Tag Archive | "Fabric"

Indian Treasures on Dundas West

Sunday, July 29, 2012


Just last week I was ewwing and ahhing over a sublime selection of Indian quilts and coverlets at Toronto's wonderful Haveli Home (left). Then, in the brand new issue of Canadian House & Home (September 2012), there's an item featuring kantha quilts from West Elm with patterns remarkably similar to Haveli's. Naturally I was keen to investigate.

Full post and comments...

Philippines Via Dundas West

Tuesday, May 8, 2012


On the weekend I made a reconnaissance sortie to Magiks Home Furnishings, a quirky little shop on Toronto's Dundas Street West (near Dufferin). Proprietor Rodel San Miguel was very sweet: "Everything in the store is from the Philippines," he said, "including me." The shop window proclaims, "Authentic. Majestic. Divine." which struck me as a rather odd tagline until I went in and confronted the perplexing range of religious icons and statuary peppered among the plantation-style furnishings and lighting. "The Philippines is a very catholic country," Rodel said solemnly, and then he explained a bit about the Spanish colonial tradition of folk art santos and bastidor sculptures. Magiks' lighting in particular caught my eye: this enormous capiz pendant is $800 and I especially liked the range of woven kabuti lamps.

Full post and comments...

Madame? Or Madame’s Designer?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Estate sale spaces are typically very ho hum and have never before inspired me to create a post but there's an exception to every rule. The image above — attached to a sale being held this Saturday (April 21, 8 am) in Toronto — really made me wonder about the woman who chose to live with the blue walls and the blue and white rug and those chairs, my God, those chairs! Love them or hate them, and I suspect some of you will divide into each camp, they're just sooooo designer. You'd certainly never find anything like them at Elte. There's nothing as interesting as this seating set in the rest of the house, which begs the question, why just this one flight of fancy? Did madame decide on a lark to go up and over the top or did a designer give her a push? And if she was coerced, did she come to love them or did this one risque gesture embarrass her ever after?

Full post and comments...

When a Rose is Not Just a Rose

Monday, February 13, 2012


Forgive my surprise at seeing IKEA's winter 2012 flyer and their new Emmie line of bedding awash in chintzy florals and toiles. The company's press materials trumpet "new textiles with old charm" and reference "an English garden at the end of the 19th century." If this were almost any other retailer I'd hardly take notice but IKEA is a global machine and when it hitches its wagon to a trend, you can bet the style has legs. The arrival of Emmie brought to mind a conversation I had with online seller Susan Elliott recently who predicted that the smash hit British period drama Downton Abbey (below) would be an interior design Inukshuk pointing the way to a new (old?) design direction. After a decade of mid-century madness — triggered in part by Mad Men, another wildly popular TV series — I feel the ground shifting and a new zeitgeist emerging.

Full post and comments...

Chair Story

Monday, December 12, 2011


I hadn't intended to revamp my high back chair at my upholstery class but the pair of mid-century beauties I coveted could not be secured affordably so I turned to this chair, which has languished in my storage locker for a year. My original plan was to do something totally "outside" like the wingbacks below, photo by Eric Roth from Glamour, Making it Modern. But I wasn't sure I'd actually keep the chair so I wanted it to appeal to as wide a group as possible in case I ended up selling it on Craigslist, hence my choice of the neutral, gray poly-blend that looks and feels like linen but is "bullet proof" according to the fabric store clerk.

Full post and comments...