Zara Home is Coming to Canada

Having an Irish mother meant that growing up I spent a bit of time in Europe visiting relatives. On one such trip I was introduced to Zara, and I was amazed by the store filled with lovely clothing, and very pleased to be able to buy some clothes that nobody had at home.

Zara eventually opened stores in Canada, and it remains one of my favorites for fun, fairly inexpensive clothing. A few years ago I discovered that Zara had a housewares division and from time to time would browse the European web stores to see what they had. When I was in Ireland last fall I even checked to see if there was a retail store so I could finally go shopping, but was disappointed to discover there wasn’t one.

This past spring I heard some Internet rumblings that Zara Home would finally be opening an online store in Canada, and unbelievably a retail location as well. I tried not to get my hopes up, and refrained from perusing their wares online. This past Tuesday I heard that the first Canadian retail location would open at Yorkdale shopping center on August 22nd, and that the online store would open that day as well (a second retail location in Laval, QC will open on Aug 29th). After hearing the news I  jumped right online and picked out a few favourites.

What do you think? Do you have a favorite from the above? I can’t decide between the tray and the skull tumblers.

PS – The items above are mostly from the US site, but a couple are from the UK.
PPS – Oh the irony of hearing that Zara was Finally going to open just days after realizing that any extra money in my budget for the foreseeable future will be going to plaster repairs.
PPPS – This is not a sponsored post – I’m just a bit excited Zara is finally coming to Canada.

My Dresser – A Follow-Up Post and a Feature

Since I posted about my refinished dresser I’ve received a couple of comments/questions about the hardware, so I thought I’d do a quick follow-up post. More about that in a minute.

First, I’d like to draw your attention to a new entry into the ‘I’ve been Featured’ section in the right margin of my blog. No, your eyes do not deceive you – my refinished dresser was featured on Apartment Therapy!! WooHoo! I will admit to being a little chuffed when I discovered it this past Sunday. If you’d like to read the article you can click on the icon and it will take you there.

Anyways, a few people commented about the fact that I was able to find replacement hardware for the pull that was very obviously missing in this ‘Before’ picture.

My Craigslist dresser

I have to admit I cheated a bit. I was only missing one of the medallions or rosettes, so I took one of the original rosettes to Lee Valley Tools and tried to find as close a match as possible using size and colour as the two main criteria. The pull I used was the 3″ Antique Brass Petal Handle. Here is a closer picture of the miss-matched pull.

The replacement rosette is on the left - the original is on the right

I also strategically placed the pull in the bottom drawer on the left side where it’s close to the wall – this means it isn’t immediately noticeable when you look at the chest of drawers. Can you see the difference in the picture below (This is admittedly not the best picture, but it would be the angle you’d see the dresser from)?

In future I may make more of an effort to find an exact match for the rosette, but for now I’m happy to leave it as is.

IDS12: Part 2

Alright, I’m back with some more pictures from the Interior Design Show. I’ve got a little more zip than yesterday so I’m going to add some words to my pictures!

First up we have one of the groupings put together in the By_Lissoni_Lounge. I’m sorry for the slightly wonky picture, but Lynda Reeves was sitting on one of the couches behind me interviewing someone and I was a little star struck (I did take a picture, but it’s not very good  – her eyes are closed), so as I’d like the publisher and founder of House&Home magazine to like me I’ll keep it to myself).

By_Lissoni_Lounge at IDS12

I came across the booth for a store in Toronto called Snobstuff. I loved pretty much everything the owner was showing. All the pieces come from Southern Africa – the owner hails from Zimbabwe, and a portion of each sale goes to the Canadian Red cross to combat malaria. This store is now at the top of my list of must visit stores – if only to see what other great things she has.

The light was made by asking 25 people to wrap a rod of brass around their waists - their names were then engraved on the inside of the ring. I love the wire giraffe.

This booth by UpCountry is lovely – I love the mix of warm worn leather and the industrial metal chests mixed with the crystal chandeliers, and of course the British flags.

Love the wood wall and the warm brown leather. The metal chests are very 'in' - Restoration Hardware has some as well.

Next up is Elte. They had a rather large booth, and unlike some others had prices listed on many items.

Love the Eames lounge chair and industrial light fixture. I also like that they used an area rug on the wall like a tapestry.

This next image was something that confused me a bit. Do these wire baskets look to anyone else like the ones you get golf balls in at the driving range? They do to me, but these ones were $115 each.

Driving range ball baskets?

This was something that Elte did that I loved, and I think is a neat twist on the now (in my opinion) rather overdone subway sign art – individually framed street signs.

Framed Street Signs

Take a look at this incredibly interesting chair that was made completely out of Corian (yes, that stuff counter tops are made of). It was part of a collaboration between Dupont Corian and UUfie.

UUfie - Chair made out of Corian

This ‘Spider Phoebe’ chair from Limitless with its bendable legs was rather popular. I wish I’d sat in it – it looks like it would be fun.

Spider 'Phoebe' chair

I loved this booth from Jean Gardner Designs – I’m pretty sure it was the curtains that did it.

Love the curtains

This ottoman/coffee table made me want to rethink my current coffee table (from Gresham House furniture).

Large upholstered ottoman with tray - I love the muted colours

Last for today is the marvelous wall of peacock feathers that was used to back artwork in the How do you live? exhibit.

Gorgeous peacock feathers, but I'm not sure anyone would ever recreate this

I’ve got just more IDS12 post for you tomorrow – I’ll show you some of the great Canadian designs from the Studio North exhibit.

CB2 Arrives in Canada

Last night I attended the opening of the new CB2 store on Queen Street west. Housed in the newly rehabbed building at the corner of Queen and Bathurst streets, the store is a bright space filled with furnishings that will surely be popular with Toronto’s condo and loft dwelling residents.

The original building at the corner of Queen and Bathurst Streets

The building now housing CB2 was first built in 1878, and originally housed a Masonic temple on the upper floors. Seventy years later the mansard roof was removed and it became the Holiday Tavern. In the 1990’s the building became known as the Big Bop – a live music venue that saw the likes of Billy Talent and Alexisonfire play its stages before they ‘made it’ and moved on to larger venues. While the Big Bop was famous in Toronto as a music venue, it was infamous for its garish purple exterior.

The Big Bop’s purple exterior (image source:

When it was originally announced that CB2 was moving into the location there was some fear that the introduction of the American chain would dramatically alter the vibe of Queen west. While the area has changed in the past couple of years (not only due to CB2 – the recent additions of Loblaws, Joe Fresh and Winners have also played a large part), when the big white tarp that had been hiding the building from view during renovation came down last week I don’t think anyone in this city could fault the restoration that was done.

The new home of CB2 in Toronto (image source:

The opening night party was a crush of people enjoying the new space and, if they are anything like me, coveting the furnishings and accessories that until now were only available to Canadians by crossing the border or shopping online. Here are a few of the items that caught my eye.

CB2 – Idle/Go clock – $149

If I needed a new pendant I’d have a hard time choosing between these:

Upcycle ($249) and Victory ($179) Pendant Lights

Love this – but where could I put it?

Ostriches Print – $299

Versus Galvanized trunk – $179

I think perhaps this lamp will eventually end up in my living room:

Twine Floor lamp ($229) and Parlour Atomic Orange Chair ($799) and Ottoman ($449)

Love these acrylic shelves. I think they’d be neat in a bathroom or kitchen:

Format Acrylic shelves – Cube $30 – Shelf $80

Love both of these displays. I prefer the look of the gold, but my wallet would prefer the glass ones:

Whirly hanging candleholder – $5ea., Ous hanging candleholder – $100ea.

4-some bud vase – $10, 3-ring vase – $20

It was nice to see this:

Toronto history preserved – the Old Big Bop sign

I’ll be returning in the next few weeks to purchase some (or maybe all) of these:

Labra Holds 5 candleholder – $25, Coup Clover pillow – $35, Tread bowl – $35

For those of you in or near Toronto, CB2 is giving away a shopping card worth $500 every day until February 29th to celebrate the opening of their first international store so there’s even more incentive to come check out the store.