Monthly Archives

June 2007

MEDIA buzz REVIEWS

Being in the spotlights two days in a row

It started with a wonderful review published in studio wellspring blog. This is the blog of a San Francisco-based interior design.

Studio wellspring is a place where this blogger shares the menagerie of inspiration she discovers along the way. She has a good eye. Take a look at the beautiful coffee and tea serving set that she shown us on her Robin’s Egg Bliss post. This is what I call entertaining in style.

Then, I got the honor to be on the Apartment Therapy – Los Angeles edition (AT:LA). I made it to this week Slinks with my post about Small Space Outdoor Entertaining. I wrote this last May.

Wow! I have been a fan of Apartment Therapy since I started reading blogs. I am sending my thanks to Gregory from AT:Los Angeles.

For the ones that do not know what slinks means:

n. (slingks) Surreptitious web links to other good sites.

July 2nd, 2007 Update:

In fact, it was almost three days in a row since yesterday on their Happy Canada Day post, Mom2Mom Lounge referred their readers to my Canada Day menu ideas.

+ how to host stylish parties, + more published on studio wellspring blog
+ June 29, 2007 Slinks published on Apartment Therapy:Los Angeles
+ Happy Canada Day! published on Mom2Mom Lounge

ENTERTAINING TABLETOP

Canadian birch and birds for a natured-inspired Canada Day Tabletop Theme

Canadian birch bark set at small stump :  Heartbird napkins at LU PrintsNature is something that really defines the Canadian way of life. So why not let nature be the star of your Canada Day Party? Especially that birch tree, old wood stump and faux bois are so hot right now in the design world.

All winter, I was eager to buy the birch candles. The problem is that I did not have anything else to go with that theme. That is until now.

When I saw the genuine Canadian birch bark set at small stump, I could not resist anymore. Look at them; they can be used in so many ways for entertaining. The birch bark tube display kit at small stump. You can see that they nicely pack up their orders.

Besides the obvious cachepot, the birch bark cylinders can dress up a buffet table. Use them to hide Mason jars filled with jams, relishes, pickles or utensils.

Ideas for designing your centerpieces

You can make your centerpieces around this birch bark set. Fill them with flowers and spread them on your table. Herbs look great too. The variations in heights will create interest on your table. Play with that.

Vary the heights of the plants. Do not restrict yourself in putting high plants in higher birch tree cylinder like shown on the picture. Whenever possible, put the highest plants or herbs in the lowest cylinders and put the low flowers on the highest one.

You may have to raise the vase containing the low flowers so it fits in a higher cachepot. Hot glue is your best friend when it comes to glue together the bottom of glass container or terracotta pots.

How to set up your tabletop?

Where there are trees, you see birds. The delightful Heartbird napkins by BC-based LU Prints are just perfect. They share that same authenticity in style and materials. For this theme to work, look for hand crafted items. You want to create a genuine natural feeling. A set of 4 Heartbird napkins costs $25 CAD on LU Prints online store.

If you opt for the Heartbird napkins, I suggest you restrain the flower palette to different shades of greens. In any case, I think a single color flower arrangement looks more sophisticated. A bold or multicolor pattern will just deter too much from the natural feeling we try to achieve.

For the tablecloth, I suggest a 100% linen cloth. Ideally, select a natural cream or beige color table cloth. I am biased to the white or celadon dishes designed by Sophie Conran for this theme. Her dinnerware will look great on a table surrounded by birch tree centerpieces. Do not be afraid to serve it outside, the porcelain tableware of Sophie Conran for Portmeirion is made for casual entertaining with kids.

Put the finishing touch with Faux Bois Tableware

Faux Bois Tableware at Room Service Home

While I was looking for faux bois products, I found this shot on inredningsbloggen, a Swedish blog. Even though, I cannot read anything on this blog I like to visit this wonderful blog for inspirations.

Going back to this photo shot, it has all the elements to bring my nature theme to the next level. Since a picture is worth a thousand words, this simplifies my writing job.

If you wish to push more the birch trees and birds theme, take a look at this wonderful Faux-Bois tableware collection. The baby blue color creates a soothing color combination with our greens.

Available at Room Service Home, Faux-bois Tableware is hand-glazed ceramic stoneware. Its charm comes from its limb and tree lookalike design. Just as twigs and branches are never alike, Faux-Bois hand-glazed ceramics are unique. A mix of nest and bird sketches is draw at the center of the plates.

Have fun on Canada Day. This post concludes my series on Canada Day Party. I hope that I inspired you to celebrate Canada Day in style.

About small stump

small stump is the art and craft collaboration of Lia and Jill, two creative friends who share a love for the handmade. They are based in Northern California.

SOURCING:
+ genuine birch bark tube display kit at small stump online store
+ Heartbird Print on Grass Napkins (set of 4) at LU Prints online store
+ Sophie’s Conran Dinnerware Collection at Muffet and Louisa
+ Faux Bois Tableware at Room Service Home (RSH)
+ Via Dukning ute i det fria published on inredningsbloggen

COOKBOOKS FOOD + DRINK

Kim gives two thumbs up to David Rocco’s Dolce Vitae Music CD

David Rocco\'s Dolce Vitae Soundtrack cover

I received the Deluxe CD that I won on FoodTV.ca blog. Wow! I like the CD a lot. December 2nd, 2008 Update: Now that his cookbook is available, go for the standard CD.

Fans of the TV series will be pleased. The vibes of David Rocco’s Dolce Vitae are all there. The style of music is broad. The selection is excellent. At some point, you feel like dancing. This is a happy album. The music is perfect for alfresco dinner parties and summer cocktails.

The album photo is splendid. If you show the Deluxe CD to someone that has never seen the show, they will grasp the spirit right away. The only thing I am missing is the ringtones, which are coming soon.

Check out the interview with David on FoodTV.ca, Cooking Fusilli with David Rocco. You can win the Olive Wood Dolce Vitae Lemon Reamer. I told you about it in my five kitchen gadgets post last week. Act now; the draw will be July 4, 2007.

SOURCING:
+ David Rocco’s Dolce Vita Soundtrack – $17.99 CAD for the standard CD
+ Listen: David Rocco’s Dolce Vitae Music CD on his Web site
+ Recipe: Cooking Fusilli with David Rocco on FoodTV.ca – see how you can enter the contest

FOOD + DRINK TABLEWARE

Artsy placemats and aprons on sale at LU Prints

Leafy Placemats : Leafy Apron : Geese Apron by LU Prints

While you are shopping at LU Prints, take advantage of the reduced prices through July 15th, or while supplies last!

I suggest you take a look at the set of 4 Leafy Placemats on sale at $16, the Leafy Apron on sale at $25 and my favorite, the Geese Apron. The Leafy is slighty shorter than the Geese Apron.

LU Prints creates beautifully crafted waist aprons and kitchen linens. All their textiles are hand screen-printed patterns.

The characteristics of a good entertaining apron

I suggest you wear a waist apron instead of a full size apron when you are throwing a party.

First of all, waist aprons look more fashionable because we can see your top outfit. Secondly, your apron will not appear on lots of photos. So, you will get the impression that you spend more time hanging out with for your guests.

The simple design of LU Prints aprons do not take away anything from your outfit. That is something to consider when you wear an apron at a party.

Why every hostess needs several entertaining aprons?

It is best to not wear your entertaining aprons everyday. Your apron should look fresh and new for your guests. The best hostess keeps a few entertaining aprons on her closet. Aprons are not an expansive item, so you can afford to get several.

You want to get different styles and patterns so you can complement what you wear. After a while, you recycle your entertaining aprons for everyday usage.

Made it easy for you: stock up a few hostess gifts

If you want to be invited to lots of parties, keep on reserve a few hostess gifts for unexpected invitations. You can wrap them in advance. This way you look like the perfect guests and you did not have to run.

LU Prints kitchen collection includes artsy napkins and tea towels with patterns as lovely as the shown placemats and aprons.

Any host will be delighted if you show up at their party with LU Prints artsy placemats, napkins or an attractive apron. But this does not exclude the idea of keeping one for you.

About LU Prints

LU is the first name initial of its two founders. Graphic designer Lisa Komuro and screen printer Ulla Clark come from Pemberton, British Columbia.

Founded in 2006, LU Prints strives to create fun and fresh linens and clothing for modern everyday living. Their 2007 Spring/Summer Collection is inspired by nature.

Link: Web site of LU Prints
Buy online: Kitchen collection at LU Prints online shop

FAMILY KIDS party

The pirates take over an outdoor kid birthday party

A pirate theme kid birthday party :: inspiration board

When I did earlier my series on Habitat, the small fishing boat scene cut my eyes. It taught it would be great for pirate theme party for kid.

A few days after, my nephew had his birthday. My sister in law M. made the party around a pirate theme. Then, I started working on my board.

Temporary tattoos are easy to find at toy store. M. got her pirate tattoo kits at Toys R Us. Kids and adults like the idea. Most people put more than one. The tattoo was our entrance ticket if we want to go swimming. All guys grab the skull heads; so make sure to stock well.

Every party starts with the invitations. If you can, try to send the invitations by mail. I found these coaster shape invites at Aliroo, a UK stationary company. Their designs are very cool. The invites are printed on genuine 94mm diameter coaster stock. They are sold in set of 8 invitations with matching envelops. Aliroo carries a vast selection of grown up invitations; check out their entire selection for inspiration.

My board was designed for 2 age groups of small kids. Most of time, kids of different ages will attend the same birthday party so it is best to be prepared for more than one age group.

For the younger kids, I suggest a soft air-filled pirate boat. I select the Pirate Ship Play Center by Little Tikes (only $39.99 CAD at Toys R Us); it is well-priced and it looks fun for kids. The idea is to create a scenario behind your party theme. I decide that the youngest will be the pirates and the rest of the kids will play the shipwrecked people.

For the other kids, creating a realistic wrecked lifeboat required a few easy steps. Start with a little fishing boat. Make sure to include a buoy with a cord. If you can find one or if you do not mind the extra expense, a broken oar seems more realistic. Maybe, you can try a marine boat shop or a marina to see if they do not have a broken one to spare.

Any handyman should be able to secure a pole to the lifeboat. Hang on the pole a bed sheet sail or a white canvas on which you draw a watercolor or better yet, a wash down pattern. Draw something else than a pirate inspired sketch on the lifeboat sail. You can simply write down Help! on the sheet.

For a theatrical effect, try to rest the wrecked lifeboat near the sandbox or create a beach spot with sand. Putting a large rock or a large damp stump creates a dramatic set up.

My lifeboat inspiration was taken from 2007 summer mini-catalogue of the UK store Habitat. They use BEAM kid bed linen, £39 a single set. Instead of a triangular flag, Habitat stylist team hangs FASHION Monster by Christian Lacroix, the fashionista will be impressed.

You can put on the top any stuffed teddy bear or plush monkey that you like. The patched textile of the FASHION Monster reaffirms the idea of a wrecked ship. It is something to keep in mind.

Update: Fabric stuffed animals are the latest trend according to Nesting blog: Inside Cookie. Why not put a stuffed on top of your sail? And your kid will thank for this gift. I like Reddy sold for $29.95 USD or Ollie the dotted owl at $39.95. Both are available at Orange Button. The orange and aqua Zeke the Alien Giraffe from the neverenoughhours shop at etsy is just adorable. You may want to review all her collection before making your choice but be warned that it can complicate the selection process.

The parrot is a must for a pirate theme. This place is a Zoo sells realistic stuff animals, a lot are jungle animals. I select the Realistic Blue Parrot, an affordable option at $24 USD.

FISHING from Habitat and even HELLE, a rubber kid swinging loop, are fun outdoor kid toys. The 12-inch high treasure chest pinata is from Plum Party. I also spot a set of 6 child’s felt pirate hat for $24 USD at Plum Party.

The pirate Bandana and the pirate Telescope come from the Amazon.com Web site. Some pirates can wear a red bandana or a plain black bandana. Give to the wrecked team tropical patterned bandanas but make sure to mix and match the look and style to be more authentic.

Finally, I want to point out this adorable homemade pirate ship cake that I found on flickr. One thing that I particularly like about this cake is the realistic sail. The writing and the burned spot are well executed. I salute the appropriate choice of the character font.

This homemade birthday cake was made by the parents for the third anniversary of a boy named Kade. It shows that with a little bit of imagination and skills, you can make a more interesting kid birthday cake than the typical models from the big chain stores. Kyleroth shares more details about the pirate cake on flickr.

I think you got enough stuff to start thinking about your pirate theme for a kid birthday party.

Sourcing:
Buy online: Coaster-style pirate invitation cards and matching envelops at Aliroo
Buy online: Pirate Ship Play Center by Little Tikes at Toys R Us
Buy online: BEAM Kid bed linen, FASHION Monster and FISHING toy at Habitat
Buy online: Treasure chest pinata at Plum Party
Buy online: Child’s felt pirate hat at Plum Party
Buy online: Pirate Bandana and Pirate Telescope at Amazon.com
Buy online: Realistic Blue Parrot at This Place is a Zoo
More cake photos: Pirate ship cake in kyleroth’s photostream on flickr
Read more: Trend Watch: Fabric Stuffed Animals on Nesting blog: Inside Cookie

ENTERTAINING HOLIDAY entertaining

Canada Day Party menus: The best of Canadian cuisine

Tea Smoked Salmon with Sweet Potato Pancake by Mark McEwanThis is a follow-up to my story about Canada Day Bash profile but this time I discuss my menu options.

One way to build your Canada Day menu starts by planning your meal around one particular region in Canada.

It does not have to be the region where you live. Your party will stand out from your neighbors and people will praise your originality. Make your décor and play music from artists that we identified with that region.

The editorial team of Food TV Canada Web site created their regional menus: the Canadian East Coast menu, the Canadian West Coast menu and the Quebec menu.

Reading them all inspired me to create my own Canada Day menus. All the recipes I proposed in this story are published on the Web site of Food TV Canada.

A fancy Canada Day Dinner Menu

You can invite your guests for the middle of the afternoon. Serve them some cocktail snacks during the afternoon. Then you follow with a sit down dinner under the stars or a gazebo tent with a chandelier.

The starter dish would be the Award-Winning Blueberry Drizzle Salad by Julie Zwillich. Blueberries are my favorite fruits so I am partial to them.

Phyllo Pastry with Blueberry Filling dessert by Corbin Tomaszeski

I went with style and the trend factor for the main course. Shown here in the top photo, the Tea Smoked Salmon with Sweet Potato Pancake by Mark McEwan intrigued me. You have to admit that it looks amazing. Cooking with tea is a hot trend right now.

Just last month, I received a recipe book called Du thé plein la toque filled with tea based recipes. A wonderful book, but sadly for my readers the book is only available in French. If the book is ever translated, you will be the first to know.

The Phyllo Pastry with Blueberry Filling dessert by Corbin Tomaszeski will wrap up the meal in style. There is maple syrup for more Canadian flavor. This dessert is quick and easy to make.

Serve your dessert with one or two  fine blooming teas to continue to impress your guests. In Montreal, I suggest you go to My Cup of Tea. I used this brand all the time. I am satisfied with the taste and the blooming effect of their teas. Just ignore the astrological aspect of MCOT’s packaging when you make your selection.

BBQd Stuffed Lake Trout by Rob Rainford

A family-style Canada Day Outdoor Menu

I started with a recipe from Michael Smith. I selected My Favourite Clam Chowder because it is simple to make and it tastes so good. Better yet, you can make this soup a day or two in advance.

For the side dishes, the first recipe is my own creation. I broil on the oven trim asparagus spears for a total of 8 minutes. Nicely align the asparagus side by side on a middle of a cookie pan and add a few drizzles of good olive oil and a pinch of Hibiscus-flavored sea salt. At half time (after 4 minutes), turn over the asparagus. I lay down a handful of pine nuts on the side and put it back on the oven for the remaining 4 minutes.

I use FLOR DE SAL DE’S TRENC Hibiscus, a flavored sea salt made by Gusto Mundial. This salt comes from Spain. Check out your local fine food stores to buy flavored sea salts.

The second vegetable dish is boiled carrots cooked with orange quarters and butter. This is a recipe published in Jamie’s Dinner book – I know he is not Canadian. Both recipes are sublime; they are my signature vegetable side dishes right now.

Apple Crisp Ice Cream with Warm Apple Fritters by Anna Olsen

But the BBQd Stuffed Lake Trout by Rob Rainford is definitely a Canadian Summer recipe. Do not forget the topping, like you see on the photo, because it adds a festive vibe to your dish.

The dessert will be Apple Crisp Ice Cream with Warm Apple Fritters by Anna Olsen. Nothing says family more than apple and ice cream. I like the way this dessert is served. It shows you that simple plating techniques can look fabulous.

I hope you like my menu suggestions. For more menu ideas for a Canada Day event, have a look at the regional menus from the editorial team of Foodtv.ca.

Sourcing:
Recipe: Award-Winning Blueberry Drizzle Salad by Julie Zwillich
Recipe: Tea Smoked Salmon with Sweet Potato Pancake by Mark McEwan
Recipe: Phyllo Pastry with Blueberry Filling by Corbin Tomaszeski
Recipe: My Favourite Clam Chowder by Michael Smith
Recipe: BBQd Stuffed Lake Trout by Rob Rainford
Recipe: Apple Crisp Ice Cream with Warm Apple Fritters by Anna Olsen
More menu ideas: Canada Day regional menus from the editorial team of Foodtv.ca – check out the related links on the right
Flavored Sea Salts: Web site for FLOR DE SAL DE’S TRENC by Gusto Mundial
Blooming teas: Web site of My Cup of Tea
Photos credits: The shots were taken from foodtv.ca

FOOD + DRINK RECIPES + menus

Three flavored salt recipes on Steamy Kitchen

Three flavored salt recipes on Steamy KitchenI have been a fan of flavored salts for a while. After you tried a good flavored salt, you asked yourself how you manage all these years without it.

Flavored salts most commonly flavor a recipe and dish up a plate in no time. Use a flavored salt as a rub to enhance the flavor of a simple fish recipe. A little bit of black olive sea salt can add another layer of flavor to a recipe that has black olives as the dominant flavor. Other times, flavored salts provide an easy way to complement another flavor on my plate.

Making your own flavored salts

Ever since I saw Jamie Oliver making is own citrus flavored salt on TV, I realized how simple is it to make your own flavored salt.

I was thrilled to see on Tastespotting that Jaden from Steamy Kitchen just published three recipes of flavored salts: Szechuan Peppercorn Salt, Citrus Salt and Matcha Salt.

Steamy Kitchen is an excellent cooking blog with interesting recipes. Orange-Chili-Ricotta Frozen Yogurt was the recipe on her previous post. I like the sound of it.

Going back to the flavored salt recipes, you can use a food processor or a heavy mortar and pestle to mix together the ingredients. The Citrus salt is a must for its versatility. The fact that it turns out in a striking color adds to its appeal. Try to rub the citrus salt on fish or poultry. The taste is excellent. Season your summer salads with a hint of citrus salt and a few drizzles of olive oil.

Where to buy Matcha tea?

If you are wandering where to get Matcha tea, I suggest you visit a fine tea shop in your area. Most fine Asian / Japanese food stores carry Matcha tea. Otherwise, Jaden from Steamy Kitchen uses the brand sold via Amazon.com.

Another option is to visit the online store of Muzi (their tea bar was formerly known as Infuze). Muzi has a distribution center in Torrance, California as well as Vancouver, BC, making shipping within the USA and Canada quick and easy. As a treat, Muzi published four recipes on their site. You can make your own matcha ice cream, matcha chocolate, matcha lattes and matcha smoothies.

People often give homemade jams as hostess gifts or party favors. But giving your own flavored salt is more original.

Container options for your party favors

Spice jars and containers for party favors

I prefer a jar with an attached lid instead of the basic Mason jars. Look at the Fido collection by Bormioli Rocco. These glass jars are affordable, reliable and widely available. That is what I use at home to store dry food. The top left photo is another great system by Bormioli Rocco.

Organize.com sells individually the Endurance Magnetic Stainless Steel Spice. I like the clean lines of these spice jars. They look sharp. Just add a printed custom label to personalize the look. If your budget allows it, use a commercial printer for better results.

If you do not wish a complete do-it-yourself option, browse the wedding favor stores to buy a kit. The one shown here (the food is sold separately) is from beaucoup wedding favors. They cost $12.00 for a pack of 6 spice jars. The beautiful custom labels can be ordered from beaucoup. It is $10.80 USD per sheet of 18 labels. Beaucoup.com proposes 6 designs in 10 colors. You cannot be wrong; their 6 designs are suitable for all occasions.

Sourcing:
Recipes: Making Your Own Flavored Salts published on Steamy Kitchen blog
Buy online: Ujinotsuyu Matcha Hagoromo (All Natural Green Tea Powder) with Product Brochure and Pier Mall Home Recipes via Amazon.com
Buy online: Matcha tea on Muzi – switch to US store from top menu
Buy online: Endurance Magnetic Stainless Steel Spice at Organize.com
Buy online: Glass spice jar at beaucoup wedding favors

Via: Tastespotting.com

FOOD + DRINK RECIPES + menus

Cool way to serve white wine on a hot summer day with O Riedel and Jean-Luc Rabanel

O Riedel wine tumbler displayed at L\'Atelier de Jean-Luc Rabanel

While looking at the fabulous culinary creations of French chef Jean-Luc Rabanel, I came across a stylish way to serve white or rose wine. I have never been a fan of the O Riedel wine glasses until I saw this picture.

O Riedel wine tumbler collection was all the rages a few years ago. But O Riedel defied the first rule of wine tasting. You must never touch the wine. That is why you got a stem.

I know, Italians defied it all the time by drinking wines in everyday glasses when they have a casual family gathering. At least, the O Riedel looks stylish. So why do I never use them before? I am something a purist.

But the way L’Atelier de Jean-Luc Rabanel used the O Riedel wine glass charms my design sense. I see the practicality of this method when the temperature rises. Set your table with each O Riedel wine tumbler in a bowl filled with crushed ice at your next outdoor parties. Your guests will be impressed by this fresh table setting.

You do not need to buy the O Riedel wine glasses either. You can rent them with the vase underneath; most good rental party companies carry them. Just know that the Riedel glasses cost more to rent than an average wine glass.

One good reason to buy them is that the lead-free O Riedel wine tumblers are dishwasher safe. Since they will fit in any dishwasher, it will take you less time to clean up once the party is over. For a casual gathering, they still look hip and they are fun.

The price range for the non lead machine-blown glass series is half the price of Riedel Vinum glasses. Wine Enthusiast and Cooking.com both sell the set of 2 Riedel “O” Chardonnay Wine Tumblers for $16 USD. Other models are sold for $20 USD.

About French chef Jean-Luc Rabanel

He owns a restaurant and a cooking school in Arles in France. Dedicated to organic ingredients, a local farmer cultivates especially for him 100 varieties of each vegetable to obtain an infinite palette of textures and flavors. His latest restaurant L’Atelier de Jean-Luc Rabanel made the Condé Nast Travelever Hot List Table 2007.

More info: O Riedel glass series on Riedel Web site
Restaurant: L’Atelier de Jean-Luc Rabanel
Link : Condé Nast Travelever Hot List Table 2007
Photo credit: shot was taken for April-May issue of Cote Sud magazine

HOME + GARDEN OUTDOOR space

Get inspired by ocean tones for designing your outdoor spaces

Ocean color palette :: muti + cote sud picturesAlthough I like the bold patterns, soothing environments relieve us from our daily stress. When we are taking about calm and relation, the ocean rings a bell for most of us.

This inspiration board started by looking at number 105 issue of Cote Sud magazine. A beautiful array of soft blues and greens takes place over a 10-page article. This color combination caught the eyes of others as well. I saw a few shots I was planning to use published on the style files blog before I finished assembling mine. Beautiful things never stay a secret.

So, I reoriented my board to highlight new photos. I imagined a backyard setting for casual trendy events. For this backyard, I imagine three distinct areas: the pool area, the lounge area and the casual dining space. Each space has its own personality but the three spaces share a common theme.

Design wise, I went for circles and lines and I stayed within my color palette. Lines and circles are of varying widths, weights and patterns; these slight changes create interests. You do not feel like you are always on the same room. Examine the photos; you will spot lots of commonalities.

The lounge area is absolutely fabulous. The fabric wall really makes a statement. When you are entertain, think of covering a wall or a partition with a large fabric or wallpaper. This is an easy way to update the look of your space and to create a strong focus point. Naturally, you can select a fabric that can stay outdoors and enjoy it all summer long.

Around the pool, stock up lots of cushions for people to lie down. During cocktail and night, the cushions provide extra sitting in the lounge.

When you are throwing a party, do not discard utilitarian materials. When you paint in blue, this old-style beach fence carries a lot of charms. It is easy to temporarily plant this fence on the grass. Your guests will be impressed if you create vignette like that.

Cote Sud magazine : number 105 - april/may issue

The top photos are from the Cabana line and the Breeze range. They are part of the 2007 summer collection of Muti & Co. Located in Woodbridge, Ontario (Canada), Muti & Co. imports and distributes decorative items and household items.

The rectangular cushions and mattress style cushions on the left side – beach photo – are a bargain at 15 euros. They are from Monoprix, a French retailer. By going to a fabric store, you can make your own. Since Monoprix is a mainstream store, you should be able to find similar fabrics in your local shops.

The fabric wall shows off Nothing Hill pattern by Designers Guild. Made of 100% cotton, Nothing Hill fabric costs 42 euros a meter in 137 cm width. Contact the French interior designer Julia Prisca for the aqua linen FRANKI sofa. You can find something similar if you shop around.

The round cushions are in the Solstice collection by Elitis, a high-end fabric maker. This circular motif of African feathered necklaces is drawn in flock of taffetas so you have to put back the cushions inside once your party is over. Solstice fabric costs 86 euros a meter in 140 cm width. A few retailers carry Elitis line in the USA, see the Elitis’ distributors and agent locations for details.

Sourcing:
Decorative items for dining space: Cabana line and Breeze range by Muti & Co.
Collection of rectangular cushions: Web site of Monoprix
Fabric wall: Nothing Hill model by Designers Guild – I did not see it on their Web site
Round cushions: Solstice textile collection by Elitis
Photo credits: the bottom shots were taken for April-May issue of Cote Sud magazine – see Les Couleurs de l’eau

See other shots around that theme: summer has begun! published on the style files

HOME + GARDEN HOME decor

Day Beds and Furniture for cats all set for design conscious owners

Day Beds and Furniture for cats :: crown,scarlet, harry, divanIf you have pets at home, you know that like living with children pets need toys and beds to be happy. But let’s face it; what you get from the pet shops is not stylish to say the least.

If you spend a lot of time and money designing your interior, this can ruin your entire design scheme. Who wants to entertain guests with ugly cat stuff lying around?

A stylish modern brand

I dug up by reading Design Milk yesterday something wonderful for cat lovers. Do you love cats and great design? is the first thing you read when you visit cat-interiors.de, a venture by one talented married couple.

This German designer team creates a line of products which are well thought out with cats in mind and which can be integrated into any modern living environment.

Launched in 2004, Cat Interiors deals with high end products. You got great looking design, top quality materials and an attention to details like using cushion filling with special non-allergenic flaked latex mixture optimized for cats.

Cat Interiors offers a third choice beside felt and leather, it is natural shade wicker. The rattan wickerwork is colored with environmentally-friendly, water-based lacquer.

Cat Bed Collection

The cat day beds by Cat Interiors are fabulous. Five basic designs form the DAY BED collection. SCARLET and ARENA are the latest addition to BOWL, CROWN (fitted in each case with a cozy cushion), DIVAN (designed as a large cushion). HARRY is the same as SCARLET but in larger size.

The RONDO Stand with felt cover (see: green fleece and red cushion) is $1005 USD (739 euros). The felt cover of the RONDO Stand is 100% pure wool. The standing base made from brushed stainless steel is designed so that there is no danger of RONDO tipping over, even when used by larger, heavy cats. Add $136 (100 euros) for a black or brown leather cover.

You can buy extra covers to change the look or to replace a scratched one. RONDO EDITION is a printed Ornament Cover. Very chic looking.

Inside the stand, your cat can lay comfortably on a special molded upholstery foam cushion. The cushion cover made of brushed felt wood can be washed in the machine.

RONDO Stand with felt exterior by Cat Interior RONDO Stand with leather exterior by Cat Interior

You can install several RONDO on the walls to build an amusement park for your cats. My husband always wanted to do that. RONDO walls cost $678 USD (499 euros) with a felt exterior. I need to find a wall first.

If your budget does not allow this expense right now, for less than $11 USD, you can get a nice felt cat toy for your cat.

SOURCING:
+ DAY BED cat collection and RONDO collection at cat-interiors.de
+ Via Starlet Bed on Design Milk

FOOD + DRINK TABLEWARE

Two wonderful melamine collections at Give Simple : French Bull and Eclectic

French Bull melamine line at Give Simple

The manager of Give Simple Catherine emailed me about a great melamine collection that they got at Give Simple online store. Better yet, several products are on sale right now. So I went to check it out. What I came across was the wonderful French Bull melamine collection.

Bold and festive patterns are ideal for par ties around the pool and for family events with kids. The design industry creates wonderful affordable things these days. Wonderful patterns are found in tableware, textiles and stationery.

When fashion designer Jackie Shapiro founded French Bull in 2002 things were different. She started a little revolution back then by making home ware products for design conscious consumers at accessible prices. Jackie Shapiro describes her company in these terms:

French Bull reinterprets melamine, a nostalgic material popular in the 1960’s, with a fresh look for a modern lifestyle, bringing back this familiar and functional, accessibly priced material in graphic and modern patterns otherwise not available.

If you like to serve the food in buffet style, get the Storage Container Set. And the next time you get invited to a pot luck party, do not forget to bring your food in the French Bull containers for a stylish entrance. They have a plastic lid, they are unbreakable and they are dishwasher safe. More importantly, they look more stylish than your Tupperware.

To give you an idea of the price of French Bull melamine line, GiveSimple.com sells the Pink Paisley Square Platter for $12 USD, the Salad Server Set is on sale at $12 USD (reg. price $15) and the Storage Container Set is on sale at $26 USD (reg. price $30).

Eclectic Melamine Tableware collection by Give Simple

GiveSimple.com also carries the Eclectic Melamine Tableware collection. What is special about this line of melamine dinnerware is that the collection was designed and manufactured by student artists at a college of art and design. So you support the arts while you enjoy a fresh perspective on the art of dining!

The Eclectic plate collection measures 8 inches, 10 inches and 12 inches. Prices range from $6 to $12 per plate. Note that each pattern comes in a single size. The concept behind this line is to mix and match patterns to create your own tailored plate setting.

With the Eclectic collection, you can take different directions for your party themes. You can take the natural trail, almost hunting. Add birch tree candles, faux furs on the seating arrangements, serve beers in pewter glasses to complete the look.

You can go chic by taking the crown road. Invent yourself a family crest and use it as a place setting. Dine under a gazebo tent where you hang a chandelier. Change the wall fabrics to suit your party theme. Use real glassware to bring more sophistication to your event.

Buy online: French Bull Melamine Collection at GiveSimple.com
Buy online: Eclectic Melamine Tableware collection at GiveSimple.com
Learn more on: Web site of French Bull