Friday
Mar212014

Covet Garden Home/CIL Paints Share Your Story Contest

Covet Garden Home is now available in stores across Canada! You can also order copies online at Indigo.com here

This special print edition was born from our love of sharing interiors that tell a story inspiring readers to share their own narrative with creative decorating. So to celebrate we are partnering with CIL for a contest that can help you experiment and explore your decor even more!

We want to share the story of your home. If you’ve got a favourite room makeover or upcycling project that uses paint, take a photo and send it to us at contest@covetgarden.com.

[some of our favourite paint projects from Covet Garden HOME and past issues of Covet Garden online: 1. Clover's room shot by Jodi Pudge, 2. Iza's kitchen shot by Ashley Capp, 3. Holly's place shot by Valerie Wilcox.

We'll post your images on our Facebook page. The picture with the most likes will win three gallons of the paint of your choice from CIL. That’s a lot of paint to help you realize even more decor dreams!

Open to Canadian residents only. Contest closes at midnight on April 21, 2014.

Wednesday
Mar192014

This is Not a Toy: Redifining Design

[The Super Malfi Bop Bag, FriendsWithYou]

The Design Exchange's This is Not a Toy exhibition has been up since February, but we thought it was important to note the impact this show has had on the design community in Toronto. Pretty much anyone with an Instagram feed has no doubt seen hundreds of pictures of the figurines, sculptures and other artworks by an international cast of creators like Japan's Takashi Murakami, the Los Angeles-based collective FriendsWithYou and New York's KAWS. 

Curated by John Wee Tom and Sara Nickelson (with guest curator Pharrell Williams), the name of the exhibition is a nod to Surrealist artist René Magritte's painting "Ceci n'est pas un pipe (This Is Not A Pipe)", which is, of course, a painting of a pipe. Many of the objects in the DX show are ready made (like the polka-dotted punching bag pictured above), but they are also a unique form of artistic expression in their own right.

The exhibition not only explores the the intersection between toys and art, but also as design objects. like the benches by Misaki Kawai pictured above. Not only can art be fun, but it can also be useful. This is not a Toy begs us to ask the question "Why do we draw lines between different kinds of beautiful objects in the first place?" In fact the whole layout of the exhibition made us want to spend a night or two at the museum.

We especially loved the installation spaces by FriendsWithYou. Pictured above is a the Rainbow Vortex Room, but there was also a little seating area where the collective's video "Cloudy" played on a cheerfully endless loop. If there's one thing that the artists represented at This Is Not A Toy have in common, it's their ability to create whole worlds and environments.

[photos above, Jessica Reid]

Still, the biggest impact that This Is Not A Toy has had is that the big name draws like Pharrell Williams and Takashi Murakami jewel enrusted collaboration "The Simple Things"  (above) have helped local audiences gain insight into living with art because these friendly objects provide an accessible entry point into the world of collecting. The show also has them talking about art and design which helps shine a light on local artists such as fashion designer Jeremy Laing (who is represented here with a customized Munny) and Nathan Jurevicius.  

 

You can also kickstart your own collection at Magic Pony's Pop Up Shop at the DX. They offer a wide selection of pieces by artists featured in the exhibition, such as FriendsWithYou, Yoshitomo Nara and Medicom. If you haven't had a chance to experience This Is Not A Toy yet, we strongly recommend that you do — you have until May 19 to experience the wonder (and Instagram it up).

Wednesday
Mar192014

Postcard from Los Angeles: Hot Hot Heath

Back in January, Covet Garden's own Jessica was in Los Angeles to escape Toronto's endless winter and to explore the wonders of the West Coast. She found herself enchanted by Heath Ceramics — one of the many California potteries that popped up after WWII but one of the few still producing today. The company was founded by Edith Heath (1911–2005) in 1948 with a goal to make "simple, good things for good people."

Heath Ceramic's tablewares and tiles are iconic — you can find Edith's original designs in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Los Angeles County Musuem of Art in LA — which is what drove our Jessica to visit the shop in the first place. They have an unmistakable richness of glazing and a silky smooth finish that comes as a result of a Edith's biggest innovation — a single kiln firing, at a lower than normal temperature.

While Heath celebrates its heritage, the company is also commited to experimentation. There are four different shops, each with it's own unique design and in-house ceramicist. The Los Angeles store was created by Commune Design to showcase the actual production as much as the product.

Each location showcases our dinnerware, tile, and homeware products from like-minded designer/makers around the United States (and beyond). Jessica says that it was great to see pillows and leather/powder coated metal furnishings by Garza Marfa (pictured above) and textiles from Covey G fave Skinny LaMinx up close and in such an inspiring setting.

The LA store is also partnered with celebrated potter Adam Silverman who produces work in the on-site studio. Hours could be spent hanging out, making it a perfect place for a pottery pilgrammage next time you find yourself in the City of Angels!

[images by Jessica Reid]

 

Monday
Mar102014

Guest Post: The Leslieville Flea on Mid Century Modern

[image via All World Furniture]

The Leslieville Flea team has been asked to help design and decorate the Gardiner Museum’s upcoming Mod Mad Party — a celebration of the exhibition of the work of noted Canadian architect Ron Thom (on until April 27th). We are thrilled and honoured to be part of this fantastic event.  So it's Mid-Century Modern March for us this month. 

Mid Century Modern is an urban, clean and classic architectural interior design style that emerged out of the post-WWII middle class boom. It has enjoyed a huge resurgence in recent years, partially due to the influence of shows like TV shows such as Mad Men, but mostly because the the simple lines and bold colours and materials look at home in just about any space.  

You can collect many pieces and bring out your inner Don or Betty Draper, or you can use one or two strong items to really pop in your interior. For example, a sputnik lamp looks great in an industrial space. A sleek teak Danish Modern sideboard looks right in a rustic Southwestern setting. A futuristic chair in an arresting orange looks amazing paired with a black and white Moroccan Beni Ourian rug.

Take a look at some of these classic pieces of the MCM movement—they are just as on trend now as they were 60 or more years ago.  

[image via The Fabulous Find]

[Image courtesy Slim Pickins]

[Images courtesy Big Kev Vintage]

The Mid Century influence is also making its presence known again in fashion. Strikingly graphic eyeliner and lips, and mod silhouettes and styles have all been seen on all the runways of late.  Of course, it’s all about updating the look and keeping it modern, pairing it with more current styles or some other great vintage pieces to give you a look all your own.

This style is also quite accessible: as our grandparents or parents who first embraced the style are downsizing, we are fortunate enough to inherit these amazing pieces of history and style (or pick them up for a song at The Leslieville Flea).

In fact, we've got quite a few vendors at who specialize in this period of design. They can help you add some of these iconic pieces to your collection. Whether it be in fashion (from vendors such as Wild Things Vintage), or interiors, the trend towards mid century Modern is hot right now…. head on over to The Leslieville Flea this Sunday, March 16th to get your fill of it!

Friday
Mar072014

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!