Browsing Tag

dining room


I Love This: A Modern Wine Credenza for the Dining Room

modern wine cellar furniture

It’s no secret that I enjoy a glass of wine at dinner. But, as a city dweller, I can’t justify the real estate to keep wine for years and decades before I drink it. I am more a wine fridge and wine rack person. I prefer to keep my wine supply next to my dining room.

modern wine credenza

Although Vancouver-based Vin de Garde specializes in high-end custom wine cellars, the reason why they caught my eye are for their mid-century inspired wine credenza. I am a fan of a sideboard in the dining room because it is so helpful for serving food and drinks. Vin de Garde can integrate their wine wall series into the drawers and design wine glass storage into their sideboards. Continue Reading


Tree Pod in Thailand Delivers the Ultimate Dining Experience

Tree Pod Dining at a six senses hotel in thailand

I can’t imagine a more romantic place to eat than to be on a tree pod perched 16 feet over the rainforest ground. You can  have a taste of this unique dining experience if you stay at the luxury Soneva Kiri resort by Six Senses in Thailand.

Raising the Tree Pod :: Soneva Kiri by Six Senses

The rigid woven rattan frame can sit up to 4 guests for dining. You board the tree pod dining on the ground before they elevated it. Waiters will serve you food and drinks by flying over with a zip line. And you get an exquisite view of the ocean.

Tree Pod Dining flying waiter

+ Tree Pod Dining at Soneva Kiri by Six Senses in Thailand – photos by Cat Vinton
+ via Materialicious


Cool Wallpapered Rooms

boutique silhouette wallpaper by harlequin

desire and eco highway patterns :: graham and brown wallpapers

I must confess that I never put wallpapers on my home but I would like to commit to one pattern one day. To help me to take the plunge, I like to admire gorgeous wallpapered rooms. If you wish to use wallpapers, here are a few rules to obey. First, less is more. Therefore, restrain it to one wall.  Best results are obtained when you install it on a continuous surface.

boutique silhouette wallpaper by harlequin

The choices are stunning from the grand damask design to the big modern floral or organic patterns. I have a thing right now for the trees of the Silhouette pattern by Harlequin.

gardenia pattern from juniper fabric and wallpaper collection by harlequin

For Kids Rooms

what a hoot fabrics and wallpapers by harlequin

The patterns for kids are as impressive. You can find plenty of playful wallpapers than look sophisticated and unique. On the left, the British houses illustrated paper is called Brighton. Used for the drapes and cushions, the Go Go Retro fabric is mixed with Bonbon fabrics to create a vintage scheme for a boy’s room.

Which pattern is your favorite?

+ Desire in Teal Wallpaper by Graham & Brown $70 USD /roll
+ Eco Highway in White Wallpaper by Graham & Brown $60 /roll
+ Silhouette Wallpaper from Boutique Collection by Harlequin
+ Gardenia Pattern from the Juniper Collection by Harlequin
+ What a Hoot Wallpaper Collection by Harlequin


One Open Plan, Two Ways to Use the Space

open dining layout

open dining layout

We often repeat some layout elements from one home to the next. We do it by preference and sometimes by habit. It is OK to repeat them as long as they still fit your lifestyle. Even with almost the same floor plan, no two persons will use the space exactly the same way. My open kitchen/dining plan shared similarities with the house I grew up as a teenager. Still we used the space very differently.

My mother would serve all the family meals at our spacious counter. My mother, who was working and still managed to cook our three daily meals, designed that house to reduce the amount of steps she needed to serve us. We would eat in the dining room every Sunday, on holidays and when my parents entertained.

Kitchen Stools

counter culture

Like most people these days, my husband and I always eat at the dining table. Even when I eat breakfast alone, I will sit at the dining table. For us, the counter area with stools is a conversation area. I like it when my husband and my guests sit at the counter while I cook dinner.

So, what’s about you? Do you eat every day in the kitchen or in the dining room? What is the relationship between your kitchen and your dining room?

+ Open Dining at Crate & Barrel
+ Counter Culture at Crate & Barrel


Cool Cozy Luxury Interior with PH5 Pendant Lamps

cool cozy luxury open concept dining and living room :: photo from rum december 2009

This picture captured the best of an inviting home for me. It is perfect for entertaining and living. You get plenty of comfortable sitting spread around the table. I imagine the kitchen to be in front of the purple sofa (but I am not clues). Luckily for me, I should it to my husband and he loves it. I bookmarked it for our next home.

Louis Poulsen Fixtures

The PH5 and PH50 designed by Poul Henningsen for Louis Poulsen are not only superb pendant lamps, they produced a beautiful glare free illumination. The cones and the legs were carefully studied to produce a warm tone of light. The visible reflectors direct light both vertically and horizontally.

Remark that the fact there is 3 pendants over the dining table assures that they are no shadow on the table surface. I never tried it, but I feel that taking pictures in a dining room with PH5 fixtures will create better results than if you have a chandelier over your dining table.

Another element to consider when you are buying light fixtures for your dining room is the tone of light produced by the lamp. In any room where you entertain, favoring a warm tone of light ensures that people look better on photos. Plus, a warm tone creates a more inviting and intimate ambiance.

PH snowball designed by Poul Henningsen at muzede changa restaurant in Istanbul

Paul Henningsen also designed PH Snowball pendant for Louis Poulsen, which is another stunning light that produces gare free and even illumination. You can see it in the beautiful modern interior of Müzede Changa, a restaurant in Istanbul, Turkey.

I wish to thank the excellent kitchen designer Susan Serra for sharing on Facebook the cool cozy luxury open space dining and lounging room.

+ H5 Pendant Light $698 USD
+ PH Snowball Pendant $2200 USD
+ PH5 and PH50 designed by Poul Henningsen, manufactured by Louis Poulsen
+ photo: RUM Magazine december 2009
+ photos: Müzede Changa restaurant


In Love with Orla Kiely’s furniture at Heals

Even if the mid 20th Century furniture design trend is showing fatigue I still still fond of the look. I guess it is an unconditional love. I love that style since I was seven. And my passion is nourished by the fact that the style does not fit my current house. In fact, I never live with the style.

orla kiely dining room furniture a theal's

Launched in the 1990’s, the world of Orly Kiely is one where color, pattern, graphics, texture and rhythm continually reinvent themselves. London-based Orla Kiely continues to be popular amongst the women blogosphere.

Over the years, she has teamed with many brands to produce products with her unique designs. Orla Kiely for Heal’s is an exclusive and distinctive range of furniture. The line reflects both the designer’s work and Heal’s core values. The dining room furniture is crafted out of solid American black walnut.

Everything on that picture, including the doormat, are exclusive to the UK retailer Heal’s. Coincidence: This dining room furniture line is a favorite of Living etc, my all-time favorite magazine.

+ Orla Kiely Rowan Dining table – £1295
+ Orla Kiely Rowan Dining Chair Multi Stem – £250
+ Orla Kiely Rowan Cupboard – £1395
+ Orla Kiely Flower Abacus Doormat Brown – £30


Open Plan Living Design

living etc elegant through room

This is one of the most popular home design trend, especially for family with young kids. And it is normal since it allows the cook(s) to be with everyone. I gathered on Living etc. successful open plan living rooms.

Living etc. is a great source of inspirations. And they acknowledged it by providing their online users to browse through their vast photo galleries.

A split level by a few steps adds elegance and interest to the open living design (top picture). This is the best view. And when you sit down in the living room for the digestive, your guests can sit down and not see the kitchen mess. I like it because they would not insist on doing the dishes.

open kitchen dining room living

There are many more ways to diminish the cluttered view of the kitchen when you have guests over. Here, homeowners used fringe walls and sliding doors.

Do not forget the classic large opening between two rooms that is so typical in old Victorian style houses. By removing the historic doors, you create a open sense of intimacy.

If you prefer a more casual look, check out the Family kitchen-diner and Laid-back living on Living etc.

PHOTO CREDITS – images by Living etc:
+ Elegant through-room
+ Fringe divider
+ Contemporary kitchen-diner
+ Sliding glass panels
+ Dramatic setting

HOME + GARDEN MODERN architecture

It’s Hip to Be Square on Canadian House and Home

urban organic modern style :: house of Amanda Schuler and David Podsiaglo

If you guess that the couple who owns the urban organic modern home store Stylegarage in Toronto lives in a lofty space, you are right. Except that they accomplished the look in a suburban duplex.

Urban Modern Style

Their interior design borrows to the loft-chic style. You can feel the warm sensibility of the organic moderns style. The house has a lot of warmth due to an extensive use of wood.

Amanda Schuler and David Podsiaglo live in this house with their 18-month-old son. Let’s review their cool entertaining spaces that are featured on the June 2008 issue of Canadian House and Home magazine.

Dining Room

You may say another chalkboard. For me, it triggers childhood memories. So I still dream of a chalkboard wall in my own home.

The pendant light, cool wall-mounted wine rack, the table and chairs are all from their own Gus* at Stylegarage collection. They designed and manufactured the furniture under the brand Gus Design Group in Toronto.

Discover the design philosophy behind their kitchen and dining room by watching a video interview on Canadian House and Home. You get a better feel of the size and layout of the space in the video.

Low Maintenance, No Fuss Backyard

The backyard is a great example of a low maintenance urban backyard. A perfect solution if you prefer entertaining to gardening or taking care of the pool. Even if you prefer a different style of furniture, you can get inspired by the layout and divisions of the space. Make adjustments to fit your lifestyle and priorities.

I really like to get the long wood tray to serve my baguette bread. It looks so modernly chic.

+ Video: Loft-Style Living [Canadian House and Home]
+ Photo credits: by David Bagosy for Canadian House and Home June 2008 issue – pages 136-141 – rights reserved


Fit your kitchen to your entertaining style

bulthaup kitchen and dining room layout :: seating and table communications series by bulthaup

How do you do it? Simple, you start with the layout. Before you think about finishes and esthetic framework, it is best to have a clear answer to How you like to cook and entertain within your kitchen?

Even if the shape of the room is a key factor, the layout of your kitchen must first be tailored to suit your lifestyle. After a few months, the love affair with your kitchen will flourish only if you enjoy cooking meals in it.

Meeting with your kitchen designer

By far, casual entertaining is the most popular form of dining party. But easy entertaining means different things to people. So make sure you portray well the way you like to entertain when you meet your kitchen designer.

When you are renovating or designing a house, you need to be prepared to be flexible. Your space may be able to accommodate only your second best kitchen layout. If you express well your priorities, an excellent kitchen designer will be able to create a kitchen that meets your wish list.

Casual entertaining kitchen design

Do you prefer to prepare the meals with 1 or 2 cooks yet you want to have your friends around? Do you want to have a separate kitchen and dining room?

If you like to throw parties like Make your own pizza night!, your kitchen needs to accommodate lots of people all at once. These are the types of questions that you must discuss before starting the project.

system b3 kitchen by bulthaupDo not worry about the mess unless you entertain small groups, 4 to 6 guests. After that, the mess may get out of control during the night. Remember that casual entertaining is about having a good time with friends, so no one will make a fuss of the mess if they are having fun. Plus, when you host a dinner party for a large group , chances are that one person in a group will offer to do the dishes while your serving the meal.

A quick look at bulthaup

With bulthaup, beauty radiates from functionality. This German manufacturer displays on its Web site attractive spaces for casual dining. These are the types of kitchen I dream of. But unless I move, this layout is impossible in my house. So I got the second best option and I am happily living after with my kitchen layout.

bulthaup is also about dining room. Casual dining can look trendy. Whether you prefer c3, korpus or duktus, the product lines in bulthaup’s communication series will enrich your space. The mix and old look is typical of casual entertaining.

+ system b3 kitchen by bulthaup
+ communication seating and table collection by bulthaup


Charming picnic, delicious chocolate and Porto tasting at Romaneira

picnic at Romaneira Portugal

The brainchild of Parisian events entrepreneur Thierry Teyssier, Romaneira is out of ordinary. This is the third House of dreams establishment for Teyssier.

Every detail at Romaneira have been planned to make your stay at this hotel a unique experience. You can see that the owner used to organize events for living. Look at this story as the basis for two mood boards about casual entertaining.

A romantic and sophisticated picnic setting

Do you know a lot of hotels that set a picnic space like this one? Wow! You see that a lot of thoughts have been put to design the picnic space. All the comforts and charms you can dream of are concentrated in a simple, almost humble arrangement. Take notice because you can easily reproduce this look at the cottage.

The containers, the dishes, the linen fabrics display simple shapes. They are the proof that you do not need extravagant pieces to create a refined look. You need to be truthful to a feeling and to pursuit a harmonious look.

Maison des Comptoirs

chocolaterie at Romaneira on Douro river

Located on the Douro River, Romaneira takes advantage of the explorer heritage of Portugal. I went to Portugal for my Honeymoon and I recommend you visit it one day.

I am showing you the Maison des Comptoirs with its multiethnic design. The room decor is warm due to plenty of rich woods and the spicy colors of the walls.

The food presentation at the Chocolaterie (chocolate shop) is without pretension. You can taste a vast variety of cold and warm chocolate drinks and small homemade cakes.

These delightful recipes are by Philippe Conticini. My next post will be about the masterpiece creations of this notorious French Chef. You will not want to miss it.

The bottom picture is where you can taste Porto wines. The décor reminded me of an old school communal dining room. What a charming sight. Europeans excel at creating amazing environments with everyday pieces from the past. In all fairness, I must point out that their architecture plays a role in achieving the overall decor. But we can try to replicate the look here.

Casual entertaining

When you think about it, this post is a follow-up to last week-end 3 blogs and a mood board story. Why not try a party theme done around a warm, casual and familiar atmosphere next time you have friends over? Develop a menu with family secret recipes, keep it simple and enjoy the company of your guests.

Learn more: Web site of Romaneira
Photo credits: Notes d’hotel Douro des rêves published on Côté Sud – number 107, September 2007 issue


Stylish Plexiglas chandeliers by Incidence for the budget-conscious

Plexiglas and glass chandeliers by Incidence

Chandeliers are popular for dining rooms and the bedrooms. Crystal chandeliers are gorgeous but not everyone can afford it.

That is why I am thrilled to show you these stylish chandeliers made of Plexiglas and glass.

European flair with Incidence

The first collection is manufactured by Incidence located in France. As with many European design products, you can choose from an array of colors and chandelier models.

The design is sophisticated. I particularly enjoy the uses of 2 or 3 tones; it adds a modern twist to a classical model.

The green model with a single light would look great in a powder room. You could place 3 chandeliers in a row to dress up a long entrance hall. At only 38 ? a piece, it is not even an indulgence.

Unfortunately, I did not find a retailer in North America that carries the Incidence chandelier collection. So if you know one, feel free to pass along us this information. Follow-up story: Since then, I found a small boutique in Montreal with the chandeliers by Incidence on stock.

Lucite chandeliers by Titus at Home Depot

Canadian manufacturer Titus supplies Home Depot

I went online to find a source for affordable Lucite chandeliers. I found a few at the Canadian stores of Home Depot. For once, Canadians can buy a superb collection that is not available in the United States.

They are produced by a company from Toronto called Titus Manufacturing. They lack the French flair of the chandeliers by Incidence but they are still beautiful.

They are also available in several colors. The pink, red or green even make them suitable for a girl bedroom.

The fabric shades are a nice touch. Why not change the fabric of the shades with a beautiful patterned fabric that complement your decor? If you are unsure how to do it yourself, look online for a professional in your area. If you go to a good textile store, they make be able to recommend someone.

The budget-conscious who are looking for a cool and stylish chandelier should check these out.

Learn more: Web site of Incidence – start at 38 ?
Buy online: Concerto collection by Titus Manufacturing at – start at $179 CAD
Buy online: 5 lights Bella Chandelier by Titus Manufacturing at – price: $139 CAD

+ Incidence chandeliers in Montreal