Wednesday
Jun262013

Covet Garden's 15 Sizzling Summer Hits 

Friday
Jun212013

Covet Garden Indiegogo Thank You Page: Week 4

[photo: Jodi Pudge from Issue 2]

We're getting into the home stretch of our Covet Garden Home Indiegogo crowd funding campaign. With two weeks to go, we are tantalizing close to reaching our goal of $18,000. And we have the following contributors to thank!

Stephanie Alford, Andrea Barrett, Susan Bernard, Laura Buckley, Caribou Concepts, Andrea Cardin, Sabrina Cranny, Ashley Denton, M.C. Direnzo, Berta Faet, Engracia Findlay, Shannon Fitzpatrick, Kerry Furneaux, Paula Gallo, Ellen Guettler, Heidi Gibbeson, Tess Gilchrist, Barb Gormley, Wendy Greene, Andrea Harvie, Lisa Hearn, Jen Hendriks, Huiszwaluw, Robin Itotani, Carolyn Jarman, Dr. Nishtha Langer, Anette Larsson, Jaclyn Law, Alice Lawlor, Annis Thorn Leeson, D. Legere, Christina Linklater, Valerie Marchand, Kathryn Maxfield, Kitty MacFarlane, Daniel MacKinnon, Kerry McCusker, Annette McKinnon, Dorenda McNeil, Mya McNulty, Margaret (Meg) Mitchell, The Pamenter and Uliana family, Rahul Parekh, Cassandra Pilon, Carole Reid, Julia Rhodes, Tracy Shumate, Eugenia N. Snyder, Laura Sosin, Paul van Dongen, Jodi Weir, Claire Williams,  Joy Wilson, Teri Worthington and Joan Wyatt.

And once again, to those anonymous contributors, we give you a very public thank you.

If you accidentally contributed as anonymous and want to see you name in our blog of fame, drop us a message via the Contact tab above.

Tuesday
Jun182013

Sarah Townson's Deck DIY Diary

Sarah Townson is the Senior Designer at Hannotte Interiors. She has also recently completed a deck do-over and has graciously shared her experiences with her short-term outdoor update. Take it away Sarah!

I am planning a major renovation in the next year or two which will involve the removal of the upstairs deck before rebuilding the addition it sits on top of, so this makeover is a really quick and dirty, cost-effective way to extend the life of the existing deck (but is not meant to be a longterm solution)

The deck boards (which a previous owner had cheaply constructed out of thinner planks meant for fences) had rotted through, and I couldn't risk a guest or one of our pets hurting themselves out there. I started thinking of ways to reinforce the floor in a cohesive way rather than replacing the planks (the guard rail sits on top of these, so it would have been a lot of work and a can of worms I'd rather leave unopened). Because I only need the deck to last a couple of years, I decided to lay pressure-treated plywood sheets on top of the offending planks, using them as a subfloor. Out of sight, out of mind. And while I liked the look of my old outdoor rug, it had sped up the rotting process by holding rainwater, I decided to fake one with stain.

The deck is 12' x 8', so I got away with using three sheets of 3/4" thick plywood that only required a bit of trimming with a circular saw. After applying PL adhesive with a caulking gun to the underside of the sheets to eliminate any movement over time, we fixed them in place with 2" deck screws. 

Next, I used stainable exterior wood filler to fill any screw holes in the area that would be stained. I applied it with a putty knife and sanded it once dry. Holes outside the "rug zone" were left unfilled, because the plywood around the perimeter was going to be left in its natural state, and this looked less offensive to me.

Then I did some rug stripe math and marked lines about 10" from around the deck perimeter. Because the genius that originally built the deck didn't build it straight, I had to cheat the look a bit to avoid highlighting the fact that it's a rhombus. After a bit of thought to this, and after bringing my Dyson outside to make sure no sawdust specks would ruin my finish, I carefully measured and taped off the lines for the first stripes of my rug using Frogtape, the greatest invention for painters since the angled brush. Seriously, this stuff doesn't let any leaks get under your lines, and it's well worth the extra few dollars.

I'd calculated the area I needed to cover in advance and purchased an appropriate amount of stain from the hardware store. Behr makes a solid colour wood stain that's available in sample jars for only $4.99 each. I love the way this stuff goes on, and the fact that you can see the texture of the knots and imperfections in the wood while still getting great coverage.

I had two jars mixed in a navy blue called Atlantic before they told me they were out of white base for my contrasting stripes. So half of my faux rug is opaque stain, and the rest is in flat white all-in-one exterior paint, also acquired in sample size. This was not ideal, and more product was required for the right coverage, but I was on a timeline.

The white went on first, and then I removed the Frogtape and used a foam brush and a very steady hand to apply the blue stain to fill in the blanks (I didn't want to re-tape in case it lifted the fresh paint, but you could probably get away with this if you use stain first).

After the whole thing dried for a day or so, I brought in some furniture. I scored a blue folding table from Craigslist and went to IKEA for the umbrella and some outdoor pillows for the storage bench I'd built a few years ago.

I always put food out for a local stray cat, and I keep it in a bowl under another bench I built previously. After I added some herbs, tomato plants and succulents, I invited my own cat out to see his new party deck (and he got a summer makeover of his own). Now it's the perfect place to enjoy a coffee, book, or a few friends and beers without worrying that someone will crash through the floor.

Friday
Jun142013

Covet Garden Indiegogo Thank You Page: Week 3

[Michelle Yee's fabulous pop-up card from Issue 33]

Once again, the Covet Garden team has been heartened by the ongoing support of our Covet Garden Home Indiegogo Campaign. Every contribution is a vote of confidence in our project and, with two weeks to go, we are well on our way to making the print edition of Covet Garden a reality!

Here's our 21 gun salute to the super souls who contributed this week!

Ellie Arscott, Kandy Christensen, Dré Dee, Heather de Man, Eileen Fauver, Megan Garrett, Denise Hawk, Mari-Sol and Ben Howard, Gillian Jackson, Erika Jacobs, Dawne Kissack-Pyke, Signe Langford, Virginia Macdonald, Margaret (Meg) Mitchell, Jenn Playford, Stephanie Power, Jane Proud, Tracy Rassett, Koruna Schmidtmumm, Molly Seon, Christos Sourligas, South End Farm & Vineyards, John Webster, Gregory White.

And again, a big shout out to those who wish to remain anonymous!

Wednesday
Jun122013

Window Shopping At Type

After a recent Covet Garden meeting on West Queen West, our eyes and imaginations were captured by this display at Type Books. The shop always has wonderful windows but this month's  celebration of Toronto Star writer Corey Mintz's new book, How To Host A Dinner Party, whetted all of our appetites: books, food and design.

The folks at Type also selected other fine books about dining such as this pair of tomes by Georgian essayists Charles Lamb and Hannah Glasse (Mintz, Lamb and Glasse — what wonderful names for folks who write about food, by the way). The extraordinarily talented Kalpna Patel then selected delicate blue floral papers and good old gingham to dress up the display. Patel, who has also created cool decor for events such as City of Craft and The Junction Flea, has been collaborating with Type for about two years now. It certainly inspired us, so we asked Patel what inspired her!

"I heard about Corey's book long before I saw/read it, and it got me thinking about what my dream dinner party would look like," she says. "I don't cook, so what I really got excited about was presentation — gorgeous gingham tablecloths, heavy vintage plates, sparkly silverware — and I realized that doing a window display was the best way to live out this fantasy without all the messy cooking."

As for the cut out typography and sparkly cutlery, sats Patel, "I had also always wanted to explore papercutting, so I got some beautiful rolls of Okawara from The Paper Place next door to create the backdrop."

[Images, Jessica Reid]