Design Unleashed

  • Designer Kimberley Seldon placed an enormous ancient mill stone from Italy dead centre and aligned it with the front door, immediately creating a sense of order in the space.
  • Custom arm chairs flank a metal drum which acts as a coffee table, providing a perfect perch for quiet contemplation.
  • It's not uncommon to find large columns poorly placed in new condos but again, it makes decorating a wee bit more challenging. To give the column a sense of purpose Kimberley placed a tall wooden Buddha in front of the structural feature.
  • The comfy grey sectional (Jamie Alexander) surrounds a round wood coffee table from West Elm. Colourful salmon and navy pillows from ELTE fill the space with colour.
  • Behind the sectional, a low Asian bench tucks beneath a sofa table.
  • Sculptural pieces like the Buddha and bronze leaf offer big style statements.

Interior Design by Kimberley Seldon Design Group
Photography by Ted Yarwood

Who doesn’t want to feel zen at home?

Easier said than done when you have challenging spaces to decorate—like the pie-shaped entry hall that greets you as you enter the front door of this urban condo.

The cool couple who live here had lots of ideas when it came to decorating. They wanted to display some of the treasures they’ve collected on their extensive travels for instance. But when it came to the sitting area…they were stumped. How to deal with a severely pie-shaped space?

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.

Sunny Mudroom

Home Tour - KS19

Bright colours and playful accents such as the spool “hooks” and hook rug bench give this mudroom its sunny disposition. But good looks aren’t enough. A mudroom also has to be easy to clean and resistant to the muck and rain that comes with spring’s weather. Opt for floors in natural stone (slate and limestone are gorgeous) or honed ceramics. Avoid flat paint which is difficult to clean. And have plenty of storage to keep clutter out of sight.

Industry Profile: Annie Sloan

She’s the developer and queen of Chalk Paint. She’s written over 20 books and has a lovely home fragrance line. Annie Sloan talks to Dabble about paint, projects and a thriving personal life.

Annie Sloan_Photographer Harriet Thomas

Annie Sloan, Photography by Harriet Thomas

 

 

DAB: What was your goal when you developed Chalk Paint™ 25 years ago?

AS: My goal was to make a paint that I wanted. It had to be flexible, approachable and in the right colours. I was a working mother with three boys under ten, so it had to be easy to use and quick to dry!

DAB: What advice would you give to someone using Chalk Paint™ for the first time?

AS: Relax and don’t worry about making mistakes. Go with your gut!

DAB: You were born in Australia and live in England and France today. What cities inspire you the most?

AS: In no particular order: Sydney, London, Paris, Lisbon, Cape Town, New York, Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal. Vancouver for its outdoor yet arty life and Montreal for its lively metropolitan lifestyle. Of course I would love to see more of Canada one day!

DAB: Is there a place you haven’t visited but would like to go to for inspiration?

AS: I’m planning to go to Kazakhstan to visit my eldest son, who works out there. He’s in Astana, which is where East meets West so I hope it will be inspiring. India is another place I would love to visit.

DAB: How would you describe your personal décor style?

AS: I would say it’s a little bit French, a little bit of Boho and a little bit Neo Classical. I’m also currently redecorating my offices in a Warehouse style. I love it. But my house is late Victorian, so of course the Warehouse look doesn’t work here! No matter how much time I will of spent at the Aagard – Packaging Automation Company it won’t ever influence my home decor, how blasphemous would that be, I could not have one of my guests point out similarities, so I truly avoid warehouse influences completely.

Annie Sloan painted table_Photographer Christopher Drake

Annie Sloan painted table, Photography by Christopher Drake

DAB: What is next for Annie Sloan?

AS: I’m going to be celebrating 25 years of Chalk Paint™ all through 2015, which I’m really excited about. My Stockists are so important to me so I’ll be doing a lot of travelling; I want to see as many of them as possible. I’m also launching my new Stencil collection, which comes in 21 designs and is the perfect complement to my paint range.

DAB: When you don’t have a paintbrush in your hand, what do you Dabble in?

AS: I like to dabble in music, eating out and a good bottle of wine with friends.

Dabble Digs the Outdoors

With patio season just around the corner, Kimberley has these suggestions to enliven your outdoor spaces.

New Wicker 1903 Beach Chair

Steppin’ Out
It’s time to take the party outdoors. These classic rattan chairs may be all the excuse you need to light the barbecue and have a few friends over. Dabble Savvy: They’ll mix beautifully with teak furniture.

New Wicker 1903 Beach Chair
Blue, New Wicker collection, now $399 (reg. $799)

zig-zag outdoor rug

Pop of Colour
Yes, this really is an outdoor carpet. Add a little vavoom to outdoor rooms with this lively chevron patterned rug.

Zig-Zag Indoor/Outdoor Rug
Medium(44″ x 66″): $75 (regular: $250)
Large (60″ x94″): $150 (regular: $500)

Tapered Scroll Rim Planter

May Flowers

Geraniums. Miniature Roses. Dahlias. Any one of these flowers will look prettier still in this distressed planter. Time to give yourself a bouquet.

Tapered Scroll Rim Indoor/Outdoor Planter
Medium (15″): Now $36 (regular $90)
Large (19″): Now $68 (regular $170)

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
www.zenporium.com

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
www.amandahamiltondesign.com

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
www.huset-shop.com

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
www.eltemkt.com

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
www.frankieandalbert.com

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
www.coolicanandcompany.com

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
www.kikkerland.com

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.

Colin and Justin’s Cabin Pressure Season Two

by Colin & Justin

Is it really a whole year since ‘Colin and Justin’s Cabin Pressure’, Season One, aired on the Cottage Life television network? Yup, 12 months have passed and, in that time, we’ve turned our attentions from Muskoka (location, for Season One) to Haliburton where we recently bought another slanty shanty – one that was almost falling down thanks to collapsed piers, major rot and serious animal infestation. But little fazes us: we, after all, can fix anything. Even if it means shedding desperate tears and dealing with construction issues that we’d rather leave to Bryan. Geddit? “Leave It To Bryan”? Oh never mind…

Colin and Justin - Cottage

Photography by Brandon Barre

But worry not: we turned adversity into joy. Our 800 feet collapsing marvel is positioned on beautiful Drag Lake, and, courtesy of its south west elevation – and good bones – it had potential written all over it. Let’s just say, though, that our reparative budget doubled… but so too did our final vision. In just four short months, we went from ‘pig in lipstick’ to beauty queen and we couldn’t be happier with the transformation. In exterior terms, it’s a veritable vision of Scandinavian minimalism: all graphite grey siding and jet-black roof. And inside? We composed a ‘luxe lodge’ esthetic with serious Mid Mod overtones. Don Draper eat your heart out. What better place than the cottage to imbibe an Old Fashioned cocktail?

As our transformative journey protracted, we added a whole new roof, an entire basement (did we mention we jacked the 30 ton house 20 feet off the ground? You have to see that scene to believe it) a new kitchen, two new bathrooms and two new bedrooms. And, while we were at it, we added a cute four bunk bedded bunkie and a whole new elevation to accommodate a sunroom. Jeesh…

Colin and Justin - Cottage Bath

Photography by Brandon Barre

It’s been a massive project but we couldn’t be happier. Last time round, we bought with friends, but this time round we invested alone. It’s so lovely. And we’re so happy. But, by God, the epic transformation nearly killed us. See all the Season 2 action weekly, from Sunday, 22nd March, at 9pm on Cottage Life. The network is in FREE preview from today, Saturday the 21st. Enjoy!

For more info visit www.cabinpressure.tv

Colin and Justin are appearing live at The Cottage Life Show on Saturday, March 28th at 1:00 pm.

Interview with Annie Sloan – Queen of Chalk Paint

DAB: Can you name a few of your favourite applications using Chalk Paint?

AS: Of course it changes all the time, but at the moment I am working on a new piece for my office. It’s a Modern Retro piece from the 1940s. I have painted it with a very smooth, flat finish in a variety of block colours. I think people are surprised that you can achieve a smooth finish with Chalk Paint™, but you can! Years ago, I painted an old desk of mine in a custom mix of Old Violet and Emperors Silk. I created a textured and crackled finish, and finished it with dark wax. It looks very rich. I also love using a traditional technique called ‘frottage’ – you can do this with Chalk Paint, all you need is water to dilute the paint and some newspaper. I have some old doors in my home in France where I’ve used this technique and they look wonderful.

Annie Sloan _Old Violet Desk_reduced

Courtesy: Creating the French Look by Annie Sloan – CICO Books, Photographer: Christopher Drake

 

DAB: Thanks to you, people can breathe new life into old furniture. Is there a person who has taken your paint and transformed a piece of furniture in a way you didn’t expect?

AS: I saw so many people doing wonderful things with Chalk Paint™ that I decided to develop my ‘Painters in Residence’ program. It’s a wonderful way to work with creative people who can test my paint to its very limits and create inspirational projects. I’ve already worked with a portrait artist who lives in an elegantly converted schoolhouse in France, a mom-of-three who works out of her home in rural Australia, and a British stylist who has an amazing way of making clashing colours work.

DSC_0134_WM 2

Painterly Bathroom, Courtesy Alex Russell Flint, Annie Sloan Painter in Residence

 

DAB: Selecting paint colours can be a daunting experience. What is your go-to colour combination?

AS: I don’t think it’s possible to have a go-to colour. I always think that every space, wall or piece of furniture deserves its own colour. There are a lot of colours in my range that, in small doses, can work as neutrals – Duck Egg Blue, Louie Blue, Old Violet, Aubusson and Olive, to name a few.

***

Chalk Paint™ by Annie Sloan comes in quart cans (946ml), priced at approximately $45.00 CND; and in 4 oz. (100ml) sample pots, priced at approximately $13.99 CDN (regional price variations and shipping charges apply.

Chalk Paint™ by Annie Sloan is sold through 35 Annie Sloan stockists across Canada and is also available online.

For more information, visit: www.anniesloan.com

Flatout Fab – DIY Table

With the perfect blend of matte and metallic, DIY Guy Nicholas Rosaci transforms a dated table. Va va voom.

MATERIALS REQUIRED
Sandpaper – Medium grade
Furniture piece
Spray paint – metallic
Paint brush
Annie Sloan Chalk Paint®
Annie Sloan Clear Wax
Annie Sloan Dark Wax
Soft cloth
Large bristle brush
Short bristle brush

DIY Guy - Annie Sloan Paint

PREP & SPRAY
Lightly sand an existing piece of furniture. Spray one coat of a metallic paint on (because why not? it looks cool) and let it dry for 24 hours.

Before

ANNIE SLOAN IT
Apply a coat of Chalk Paint® on the table but apply less in certain areas where you want the metallic colour to shine through. This project is shown in Paris Grey.

CRACKLE IT
Once the first coat is dry, apply a second, thicker coat of paint and use a blow dryer on the highest setting to blow hot air on the wet paint to create a subtle crackle finish.

WAX ON, WAX OFF
When the second coat of paint is completely dry, apply a thin layer of clear wax with a large bristle brush, and wipe off excess wax with a soft cloth. Apply the dark wax with a smaller bristle brush into the cracks and anywhere you wish to add an aged patina look. Wipe off any excess dark wax with a cloth.

DIY Guy - Annie Sloan Paint

Dabble Savvy: Paint the interior drawers in a vivid colour like hot pink.

DIY Guy - Annie Sloan Paint Interior Drawer

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
www.eltemkt.com

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
www.kessinhouse.com

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
www.walhub.com

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
www.anothercountry.com

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,
www.juicepresso.com

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
www.buffbake.com

Dabble Digs - Buff Bake