Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Great Canadian Outdoors

I grew up in the Kawarthas, just outside of Peterborough. My family never spent summer weekends at the cottage because we lived in cottage country all year 'round. Our house overlooked Chemong Lake and we had a good sized back yard with a set of swings, a vegetable garden and stone barbeque that my Dad made.

View of Chemong Lake from our house, circa 1971.

Fast forward about 40 years. Now I'm living life as a city girl with a 4' x 10' balcony as my own personal slice of the outdoors. Not bad, considering this balcony is almost 25% bigger than my previous one. There are several parks nearby with plenty of room to roam, but some mornings I just want to step outside wearing pj's and with a cup of coffee in hand.

Here on the new balcony, I'm using the same ceramic garden stool, yellow urns and woven chairs that I had at the old place (you can see posts about the old balcony here & here), but there are some new additions. This year I invested in a strand of lights, an inexpensive rug and some real greenery.


I picked up two dwarf globe cedars at Home Depot this spring and planted them in the yellow urns. They seem to get just the right amount of moisture from Mother Nature's regular watering ;) The yellow rug is from HomeSense and it ties in perfectly with the colour palette.

I love the string of outdoor lights! Their warm glow gives the balcony so much ambiance in the evening hours. Inviting, isn't it?

So, how do you enjoy the Great Canadian Outdoors?

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Happy Canada Day Weekend

To all my fellow Canadians, I wish you a happy, happy Canada Day weekend! I'm sure 97% of you are either on the road to the cottage or have already arrived there, but I'm also pretty sure that most still have internet access and are reading this outdoors with a beverage in hand.

In celebration of the national holiday, Lia Fagan of Mod Pieces is running her annual "Shop Like a Designer" sale, which means this weekend (June 28th to July 1st) everyone receives the trade discount of 25% off regular pricing. Just use the coupon code "OHCANADA" at checkout.

Lia started her business, Mod Pieces, by refurbishing vintage lamps and she is the "go-to" girl for custom shades. In fact, Lia created the custom size shades for the ceramic lily lamps in my guest bedroom:

Lia has recently added throw pillows to her design repertoire, and she has such a great eye for fun patterns and colours. I'll bet a few of these would look great on your couch!

I love this classic black & white combo:


This chartreuse & blue combo is perfect for summer decor:


Mod Pieces has two of these lamps available, "The Lilith Twins". They're so Mad Men:

The Mod Pieces "Shop Like a Designer" sale is on now and runs through midnight on Canada Day (Monday, July 1st).  Happy shopping!!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Thrifted Thursday Feature

Good morning!! I'm just popping in here to let everyone know that today I'm being featured in the Thrifted Thursday series over at Love on Sunday. I recently met blogger Amy, a talented graphic designer and fellow design aficionado, at the Christie Antiques Show. We share a similar love of thrifting, and I was more than happy to share the story of how I discovered & updated my campaign chest. While you're there, check out the rest of Amy's blog, it's a great read!

Click the photo above for a direct link to Amy's Thrifted Thursday post.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Google Reader Switcheroo

**If you already subscribe to Cherish Toronto via email, feel free to disregard this post.**

Hello readers :) This is a quick reminder that Google Reader will soon be a thing of the past. If you currently get your Cherish Toronto fix via Google Reader, you will need to switch to an alternate source before July 1, 2013.

May I suggest that you follow with bloglovin':

Follow on Bloglovin

Alternately, you can sign up to receive Cherish Toronto posts directly to your email inbox by entering your email address in the "Subscribe" box near the top of the right sidebar.

That is all.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Pretty Crystal Door Knobs!!

A couple of weeks ago I swung by the Ginger's warehouse sale hoping to score a few more of the crystal handles that I used on the vanity doors in the master bath. No luck. However... I did spy two crystal door knobs in a brass finish. A necessary purchase? Not reeeeally. But at 67% off regular retail, I was dazzled by the sparkle and the price!

These crystal knobs replace two of the annoying lever handles in the master suite (I say annoying because they would always catch on my belt loops and pant drawstrings). Now one of these sparkling beauties leads into the closet and the other into the master bath. So lovely, don't you think?

Now if I can just find five more on sale.

PS - I looooove the way the master bedroom colour looks in the Instagram photo above. The colour is Gown (SR9), part of the Sarah Richardson Designer Palette for PARA Paints.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Creating Comfort in the Guest Bath

When asked about my decision to move 15 minutes outside of downtown Toronto, my answer is twofold. Reason one is that I'm closer to work, so I can catch a few extra minutes of zzzzz's in the morning. The second, more important factor, is the affordability of a two bedroom condo here in Eatonville. Having a second bedroom means that the door is always open for guests (within reason, of course).

The second bedroom has been ready for guests for a few months, and I have added just a few small touches to the main bathroom to make an overnight stay as comfortable as possible for friends & family.

I upgraded to french vanilla marble floors in the guest bath, and I thought that the best way to show them off would be to keep the textiles in the room monochromatic. I chose this Indian block print shower curtain from HomeSense ($19.99!) because it coordinates perfectly with the floor.

The colours in the accessories are soft, including this cherub wall pocket which I found at an antique market in Fenelon Falls a few years ago. A simple touch like this and the vintage gold birds on the wall above the toilet (pictured above) keep the monochromatic scheme from being too boring.

I was super excited when I found out that the developer installed Delta faucets throughout the condo. The brand is known for its quality and Masco Corporation is a great company to work with; they are very supportive of design bloggers.

For the comfort of guests, I have tried to cover all the bases by providing extra towels, facecloths, tissue and toiletries under the sink. Instead of just throwing it all in a pile, I found a great reversible fabric basket at HomeSense ($12.99!), and rolled the towels up inside.

Call for your guest reservation soon!!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

What's in a View?

I grew up in my parents' home, a comfortable 3 bedroom bungalow in the Kawarthas with a view of Chemong Lake, and I remained there until moving out at the tender age of 21. My first apartment was a basement rental in Kingston, Ontario, where I lived for about 6 months before being transferred to Toronto. My sister and I shared the top floor of a triplex overlooking Davenport Road for several years until she bought her own place and I rented a tiny condo at King & Bathurst. The bachelor unit was tucked into a corner on the 9th floor, and was the first time I had lived more than 30 feet above terra firma. From there I purchased and relocated to my first home, a second floor condominium with a pleasant view of the courtyard.

When it came time to purchase my current home, I spent a considerable amount of time weighing a list of factors including the suite's orientation and potential view before making a final decision. I don't think I realized just how much I would enjoy the view from up here on the 20th floor. I have always asked in the past, "Is a good view really that important? Does anyone actually spend time just sitting around staring out the window?" 

Well as it turns out, a good view is really important and as a matter of fact I do spend a lot of time staring out the window. Case in point:

I love it up here :)

Photo by Pamela Graham for Cherish Toronto

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

An Evening with Lynn Spence at Wicker Emporium

I was recently invited to attend a special event at Wicker Emporium. To be completely honest, I wasn't aware of Wicker Emporium until this introduction, and I was surprised to discover that this Canadian company has been in business since 1973. The family owned chain of 22 retail stores (and growing!) is based in Halifax with stores in Eastern Canada and Ontario.

This event was entitled, "Inside Out" and was hosted at the store's Heartland Town Centre location in Mississauga. Style expert Lynn Spence was there to present some fabulous outdoor dining and entertaining ideas. Since summer officially arrives in just 10 days, I thought now would be a great time to share some of those ideas with you!

The overall lesson of the evening was to bring the indoors out when entertaining this summer. Lynn's advice was simply this: "Treat outdoor dining the same as you would indoors." This teak table was my absolute favourite, with 6 stylish place settings set off by a trio of statement candle holders. I was immediately drawn to the soft & chic Nantucket colour palette of this presentation.

The second table presentation was bright & sunny, which would be perfect for entertaining guests at an afternoon brunch. Lynn suggested using a small side table for extra plates, napkins, and perhaps a beverage pitcher. Having everything you need close at hand means not having to run back inside. Great idea!

Lynn chose to arrange this classic mango wood pedestal table as a games table, surrounded by a group of durable organic stools made from sturdy acacia wood. Wouldn't this come in handy during a rainy afternoon at the cottage?

Here's another fabulous table setting. The mood at this long driftwood table was a bit more laid back and Lynn came up with an interesting seating combination; slipcovered chairs on one side, a bench on the other, and a pair of woven rattan chairs at either end. Why not mix it up?

Moving indoors, Lynn created this welcoming vignette for a small space such as a home's front entry. The twig lamp lends a casual cottage vibe and I am still wishing that I had a spot for the gorgeous trestle table. I suggested to my sister that she should buy this table for her new home...

This cozy tufted chair could tuck into a nook and provide a quiet spot to get away for some quiet "me" time. I can imagine settling into this chair on a rainy Sunday afternoon and enjoying a good read. Lynn suggested that you should fill the space in a small nook with a substantial chair - large furniture gives your home a feeling of grandeur.

Do you lack storage space? Think of all the different ways you could use this sideboard and hutch combination, it doesn't have to be just for dinnerware. Here Lynn filled it with spare blankets and bedding, but you could also use it for towels and toiletries in the bath.

The Inside Out event was a lot of fun and I was very impressed by the way Lynn Spence styled each table and vignette. For more info about the evening, check out Wicker Emporium's 5 minute video below. If you receive this post via email, please visit the Cherish Toronto website to view the video.

All photos by Pamela Graham for Cherish Toronto.
Video provided via Wicker Emporium's Facebook page.

**Please note that this post is not sponsored and I was not compensated in any way by Wicker Emporium to write this. I was very impressed by the presentation given by Lynn Spence and I wanted to share the experience with all of you.**

Sunday, June 9, 2013


There's nothing like spring blossoms to remind you that Mother Nature is the master of beauty & design. It doesn't get any better than the peony. So lovely!

All photos by Pamela Graham for Cherish Toronto.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Oh, Paris, How I Miss Thee

Today is one of those Mondays where I'm at work but I'd rather be anyplace else. Heather Clawson, of the popular blog Habitually Chic just spent a long weekend in Paris, and her instagram photos are making me yearn to return there. So much so that I was even compelled to watch Midnight in Paris on Saturday night. Le Sigh.

Photos by Pamela Graham for Cherish Toronto.