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I Switched to Digital Magazines

living etc digital magazine

living etc digital magazine

Earlier this summer, I got an iPad. My husband uses his iPad mostly to interact with friends on social networks and to read books with the Kindle application. I use my iPad to read magazines and do research for my blog. Why we have two is because an iPad is designed to be a personal device where you put your own content and subscribe to the content that interests you. we tried to share one and it was not practical. Plus, we would often want to use it at the same time.

Reading Magazines on the iPad

I read many international magazines. By subscribing to the digital version with Zinio, I save trees, I could save money (the price varies a lot from one publication to the next) but more important for an editor, I get fresher news. I just read the October 2010 issue of Living etc. It’s a huge advantage since the October print version of Living etc will hit the stores in Montreal in about month and a half. Finally, I save time since I do not need to wait in line to grab my magazines every month.

zinio library of my digital magazines

I can also read the magazine on my computer; Zinio supports Mac and PC. The nicer experience is definitely on the iPad. Once you downloaded an issue, you do not need to be connected to the Web to read the magazines. Therefore, it means that I can read the magazines anytime and anywhere.

So far, I went all digital for reading Dwell, Garden Design, Living etc, Martha Stewart Living, Saveur and Style at Home. I plan to add new ones as they become available.

+ For Americans: Zinio
+ For Canadians: Zinio
+ Apple iPad MB292LL/A Tablet (16GB, Wifi) $589.99 USD on [affiliate link]


Interior Design Show 2010

ids10 :: interior design show in toronto

ids10 :: interior design show in toronto

Just a quick note to talk about the next Interior Design Show in Toronto. They have planned good things for us including 11 featured exhibits, Pecha Kucha (during trade day), design talks, free consultations plus the exhibitors. I am looking forward to this edition; their tenth.

On Saturday, January 23rd, 2010, Ingrid Abramovitch will talks about decorating and renovating an older home. They will be a panel discussion on defining luxury. On sunday, the Editor of Canadian House & Home Suzanne Dimma will talk about the decor trends for 2010. Then, a panel will explore timeless design. The design talks will close with style commentator Mark Challen who will review the most remarkable film sets from the past decade.

Visit the IDS Web site to know everything that is going on. Follow them on Twitter as you could win weekend tickets to the show; this is a daily giveaway that runs until the show.


Imperfection is Hot Again

jesper larsson

jesper larsson

Jesper Larsson said on Moco Loco that 2009 was the year people started to appreciate imperfection again. I think that it started somewhere in 2007-2008 but that the momentum happened in 2009. I based that on the modern rustic style that we see since 2007 or the rebirth of vintage accessories like you get at Three Potato Four. The important thing is that we agree on the principle.

From my viewpoint, the Appreciation for Imperfection movement was triggered by many elements: the 3R of environment (reduce, reuse and recycle), the rise of handmade products that emerged due to a new breed of talented artists (and etsy), and Web 2.0. People reinvented the production standards when they published on You Tube, their blogs and other user generated content sites.

+ via Moco Loco


Lifestyle Changes for my Eco-Friendly Tuesday


Today’s Eco-Friendly column is made of the story of actual friends. First, my friend Renee of En direct des iles is making a big change in her life. She lives part time in Montreal and part-time at Isla Mujeres in Mexico. It is easy for her to find people to take care of her cats while she is in Montreal but it is more complicated and costly to do so when she is not in Montreal. She decided that it was time for her to stop maintaining an apartment in Montreal.

What this means is that she sold, gave to friends, donated to charities and thrown away most of everything she owned in Montreal your stuff. Starting a nomad life is a big step that ultimately reduces her footprint on Earth compared to how she was living before.

As a result, I inherited her set of beautiful lemonade bottles. Recycling glass bottles instead of buying new jars is a little step. You can use it for liquids and dry foods, like she did. I am glad that she passed them along to me. I will take good care of them. As you can see, I already found a place in the spotlight for 3 of them.

After the Metrosexual Male comes the Eco-sexual

Carmen of Urban Green Girl wrote a guest post for I am that Girl about a new trend in dating. With green living becoming more and more mainstream, it is normal that you seek these values in your potential mate.

You can look for people who defined themselves as tree hugger, vegetarian or people who share your interest in animal rights, green economy, alternative energy, recycling, organic farming or endangered species. No need for enrolling in a dating services, participating in social media can help you find the right person through conversations in Twitter, joining groups in Facebook or attending Meetup.

Like Carmen said, you can always educate and convert to the green living cause your potential or current boyfriend.


Color Ball Accessories Cheer Up Your Home | High and Low

 multi color ball and sunburst wall clocks :: eames hang it all :: saturnus magazine rack

If you cannot splurge in the mid-century iconic clock by George Nelson or the Eames Hang-It-All coat rack, UK retailers Heal’s sells a Saturnus magazine rack and a coat rack. The Saturnus coat rack looks so so but maybe it is the picture. They are not as sophisticated as the iconic pieces but at that price we will not complain.

Closer to home, I spot the Sunburst Multi-Color Wall Clock. I think it is cute. I may buy it for our office. There is also the Orbit wall clock, a copycat of the Nelson clock. I am not a fan of reproduction but I thought you should know.

Color Blocking Home Décor Trend

color blocking furniture :: stack drawers :: hue armchair :: swag leg desk

I spotted the Saturnus magazine rack while reading about the color-blocking trend on the February 2009 edition of Living etc. The current look stays away of the primary shades. You do not want to reproduce the Mondrian color blocks.

Use it to bring life to your space. You can simply paint the walls or furniture, customize your curtains or use color blocking on accent pieces. The Stack drawer tower unit is build by stacking multi-colored floating drawers. It is a clever design.

+ Multi Colored Ball Clock by George Nelson on sale at $268 USD at DRW
+ Eames Hang-It-All $179 USD
+ Sunburst Multi-Color Wall Clock $39.95 USD
+ Saturnus Magazine Rack £39.15
+ Stack drawers designed by Shay Alkalay for Established & Sons 8 drawers, green multi-color £1763
+ image of Donna Wilson’s Hue Armchair at SCP
+ Swag Leg Desk by George Nelson for Herman Miller $1899 USD


2009 Tableware Trends

It is that time of the year where we are looking at what the future will look like. I want to make my own predictions. I am starting with tableware.

2009 trends in tableware

With the current state of the world economy, I think that comfort food will continue to be hot. Exotic patterns and a fresh take on traditional patterns will ornate our table.

The casual chic trend is here to stay. We would not indulge in expensive formal dinnerware set that we used once in the blue moon. Look at wedding registries, the formal dinnerware is less and less on the list. Instead, most couples opt for registries at Crate & Barrel or Pottery Barn.

Gold accents serving ware like shown here with the stoneware Cargo Raisin dinnerware by Calvin Klein is a nice example of how to dress up an everyday set.

I illustrated some of the 2009 tableware trends. I hope you enjoy them.

+ Debbie Travis predicted that Blueprint, a pattern inspired by French and Delft blue and white style will be hot for Spring and summer 2009. The shown plates are Crate & Barrel. Via styleNorth

+ Cargo Raisin by Calvin Klein, $874.50 CAD for 12 settings (48 pieces) at William Ashley

+ I wish the porcelain Maya Dessert Plates and Tea Cups were available in North America. It is a beautiful Egyptian pattern in green and gold that are dishwasher and microwave safe. £29.34 for 6 plates, £46.92 for 6 cups and saucers at Zara Home

+ Large Double-Handled Soup Bowls, $29 USD for set of 4 at Williams-Sonoma


Back To Purity, Back To Simplicity Philosophy Of Dieter Rams

Dieter Rams :: 606 Universal Shelving system by Vitsoe :: 4 record player by Braun

I am finally uncluttering my house. My husband and I are proud that we donate and recycle twice the stuff than we throw away. I am completing my Spring cleaning that was put on hold due to my ACL surgery.

My husband put on boxes most of our DVDs to free space on our living room bookshelves. Before buying new decorative items, I see if I cannot reorganize the stuff I still like. I will then add a few accessories. But the major changes will wait until the makeover of the floor.

Which brings me to the importance of buying stuff for the long run. After all, it is the most ecological solution. Everyday, I used the Braun coffee grounder that I bought when I started university. I displayed on my bookcase a beautiful vase that an ex-boyfriend bought me one Christmas; I shown him the vase enthusiastically while we were shopping.

10 Commandments of Good Design

Dieter Rams is one of the most influential industrial designers of the late 20th century. He wrote his 10 commandments of good design:

  1. Good design is innovative.
  2. Good design makes a product useful.
  3. Good design is aesthetic.
  4. Good design helps us to understand a product.
  5. Good design is unobtrusive.
  6. Good design is honest.
  7. Good design is durable.
  8. Good design is consequent to the last detail.
  9. Good design is concerned with the environment.
  10. Good design is as little design as possible.

He preached for a Back to purity, back to simplicity style.

Tomorrow is my husband’s birthday and we are having a party at home. The unclutter of the house and the party planning keep me quite busy. It explains why I am less active on my blog this week. I scheduled good articles for next week; I think they are worth the wait.

+ Dieter Rams at Design Museum
+ Ten Commandments of Good Design
+ 606 Universal Shelving System By Vitsoe At Moss
+ Images: Dieter Rams, 606 Universal Shelving system by Vitso, 4 record player by Braun – rights reserved


Decorating with Gray

decorating with gray walls :: bedding with silver metallic print

Gray is hot this autumn both in fashion and home décor. People are not used to put this color on walls. But gray produce amazing neutral walls. Depending on the hues you selected, the room can look warm or cold.

These pictures taken from Living etc. to infuse some industrial influence into your house have a lot of charms and even a sense of cosiness. After the smoky eyes, it is time for the smoky walls.

This season, think about muted grays and blues, silver leaf finishes, a liquid-metal-edged quilt or a floral trellis and leaf pattern in muted metallic print for your bedding or a greenish gray wall.

My Design Challenge

I am thinking of using grays for our new office. Because I love bold color, I may apply on a small wall an orange wallpaper with a metallic large pattern that I saw at a wallpaper shop while walking in the street.

I have to sell the idea to my husband now. I wish to create an open concept conference area with a dining room vibe. He is not sold on that concept. The other problem is that the wallpaper pattern may be too feminine for his office taste.

+ Khari Trellis Quilt at Toast – £225 for king bed, £195 for double
+ Inessa Quilt at Toast – £295 for king bed, £275 for double
+ Industrial Influence by Living etc


The Art of Downsizing and Renovating

love it or list it :: pure design :: the style dept :: home to stay

Lately, I wish to update my home décor. I still like my furniture for the most part. By changing the accessories, you can totally redo a room. By for now, my first challenge will be our new office. We will be moving since our space is now too big for our needs.

I still not have finished the design of my home office. Besides being too busy, what is stopping me is that I must remove some furniture. But I cannot decide which ones. I like them all.

We watch on TV shows and read on magazines the liberating effect of removing the clutter in our space. When you buy stuff, the key is to opt for things you really like. For furniture, this also means buying the best quality you can afford.

In terms of housing, downsizing makes sense in our quest for a simple life. The more space you have, the more waste of space you will experience. Challenging spaces force us to be more creative in finding solutions. This is why the most cleverly designed interiors are often small spaces.

With the current economic situations, many people will have no choice but to downsize. See downsizing as an opportunity to examine what is really important to you. Does living in the suburbs where you need two cars is the best lifestyle model? Can you renovate your house to get what is missing instead of moving to a bigger house?


Ideas on renovating or downsizing: A list of 4 tv shows that help you design a room that fits your lifestyle

+ Love It or List It on W network
+ Pure Design on HGTV Canada
+ The Style Dept on HGTV Canada
+ Home to Stay on HGTV Canada