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                    [post_date] => 2014-04-14 15:23:19
                    [post_date_gmt] => 2014-04-14 15:23:19
                    [post_content] => BY LAURA BEESTON
PHOTOGRAPHY: ARASH MOALLEMI
Moss, lichen, hay. They’re elements you’d expect to see during a walk in nature. But what if they were on your dinner plate? Would you be adventurous enough to eat them?
Some Torontonians are discovering that these ingredients are not only edible, but also delicious in the hands of five talented chefs who have integrated them into a unique tasting menu in their Ossington Ave. restaurant. [caption id="attachment_4640" align="aligncenter" width="528"]Actinolite's beet dish takes a full day to prepare. The beets are oven-roasted until burnt, then peeled, dehydrated and "painted" at half-hour intervals with a beet-and-licorice reduction. The beet is combined on this plate with radicchio crisp, reindeer-lichen meringue and a mix of fermented berries that include black currant, gooseberry, and pickled juniper. Actinolite's beet dish takes a full day to prepare. The beets are oven-roasted until burnt, then peeled, dehydrated and "painted" at half-hour intervals with a beet-and-licorice reduction. The beet is combined on this plate with radicchio crisp, reindeer-lichen meringue and a mix of fermented berries that include black currant, gooseberry, and pickled juniper.[/caption] Actinolite, a two-year-old eatery, has developed a tasting menu that is pushing the boundaries of Canadian cuisine, offering foods that are foraged, seasonal and local. “I wanted a restaurant with a meaning, dishes that were different, to cook within the moment of what’s around us, while trying to discover what Canadian cuisine really is, or what it could be,” says Actinolite’s head chef and owner, Justin Cournoyer. “I wanted to use our surroundings as guidance.” That means you’ll rarely find lemons or limes in the restaurant’s kitchen; they’re not grown in Canada. But you may be served potato ice cream or a carrot sorbet in the restaurant’s seven-course tasting menu. It’s not uncommon, if you sit at the bar, to overhear customers describe the dishes they consume as the most interesting they’ve ever eaten. They are visibly engaged — moved, even — by the artful presentation of each dish. Cournoyer is the type of guy who will give you a hug instead of shaking your hand. An earnest sensibility permeates everything he does in the 30-seat restaurant, which is named after the small Ontario mining town where he was born. Actinolite occupies the ground-floor storefront of a 125-year-old building, just south of Dupont. In renovating it, Cournoyer says, his mission was to maintain the authenticity and “soul” of the building. The ceiling and bar are made of wood from a sawmill on his mother’s side of the family, in Roslin, Ont. The exposed bricks, lofty windows, and dim lighting preserve the interior intimacy without pretension. Family photos adorn the walls while tea light candles sit in tuna cans. It is his “very outdoor” country upbringing that especially sets the direction of Cournoyer’s place apart from other establishments. He perfected his craft at Susur and worked alongside his culinary producer wife, Claudia Bianchi, for Food Network Canada, before they opened Actinolite to allow him to explore. “I stepped back and said, ‘Okay, now I need to have the food to fit this beautiful place and this passion within myself,’ ” Cournoyer says. The concept has taken off in the past year following the expansion of his backyard herb garden, and the hiring of a crop of young chefs to challenge what could be done with each dish. “Everyone brings something to the table,” he says of the talent he’s cultivated around himself. “[My staff] made me ask myself, ‘What is this restaurant? What are we trying to do? And they pushed me to get here.’ ” [caption id="attachment_4639" align="aligncenter" width="530"]Screen Shot 2014-04-14 at 10.48.35 AM (Left to right) Chef de partie Jamie Vrooman, sous chef Mike Lehmkuhl, head chef and owner Justin Cournoyer and chef de partie John Greenwell are the talent behind Actinolite restaurant.[/caption] It was around the time his kitchen was debating these existential questions that Cournoyer began to strengthen his relationship with local farmers. Their passion struck a chord with the chef and his kitchen, inspiring a deep care for the community of Canadian producers. The search for only the best local ingredients began. It includes wild, foraged ingredients, including – yes – moss, lichens, straw. Farmers from the Urban Harvest greenhouse provide herbs throughout the cold months. Organic farmer Ted Thorpe supplies carrots, pears, cabbages and kale. Baby chards and radish come from Chick a biddy Acres. Farming methods from Plan B Organics have “opened our minds to the philosophy of farming,” says Cournoyer. Developing the dishes at Actinolite evolves constantly. The restaurant changes a dish a week, on average; in a good week, two, depending on what’s available, what’s been picked or foraged, what foods arrive, and how much time the chefs have to decide what to do with them. The seven-course menu costs $85, the four-course summary, $55. Both can be paired with wine. In his capacity as sous-chef, Michael Lehmkuhl does a lot of the menu development, but stresses that as much work goes into locating high-quality ingredients. He arrived at Actinolite after being trained in the UK and at the celebrated Danish restaurant noma. Lehmkuhl says he had a meeting of the minds with Cournoyer and appreciated that the owner was striving “to do something more than put food on a plate.” As a forager himself, he was eager to keep discovering what the local environment had to offer. The work is an interesting challenge, says Lehmkuhl. “You take one ingredient that falls into your lap, cook it one or two ways and it could just happen that the plate comes together very rapidly — like our halibut cheek dish,” he says. “But then something like our rutabaga took days and days of development — and weeks perfecting the components. [caption id="attachment_4638" align="aligncenter" width="529"]Screen Shot 2014-04-14 at 10.47.53 AM The rutabaga dish, featuring the root vegetable sous-vide and poached, silken milk curd, picked elderberry and fine herbs including chervil, parsley and lemon balm. The finishing touch is balconville, a late-harvest apple cider vinegar, from Quebec.[/caption] “The pork cracklings were a happy accident when we initially overcooked the skin.” Creating dishes from what’s available in the natural surroundings can be “an emotional rollercoaster, but this is the backbone of what we do,” Lehmkuhl says. “You get to make something that is beautiful and meaningful. And this can really evoke emotion in people. We’ve had people in our dining room break out in hysterical giggles over things we bring to the table.” Jamie Vrooman, one of Actinolite’s chefs de partie, says the dining experience is “more than about just eating the food. We’re trying to create a direct connection with everything we bring in.” Cournoyer says the team wants to “push the food forward and really honour what our country and land has to offer.” He and his staff are modest about their bold foray into the Canadian culinary wilderness. In fact, Actinolite is defining what that “wilderness” is. Actinolite is at 971 Ossington Ave. and is open Tuesday to Saturday, 6 p.m. - 10 p.m. Reservations: 416-962-8943. [post_title] => ON THE WILD SIDE: restaurant pushes the boundaries of Canadian cuisine [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => on-the-wild-side-restaurant-pushes-the-boundaries-of-canadian-cuisine [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2014-04-14 15:23:19 [post_modified_gmt] => 2014-04-14 15:23:19 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://canadianhomemag.com/montreal/?p=4637 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [1] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 4589 [post_author] => 38 [post_date] => 2014-04-08 22:55:39 [post_date_gmt] => 2014-04-08 22:55:39 [post_content] => By KELLI RICHARDS
Eating is just a part of life. We love food and to spend time cooking and preparing the perfect meal, so why not put just as much effort into creating the perfect dining space? To give you some inspiration, here are some of the top trends we are seeing in dining rooms this year, just in time for your spring gatherings!
  Tear Down the Walls [caption id="attachment_4592" align="aligncenter" width="894"]Image via Decoist Image via Decoist[/caption] While formal dining rooms can have a grandiose feeling, the reality is that most new homes today are being constructed with an open living/dining and kitchen floor plan. The very term dining “room” should be up for debate perhaps, as the trend of open concept living shows no signs of slowing. We live in a world where we have instant access to information, so why would we want to put up walls that hinder our ability to see what’s going on in the next room?   Mixing and Matching [caption id="attachment_4594" align="aligncenter" width="544"]Image via athomeinlove.com Image via athomeinlove.com[/caption] If you don’t have enough of your favorite chairs to make a set, mix them with other chairs! This eclectic trend is a fantastic way to add personality to your dining room and the best part is, you have a different chair to sit in every night.   Banquette Love Screen Shot 2014-03-26 at 2.34.39 PM Custom banquettes not only look terrific but they also save a lot of space, as there is no need to back up your chair. Many people do not consider adding custom pieces like a banquette since they think it will cost a fortune, but it actually may not be any more than buying four chairs for the other side of the table.   Graphically Speaking [caption id="attachment_4597" align="aligncenter" width="559"]Image via Apparatus Studio Image via Apparatus Studio[/caption] Is your dining room just missing something? There is nothing like the power of a graphic rug to anchor a room and fill it with life. We love the black and white checkered rug in this photo, not to mention the gorgeous papered wall panels from Apparatus Studio inspired by the earth’s layers.   Mirror Mirror on the Wall… [caption id="attachment_4598" align="aligncenter" width="594"]Screen Shot 2014-03-26 at 2.40.10 PM Image via Interior Sign Design[/caption] I know you’re probably thinking “80’s Flashback,” but the mirrored walls we are seeing lately have an updated feel. More than just slapping mirror on a wall, they are squares of mirror with large frames (as seen above) or antiqued mirror (pictured below).   [caption id="attachment_4599" align="aligncenter" width="513"]Image via Habitually Chic Image via Habitually Chic[/caption] Mirror has the ability to create extreme depth, making your room appear twice its size as well as reflecting double the amount of light. What’s 80’s about that?   Dining in the Kitchen    [caption id="attachment_4601" align="aligncenter" width="544"]Image via House to Home Image via House to Home[/caption] In contrast to the open-concept dining design model, there is a new trend of integrating dining within the kitchen. This is a great option for small spaces and apartments, presenting a more casual approach to dining.  Some larger homes use this space as a breakfast eating area instead of traditional stools, and then have a separate dining area as well.   Circle of Friends [caption id="attachment_4603" align="aligncenter" width="482"]image via Design Sponge image via Design Sponge[/caption] One of the best ways to create intimacy and encourage conversation is the circular table. Everyone is facing each other and no one is too far to talk to. Circular tables are also great if you don’t have the space for a rectangular table. It can also help to break up a room with too many straight lines.   Vintage Treasures [caption id="attachment_4604" align="aligncenter" width="430"]image via Design-Crisis image via Design-Crisis[/caption] As discussed in my previous article about Design Trends in 2014, we are seeing more vintage pieces appearing in design lately and the same applies to dining rooms. Whether it’s through lighting, chairs or artwork, vintage pieces give a room soul and a curated charm as opposed to looking like everything was bought at one store.   Juxtaposing Styles [caption id="attachment_4605" align="aligncenter" width="414"]Screen Shot 2014-03-26 at 3.28.52 PM Image via Nate Berkus[/caption] As a designer, I am always searching for inspiration in making spaces unique, full of character and originality. The rooms I find the most inspiring are the unexpected ones. This photo is the perfect example: You have a farmhouse table, mid-century chairs, a very traditional crystal chandelier, graffiti artwork and then some handmade looking ceramic vases of different sizes grouped on the table — all within an ultra-modem condo. Brilliant!   - Kelli Richards is a Toronto-born, Montreal-based interior designer with a strong conviction that everyone should live in a beautiful space. To find out more, visit KelliRichardsDesigns.com [post_title] => 9 Dining Room Trends for 2014 [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => 9-dining-room-trends-for-2014 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2014-04-08 22:55:39 [post_modified_gmt] => 2014-04-08 22:55:39 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://canadianhomemag.com/montreal/?p=4589 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 4612 [post_author] => 38 [post_date] => 2014-04-01 21:47:05 [post_date_gmt] => 2014-04-01 21:47:05 [post_content] => By KELLI RICHARDS
While there may still be some snow on the ground, that doesn't mean you can't get a head-start on the season and spring up your bedroom.
This is one area that often gets snubbed when redecorating, even though we spend a considerable amount of time sleeping in this space. Why not create a fresh haven to unwind at the end of a stressful day and feel invigorated when we wake up?
Here are some unique bedroom design ideas that exude spring...
  Dreaming of White [caption id="attachment_4613" align="aligncenter" width="511"]image via Melissa Mercier image via Melissa Mercier[/caption] White has the ability to make everything feel fresh and clean. Many people are afraid of white because they think it will be boring, but when used in different shades, textures and with a few accents of colour, white can be quite interesting and even dreamy.   Wall of Frames [caption id="attachment_4614" align="aligncenter" width="491"]image via Little Blue Deer Design image via Little Blue Deer Design[/caption] Can’t decide what art piece to hang over your bed? Why choose? Create an interesting gallery wall instead. Frame your favourite images, memories and things that inspire you, and every morning you'll wake surrounded with positivity.   On the Fence? [caption id="attachment_4625" align="aligncenter" width="524"]image via athomearkansas.com image via athomearkansas.com[/caption] Not sure what kind of headboard to go with? Why not layer two? You can literally use anything as a headboard to give your bed more of a presence. Layering these pieces creates even more drama. This creative example shows a lacework fence/room divider layered behind an upholstered headboard (Even the dog fits in perfectly with this room).   Bring on the Neon    [caption id="attachment_4616" align="aligncenter" width="367"]image via designed-for-life.tumblr.com image via designed-for-life.tumblr.com[/caption] We have been seeing neon colors showing up everywhere in home décor lately. Adding splashes of it to a neutral room can really pull a lot of punch. The colors are so saturated that they instantly make you feel awake and invigorated, perfect for getting started in the morning.   Draped Netting [caption id="attachment_4617" align="aligncenter" width="495"]image via myshabbychicdecor.com image via myshabbychicdecor.com[/caption] Forget the mosquitos, a netting can be a beautiful way to add romance to a bedroom. Draped over the bed, a netting can create a cloud-like, dreamy feeling that’s fit for any princess.   Think Pink [caption id="attachment_4624" align="aligncenter" width="538"]image via bestintdesign.wordpress.com image via bestintdesign.wordpress.com[/caption] The nice thing about bedding and other fabrics is that they can easily be changed. Pastels (including pink) are a great option because, like neutrals, they are light and airy but also have a hue which creates a different vibe. Paired with hints of copper like in this example produces a beautiful contrast.   Reflecting on Headboards [caption id="attachment_4618" align="aligncenter" width="467"]image via cocokelley.com image via cocokelley.com[/caption] Not every headboard has to be part of the bed. A trend we're seeing lately is using framed mirrors as a headboard. The most interesting examples are found in antique frames with intricate details. Not only do they reflect more light into the room, they can also stand out as a unique statement piece on the wall.   Lit from Above [caption id="attachment_4619" align="aligncenter" width="545"]image via media-cahce image via media-cahce[/caption] Switching your bedside lamp for a hanging pedant is definitely a trend on the rise. Not only does it look super cool, it also frees up much-needed space on the table. One word of caution, however: be sure that the light switch is close enough to the bed. If not, have a switch installed on the cord.   I Like your Accent   [caption id="attachment_4620" align="aligncenter" width="510"]image via ChicDecó image via ChicDecó[/caption] Accent chairs with great curves or a pop of color are an excellent way to add visual interest to a bedroom. Truthfully, not many people actually sit in their bedroom lounge chair, but as my architect teacher taught me, “Every bedroom needs a chair, if only to throw your clothes on.” - Kelli Richards is a Toronto-born, Montreal-based interior designer with a strong conviction that everyone should live in a beautiful space. To find out more, visit KelliRichardsDesigns.com [post_title] => 9 Fresh Bedroom Ideas for Spring [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => 9-fresh-bedroom-ideas-for-spring [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2014-04-01 21:47:05 [post_modified_gmt] => 2014-04-01 21:47:05 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://canadianhomemag.com/montreal/?p=4612 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 4552 [post_author] => 37 [post_date] => 2014-03-24 21:59:35 [post_date_gmt] => 2014-03-24 21:59:35 [post_content] =>

By LAURA BEESTON

 

It was only last week — before winter dumped us with yet another round of snow — that we were stopping to smell the flowers at Canada’s premiere garden and foliage festival, Canada Blooms.

We were among the 200,000 attendees who showed up to the 10-day event at Toronto’s Direct Energy Centre, where 21 feature gardens were spread out on five-acres and over 15,000 flowers and plants made us momentarily forget  we were still in the throes of winter.

Here's a hardy selection of our favourite blooms off the showroom floor...

Lenten Rose (zones 4-9)

Screen Shot 2014-03-24 at 12.31.56 PM

Perfect for a shade garden and able to grow well in cold zones, the Lenten Rose was named "Plant of the Year" in 2005. This easy-to-care-for cultivar can tolerate droughts and is a natural rabbit repellant.

Maggie Daley / Chinese Astilbe (zones 5-8)

This lavender pink floral grows in dense and fuzzy clusters, which bloom in summer. This low-maintentance plant does best in partial shade, but can tolerate sun and drought.

White Hydrangea (zones 3-9)

This beauty comes in reds, pinks, blues and purple varieties, but the white was awash in the Canada Blooms gardens. Easy to cultivate and tolerant of almost any soil, the hydrangea blooms in mid-summer. Be sure to thoroughly water.

Caramel Coral Bells (zones 4-9)

Native to North America, this perennial attracts birds & hummingbirds. Characterized by its carmel/apricot  foliage and small pink flowers, it is partial to sun (and lots of water) but does like shade. A great choice for landscape gardens, containers, or rock gardens.

  Triumph Tulip (zones 3-7)

These tulips were everywhere at Canada Blooms. While this traditional flower comes in every shade, the red variety was the predominant colour all over the show. With sturdy stems and a long vase life, these are a classic flower to incorporate into your outdoor space. For the best results in your garden, plant the bulbs three inches apart and plant them deep.

Butterfly Gaura (zones 5-10)

A native North American wildflower, these bushy little beauties grow in clumps. The pretty perennials prefer full sun or part shade, but will bloom through anything. Very easy to grow, they attract butterflies as their moniker suggests.

Groundcover Rose (zones 5-9)

Thriving just about anywhere with no fancy pruning required, the Groundcover Rose is a  low growing, cold climate performer. They are an unfussy rose for the garden.

  Dwarf Japanese Garden Juniper (zones 4-8)

This beautiful, ground-cover evergreen loves the full sun and works well over a wall or to cascade down a slope. Growing in a dense mat of leaves and often used as a bonsai plant, the Japanese Garden Juniper does best in well-drained soil.

Rose Daphine (zones 4-8)

While undeniably beautiful, this shrub is a bit of a fussy one.  Preferring full sun, light shade and dry, well-drained soil, it can live up to 20 years in the ideal conditions. Beware, though, it will die in standing water and doesn't take to pruning.

Emerald Cedar / Emerald Cypress (zones 2-7)

An ideal choice to grow if you want a little privacy, the Emerald Ceder hedge will reach a maximum height of 15 feet, but is easy to prune to your desired size. Its crisp texture, bright colour and tolerance of many climate types make it an easy addition to the yard.

The only thing this one requires is full-on sun and regular watering for the first year. It will be drought tolerant thereafter. Very easy to manage.

Grape Hyacinth / Muscari (zones 3-8)

These beautiful, bulbous plants flower in blue, grape-like bunches. Easy to care for and thriving in sun or shade, the hyacinth is one of the longest-blooming plants of the season. Its only real requirement of this perennial is well-drained soil. It is perfect for a rock garden.

  Alba Bleeding Heart (zones 3-9)

This perennial features a sweet, white bleeding heart. It does best in part shade, medium water and is intolerant of dry soil during the summer. Fern-like when not in bloom, it requires good soil drainage to really shine.

Bowles Golden Sedge (zones 5-9)

This low-maintenance, yellow-and-green beauty is about the hardiest sedge you can get. Do not treat it like ornamental grass, however. It prefers part sun to full shade, does best in medium-to-wet soil and is great for container growing.

  Dark Towers / Tall Beard Tongue (zones 3-8)

This tough-as-nails Tall Beard Tongue grows in clusters and features beautiful deep pink/purple foliage. Easy to care for and attractive to butterflies, this hybrid was originally developed at the University of Nebraska. It does best in average-to-dry soil moisture.

Aglo Rhododendron (zones 4-8)

Last but not least, this bright beauty features clusters of pink flowers that work for container planting. The evergreen shrub needs to be well drained, likes full sun and has a spring bloom. Beware of its shallow roots when you're digging around it.

[post_title] => Best in Bloom: Plant Picks from Canada’s Biggest Garden Show [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => the-best-of-the-bloom-plant-picks-from-canadas-biggest-garden-show [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2014-03-26 15:26:11 [post_modified_gmt] => 2014-03-26 15:26:11 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://canadianhomemag.com/montreal/?p=4552 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 4557 [post_author] => 37 [post_date] => 2014-03-20 22:26:53 [post_date_gmt] => 2014-03-20 22:26:53 [post_content] => By LAURA BEESTON  
 Talk about a show bird...
  [caption id="attachment_4561" align="aligncenter" width="871"]Screen Shot 2014-03-19 at 8.18.05 PM Images by Andrew Wilcox of Sugino Studio[/caption]

This beautiful, lace-like chair is on display with the international flower arrangements at Canada Blooms, our national floral and garden show, until the end of the week.

And boy, did it grab our attention. Screen Shot 2014-03-19 at 8.17.54 PM You couldn't actually test the chair at Canada Blooms to experience its full effect but, nonetheless, it had an impressive wingspan and made for some memorable visitor photos. Designed by Eiri Ota and Irene Gardpoit Chan from the Toronto-based design firm UUfie, the pair began the project by cutting, bending and folding paper. Eventually they decided to create the 18-chair limited run from an acrylic composite sheet that required the duo to manipulate it to shape within minutes. As the description from their publicist states, "The idea of freezing a fluid moment is literally captured as the material is stretched by hand." According to the design duo — who have worked within the fields of architecture, interior design and furniture design — the nature-inspired Peacock is "an expression of trying to capture a natural instance, such as a flower blossoming or a bird's tail fanning in a ritual courtship." This, they say, a representation of "frozen moments of beauty and happiness." Screen Shot 2014-03-19 at 8.23.46 PM Three versions of the chair, which are intended for indoor use, are available in white and a selection of other colours. Another prototype is currently sitting pretty at the Spazio Rossana Orlandi exhibit  in Milan, and it will be showing at this year's Salone del Mobile. Screen Shot 2014-03-19 at 7.23.19 PM The chair runs at an unpublishable, mystery price but interested parties have been welcomed to inquire to Spazio Rossana Orlandi at commerciale@rossanaorlandi.com. [post_title] => #DesignFind: The Peacock Chair by UUfie [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => designfind-the-peacock-chair-by-uufie [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2014-03-20 22:26:53 [post_modified_gmt] => 2014-03-20 22:26:53 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://canadianhomemag.com/montreal/?p=4557 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [5] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 4441 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2014-03-19 19:15:16 [post_date_gmt] => 2014-03-19 19:15:16 [post_content] =>
Perfect for your home office, study nook or even to brighten up a dark corner of the kitchen, the accordion table lamp from Montreal Lighting & Hardware is a lovely light accent.
accordian lamp TJI
This one-socket light features an extending neck, silver vintage-steel finish and is made of brass.
-
Montreal Lighting & Hardware
5670 rue Pare, VMR.
514-416-2013
[post_title] => THIS JUST IN: Light & Song [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => this-just-in-light-song [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2014-03-19 19:15:16 [post_modified_gmt] => 2014-03-19 19:15:16 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://canadianhomemag.com/montreal/?p=4441 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [6] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 4497 [post_author] => 37 [post_date] => 2014-03-15 17:55:39 [post_date_gmt] => 2014-03-15 17:55:39 [post_content] => By LAURA BEESTON
If you've ever wanted to live in a space-age way — albeit with your feet firmly planted on the ground in the great outdoors — here's your opportunity...
Screen Shot 2014-03-06 at 10.47.24 AM The folks at CasaBubble , a company that produces a line of specialized plastic, modular, nomadic houses, offer you "your own crystal ball... a magical space, an open-air dream, an awesome night under the stars..." In this bubble, they say, "nature is your living room." The CasaBubble series was created by French designers Frédéric Richard and Pierre-Stéphane Dumas, and will be on exhibit at this year's National Home Show in Toronto. No need for a building permit. The CasaBubble can be set up almost anywhere, delivered with a wood floor. Its creators claim that the bubble has a "tranquilizing effect" on occupants, as the sounds of the outside world are muffled. The bubbles, manufactured in Paris, France, take only two hours to set up. Made of special PVC plastic that is sun- and weather-friendly, the bubbles maintain their spherical shape with the help of a special turbine that circulates air. Screen Shot 2014-03-06 at 10.47.47 AM Fast to build, light to transport, customizable and modular, this product is apparently a burgeoning hit among the bed and breakfast network in the U.S. Its creators suggest building a bubble fort is also a party favourite for weddings, business dinners and private getaways. Paul Vice, a Canadian CasaBubble representative, says the structure is a popular one for "glamping" (luxury camping), can be used as an extra outdoor bedroom, or become a memorable environment for a business meeting or trade show. The French designers say they wanted to find a way "of getting in touch with nature that would appeal to private individuals and holiday accommodation professionals" and provide  a different approach to leisure accommodation. At this year’s National Home Show, the CasaBubble crew will showcase four of the company's inter-connected living spaces, which "blur the lines of indoor and outdoor." Screen Shot 2014-03-06 at 10.48.31 AM   Screen Shot 2014-03-06 at 4.35.20 PM   The CasaBubble can be rented and purchased via event@casabubble.com or by calling 805-426-5278. Rentals run from $800 - $1,200 depending on the model. [post_title] => From Toronto's National Home Show: The CasaBubble [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => from-torontos-national-home-show-the-casabubble [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2014-03-15 17:55:39 [post_modified_gmt] => 2014-03-15 17:55:39 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://canadianhomemag.com/montreal/?p=4497 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [7] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 4510 [post_author] => 37 [post_date] => 2014-03-12 21:26:23 [post_date_gmt] => 2014-03-12 21:26:23 [post_content] => By LAURA BEESTON
For more than 25 years, Aquabrass has provided Canadians with an extensive selection of stylish bathroom and kitchen faucets, shower fixtures and accessories. The company's hardware is currently on display at The National Home Show until March 16 alongside Plomberium + Baliscus, which joined forces to showcase new products and trends by building five, fully-furnished, state-of-the-art bathrooms on site.
Screen Shot 2014-03-11 at 3.00.03 PM  
Here are some of our favourite faucets...
  Etna Screen Shot 2014-03-11 at 3.03.30 PM Etna Crystal Screen Shot 2014-03-11 at 2.31.04 PM This tall, single-hole lavatory faucet is made of solid brass. The first model has a cascading water flow and showcases an open spout and a handle  made of volcanic rock from Mount Etna in Sicily. The second model features seven Swarovski crystals and has an aerated water flow. Etna is available in polished chrome, black, white or one of 20 Aquabrass custom finishes.   Above The Cut  Screen Shot 2014-03-11 at 2.35.12 PM A high curve and narrow width characterize the boldness of The Cut faucet. We love the temperature joystick control. This modern-looking bathroom accessory is at once sleek, stylish and simple.   The Niu Collection Screen Shot 2014-03-11 at 2.45.38 PM Created by Italian designer (and Good Design Award winner) Maurizio Duranti, this faucet is all about  style appeal. Its launch included a video to showcase just how seductive your bathroom fixtures can get. Shaped from a single block, Niu has an integrated lever and spout that transforms water into a sculptural waterfall. You can even choose a model that's embedded with crystals.   StrinG Screen Shot 2014-03-11 at 2.57.51 PM We love the clean, mod style of the StrinG, which is made of solid brass and features a single joystick to control temperature. Three mini aerators are discreetly placed under the spout.   About Time

Screen Shot 2014-03-11 at 3.24.35 PM

One of the newest models is this Italian-made, solid brass faucet, which features a fusion of shapes: a circular body and flat spout.  
MiniMe Screen Shot 2014-03-11 at 3.40.53 PM Screen Shot 2014-03-11 at 3.41.55 PM While this model wasn't featured at the show, it's so cool we had to mention it. It's the smallest, single-hole lavatory faucet on the market! "Don't let the size fool you, [this is] a high performance jewel," Aquabrass representatives say of their MiniMe. And you have to admit, it's pretty cute. - The National Home Show runs until March 16. [post_title] => Tapping into Style: The best from aquabrass at #SH2014 [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => tapping-into-style-the-best-from-aquabrass-at-sh2014 [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2014-03-13 14:53:26 [post_modified_gmt] => 2014-03-13 14:53:26 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://canadianhomemag.com/montreal/?p=4510 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [8] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 4396 [post_author] => 1 [post_date] => 2014-03-06 22:18:30 [post_date_gmt] => 2014-03-06 22:18:30 [post_content] =>   [caption id="attachment_4397" align="aligncenter" width="940"]Screen Shot 2014-02-25 at 4.05.03 PM image by Aristea Rizakos[/caption]   Designed and manufactured in Canada, this storage bed from Space Interiors brings together form and function — so you can sleep easy knowing ample storage is right under your head. Choose from models that have five, six or 11 drawers for maximum storage, or have a custom model made. - 167 King E, Toronto (416) 360-8551 [post_title] => Behold the Bed: Stylish Storage [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => behold-the-bed-stylish-storage [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2014-03-06 22:18:30 [post_modified_gmt] => 2014-03-06 22:18:30 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://canadianhomemag.com/montreal/?p=4396 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [9] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 4473 [post_author] => 44 [post_date] => 2014-03-05 20:02:38 [post_date_gmt] => 2014-03-05 20:02:38 [post_content] => By DANIELLE & PAUL DONADIO
While it is usually the smallest room in your house, a powder room can represent your style in a very impactful way if you take the opportunity to infuse it with colour, light, drama, a variety of finishes to make it stand out.
The key to a successful powder room is its location, so ensure that it is located well away from your kitchen, dining and living room. A powder room located inside or adjacent to one of the main rooms will rarely be used. There are plenty of options available to ensure that your powder room represents your taste and style. The beauty of this small room is that you can take risks and infuse the space personality and energy that wouldn’t work as well in larger spaces. So have some fun with your powder room! [caption id="attachment_4481" align="aligncenter" width="553"]powderroom1 image via scarflove.tumblr.com[/caption]   Here is an example of a few design choices melded together to make a big impact. The iridescent tile, combined with the marble floor and reflecting chandelier leave no doubt that someone is willing to put their stamp on a space.   [caption id="attachment_4482" align="aligncenter" width="622"]Screen Shot 2014-03-04 at 4.44.31 PM image via veranda-interiors.com[/caption] Wainscoting is a great addition to any powder room and lends a sense of understated class. The beauty of pairing this clean white palate with any paint or wallpaper is that it serves as a great kick off point and helps your wallpaper stand out.   [caption id="attachment_4483" align="aligncenter" width="426"]powderroom2 image via architectureartdesigns.com[/caption]   The typical design choice to dress up a powder room is wallpaper. There’s no reason not to use wallpaper in your powder room. It packs a big punch, is cost effective to install in small places and transforms a small space into a clear design statement. If wallpaper seems like it might not for your lifestyle, you can always use tile to finish off the space. In the image above, contrasting tiles are used to make an impact. Or if you love your paper enough, you can run it across your ceiling as well.   [caption id="attachment_4484" align="aligncenter" width="409"]powderrooms3 image via Leclair Decor[/caption] If four-papered walls is too bold, you can always start with a single wall.   [caption id="attachment_4485" align="aligncenter" width="476"]Screen Shot 2014-03-04 at 4.57.43 PM image via flikr[/caption] Everyone loves marble, but in large quantities it can blow a budget. Here in a small space, a little marble can go a long way.   [caption id="attachment_4487" align="aligncenter" width="434"]image via The Benjamin Collection image via The Benjamin Collection[/caption] And in case you thought your taste was over the top, here is a great example of personalizing the space for audience and personality. There truly is design for every taste!   [caption id="attachment_4488" align="aligncenter" width="426"]image via Nancy Meyer image via Nancy Meyer[/caption] The key to your perfect powder room are the finishes you select. In many small spaces, the vanity and sink can be tailored to fit the space – long and narrow, or short and miniature. There is an abundance of choice, you just need to look and you will find something perfect for your space. [caption id="attachment_4493" align="aligncenter" width="302"]Screen Shot 2014-03-05 at 2.23.53 PM image via blogspot.ca[/caption] Another key factor is location and access to the powder room. Many spaces are tucked in a corner while others can be squeezed in to a hallway; a barn door or a pocket door can make all the difference for access to the powder room.     [caption id="attachment_4490" align="aligncenter" width="500"]powderrooms6 image via pinterest[/caption]

Here is a true example of making a big statement in a small space. The use of gilt and mirrors demonstrates that luxury spaces come in all shapes, sizes and finishes.

  [caption id="attachment_4491" align="aligncenter" width="431"]powderrooms7 image via pinterest[/caption] And finally, if a simple paint job is more your speed, black and white stripes can dress a room up easily as well.   - Danielle and Paul Donadio are avid renovators personally and professionally. Paul is a co-owner of a design, build, renovate firm called Terracon Inc. and Danielle is a design consultant in her spare time. Follow Danielle on HouzzPinterest or Twitter @dsdonadio [post_title] => Small but Mighty: Powder Rooms that Pack a Punch [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => closed [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => small-but-mighty-powder-rooms-that-pack-a-punch [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2014-03-05 20:02:38 [post_modified_gmt] => 2014-03-05 20:02:38 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://canadianhomemag.com/montreal/?p=4473 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 10 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 4637 [post_author] => 37 [post_date] => 2014-04-14 15:23:19 [post_date_gmt] => 2014-04-14 15:23:19 [post_content] => BY LAURA BEESTON PHOTOGRAPHY: ARASH MOALLEMI
Moss, lichen, hay. They’re elements you’d expect to see during a walk in nature. But what if they were on your dinner plate? Would you be adventurous enough to eat them?
Some Torontonians are discovering that these ingredients are not only edible, but also delicious in the hands of five talented chefs who have integrated them into a unique tasting menu in their Ossington Ave. restaurant. [caption id="attachment_4640" align="aligncenter" width="528"]Actinolite's beet dish takes a full day to prepare. The beets are oven-roasted until burnt, then peeled, dehydrated and "painted" at half-hour intervals with a beet-and-licorice reduction. The beet is combined on this plate with radicchio crisp, reindeer-lichen meringue and a mix of fermented berries that include black currant, gooseberry, and pickled juniper. Actinolite's beet dish takes a full day to prepare. The beets are oven-roasted until burnt, then peeled, dehydrated and "painted" at half-hour intervals with a beet-and-licorice reduction. The beet is combined on this plate with radicchio crisp, reindeer-lichen meringue and a mix of fermented berries that include black currant, gooseberry, and pickled juniper.[/caption] Actinolite, a two-year-old eatery, has developed a tasting menu that is pushing the boundaries of Canadian cuisine, offering foods that are foraged, seasonal and local. “I wanted a restaurant with a meaning, dishes that were different, to cook within the moment of what’s around us, while trying to discover what Canadian cuisine really is, or what it could be,” says Actinolite’s head chef and owner, Justin Cournoyer. “I wanted to use our surroundings as guidance.” That means you’ll rarely find lemons or limes in the restaurant’s kitchen; they’re not grown in Canada. But you may be served potato ice cream or a carrot sorbet in the restaurant’s seven-course tasting menu. It’s not uncommon, if you sit at the bar, to overhear customers describe the dishes they consume as the most interesting they’ve ever eaten. They are visibly engaged — moved, even — by the artful presentation of each dish. Cournoyer is the type of guy who will give you a hug instead of shaking your hand. An earnest sensibility permeates everything he does in the 30-seat restaurant, which is named after the small Ontario mining town where he was born. Actinolite occupies the ground-floor storefront of a 125-year-old building, just south of Dupont. In renovating it, Cournoyer says, his mission was to maintain the authenticity and “soul” of the building. The ceiling and bar are made of wood from a sawmill on his mother’s side of the family, in Roslin, Ont. The exposed bricks, lofty windows, and dim lighting preserve the interior intimacy without pretension. Family photos adorn the walls while tea light candles sit in tuna cans. It is his “very outdoor” country upbringing that especially sets the direction of Cournoyer’s place apart from other establishments. He perfected his craft at Susur and worked alongside his culinary producer wife, Claudia Bianchi, for Food Network Canada, before they opened Actinolite to allow him to explore. “I stepped back and said, ‘Okay, now I need to have the food to fit this beautiful place and this passion within myself,’ ” Cournoyer says. The concept has taken off in the past year following the expansion of his backyard herb garden, and the hiring of a crop of young chefs to challenge what could be done with each dish. “Everyone brings something to the table,” he says of the talent he’s cultivated around himself. “[My staff] made me ask myself, ‘What is this restaurant? What are we trying to do? And they pushed me to get here.’ ” [caption id="attachment_4639" align="aligncenter" width="530"]Screen Shot 2014-04-14 at 10.48.35 AM (Left to right) Chef de partie Jamie Vrooman, sous chef Mike Lehmkuhl, head chef and owner Justin Cournoyer and chef de partie John Greenwell are the talent behind Actinolite restaurant.[/caption] It was around the time his kitchen was debating these existential questions that Cournoyer began to strengthen his relationship with local farmers. Their passion struck a chord with the chef and his kitchen, inspiring a deep care for the community of Canadian producers. The search for only the best local ingredients began. It includes wild, foraged ingredients, including – yes – moss, lichens, straw. Farmers from the Urban Harvest greenhouse provide herbs throughout the cold months. Organic farmer Ted Thorpe supplies carrots, pears, cabbages and kale. Baby chards and radish come from Chick a biddy Acres. Farming methods from Plan B Organics have “opened our minds to the philosophy of farming,” says Cournoyer. Developing the dishes at Actinolite evolves constantly. The restaurant changes a dish a week, on average; in a good week, two, depending on what’s available, what’s been picked or foraged, what foods arrive, and how much time the chefs have to decide what to do with them. The seven-course menu costs $85, the four-course summary, $55. Both can be paired with wine. In his capacity as sous-chef, Michael Lehmkuhl does a lot of the menu development, but stresses that as much work goes into locating high-quality ingredients. He arrived at Actinolite after being trained in the UK and at the celebrated Danish restaurant noma. Lehmkuhl says he had a meeting of the minds with Cournoyer and appreciated that the owner was striving “to do something more than put food on a plate.” As a forager himself, he was eager to keep discovering what the local environment had to offer. The work is an interesting challenge, says Lehmkuhl. “You take one ingredient that falls into your lap, cook it one or two ways and it could just happen that the plate comes together very rapidly — like our halibut cheek dish,” he says. “But then something like our rutabaga took days and days of development — and weeks perfecting the components. [caption id="attachment_4638" align="aligncenter" width="529"]Screen Shot 2014-04-14 at 10.47.53 AM The rutabaga dish, featuring the root vegetable sous-vide and poached, silken milk curd, picked elderberry and fine herbs including chervil, parsley and lemon balm. The finishing touch is balconville, a late-harvest apple cider vinegar, from Quebec.[/caption] “The pork cracklings were a happy accident when we initially overcooked the skin.” Creating dishes from what’s available in the natural surroundings can be “an emotional rollercoaster, but this is the backbone of what we do,” Lehmkuhl says. “You get to make something that is beautiful and meaningful. And this can really evoke emotion in people. We’ve had people in our dining room break out in hysterical giggles over things we bring to the table.” Jamie Vrooman, one of Actinolite’s chefs de partie, says the dining experience is “more than about just eating the food. We’re trying to create a direct connection with everything we bring in.” Cournoyer says the team wants to “push the food forward and really honour what our country and land has to offer.” He and his staff are modest about their bold foray into the Canadian culinary wilderness. In fact, Actinolite is defining what that “wilderness” is. Actinolite is at 971 Ossington Ave. and is open Tuesday to Saturday, 6 p.m. - 10 p.m. Reservations: 416-962-8943. 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Expert Columnists

9 Dining Room Trends for 2014

By on April 8, 2014

By KELLI RICHARDS Eating is just a part of life. We love food and to spend time cooking and preparing the perfect meal, so why not put just as much effort into creating the perfect dining space? To give you some inspiration, here are some of the top trends we are seeing in dining rooms this year, just in time […]

9 Fresh Bedroom Ideas for Spring

By on April 1, 2014

By KELLI RICHARDS While there may still be some snow on the ground, that doesn’t mean you can’t get a head-start on the season and spring up your bedroom. This is one area that often gets snubbed when redecorating, even though we spend a considerable amount of time sleeping in this space. Why not create a fresh haven to unwind […]

This Just In

Design Find

Screen Shot 2014-03-19 at 8.18.05 PM

#DesignFind: The Peacock Chair by UUfie

By on March 20, 2014

By LAURA BEESTON    Talk about a show bird…   This beautiful, lace-like chair is on display with the international flower arrangements at Canada Blooms, our national floral and garden show, until the end of the week. And boy, did it grab our attention. You couldn’t actually test the chair at Canada Blooms to experience its full effect but, nonetheless, it had an impressive wingspan and made for some memorable visitor photos. Designed by Eiri Ota and Irene Gardpoit Chan from the Toronto-based design firm UUfie, the pair began the project by cutting, bending and folding paper. Eventually they decided to create the 18-chair limited run from an acrylic composite sheet that required the duo to manipulate it to shape within minutes. As the description from their publicist states, “The idea of freezing a fluid moment […]