Friday
Jun272014

The Canadian Collection

In the current issue of Covet Garden, Paul's house is packed with great Canadian art. And since Canada Day is right around the corner, we thought we'd share fun, summery gifts, housewares and other goodies from some more talented Canadian illustrators so that you can start growing your collections as well. We're starting with the Victorian Birdies note cards by Alanna Cavanagh for tuNeues. Send a thank you to the hosts of your long weekend barbeques and patio parties and keep one for yourself to frame.

Nothing says summer and Great White North like this Canoe Trailer print from Wendy Tancock. It's printed on recycled card stock and she tells us that it fits right into an IKEA Ribba frame if you want a touch of Scandinavia to go with your Canadiana.

What's a celebration without cake? Our friend and Covet Garden contributor Katy Dockrill has created a cool, reusable cake decorating kit for Party Partners to help you dress up your dessert.


If you are planning to hang around the city this long weekend, you can show your hometown pride with a pennant designed by artist Olivia Mew for Stay Home Club (there's a Montréal version too).

Cheezies are the most Canadian of party snacks and are therefore perfect for any July 1st fête. They are so evocative of Canuck cuisine that they have been celebrated in song! Now illustrator Ian Phillips gives them artistic recognition with this limited edition giclee print (it's probably the healthiest way to indulge in these flourescent orange treats).

Friday
Jun202014

Gone Glamping: Poppytalk for Target Preview

Poppytalk — the Vancouver-based blog by Jan Halverson and Earl Einarson — has been one of the Covet Garden team's go-to sources of style and DIY inspiration since before there was a Covet Garden. We're also suckers for Target's collaborations with designers over the years.

Which is why we are totally stoked for Poppytalk's collection of outdoor decor goodies which launches in stores this Sunday (June 22). Some backstory, Target asked three influential Pinterest presences — Oh Joy!, Poppytalk and Wit & Delight — to create fun, accessible collections for their perfect party. For their project (which was a year in the making) Halverson and Einarson stayed true to their Great White North roots, with pretty but practical "glamping" goods.

We're crazy about this grouping of picnic-ready wares. The mix of vintage floral prints (who wouldn't want a lantern with a cabbage rose pattern to light up their life?) and forward touches such as the hot pink plastic cutlery shaped like scrolled silverware (pictured above), and the collapsible laser cut cake stands and candleabras are sublime!

We're also in love with the bright blue portable camp stoves (for roasting marshmallows, pictured below), the foldable napkin caddies (again, so versatile — you can also use them to hold flowers) and, well just about everything in the collection. Why? Because each piece is thoughtfully designed to make you feel like you are at an elegant affair — even when you are roughing it in the woods.

[images: Poppytalk for Target]

[image: Jan Halverson and Earl Einarson, CNW Group/Target]

And best of all, everything in the collection is all priced under $25!

Friday
Jun132014

Best of Etsy June: Our Favourite Makers Gift Card Contest  

[Nina Invorm teapot]

UPDATE: Congrats to our winner Carrie White Innes!

One of the main reasons Covet Garden loves Etsy so much is that it connects us with the work of wonderfully creative artisans from around the world. Not only do we see handmade objects from Etsy shops featured in just about every home we’ve toured in Covet Garden, we’ve been fortunate enough to feature the a behind-the-scenes peek into the spaces of the makers behind such shops as Bookhouathome, Xenia Taler and pi'lo.

This month, we’ve curated a treasury of our favourite makers on Etsy — our go-to shops for inspiration and, yes, commerce (you’ll find a lot of these craftspeople represented in our own homes too). And to help you get more handmade into your life, Etsy is giving one lucky reader a $50 Gift Card (keep reading for details).

So who are our favourite makers and why? We’ll let the team weigh in:

Jessica

I love print and pattern and like to surround myself with beautiful pieces — on my walls, clothing, accessories and housewares. There can never be too much print or pattern, my friends! These fantastic illustrators and textile designers are some of my favourites. Toronto is an amazing city filled with venues for crafters and makers to sell their wares, but it is great for them to gain access to a world-wide market via Etsy and for us to be able to buy stuff from as far afield as South Africa, The Netherlands and the UK!

[Karolin Schnoor]

[Skinny La Minx]

[Leah Duncan]

Rhonda

I fancy myself a bit of crafty person myself, but I bow down before those who have the passion, patience and energy to truly master the art of creating something by scratch. On Etsy, I follow so many ceramicists, woodworkers and artists simply because they make beautiful things that keep traditions alive while bringing craft into the 21st century.

[Julie Moon]

[Lee Mezaros]

[Bookhouathome]

Lynda

There was a time when pretty much everything was handmade. Now almost everything is mass produced. When I buy handmade, I invest in an artist or maker and I support thir business as opposed to investing in the production of cheaply made goods mass produced by underpaid workers.

To win the $50 Etsy Gift Card, simply subscribe to Covet Garden between June 13, 2014 and July 11, 2014. One winner will be chosen randomly from those who sign up (it’s free and you’ll also get our monthly newsletter and have each new issue of Covet Garden delivered directly to your email box).

And to help you figure out how to spend that $50, follow all of our lists on Etsy here.

Friday
Jun062014

We Covet: Robsjohn-Gibbings and George Nakashima for Widdicomb

[Image, Naomi Finlay]

In the current issue of Covet Garden, Paul’s house is chock-full of amazing art and furnishings. We always ask our featured householders what their favourite pieces are, and the answer is usually something along the lines of “asking me that is like asking me to choose my favourite child.”

Paul did narrow it down a little, telling us that the George Nakashima couch and the T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings coffee table in his living room were “sort of my pride and joy on the furnishings front.”  Both of these pieces were created for the Widdicomb Furniture Company of Grand Rapids, Michigan. Founded in 1858, in the 1950s and ’60s, the company was instrumental in introducing modern design ideas to the North American public.

[Nakashima for Widdicomb sofa via Downtown Gallery]

British-born architect and furniture maker Robsjohn-Gibbings actually worked as head designer for Widdicomb in the 1940s and ’50s.

Even though his tastes ran toward Greek classicism, his elegant, uncluttered aesthetic was sympathetic to ideas coming out of Scandinavia —Robsjohn-Gibbings’ works for Widdicomb famously featured warm blond wood and tapered, functional shapes. Paul’s low-slung coffee table with its inset caning is a perfect example of a piece from this period.

[Nakashima Origins for Widdicomb Chair via Modernism]

[T. H. Robsjohn-Gibbings for Widdicomb Dining Table via Viyet]

Robsjohn-Gibbings left Widdicomb and America to live in Greece. George Nakashima who produced the “Origins Group” for the firm took up his forward furniture approach the late 1950s and early ’60s.  Inspired by his International style training but married with his Japanese and Shaker influences, Nakashima’s collection of bedroom and dining room sets and occasional pieces.

Nakashima was born and raised in Spokane, Washington where he developed a deep love of the forests of the Pacific Northwest. He believed that all design, architecture and sculpture had an origin, no matter how distanced, in nature.

Both designers prized function above all else. Which is why this couch and coffee table fit into Paul’s life so wonderfully.

[T. H. Robsjohn-Gibbings for Widdicomb buffet, Model 1671, 1950 via 1st Dibs]

Thursday
Jun052014

Issue 46 is Now Live!

[Image, Naomi Finlay]

Just a quick note to let you know that the June issue of Covet Garden in now live. We're particularly pleased to take you on a tour  of gallerist Pau's home for many reasons: 1. We've known Paul forever and he's a delightful fella; 2. He has an amazing collection of Canadian and international art and you know how much we love artists and art; and 3. He's also got an amazing collection of furniture — we discovered so much more about design just from talking to Paul and researching these pieces. Come back to the blog on Friday for a more in-depth look at Paul's favourite furnishings.

In short, it's the kind of place you'd feel perfectly relaxed hanging out in, but at the same time you learn a thing or two from the visit.