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Entries in soft furnishings (41)


Rough Linen - everyday luxury

Have you noticed it? There is a quiet revolution going on. A stand against fads and the throw away. In a world that is getting faster and smaller and increasingly more wasteful it's about quality, craftsmanship and longevity. It's about luxury but not the store it away and hoard it type of luxury. Everyday luxury. Taking the time to source the best, the most beautiful and using it all the time.

I have loved Tricia Rose's Rough Linen for so many years now. The story goes that Tricia found a homespun, hand-sewn linen pillowslip while clearing her grandmother's cottage in Scotland. Made by her great-grandmother in about 1840, it had been in regular use for generations. When she found a natural linen several years later with the same wonderful homespun texture and feel, she started making bedding, each piece handmade, cut to the thread, pre-washed for shrinkage and to release the texture. Good materials, careful and mindful production. Her range of bedding (sheets, duvet covers, shams and more), curtains, table linens, pinafores and robes is strong, elemental. You don't need to fuss with it, just use it, enjoy it's beauty and practicality.

And then there's the look, the smell, the feel of linen. Once you've slept in linen sheets you'll never want to sleep in anything else. I love the feel of linen against my skin. The best part is that it gets better with use, softening, becoming almost lustrous. But there's nothing "precious" about linen. Machine wash with a mild detergent and I love to hang my linens out to air dry. No need to iron. The natural creases are part of the Rough Linen look. Could everyday luxury be any easier?   

These images of key pieces from Rough Linen's line were taken in a house in California's Wine Country, which belongs to a friend, designer Patricia Adrian-Hanson. Dan Hale the architect is a friend of Tricia's too, and she says "I LUST after his houses!" With photography by Laurie Frankel and styling by Christina Watkinson they epitomise the beauty, the elegant sufficiency of Rough Linen pieces. An object may be simple, practical, efficient yet it can be equally luxurious. The ritual of family meals is finished with a swipe of the lips with a soft linen napkin and everyday chores become just a little more delightful. Imagine drying dishes with such a lovely linen teatowel. I think that just about sums it up. Rough Linen is a luxury you will use every day.

This post is in collaboration with Rough Linen.


Rebecca Atwood - Living With Pattern

Brooklyn based designer and artist Rebecca Atwood is launching her first book in a few days and I was really excited to get my hands on a copy the other day. I love pattern and admittedly I am at times unsure how to mix patterns in a fun but cohesive way so this book was an eye opener for me and is packed with tons of great advice. In Living With Pattern, Rebecca demystifies how to use this design concept that often confounds and confuses, demonstrating how to seamlessly mix and layer prints throughout a house. 

Before I get more into Rebecca's book, check out all the little goodies that came with it! (Except the doilies - those are mine that I can't seem to be able to dye black. Maybe I should get some tips from her since her hand-dyed textiles are incredibly beautiful and she clearly knows what she's doing.) A side note: the cover is her beautiful Speckled Fabric in Navy.

These next few photos are a glimpse inside the book. Eye candy, and trust me when I say you are going to want ALL THE PILLOWS and ALL THE PATTERNS. 

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A visit to The Modern Shop

My favourite Ottawa shop for modern home decor goodness is The Modern Shop. I have visited this shop on more occasions than I could ever count and have spent more money here than I care to calculate. :) The other day owner Michael Shaikin suggested the husband and I stop by for a visit as he had just finished a makeover of the shop - he didn't need to twist my arm! Some walls painted black, floors painted in Farrow & Ball's Calamine (like my dining room - WOOT!), and super fabulous and funky wallpaper (Studio Job Alt Deutsch Wallpaper by NLXL)'s fresh and fun and looks fantastic! Plus he used my wallpaper/painter guy who is amazing so Mike owes me a serious discount on that Moooi rug I ordered I think for hooking him up. ;)

It was tough to photograph the pink floors properly in this light but the photo above is a decent attempt. Looks gorgeous with the Era Lounge Chair by Normann Copenhagen

Tom Dixon accessories. SO HOT. 

Jonathan Adler accessories. SO FUN. 

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Green Light District

Last weekend while the husband and I were in Toronto participating in the Fall Antique & Vintage Market we FINALLY got to visit Green Light District. Deborah and David started this shop here in Ottawa but a few years ago packed up and moved themselves and the store to Toronto. This was my first time in Toronto since the move so I was stoked to check out their new digs in the really fun neighbourhood of Roncesvalles (a short jaunt from downtown). We met them at the shop where I toured around drooling over all their wares and snapped photos, then we all went for dinner a 2 minute walk down the street at Hopgood Foodliner (amazing drinks and food - try the Newfie Fried Rice!). I really can't wait to go back to GLD and check out more of that 'hood. Thank you so much Deborah and David! Missed you guys!

Just beyond the Subway is The Chocolateria - OMG! Need to definitively stop in there on the next visit. 

Their sign from the Ottawa shop looking right at home against a beautifully restored brick wall. 

That petal table is so freaking cute. And such incredible craftsmanship.

They have REAL butterfly chairs complete with leather covers and steel bases. I have always wanted one of those. 

(Mom - you need this lamp!)

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My new bedding from Aura 

I was SO stoked when the folks of Australian company Aura (one of our long-time advertisers and designers of a really amazing line of bed linen, homewares and rugs) emailed recently with the fantastic news that some of their bedding is now available in Canada at Hudson's Bay! WOHOO!!! To my delight the kind ladies of Aura offered to send my a duvet cover set and 2 pillows. YES!!! I have always purchased duvet covers at Ikea...and not that there is anything wrong with that but now I see what I have been missing. It was a reeeeally hard choice to make but in the end I went with the Lattice Lime duvet cover set, and the jumbo stripe and dipped decorative pillows. The duvet cover is soooo comfy, in a cotton/linen blend on the front (gawd I love linen bedding!!!) with a cotton back that is satiny soft (and neon piping for that extra oomph). The pillows are 100% linen with feather inserts so they are just divine. I am over the moon with this new bedding, and despite having done nothing with my bedroom since buying this house, I was excited to get some sort of design happening with the new bedding as inspiration. Pay no attention to the bland wall colour as that will change eventually, but to my surprise the bedding just blends right in. Thanks to Aura my bedroom looks pretty amazing if I may say! P.S. Aura isn't sold at all Hudson's Bay locations but that doesn't matter because you can order online!

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