Victoria Drainville

About Victoria Drainville

As Executive Editor and Art Director of Dabble Magazine, Victoria gets to explore her passion for design by managing design features, working with international designers on home tours and designing sets and layouts.

French Castle

  • By 1980 this medieval castle, dating to the 12th century, was in complete disrepair. Homeowners Alan and Laurence Geddes fell in love with the estate and restored it to its full beauty.
  • Located 60 km from Toulouse Chateau de Mayragues is surrounded by vineyards with vines cultivated for almost 400 years.
  • Laurence was awarded the Grand prix des Vieilles Maisons Françaises in 1998 thanks to her efforts restoring the historical site.
  • All hallways lead to more charm and history.
  • Most of the furniture was handed down to Laurence by her family who originated from Normandy.
  • The chaise longue was given to her by a childhood friend from Paris and now sits in her own bedroom.
  • Today, Alan and Laurence manage an organic and bio-dynamic vineyard and share the castle as a bed and breakfast.

Dabble Digs Spring

Beaded Beauties
These handmade canisters add a lovely pop of colour to your makeup vanity. House jewellery or cotton balls in discreet style.

Beaded Canisters,
Set of 3 CA$46, Zenporium

Dabble Digs - Zenporium Beaded Round Bowl w lid

Pillow Talk
No two are alike. Add personality to a boring sofa with hand painted ombre pillows.

Bronze & Silver Ombre Pillows,
The Alloy Textile Collection
CA$195, Amanda Hamilton Design

Dabble Digs - AHID_PaintedPillow 004 copy


Scandinavian Seating
Artful furniture makes a statement in any space. Place this bench in your entry for insta-style.

Krone Hanssen Sparken Bench,
US$2,265, Huset

Dabble Digs - Krone Hanssen Sparken Bench 1 copy

Rad Rug
You don’t have to spend big money to add pattern and comfort under foot. Define a living room space with a large rug.

Kalat (beige & brown), 8×10
CA$2,245, Elte Market

Dabble Digs - Kalat Rug

Packaged Delivery
Fun! Receive a box full of vintage items at your doorstep once a month.

US$50/month, Frankie & Albert

Dabble Digs - FA_Packaging

Gorgeous Gypsum
How great would a couple of these hand cast gypsum pendants look over your kitchen island? Designed by Simon Katz and Peter Coolican, create big impact for a steal!

Pendant Light in Gypsum
CA$196, Coolican & Company

Dabble Digs - pendant on white

Ant Eater
LOL. Your guests will get a chuckle out of Hector Serrano’s creation of ants carrying away their appetizers.

Working Ant Party Picks,
Set of 20 CA$10, Kikkerland

Dabble Digs - Ant Food Picks_ACTION_7801

Havana Haven

  • Dago and Laura love to entertain. The living room is a welcoming space where they receive friends.
  • Get the Look: The Late Sofa designed by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec was purchased at Vitra in Madrid and the Shell Chair is by Hans J. Wegner. The two photographs are by Cuban photographer Felipe Dulzaides and the coffee table and floor lamp are from an antique store in Havana.
  • Dago and Laura's son loves to play in the family room which also doubles as a yoga and pilates studio for mom. The blue wheelbarrow is a Los Carpinteros piece and the orange Dar Chairs are by Charles and Ray Eames. The art above the sofa is by Cuban artist Alejandro Cam.
  • Adjacent to the living room is the office and library with a collection that includes art, architecture and design books as well as catalogues from Los Carpinteros' expositions .
  • When the couple renovated, the kitchen grew to accommodate open shelving. Dago made the kitchen table out of his grandmother's old sewing machine.
  • The dining room gets its punch from the orange covered vintage chairs which look out onto a lush back garden and fountain. The vintage dining room table and chairs are from a local antique shop. The oil painting is by Cuban artist Carlos Quintana .

Photography by Carlos Ernesto Escalona Marti (Kako)

Renowned Cuban artist Dago Rodríguez (aka one half of the Los Carpinteros duo) creates art for a variety of patrons all over the world. The Vedado, Havana home he shares with his wife, kite boarding instructor Laura Lis, is as artfully styled and cool as hell.

Where to Eat in Havana

Here are 5 great places to dine when you’re in Havana:

1- Paladar Doña Eutimia: A great little gem in Old Havana. Be sure to start off with a mojito frappe, it’s their specialty.

2- Rio Mar Restaurant: Amazing setting and superb seafood.  The restaurant is located in the  neighbourhood of Mirama and there are wonderful views of the river and the Malecón seawall.

Rio Mar

3- Ivan & Justo: Not only will you enjoy the freshness of the food but you’ll love the décor. Try the ceviche de pescado or the tacos de la casa, our two faves.

Ivan and Justo

4- 304 O’Reilly: This restaurant isn’t hard to find as the name is the address in Old Havana. Owner José Carlos learned how to cook from his grandmother and has a passion for food and art which is evident when you step inside. Have a Caesar, it’s made from scratch.

304 O'reilly

5- El Litoral: Enjoy a healthy buffet or their à la carte menu. Not hungry? Have a cappuccino outside and enjoy a view of the water.

El Litoral


The Artist Project

Artist Project

Don’t miss The Artist Project featuring over 250 top contemporary artists from Canada and abroad. Talk to the artists and purchase art this Friday to Sunday at Better Living Centre, Exhibition Place, Toronto.

February 19-22 
Friday 11am-8pm
Saturday 11am-8pm
Sunday 11am-6pm

Better Living Centre
Exhibition Place, Toronto

Industry Profile: The Metricks

Spending four months out of the year selecting furnishings for design superstore ELTE inspired fourth generation family owners Jamie and Andrew Metrick to open a store for youthful consumers. The 50,000 square foot store is the newest concept store by the Metrick family. The best part? Take your purchases home the same day.

The Metricks

DAB: What destinations inspired you to open Elte Market?
JM: Visiting India three times per year, specifically Jaipur, has definitely played a role. Colour, innovation and creativity in this part of the world are tremendous. Deconstructing silk saris and using those bold colours to reweave area carpets are just some of the things I get to do. There are many items we come across throughout our travels that reflect an edgier look, which doesn’t fit within the Elte aesthetic.

DAB: As rug buyer for Elte MKT, can you provide a couple of tips for someone looking to purchase a good quality carpet?
JM: First, knowing that the rug is handmade is enormously important—both in the look and quality of the fibre.Handmade rugs will not only last longer but, if damaged, can be repaired. They also have a look and soul to them that one cannot achieve using a machine. Second, you can never go wrong in terms of fiber by choosing wool or silk. There are other great options like bamboo and banana silk that get better and better in quality.

jamie metrick

DAB: How do you know when you’ve found a gem?
AM: I know I’ve found a gem when I can’t stop thinking about it. I’m working on or looking at hundreds of designs every day so for something to stick with me, it needs to be pretty special. Sometimes this lasts a week, sometimes a month and there are even the select few that have stuck with me for years now. For whatever the reason, like a catchy song, I just can’t shake them. The thing about gems however is they’re only special if you’re one of the few people that know about them. For this reason, I’m constantly pushing myself to create or collect the next best thing.

DAB: Is your personal style reflected through the items you buy for the store?
AM: I only buy things that I’d feel proud to have in my home. To that point, my style is definitely reflected in everything I’ve sourced or designed. Defining that style is a challenge for me only because I don’t tend to look at what I source as falling within specific design buckets such as “contemporary” or “traditional”. My style is an amalgamation of very subtle design preferences. Of course I have certain colour palettes or materials that I gravitate towards but it goes so much deeper than that.

elte mkt

DAB: Is there a country you haven’t stamped on your passport but would like to?
JM: One of the places I’ve always wanted to visit is Japan. The simplicity of its lifestyle and their design philosophy is truly inspiring. I’m also a tremendous food fan and always wanted to experience what the country has to offer.

DAB: What makes Elte Market a unique shopping experience?
JM: It’s a one stop shop for affordable, edgy pieces that are available right away with no wait time. I’m a rug guy and we have over 2,000 unique pieces available compared to other stores in Toronto with far fewer.

DAB: When you’re not travelling the world, what do you Dabble in?
AM: There’s not a lot of room to dabble. My weekends are spent in the store or working at a coffee shop. The books I read look a lot more like home magazines than anything else and our family dinners sound closer to office meetings than perhaps they should. That being said, I happen to love what I do so at the risk of sounding cliché, it’s not really work in that sense. I get to the gym almost every day and I love trying out new restaurants or bars. In a city like Toronto, I don’t think I’ll be running out of them any time soon. Apart from that, going out with friends and relaxing at home sounds pretty good to me.

Dabble Digs

Table Tray
Keep coffee table displays tidy and stylish. Corral books, candles and other decorative objects on this handsome tray.

Tray, US$260, ElteMKT

Dabble Digs - Elte MKT Tray

Protect your Desk
Jazz up that neutral office space. With more than 4,500 artistic options you’re bound to find a desk mat that makes Monday manageable.

Geometric Shapes Desk Mat by Danny Ivan, US$24 KESS Inhouse

Dabble Digs - KESS Inhouse

Switch it Up
Never say, “Now where did I put my keys?” again. Multiple configurations available.

The Keeper, US$16, Walhub

Dabble Digs - SKU Rocker keeper keys envelope

Squeaky Clean and Green
Cleaning products that are safe around kids and pets? Yes please. These are beautifully packaged in refillable and recyclable bottles.

Dish Soap & All Purpose Cleaner,
£11/each, Common Good

Dabble Digs - Laundry Detergent - Glass Bottle, Another Country

To your Health
Veggie juice, soup, pancakes, almond milk and baby food at your disposal with the help of this slim and attractive juicer.

JuicePresso, CA$530,

Dabble Digs - Juicepresso_fruits

Nuts for Butter
Fans of peanut and almond butters get ready to wow your taste buds with one of these gourmet spreads. Ingredients like coconut oil, chia seed, flax seed, and whey protein make snacking virtuous.

Nut Butters, US$11-14, Buff Bake

Dabble Digs - Buff Bake

Industry Profile: Cortney Novogratz

 With a busy design firm, a book and 7 kids, it’s go, go, go for design duo Bob and Cortney Novogratz. Dabble talks to Cortney about the strategic mix of high and low and new and vintage. 

Industry Profile with The Novogratz

DAB: How did you discover your passion for design, and how do you make it work living and working together, blending your creative personalities?
CN: I don’t know if passion found us or we found it. We bought a condemned building in New York City when we got engaged and renovated it. It took us about 3 buildings before people started saying, ‘you should do this for a living’. We found our job and career in that one home. We learned along the way. Eventually, friends and family members asked us to do their places and our careers took off.

DAB: Why is it important to create accessible design, regardless of budget?
CN: At the end of the day, everyone should have an amazing house. It really is a sanctuary, so to speak. For a lot of people, they don’t have the budget. Some of our best ideas come when we have a small budget. That’s when we have to be creative and think everything through because there is no room for mistakes. Buying items at flea markets gives you the freedom to be more unique. It doesn’t matter if you only paid $20 for an item at a garage sale. That’s what makes it cool.

DAB: You like to combine new and vintage. At what part in the process do you determine which items should be new and and which ones should be vintage?
CN: A sofa, for example, needs to be comfortable and it needs to last. You’re not going to buy a sofa every few years, so if you find a vintage one with good bones, you need to make sure it’s reupholstered properly. When we shop at chain stores, we buy a solid piece that’s gonna last and that’s adorable. Then we sprinkle in one-of-a-kind, funky, flea market pieces. I think the combination of modern, brand-new mixed with mom-and-pop, antiquey stores is ideal. That old piece brings soul to the house, and the new piece brings in the function that we need.

Cortney Dabbles

DAB: You aren’t afraid to use bold colours. What advice would you give to someone who wants to use colour but is afraid?
CN: Start off slowly if you’re having anxiety over color. Paint a focal wall a really bright color. Maybe the wall behind your bed or just a door. Live with it, see if you like it. Then, paint the ceiling, or finish off the other walls. You could also paint a chest of drawers in a really bright color. I think we can all live with more color and should take a risk.

DAB: What 3 tips would you give someone trying to achieve a vintage / modern look?

CN: Buy something old, a lamp, a chair, a vase. And then buy something contemporary, with clean lines. Maybe a sofa or coffee table. Add a mixture of textures with pillows and fabrics. If one fabric is a linen, add wool or an old quilt. If you bought an old lamp, buy a big, modern lamp shade. I think it’s just mixing all the things you love so it feels like a home, rather than something “decorated”. That’s important to me.

DAB: Is there a city or country where you haven’t designed, but would like to?
CN: Oh, definitely Asia. So we want to go to Japan. My daughter wants to go too. We have a place in South America so we go to Brazil quite a bit, which has really been inspiring. But I think the more travel we have… oh, India! My daughter would definitely say India.


5’Oclocktails at SpeakEasy 21

Head over to the new resto-bar SpeakEasy 21 the next time you finish work. Located in the Financial District of Toronto, this chic bistro has a large selection of custom crafted cocktails and spirits made with the freshest ingredients.

Dabble SpeakEasy 21

Photography Dabble Magazine


Not only are the drinks good, but Chef Andrew Wilson (formerly Colborne Lane and Origin North) has ensured that the food is nothing less than perfect. Try the beef tartare or Dabble’s pick, the BBQ pork tacos.

Renee Suen - Speakeasy 21 - IMG (12)

Beef Tartare, Photography by Renée Suen


Our favourite part? A welcoming interior by Solid Design & Build and a 3,500 square foot patio set to open late spring.

Dabble - SpeakEasy1

Interior design by Solid Design & Build, Photography by Renée Suen


For menus, hours and location visit SpeakEasy 21

It’s the 5th of May!

Cinco de Mayo

Industry Profile: Karim Rashid

Industry Profile - Karim Rashid3

You name it and he’s designed it. Over 3,000 designs in production, countless awards and numerous collections for some of the world’s best known companies.

Dabble talks design aspirations and dreams with Karim ― and asks for insights on the power of pink.

1- DAB: What is your greatest source of inspiration when it comes to designing
furniture, products and interiors?
KR: Every project is different and has its own set of inspirations. And since my work touches every aspect of daily life, it is hard to summarize in just a few words. But in general, I am inspired from the criteria of the project. Limitations and restrictions many times make me more creative. I always say that don’t see things as problems, I see them as opportunities. And I am inspired from our milieu, the time in which we live, our daily social lives, our human interaction and behaviors, the prevailing technologies, the new materials and my dreams of the utopian world I would like to live in.

2- DAB: What is on your design bucket list?
KR: On my list is to design private houses, design a museum, design low-income dwellings, design an electric car, have a Karim fashion clothing line, and I would like to work with companies such as adidas, LG, Bose, Boeing, Bang & Oulfsen, Ferrero Italy, H&M, T-Fal,Numark, Conair, Bionnare, Johnson & Johnson, Kartell, Herman Miller, Braun, IKEA, Vitra, Fiat, Hugo Boss, Levi’s, Fornarina, and too many others to list… I think they all make intelligent products but some lack real human connections and my language and philosophy could really help shape their brand-future. And I would like to design a bucket for Rubbermaid for my list ….haha.

3- DAB: Having created so many interesting spaces, is there one that you feel especially fond of?
KR: My first hotel I designed is in Athens, Greece. Completing the Semiramis hotel in Athens in 2004 gave me a wonderful sense of accomplishment because I realized that beyond an object, I can design an experiential living organism. It afforded me to design over 100 interiors since then. Recently I designed the Nhow hotel in Berlin which became an extension of the Semiramis concept where I design a living experience from micro to macro. I am so proud of them both and hear constantly from people that they feel so complete, comfortable, but inspired staying at these hotels.

4- DAB: How do you redefine yourself and stay in the now?
KR: I try to stay free from outside sources. I try and think that I am not form this planet and observe the world in the most objective way possible. I like to relax by the pool at our new home in Miami Beach. I sneak in a day or two to relax and work on my physical and mental and spiritual health. I am writing my new book, sketching, painting, listening to music, watching rare films, sun tanning, sleeping, and dreaming and thinking about the world, about love, about people, about peace, about beauty, and about one romantic engaging fulgent energetic seductive inspiring place we call earth.

031.tif Neigaard photo2120.tif

BoConcept’s Ottawa Collection was designed by Karim Rashid and came out Spring 2012. The collection features the light grey felt and grass green Ottawa Chair (LEFT) from the dining collection and the Espresso Cups.

5- DAB: You wear a lot of pink and white. When it comes to design, what’s your fave combo?

KR: There are really millions of colors so it is ridiculous in this life to have a single favorite of anything – favorite song, favorite book. The beauty of this farrago in life is the broad diversity and choice of everything. But I do love pink and techno colors—colors that have a vibrancy and energy of our digital world. I use colors to create and work with the experience, or the human engagement of that certain task or function.

6- DAB: What’s the secret to using bold colors in a space?
KR: I feel that we should be open-minded to explore, play, interchange, colors. I like a kaleidoscopic environment or a confetti of color! I use pink and acid colors often as well as florescent colors to speak about this digital age, as if the colors popped out of my computer. But at the same time, in a blank white space there is nothing more energetic and exciting than a burst of color within a monochromatic environment. Color is one of the most beautiful phenomena of our existence. It is a spiritual phenomenological euphoria.

7- DAB: How can design enrich a person’s life?
KR: I try to develop objects and spaces to be inspiring, so one can feel a moment of being truly alive. I design objects and spaces as de-stressors—objects that bring enjoyment, not encumbrances, that simplify tasks and increase our level of engagement. Our lives are elevated when we experience beauty, comfort, luxury, performance, and utility seamlessly together. Design must evolve us – and create a beautification and betterment for society.

Sneak Peak: Steps to a Bathroom Reno

Have you ever wanted to redo your bathroom but don’t know where to start? Tiling, cabinetry, paint, wallpaper? It can be quite overwhelming!

Dabble’s Editor in Chief, Kimberley Seldon, is on Cityline this Thursday. Don’t miss her and Tracy as they discuss the steps to a bathroom renovation.

Watch Cityline this Thursday, February 20th

Watch Cityline this Thursday, February 20th