Top 5 Maltese Crafts

1- A craft that flourished under the Knights of Malta was gold and silver smithing. Today, Maltese goldsmiths continue to thrive, with the graphic Maltese cross being the most often requested item for purchase.

Dabble does Malta46

2- The unmistakeable and universal scent of wood shavings appeals to nearly every traditionalist. Wood carving is a thriving industry in Malta with traditional pieces often receiving a layer of gilding before they make their way to the shop floor.

Dabble Does Malta24

3- Tole painting, the art of adding elaborate designs to tin and metal serving pieces, is another thriving artform.

Dabble Savvy: Items that lay flat and are non-breakable qualify as ideal suitcase splurges. Save room when you pack.

Dabble does Malta40

4- Traditional weaving crafts such as lacemaking, basketry and wicker furniture production are widely visible on the islands.

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5- A relatively new craft in Malta, glass blowing was introduced in the 1960s. Shops typically sport hand and mouth blown vases and bowls in bright Mediterranean colours.

Dabble does Malta41

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)

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

New Home, Old Soul

  • Yanic's go to neutral: Benjamin Moore Classic Gray OC-23.
  • In this space, Yanic repurposed the metal art mirror above the sofa where it becomes a focal point. Benches create bridges between different zones within an open concept space. The black leather tufted bench is part of the conversation grouping and an extra seat near the fireplace.
  • Dabble Savvy: Turn a singular window seat into a destination with furniture and lighting. The walnut stools anchor the seating arrangement and the glass globe chandelier and plug-in sconces provide a flattering layer of light.

Words by Yanic Simard | Photography by Brandon Barré

Often, when homeowners move into a new space, whether freshly built or staged to sell, they’ll find the house simply doesn’t feel like a home.

Designer Yanic Simard shares his rules for claiming a new space and creating an interior that feels familiar and comfortable.

Treasured Heritage

Rather than replacing original details like mouldings and doors to achieve a more “perfect” look, allow these elements to become features using contrasting paint colours and finishes.

Dabble Savvy: In this Victorian house the walls, ceiling and trim are painted in one shade only, Benjamin Moore’s OC-23 Classic Gray. A single colour throughout visually obscures uneven lines and imperfections. A matte finish is used on walls and ceiling while the trim gets subtle emphasis with a satin finish. The doors are painted in Benjamin Moore’s 2121-10 Gray—a deeper shade that makes them pop for architectural interest.

In with the Old

To create a sense of personal history, introduce treasured items already owned.

Dabble Savvy: Blend vintage and contemporary pieces to blur time periods and create a custom, timeless impression.

Redraw the Lines

Never settle for a pre-existing layout—experiment with new furniture arrangements and always pull seating away from the walls.

Lighten Up

To add character without clutter include sheer and see-through elements like the draperies and peek-a-boo seating.

Dabble Savvy: Mirrored finishes and reflective metals (like the gold-leaf glass cocktail cubes in the living room) enrich almost any colour scheme without creating visual overload. Avoid a “matchy-matchy” look by casually mixing metals in warm and cool tones.

 

Congrats Elte on 95 years!

This May marks a major milestone for leading home furnishing retailer Elte, as it celebrates its 95th anniversary. Established in 1919, the family-owned company was founded on the notion of providing the world’s most beautiful products to shoppers. Almost a century later, and with an expanded complete offering of home furnishings, carpets and accessories, Elte continues to focus on curating the best products from around the world, while offering a personal touch to its loyal customers.

Elte

Elte’s 150,000 square feet showroom is located at 80 Ronald Avenue in Toronto.

Today, led by Ken Metrick, the founder’s grandson, Elte has evolved into one of North America’s largest retail establishments while staying true to its heritage, operating as a closely-knit, family-run business spanning over four generations. Working daily with Ken Metrick are his wife, Renee Metrick, Furniture Buyer, and their sons Jamie, who buys different types of rugs, and Andrew, Furniture Buyer.

Elte - Metricks

From left to right: Andrew, Renee, Ken and Jamie Metrick – Photography by Katherine Holland

 

For more information, visit: www.elte.com @elte #elte95

Shop Israel

Words by Shai DeLuca-Tamasi

Featured Recycled_paper_journals

I am a dying breed. I admit it. My generation of Israelis is global-minded, well travelled and sadly, in the last decade or so, often looking outside our borders for design trends.

Not me.

Though an ex-pat, I am also a proudly patriotic citizen of Israel and I am astounded by the homegrown art and design scene that’s flourishing today. Local artisans are pulling inspiration from 5,700+ years of history, leaving international companies desperate to break into the booming scene.

TEXTILES
Israel’s textile industry used to be a vast one with fabrics produced by hand. As the world turned to mass production, manufacturers looked East for less expensive alternatives and, until recently, the industry was nearly abolished.

Thankfully a new generation of fashion and design artisans is embracing craftsmanship and the textile industry is recovering.

Mika Barr is a textile designer who stumbled on a process for manipulating and reshaping fabrics into striking new geometric shapes. Mika’s textiles now cover lampshades, furniture and hand bags.

Shai’s Buy: I couldn’t resist purchasing a new floor lamp (adapted to North American voltage) from Mika’s line of textile enhanced goods.

www.mikabarr.com

FAP throw B&W

FURNITURE
As a designer, I’m forever looking for functional items that have a new and interesting twist. In my experience, bar/counter stools can be somewhat utilitarian. But not at the hand of Ushki Design Studio.

Shai’s Buy: I love these birch veneered, coloured paper, steel framed works of art…or, seating. I’ll be placing my order tomorrow morning!

www.ushkidesign.com

Israel - 16_3

SODA STREAM
Importing goods to Israel was traditionally very expensive, so it was rare to spot North American staples like Coca-Cola and Pepsi on store shelves. Not to be left out, Israel invented the Soda Stream. Years ago it allowed the locals to fit simple soda gas canisters into standard bottles and infuse the beverage with bubbles. Today, of course, you’ll find every type of soda imagined on local shelves and Soda Stream has rebranded itself to a worldwide audience.

Shai’s Buy: My fave is the new design line in blue. It’s fully automated—one press of a button and voilà, custom carbonation.

www.sodastream.ca

Israel - Source Black side drop bottle

THE HAMSA
Some refer to this traditional relic as the hand of Fatima. In Arabic, Hamsa means five. Everyone agrees the elegant icon is a symbol of good luck and, in some cultures, a protector from the evil eye.

Shai’s Buy: Travellers to Israel will be spoiled for choice as most shops carry at least a few versions of this favourite memento. I picked up two at Irit Goldberg Ceramics.

www.iritgoldberg.co.il

Israel - Hamsa Irit Goldberg copy

 

From Issue 15 – May 2014 

New Home – Old Soul

Words by Yanic Simard

Photography by Brandon Barré

Photography by Brandon Barré

Often, when homeowners move into a new space, whether freshly built or staged to sell, they’ll find the house simply doesn’t feel like a home.

Designer Yanic Simard shares his rules for claiming a new space and
creating an interior that feels familiar and comfortable.

Photography by Brandon Barré

Photography by Brandon Barré

 

TREASURED HERITAGE
Rather than replacing original details like mouldings and doors to achieve a more “perfect” look, allow these elements to become features using contrasting paint colours and finishes.

Dabble Savvy: In this Victorian house the walls, ceiling and trim are painted in one shade only, Benjamin Moore’s OC-23 Classic Gray. A single colour throughout visually obscures uneven lines and imperfections. A matte finish is used on walls and ceiling while the trim gets subtle emphasis with a satin finish. The doors are painted in Benjamin Moore’s 2121-10 Gray—a deeper shade that makes them pop for architectural interest.

Photography by Brandon Barré

Photography by Brandon Barré

 

IN WITH THE OLD
To create a sense of personal history, introduce treasured items already owned. In this space, Yanic repurposed the metal art mirror above the sofa where it becomes a focal point. Benches create bridges between different zones within an open concept space. The black leather tufted bench is part of the conversation grouping and an extra seat near the fireplace.

Dabble Savvy: Blend vintage and contemporary pieces to blur time periods and create a custom, timeless impression.

Photography by Brandon Barré

Photography by Brandon Barré

 

REDRAW THE LINES
Never settle for a pre-existing layout—experiment with new furniture arrangements and always pull seating away from the walls.

Dabble Savvy: Turn a singular window seat into a destination with furniture and lighting. The walnut stools anchor the seating arrangement and the glass globe chandelier and plug-in sconces provide a flattering layer of light.

Photography by Brandon Barré

Photography by Brandon Barré

 

LIGHTEN UP 
To add character without clutter include sheer and see-through elements like the draperies and
peek-a-boo seating.

Dabble Savvy: Mirrored finishes and reflective metals (like the gold-leaf glass cocktail cubes in the living room)enrich almost any colour scheme without creating visual overload. Avoid a “matchy-matchy” look by casually mixing metals in warm and cool tones.

Smartsizing: Tips to Maximize Space

photo

Watch Cityline Homeday, March 20, 2014
Set provided by Decorium

Maximizing Space:

  • Built-ins and modular furniture maximize storage. Use as much vertical and horizontal space as possible. Contain clutter and maximize space with book shelves.
  • Add mirror to make space look larger.
  • A monochromatic colour scheme visually enlarges a space. When all colours are close in tone and value there is no contrast so the eye is able to move through a room uninterrupted which creates the illusion of additional space.
  • Multipurpose (double-duty) furniture creates flexibility within a space. Make sure furniture serves more than one function. Daybed which can be a sofa but also a bed for guest to sleep on. A coffee table that rises to eating height. Console tables that can be pushed together to form dining table.
  • Use chairs rather than sofas for maximum flexibility. They require less space and can be moved around more easily.
    Consider a Murphy bed in small spaces.
  • Avoid sectional. With a sectional you are limited by the way it can be positioned. Sectionals are also more difficult to get in elevators.
  • Use an island. Something on wheels that can be moved around as counter space or a place to store items.

Cityline set provided by Decorium

Design for Living

  • Sir Noël Coward, the legendary English playwright, actor, singer, director and composer was also known for his flamboyant wit and personal style.
  • Immortalized in this stone statue, Coward sits forever in his beloved garden, peering out onto an almost unchanged glorious natural coastline.
  • Inside, rooms are filled with Coward’s original furniture, artifacts, paintings and photographs.
  • A photo of good friend, Marlene Dietrich sits atop the piano.

East of Oracabessa, Jamaica sits Firefly, named after the glowing insects indigenous to these lush hills. Noël Coward’s famed mountaintop estate offers an unparallelled view of St Mary’s harbor, the original lookout for the notorious pirate Sir Henry Morgan (of rum bottle fame).

My sense of importance to small. On the other hand importance to myself to the world is relatively hand my sense of my own myself is tremendous.

PHOTOGRAPHY BY ANGELA AUCLAIR

How to Karim-ify Your Home

OC-M-WHITE-GREEN-KARIM-1.tif

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 Rashid in the March 2014 issue.

Here are Karim’s ten most important recommendations for the home:

  1. Create large white spaces with accents of strong positive colors.
  2. Knock down walls that are not structural and open up spaces as much as
    possible.
  3. Have less but better furniture. Try to substitute 2 or 3 pieces with one.
  4. Impose order. Line everything up perfectly: vases, objects, books,
    stereo equipment. Order inspires. Order is Zen. Order is relaxing.
  5. Avoid curtains. Curtains are dirt and dust collectors and make spaces
    look smaller with added bulk and weight. Use seamless mesh blinds instead.
  6. Make do with less. And make sure you really want what you¹re buying. I¹m
    not anti-consumption per se but I think it¹s essential to consume with
    awareness. Buy only what you need.
  7. Use materials that are easy to clean and that age well. Plastic floors
    (laminates, vinyl sheeting, or artificial rubber) are lightweight and
    inexpensive materials that wear well and are more resistant to scratches and
    staining.
  8. Avoid sharp edges. Let your space flow.
  9. Make your space reconfigurable.
  10. Embrace (don¹t fear) technology

Jamaica: Top Spots in Ochos Rios

Ochos Rios is the ideal antidote to winter. Here are 6 warm reasons to visit now.

1. In 1955, the famed English playwright, Noël Coward purchased a retreat 1,200 feet above Blue Harbour for $150. Here he would build a simple house, which he named Firefly. The hilltop property boasts incredible views of the north coast of Jamaica which is open to the public for exploring.

Statue of Noel Coward at Firefly Photography courtesy Angela Auclair

Statue of Noel Coward at Firefly
Photographed by Angela Auclair

2. Famous for its Jam-Italian fusion cuisine, the restaurant Evita’s has hosted many celebrities including Princess Margaret and Brad Pitt. The menu celebrates creativity and has garnered a reputation as “the best little pasta house in Jamaica”.

Contributor Nicholas Rosaci poses with Evita and a Chef. Photographed by Angela Auclair

Contributor Nicholas Rosaci poses with Evita and Chef in the kitchen at Evita’s.
Photographed by Angela Auclair

3. Right outside Ochos Rios are the breathtaking Dunn’s River Falls, which are over 600 meters high and cascade through steps of crystal clear water into the Caribbean Sea. Be brave and climb the falls at Jamaica’s most famous water attraction or be led in a human chain by an experienced Falls Guide.

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Climb Dunn’s River Falls alone or with a Falls Guide.
Photography by Angela Auclair

4. Wassi Art is the premier place for a one of a kind Jamaican pottery. Local artists create beautifully sculpted and painted merchandise in plain view of their audience. If you are looking for something special, it’s worth spending an afternoon right here.

Dabble does Jamaica93

See pottery being made first hand at Wassi Art.
Photography by Angela Auclair

5. Located on the Good Hope Plantation, David Pinto’s Ceramic Art Studio offers an immersive and educational look into the fundamentals of ceramic making. David’s world recognized work ranges from clay teacup to spectacular life size objects of art.

Dabble does Jamaica94

Meet David and his team at David Pinto’s Ceramic Art Studio.
Photography by Angela Auclair

A Tour of the White House

Image Credit White House Museum

Image Credit White House Museum

American royalty, the White House is arguably the most iconic home in the US.

1.5 million visitors tour the White House each year, but they see only a handful of the 140+ ground and mansion areas. It is broken down into three sections, the East Wing where the Emergency Operations Center resides, the West Wing, where the Situation room is, and the Residence, a four-story living space.

In total, the White House has 132 rooms, including 16 family-guest rooms, 1 main kitchen, 1 diet kitchen, 1 family kitchen, and 35 bathrooms totaling approximately 55,000 sq.ft. It also features 412 doors, 147 windows, 28 fireplace mantels, 8 staircases, and 3 elevators.

During the War of 1812, the White House was completely demolished by fire with most of the valuables being ransacked by British troops, leaving only the exterior walls standing. President Madison hired architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe and Hoban to lead the charge on the rebuilding project. When Teddy Roosevelt came to office in 1902, he decided the White House needed to be expanded and modernized due to overcrowding and an outdated appearance. He selected McKim, Mead & White to remove the Tiffany screen and all Victorian additions and replace everything with a neoclassical style that wasn’t popular with most subsequent Presidents.

Out of respect for the historical value of the house, no substantive architectural changes have been made since, but many have taken turns redecorating and refurbishing to make the residence more in tune with their personal style. Jackie Kennedy, who decorated all the rooms by theme and periods of world history, made some of the most significant changes.

We’re here to give you a quick tour of some of the most interesting interior design features of America’s first family.

Blue Room
The center of the State Floor, the Blue Room is known for its breathtaking view over the South Lawn and oval shape, the perfect area to receive guests. The elliptical saloon was decorated in the French Empire style by President Monroe with its most striking element an early 19th century gilded-wood and glass chandelier encircled with acanthus leaves. Blue satin geometric draperies are hung with a border of gold rosettes that match an equally extravagant carpet. Furnishings are heavily corniced and the ceiling is painted in fresco, adding to the richness of the space.

The Blue Room

The Blue Room, 2009 (Image Credit: Reuters)

Oval Office
The President’s formal workspace, the Oval Office has hosted a number of important diplomats, dignitaries and heads of state through the years. Each President has decorated the room to suit his tastes, but the most consistent features that remain include a white marble mantel that’s been there since 1909, two flags, and the famous Presidential seal on the ceiling.

The Oval Office

The Oval Office, 2010 (Image Credit BBC – Reuters)

Vermeil Room
Also known as the “Gold Room,” the Vermeil room serves as a display room and, for formal occasions, a ladies sitting room. More subtle and feminine than most of the other rooms, soft yellow paneled walls accent a collection of vermeil, gold-plated silver, a gift from Margaret Thompson Biddle. The carpet is a Turkish Hereke from around 1860, chosen for its pale green background and gold silk hues. Other prominent accents include early 19th century mahogany pieces like a circular table and a pier table, plus an impressive ten-armed cut-glass chandelier and scroll sofa.

The Vermeil Room

Vermeil Room, 2008 (Image Credit: Architectural Digest)

 

Green Room
Originally envisioned to be the “Common Dining Room,” the Green Room has served many purposes over the years from lodging to entertaining. Still featuring green water silk-lined fabric chosen by the Kennedys in 1971, draperies of striped beige, green and coral satin adorn the walls of the Presidential Parlor. All the accessories are gilded and ornate including a pair of hand-carved American eagles, a favorite decorative motif of the Federal period.

The Green Room

Green Room, 2008 (Image Credit: Architectural Digest)

Lincoln Bedroom

In a room Lincoln never actually slept in, the Lincoln Bedroom is part of a suite of rooms that hosts overnight guests and political supporters. It has been furnished in Victorian style since the Truman renovation and is rumored to be haunted. Famous furniture includes a commanding 8 by 6’ rosewood bed with canopy, slipper chairs, sofa, and cabinet chairs. Featured prominently on the desk is one of only five holographic copies of the Gettysburg Address. The room was updated in 2004 with an opulent white marble mantel, canopy carved in the shape of a crown, and deep emerald green, yellow and purple draperies.

Lincoln's Bedroom, 2007 (Image Credit: Newsweek - Gary Fabiano)

Lincoln’s Bedroom, 2007 (Image Credit: Newsweek – Gary Fabiano)