Art Director, Art Collector

[images: Jodi Pudge]

One of the things that we love best about Colleen’s place in the current issue of Covet Garden is that she loves her art collection. The images that hang on her walls may seem like a diverse grouping, but they all hold a personal connection for her. It just makes us so happy to observe the amount of joy she derives from these pieces — individually and as a grouping — that we wanted to take a deeper look at her collection.

When we asked Colleen which artwork was her favourite, she said, “I’d have an easier time choosing which orphaned puppy to save from a house fire (which is to say, please don’t ask me, I’d rescue all of them.)”

“On the job I'm ruthlessly decisive,” Colleen adds. “But at home, I enjoy not having to pick one creative over another in order to advance the narrative because the parts tell the story.”

Colleen’s entryway is a salon unto itself. Two of our favourites are a black and white photograph of John Lennon by British photographer Barrie Wentzell and a colourful WAV File painting by Toronto’s own Kurt Swinghammer (who was featured in our April 2011 Issue).

Prints by Colleen's good friend, illustrator Alanna Cavanagh, are well represented throughout the condo. Cavanagh's "An Empty Belly" is the focal point of the sitting area, but the cute coffee maker pictured above perks up the kitchen.

“I collect a broad mix of work by local and international artists,” says Colleen, “but strangely, it's the Norval Morrisseau print ["The Great Mother"] over the desk that causes the most division among guests.”

One of the things that Colleen loves about art is how it has the power to create dialogue. “I often find myself passionately defending it,” she says. “As a result, it's pretty dear to me. Its glass has broken twice during moves, too, so it demands a gentle touch.”


Giveaway: One of a Kind Gifts For One of a Kind Moms

We know our mothers appreciate unique and handmade objects—they wouldn't be hanging on to that coiled pottery ashtray from 1980 if they didn't, right? But this year we turned to the One Of A Kind Online Shop to find some slightly more sophisticated artisanal treasures to honour the women who raised us.

Mother's Day is May 10th, so time is of the essence when shopping online, so may we suggest starting with Covet Garden's selection of great gifts for wonderful women? Because nothing says love like mom, we've selected objects that warm the heart, mind, body and soul. While we've pictured a few items from our cozy collection above, click here to see the entire selecion of fab finds.

And to make it even easier to make your mother happy on Mother's Day, One Of A Kind Online is also offering Covet Garden readers a chance to win a $100 gift card. Simply send your first and last name, email address and one word that sums up how you feel about your mom to Entries must be received by midnight, May 9th.


Giveaway: Around the World for Under $250 at Elte Market


[Atom Side Chair in yellow, $125]

Elte Market — the younger, hipper little sister of luxury home furnishings retailer Elte — wants to to give on lucky reader a $250 gift card (keep reading to find our how) so we went to visit their 50,000 square foot uptown showroom to give you some ideas on how to spend it. Elte Market is the brainchild of Jamie and Andrew Metrick, the fourth generation of the Elte dynasty. Elte Market is expansive but it's not as expensive as the high end Elte, and the mood is much more downtown than it's uptown location would suggest.

And while the former Canada Goose factory is filled with beautiful furnishings, we're not going to lie to you — the sectionals and rugs are still a bit of an investment. The good news is that there are plenty of accent pieces and objets d'art to be had for under $250. Here are a few of our favourites:

[Clip End Table, $175]

[Feather Side Chair in White, $125]

If you have yet to visit, Elte Market has a fantastic selection of  designs ranging from modern to classic — making it easy to find the perfect piece to mix in with your exisiting décor. We admit that we became a little fixated on side chairs and end tables. With so many bold shapes and colours, it's easy to see how such a reasonably priced investment would pay off in big deco dividends. 

[A La Mode Home Morgan Linen Duvet Cover, $229]

[Pehr Pencil Lines Pillow, $80]

The Metrick's spend three months of the year travelling the world to source interesting furnishings, but we were also happy to see local makers like our friends at Pehr representing with their pillows and napkins.

The good news for non-locals is that Elte Market has also launched an e-commerce site, shopping Elte Market’s trend-driven and affordable products couldn’t be easier. If you like these treasures, you can discover even more fantastic finds in store or online.

[Batik Aqua Side Chair, $175]

To enter our giveaway, send an email to and tell us which of these picks is your favourite. Contest closes April 30th at 11:59 pm. Winner will be selected at random. Sorry, this contest is open to Canadian residents only. Good luck!

This post was sponsored by Elte Market.


Best of Etsy: What's the Buzz?

[1. Hand printed tights, Hosetights; 2. Vintage Swedish textile, Uncle Bunks Trunk; 3. Plastic frame purse, Octopurse;4. Vintage Panetta scatter pin, Vintage Meet Modern; 5. Embroidered lumbar pillow, Kain Kain; 6. Vintage flower power canister, Mom Pop Shoppe.]

Spring has got the Covet Garden team thinking about nature, renewal and the whole circle of life. It all comes down to the birds and the bees pollinating the flowers and powering this whole crazy merry-go-round. Our winged friends have also inspired our latest curated collection for Etsy — a treasury we call "Birds and  Bees." We've pictured a few of our avian finds above, but you can discover more flights of fancy on Covet Garden's Etsy page.


Spring Flowers

A couple of weeks ago, we were invited to have lunch with Bluebellgrey's Wendy Gilmour and a group of lovely decor and lifestyle editors. It was an inspiring occasion that we just had to share. Firstly, we loved the presentation — little mason jars were filled with heather (a symbol of Bluebellgrey's home in Scotland) and ranunculas (which are just so pretty). It was a reminder that even a little sprig of flowers can make a meal feel like an experience. It didn't hurt that the lunch was held at Colette Grand Café with all of it's amazing Parisienne bistro ambience.

[images above, Jessica Reid]

It was also a delight to catch up with Wendy, who we first met last October when she and designer Fiona Douglas came to Toronto to launch Bluebellgrey at The Hudson's Bay. This time Fiona stayed at home in Glasgow to tend to her new baby, but Wendy delivered the news of Bluebellgreys new oversized floow cushions. We fell in love with them immediately. Featuring the company's trademark colourful, handpainted prints, these fat pillows are perfect for providing flexible seating for when you and your guests are just hanging around, or a cozy place to curl up and read a book.