work on your Zoom chops because 2021 is your year to shine. If you’re a water sign (Cancer, Scorpio or Pisces), closeness and sharing are your priorities in 2021. You might want to redecorate the bedroom to reflect the personalities of both you and your partner. Or, as wellbeing and healing also are important, focus on creating a luxuriously serene bathroom sanctuary in which to unwind at day’s end.

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HELP FROM THE VIRTUAL BARISTA

The JURA Hospitality Centre will teach you to make perfect coffee, and you won’t even have to leave your house TODAY’S HIGH-END JURA specialty coffee machines might be a little intimidating to operate. Even though they’re equipped with automatic settings for just about everything coffee-related, a consultation with a sales agent or company representative can help their owners understand the workings of their machines. But what happens when you can’t get to the retailer for a consult? The solution: online video help. JURA Switzerland has launched a virtual online platform—called JURA Live—for customers who need information and instruction. On a recent weekday morning, we tried out this new service, which, since October 2020, is being provided from within a new 600-square-foot video studio situated inside

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the JURA Hospitality Centre on Matheson Boulevard in Mississauga. We clicked the green JURA Live tab on the ca.jura.com home page and a friendly young man at the other end introduced himself. He smiled into a video camera and readied a machine. “Would you like a cappuccino?” he asked playfully. “Or how about a latte macchiato?” “A latte macchiato, please,” we replied, and got a demonstration. He pressed the latte macchiato image on the JURA Z8’s touch-screen. As the machine ground fresh beans and produced a three-tier beverage, topped with a rich milk foam, he discussed its features and intuitive nature. We asked for a couple of other demonstrations, and got those too.

Already set up in the studio are four of JURA’s best-selling bean-to-cup automatic machines—the Z8, the E8, the S8 and the ENA 8—but customers can request demonstrations of other models, too. JURA has been offering in-store demonstrations and training on its espresso machines at the Mississauga centre since 2011 and at its location on Saint-Laurent Boulevard in Montreal since 2015. These on-demand live demonstrations are new, and with video capability, and are more user-friendly than traditional pop-up-menu technical support options. Anyone, anywhere in Canada is now able to “test drive” a JURA model, Monday to Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST. (Store hours in Mississauga, with service available in English and French.)


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It’s an innovative advance in customer support, and one that “brings the JURA coffee experience to a whole other level,” says Joe Di Donato, manager of Canadian operations. “We are trying to see to customers’ needs in their own homes. This is a fabulous platform to do it with.” Joe Di Donato has coffee in his DNA. Along with his three brothers—Rocco, Lorenzo and Pat—he manages JURA’s operations in Canada. The four brothers also manage Faema Canada, which is the legacy of their father, Mike Di Donato. Mike founded Faema in 1958 after emigrating to Toronto from Italy. He recognized the need for great coffee and a more sophisticated coffee culture in Canada.

In the months following the arrival of COVID-19, Joe says, the company’s sales of its automatic espresso makers, including its high-end machines, quickly increased. He says people started buying them once they realized they would not be able to frequent their favourite cafés as they had in the past. Sales are now about 25 per cent higher than at this time last year. The company already had plans for a JURA Live video studio prior to the pandemic. “It addresses an on-going need in the market,” Joe says. We got to see in action the Z8 Aluminum, one of JURA’s top-of-the-line bean-to-cup automatic espresso machines, as well as the ENA 8 Metropolitan Black, a nifty compact unit that’s great for condos and tight spaces. It may have been a virtual JURA Live video demonstration, but we swear we can almost smell that perfect latte macchiato. JURA Hospitality Centre 115 Matheson Blvd. E, Mississauga 905-501-7600 JURA Hospitality Centre 10118 St. Laurent Blvd., Montreal 514-374-0683 www.ca.jura.com

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BRIGHT RETREAT A newly designed bedroom suite gives a couple a cozy haven, surrounded by trees BY CHERYL CORNACCHIA PHOTOGRAPHY: PATRICK BILLER STYLING: STEPHANIE HOUGHTON

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WITH VAULTED CEILINGS and a light, airy decor, a newly designed and decorated main-bedroom suite has quickly become a go-to refuge for a 30-something professional couple in Toronto’s Kingsway neighbourhood. The couple was ready to start a family when they bought the house in 2015. It’s a striking change from their former home: a downtown condo in Toronto’s Chinatown. Overlooking the treetops of the old, established neighbourhood, the new bedroom space feels like a leafy oasis. Located in a second-floor addition to the 2,000-square-foot

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bungalow, the suite is outfitted with a luxurious bathroom, custom millwork and a decor that hints of the couple’s East Indian heritage. “We are really going to enjoy the space as our son grows older,” says new mom Deepthi, who is now using the bedroom’s built-in window bench/reading nook for afternoon story time with her infant son. Husband Dru says that as the family grows, it’s likely that the main suite will become even more of a place to which they can escape. “What I love is it’s so bright,” he says.

Bohemian prints in blue, pink and yellow-gold bring colour into the bedroom and give the space an almostIndian vibe, something the homeowners requested. Two fluffy duvets—one from Restoration Hardware, the other from Urban Outfitters—give the bed its inviting look. Headboard; custom-made from Schumacher fabric, sourced at Bilbrough & Co.


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A custom-built bench and cute little matching drawers inset in the wall create a reading nook in a dormer. A rush stool warms the cozy space. Seat cushion and Roman blind: Robert Allen Fabrics; throw pillows: Snob, The Bay and custom-made from fabrics sourced from Bilbrough & Co. and Robert Allen.

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The project’s designer, Stephanie Houghton, co-owner of Toronto’s Emily Griffin Design Inc., explains that the suite was the last area of the home to undergo renovations. The main floor was renovated into an open-concept living space by Emily Griffin Design Inc. soon after the couple moved in. The new main-bedroom suite now picks up and carries the bright and breezy style that characterizes the house. “They staged it out,” Houghton explains “They didn’t want to stretch their budget and not achieve what they were looking for, so they did it (the renovations) in two parts. Now that we are living through a pandemic, they are appreciating the space even more than they imagined.” Houghton says the walls were painted with Farrow & Ball’s Wimborne White, an offwhite with the smallest hint of warm yellow pigment, to create a soothing backdrop. –>

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Indian-inspired mix-and-match fabrics— sourced from Bilbrough & Co. and Robert Allen—were used on the custom seat cushion and Roman blind in the reading nook and on the throw pillows, which were mixed with some store-found gems. The sunny material used on the headboard—also from Bilbrough & Co.—is a Schumacher fabric. Neutral but textured bed linens and duvet covers were sourced from Restoration Hardware and Urban Outfitters. The millwork, custom-designed by Houghton, is white and twinned with brushed brass pulls and knobs. “The brushed brass for the millwork hardware was chosen for the warmth it brings to the bedroom, and as a metal that is reminiscent of Indian culture,” Houghton says.

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DESIGN • HOME IN CANADA • WINTER 2020

(Above) Sealed concrete floor tiles in a herringbone pattern and white walls give the new bathroom a spa-like ambience. The natural oak vanity and adjoining floor-toceiling cabinets warm the space. Two new windows let light stream in. The delicately printed 12-by-12-inch shower tiles look almost paper-like. Lacquered brass plumbing fixtures were chosen for their patina. (Opposite, left) A Roger Eames chair, an accent pillow and throw, and matching basketry create a study in perfection.

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The bedroom’s built-in pieces are “faceframed,” meaning that the dresser drawers are framed by a 1.5-inch border. The bathroom vanity was built in a complementary Shaker style. Before the work began, the bedroom and bathroom were uncomfortably small and cramped. The space had previously consisted of a bedroom, closet and bathroom leading into each other. The renovation entailed the removal of walls and lifting of the ceiling to create a larger bedroom as well as a larger bathroom.

Two new windows and skylights were also installed to brighten the space further. As Deepthi and Dru say they do not enjoy baths, they asked Houghton to go to town on the shower. The designer found unusual tiles that resemble wallpaper, which give the shower a unique look. The space has a spa-like ambience. When the work was done, say Deepthi and Dru, they felt that their designer had “knocked it out of the ballpark. It almost feels as though we have a loft in Brooklyn.”

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BUYERS’ GUIDE

HOME FOR CHRISTMAS Joel Bray Design www.joelbraydesign.com LUXURIOUS LIVING Import Temptations www.import-temptations.com 416-256-3150 THE VIRTUAL BARISTA Jura Hospitality Centre Mississauga ~ 905-501-7600. Montreal ~ 514-374-0683. www.ca.jura.com THE VASTNESS OF TINY THINGS Debbie Brady Photographic Art www.dbradyphotoart.ca READY TO LAUNCH Susan Kelly Astrology www.susankellyastrology.com A TRANSFORMATIVE TEMPLE SOJOURN Kōyasan Shukubo Association www.eng.shukubo.net THE CREATIVE URGE Gloria Bass Design www.gloriabassdesign.com 514-933-7062

Topsy Farms www.topsyfarms.com 613-389-3444 ~ 1-888-287-3157 Hollow Tree www.hollowtree.ca MODERNIZING THE MODERN Alykhan Velji Designs www.alyveljidesigns.com 403-617-2406 TRADITIONAL AND FAMILY-FRIENDLY Emily Griffin Design www.egdesign.ca studio@egdesign.ca STAY HOME, STAY FIT Custom Home Gyms Canada www.customhomegymscanada.com 289-260-2860 In House Design Group www.reenasotropa.ca 403-686-.8488 Project 22 Design www.project22design.com 604-831-5363

COZY AND COMFORTABLE Linen Chest www.linenchest.com

Naturehumaine www.naturehumaine.com 514-273-6316

STRIKING A CHORD Natural Collection Stands www.naturalcollectionstands.com 403-991-4584

Gear Up for Fitness www.gearup.fitness info@gearup.fitness

TEA TIME Lana Harper www.lyonsharperantiques.com

PANDEMIC-INFLUENCED DESIGN Falken Reynolds www.falkenreynolds.com 604-568-9487

READY FOR CHRISTMAS Tuvalu Home Environment www.tuvaluhome.com

Hibou Design & Co. www.hiboudesignco.com 514-574-0015

CANADIAN COZINESS Element de Base www.elementdebase.com 514-738-6484 ~ 1-844-738-6484

Space Harmony www.spaceharmony.ca 604-500-0120 ~ 604-782-1450

Thom Fougere Studio www.thomfougere.com 204-960-5586

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The Muskoka Workshop www.themuskokaworkshop.com

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RobitailleCurtis www.robitaillecurtis.com 514-508-9950

BRIGHT RETREAT www.egdesign.ca studio@egdesign.ca A TALE OF TWO HOMES Jean Monet, Designer Monet Interiors email: tuscany1@videotron.ca Le Marché aux Fleurs du Village www.lemarcheauxfleursduvillage.com 450-672-5554 WINTER WONDERLAND GETAWAYS Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort www.whistlerblackcomb.com 1-888-403-4727 Ice Magic Festival www.banfflakelouise.com/ice-magic 403-762-8421 ~ 1-877-762-8421 Rat’s Nest Cave www.canmorecavetours.com 877-317-1178 Mount Engadine Lodge www.mountengadine.com 587-807-0570 Thirty Bench www.thirtybench.com 905-563-1698 Coffin Bench Boutique Winery www.coffinridge.ca 519-371-9565 Nikosi Bistro Pub www.nikosibistropub.com 819-459-3773 Patinage en Foret www.patinageenforet.com 819-456-1444 Mont Orford National Park www.sepaq.com/pq/mor Mont Tremblant www.tremblant.ca 1-888-738-1777 Saint Sauveur Winter Slides www.sommets.com/en/snow-tubing-sommets 450-227-4671 ~ 1-800-363-2426


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© 2020 GLORIA BASS DESIGN INC

LARA FABIAN


© 2020 GLORIA BASS DESIGN INC

LARA FABIAN

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