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MAR/APR 2015

STYLE WATCH Fitness fashion performs with style

dĂŠcor trends

Designers reveal their picks

ECO HOME Innovative edgy design

look sharp Fashion inspiration for spring

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PASTA RECIPES FROM 3 LOCAL CHEFS

HOME ISSUE

COASTAL CADENCE

Inside an architectural dream home


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MAR/APR 2015

50 Good Energy This unique concrete eco home, inspired by New Zealand sustainability, sets the bar high for style. BY ALEX VAN TOL

CONTENTS

30

Trend Alert: Top 10 Décor Inspirations From metallics to layered textures, YAM brings you 2015’s exciting décor trends. BY ATHENA McKENZIE

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YAM MAGAZINE

58

66

True Colours

Pasta Perfect

These expert tips will help you choose the ideal colours to bring fresh appeal to your home’s exterior.

Give your pasta a spring-inspired makeover with healthy recipes from our region’s top chefs.

BY DANIELLE POPE

BY MIKE WICKS


BE INSPIRED

Visit our showroom to explore the beautifully designed Grandera Collection by Grohe.

Victoria • 250.475.1120 840 Cloverdale Avenue Monday to Friday 8:00 am to 5:00 pm Saturday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm


CONTENTS 8 EDITOR’S NOTE

72

11 CONTRIBUTORS 13 TOP OF MIND Marimekko at the Art Gallery, Martha Sturdy’s wearable sculptures, Tastes & Trends and City Culture

82 BEHIND THE SCENES Twist of fate

FOOD + DRINK 24 GOOD EATS Fresh flavours of spring By Shelora Sheldan

26 DIVINE DRINKS Tequila’s rising star By Adem Tepedelen

HOME + GARDEN 28 LIVING SMART What’s your pattern persona? By Kerry Slavens

38 IN PERSON YAM talks to designer Iván Meade By Danielle Pope

40 OUTSTANDING HOMES Cadence, a luxurious home influenced by light and shaped by waves By Kerry Slavens

40

FASHION + BEAUTY 72 STYLE WATCH The sporting life By Janine Metcalfe

76 JOE DANDY Look-sharp style updates By David Alexander

79 STYLE Wake up your wardrobe By Erin Bradley

ART + CULTURE YAM

loves

24

28

20 TRAVEL Taiwan: the secret isle By Jeff Davies

80 BOOKMARKS Great picks for your reading list By Carolyn Camilleri


EDITOR’S NOTE By Kerry Slavens

WISDOM FROM CHERRY BLOSSOMS

A

s we go to press with YAM’s Home Issue, cherry blossoms are bursting into bloom throughout Victoria. Some people say it’s too early for the blossoms, while at the same time delighting in this infusion of “spring fever” in mid-February and posting photos on Facebook for their shivering Toronto friends to see. For several days, I’ve been transfixed by the blossoms on the tree in my yard. They have changed from last year’s full-on cresida to this year’s pale, vulnerable shade of pink. It’s as though the tree has decided to give itself a makeover. I don’t know much about blossom colours, but I do love the effect the blossoms have on Victorians. Like a first snowfall, the blooming of the cherry trees tends to unite us in our appreciation of beauty. It awakens a sense of delight and an illogical sense of hope that the blossoms are here to stay. Of course, the blossoms don’t stay, which leads many people — myself included — to feel a profound sense of wistfulness as the flowers begin to gently fall or are swept away dramatically in gusts of wind. In Japan, they call this wistful feeling mono no aware, a gentle sadness over the passing of things. Mono no aware is a reminder to appreciate beauty while it lasts. The Japanese certainly do: as their Meteorological Agency forecasts the movement of the cherry blossom “front,” people emerge from their homes to picnic under the cherry trees and even tie lanterns The short-lived in the branches for dazzling night-time celebrations. It’s a ritual I’m inspired to begin this year. I can see blossoms remind us: myself sipping sake under a cherry tree.

appreciate beauty while it lasts.

With all of this beauty surrounding us, it’s an inspiring time to be working on our Home Issue in which we bring you trends and inspiration from amazing Island artisans, builders and designers. I was thrilled to interview Keith Baker and to feature Cadence, the home he designed, in our “Outstanding Homes” on page 40. Keith is someone I’ve long admired for the way he is able to design spectacular homes that are, at the same time, inviting places to be. To do it well requires a fine sense of balance between luxury and livability — an intrinsic appreciation of the way people want to feel in their homes. I was fascinated to learn that Keith’s background (following a stint in rock and roll many years ago) is in cabinet making and joinery. This explains so much about his attention to detail and quality, which was honed during his apprenticeship on California’s Monterey Peninsula and refined by working on homes belonging to luminaries such as Doris Day, Clint Eastwood and Gene Hackman — people for whom only the best will do. I must confess that Cadence is my dream home — and I admit to a slight feeling of mono no aware that I can’t live there, but my appreciation for its beauty lives on, as it should. The cherry blossoms have taught me their lesson well. ­­— Kerry

E-mail me at kslavens@pageonepublishing.ca YAM is on Facebook and tweets @YAMmagazine

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YAM MAGAZINE


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living smart

PUBLISHERS Lise Gyorkos, Georgina Camilleri EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Kerry Slavens

CREATIVE AND TECHNICAL MANAGER Jeffrey Bosdet

PRODUCTION MANAGER Jennifer Kühtz

EDITORIAL DESIGNER Janice Hildybrant ASSOCIATE EDITOR Athena McKenzie CONTRIBUTING DESIGNER Jo-Ann Loro EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Patrick Grace CONTRIBUTING WRITERS David Alexander, Erin Bradley, Carolyn Camilleri, Jeff Davies, David Lennam, Shelora Sheldan, Danielle Pope, Adem Tepedelen, Alex Van Tol, Mike Wicks CONTRIBUTING FASHION EDITOR Janine Metcalfe

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Jeffrey Bosdet, Jeff Davies, Simon DesRochers, Mia Dominguez, Derek Ford, Joshua Lawrence

CONTRIBUTING AGENCIES AGE Fotostock p. 58; Living4Media p.34; Masterfile p.26; ThinkStock p. 20, 21, 22, 23, 39, 59, 69, 79 ADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVES Vicki Clark, Cynthia Hanischuk, Charlsey Sperl ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT Bev Madden-Knight GENERAL INQUIRIES info@yammagazine.com LETTERS TO THE EDITOR letters@yammagazine.com TO SUBSCRIBE TO YAM subscriptions@yammagazine.com ADVERTISING INQUIRIES sales@yammagazine.com

ONLINE www.yammagazine.com

FACEBOOK YAM magazine – Victoria

TWITTER twitter.com/YAMmagazine COVER Metallic accents and layered textures bring high style to this living space. Matteo Manduzio/living4media

Published by PAGE ONE PUBLISHING 580 Ardersier Road, Victoria, BC V8Z 1C7 T 250-595-7243 info@pageonepublishing.ca www.pageonepublishing.ca

Printed in Canada by Transcontinental Printing. Ideas and opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of Page One Publishing Inc. or its affiliates; no official endorsement should be inferred. The publisher does not assume any responsibility for the contents of any advertisement and any and all representations or warranties made in such advertising are those of the advertiser and not the publisher. No part of this magazine may be reproduced, in all or part, in any form — printed or electronic — without the express permission of the publisher. The publisher cannot be held responsible for unsolicited manuscripts and photographs. Canadian Publications Mail Product Sales Agreement #41295544 ADVERTISE IN YAM MAGAZINE YAM magazine is Victoria’s leading home and lifestyle magazine. Established in 2009, YAM was created for people who want to live well, live smart and make the most of their lifestyle. For advertising info, please call us at 250-595-7243 or email sales@yammagazine.com.

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YAM MAGAZINE


CONTRIBUTORS

ROOM FOR WHAT MATTERS For YAM’s Home Issue, we asked our style-minded contributors, “What’s your favourite area of your home and why?”

KITCHEN PARTY Alex Van Tol, Good Energy (page 50)

The kitchen has always been my favourite room because cooking brings me — and those around me — such pleasure. My kitchen is small, but I have a little wooden table that serves as a breakfast bar, where my friends can sit and drink wine while I chop, stir and chat. Sometimes they get their hands dirty too and help me prep vegetables. The kitchen is where conversation and food mingle, and the act of cooking means there are never any awkward pauses or silences. (I’ve definitely burned my share of garlic toast while engrossed in deep conversation, though!)

WARDROBE ADORATION David Alexander, Look Sharp (page 76)

My favourite part of the house is — no surprise — the wardrobe. Mostly replaced these days by its duller cousin, the closet, the wardrobe is a thing of beauty; it’s where the magic happens. Often, it’s a beautiful piece of furniture with a prominent place in the house, custom-built to contain your most prized possessions: suits, hats, socks and all the other pieces that make up you. In my bedroom is a giant wardrobe handed down from my grandparents, with handles worn smooth from decades of use. This is where clothes should live — forget the dark, airless closet, viva la wardrobe!

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THE ART OF LIVING Danielle Pope, True Colours (page 58)

I love my living room where I have two cream couches that frame the fireplace and a recovered-wood centre table. The best part, by far, however, is the window wall. For someone who loves to be outside, the bright, open light is a dream come true. Even on the dreariest days, I can cuddle up with a cup of tea and sit by the fire while watching birds flit through the trees, or I can people-gaze at the street below. So much life happens in and around this room, I’ve always found the name living room very appropriate.

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YAM MAGAZINE

11


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TOP OF MIND 3

2

1

tempted by

9

turquoise

4

Looking to add a pop of luscious colour to your life? This vibrant tropical tone is an easy way to bring a note of fun to any space or wardrobe. 5

8

1 Curtis Pendant Turquoise light (Chintz & Co., $559) 2 Leah Alexandra Gem Studs in aqua and gold (Violette Boutique, $92) 3 Acapulco Chair (Hudson’s Bay, $799) 4 Decor-Rest Poly Vase (Luxe Home Interiors, $300) 5 Baroni Little River Ring (line carried at Nicholas Randall) 6 Paperdoll Minerals eye shadow (The Green Kiss, $16) 7 Miz Mooz Shayna Sky shoe (She She Shoes, $165) 8 KitchenAid Pro 600 Series 6 quart Stand Mixer (London Drugs, $699) 9 Environite recycled glass countertop in Arricife blue (vittrium.com)

6

7


T OP O F M I ND

ON OUR RADAR

1

2

3

1

LIVING ART

2

PRINTS CHARMING

4

5

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YAM MAGAZINE

Create a low-maintenance modular garden with Woolly Pocket’s Wally planter. The pockets, which come in a range of sizes, can be used singly or together to create everything from a windowsill garden to a vast living wall inside or out. > Visit canada.woollypocket.com for local retailers

Marimekko, the Finnish design company, is known for its textiles and fun prints. The retrospective, Marimekko, With Love celebrates this brand’s iconic aesthetic through May 3 at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. > aggv.ca/marimekkowithlove

3

NATURAL WONDER

4

FINISHING TOUCH

Curious about beauty oils? Indie Lee’s Vanilla Citrus Moisturizing Oil smells divine and is designed to be used on your face, body and hair — the perfect all-in-one beauty solution. > The Green Kiss, $39

Add an artisanal look to your furniture or cabinets with a decorative pull. From elegant clear glass, to colourful mosaics, to funky beaded numbers, the options are endless. > Atlas cabinet pulls, line available at Victoria Speciality Hardware


6

7

5 8

YAM

loves

A NEW ANGLE The appeal of multi-functional furniture is easy to understand. Eilersen’s Giga sofa has loose cushions, which can be moved around like building blocks to create new looks depending on your needs. > Studio Y Design, starting at $5,5oo

6

PRÊT-À-PORTER

7

AHEAD OF THE CURVE

8

LADDER TO SIMPLICITY

Vancouver sculptor Martha Sturdy recently debuted her new limited collection of “wearable sculptures,” including these bold and beautiful statement bracelets. > sturdyliving.com

One of Canada’s preeminent glass blowers, the late Jeff Goodman pushed the boundaries of design in glass. The one-of-akind pieces in the Ovelle collection have organic folds, which are formed during the blowing process when the still-molten glass is inflated and stretched. > Avenue Gallery, $2,200 to $2,800

Transform a cluttered bathroom into a spa-like space with the sleek look of this Umbra Hub ladder, perfect for hanging bathroom linens. > Flush Bathroom Essentials, $100

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SAINT JAMES French Chic at BADEN BADEN If you are planning a cruise, or wanting a unique outfit as Mother of the Bride, or simply looking forward to a special event, please visit us. We would love to show you our extensive selection and help you find the perfect piece! Our showroom has moved to the newly expanded BARBARA’S BOUTIQUE on Beacon Avenue.

Barbara’s Boutique

2392 Beacon Avenue, 250 655 0372

Baden-Baden Boutique

2485 Beacon Avenue, 250 655 7118

www.badenbadenboutiques.com YAM MAGAZINE

15


T OP OF M IN D

TRENDS & TASTES Smoked ham and Swiss sandwich with fresh sprouts, roasted garlic and horseradish mayo on rustic white bread + Charred broccoli and kale salad with shaved turnip, chili and fermented bean dressing + Milk chocolate chip and organic oat cookie

TASTEMAKER: THE SALT AND PEPPER FOX Few things make Mondays a favourite day of the week, but lunches from The Salt and Pepper Fox are just the thing to do it. That’s the day Chef Liam Quinn delivers individual, made-from-scratch lunch orders to your door from the

menu he posts at @snpfox on Twitter every Friday. Can’t do Monday? You can order this deliciousness on other weekdays too — just gather up 10 or more people for a group order. With its mostly local and organic fare, The Salt and

MORE YOGURT TO LOVE

S

ince launching two years ago, Tree Island Gourmet Yogurt has become a probiotic sensation. Now, this Comox Valley yogurt company has launched a Greekstyle yogurt in all-natural flavours inspired by traditional recipes of the Mediterranean and Asia. Look for Chai Latte, Lemon, Orange Blossom and Cardamom, plus other seasonal flavours. Fans applaud Tree Island’s refusal to use milk powders, fillers, thickeners, antibiotics or bovine growth hormones. It’s part of Tree Island's commitment “to humans, cows and the land,” says microbiologist Scott DiGuistini, PhD. who founded the company with his wife Merissa Myles. Tree Island has also expanded its distribution to meet demand. Look for it in 75 Island locations, including Thrifty Foods, Red Barn Market, Lifestyle Markets, Country Grocer and the Root Cellar.

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YAM MAGAZINE

Tree Island's yogurt is made from milk from small family farms on the Island, and local fruit and honey.

Pepper Fox concept has caught on fast in Victoria. Quinn has managed to tap into the city’s appetite with fresh foods (think hormonefree meats, hand-picked herbs, farm-fresh eggs) — all from a chef who says, “The salt air is my lifeblood.”


GREAT GADGET

The Apostrophe The Apostrophe by Alessi turns peeling an orange into an art form — and it perfectly cuts away the peel without nicking the fruit. (Available at GRshop.com, $29)

food findings > VICTORIA BEER WEEK | March 7 to 15 Enjoy nine days of craft beer from B.C.’s craft breweries at venues around Victoria. The week kicks off with Cask Night at the Victoria Public Market. victoriabeerweek.com > DINE AROUND VICTORIA | Until March 9 Discover the best of Victoria’s culinary scene with three-course menus at over 60 restaurants. Canapés, ragouts, trifles ... food for all taste buds. tourismvictoria.com/events/ dinearound > WINE OF CATALUNYA — SPAIN’S MEDITERRANEAN COAST | March 26 Taste the magic of Spain in a local setting at Camille’s Restaurant where chef Stephan Drolet and wine connoisseur David Mincey bring you regional wines and tapas for this special evening. Tickets $45. camillesrestaurant.com > ART 'N FACTS OF WINE | April 28 Okanagan-based Naramata Bench Wineries is hosting its spring wine release at Crystal Garden in Victoria. Sample artisan foods and cheese with winemakers in support of the Royal British Columbia Museum. Tickets $95. naramatabench.com > DINING OUT FOR LIFE | April 30 Dine out for a good cause. More than 75 participating restaurants will donate 25 per cent of all food revenues to AIDS Vancouver Island to support the fight against HIV/AIDS. diningoutforlife.com/vancouverisland

YAM MAGAZINE

17


T OP OF M IN D GET CANADA’S LEADING BANKS TO COMPETE FOR YOUR MORTGAGE

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YAM MAGAZINE

T

here’s a dance coming to Victoria that might be a draw for fight fans. Compagnie Käfig, at the Royal Theatre from March 13 to 14, mixes the muscular, show-off physicality of hip-hop with the precise, technical aggression of martial arts; Brazilian capoeira in particular, a combination of dance, music, acrobatics … and combat. Perhaps that’s where some barriers get broken. Barriers that might have kept some folks away from an evening at the ballet. “These guys are wicked,” says Dance Victoria’s Stephen White, who got hip to French choreographer Mourad Merzouki’s experiment with self-trained dancers straight out of the favelas of Rio de Janeiro. White says Käfig’s brand of hip-hop isn’t as raw a form as you’d see on the street corner, but a more complex hybrid mixing elements of contemporary dance. He suggests it’s more ribbons of elongated phrasing than straight-up Hit it! Hit it! Hit it! This is where hip-hop becomes — with the flourish of each Merzouki move — a high art, elevated from the street to the stage as though that’s where it belonged all the time. “This kind of dance is more today, so I think, for a 20- to 35-year-old patron, it

speaks to them perhaps in a way ballet doesn’t,” explains White. The company of 11 male dancers is like plugged-in eye candy. The sinew-popping virtuosity has been described “as if volts of electricity were travelling from muscle to muscle and limb to limb.” Each volt, each very microcoulomb, is like an electronic fuse set to trigger explosions, fireworks of midair flips, upside-down acrobatics and one-armed balances worthy of Cirque du Soleil. And with the sheer flexed-arm derringdo of the work emerges a depth of unexpected emotion, indicating a brooding discontent among the youth weaned in the underprivileged suburbs of Paris, Marseille or Lyon. The back story to how a French choreographer versed in the vocabulary of hip-hop came to create dance with a group of men from Brazil’s notorious shantytowns really begins when Merzouki was a sevenyear-old attending circus school and studying boxing. His home, on the outskirts of Lyon, was in the housing estates known as les banlieues, where impoverished immigrant families (Merzouki’s parents were Algerian) lived — not so removed, really, from those Rio favelas.

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Leap ahead eight years and Merzouki discovers hip-hop and, with it, dance. A deliberate collision of disciplines taught him a hybrid dance language, instant cred and, when he debuted this street-heavy style at Lyon’s prestigious Biennale Dance Festival in 1994, Merzouki was an immediate hero, albeit with the expected notoriety. It made the establishment sweat and it confounded hip-hop purists who felt betrayed, that their art was the sole domain of the street and that that’s where it should remain. Two years later, Merzouki formed Compagnie Käfig and, in 2008, returned to the Lyon Biennale with a troop of young Brazilian men from those favelas. They’ve been touring ever since, continuing to explore the relationship between the way an arm curves to the music and the way it strikes an opponent. Animalist, but heavily theatrical, Käfig dance is like the capoeira it borrows from: aggressive, dynamic movement that pits one against another. Capoeira, which was brought to Brazil by African slaves, was really a set of fighting skills masked as dance. That way the slaves could practise combat while their Portuguese oppressors would see only energetic dancing. Not dissimilar to hip-hop, allows White. “In the world of hip-hop there’s always one-upmanship. This guy’s going to fall on his shoulder and do some flares and then the next guy tops that. It’s these dance battles.”

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DANCE EVOLUTION White has one-upped many of his dancepresenting colleagues across Canada, putting together seasons that have matured from traditional ballet-based ensembles to an eclectic mix of the most exciting contemporary dance around. A visit from Compagnie Käfig, or from the muscular and dangerous BalletBoyz last November, confirms an evolution in what White wants to show Victoria audiences — and what Victoria audiences are craving. “There’s always going to be a contemporary ballet piece (in the season) for sure, but I like to expose Victoria to the wide spectrum of dance,” he says. “Seven years ago I used to be a lot more concerned about not pushing the core audience too far. What’s shifted for me, as I’ve become more educated and exposed to a wider range of activity, certainly in the Western world, is just to ensure the quality is at the highest standard. It’s a tag line we use all the time, ‘The World’s Best Dance.’ If I feel comfortable saying that, it belongs on the season.” Compagnie Käfig appears at the Royal Theatre, March 13 to 14. ::

Always a good sign. YAM MAGAZINE

19


TR A V E L

JEFF DAVIES

By Jeff Davies

Taiwan

EXPLORING THE SECRET ISLE Taiwan is largely undiscovered by Western travellers, but those who do visit will find a friendly and beautiful green island threaded with bicycle and hiking trails and a vibrant culinary scene.

OFF THE TOURIST TRACK

I

t takes a high degree of culinary bravado to celebrate a local specialty known as stinky tofu. Maybe strong tofu? Spicy tofu? Even scented tofu? Please, we’re Canadian. Stinky is so ... impolite. But no, there it is, at a food stall in a sprawling Sunday market in Hsinchu in northwestern Taiwan. It’s clearly labeled stinky tofu, its aroma wafting over shoppers wending — and munching — their way through the hundreds of stalls. In fact, it’s not so much stinky as it is pungent. And compared to some of the other delicacies at Taiwanese markets and noodle shops (think fish intestine soup), it’s fairly easy on the unadventurous palate. It’s a thick slab of tofu about the size of a Beaver Tail, held on two wooden skewers. The tofu has been fermented in brine, folded over a generous dollop of marinated cabbage, deep fried, then grilled and drizzled with a sweet sauce. Delicious. One is not enough. Just as well.

GATEWAY TO TAIWAN That Hsinchu Sunday market is far more for me than just a place to browse or snack. 20

tells me. “You can walk in alleys in the middle of the night and nothing will happen ... Women travel alone and it’s totally safe.” Many online travel guides agree.

YAM MAGAZINE

It’s my introduction to Taiwan. At first glance, northwestern Taiwan may seem like an unlikely tourist destination. It’s heavily industrialized. The population of 21 million is concentrated here. The region’s main claim to fame? A billboard in the international airport in the capital, Taipei, boasting that Taiwan produces 90 per cent of the world’s notebook computers. Not wanting to stare at computer screens or browse cellphone shops, my 28-year-old daughter and I get away. For two weeks we travel Taiwan by rail and bus, by bicycle and on foot, circumnavigating the island. We spend hours poring over fruit stalls, poking through night markets and prowling back alleys, sipping tea and searching for snacks and souvenirs, visiting temples and heritage buildings, cycling the extensive network of bike trails and sampling local delicacies in roadside noodle restaurants. For my daughter, Carrie, the most striking feature of Taiwan is its safety. After a year in the country, living in the technological hub of Hsinchu, she has no qualms about being on the road alone. “Taiwan is the safest little bubble,” she

We see no other Canadians and few Western tourists, no hordes of backpackers crowding train stations or snapping selfies. Taiwan, despite its political importance and its strong business ties to the West, remains diplomatically isolated and off the beaten track for many travellers. Canada, like many other countries, maintains a trade mission — not an embassy — in the capital, Taipei. There are tourists, but mostly Asians. Of course, Taiwan remains very much in the shadow of Mainland China, which does not recognize Taiwan as an independent country. In the spring of 2014, when I visited, there were student protests in Taipei — thousands took to the streets to voice their concerns about a trade agreement with the Mainland. All of this may add to Taiwan’s appeal for the traveller searching for something exotic — but with all the creature comforts one might expect, and at far less cost than, for instance, Hong Kong or Japan. Four-star accommodation at one-star prices. One night, I stayed in the Ambassador Hotel in Hsinchu, a favourite for wellheeled business travellers. Carrie and I


< Clockwise from left: the skyline of Taipei, including the supertall skyscraper Taipei 101; dragon fruit, one of the many offerings at the fruit stalls; renting through Taipei City YouBike, a community bicycle-sharing program, is a fun and convenient method to visit the various tourist sites; The Raohe Street Night Market in Taipei.

dined on the lavish buffet, where the crab and sashimi, to say nothing of the prime rib, would equal anything I’ve had in Victoria. The tab was about $80 Canadian for two and the hotel room a little over $100. Most major hotel chains are here. But if you want something different, you can find it. There are hundreds of boutique hotels, B&Bs, even meditation retreats at temples. One night in the cultural centre of Tainan in the southwest we stayed in a hostel above a yoga studio, where staff fed me lozenges and tea to help cure a head cold. Another night we stayed in a Bohemian surfers’ hangout in tiny Dulan on the east coast, munching pizza and drinking beer.

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THE FOOD SCENE But it would be a big mistake to come to Taiwan and simply eat Western fare. Last year, the New York Times placed Taiwan on its list of the top places in the world to visit — in part because of its “vibrant street food scene” as well as its culture and scenery. American food writer and television personality Anthony Bourdain (not someone easily impressed) sampled that street food for his TV show The Layover. His conclusion? “An overwhelming variety of delicious-looking things to try.” Among his favourites, the popular oyster omelette, as well as steamed buns stuffed with pork belly. Stroll through any of the countless openair markets that line streets in Taiwanese cities. The diversity of fruit alone is dizzying. In one Taipei store about the size of a small supermarket back home, Carrie and I find nothing but fruit, from pineapples to something called a custard apple or Buddha’s head fruit. Just break it open and eat the gooey white pulp with a spoon. As well as the local cuisine, French and Italian, Korean, Japanese and many varieties of Mainland Chinese dining can all be found in Taiwan. For the vegetarian or vegan or anyone who appreciates fresh produce, Taiwan is a treasure trove. “It permeates the culture. Vegetarian restaurants are everywhere,” says James Rockwell, an American working in Taiwan. “You go hiking in the middle of nowhere. You finish your hike and at the trailhead

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> Clockwise from top: The Sunday market at Hsinchu; Taroko National Park is famous for its spectacular mountains and marble canyons; street food in Taiwan includes grilled seafood like whole squid on skewers.

“There are two kinds of tea cups,” Carrie tells me. “There’s one that you drink out of and one that you pour the tea into first so you can smell the fragrance.”

BEYOND THE CITIES Taiwan is famous for outdoor recreation — and it’s often just a train trip or bike ride away, even in bustling Taipei. Carrie and I rented bicycles at one of the numerous stalls, similar to Bixi in Montreal, and cycled on quiet riverside trails that would rival those in many Canadian cities. We went as far as the Maokong Gondola in a leafy suburb. The gondola ride took us up not just one, but half a dozen hills draped in tropical foliage. At the summit we had a light lunch in a teahouse with a sweeping view of the misty ravines and meandering trails below. The bill for the day for two, including bike rentals and the gondola ride? Under $20 per person. For the more adventurous, Taiwan is also emerging as one of Asia’s best cycle touring destinations, both because of the extensive network of trails in major cities and the

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JEFF DAVIES

is some little old grandma with a little pushcart selling something that’s very good and very cheap, like bread with tofu and turnips in it. So we don’t have to pack food.” James’ wife Rachel says the Rockwell’s food budget is about the same as it was back home in Atlanta. “But the difference is we’re eating out very freely here.” But of course the Taiwanese markets offer much more than fruit. Pig heads? Squirming fish and wriggling eels? Fresh squid grilled while you wait? Chicken that look like they were still clucking a few hours ago? Fancy a little cardamom, ground on the spot? All there — along with leather belts and silk scarves, watches and the latest in cellphone gadgetry. In one Taipei market, we stop at a studio to watch a craftsman practise the ancient art of calligraphy, with its sweeps and flourishes and intricate designs. On another street, we stop at one of the myriad shops selling tea sets — hundreds of them crammed on the shelves, in stoneware and china, clay and iron and glass. The tea sets themselves are an art form, and, as my daughter explains, there’s a whole tea culture that’s evolved over the centuries, with different tools to scoop the tea out of the bag, grate the leaves into the pot and then remove the steeped leaves.


opportunities for long distance cycling along the scenic east coast in particular. John Saboe, a B.C. journalist now travelling in Asia, recently completed a round-the-island trip in Taiwan. He says the experience was incomparable: “Beautiful scenery, thoughtful cycle paths throughout the island and super convenient amenities …” The green, mountainous east coast has many outdoor recreation opportunities. The magnificent Taroko Gorge in the northeast draws thousands of hikers and sightseers. East coast beaches offer swimming in warm ocean waters and are home to a small but growing surfing community. Kenting National Park on the southern tip of Taiwan has beaches and mountain hiking. Western travellers are just starting to discover all this. Taiwan’s diplomatic isolation may explain why the Taiwanese are so welcoming. Although getting by in English can be a challenge, locals who do speak the language are eager to try it out. I think of the elderly man chatting to us at a railway station in Hsinchu about his travels abroad. Or the young couple on a train who shared a lunch of fresh fruit. The Lonely Planet guide theorizes, “Maybe what they’re saying is, ‘Thank you for realizing that we’re here.’” :: YAM MAGAZINE

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G OO D E A T S

Palate-pleasing culinary inspiration for the season

Spring’s

fresh flavours

Grilled cheese with ricotta, sautéed brassica shoots and pickled green garlic by Chef Grant Gard of Part and Parcel.

PHOTOS: JEFFREY BOSDET/YAM MAGAZINE

By Shelora Sheldan


A

round the globe, celebrating the “And after all the root vegetables over the change from winter to spring takes winter, we crave things high in Vitamin C,” centre stage. Japan’s annual cherry he explains. “We crave the tang, the tart, blossom festival draws people outdoors the brightness — for me, rhubarb is when for picnics while French cooks celebrate spring has sprung.” with navarin printanier, a ragout of spring He makes a dressing with rhubarb juice, lamb with first-of-the-season produce. sherry vinegar, angelica and honey with Compatriots in still-snowy Quebec anticipate small pieces of rhubarb. He also uses the first flow of syrup from maple trees while poached rhubarb pieces alongside sautéed in Victoria we engage in our Flower Count chicken livers, a combination I’m eager to and enjoy the first offerings of spring. try. In fact, I often “forage” rhubarb from my In my garden, I check for those bright neighbour’s prolific patch and put it to good green shoots that give me hope for the use in a crumble or muddle it with mint for coming growing season — and any ready-toa springtime mojito. use herbs to bring an infusion of celebratory A Vitamin C craving finds me including brightness to the table. I also count down segments of blood oranges, lemon the days in March until Saanich’s Sun Wing or lime zest, or the juice or peel of Farms open their doors for those crunchy preserved lemons in recipes. They add baby cucumbers and, at the now year-round exciting brightness and acidity to sauces, Moss Street Market, new ingredients arrive vinaigrettes, risottos, pastas or salads. each Saturday from Saanich Organics, Kienast craves combos synonymous Umi Nami Farm and with the season: crab other beloved farmers. and asparagus, lamb Asparagus season is so and morels, rhubarb and close, I can taste it! salmon. “The saying, In mid-March, fervent ‘what grows together, foragers take to the goes together,’ is so true woods for the first sign of in the spring,” he says. bright green nettles and MENU INSPIRATIONS morel mushrooms. Nettle At Part and Parcel, foraging has become Chef Grant Gard loves increasingly popular. spring’s flowering One year, I picked bright brassicas and sprouting young shoots near broccoli. “We’ll be doing Beacon Hill Park and a grilled cheese with enjoyed a meal of them housemade ricotta, blanched and sautéed sautéed brassica shoots with olive oil and lemon. and pickled green garlic, Nettles are wonderful in A spring salad of parsley, cilantro, sorrel, arugula, watercress, sliced he says.” (Brassica is the everything from tea to almonds and ricotta. name of that popular clan ravioli fillings. that includes broccoli, BRING BACK THE GREEN kale, cabbage, cauliflower and Brussels With lettuces lacking in availability, sprouts.) flavour and variety at this time of year, I He also plans a braised lamb belly with take to salads full of fresh herbs to enliven sprouting broccoli and a good scattering my palate. From foraged to farmed, they’re of spring herbs such as mint, chives and readily available. Parsley, both flat and curly, arugula. Chopped fresh herbs are perfect dill, cilantro and even tarragon along with added to pasta right before serving or justtangy sorrel, arugula and watercress bring wilted in butter to top a filet of halibut (mida one-two punch of nutritious vibrancy. March is the beginning of halibut season!) For added texture, I include toasted For a seasonal sidedish, purple and white sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds or sliced varieties of sprouting broccoli just need a almonds, and a delicate cheese such as quick blanch in hot water or stock, plus a hit ricotta or Island buffalo mozzarella. No of butter or olive oil, or a drizzle of oyster or fancy vinaigrettes — just a drizzle of olive hoisin sauce. Twirly garlic scapes, another oil and lemon juice with salt and pepper lauded springtime treat, are delicious thinly to taste, and pow! sliced and stir-fried with garlic, or pickled. Chef, farmer and forager Oliver Kienast Simply put, it’s time to go out and visit a of Wild Mountain Supper Club (formerly of local farm, or maybe take a workshop Sooke Harbour House) says, “Spring is the in foraging. Relish spring’s beauty in all most exciting time to be a forager.” Nettles, its colourful resplendence and celebrate morels, seaweed, fiddleheads and sweet with something fresh, and in season, at cicely shoots are some of his favourites. the table. :: YAM MAGAZINE

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D I V I NE DRINK S By Adem Tepedelen

TEQUILA’S RISING STAR Forget what you know: premium tequila is made for sipping, not shots.

The blue agave plant takes up to 12 years to mature, at which time the heart, or piña, is harvested. The piña averages 50 kg at harvest and will produce 12 bottles of tequila.


I

t’s safe to say that tequila has been given something of a bad rap over the years. It’s an undeserved one, as far as I’m concerned. Though anyone who imbibes has likely had some encounter with an alcoholic beverage that’s left — ahem — a lasting impression, tequila seems to be a very polarizing beverage. On one hand, who doesn’t love a delicious, well-made margarita paired with spicy Mexican fare? The interplay between tart, salty and sweet, with the slight smokiness of the tequila, can be sublime. On the other hand, a night spent celebrating Cinco de Mayo with shots of cheap Cuervo Gold in your university days could well have put you off the stuff for good. I get it. But please read on, because tequila can be just as flavourful and elegant as a fine whisky or rum. Just don’t ever think about putting it in a shot glass.

ALL ABOUT AGAVE

distilled twice to get “silver” tequila. Silver tequila is typically best served in cocktails since it is the rough and ready version of the spirit — even if it’s 100% agave. You get some of the smoky/fruity flavour of the agave, but it’s not exactly smooth enough for sipping. Still, the difference in making any kind of mixed drink with high-quality silver tequila versus a cheapo that’s not 100% agave is significant. Best not to skimp. Like most spirits, a little barrel aging softens the edges of the alcohol, adds complexity and imparts colour and flavour. There are primarily two kinds of aged tequila made in Mexico: reposado and añejo. Reposado is barrel aged for a minimum of two months, but less than a year; añejo is aged for at least one year and less than three years. These are sipping tequilas, no doubt a foreign concept to anyone who’s ever found themselves on the bad side of a bottle of Cuervo.

The first bit of wisdom I PALOMA BLANCA PROOF IS IN THE SNIFTER can impart is that all tequila The name of this drink Skeptical? Put a couple is not made the same, and translates into “white ounces of, say, Don Julio that once you are no longer dove” and is a riff on the Reposado in a snifter, let your on a university-student popular Mexican drink, Paloma, which is typically hand warm it and take a whiff. budget, you shouldn’t ever made with silver tequila, It’s an amazing bouquet of buy one that doesn’t clearly grapefruit soda and a spice, subtle fruit — citrus say, “made from 100% twist of lime. I swap a and pineapple — and a smoky agave” on the label. less sweet Radler — a earthiness. The flavour is The cheap stuff is low-alcohol grapefruit equally interesting with hints made with sugar and food juice/wheat beer combo of caramel and vanilla imparted colouring in addition — for the grapefruit via the barrel aging. Sipping to agave and is not an soda for tequila needs no water or ice accurate representation a crisp, added to it. Just enjoy the gentle of how fine tequila should refreshing complexity of it on its own. taste. It’s acceptable, alternative. A fine añejo has many of the though not recommended, • 1.5 oz same characteristics, though for margaritas, but the Patrón Silver it tends to be a little heavier difference between a $30 100% Agave Tequila on the flavours and aromas and $75+ bottle of tequila is • Triple Sec imparted by the barrels. On the (and should be) significant. • Grapefruit Radler palate, it’s quite smooth and Agave is a large succulent (Schofferhofer or very sippable, like a fine cognac. plant with spiky “leaves” Stiegl) While many of the subtleties that’s native to certain parts • Orange slice of reposado and añejo can be of Mexico and the U.S. Fill a highball glass with lost when used in cocktails — Southwest. It looks a bit like ice. Pour the silver tequila much like single malt whisky, a giant aloe plant, though over it. Add a splash of for instance — mixologists are the two aren’t related. Triple Sec and top up finding ways to make upscale Many parts of the plant with Grapefruit Radler. versions of margaritas and other are edible (most notably Stir gently and garnish with an orange slice. innovative drinks where the the sap, which is a natural understated characteristics of sweetener). Tequila is made barrel-aged tequilas can shine from the heart of the plant, through and be emphasized. or the piña. I may not be able to change your mind Skilled harvesters use sharp moonabout tequila if a past overindulgence has left shaped blades to slice off the long leaves you with an aversion. I can, however, assure so that only a large pineapple-looking you that the experience premium tequila chunk weighing between 70 and 100 kg offers is significantly more sophisticated and remains. The piña are then slow roasted pleasant, and requires no saltshakers, lime to bring out the fermentable sugars. The wedges or shot glasses. :: juice is extracted, fermented and then

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L I V ING SM A RT By Kerry Slavens

what’s your

pattern persona? From statement-making area rugs to plush pillows, these soft furnishings are perfect for showing off your pattern personality.

1

the nature lover

1 Chandra “Jessica Swift” ginko leafpatterned rug, 5'x7'6" to 7'9"x10'6" (available through Luxe Home Interiors, starting at $1,076) 2 Elm tree pillow (Max Furniture, $35) 3 Embroidered octopus pillow (Pier 1 Imports, $35) 4 Handcrafted braided jute rope Pier Pouf (Urban Barn, $129) 5 Chandra “Thomaspaul” hand-tufted New Zealand wool rug, 5'x7'6" to 7'9"x10'6" (available through Luxe Home Interiors, starting at $562)

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5

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YAM MAGAZINE


1

2

the globetrotter 3

1 Hand-tufted 5'x7' wool blend Souk Multi rug, (Chintz & Co., $1,550) 2 Kite Wool Kilim rug, 6' round (westelm.com, $229) 3 Down-filled Medallion Graphite pillow (Chintz & Co., $75) 4 Round Kite pouf, 24" (Bed Bath & Beyond, $159.99) 5 Olifant Oblong throw pillow (Bed Bath & Beyond, $69.99)

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4

3

1 Hand-tufted wool blend Ryes Floral rug (Pier 1 Imports, $349.95, 5'x8'; $699.95, 8'x10') 2 Hand-embroidered Sunrise Blossoms cushion (Ten Thousand Villages, $30) 3 Hand-tufted wool blend Amrapali Indigo rug, 5'x9' (Chintz & Co., $1,400) 4 Petals Lumbar pillow (Pier 1 Imports, $25) 5 Hand-tufted wool, 36" Flower Petals rug (Pier 1 Imports, $69.95)

2

1

the flower child

4 5

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trend alert

TOP 10

DĂŠcor Inspirations By Athena McKenzie


L

ooking to trends for décor inspiration shouldn’t mean feeling pressured to completely reinvent your home. Done correctly, trendwatching can serve as motivation for small changes or projects to refresh your space. Of course, a little professional advice never hurt. As Ben Brannen of Bespoke Design puts it, some fads are best left on the drawing board. “People take risks in creating trends,” Brannen says. “But overall, you can see commonalities in what every designer is putting out. And those are usually the ones that will catch — the ones people want in their homes.” Happily, some of Victoria’s top interior decorators and designers have agreed to share their advice on trends that work and, most importantly, that do well here in Victoria.

1 METALLICS According to Barbara Groberman, a designer at Luxe Home Interiors, the gold décor elements that have been popular of late are not going away and their use is actually increasing. “This is the jewelry for your home,” she says. From furniture trim to chandeliers, lamps to mirrors, and frames to cabinet pulls, the options for adding a touch of bling to your space are seemingly endless. Imagine a gorgeous statement wall done in a metallic-accented wallpaper. (Wallpaper is a fabulous way to incorporate many of the trends.) But decorating with metallics doesn’t have to be dramatic. Soft furnishings like throws and pillows can offer a subtle touch. And you don’t have to limit yourself to gold, though it should be noted there has been a move to warmer metals. “In the past two years, we’ve seen the absence of any white metal or silver metals,” Brannen says. “It’s all shifted to warm metals: brushed gold, polished gold, coppers, brass.” One of certified home stager Josée Lalonde’s favourite new trends is the use of rose gold. Farrow & Ball Ranelagh wallpaper (Available at “It’s a more feminine metallic but looks amazing with Bespoke Design) black,” she says.

2 NATURE’S HUES When it comes to choosing a stylish palette, interior designer Ann Squires Ferguson believes certain colours work better in Victoria. “They should satisfy our need for saturation, while still respecting the quality of light that we have,” she says. Luckily for those looking to be inspired by trends, many of today’s popular colours are inspired by nature — a palette that suits our West Coast climate. Groberman points to the wintergreens, which range from pale greens into the mossy greens and even include aqua. “The winters can be cloudy and dull, and the calm colours and nature colours work well,” she says. Other in-demand hues that draw from nature and look beautiful in our light are shades of blue, which are considered the most popular accent colours for 2015. “You can’t avoid blue,” Brannen says. “It’s still coming down the pipe strong.” Whether you paint your walls, add accessories or bring in a statement piece, using these shades contributes a fashionable touch with local appeal.

Great examples of mixing trends can be found in Erin Gates’ Elements of Style: Designing A Home & A Life. Examples from the book include a living room (left) and the detail from a dining room (above), which seamlessly bring together several key trends. From Elements of Style: Designing A Home & A Life by Erin Gates. Copyright © 2014 by Erin Gates. Reprinted by permission of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

DESIGN DRAFT DETAIL 250.386.1117 creative@spaciz.com www.spaciz.com YAM MAGAZINE

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From pillows to throws to carpets to wallpaper, texture is everywhere. According to Bryn Taylor of Bespoke Design, while “people are still mixing patterns, they’re now also mixing textures.” Textiles and soft furnishings are a great way to incorporate texture. Even if you have a monotone palette, you can generate lots of visual interest through the finishes. Consider layering in one area: a thick wool-like rug, a tufted sofa and faux-fur pillows or a sumptuous throw. “Think knits and lots of natural materials like wools and cottons,” Taylor says. Velvet is another textural Linen tufted Timothy Oulton element seeing a resurgence in Serpentine Sofa popularity. Classic, elegant and (Available at Luxe soft, it can be found on sofas, Home Interiors) dining room chairs and room accents. Velvet works well in traditional spaces, but can look great when mixed into more contemporary looks. Consider adding velvet touches in the soft greens and blues for a truly modern feel. A stylish way to add visual interest is by using “quilted” furniture. “We are seeing lots of quilted items in the fashion world and it’s making its way into the interior design world,” Lalonde says. “I love the dimension it gives to the furniture piece, and the texture.” This bedroom from Elements of Style uses soft blue accents and layered textures to create a welcoming retreat.

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Kravet Embellished Chest (Available through Lana Lounsbury Interiors)

One of my favourite décor trends is the use of nail heads. I love using them in everything from upholstery to drapery — and walls! Nail heads are even being used to create patterns in casegoods and tables, such as with the furniture from Kravet. They give a masculine yet embellished feel that is a welcome departure from minimalist and distressed interiors. In fact the ‘showpiece’ feel of a studded piece complements those styles very well.” — Lana Lounsbury, Lana Lounsbury Interiors


5

A new trend in hardwood flooring that we just love at the studio is the matte finish. Vintage Hardwood, a Canadian company, has a UVoil finish that uses groundbreaking technology to provide a look that mimics penetrating oil but also offers some attributes of a hardwearing urethane finish. The UV aspect of the finish protects the wood from ultra-violet rays. Although Victoria is not known for its huge amount of sunlight, we do get a lot of light reflection from the ocean that is damaging to fabrics and finishes on furniture and floors. I’ve just installed the White Oak with Excalibur stain in my own home and I love it.” — Donna Morrison, Design District Studio

Vintage Hardwood Solid Sawn White Oak with Excalibur stain (Available through Design District Studio)

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6 GTHE OING TO ANIMALS Another nature-inspired trend is the use of animal prints. While this may not seem groundbreaking, animal prints are being used in fresh, modern ways. “This is a look that can go from a rustic look to being glam,” Groberman says. “They’re not only tone on tone but extend to things like faux sheepskin being used on furniture.” It should go without saying that the animal print trend requires restraint, but this is so important it’s worth saying again. The perfect way to incorporate an animal print is through a statement piece or with simple accents; for example, a faux cowhide rug, a fabulous zebraprint ottoman or a faux-fur throw. tofino Safari Crewel Embellished Cushions (Available at Parc Modern)

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A trend I am seeing a lot is the installation of lighting clusters. Instead of hanging one pendant or chandelier over a dining LH Imports table or in the entryway, we Starry Night are hanging a series of lights globe and pendant to create more impact and lights interest in the space. I love it because it gives you tons of flexibility to create the size and length you want for the feature. The pendants from LH Imports at Max Furniture come in varying shapes and sizes, and are stunning at night when the light shines through the tiny holes, creating a twinkle effect.” — Interior Designer Amy McGeachy

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A great way to add a personal touch — and one that plays to current trends — is incorporating items from your travels. And there are ways to bring it all together to give a global feel. “That can be done with unusual upholstery fabrics with lots of textures,” Groberman says. “And this is where you can bring in colours and patterns with your pillows and ottomans.” This is a look where colour and pattern play a key role and it’s important they all don’t compete with each other. Try to keep everything within the same tonal family for maximum effect.


9 RECLAIMED AND RECYCLED A trend everybody can embrace is the repurposing of materials for furniture and décor. “I think some of that is driven by the world economy and awareness of those cycles,” Ann Squires Ferguson says. “We’re very aware of what it means to buy something new that’s been manufactured overseas.” While this trend is often used within a rustic or industrial look, it can be mixed into any décor, especially with recent approaches. “They’re using even more sleek material with that rustic wood, like Lucite or glass,” Brannen says. According to Groberman, acrylic is also being used with reclaimed wood to create striking dining, side or coffee tables — and even lamps. Autonomous Furniture Collective’s 1970 table

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One trend that I love right now is textile art. In particular, I’m seeing woven wall tapestries come back as a great way to decorate interior spaces. The textured fibres and the organic patterns and shapes create a beautiful piece of art for your home. I’ve participated in a local workshop hosted by Metka Lazar of Moonrise Creative. They hold workshops where small groups can meet and learn the craft of freehand weaving on a rigid heddle loom. It was a great experience to learn something new and create a custom piece of textile art to bring home. You can hang them as tapestries on your wall, wear as a scarf or even create a pillow cover.”

Freehand weaving by Moonrise Creative

— Interior Designer Kyla Bidgood

The fun news is that all of these trends can be mixed together — the trick is finding balance. Ultimately it’s about your personality and what works for and inspires you. There is no right or wrong. “We’re looking for authenticity in ourselves,” Squires Ferguson says. “Authenticity is not a ‘trend’ but it does feel like we’re returning to that.” ::

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South Island

Sidney Sidney

The Shortest Distance to Far Away

S

idney’s boutique shops offer quality goods always with a smile: from the latest in fashion and books to delightful baked goods and flowers; from gift shops to pet shops to supermarkets, liquor stores and all that’s in between! Sidney brings new meaning to “shop local.” Every effort is made to highlight local and Canadian-made goods with just enough from around the world to add a bit of extra sparkle. Italian shoes, British clothes, Turkish jewelry, and tea from around the world are just a few of the very special products you’ll enjoy in Sidney. Sidney is home to multiple health and wellness facilities, too. From spas to registered massage therapists to skilled acupuncturists and other health professionals, Sidney can help you unwind and renew body, mind and spirit. Locals and visitors alike love Sidney, not just for all it offers, but also because of its beautiful, clean and safe environment, the opportunity to explore and enjoy the natural world, but mostly because of its friendly, caring people. The strong sense of community pulls people back to Sidney year after year and it’s the pride and love for the town that keeps people here. Come see for yourself. Island life doesn’t get any better than this!

Sidney Festivals & Events

March:

August:

Spring Art Show & Sale

First Nations, Inuit & Metis Art Show

LEGO Exhibit, Sidney Museum

May:

Sidney Street Market (Thursday, May - August)

June:

Sidney Shakespeare Festival

July:

Fall Studio Tour

Summer Sounds Outdoor Concerts (July & August)

2306 Beacon Ave., Sidney, BC V8L 1X2 250-656-4441 or 1-800-315-3377 frontdesk@bwemeraldisle.com | www.bwemeraldisle.com

September: October:

Sidney Days, Canada Day Celebrations

EmErAld ISlE motor Inn

Torque Masters Car Show Extravaganza

Spring Studio Tour

World Oceans Day

Excellent Service. Comfortable Accommodation. Exciting Vacation Packages.

Sidney Fine Art Show ArtSea Festival

December:

Christmas in Sidney New Year’s Eve Gala

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For more info, visit distinctlysidney.ca/section-events

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I N P E R SO N By Danielle Pope

OF LIFE &LUXURY DEREK FORD

Designer Iván Meade lives his life around one simple philosophy: spoil yourself with everyday things. “Spend the money on the things you touch every day — taps, doorknobs, teacups — and you will know what it feels like to live in luxury,” he says. It’s a principle his stylish mother taught him years ago, and today, as a cancer survivor at age 40, it’s the credo Meade lives by.


Where he gets his design sense > Meade grew up in San Luis Potosí, a city in north-central Mexico named after Louis IX of France, its patron saint, and known for its colonial charm. His upperclass Mexican family revered the arts and supported Meade’s degree in business and his master’s in cultural diplomacy, but each time Meade confessed his real passion was design, he was met with scornful remarks about the flamboyant stereotypes that went with the profession. He found solace in the company of an aunt who was an interior decorator and had a sharp eye for fashion. Meade quietly started taking lessons from her, alongside his other schooling.

most revered design personalities, including potter and designer Jonathan Adler and Parisian designer star Jean-Louis Deniot. Where he looks for inspiration > With a soft spot for textiles, Meade recently launched his own line of fabrics. “All the patterns reference my life experiences ... Mariposa was inspired by my mother and her love for butterflies and cherry blossoms. It is an homage of sorts.” Another pattern, Vista Hermosa, mimics the outdoor flooring found on his grandparents’ veranda in Mexico. It’s a fresh, contemporary interpretation of the pattern Meade saw throughout his childhood. When he’s not designing homes, brands or fabric, Meade is as much culinary architect

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When he got his first client > At age 25, Meade headed north and came to Victoria, which he saw as a small town with a rich cultural diversity. He quickly fell in love with the idea of starting his own business here. While waiting out the legal paperwork, an eager Meade went to every design firm in Victoria to volunteer his skills. Not one company accepted. By the time Meade’s residency was finally approved, he was bursting to get started. “I told the immigration officer, ‘I have my business cards, my website is up (back when no other designers had websites) and I’m ready for clients.’ He said, ‘You must be the most prepared person I’ve ever seen walk through these doors.’” With no office space, Meade set up in a neighbourhood coffee shop. One day, he heard the Peruvian owner talking about how his new shop needed more inspiring colours. Meade had his first client.

One of Meade’s favourite patterns in his new line is Grabado, shown here on this couture gown. He designed the pattern in homage to Swiss engraver Matthäus Merian (1593-1650), one of his favourite artists.

How design infuses his life > Twelve years after arriving in Victoria, Meade is now one of Victoria’s most sought-after design minds. His work graces projects like The Chelsea Penthouse, The Hudson and The Village Restaurant in Oak Bay. His global reputation is also growing, thanks in part to his design blog which features interviews with some of the world’s

as he is designer. “My mom was a chef and I learned a lot from her,” he says. “I love having people over and cooking for them. If you see my Instagram account, half of it is focused on food, while the other half is what I see around me.” How he dealt with a tough diagnosis > Meade’s world was turned upside down in 2011 when he was diagnosed with stage III B testicular cancer. In only a matter of days, the then-37 year old went from “feeling fine” to being told cancer had already

spread from his testicles to his abdomen, liver and lungs. He was given one week to get his affairs in order and prepare for an extreme surgery. “The first thing I did — well, after I calmed down my partner — was to call [designer] Kimberly Williams who is a breast cancer survivor,” he says. “I told her, ‘I’ve just been diagnosed with cancer; can you tell me how you handled your business?’” Williams gave him advice and soon other designers began to offer support. When he set priorities > The experience shifted everything for Meade, who will now only accept the projects he feels passionate about and will turn down business in favour of “enjoying life.” Meade says he’s secretly a homebody who loves reading, relaxing and keeping things casual. Still, he turned his healing time into the campaign SaveThoseNuts.com, which uses humour to educate people about testicular cancer and the vital importance of self-examinations. Launched last spring, the campaign has raised major awareness in Victoria and beyond. “There are many cancers we do hear about, but no one ever told me it’s important to examine yourself as a man,” said Meade, who is still fighting. “This is one of the most treatable forms of cancer if it’s caught early, and it’s important for people to understand that this does not make you less of a man. Being proactive strengthens your self-worth.” What he’s learned to value most > If Meade’s experience with cancer has taught him anything, it’s to take great pleasure in the simplest things in life (yes, he uses the good china every day) and to be selective with his to-do list. Above all, he knows he came to the right place to pursue his passion. “Victoria,” he says, “is really the Cancun of Canada. People don’t realize how fortunate we are here; we are a small city, but we have the cultural richness that reflects cities much larger. This place is all about enjoying life to the fullest, and that’s what I’m doing.” ::

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OUTSTANDING HOMES By Kerry Slavens Photos by Mia Dominguez, Artez Photography

COASTAL CADENCE Influenced by the shapes of waves and the play of light, this luxurious seaside beauty embraces an organic asymmetry and a nature-imbued palette that inspires relaxed living.

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â&#x20AC;&#x153;I wanted to design a home that had an organic feel and flow in terms of its relationship to the land,â&#x20AC;? says custom home designer Keith Baker. Indeed Cadence, a series of lowlying interconnected spaces connected by pavilions, appears to nestle into the landscape, angled to take advantage of the light and the views.


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ocated between forest and sea, with awardwinning architecture that echoes the shapes of waves, Cadence is a home that invites serenity and relaxation without sacrificing luxury. That relaxing vibe is not just because of Cadence’s idyllic mid-Island locale. In fact, it has a great deal to do with the nature-inspired interior design and the skillful use of asymmetry and human-scale design by custom home designer Keith Baker of KB Designs. “A huge part of how I think is how these things affect us on an emotional and an energetic level,” Baker says. “Symmetry just seemed too craftman-ish and formal, whereas asymmetry lets you relax because ... we are not geometric beings and the land is not geometric.” At Cadence, asymmetry is most evident in the radiused curves of the roofs, whose shapes bring to mind gentle waves. The play of light was also a big influence on Baker’s design. “I wanted the home to be light-filled and welcoming.” Cadence incorporates over 1,500 sq. ft. of windows into this 5,000 sq. ft. home. With so many windows, design director Lana McIver of The Interior Design Group of Nanaimo, says her firm kept the interior scheme deliberately uncomplicated, with a light, airy palette and furnishings with simple lines. “The views almost act as art work so we didn’t want anything that would block the eye,” she says. “Everything is open and translucent.” Cadence was a Silver Finalist in multiple categories in the 2014 CARE Awards, won three Silver Georgie Awards and is competing for Georgie Gold Awards in those categories, along with a national SAM Award.

Above: The main entry features a pivot door offering a clear view of the feature wall created from Modular Art’s InterlockingRock® panels in a Burle pattern with a high-gloss white finish. Left: The breezeway from the garage and boat storage to the mudroom is a study in West Coast elegance and warmth, with clustered beams of Douglas fir. Below: The home’s welcoming entrance features a graceful porte-cochère that provides cover from the elements.


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QUARRIERS AND FABRICATORS OF NATURAL STONE Marble & Granite for Bathrooms and Kitchens Above: An 18-foot-wide, three-panel sliding glass door opens to a terrace with views of Georgia Strait. So as not to compete with the views, a nature-inspired interior palette was used, with only strategic pops of red in the leather Roche Bobois dining chairs. Left: A Crystal Ball chandelier from Kuzco Lighting features strands of orbs suspended from a chrome canopy. A Roche Bobois Elixir cream modular sofa frames an inlaid wool carpet and a glass table that echoes the smoked glass feature wall, which in turn reflects the sky, sea and trees.

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This page: In the kitchen, the Stone Age quartz countertop in Cascade White does doubleduty as a window-sill, creating a seamless transition that appears to invite the outdoors in. Flat-panel cabinets in a grey/black stain feature sleek elongated pulls. The kitchen is a chefâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dream, with Miele and Wolf appliances. Track lighting from Tech on either side of the skylightâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s centre beam brings a contrasting industrial touch. Right: An outdoor kitchen on an entertainment-sized terrace features a wood-burning fireplace, pizza oven and wood storage. The concrete structure is set in relief, which appears to diminish its size so the view becomes dominant.


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Left: The master bedroom’s massive windows take full advantage of the sea views. The sleek concrete of the gas fireplace echoes the finish of the fireplace that forms the focal point of the terrace. Below: Despite the large windows, theCERAMIC TILE & NATURAL STONE CERAMIC TILE & NATURAL STONE bathroom is completely private. A sculpted soaker tub and open shelving lend a spa-like feel to the room. Beneath the Crystal Ball chandelier, a staircase bordered by windows and a wall of tempered glass — nothing to block the light — leads to the fitness centre in the home’s full-height basement.

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Hand-harvested from our cold, clean Pacific Ocean, Seaflora provides the most nourishing and effective thalassotherapy products available today. Seaweed has a transport system, like your skin, that will allow your body to absorb all the minerals it needs. Discover the benefits of seaweeds — book our featured Coastal Retreat Package this spring to detoxify, invigorate and restore your energy! (3 hours, $275)

250-385-6676 714 View Street www. sapphiredayspa.com

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GOOD ENERGY This innovative concrete home in North Saanich epitomizes stylish sustainability by bringing New Zealand building concepts to Canada’s West Coast. By Alex Van Tol

|

D

Photos by Simon DesRochers

amon Gray knows how to build a house. He knows how to fix them too, having renovated traditional wood-frame homes on the Saanich Peninsula these past eight years with his company, NZ Builders Ltd. But when it came time for Gray to build his own home, he asked himself which he would prefer: pay through the nose to heat a traditional sieve-like wood-frame home, and have to renovate said home every few decades to keep it from falling apart? Or build an airtight sun-catcher that never breaks down and costs about 50 bucks a month to heat? It should probably be framed more as a way of knowing rather than a choice, per se. Having worked in the building trade since he was 16 (training begins in high school in his native New Zealand), Gray brings a wealth of experience to his work

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despite only being in his early 30s. He also brings what he feels is a better way of building.

SET IN CONCRETE The better way is concrete. Unlike Canadians, New Zealanders have figured out that a wood frame isn’t well suited to harsh or humid climates, and therefore have long been fans of concrete elements in residential construction. “We’re renovating a 1989 traditional wood-frame house right now,” says Gray. “We’ve just put in $100,000 and we could easily throw another $200,000 into it. But what are we doing? It’s not sustainable.” For his own sturdy, energy-efficient home, Gray used a sandwich-like building method that saw him essentially pouring wide concrete slabs, tilting them up, adding a layer of insulation, and backing it with

another slab of concrete, over and over and over. And boom ... better thermal mass, less fluctuation in temperatures, fewer exterior details that permit water egress, and ridiculously easy to maintain. The sandwich walls offer much improved insulation, says Gray, because there are so few points at which heat can escape. Typical escape points — studs, for example, in a wood-frame home — are called thermal bridges, and that’s where a significant amount of heat is lost. In addition to its superior insulatory properties, concrete tilt-up also puts rot, fire and mold issues squarely in your rear-view mirror.

SUSTAINABILITY MEETS BEAUTY You might think a house constructed of concrete — especially one that runs nearly off the grid — would be ugly. But you would be wrong. “To be super efficient you’d have a square box with


The fun green countertop is Silestone, made from natural quartz, which makes it extremely hard and resistant. The wall of cabinets serves as the pantry and also houses an appliance garage.


windows on the south side and that’s it,” says Gray. “But I didn’t want to compromise style.” He wanted to create a beautiful space for his young family — one that not only had a much lower energy footprint than many traditional houses, but was also a work of art. While some of the concrete siding panels were left smooth, others bear the impression of wide cedar planks, offering texture and visual interest. Gray used those same cedar planks to create broad, beautiful soffits that both shade the home and boost its aesthetic appeal. The eavestroughs are extra-wide to make cleaning easy, and are

semi-cylindrical in shape, which allows sediments to settle out and keeps the water clean. While Gray’s home uses municipal water, he is currently considering closing the loop with a tank system fed by runoff.

CAPTURING THE SUN Passive solar design capitalizes on siting for maximum sunshine and captures sun with 51 solar panels. It also cuts the family’s heating bill by 30%. While geothermal and solar come in at the same cost, geothermal only affords a 30% savings, where passive solar gives a savings of 50% and doesn’t

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The flat roof has 51 solar panels, and the house was oriented on the property to take maximum advantage of the sun’s energy. Any excess power generated is fed into the local grid.

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require the replacement of a $10,000 heat pump. “It only takes about three hours of sun to warm the house for the day,” says Gray. “If you can take demand off your utilities, that’s the greenest thing you can do. It’s better than saying I’ve got a recycled bamboo floor.” While Gray agrees solar photovoltaic (PV) cells are higher polluters overall, given that their life cycle is many decades longer than, say, a heat pump (which requires replacing every seven to 10 years), they come out as a greener choice. The solar panels will last a lifetime: while their life span advertises 30 years, at that age Gray says they’re still cranking out 80 per cent of the energy of their younger years. If you want to complete the circle, you can even take your solar cells with you when you move. Recognizing that his preferred bungalow design created a long spread rather than a square one, Gray made up for the loss of energy efficiency by adding more solar panels to the flat roof. The home’s roof is thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO), a commercially popular roofing material due to its reflectivity and its resistance to ultraviolet, ozone and chemical exposure. Water draining from the roof is actually potable, which isn’t the case with traditional

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Hello, I’m Margaret; this is what my clients say about me …

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torch-on roofing materials. The driveway is landscaped with permeable material that drains straight back into the water table. The south patio is bounded on two sides by the house, creating a courtyard effect. A funky wood-topped concrete barbecue table forms the centrepiece of the outdoor living space, providing ample seating for people to enjoy a meal or a late-night gathering around the fire pit. “It’s so massive I ended up putting it on castors,” laughs Gray. “But you still need a rugby team to move it around.”

ROOM TO GROW With an interior that measures 2,800 square feet, the home offers two distinct residences: one for Gray’s young family of four, and a secondary suite, which is used as a games room but could potentially be converted to rent or used for in-laws. All living areas are bathed in natural light from the floor-to-ceiling windows. The primary kitchen is open, airy, and big enough to have your 40 best friends over for supper, and is surrounded by the main living space. In the second kitchen, leftover slabs from the walls became the countertops; red brick that was salvaged from the dump grew into gorgeous textured walls. All the wood in 54

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The open-concept living room provides a light-infused sanctuary for Damon, his wife Annie and their two young children. Stone aggregates in the polished concrete floor (which extends throughout the home) give it colour variation and add visual interest.

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the home was sourced on the half-acre property, from the beautiful cedar soffits to the pine features adorning the interior doors to the counter edgings. Gray embraced every possible way to make the house sustainable, from the low-flow faucets and toilets to thicker insulation to siting the home properly to take maximum advantage of the sun’s energy. “House orientation and more insulation — done correctly — is your cheapest and most reliable investment toward lowering your heating bill,” he says. Under-slab insulation is R40; roof is R60; the walls are blanket-wrap insulated; the triple-glazed, highsolar-gain windows are ThermoPlus fibreglass with low air leakage. The in-floor heating system is small and robust, with everything being designed to last a lifetime.

Recycled bricks, from a demolished property on Yates Street, form the wall behind the wet bar in the games room.

PAYING IT FORWARD With the tremendous reduction in energy afforded by the home’s design, Gray actually received credits from BC Hydro for his energy consumption last summer. He estimates his monthly

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He’s big on spreading the word, too, and is keen to tour people — including other builders — through his home in order to share the ease and wonder of building with concrete. Not only is it warm, solid and rot-free, Gray’s own home is a testament to the fact that a concrete house can be just as pleasing to the eye as one made from traditional materials. “When anyone is building a house and spending that kind of money, they should be building a piece of art,” he says. “It’s the biggest piece of art you can buy, so you should really make it a statement.” ::

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energy bills to be between $50 and $70, averaged across the year, as consumption is higher in winter. After the solar panels feed the toaster, dishwasher, lights and laptops, any excess power is used to turn back the power meter. “After that,” says Gray, “it goes down your street and starts feeding your neighbours.” Talk about good karma. Where a typical house costs about ten per cent less than the one Gray built, that figure drops to six or seven per cent if you

“After the solar panels feed the toaster, dishwasher, lights and laptops, any excess power is used to turn back the power meter.” factor in the energy savings. And those numbers will likely turn out to be lower as energy prices rise over the coming decades.

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AN ARTFUL FUTURE Gray sees good things ahead. With building codes changing over the next five years, he sees more concrete tilt-up building in the future. YAM MAGAZINE

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Expert tips for using colour to give your home exterior a fresh, new look. By Danielle Pope

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enn Lepinski has, at times, been called a marriage counsellor. In that tense moment when paint chips are sprawled across the counter and two people keep pointing at different squares, she’s been forced to mix up her own solution. “Let’s say she likes a neutral taupe and he likes a muted green; there are ways to match the two,” she says. “You just have to adjust the shades. You could go a little lighter on the taupe then darker on the green and have it as a trim, or vice versa. Or, you could just give him the inside of the house.” Lepinski is a colour consultant at Pacific Paint, the Island’s locally owned Benjamin Moore paint retailer. She knows a lot more goes into selecting colour than simply finding the perfect match. Factors like lighting, environment, neighbourhood — and sometimes getting your spouse on board — all contribute. Painting the exterior of your home is one of the best ways to protect your investment, however. The average house on Vancouver Island should be repainted every five to 20 years, depending on location and materials. Good advice aside, giving your nest a fresh shade will brighten your outlook on the old homestead, and it’s the simplest way to “renovate” your property. Now is the perfect time to make those tough colour selections. With Victoria’s short painting season spanning from June to September in good years, it’s best to get the choices settled before prime painting time has come and gone.

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Finding a contractor is stressful. We can help! HOW TO FIND YOUR CONTRACTOR IN 3 EASY STEPS Step 1 Contact us! We will send a professional estimator to prepare your job for tender. Step 2 We tender your job to qualified contractors in Victoria to bid on your renovation. Step 3 You consider the bids and reviews from other homeowners, then you choose your contractor.

It’s that easy! Contact us today.

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A house nestled in the Cordova Bay colour schemes. Guilford Green is Benjamin woods would disappear with a Sherwood Moore’s colour of the year for 2015. Creative Green. On Beach Drive, many colours director Ellen O’Neill can be found on their would compete with the glorious ocean; website describing Guilford as “A neutral blues will look brighter, oranges will turn that’s natural. A silvery green that works muddy. Shift the time of day with, well, everything. No or season and the palette will worries. No second thoughts. change again. Just a brush, dipped in a EXPERT’S TIP “The best thing you can can, whooshed on a wall, “Test out the colours and a whole lot of happily do is drive around and at different times of take note of anything that ever after.” catches your eye,” says It’s quite the proclamation. day, even different Lepinski. “Take your time. Others that make the list seasons.” Find your samples, then test for 2015 include Old Claret, a out the colours at different deep raspberry mixture; Soft times of day, even different Sand, a muted rose cream; and seasons. People typically make Blue Hydrangea, a quieted shade of cerulean. colour choices in summer, but winter While all of these shades can be mixed as will change the look entirely.” exterior paints, Lepinski says Victorians are more likely to gravitate towards Portland Gray WHAT’S TRENDING — a colour literally inspired by Portland’s While you shouldn’t rely only on trends climate. If we’re comparing notes, Lepinski for choosing your colours, looking at what’s believes Victoria could probably come up new can help guide you in finding appealing with its own exotic shade. “I’m amazed by how popular grey has become in this city,” she says. “It’s our biggest seller. You would think, with the number of grey days we see here, that people would be inspired to go a bit brighter, but no. Kendall Charcoal is our CONTRASTING ACCENTS On this Craftsman-style house, Behr’s Washed Olive and darker Dried Chive are paired with the contrasting Morocco Red for the window trim.


COLOUR OF THE YEAR:

Guilford Green Benjamin Moore’s Guilford Green is a silvery green. Lepinski says it could be used as a nice trim colour on a darker coloured home.

W I S D O M + W E A LT H

Colours that pair particularly well with Guilford Green include Country Life and White Rock (top); and Shadow Gray and Aloe Vera (bottom).

most popular dark grey, and Revere Pewter is one of our top-selling lighter greys.” Bob Fuchs, president of White Knight Painting Ltd., has been painting houses for over 30 years, so he’s seen a lot of colour trends. But even he is surprised by the trend into grey. While the region used to stick to conservative taupes and earth tones, even the typical-Victorian white stucco house is making the grey shift, he says. Not all of the city’s hues are expected, however. Funkier tones can be found throughout Fairfield and Fernwood, and Lepinski says one home at Fisherman’s Wharf uses four shades of pink.

“You would think, with the number of grey days we see here, that people would be inspired to go a bit brighter ...” THE PSYCHOLOGY OF REPAINTING While some of Fuchs’ clients repaint their homes simply for upkeep, the majority change colours as a symbolic way to meet transitions — and that can add weight to the importance of colour selection. “People paint for many different reasons,” he says. “New homeowners repaint so they can call the home their own. People have a great change in life, like the last

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child leaving home, a recovery from a long illness, or the death of a loved one and they need to repaint as part of their new beginning.” Every so often, Lepinski runs into people who are painting to rid themselves of an eyesore — but the solution is counterintuitive. “There are a lot of people who come into the store and say, ‘You know, I’ve got this side of orange brick that I really hate, so I want to paint the total opposite of that.’ The sad news is, if you want to hate something even more, make it contrast to your environment as sharply as possible.” Whether it’s a distracting outside wall or a cringe-worthy pink counter inside, short of renovating, the best way to remove the “ick factor” is to paint as closely as possible within its colour wheel. Then, Lepinski says, that nemesis really will disappear. GOING GREY Despite the climate, greys are a perennial favourite for exterior colour in Victoria. Popular greys at Pacific Paint are, from top to bottom: Kendall Charcoal, Portland Gray, and Revere Pewter.

MAINTENANCE MATTERS For long-term maintenance, light colours will last longer and are easier to touch up. Of course, you could forgo the paint altogether. Natural wood finish is another popular theme in Victoria’s collage, and wood grain never goes out of style. Natural finishes have the shortest life expectancy of any coating, however, warns Fuchs, so regular inspection and maintenance is doubly important. Fuchs says scheduling in regular maintenance (with or without colour rotations) will go a long way in keeping your property fresh. Different parts of the home will weather at different rates, for example. Exposed areas, like decks, may need repainting or staining every two years, while the weather-exposed side of a house may need painting every five years. Homes in protected areas could last 20 years or longer without a repaint. Many companies, like Fuchs’, offer annual inspections to assist with the renewal process. “Just like a car benefits from routine maintenance, regular inspection and maintenance on your home can help you go many, many years before a full repaint is needed,” he says. “We’ve never had to fully repaint a house that’s been on the annual

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COLOUR FACELIFT The heritage restoration of this 1912 home was done by White Knight Painting and took 618 hours of sanding, filling and painting, plus 94 gallons of paint. The colour schema was selected by designer Raubyn Rothschild of Rothschild West Design Group. Colours used were Dulux Paintâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Mansard Stone, Aged Stucco, Frost and Classic Liberty Red.

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The Atrium
 1323 Blanshard Street
 headoverheelsvictoria.ca
 250.590.5154

Behr’s Classic Gold gives this stucco home a fresh wash of colour.

inspection program — although some people have decided to change the colour.”

RETURN ON INVESTMENT

…your Birkenstock destination

One of the biggest misconceptions people have about painting their homes is the return on that maintenance investment, says Brad McDonnell. “Painting pays for itself. If you have an unappealing colour, or paint that looks damaged, that’s going to have a huge impact on your sale value,” McDonnell says. “A good paint job will get you back every nickel you put into it, and bring you in a lot more, too.” McDonnell started his own company, Brad McDonnell Painting & Decorating, with a focus on restoring heritage homes. Heritage doesn’t have to mean predictable. Take Dashwood Manor Seaside Bed and Breakfast Inn, at Cook and Dallas. The Tudor mansion has been a Victoria icon, yet, with the help of McDonnell, shifted its shades from the classic cream and brown to an inverted grey, cream and brick palette. “Heritage painting is a real niche here, and people have to be fairly conscientious,” he says. “There’s a lot you can do. Just don’t be in a rush to make a decision. Why spend thousands of dollars just to have to redo something?”

TRUE COLOURS Lepinski has a few words of advice to offer people before they embark on their colourseeking journey. “People do a lot of research online nowadays, but, unfortunately, it really can be a waste of time,” Lepinski says. “The colour on your computer will never truly represent 64

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Your memories. Preserved.

STUCK ON STUCCO Stucco is a heritage art form in itself. This ancient type of siding is one of the most popular varieties in Victoria, and the city has no shortage of experts in the matter. Brad McDonnell of Brad McDonnell Painting & Decorating and Bob Fuchs of White Knight Painting both note that many people are nervous about painting stucco, but the material is actually more forgiving than wood, and can handle a longer painting season — it doesn’t absorb the moist weather. “Take a walk down almost any Victoria street and you’ll see dozens of painted stucco homes,” says Fuchs. “One of the most satisfying paint jobs we did was restoring one of Victoria’s old Maclure-style houses. They may need extensive preparation, but they can be brought back to their original glory.”

reality. Lighting will play a huge factor in whether or not your colour will work, and different backgrounds affect a shade. Your best bet is to go into a store, and go through that process with an expert. Nothing replaces the in-person experience.” When it comes to memorable painting experiences, Fuchs has a story he likes to share. Each year, White Knight Painting donates a paint job to a local charity. Their first charity painting went to MacDonald House, a residence for people living with brain injuries. The house had seen a lot of wear over the years, and their common area was in a state of disrepair. Fuchs partnered with local designer Charlotte Geddes to redo the area in warm gold tones. The result was transformational — not only to the walls, but to the residents and staff. “In the end, it’s not so much the effect the paint has on the walls,” says Fuchs. “It’s the effect it has on the people who live and work there. You can just see how different they feel about the whole place. That’s what makes this work so satisfying.” ::

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Pasta Perfect Despite this stapleâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s waistline-sabotaging reputation, it can be a delectably healthy part of a balanced diet. Give your pasta a spring-inspired makeover. By Mike Wicks

Chef Angelo Prosperi-Portaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s spaghettini with ricotta and fresh peas (recipe, page 71). Plates, bowls and accessories for Pasta Perfect provided by Penna & Co.

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W

hen you think pasta, what comes to mind? Fettuccine Alfredo? Lasagna with a topping of rich béchamel sauce? Or, the all-time pasta favourite, spaghetti Bolognese? Yes? Then you’re probably also thinking of all the calories such decadent meals contain, not to mention feeling pangs of guilt about eating pasta at all. In Canada we eat 6.5 kg of pasta per person per year, well above the world average of 5.6 kg. But this is a mere fraction of the Italian consumption at 26 kg. Now, if pasta were really such a fattening food, one would expect Italy’s obesity rate to be high. But according to the CIA World Factbook, Italy’s obesity rate stands at 19.8 per cent, compared to Canada’s 26.2 per cent. Surprise, surprise — pasta may not be such a self-indulgent food after all.

PHOTOS: JEFFREY BOSDET/YAM MAGAZINE. FOOD STYLING: JANICE HILDYBRANT

Pasta by the numbers It’s spring, time to start thinking about what we’ll look like in a few months on holiday in our swimsuits. But do we have to cut out pasta to lose weight? For many people carbohydrates are anathema to a diet, but in reality carbs are a primary source of fuel for our bodies. According to Health Canada, 45 to 65 per cent of our calories should come from carbohydrates, only 10 to 35 per cent from protein, and 20 to 35 per cent from fat. Carbohydrates come in two types: simple (sugar, candy, pop, fruit, milk and some vegetables) and complex (pasta, whole grain bread, grains, lentils, beans etc.). Pasta is a source of complex carbohydrates, which help to sustain energy. What makes pasta particularly healthy is its low glycemic index (GI); between 25 and 45. A lower or higher score indicates how Pasta 101 slowly or quickly sugar is absorbed into the body. In this case, slower is better. Compare this to other staples of There are more than 600 documented North American kitchens: white bread at around 75 and pasta shapes, potatoes at about 80. Any food with a GI score of less according to Chef than 55 will raise blood sugar levels slowly and therefore Peter Zambri. Search provide a slower release of energy. online and you’ll find Foods like pasta, with a lower GI, are more likely to be oodles of noodles higher in fibre and will keep us feeling full longer. They from acini de pepe also help reduce cholesterol, and therefore the risk of (peppercorns), tiny heart disease. The fuller we feel, the less likely we are pasta used in soups, to consume more food, thus packing on fewer pounds. to ziti (bridegrooms), Because these types of food are digested slower, they keep a tubular pasta blood sugar levels stable and help you feel more energetic. that goes well with As Cesare Trani, previously of Il Covo Trattoria, says, chunkier sauces. “It’s not pasta that makes you fat, it’s the sauces.” His Many types of pasta have amusing recipe for crudaiola orecchiette, featured on page 71, nicknames: linguine shows how you can prepare a simple, light, healthy, yet (little tongues); gourmet pasta dish.

Fuel for thought

gemelli (twins); ditalini (little thimbles); orecchiette (little ears); and strozzapreti (choke the priest) to name just a few. Dried or fresh pasta? One is not better than the other — they’re just different. Dried pasta is better with heartier sauces and in salads.

Pasta may actually be as healthy for your brain as it is for your body. According to Dr. Gene Bowman of the Oregon Health and Science University, who works in the field of nutritional neuroscience, and is studying the link between diet and cognitive brain function, “The brain’s preferred fuel is glucose which comes from the metabolism of carbohydrates found predominantly in green foods, bread, pasta, rice, fruits, vegetables and dairy products …” Pasta is the perfect fit for fuelling the brain, and it’s a wonderful delivery mechanism for other healthy foods that keep us physically and mentally fit. If weight loss is an issue, pasta can still be part of your diet; it contains no fat (unless you add it), is salt free (do check the label on your particular brand), and contains 100 calories


a cup. Remember, pasta fills you up, doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t cause your blood sugars to rise quickly and digests slowly so you feel less hungry. Of course, eating plain pasta would be a tad boring so you will need to think about which sauces to add, and which ingredients to add to your sauces.

Getting saucy There are some basic things you can do right off the bat, the first being to make a fresh tomato sauce rather than buying one ready-made off the shelf. Store-bought sauces contain fat, salt and sugar, and less fibre than homemade sauces. One leading brand contains 11 g of sugar and 2.5 g of fat per half-serving. And beware of low-fat sauces; they often increase sugar content to compensate for loss of taste. Making your own basic pasta sauce is unbelievably simple and quick. You can use canned tomatoes (use high-quality Italian for the best taste) or fresh tomatoes (plum or Roma). If you are using fresh tomatoes, dice them (you can even leave the skin on, but remove the core). Add dried basil and oregano, and a pinch of red pepper flakes to taste. Next, add enough tomato paste to thicken, plus a healthy slug of olive oil. Finish with salt and pepper, then cook for 20 minutes (simmer canned for about an hour to remove the tinny taste).

Chef Peter Zambriâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tagliatelle with asparagus, eggs and pecorino.

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Serve with the pasta as is, or purée to whatever consistency you prefer, and violà you’ve got an excellent, healthy basic pasta dish. If you have more time, dice onion, celery and carrots and fry until soft prior to adding the tomatoes. Tomato-based sauces will have less calories than rich, creamy ones, but if you can’t resist Alfredos or carbonaras, try one of our featured recipes which offer healthier alternatives. Angelo ProsperiPorta says, “In my recipe, you can use partskim or low fat ricotta, but even the full-fat variety contains less fat than using cream. Ricotta is actually a by product of making cheese rather than a cheese itself — ricotta means ‘cooked again.’ It has high nutritional value and is packed with vitamins and minerals.”

Sauce Selection

Long, thin pasta works better with lighter olive oil-based sauces.

Thicker strands, such as fettuccine, work better with creamy sauces.

Tubular shapes, like penne, love the thicker, heartier sauces.

Penne or rotini are perfect for salads for exciting the palate.

Healthy stand-ins Another simple calorie-cutting tip is to reduce the amount of pasta and replace it with spaghetti squash; vegetables like zucchini sliced thinly into ribbons; or red, green, yellow and orange peppers, thinly sliced. There are many ways to make a faux pasta with thinly cut vegetables, such as spaghetti squash. But if only a real pasta will do, try whole grain pasta (pasta integrale). You will get triple the fibre, fewer calories, a quarter more protein and double the B vitamins and minerals of its paler cousin. If you are gluten intolerant, check out your grocery store shelves as glutenfree choices made from ingredients such as white and brown rice, corn and quinoa are becoming increasingly easier to find.

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Quinoa pasta, made from quinoa flour, has a similar taste and texture to wheat pasta and is also gluten free. Although thought of as a grain, quinoa is technically a fruit.

Get cooking Pasta translates well from casual fare to fine dining. Go gourmet by being adventurous; try something other than standard cream or tomato sauces. Keep away from pre-made sauces and prepare your own. Use more olive oil and seek out the traditional Italian methods for preparing this amazingly versatile ingredient. To inspire you, YAM asked chefs from various regions of Italy to come up with healthy pasta recipes our readers would want to cook time and time again. Our three stunningly simple and amazingly tasty recipes will get you started. Buon appetito! TAGLIATELLE WITH ASPARAGUS, EGGS AND PECORINO From Chef Peter Zambri of Zambri’s Restaurant in Victoria Makes 4 servings • 400 g egg tagliatelle nests • 1 bunch asparagus (about 500 g) cut into smallish pieces (about 2 cm long) • 2 cloves garlic, sliced thinly • 2/3 cup vegetable stock • 2 eggs • 175 g grated pecorino • 100 g butter • 1/3 cup olive oil • Salt and pepper to taste • A few drops truffle oil (careful, it can be overpowering) Have a pot of boiling salted water at the ready to cook the pasta. Crack two eggs into a bowl, season lightly with salt and pepper and about 1/4 of the pecorino, beat well to mix yolk and white. Set aside. On medium heat, put half the butter and half the oil in a large sauté pan. Place the asparagus pieces and garlic into the warming fats and start to soften the fibres in the asparagus, being careful not to put too much colour on them. This process is called “sweating.” Season with salt and pepper. When the asparagus is softened, drop your tagliatelle into the boiling salted water. The pasta should take about 6 minutes. Check the package for cooking time. While the tagliatelle is cooking, go back to the frying pan and pour the eggs over the asparagus and scramble the eggs carefully. When scrambled, add the vegetable stock. Drain pasta well and add to asparagus and egg. Put the remaining oil and butter on the pasta and sprinkle over the last of the cheese. Add a few drops of truffle oil. Fold everything together to combine and melt the butter. Portion into four warm bowls, grate more pecorino on top and add freshly ground pepper.

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SPAGHETTINI WITH RICOTTA AND FRESH PEAS From Chef Angelo Prosperi-Porta, author of the award-winning Flavours of Cooper’s Cove Guesthouse. Spaghettini is a thin noodle that cooks much quicker than normal-sized spaghetti, so it is important to have all ingredients ready at room temperature before assembling this dish. Perfect for a quick lunch or spring or summer dinner. Makes 4 servings •4  50 g dried spaghettini • 1 cup fresh ricotta •2  tbsp coarsely chopped fresh mint • 1 /4 cup coarsely chopped Italian parsley • 1 /2 cup fresh grated parmesan or pecorino cheese  alt and pepper to taste •S • 1 /2 tsp chili flakes, optional •2  tbsp extra virgin olive oil • 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen shelled peas Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add salt and the spaghettini and cook to al dente, about 6 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the extra virgin olive oil, ricotta, mint, parsley, grated cheese, chili flakes, salt and ground black pepper in a serving bowl. Before draining the pasta, set aside approximately 3/4 of a cup of the pasta water for the sauce. Add the peas to the pot with the noodles and heat just to warm through, about 30 seconds. Drain the pasta and peas in a colander. Add about 1/2 cup of the pasta water to the serving bowl, stir in and adjust with more of the pasta water if needed. Add the cooked spaghettini and peas. Toss well and serve immediately with extra grated cheese and drizzle with a little more olive oil.

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Makes 4 servings • Olive oil (enough to cover the cheese) • 500 g orecchiette • 1 pint cherry tomatoes

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• 2 large garlic cloves • Pinch salt and pepper Marinate all the ingredients (except pasta) in olive oil for two hours. When the marinating time is almost over, cook the orecchiette in boiling water with a little salt for about 11 minutes. A few minutes before the pasta is cooked, warm a pan and add some of the oil from the marinade and the tomatoes and warm them through. Once the orecchiette is cooked, drain it, put it into a bowl and add the cherry tomatoes. Strain the cheese and fold it into the pasta and mix. Finish with Italian parsley. ::

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STYLE WATCH Fashion Stylist: Janine Metcalfe

THE SPORTING LIFE The convergence of fitness wear and high fashion means workout gear has never been so chic.

HIGH PERFORMANCE Clip-In Long Line Bra ($52), Bright Bomber Jacket ($228), Run Speed Short ($78), Urban Sanctuary Bag ($128), all available at Lululemon; Sugoi Cycling Gloves (Fort Street Cycle, $40); Nike Dunk Sky Hi Sneakers (Complex, $160); watch (stylistâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s own)


CURVES AHEAD Blue Life Fit Silhouette Jumper (Breathe Athletic, $125); Maui Jim Stone Crushers sunglasses (Maycock Eyecare, $209); Nathan Hydration Belt (Frontrunners, $50); Castelli Cycling Gloves (Fort Street Cycle, $35)


GO NEON Jersey Sleeveless Crop Top ($26), Mesh Tee ($50), Shiny Nylon Tricot Leggings in Serpent ($20), Loop Terry Wristbands ($5/each), all available at American Apparel; Ray-Ban Cats sunglasses (Maycock Eyecare, $190); Nike Dunk Sky Hi Sneakers (Complex, $160)


TRAINING DAYS Nike Pro Classic Bra ($40), Sugoi Run For Cover Jacket ($150), Nike Epic Lux Tights ($145), Brooks Arm Warmers ($30), all available at Frontrunners. On page 6: Karmaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Ethel Jacket (House of Lily Koi); Kimurawear boxing gloves (Dragon Impact, $65)

LOREM IPSUM Gabriel Conroy of Shawnigan Lake is the designer of Hemp and Company Originals and also designs his own line, Gabriel. His Eco Raincoat in 100% recycled Photography: waterproof polyester is Jeffrey Bosdet/ Island made (Hemp and YAM magazine Company, $495); Rain hat Hair/Makeup: Anyaof Ellis, by Baronesse Ashley Lizbelle Agency Vancouver Model: Kristy McQuade, Lizbell Agency Styling Assistant: Katie Avila Thanks to Studio 4 Athletics


J OE DANDY By David Alexander

LOOK SHARP 10 SMART STYLE UPDATES

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DENIM DOES IT, especially in a classic straight-leg style like these 10-ounce, Turkish-made jeans in a subtle but stylish medium blue (34 Heritage, $195)

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Yawn, stretch, repeat. Dear readers, spring has arrived and it’s time to dust off the winter doldrums and start shedding those comfort layers that helped you survive winter. That parka, big cable knit sweater and heavy raincoat? All of them can go into the farthest reaches of the closet in preparation for sun and warmth.

T

o welcome spring in proper fashion, perk up your style signature with pieces that enhance what you already own as you prepare to transition to warmer weather.

1. Light-knit sweater with neutral shirt Springtime on the Island calls for layers, so choose a sophisticated knit sweater and a great shirt. When things heat up, just take off the sweater. When it comes to shirts for spring, go for neutral colours like white, grey, black or blue. The fit should be decent; you want it to look effortless. The body should be cut slim through the torso and end a couple of inches below the waist. 2. Stylish denims Nothing says style more than a wellchosen pair of denims that fit you just right. (No baggy bottoms or dragging cuffs, please!) For spring, opt for a slightly lighterweight denim. Choose a classic blue or a softly faded wash — avoid those ultratrendy washes that scream tacky. Finally, when it comes to buying jeans, go for quality. Trust me, it really shows in the cut — and in the confidence you’ll feel when you wear them. 3. Overnight leather bag Joe Dandy appreciates that some of you might camp this summer, but for those who prefer hotels, pick up an overnight leather bag. It’s just the ticket for a weekend getaway. Your bag should be big enough to fit essentials for a 48-hour trip, but not too big — we’re not talking a hockey bag. Nothing says amateur like a man in a suit with a knapsack. Invest in a decent bag and it will last you for years and you’ll look like a king. 4. Sunglasses Nothing says spring like sunglasses. This is the season they are essential, not just to

Oliver Peoples Benedict aviators with silver frames (Maycock Eyecare, $525)

take the glare off but to let the world know you survived another rainy Victoria winter. They are also an easy way to refresh a look — being front and centre on your face, they command attention. Opt for a timeless pair (wayfarers and aviators never go out of style); they’ll look good and you won’t need to invest in a new pair next year. 5. Classic watch With smartphones, a guy no longer needs a timepiece for functionality. Good thing that the watch is the ultimate accessory. You can opt for a bare wrist, but wouldn’t you rather have a bit of style peek over the sleeves of your shirt? Go for metal or leather, whatever suits your personality, but stick to a classic round face.

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Komono Winston Brogue watch (Still Life, $130)

6. Blue blazer For those days you want to dress up but don’t need to wear a suit, a blazer shows you can be fancy but it also allows you to be flexible. A blazer can go over jeans and a polo or chinos and an Oxford — it can even go with your tailored shorts for a sophisticated summer vibe. A blazer instantly ramps up your look. 7. Socks Lose them altogether. You’ve spent the winter with your brightly patterned socks

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just peeking out from your hemline, and your feet thank you. It’s getting warm, sockless is still all the rage, so embrace your ankles. If you’re really worried, pick up some invisible sock liners (yes, this is a thing). Also, invest in some talcum powder to keep the feet happy.

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8. Neutral scarf It’s almost spring; what’s up with the scarf on this list? We’re not talking a wool scarf to keep the frost from your beard; we’re talking cotton or linen, something that takes the edge off the crisp mornings or cool evenings. Stay away from complex patterns; pick something that will go easily with a jacket or a sweater.

Black Broad Stripe Linen scarf handwoven in Victoria (domesticlin.com, $210)

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9. Decent briefs or boxers This is something only people who are really important to you will see — and your buddies in the gym. Still, boxers or briefs are worth refreshing on occasion because stylish definitely does not mean ratty, oncewhite underwear peppered with holes. As your mom might have said: be prepared. So go refresh your underwear collection; they are the hardest working soldiers in your wardrobe. 10. Grown-up sneakers You might have grown up with Cons or Vans and practically lived in them until they fell apart. It is actually OK to still own a pair of these as an adult. Yes, Joe Dandy gives you permission. Your style has changed though, so stick to neutral colours like black and white, keep your shoes clean and keep the branding down. These sneakers will go well with your chinos and a blazer, but not your suit. Giving your style a boost by investing in a few classic additions is the perfect way to celebrate the arrival of spring. ::


S T YLE By Erin Bradley

Wake Up Your Wardrobe Editing your closet is the perfect way to rethink and revive your style.

T

he change from winter to right thickness for the size of be greatly improved. your closet and store extras spring is the perfect time Believe me, editing your elsewhere to maximize to put away those pieces closet gets easier each space. Create a specialyou won’t be wearing in the time you do it — occasion section at months ahead, bring out those especially if you TRY THIS the back of your that you will, and give your stick to the rule closet to reduce Organize wardrobe an edit in the process. of getting rid of clutter. Remove by colour Let’s face it, most of us have one existing item plastic dry cleaning for instant far too much in our closets yet each time you bags and store outfits! we still feel we have nothing buy a new one. So those special items to wear. Usually, that’s because make a promise to of clothing in zipped most of us have far too many yourself to do that as garment bags to avoid pieces — and often they are you move forward. In the dust and to prevent yellowing ones that no longer suit our meantime, enjoy the process. of fabric. bodies or our style or It’s a great way to bring out Arrange accessories that we don’t know new aspects of your Eliminate accessories you don’t how to wear personal style. RULE use, then make everything OF THREE properly. easily accessible. Create a Get organized Create three Whether you space to hang scarves, ties and Do a quick hire a pro stylist piles: to keep, belts; arrange jewelry by colour evaluation of all or grab a glass of to recycle and in stackable trays that make of your items, wine and reenact to donate everything easily viewable; then organize Carrie’s closet buy a drawer insert for tights, them into three scene from Sex nylons and socks. Purses and piles: keeping, and the City, take shoes lose their shape easily so recycling and my advice and stuff your purses with tissue donating. reach into the paper or plastic bags; for your Get rid of shoes, invest in a shoe rack depths of your anything that’s and shoe forms. closet. You’ll damaged or be pleasantly stained, along with things surprised at what that don’t fit or won’t fit in the you find. Your outfits and KEEP IT near future. Jettison pieces that your confidence in how IN VIEW aren’t versatile enough to be you wear your clothes will Drawer worn in three ways — or to two organizers for scarves, types of occasions. And don’t ties and SHOE forget, some of your items may belts make SOLUTION be keepers following some accessorizing the Hemnes simple alterations, so create a simple. shoe cabinet pile for the tailor too. from IKEA is ideal for you footwear fanatics.

Refresh your space Remove broken or mismatched hangers, along with wire ones. It’s inexpensive to buy quality matching hangers in bulk. Introducing a uniform look to your closet will immediately make it more appealing. Make sure your hangers are the

Switch it up Mix up how you organize your clothes and you may find getting dressed is a lot more fun. For instance, you can create a boutique vibe by arranging clothing into

GOOD STUFF Your bags will retain their shape longer if you stuff them with tissue before storing.

colours and/or outfits. Keep a few complementary tops and bottoms together and, voilà!, you’ll have instant outfits without any thought. This also leads to more creativity in colour and pattern mixing. Bring in the new! Now create a shopping list to replace items such as white or black basics that usually need to be updated annually. To stretch your shopping budget, invest in wardrobe staples and spend less on trendy pieces that will only last one season. This is also a good time to bring in a professional to help you figure out what you are missing and help you make the most of what you already have. ::

The best part of a closet spring clean? New favourites! Look for classic staples that you’ll want to wear again and again.

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BO O KM A RKS

By Carolyn Camilleri

Leaving Tomorrow By David Bergen | HarperCollins, 275 pages David Bergen’s coming-of-age-style novel opens with the birth of the narrator, Arthur, in a fishing seiner off the coast of northern B.C. in 1955. Arthur’s mother, a no-nonsense Mennonite woman and a nurse, delivers her own baby (although Arthur’s father, a cowboy who wanted to try his hand at fishing, cuts the cord). Two pages in, I was hooked — how could I stop reading after that? After a tragic, pivotal event, the family moves back to Alberta to a farm near a fictional town called Tomorrow. Life on the farm and a series of significant characters and events influence young Arthur as he grows up and eventually graduates. Of course, he wants nothing more than to escape rural life so he boards a plane to Paris, the setting for the second part of the novel, where he hopes to fulfill his romantic and literary aspirations. Without suggesting that Arthur’s experiences are typical, there is a comfortable familiarity about this novel that makes it so easy to slide into. Arthur is a likeable, down-to-earth guy telling a good story that is sometimes funny and other times sad but always honest and genuine.

“Two pages in, I was hooked...”

Quartet for the End of Time By Johanna Skibsrud | W.W. Norton & Company, 480 pages It’s hard to know where to start with this many-layered novel. There’s the story: three young people whose lives are forever intertwined by a series of events surrounding protests in 1930s Washington. It’s real history about the Bonus Army — First World War veterans who tried to obtain money promised to them by the government. Politically, communism is gaining strength underground, and at the same time, suspicions and fear about anyone “Red” make such leanings a criminal offence. Then there’s the insight into topics like marriage, class structure, women’s rights and roles — these elements alone make this book worth reading. The chapters alternate between the three key characters with events relayed from their perspectives, offering an intriguing and fascinating examination of the complexities of relationships, as well as how differently people can see the same thing. The historic photos are intriguing — I found myself peering at the faces of the people, trying to determine who they were and if the characters in the books were real people after all. All that said, this is not an easy read. While the writing is lovely, it is heavy with clauses and asides, and I felt forced to read slowly and carefully — something that frustrated me because I wanted to know what happened next. Long passages of philosophical meandering strained my attention, but because important events are sometimes slipped in like passing comments, I didn’t dare skip ahead. Ultimately, while this is definitely not light reading, it is rewarding.

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NONWood Storms, FICTION Wild Canvas: PICK The Art of Godfrey Stephens

(D&I Enterprises, 144 pages)

is a fascinating look at the life and art of this renowned Vancouver Island painter, sculptor and boat builder. What makes it even more special is that the story is told by his niece, Gurdeep Stephens, who has maintained a close relationship with her uncle throughout her life. Emails, letters and personal stories accompany page after page of splendid art. There is much love in this book — a touching tribute to an adored uncle the author puts in the same category as the Renaissance artists. “But wilder,” she adds.


Quick Picks

The Rise and Fall of Great Powers by Tom Rachman (Doubleday Canada, 400 pages) is the strange but strangely uplifting story of a young woman — Tooly Zylberberg. To call Tooly’s upbringing unconventional is an understatement. Instead of being messed up, which I expected, she is a remarkably clear-thinking, considerate person. She is no Pollyanna and this isn’t your typical feel-good story — but it carries a powerful perspectivechanging message customized for a world where dysfunction is perfectly normal.

Us Conductors by Sean Michaels (Random House Canada, 368 pages) was awarded the 2014 Giller Prize

for good reason — it’s a great book. It’s a fictionalized story about Lev Sergeyevich Termen, the real-life Russian who invented the theremin, a musical instrument played by waving hands over antennae. New York Jazz Age glamour, the Wall Street Crash and Great Depression, espionage, Russian prison camps — it’s all here. It was hard to put this one down.

The Devil You Know by Elisabeth de Mariaffi (Touchstone, 320 pages) is a literary thriller and the debut novel for the author of the short story collection How to Get Along With Women, which was longlisted for the 2013 Giller Prize. Set in the 1990s, it’s a riveting read about a rookie reporter assigned to cover the story of serial killer Paul Bernardo, which triggers memories of the unsolved murder of her childhood best friend. Expect a movie.

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TWIST OF FATE Christina Hilborne’s Spiral into Lightness lamps and pendants were born out of an abundance of material and the rough idea of a light. At the time, the Victoria furniture maker was using bourbon barrels sourced from local craft brewers to create her stunning wooden serving platters. “I had all these metal barrel bands left over,” Hilborne says, and so the idea for these handcrafted lamps and pendants was born, fitting nicely with the eco-friendly trend to adaptive reuse. “I’ve always been mesmerized by spirals,” she says. “I find them hypnotic.”

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YAM magazine  

March/April 2015

YAM magazine  

March/April 2015