Ahead Of Our Time?

Leafing through the new Ikea Catalogue we spotted this layout pictured above. Which reminded us of Dennis' foliage-filled living room in Covet Garden Issue 3 from November 2010 (shown below). What we're trying to say is that if you haven't perused our back issues, we can assure you you will find plenty of inspiration for your rooms in our past pages.

Catalogue vs real rooms. What do you think about this look? We'd love to hear your views in the comments?


Behind The Scenes: Debbie and Peter's Place

Summer is the busiest time of year here at Covet Garden, and here's another preview of a recent shoot with photographer Naomi Finlay (pictured above). This week, we take you behind the scenes of our day at Debbie and Peter's West End home.

Peter is the head of the furniture design program at Sheridan College and Debbie is a graphic designer, so you know they are going to have interesting collections, such as Debbie's assortments of mid-century British ceramics (see above), old tins and advertising ashtrays. Their amazing, airy space incorporates also living and work spaces (which expand into a fantastic outdoor area with a vegetable garden). That's their kitty cat Maybelle looking longingly into the yard in the photo below.

[photos: Jessica Reid, except #2 and #4 by Naomi Finlay]


Behind The Scenes: Shaun and Todd's Space

August has been an action-packed month at Covet Garden. We are working feverishly on our special print edition, Covet Garden Home, we're putting the final touches on our Third Anniversary Issue for September and we're taking advantage of the summer light by photographing homes for the rest of 2013.

That's photographer Donna Griffith getting ready to shoot our October issue in the photo above.

It's hard for us to wait two months to share these great spaces, so we thought we'd give you a peek at Shaun and Todd's Victorian rowhouse (which is scheduled to run in October) as well as a look into our own creative process.

Shaun is a the co-owner of the Canadian design store Made and Todd the owner of Emblem Floral Design Studio, so needless to say, they have a great eye for beautiful things. Pictured above is one of Todd's amazing floral arrangements.

The light in the house is also pretty incredible, but the copper shade by Toronto designer Derek McLeod adds extra illumination.

A bowl of White Rabbit candies from TNT Supermarket in Cherry Beach/

Shaun and our own Lynda Felton in the couple's newly renovated third floor space.

A collection of little skulls in the living room.

Lynda was especially fond of this "Party Animals" bowl by local artist Lana Filippone.

[photos: Jessica Reid]


Jenn Hannotte Talks To Meta Coleman

[All images via Meta Coleman]

As a parent who happens to be a designer, I get asked a lot how I merge the world of childhood with a well-designed space as though the two are in opposition and impossible to reconcile.  I wanted to reach out to Meta Coleman, author of the One More Mushroom Blog, and a designer who focusses on children's spaces, to ask for her tips on living and designing with kids in mind, something that requires attention to form and function, but also to fostering the spirit of childhood. Below are Meta's responses:

Tip Number One: Give your child a space or nook of their own.  When designing family spaces I believe it is important to integrate a space where the children can read, draw, and play.  In our home we have a section in the living room specifically for our children.  There is a child's table and chairs for drawing, a cabinet with shelving for children's book and storage below for toys and a small TV. There is also a comfortable rug and bean bag cushion for their comfort when playing and watching movies.

Tip Number Two: Keep toys easily accessible for play and clean up and provide storage that can serve dual purposes.  For example, In our living room we use a white play table as a coffee table.  We are able to store our games and blankets as well as my son's large collection of guys and legos.  The storage is easily accessible for my children so that they can take out their toys as well as put them away.

Tip Number Three: Allow your child an area for drawing and expression.  Children are naturally very creative and enjoy expressing themselves.  My daughter Maja loves to draw all over the walls and furniture in our house.  In her room I decided to paint an entire wall with chalkboard paint, so that she could draw whenever she would like.  This will encourage her expression, but hopefully discourage her drawing on other parts of the house.

Tip Number Four: Keep some of your child's toys in an area where you spend a lot of time. Children want to be wherever you are so why not make it easy for them to play where you are. For example, in our kitchen/dinning area there is a small play kitchen for my children. When I'm cooking dinner it's so fun to have my kids "cook" along with me.

Tip Number Five: Decorate with the child's interest in mind--Children like to be a part of decision making and it makes their space more personal when you incorporate their interests.  When decorating our son Henrik's room I selected a wallpaper that he would enjoy. My son loves vikings, pirates and exploring.  I chose the map wallpaper, so that he could feel like he was out to sea on an adventure.

We're pleased to present another post from interior stylist Jenn Hannotte. Jenn's space is featured in the current issue of Covet Garden. You should totally check it out.


Fantastic C.F.A. Voysey Voyage

We here at Covet Garden are not just design nerds. We are pattern nerds. And history nerds. So when we discovered the wallpapers, fabrics and furnishings of English architect Charles Francis Annesley Voysey (1857–1941), we fell into a research hole that took days to tunnel out of.

Voysey was part of the British Arts and Crafts scene and was most noted for building charming country houses. In fact, his buildings could be considered forerunners to our present-day small and sustainable housing movement. And he was also one of the first to appreciate the significance of industrial design, which is why he is also considered a father of Modern Architecture.

Voysey's own entrance into the world of mass-produced goods was a result of a friend suggesting he design wallpaper in between architectural commissions. His earliest surface designs were historically influenced repeat patterns. But just as his buildings began to reflect the customs and needs of the local population (rather than trying to recapture some academic idea of the rustic past), Voysey’s designs became lighter and more flowing. It was during this period that two of his most popular patterns—The Saladin wallpaper and The Owl jacquard fabric (see below) —were introduced.

What Voysey took from the Arts and Crafts movement was an appreciation of form and function over fussy Victorian frou frou. What he gave to the modern era was an emphasis on simplicity. In his furniture designs, for example, he liked to leave wood with its natural finish. And his preferred palette made use of flat pastels.

Perhaps the greatest testament to Voysey’s skills is that so much of his work is still in existence to day. Most of the 50 or so modest homes that he built are still standing, lovingly cared for by their owners. 

That and the fact that so many of his prints are still in production today. The style and scale of a Voysey design really is perfect for an eclectic, smaller space! So let's get back to looking at pretty pictures of wallpaper.

Voysey was also one of the first to incorporate pop culture into his designs, introducing the Alice in Wonderland upholstery fabric in 1920.

[Images via Trustworth Wallpaper]