We’re grasping at straw(s)

A fridge that fights climate change, a bouquet of fall fragrance launches, and the biggest furniture trend of the moment.

We’re grasping at straw(s)

A fridge that fights climate change, a bouquet of fall fragrance launches, and the biggest furniture trend of the moment.

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✨  Happy weekend! Today is Saturday, September 7, 2019, and we’re feeling really validated right now.


While the last warm days dwindle away, interior designers are refusing to give up on the outdoor vibes. “Bringing the outdoors in” is a phrase usually tossed around while eagerly welcoming the first signs of spring, but it’s just as relevant to this fall’s biggest decor trend. Cane furniture is officially bigger than ever, along with its less fussy counterparts rattan and wicker, and it’s easy to see why. Equal parts traditional and contemporary, the materials bring a natural hit to any space without veering too rustic (see: the reclaimed barnboard trend of ’14). Caning has been weaving its way to the forefront of decor since the end of last year, and it’s reaching its peak now. With stores like Anthropologie, Crate & Barrel, CB2, West Elm and even IKEA on board, it’s also easier than ever to get a piece of your own.

• What Else You Need to Know

Even if you’re not enough of a design nerd to know it by name, you’ve definitely seen the chair pop up on your Instagram and Pinterest feeds. The iconic Chandigarh chair, designed in the 1950s by Swiss architect Pierre Jeanneret, is leading the charge behind the current cane craze. Beloved for its angular silhouette and ability to look at home in any space (Kourtney Kardashian is a fan — she’s got 12 around her dining table), authentic versions go for upwards of $10,000 on antique auction sites like 1stdibs, but thanks to its popularity, more affordable reproductions are plentiful. (If you’re in Southern Ontario today and can make the drive to Dundas, this massive antiques fair is the perfect opportunity to hunt for the real deal.)



• Sexy Scent

NARS is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, and it’s marking the occasion in a big way. Following last month’s blast-from-the-past reissue of François Nars’ original 12 lipstick shades (plus sixty — yes, 6-0 — brand new ones), the cosmetics brand has just launched its first-ever fragrance. Nars worked with perfumer Olivia Giacobetti of Diptyque, Guerlain and Hermès fame to create Audacious ($240 for a 50 mL bottle), which is formulated to be every bit as evocative as the name — and the sculptural black bottle — implies. Blending white frangipani, ylang ylang and tiare flowers with smoky incense, white cedar, musk and sandalwood, the combo is described by the brand as “an abstract study of contrasts, where light meets dark and sensuality meets individuality.” Fashion

Image Credit: NARS

• A Breath of Fresh Air

Speaking of fragrances, there’s a whole new brand of them to put on your radar: Floral Street is the brainchild of British beauty veteran Michelle Feeney (she worked on the launches of brands like La Mer and St. Tropez), and it’s now available at Sephora in Canada and the U.S. What sets the brand apart is its relaxed, untraditional approach to blending (no talk of top- or base-notes here, just listings of the vegan and sustainably-sourced ingredients) and its environmental principles. Bottles are packaged in a recyclable and compostable paper pulp carton that’s completely biodegradable — just like the flowers used in Floral Street’s formulas. Along with nine perfumes, the line also includes bath and body products, home scent diffusers and candles. Can’t choose between London Poppy, Neon Rose, and Iris Goddess? A Discovery Set of minis ($25) saves you the decision-making. Allure

Image Credit: Floral Street


• Celebrity Magnet

Toronto is about to move up a rung on its never-ending quest to become a world-class city (whatever that means). Next year, The Six will join the ranks of metropolises around the globe deemed cool enough to be home to a W Hotel. Marriott announced plans this week to renovate and rebrand its Toronto Marriott Bloor Yorkville Hotel as the W Toronto. Slated to open in summer 2020 (just in time to work out the kinks ahead of next year’s TIFF festival), the 255-room property will boast multiple bars and restaurants perfect for star-spotting, including “an indoor/outdoor lobby bar and lounge with a DJ booth/recording studio for collaborating, broadcasting and recording podcasts; a specialty restaurant and a ninth floor roof top restaurant, accessible from street level with a glass exterior elevator; and a coffee and cocktail bar.” Travelweek

Image Credit: Marriott


High-humidity plants — like ferns, calatheas, and tillandsia — will thrive in the steam of a hot shower and benefit from the general humidity that lingers in bathrooms.

– Gabby Santiago, plant-care specialist at Rooted validates the viral internet claim that you should make shower buddies out of your houseplants — but adds that cacti and succulents should not be invited to the party; they prefer to stay dry. Domino


• Shop Local, Think Global

Compared to the selection enjoyed by our neighbours to the south, Canadian-based home decor ecommerce shops are few and far between, so we’re always excited when a new one opens up. (Duty-free shipping? Yes, please!) Stratford, Ontario boutique Wills & Prior has just launched an online store, shipping its covet-worthy wares across the country (and around the world). Opened in 2017, the shop specializes in those finishing touches that make a room: Pillows and throws, serveware and linens, art and mirrors, rugs and lighting, and small furniture pieces like accent tables and stools. The eclectic aesthetic is neither too trendy nor traditional, with loads of stylishly giftable items. (We’re making our holiday wish list already.) Instagram

Image Credit: Wills & Prior


• The Fresh Maker

First it was plastic bags; then plastic straws and utensils; now, climate change activists are working to make food waste taboo. According to Love Food Hate Waste, a campaign started by The National Zero Waste Council, nearly a third(!!) of all food purchased in Canada is wasted; for a family of four, that’s an average of $1100 a year in the trash. (Yikes.) Intent on helping keep food out of the bin, appliance maker Bosch has introduced its innovative new Fresh by Design collection of refrigerators. Key to the so-called FarmFresh System is an integrated ethylene filter that works to absorb the gas, slowing down the ripening (and rotting) process of fruits and veggies so they stay fresher for longer. The luxe fridges (pricing starts at $4,279) are also designed with thoughtfully organized drawers with automatic temperature and humidity control, another industry first, so you may never have to suffer through wilted lettuce again. Cision


• Mental Gymnastics

There’s an irony to the idea that we’ve reached a point where it seems normal to use a mobile app to help us meditate, but yet here we are. The latest app to fit the bill is Balance, launched this week by startup Elevate Labs. Described as a “mental fitness app,” the service is made to “replicate the experience of working with a live meditation coach.” Rather than a library of pre-recorded sessions, the app tailors each session by asking your goals — stress release, improved sleep, focus, etc. — and your experience level with meditation, before serving up a set of exercise guides that are each “a combination of dozens and dozens of clips woven together that’s personalized to you.” The more you use the app, the better it gets to know you and the more it adapts. Subscriptions cost $16 a month, $66 for a year, or $280 to unlock unlimited use forever. (Side note: Whatever happened to mobile apps costing $2 a pop?) TechCrunch


• Shop Smart

Socially-conscious shopping — that’s the mission behind ShopNK, a new online shop launched by Canadian PR powerhouse Natasha Koifman. As known for her business prowess as she is for her commitment to #AllBlackEverything, the publicist and venture capitalist is equally devoted to humanitarian causes. The launch of ShopNK underscores those values by giving a portion of the proceeds of every purchase to a charity of the buyer’s choice. At checkout, shoppers are prompted to pick from five worthy causes: St. Felix Centre, Best Buddies, Artists for Peace and Justice, Dog Tales, or G(irls)20. The curated selection of fashion, beauty and decor merch includes exclusively designed pieces by some of her luxe PR clients — like a super-soft knit hoodie by Line the Label and a slinky silk kimono by Ciao Sea — along with picks from some her fave local shops — like black marble puzzle piece coasters from Thirty-Six Knots. But it’s not all about her; Koifman intends to invite other tastemakers to create their own capsules for future drops. WWD


• Another Toronto Fashion Week is in the books. Head over to the The Kit to see the best spring/summer 2020 looks from Day 1Day 2 and Day 3, along with all the streetstyle inspo you need for fall.

• This year’s prestigious LVMH Prize has been awarded to South African fashion designer Thebe Magugu, making him the first designer from the continent to receive the honour.

• Attention curly-haired people, this is not a drill! Actress and superhuman Tracee Ellis Ross is launching a hair care line, called Pattern, due out in October. (Please come to Canada, please come to Canada… 🤞)

• George Clooney has got some new competition in the celebrity-funded tequila brand game — from Nick Jonas and John Varvatos.

• In an inevitable mashup of old and new, Phillips has launched an Edison-style version of its Hue smart lightbulbs (plus some other stuff to make communicating with your home furnishings, um, simpler).


• It’s Been a Slice

This Christmas, be sure to save room after dinner for a piece stick of pie.

Now if you’ll excuse us, we’ve got some v. important listening to do.

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