Tag Archives: vintage

The Quirky Kitchen

Colorful colander, bowls, measuring cups and spoons by Joseph Joseph
Image from Joseph Joseph

Food and design are intrinsically connected. Design influences the way food is prepared and crafted, whilst food has always been a great source of inspiration for designer, spawning iconic design objects. In the design enthusiast’s home, cooking  can be more fun when you have the right tools and tableware that can add a little more interest to the preparation.

Karate chopper

Novelty knifeVia Fing Kisher

The Karate chopper makes chopping lettuce enjoyable and as easy as breaking plywood boards. A giant hand-shaped cutter, this will definitely get the kids to enjoy making their own salads (and hopefully get them to eat their veggies too!).

OCD Chef

Image via Swiss-Miss

This cutting board is definitely on my household item wishlist, and will appeal to many who are avid crafters and designers. The board is made from bamboo but features a grid and etchings reminiscent of a rubber cutting mat. It even has angle measurements! The board is from Fred and Friends, a company that makes functional objects that are also highly entertaining.

Joseph Joseph Nest 9

Colorful nesting utensils from Joseph JosephNesting kitchen tools from Joseph Joseph

Images from Joseph Joseph

This set is a great way to keep some basic kitchen tools organized while adding color to your kitchen. The set includes a strainer/colander, two mixing bowls, a sieve, and a set of measuring spoons. It was designed to stack together with a perfectly flat top, so that it occupies the least amount of space while forming a complete spectrum! This would definitely make a great housewarming gift.

Pantone Mugs and Cups

Colorful mugs from PantonePantone mugs look great on the shelf

Images by Renee Alfonso

And speaking of adding color to your kitchen and cupboard, the Pantone mug series would definitely be at home in any design enthusiast’s kitchen. Each ceramic mug is designed like a Pantone swatch, complete with the color number! Apart from the standard mugs they also come in espresso mug size.

Vintage Pyrex

Scene from Mad Men

Scene from Mad Men

Retro Pyrex serving bowls
Image from I ♥ Pretty

No household has been complete without a Pyrex dish since the mid twentieth century. For the vintage enthusiasts or those looking to add a little vintage flair into the kitchen, classic Pyrex is definitely the way to go! Vintage pyrex sets are functional, and fun, going straight from the stove or oven top to the table, and will give any kitchen that trendy Mad Men like flare.  Pyrex has come to have somewhat of a cult following in recent years, and many people collect them.

Posted in Food, Kitchen & Bath | Tagged , ,

Bloor Hot Docs Cinema – the Grand Opening

Bloor Cinema interiors

All images via Bloor Hot Docs, photo credit Joseph Michael

Toronto is a good city for film.  We’ve got the Toronto Film Festival, with its newly established home at the Lightbox, a cinema and gallery space that curates unique film, art, and memorabilia programming year-round in addition to workshops and lectures.  We’ve even got a handful of nabes still in operation: many of these single screen gems will be celebrating their centennial in the not-too-distant future.  These cinemas, preserved in part, and frequented by, the foot traffic of their communities, offer a nostalgic throw-back to a bygone era before the multiplex, when cinema was considered art and a reason to go out, dolled up even.

The newly renovated Bloor Cinema

Another incredible film festival operating out of Toronto is Hot Docs, a documentary film festival.  Each spring, Hot Docs brings more than 150 documentaries from Canada and around the world to the screen during their annual juried festival showcasing some of the word’s best in the genre.  And the best news?  Hot Docs recently acquired the historic Bloor Cinema, a century old Toronto landmark and have spent the last 9 months painstakingly renovating it, returning the grand dame to her former glory, while also bringing in state of the art presentation technology (frequent patrons of the old Bloor Cinema, an institution in itself, will be pleased to know this includes a new sound system, woot, woot).  The Bloor Cinema is now Hot Docs’  permanent home for its annual festival as well as a screening venue for year-round documentary programming, and will function as hub for, and host to, both special documentary events and smaller film festivals.  They’ll even bring back some of the Bloor’s special programming.  Bloor Hot Docs Cinema is one of the world’s only documentary cinemas.

Rows of seats at Bloor cinema

At the entrance hall of Bloor

The theatre hosts an open house today and tomorrow with a free screening of Waste Land about renowned Brazilian artist Vik Muniz who uses garbage and food waste to create his socially conscious pieces. I’m going later this week to see Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey.

And then later in the month I hope to be back for a pretty awesome  looking doc on the life of Charles and Ray Eames, AKA Mr. and Mrs. Mid Century modern, who together transformed American design.  The doc is entitled Eames: The Architect and the Painter, which I’ll happily report on here.  Here’s the trailer:

Bloor Hot Docs Cinema’s full monthly schedule can be found here. If you’re a lover of cinema and fan of documentaries, consider supporting them with a membership or discount card.   At any rate, I wish them the absolute best of luck!

Posted in Culture, News | Tagged , , ,

2012 Trends for Interiors

image via apartment therapy

A whole new year means a whole new list of trends that designers and experts have forecasted to make their way onto shelves and into your homes in the coming months. As usual you’ll see a lot of crossover of fashion into interior design, so the colour you might be wearing might also be on your walls (I’m looking at you tangerine tango). Today I’ve compiled a condensed list of a few of the newest trends and some ideas on how to add them to your space straight away.

image via house and home

Unfinished Wood

The unfinished wood trend is one that isn’t going anywhere this year. With people still looking for furniture made of reclaimed wood, and wanting to avoid toxic finishes, the warmth and texture of bare wood is definitely appealing.

How to add it now: A dining room table with an unfinished wood top. It’s a long lasting piece that will add natural beauty.

image via house to home


Gold, silver and bronze paired with greys, blacks and neutrals will be everywhere in the coming months. We are also seeing far more coloured metallics in home accessories. Metallic wallpaper also seems to be popular right now.

How to add it now: Accessories like throw pillows, vases and ornamental decorations are the way to go with a trend like this; with a look that may or may not last a few seasons you may only want to make a minor financial investment to implemented the style you’re after.

image via anne sage


The past will be a big source of inspiration for interiors this year; eighties glam, seventies futuristic and sixties palm springs will be showing up in both furniture designs and paint colours.

How to add it now: There is a lot of retro inspired lighting out there and it can be easily added to most of your existing decors with striking effect.

image via decorati access


Pantone’s colour of the year is called tangerine tango and you can expect to see it popping up everywhere. I love it when Pantone releases their colour forecast because it gives a great overall idea of the general mood in design.

How to add it now: Orange isn’t a colour that most people can handle in large doses, but it can be fun in a small space like a bathroom or a guest room. Try pairing it with white and light coloured woods.

image via cherry blossom world


Industrial details like castors and roughed up metal are big this year in furniture. Picture a New York warehouse space with heavy duty furniture and oversized art. However, industrial doesn’t have to mean humongous, it can still be incorporated in smaller spaces by adding details of concrete, metal and wood.

How to add it now: A tarnished metal light fixture or an object like an industrial fan displayed as art are fun options for adding this look on a small scale.

Natural Linen and Cotton

It is fitting that natural textiles are in vogue, because like unfinished wood they exude calm and a return to nature.

How to add it now: If you don’t want to commit to a whole linen-upholstered couch, draping a linen throw over your existing couch will give you a similar effect.

image via french by design

That’s it for our list. The nice thing about many of these styles is that they are very open to interpretation and can be implemented in small and big ways.  What do you think of these trends? Are there any that you could see adding to your home?

Happy Friday everyone!

In Defense of the Old

Vintage New Year postcard. Via Kudzu Jungle.

It’s the new year, and a lot of us are making resolutions, cleaning out closets, and letting go of a lot of junk. “Out with old, in with the new,” so they say. It’s the time when we all want fresh starts, clean slates, and all things new. But before we haul those old books and clothes out, let’s take a deep breath and pause for a moment.

Not everything that’s old is old-fashioned. Not everything that dates back a few years is dated. Not everything of the past is passe. We all need to look back on our experiences — we need our memories.

Besides, there are a lot things that with the years become more beautiful, more valuable, more fabulous. Aside from the usual things that people say get better with age — friendships, certain wines, certain cheeses, certain people… I thought I’d mention 3 old things that get just to good to let go of.

Old Trees

Image from Garden Pictures

Don’t axe that tree in the garden! The older trees get, the stronger, statelier and more graceful they are. Their trunks get chunkier, their branches reach higher and farther, and if they are fruit-bearing trees, they yield better fruits. Birds and other living things, including humans, like them better too.

Old Jeans

Image from Wendy's Lookbook

Also from Wendy's Lookbook

So a pair of jeans is no longer the same deep color as when you first wore it. And maybe it’s worn, and frayed, and faded in patches. It doesn’t mean goodbye — at least, not just yet. There’s a certain comfort and style in old jeans that make them favorite closet staples.

Image from Style Tips 101

Oh, would that we could all age as gracefully as denim… Maybe it’s all about a wabisabi vibe, or maybe it’s just that old jeans fit better, having known its owner’s hiney longer. They fade like they were meant to fade. And somehow they fray where frays and fringes look flatteringly best.

Old Songs

Sometimes we get too engrossed in the latest albums, the newest artists, the current number 1 song. Hype is how recording companies make their profit, after all. I personally like to give songs a bit of time before I give them room to embed in my head.

Time, for me, is the true test of a song’s substance. It separates the music from the fluff, and only the good ones last. If I can listen to it being played and overplayed in the radio and TV, in the mall PA system, and covered by showbands, and badly sung in karaoke joints, and if it still does not make me want to puke, then it may well be on its way to being a classic.

Same goes for movies. I just saw P.T. Anderson’s Magnolia again last weekend and was once again blown away by the craftsmanship that went into weaving all its mini stories together into an awesome cohesive whole. And I fell in love again with the music of Aimee Mann.

Watch the trailer.

So before you throw anything out, you may want to rummage through that discard bin again. There might be some keepers yet in there.

Posted in Culture, Fashion | Tagged ,

Vintage Suitcase Ideas

image via cupcakes and cashmere

Of my many mini-collections my vintage suitcases are some of my most treasured possessions. Vintage suitcases, trunks and attache cases are appealing for a number of reasons; they provide decorative storage spaces where you can keep your other mini-collections, by stacking two or more together you can create instant furniture, and they also offer a great deal of nostalgic appeal. At the busiest travel time of the year many of us are thinking about packing a suitcase or two and hitting the road, but today I thought we could take a look at a few ideas for using suitcases around the home.

Trunk Bar via Apartment Therapy

You’ve probably spotted one of these over-sized trunks at garage sales and flea markets and wondered what to do with them. Ready Made had the genius idea to turn one into a mini bar. For a small apartment or condo the compact size is perfect and the wheels on the bottom make it portable. You can make a mini bar of your own by heading here.

Have you checked out Design Sponge at Home yet? I am hoping Santa will bring me a copy for Christmas because everything I’ve seen so far from this book makes me want to sneak inside the pages and start playing house. This end table project shows off what Grace Bonney is good at; mixing together a little bit of vintage styling with some mad DIY skills and a finely tuned eye for beautiful design.

image via a beautiful mess

I love this project by a beautiful mess. Vintage suitcases are easy to come by at antique and thrift shops but they can be in varying states of disrepair. Here Elsie has covered the tops with pretty floral fabric to give them a renewed life. For the full tutorial head over to her blog.

suitcase dollhouse by Hart and Sew via modern kiddo

You could also try turning a vintage suitcase into a portable dollhouse. The false floor is a smart idea allowing dolls, furniture and accessories to be stored neatly inside. Wouldn’t one of these be fun to decorate? If you’re stuck on a last minute gift for a little girl or boy on your list you could probably whip one of these up in a day or two.

Pet Suitcase bed by Decor Demon

This last idea is for your four-legged friends; a dog or kitty bed made out of a vintage suitcase! There is a tutorial on the Decor Demon website, and by the looks of it this is a quick and dirty project that will take no more than a weekend to complete. Your furry friends will thank you for it.

So many fabulous ideas. If you want to try your hand at one of these projects you can wait for a vintage suitcase or two to pop up or you can find plenty here

Posted in Design, Travel | Tagged , ,