I have been waiting for this moment for a long time. I always said that once we bought a house, I would get a new, large dining table. I waited so long because I wanted one that would fit the space. My new dining room is 10 feet by almost 16 feet. Therefore, I’m waiting for a dining table to comfortably sit 10 to 12 persons, when it is fully extended. Continue Reading
This picture illustrates well what many of us do in our living room on weekends or late at night. We browse the Web, answer emails, blog, write reports or read a book on a couch thanks to our tablets and laptops. The couch was not designed for these tasks until now. Continue Reading
This post is sponsored by Ethan Allen. The opinions are mine.
If you follow me, you know by now that I adore double duty furniture. In my book, green living starts with buying things that will last, which is why I try to buy versatile pieces of furniture.
A dresser is typically associated with the bedroom. But if you select one with the right style, your new dresser or chest can go in any room. I will show you how three dressers feel at home in an entryway, a living room and a dining room. Continue Reading
For its space saving versatility, I have a thing for the pouf and coffee table combination. It adds comfort and function to a reading nook, a living room and a bedroom.
Even since I replaced my coffee table with a large storage ottoman with a tray, I want more. I might have found its companion with the Drum Pouf by Softline Design Team from Denmark.
photo credits: Drum Pouf by Softline Design Team
I think that a Drum pouf would make an ideal side table in top of providing additional seating, when needed. As a bonus when living with a young child, two cats or for after a party, the Drum’s cover is removable for cleaning. This pouf with a removable tray definitely meets the requirements of my busy lifestyle. It also has the clean yet comfortable look that I want for my interior. Continue Reading
Sharing similarities to the paint-dipped mini-trend, I noticed more wood furniture that exhibit strong color accents. I love it! It feels fun yet sophisticated. This makes these pieces easy to live with which means that you can justify the investment. I highlight some of my favorite pieces. I would welcome any of these in my interior.
For Your Dining Room
photo credits: Flat Table by Jo Nagasaka for Schemata Architecture Office
My ultimate favorite is the tables by Japanese designer Jo Nagasaka of Schemata Architecture Office. Which girl could resist that fluorescent pink epoxy finish? I can’t! Jo Nagasaka started to apply the epoxy coats to smooth and regulate the table tops of antique tables. I find that the effect is stunning. Continue Reading
From furniture, cutlery, wicker baskets to Christmas decorations, we have seen plenty of DIY paint-dipped projects in 2012. I was also inspired by this mini trend. You may remember that I dipped the spoons and folks for my son’s jungle themed first birthday party. West-Elm even carried a dipped side table — sadly, this cute small round table is no longer available. Continue Reading
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
Qubis Haus by Amy Whitworth £400 (approx. $650 USD as we speak) at Southbank Centre.
One thing about young kid toys is that they tend to overtake your living room. Parents often wonder where to hide them when their kids doesn’t play with them. Amy Whitworth addresses this issue with her Qubis Haus. She brought dual purpose furniture to a new height by designing a coffee table that transforms into a dollhouse with the simple addition of sliding panels made from wood and perspex. As a bonus, you or your kids can update the space layout by changing where the sliding panels go. Amy Whitworth won Boost 2012, a mentoring and development program organized by Southbank Centre’s design shop, with that design.
Qubis Bedroom Set £35 by Amy Whitworth Design.
Since no dollhouse would be complete without furniture, Amy Whitworth created three furniture sets: a bedroom set, a living room set and a dining room set. Made of magnetic oak wood, you assemble the furniture using the wooden blocks in each set. Fabric accessories further decorate the rooms. For example, the dining room set contains 1 table, 4 chairs, 1 side board, 1 lamp, 3 sets of table legs, 1 plant pot, spare blocks for creating, 1 table cloth, 1 rug, and 1 pouf. I like the fact that it promotes creativity.
Qubis Haus seems pricey if you look at it from a dollhouse viewpoint. You can take comfort in the idea that it is more than a dollhouse and that it has a second life after your kids stopped playing with a dollhouse. Personally, I prefer the coffee table with one or two acrylic sheets. If it was in my living room, I would use the shelves to display way more than miniature mid-century icon furniture.
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.
My first choice was a modern take on a French classic. I absolutely felt in love with the fabric on the armless Josephine chair.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
What is your favorite way to serve food in fall or winter?