West Elm now in King West!

Yet another US chain made its debut in Canada this year. West Elm opened in Toronto's Liberty Village last week. Housed in a 20,000 sq. ft. loft-style space, it's one of those fabulous places that makes you want to scrap everything you own and start over. I'm deciding what to do with my new clear globe pendant:

...and I'm debating on whether to get this pin-tuck duvet cover:

I'll definitely become a regular - I've been looking for something to fill the void since Caban closed. {westelm.com}

Tis the Season for Sizzling Stationery

My latest obsession on the Web is Etsy.com - home to all things handmade. I've recently been scouring the craft site for holiday stationery and came up with some lovely finds. Most of the selections below are letterpress and run for about $14.00 US for six cards. Not exactly inexpensive, but their handmade quality hopefully makes them worth the cost.

An ornate Scandanavian design featuring a stylized partridge in a pear tree. Etsy seller: byvikINK.

Also by the same seller are these two greeting cards. Feliz Navidad for a Latin-infused dose of merriment (above) and a lovely Hanukkah card below.

Etsy seller armatodesign created these traditional but modern letterpress cards. A Santa design with "naughty, nice, other" check boxes (above) and a gold and red partridge and pear tree design below.

For something more bright and modern, Etsy seller LookyLoo has a line of festive cards that could have easily been inspired by Dr. Seus.


Speaking of Anthropologie & Iceland...

Anthropologie's October 2008 catalogue was shot in Iceland! Loved seeing the places I had just been to, Anthropologie-style. Below are catalogue photos of the Blue Lagoon at left, with my own photos at right:

And here's a really beautiful one of Jokulsarlon glacier lake, which I did not get to see, but wish I had:

I haven't been able to track down a copy of the catalogue, as they're hard to come by...good thing they post them online! View their current archive.


Wanted! at Anthropologie.com

In a fit of guilt, I bought and returned this fabulous Leifsdottir coat while in New York last weekend. (Did you know Canadian shoppers receive 11% off at Bloomingdale's?) Ruffles, gold clasps, butterfly lining - and Tiffany blue! Audrey would have been proud, if only I didn't fear my credit card statement. I'm still depressed about it. Also available at anthropologie.com. My only hope is that it goes on sale there.

Found! in Iceland

On a recent trip to Iceland, I finally found the Tuuli Marimekko fabric I had been looking for and for less than I thought it would be($30/metre)! Not only that, Reykjavik has a whole Marimekko store! (this does not happen in Toronto). I want to turn mine into a wall hanging. {marimekko.fi}

And no trip to Iceland is complete without a visit to the Blue Lagoon. Luckily, a soak in its steamy blue waters can be recreated with their product line: mineral salt scrub and algae shower gel (it works better than it sounds) do wonders for the skin. I wish I had bought more. Blue Lagoon's line is also available at Saks Fifth Avenue. {bluelagoon.com}


Apartment Therapy - The Book

My newest treasure is the book by the editors of one of my favourite online destinations: Apartment Therapy. Released earlier this year by San Francisco publishers Chronicle Books, the new book is a mid-sized, hardcover gem containing the best apartments from their uber-popular website, apartmenttherapy.com. Editors Jill Slater and Janel Laban pen most of the text, but the true stars are the owners of the apartments themselves, who are given a voice throughout the book, answering style and design surveys and providing direct insight into their decorating challenges and accomplishments. The apartment owners/renters also provide all of the photography of their places, giving the book a truly bohemian (but modern) flavour. Forty apartments throughout the United States are featured and each chapter concludes with a full list of design resources the owner/renter used to achieve the look.

Shopping in Canada Just got Better

Two retail favourites among the arts and decor crowd will soon be opening stores in Canada. Anthropologie and Crate & Barrel are opening new stores in the Toronto area later this fall.

Crate & Barrel's 35,000-square-foot, two-level store at the Yorkdale Mall is the furniture/home merchandise retailer's 163rd location and the first outside the United States. The Globe & Mail described it as "a study in easy living, from its quality merchandise at easy-to-swallow prices to its well thought out displays and attractive vignettes." C&B is known for its minimalist but sturdy look, with clean lines, simple designs and natural neutrals that work in all kinds of settings.

From Crate & Barrel

Not to be outdone, Anthropolgie, one of C&B's top US competitors, is also opening a store in Yorkdale later this fall, and a second location in Don Mills in spring, 2009. Anyone who knows Anthropologie knows about its alluring window displays and lush catalogs, filled with creative, visionary home/lifestyle products, fabrics, fashions and linens. Artfully inspired, Anthropologie will keep you in its stores for hours!

A typical window display at an Anthropologie store.