The Best of Etsy: Teatime of the Soul

[Thomas Germany tea service from Culver Street Vintage]

At Covet Garden, we like to look for a silver lilning in every cloud. So when life gives us an unusually long and cold winter, we make tea!

Because we like a nice hot cuppa so much, we also used our hibernation hours scanning Etsy for vintage and handcrafted cozies, cups, trays and towels to make our tea ritual even more beautiful. And then we put together this treasury of our favourites to share the warmth with you.

[Cloud tray from Oelwin]

[Triangle pattern cream and sugar set from E Benotti]


[Vintage Laurids Lønborg tin tray from Thrift Machine]

[Lionel Richie cream and sugar set from Mugoos]

We like tea all year-long, so keep following Covet Garden on Etsy for more teatastic updates!


Issue 43 is Now Live!

[cover photo: Donna Griffith]

In this month’s issue of Covet Garden, we hope to bring you a sense of spring with the colourful  space of fashion designer Joyce, production designer Rocco and their offspring, Wiley and Sally. One of the things that knocked us out about their home was the way that they use colour to creatively imprint their personality onto the rooms. Another is their mix of cool modernism and homey granny chic.

We also love that they have so many handmade objects in their home. Almost all of the art in the home was created by family and friends. Every picture truly tells a story in this Toronto home.

The family has built a cozy nest, but they also believe in getting out of the house and contributing to the community. Joyce and her Comrag's partner Judy Cornish recently made the costumes for a production of Anton Chekov's The Seagull at the Berkeley St. Theatre (in performance from March 7 to 28).


Bring Home Covet Garden Home (UPDATED)

Covet Garden is thrilled to announce that our print edition, Covet Garden Home, starts rolling out to brick and mortar stores in Canada this month. Here's a list of confirmed stockists (we'll keep updating as more names are added):


Bookingham Palace Bookstore, Salmon Arm, BC

Talewind Books, Sechelt, BC

Homework, Prince Rupert, BC

Laughing Oyster Bookshop, Courtenay, BC

Albany Books, Tsawwassen, BC

Galiano Island Books, Galiano Island, BC

The News Group, Vernon, BC

Monahan News Agency, Vernon, BC

Mosaic Books, Kelowna, BC

Bolen Books, Victoria

Hager Books, Vancouver



Steeling Home, Calgary, AB

The News Group, Calgary, AB



McNally Robinson, Winnipeg



Swipe Design, Toronto

Labour of Love, Toronto

Book City, Toronto

Mags & Fags, Ottawa

Boogie and Birdie, Ottawa

Novel Idea, Kingston, ON

Mixed Media, Hamilton, ON

The News Group, across Ontario


Librairie Bertrand/Bertrand Bookstore, Montreal

Librairie Clio/Clio Bookstore, Pointe-Claire, QC

Paragraph, Montreal

Buropro Citation, across Quebec



Westminster Books, Fredericton




Yellowknife Book Cellar, Yellowknife, NWT

Covet Garden Home is also available at the Vancouver Public Library and the Burnaby Public Library.

You can also purchase a copy through our shop or one of these other fine online retailers: BrikaIndigoAmazon.

We couldn't have done it with out our loyal readers and the fabulous folks who sponsored our successful Indiegogo campaign. Here's some behind the scenes pictures of Covet Garden Home at the presses, but you guys are what really makes it happen!


People In Your Neighbourhood: Auction Fever at Mrs. Huizenga's

A long time ago, I was invited to a my boss' house for a little party. Not only was it the first home I saw with a sofa in the kitchen (an idea that I adore), her Cabbagetown home was funished with all kinds of amazing treasures. I assumed that they must have been inherited, because who could afford such finery on a journalists' salary? It turned out that she had outfitted the majority of her space with finds from auctions.

She used to hunt at Ritchies' now defunct monthly walkaround auctions, which were storied evenings of bidding on super cheap boxed lots. This tradition has been recently resurrected at Mrs. Huizenga's expanisive store at the corner of Roncesvalles and Queen. Now in its second year, this bi-monthly event is called Hookerson-Blough Auction and it features cool antique, vintage, retro and collectible items culled from local dealers and private collectors. Which means that the selection of goods on sale is always interesting and generally hard to find.


[images, Marla Good]

Then there are the deals. There are also more than a few dealers in the house as well, including Mrs. Huizenga's owners Catherine Huizenga and Dave Amer. Dealers bid with a markup in mind, which means that you can pay $10 at auction or $50 in a store. Lots generally start at $10 and can include anything from a single set of industrial metal lockers to a box full of framed prints and paintings. You must be prepared to take your winnings home with you at auction's end.

But the best part of the Hookerson-Blough auctions is that they are a fun afternoon or evening out. Auctioneers include the dapper and entertaining Jonathan Hagey of Kingpin's Hideaway. And we weren't surprised to see familiar faces such as John from the September 2013 issue of Covet Garden and Vicki from July 2011 getting new scores at recent events. The auction is super social: refreshments are served (this week, there will be treats from Seventh Sister Bakery) and winning bidders often swap from their box lots or make deals out on the sidewalk afterward.

The next Hookerson-Blough auction is this Sunday, March 2. The preview is at noon ant the bidding begins at 12:30 pm.


Guest Post: The Leslieville Flea on Wonderful Walls

With the weather we have been having in Toronto lately most people have been stuck indoors staring at their four walls…. so why not make those walls look fantastic?

When you love vintage and antiques you tend to amass quite the collection of things. Showcasing all of the treasures you have collected over the years can be tricky without your home looking cluttered and messy. 

There are some simple tricks of the trade that designers and stylists use to display objects so they will stand out in your home and look beautifully arranged. We’d like to share some of them with you here.

The biggest problem with collecting so many different items is that the great pieces get lost in the mix of it all.  To organize your items try grouping objects in groups (like a gallery) by colour, style, texture etc. Use items of different sizes and shapes in your collections. The contrasting shapes and sizes will keep it interesting, but find a common element between the items and that will tie them together. For example, when hanging a collection of pictures, photos, art etc tie them together by using same colour frame. They can be different in size and shape but the similar colour will hold grouping together. While on the subject of hanging frames, don’t make the common mistake of hanging them too high. Mount pics at eye level. The center of the artwork should be around 5 feet from the floor...if hanging a grouping of pics or art, the center of the grouping should fall at this level.

When displaying objects, use odd numbers of items…. objects stacked or grouped together can count as 1 item. Odd numbered groupings are generally more pleasing to the eye. Having objects of different height will make your eye travel around the collection and keep it dynamic. In contrast, repetition of similar size and shape objects when grouped en masse can be very effective—forming a strong collection.

Often the use of black in interiors is overlooked. It can make a powerful statement and also serve as a grounding point in the room. Use sparingly, but always make sure you have something in a shade of black in the room for drama. The rule of thumb is to have about 10% of black in the room to keep it balanced and interesting…. one large piece or a number of smaller items in this shade will ground your space. A chalkboard is a great and functional way to bring black into a room!

Sometimes you need to exercise restraint with your collectibles. Often Less really is more so make sure you are only showcasing those things you absolutely love... curate your objects carefully and it will show. If you have several smaller items you can group these together in a bowl, shadow box or other container to keep them organized while on display.

[Images courtesy of Lauren & Taylor from Bragg & Bee]

Of course rules are meant to be broken and you just really need to trust your instincts sometimes.  It’s your home after all; as long as the pieces in it are treasured and have meaning to you they will look great in your space and reflect your individuality as a collector.

If you are always searching to add to your collection of treasures, stop by The Leslieville Flea this Sunday February 23, in the Distillery District’s Fermenting Cellar, from 10am to 5pm!

We here at Covet Garden are lucky to have Chris Roberts and Brigid Elmy, founders of the Leslieville Flea, as guest bloggers. Visit their blog for regular news and style ideas. And and keep checking this space for more of their insights on incorporating vintage and handmade finds into your decor.