Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Celebrating your cottage in style

White plank floors and walls provide a fresh
and clean base for your decor. Red and white
is a classic summer combination. Be consistent
and stick to the colour scheme also in the
smallest details (note the red geranium plant!).
Summer time, cottage time. Easy living is the order of the day, and that also applies to how you organize your summer home. Ideally, it has to stand up to sandy feet and dripping bathing suites; it has to accommodate visiting relatives and improvised corn-on-the-cob dinners with friends; and it has to invite you to crawl up and finally read that treasured book. All this and you still want it to look stylish! How do you achieve it? My solution includes a crisp, white base which you combine with one major accent colour, natural textures and accessories, and an effort to always try to limit your furniture and things in general to the essentials. I hope these pictures will inspire you to create your own easy, breezy summer haven!
A white-and-blue floral slipcover is
quintessentially cottage! Seek out 
local thrift stores for old tables that
you can refinish.
Enjoy a peaceful breakfast surrounded 
by stripes - a safe summer choice for
upholstery and cushions.
New and old - furniture as well as guests -
typically share the space around the summer 
table. The bright red mirror and chairs give
the room some needed punch - and tons of 
And here are a few accessories - all found in North Bay stores - which will complete your home's summer look:
Lanterns from Winners.
Weathered mirrors from Winners.
Wicker stool from Vested Interest and sisal rug from Stradwick's Carpet One.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Kitchen design: what's cooking?

Pizo Industries, Powassan.
Thinking of redoing your kitchen? Summer is actually the perfect time for it, with barbecuing and outdoor dining being so easy and desirable. What style are you going for? If you still haven't made up your mind, you'll be interested in hearing from two of our local kitchen suppliers. This is what they have to say about "what's cooking":

Geoff Miller, Pizo Industries, Powassan: 
1. People are asking for clean lines and flat cabinetry panels these days. 
2. Wide-grain wood patterns are in demand. People tend to choose them for the warm feel they give to a contemporary kitchen. Walnut, South American and Asian wood species are especially popular. 
3. We see a lot of high-gloss finishes.

Kitchen Gallery, North Bay.

Kristin Lowe, Kitchen Gallery, North Bay:
1. As far as cabinetry goes, wood has taken a back seat to lacquer. The lightness and velvety texture of lacquer are a desirable look right now. The lacquer can be custom coloured to match any colour.  

2. For countertops, engineered stone is increasingly popular. Granite Transformations Engineered Stone is incredibly durable and resistant, and it's sealed permanently.  
3. There is a focus on quality. People today live in a more open concept with large open kitchens and islands. Therefore, if the kitchen has fewer cabinets, every other cabinet has to be that much better!  

Make sure to look for more kitchen design tips and trends in future postings! 

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Old is new at Manchester's Sleep Centre

It's not just the Fischer Street location that is new for Manchester's Sleep Centre & Spas. The store is also introducing a number of new, interesting products. The John Michael Originals, for example, is a line of hand-crafted furniture made from salvaged wood. Each piece is unique and uses mantels, flooring, porch posts and other details from 150-year-old homes in southern United States. The elaborate, salvaged components give the pieces personality, history and style. Precisely what we yearn for! I like how this rustic furniture line lends itself both to traditional country-style homes and to more modern cottage environments.
Take a look at the pieces here below, along with some of Manchester's Sleep Centre & Spas' fancy accessories.

This is a nice mix of old and new; the kitchen island 
is made from salvaged pieces and combines very 
well with the modern line of the bar stools. Island,
on sale for $2295, stools $299.
Detail from the kitchen island.
White cabinet, on sale
for $1599.
Details like these (above and below) add charm
and interest to a functional piece of furniture, 
such as the white cabinet above. Decorative tin 
(below) covers the back of the cabinet.

This cabinet provides tons of 
storage and plenty of country 
flair. On sale for $769.
Harvest table, bench and chairs, all on sale for
$2395, $649 and $199 respectively.
This gorgeous pillow is made from soft jute.
Can't get enough of royalty? Try these fun pillows
for a touch of glamour.

Some rooms call for calm patterns, such as this
botanical motif...
... other rooms need drama and contrast, and will
look vibrant with a pillow like this.
"Leila" is a new bed set for 2011 at Manchester's 
Sleep Centre & Spa and looks pretty in purple!
Want to show off something 
really beautiful in your home?
Give it extra exposure with a 
mirror! $400.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Custom made from the Cutter's Edge

You've probably heard about the 100-mile diet for local eating... With our many furniture manufacturers, we can soon start a similar shopping habit for home design! The Cutter's Edge is one of these local producers. The company's custom kitchens, vanities and furniture for living, dining and bedroom are made in Burk's Falls, and can be viewed in the Northgate Mall store. Almost everything in the company's product range can be customized since each piece is hand made on order. So take your pick on wood species, dimensions, design and stain colours  and have a look at some of my favourite pieces:
This custom kitchen island feels unique and 
elaborate with its beautiful wooden corbels.

Combine your dining chairs with benches for a more 
casual feeling. Or go exclusively with benches as in 
the picture. The glossy, black finish gives this dining 
set a timeless, classy look. Trestle table $895, benches
$295 each.
Poplar bathroom vanity in a classic 
"Wormy" maple saddle bench with an interesting
profile, $295.

Display your gems and hide the rest;
this maple hutch and buffet offers 
storage for both, $1495. 
Rustic pine timber bed, $1195.
The Cutter's Edge also offers signs,
art and other home decor. Golden
leaf, $54.95.
Outdoor furniture is also among the product line.
I like this clean-lined cedar log picnic table,
$450 unfinished.
I find this bench beautiful in all its simplicity. It's part 
of the "Primitive Furniture Collection". $218.
Cotton hand-knotted rug $9.95. Oh, Canada!