Thursday, December 27, 2012

Quintessentially Toronto

We are in Toronto for the holidays and have been really enjoying getting to know the city again.  It has been about 8 years since we lived here and boy has the city changed! I find it such a strange experience to have grown up here, knowing all the cities ins and outs and now, coming back to visit and feeling like a tourist.  The city has really expanded and not only has the skyline changed with all the condo buildings along the water, but the food scene and neighborhood revival is fantastic.  My brother is in the food industry and so always takes us to really yummy places - well this was no exception.  The County General is a relaxed space where you can get great seasonal comfort food in a cool, unpretentious setting.  The interior predominately features reclaimed 2 x 4 boards which make-up the furniture, bar and wall/ceiling detail (see third image below), and ties the rustic nature of the food in with the interior.  Set perfectly on the Queen Street West revival near Ossington this is one place we will sure to visit when we are in town again, and I highly recommend it to all in the city.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Happy Holidays

I cannot believe that the holidays are upon us already!  Merry Christmas to all those of you who are celebrating today, and for those that are not, wishing you and those around you all the very best for this holiday season.  For me the holidays are a time to spend with ones friends and family and we are taking advantage of being back in Toronto to do just that. I also really like to use this time as a reflection for the past year, and a way to look forward to things ahead.  You have all been such a wonderful part of my day and I thank everyone for your continued readership and support in all that Canoe Design is - and will be.  Thank you and a very Happy Holidays to all!

Anna x

Friday, December 21, 2012

All Wrapped Up

I am obsessed with paper, paper products and wrapping. I think that the amount of effort one puts into a gift (and yes, the wrapping part counts) says so much about a person and really helps to elevate any gift big or small.  Last year I did a post on wrapping (see Wrap it Up) and had such fun putting it together, that with only a few more days left until Christmas I thought it would be good to do another.

Wishing you all a very happy Friday and a wonderful weekend ahead.

A x

I just love the plan white box or papper with a little twine and then the use of paint cards as the notes - so simple and can be used throughout the year, but make the colours more festive (or add a little red way mark) and you are ready for the holidays.

Nothing better than some simple paper and then a really great bow!

I just love the simplicity of materials for this wrapping but you can really see the effort that has gone into the wrapping.

I drive my husband crazy by keeping interesting papers in the hopes of one day using it as wrapping.  Well this NYC subway map is a great idea and just looks so fun!

Finally, I think that the ultimate way to re-use paper is wallpaper as wrapping.  In the design field we always order too much just to be sure we have enough, and some of the colours and patterns (as below) really do make for great gift paper.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Perfection in Paris

I have a true love affair with the current generation of French Interior designers - Olivier Lempereur, Jean Louis Deniot and Nicolas Aubagnac to name a few. Their interiors are incredibly refined, perfectly details and full of interesting and unique details.  I have shared work by the above designers on Canoe Design before (see here), but recently I find myself the most enthralled with the work of Pierre Yovanovitch. He runs a Paris based Interior Architecture firm whose work is at the top of their field.

His interiors are clean and modern and use a simple and uncluttered palette.  I am a huge fan of his cased openings and love the detail of lining them oak or lacquered wood (see photos 2 and 3 below). The simple shadow gap reveals that we see throughout his work as well is a wonderful signature and help add a level of detail to his interiors.  I think that there is a lot to be said about the execution of his details as well as they are not easy - you really have to have a contractor and millworkshop that can handles these kinds of details.  Hope you all enjoy as much as I do!

 All photos courtesy of Pierre Yovanovitch

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Quintessentially New York

Friday nights usually come around and I never feel like cooking - it is the end of the week (which have been particularly gruelling this past month) and with no work the next day it is a chance for my hubby and I to explore something new in the city and not have to worry about getting up for work the next day.  While we have taken a break from dinners out for the last few weeks, on Friday we decided to try Momofuku Ma Peche as we have heard such amazing reviews about the Momofuku restaurants, but have never been.  Spread over two floors attached to the Chambers hotel, the palette is very simple with concrete and painted plaster walls, particle board tables and plywood interior details.  The interior feels modern and designed yet tasteful - something that I feel a lot of restaurants and bars in this city struggle with.  We sat upstairs in the bar area as we didn't have a reservation and all the tables downstairs were full.  It was a great meal - although a little expensive - and it was so nice to be able to look over into the double height voice above the dining room and have the sheer fabrics hanging through the space billowing beside us.  I am not sure if we would go back to this particular Momofuku as there are three more to try, however it was a delicious meal and a fantastic introduction to their food and ambiance.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Lands Far Far Away

With the holiday season almost upon us many people look to warmer climates for a little time to relax with friends and family in the sun.  We are heading to Toronto and surrounding area to spend time with our friends families, however there is something very enticing about powered white sand instead of snow, so I thought I would seek a little tropical inspiration from one of my favourite design blogs Luxury Culture.  One of my best friends and I are always dreaming about what amazing places we can visit (we both have a serious travel bug), and so for all of you out there that need a sunny escape, here are some resorts that look like they are a little piece of paradise.

Le Taha'a Resort in French Polynesia

Banyan Tree Vabbinfary in the Maldives

Adrere Amellal in Egypt

Singita Game Reserve in South Africa

Explora Hotel de Larache in Chile

Eagles Nest in New Zealand

All Photos courtesy of Luxury Culture World Traveler 

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Spreading Holiday Cheer

Last year I had a lot of fun with my post on wreaths (see Decorations all Around), so for this years Holiday decoration ideas I thought that I would spread my reach a little further.  With Hanukkah starting tonight and Christmas being only a few short weeks away, I am sure this weekend is when most people get their decorating hats on and set to the task of making ones house look festive for the holidays.  Here are some ideas that will really help you spread some holiday cheer in your home.

Although traditionally wreaths are a Christmas decoration I think that they are just festive!  Over the last couple of years I have seen more and more that are just decorative and add a little winter cheer to ones home.

Lizzie Joe Designs - Cork Wreath

Embellished Living - Felt Rosette Wreath

Sweet Paul Mag - Photo Wreath

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Gift Guide Part 3 : Him

Welcome to my third gift guide installment with gifts for him.

1. Ball Bearing Cufflinks. I have always had a fascination with cufflinks and think that they are a great opportunity for men to shed a little self style in an otherwise monotonous business attire.
2. A shaving set
3. Bow tie & Pocket Square
4. Creed Cologne.  There are many different scents to chose from - so there is something for every man, and for me, it is a little memory of england.  These are traditional scents, some of which have been around since the brand started in 1760.
5. The Modern Gentleman.  This was a staple gift of mine a couple of years ago and a new edition has been released. This is a great gift for men of all ages!
6. A canvas and leather weekender.  This is a staple that I think every man needs in their wardrobe and I just love the bright colours of this one.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Quintessentially New York

Last weekend we had friends in town from London and for a quiet coffee on Sunday afternoon we really looked for somewhere that was Quintessentially New York, and so we decided that Robert at the Museum of Art and Design was perfect.  Set on the top floor of the museum with panoramic views north over Central Park, this was the exact setting were looking for.  Although we were only there for a  warm drink the setting for a meal would be incredible - especially if you were able to time it with the setting sun!  From the Cassina Capri chairs at the tables, the flower chairs for casual seating, to the pops of neon throughout, the interior was a good balance between fun and formal. This was a great find and will will sure to be back - and not just because it shares it's name with my husband!

Wishing you all a happy 1st of December.

A x


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