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USA Bookshelf by Andrei Saltykov

america bookshelf by andrei saltykov

The bookshelf in the shape of America that Russian-born architect Andrei Saltykov designed for his home in south London, UK, certainly qualifies as conversation piece. There is nothing tacky about this design. Because of the many states, his USA bookshelf is both beautiful and practical to store lots of books.

His American bookshelf makes an impression high on a wall of his open dining/living room. As a bonus, you could hold geography trivia game starting with the 600 tiny Christmas tree lights that represent the nation’s major cities. I love it!

+ photo credits: Will Pryce for Grand Designs magazine, January 2013

HOME + GARDEN HOME decor

At the Opening Night of Ethan Allen’s Design Centre in Montreal

ming display sideboard with kim vallee at ethan allen

ethan allen cours mont royal opening night
from left to right:  Maripier Morin (TV columinist), Valérie Taillefer and Jean Airoldi (TV hosts and couple), me (Kim Vallée) Vanessa Sicotte (TV host and blogger) Mélissa Nepton (fashion designer), Julie du Page (comedian) and Mr. Farooq Kathwari (Chairman, President and CEO of Ethan Allen).

Last Thursday, I had the honor to be one of the 5 design personalities who were invited to pick their 5 top choices for the Design Centre Opening Night of the first French-speaking Ethan Allen store. If you are not familiar with the brand, you will like to know that you can tailor their furniture pieces to fit your taste and that Ethan Allen provides free interior designer services to their clients.

Now, let’s talk about my 5 picks. I rely on my own signature lifestyle: entertaining in style. For that, I selected furniture that are making a statement and that will stand the test of time.

josephine chair

My first choice was a modern take on a French classic. I absolutely felt in love with the fabric on the armless Josephine chair.

webber china cabinet in sunny yellow

Then, the bright yellow of the Webber china cabinet caught my eye. It is unusual to find a tall china cabinet that stays the same depth from the top to the floor. It is the type of china cabinet that I would definitely enjoy if it was in my own home.

Antiqued Glass Candlesticks

Candlesticks are a must have for anyone who entertains a lot.  Made of faux mercury glass, which is blown double-walled with silver placed between the layers, the Antiqued Glass Candlesticks bring the right amount of glitter and drama. Everyone who attended the opening night party returned with one of my picks. The small and the medium sized candlesticks were in our party bag.

My last two choices have a gentleman mood to reflect the trend towards more gender-neutral and masculine home decor. And they both have a distressed finish.

marapi table

We all need a versatile small side table. The sculptural shape of the Marapi table made it a winner for a reading nook, or to be used as a night table. You can bring it to your living room when you host a cocktail party. The table is heavy to move so you don’t have to worry that it will fall down if someone bumps into it while a few drink glasses sat on it. If you like the Marapi table, you can have it delivered fast since it is from the Ethan Allen Express collection.

ming display sideboard with kim vallee at ethan allen

My fifth item is the awesomely rustic Ming display sideboard. The compound miter corners are a nice touch. I like how it feels strong yet polished, especially in this vignette. It is currently showcased at the store next to a stunning L-shaped grey leather sofa. I imagine this design as the perfect living room for an urban couple or a design-savvy bachelor.

ethan allen cours mont-royal

Located at Cours Mont-Royal with an outside entry door at the corner of Metcalfe and Maisonneuve West, the 9,000 square feet store is both elegant and inspiring. If you are in Montreal, I invite you to discover what is inside the new Ethan Allen’s store.

photo credits: a mix of mine and from photographer Marc Dussault

HOME + GARDEN HOME decor

Verso Shelf by One Nordic Furniture

verso ladder style shelf

verso shelf
photo: Verso Shelf 34 and 56 by One Nordic Furniture

With a depth of only 16 cm (6 inches), Verso fits into narrow spaces. What I like about ladder style shelving unit is their versatility. They can serve so many purposes that you never get tired of them. You could use it for hanging scarfs, umbrellas and a couple of hangers in an entrance without a closet. Or to provide extra throws in a guest room. During the holiday season, Verso can become your ladder Christmas card holder.

verso ladder style shelf

With two sizes and additional magazine stands, it’s easy to create your own version of the Verso shelf. The available widths are 34 and 56 cm. Verso was created by Finnish furniture designer Mikko Halonen for One Nordic Furniture. For now, they only ship within Europe.

HOME + GARDEN HOME decor

Lemon Sorbet is the 2013 Benjamin Moore Color of the Year

artisan trend benjamin moore

artisan trend benjamin moore

It is the time of the year where we look at color trends. Each paint maker made their own predictions but we can always see some common elements within their color palettes. This year, “greyed down” colours are in vogue. Except for the earth toned Artisan trend, the other palettes proposed by Benjamin Moore bring a subtle punch of colours to the neutral grey interiors.

The Artisan color palette gives you tips on how to update your grey walls. It is my favorite one!  My main floor is painted in two shades of grey and a rich, muted golden yellow.

Color of the Year 2013 and The Coastal Trend

coastal benjamin moore

At Benjamin Moore, the color of 2013 is Lemon Sorbet (2019-60). I like its softness. They described it as

the perfect transitional colour between the mid-tones and saturated colours seen in today’s home furnishings and the softer, lighter pastels which are emerging for 2013.

lemon sorbet wall relaxing home office design
photo credits: Benjamin Moore
You can see its soothing effect in this home office designed around a coastal theme. You could use the same palette to design a calm nursery.

Urbanite Color Trend

urbanite trend benjamin moore

Instead of the traditional black-and-white color scheme, mix a rich golden yellow with luscious navy. Marblehead gold is gorgeous. Or for a more subtle decor, update your kitchen white cabinets by pairing them with sophisticated neutral colours.

2013 urbanite color trend by benjamin moore
photo credits: Benjamin Moore

New Traditional Color Trend

A dark blue wall creates a nice backdrop for a bedroom. The key here is to keep the rest light. You can never go wrong with a chevron motif. The bedding used for this traditional bedroom is from West Elm but I wasn’t able to find it online.

new traditional color trend by benjamin moore
photo credits: Benjamin Moore

HOME + GARDEN HOME decor

New Uses for Old Things: Wooden Boxes …and Tips for a Rustic Meal

storage made of wooden boxes

storage made of wooden boxes
Photo: Wooden Box Service Stations at Clyde Common via Remodelista

Each fall, I crave for cosy space and comfort food. There is a design lesson to take home from the service stations at Clyde Common, a Portland restaurant located at the Ace Hotel. You could replicate their design to organize your pantry, your linen closet, or to create storage in your craft room or your kids’ playroom.

Laid-Back Food Presentation

serving steaks on a wood cutting boards
all food photos by David Reamer for Clyde Common

After reading their story on Remodelista, I was curious to see how Clyde Common interprets the European style tavern. I wanted to see how it differs from what is happening here in Montreal. This led me to food presentation that you can steal for your next fall or winter dinner party.

family style at the table

Even though I am a stylish girl, I appreciate the laid-back feeling of food being served on cocottes, cast-iron pans and wooden cutting boards. When I host an everyday dinner party at home, I leave the fancy food presentation to the professional chefs and concentrate my energy on cooking delicious food. Through simple tricks, I add flair to my meal.

charcuterie tray
A crowd-pleaser: the charcuterie tray

Finally, a cute way to serve crudités with their vinaigrette. Even if people don’t eat it, they pleasantly decorate your table.

veggies in a mason jar

What is your favorite way to serve food in fall or winter?

HOME + GARDEN HOME decor

Three Sofas for Small Spaces

elise sofa at eq3

Here are three stylish sofas for Canadian city dwellers. These sofas look great and they will not overwhelmed your space.

Option 1: Elise Sofa

elise sofa at eq3
EQ3 just added Elise to its sofa collection. If you order this vintage style apartment sofa online, you will get a choice of 3 colours (taupe, charcoal and linen) and two leg types. Elise Sofa $1,199 CAD at EQ3

On a design note, I like the color accents brought by these simple solid cushions.

Option 2: Vaughn Apartment Sofa

vaughn apartment sofa at crate and barrel
My second option will also please fans of mid-century design that care for the environment. The Vaughn Apartment Sofa features a low extended back, slim track arms and an eco-friendly construction. $1,499 USD at Crate & Barrel. Check at your local store for the price in Canadian dollars.

Option 3: Cedric Loveseat

cedric loveseat at urban barn
Upholstered in a neutral soft grey fabric, my third suggestion features the tailored, masculine vibes that are in vogue this fall. Cedric Loveseat $849 CAD at Urban Barn. Your Union Jack pillows will fit well with this style.

HOME + GARDEN HOME decor

Symbol Audio’s Retro Modern, All-in-one Record Console

modern retro console symbol audio

modern retro console symbol audio
photo: Modern Record Console  

If the man in your life loves music, here is something that will please your design style and give him all the bells and whistles that he is craving for. New-York based Symbol Audio handcrafts modern audio HIFI consoles and vinyl LP storage cabinets in the tradition of fine furniture. If you like its 1950s look, start to save for his Christmas gift because I read on Core 77 that the Modern Record Console will run you about $15,000.

Symbol Audio produces three products, all designed by Blake Tovin and Matt Richmond. The Modern Record Console is an all-in-one American walnut unit that mixes the old technology with the new. You can play vinyl records or switch the selector from turntable to WiFi and stream from any digital source through the built-in wireless router and control music selections from your iPhone, iPod, iPad or computer.

lp storage cabinet by symbol audio

For LP collectors, the LP storage cabinet is available in 2 sizes storing either 320 or 640 LPs. The top can hold your turnable and audio components. Price ranges from $2,750 to $5,250.

HOME + GARDEN HOME decor

STACT Modular Wine Wall

stact column

stact modular wall wine storage

Forget the big flat panel TV!  STACT may become the prized possession of your man. I must admit that I prefer it to his huge TV.

You know that I have a thing for modern, efficient, space-saving item. When I saw it this morning in my inbox, I was intrigued.  STACT is a modular wine wall system created by 2012 ICFF award-winning designer Eric Pfeiffer for the Vancouver-based wine storage company of the same name.

You can mount a single panel, create your own custom pattern and plan, or grow your system as your collection evolves over time. It comes in six finishes. I like how it can fill an otherwise empty kitchen wall.

stact column

This is a project funded through Kickstarter. To make it a reality, STACT needs to raise $20,000.  The STACT modular wine wall system suggested retail price is $129.99 each but if you can get up to 40% off the suggested price if you pre-order yours on Kickstarter.

HOME + GARDEN HOME decor

Dream Closet for Men

custom closet for men

When I talk about my ultimate closet space, I usually share features that would be great for me. But what about the man in my life! He deserves a stunning space where he can neatly organize his clothes and fashion accessories.

custom closet for men
photo: Jean Longpré for Maison et Demeure, april 2012

It is hard to beat the functional side of this closet designed for a male couple living in the iconic Habitat 67 here in Montreal.

white modern kitchen at habitat 67
photo: Jean Longpré for Maison et Demeure, april 2012

I invite you to check the rest of their interior at Maison et Demeure (the French-speaking edition of House and Home) since their home is modernly stunning. Interior designer Maria Rosa Di Ioia of Idea Design rethought their blank canvas space. I like what she did with the space.

HOME + GARDEN HOME decor

Turn your Instagram Pictures into Prints with DeepSquare Prints

deepsquare prints of your instagram photos on a desk

deepsquare prints of your instagram photos on a desk
Photo: DeepSquare Prints $25 for 4 assorted prints of your Instagram photos

Today, I am happy to report about a cool product for all Instagram fans. Today is a great day for the two founders of Static Pixels, Massimo Farina and Lawrence Tenuta, since they launched their first product: DeepSquare Prints. They saw a market with Instagram prints. Like they say on their Web site, it’s hip to be square.

deepsquare instagram prints hung on a wall

What you get is a 5-inch square print of any of your Instagram pictures printed on recycled paper-based board. Each print has its own stand and wall mount. I imagine DeepSquare Prints to be used to make a love story wall at a wedding or to share memories at a milestone birthday. They are also an easy way to decorate your office with pictures that you speak to you.

deepsquare prints stand

You can order 4 five inch prints on rigid paper board for $25. Shipping is $5 across North America or $10 for international delivery. They are Forest Stewardship Council certified.

Their InstaOrder program enables you to order from your iPhone 4 prints of the photo you have just taken. This eases the process of giving actual prints to your friends and family. Visit Static Pixels for more details.

HOME + GARDEN HOME decor

My Family-Friendly Decorating Tips in Canadian House & Home and Maison & Demeure

house and home photo gallery for family-friendly spaces

house and home photo gallery for family-friendly spaces

I was delighted when the talented team at Canadian House & Home and Maison & Demeure asked me if I would like to create a photo gallery about my favorite spaces. This top-notch home decorating magazine is always on my must-read list.

When they asked me what would be my angle, I immediately thought about decorating with kids in mind. Ever since I became a mom, I experienced the challenges of maintaining a stylish home with a young child. I featured inspiring family-friendly spaces and shared kid-friendly decorating tips that are fun and cool.

maison et demeure gallerie photo pour jeune familles

In fact, I have two photo galleries: one gallery for  Canadian House & Home and another one for Maison & Demeure, the French edition of Canadian House & Home. Each site has their own editorial staff. They handpicked the photos that spoke more to their audience. I love the look of both galleries.

Do not miss them and have a look right now.

SOURCING:
+ my photo gallery in Canadian House & Home
+ my photo gallery in Maison & Demeure