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Monday, July 28, 2014

Summer Obsessions: Tina Holmes' Seasonal Favourites for the Home + Garden

Summer's here, so it's the perfect time for outdoor living. Embrace your space! With plenty of sunshine to soak up, patio parties to attend and time to relax, this is the season! Here's a few of our summer obsessions from Tina Holmes, Toronto Show Manager. Whether you’re looking for a fresh summer salad, a pop of colour, or to brighten up your garden, add some sunshine to your home and garden.

Fresh Flowers

When the days are longer and the air is warm, throw open your windows and enjoy the days of summer. Bring the fresh look of summer into your home. Add fresh flowers and plants to any room, from your bedroom, living room and even the guest room. Enjoy colourful, cheery, summery bright colours. Live with what you love!

Chair Crush

Ah, the Acapulco chair. So colourful and summery. Sitting pretty, spotted at Green Light District (Roncesvalles) new outdoor space. Perfect for creating a simple little outdoor space, the Acapulco lounge chair is available in fun bright colours.  

Brighten up the Garden

Brighten up the garden and even the patio. Bring in some fun bright colour accessories! I fell in love with these Colin & Justin home watering cans.   

Summertime = DIY Time 

Image via My Painted Door

Upcycling continues to be contagious with the ease of the summer months. There are so many great upcycle ideas and inspirations out there. 

Upcycling has been done for years, but it's only with the recent do-it-yourself movement that it earned a title. It's like recycling, but the goal is making the item even better than it was before. It was love at first sight with these Mason Jars painted with Miss Mustard Seed's milk paint in boxwood and curio and torn napkins added to cover part of the jars.

A favourite summer retail therapy stop is a Restorethat inspires the DIY in all of us - you'll never know what you'll find.  

Summer Salad: Yellow Couscous Salad with Pomegranate Dressing

Simple and easy summer salad. The perfect recipe for your couscous obsession: yellow couscous salad with pomegranate dressing. Couscous readily absorbs the flavours of the ingredients that are added to it, so what better way to celebrate summer flavours than with mint and pomegranate. 

Click here for the recipe.

Did you know that couscous is not a grain at all, but made from semolina (the hard grains left after milling durum wheat) that's combined with flour, salt and water (and sometimes roasted) to form tiny, pasta-like pellets?

Flavoured Ice Cubes

Image via Spoon Fork Bacon

With outdoor entertaining in full swing, it’s all about serving cool, refreshing drinks on a hot day. Super cool! Fresh fruit obsession, a perfect addition to summer. The summer season brings us lots of local fresh fruit from local farmers markets and culinary adventures. Fruit frozen into ice cubes livens up your simple summer drinks.

Summer Season Craving

Image via Food Network

Chef Corbin's Smoked Bacon Wrapped Corn on the Cob with chili & fresh lime. Summer is a perfect season to enjoy our local fare, and Ontario Corn is one of the best of Ontario Summers. For the recipe click here.

Outdoor Living

Image via ElleDecor

During the summer your most coveted space is outdoors. Brighten your backyard for those warm summer nights. Enjoy outdoor living long after dark with these illuminating ideas from white lights, patio lanterns and summer loving candlelight. 

Summer Songs

Songza is the new tunes obsession for summer. Great tunes streaming from curated lists, perfect for the home, vacation and cottage too. Make your summer patio parties, barbecues, and rooftop shindigs bigger and better with Songza. Songza is 100% free, with no audio ads, all you need is a wifi connection. A fun Summer Playlist is 'Summer Escapades' curated by Train. These bouncy beats and sweet melodies will get you excited for summer adventures with friends and family.

Special thanks to Toronto Show Manager Tina Holmes a.k.a@TinaLovesPinot, for  sharing her Summer Obsessions!

Enjoy your summer! 

Toronto Home Shows "We've got you covered"

Toronto Fall Home Show (Sept 18-21, 2014)
GTA Home & Reno Show (Feb 13-16, 2015)
National Home Show (March 12 -22, 2015)

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Great Taste: Wow Your Friends with a Wine Tasting

Having a few friends over and in need of a fun group activity? This weekend try hosting a wine tasting! Not a sommelier? No problem – this event is great for everyone!

What you’ll need:
  1. Pens
  2. Paper
  3. Wine!
Here's how it works:
  • Choose a kind of wine to compare, like a Pino Grigio or a Cabernet
  • Have everyone in your party responsible for bringing a different brand's offering of this type of wine, like Barefoot or Pelee Island - Make sure to get everyone to email you their choice so you don't have any doubles!
  • Create numbered place cards, one for each bottle of wine
  • Every time a guest arrives, have them hide their bottle from the other attendees and bring it into a separate area where you can cover the label (and any other identifiers)
  • Once the wine is unrecognizable, put it behind one of the numbered place cards
  • After all the wine has arrived and is behind a number it's time to start the tasting!
The tasting:
  • For each bottle you and your guests try, write down the number the bottle was behind
  • Discuss and write down what you think of the wine, what notes you taste, and what you'd rate the wine out of ten - You can even try and guess what brand of wine you think it is, or what region you think it's from
  • When you're done tasting that wine, put it back behind its numbered place card
  • Repeat until you've tasted all the wine
  • Take the covers off each bottle, keeping them behind their numbered place cards, and check out your results! Is Silver Oak really your favorite? Or does it have some new competition?
This is a great way to try new kinds of wine and get everyone talking. You're all getting the same type of wine so it'll be easier to put personal preference aside and taste the distinct flavors of each brand. You taste cherry? I've got a hint of nutmeg or something spicy over here! It's sure to be a fun evening you and your guests won't soon forget.

If wine's not your thing you can replicate this tasting with all kinds of beverages - like coffee (have everyone pick out a different kind of breakfast blend) or beer (put local microbrews to the test!).

Looking for more ways to wow as a host? Get the design inspiration you need to bring your living room to life at any of our Marketplace Events shows. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Star Search: Are You the Home + Garden Trendsetter of the Year?

Are you an aspiring home and garden star? Do you have a penchant for the latest home design trends and techniques that are rivalled only by those in the industry? You can’t stop blogging, tweeting, pinning, instagramming, or sharing. Your fans and followers go to you for advice and inspiration on their home projects, and you love it. You’re passionate about helping others create their perfect space. You live for all things home and garden, and dream of one day doing it professionally. Are you looking for the next step in your career?

'Cause we’re looking for you!

There are loads of outlets for amateur dancers, singers, and fashion designers looking to make it big – but not so much for home and garden enthusiasts. Well all of that’s about to change! We’re your Simon Cowell, your Christina Aguilera, your Nigel Lythgoe, and your Tim Gunn. Let us help make you a star! We’re searching for the Home + Garden Trendsetter of the Year, one savvy design darling or DIY daredevil, to rule them all.

Click here to enter and show us what you’ve got! One lucky winner will receive a contract/tour prize valued at approximately $30,000! 

What are you waiting for? This is your opportunity to connect with media outlets, vendors, and over a million attendees. Many celebrities credit their success with being in the right place at the right time. We’ve got the right place and the right time, but where are you? The first phase of the contest ends August 14th, 2014 so apply today and get your home + garden career growing! 

To see the complete challenge details and rules please click here.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Shoe & Tell: 6 Hallways We Love

Although they’re usually one of the first spaces your guests will see upon entering your home, hallways and entryways are often under-designed. Their small size can present several creative challenges and limitations. This prompts many homeowners to assume they have to choose function over fashion when it comes to decorating these nooks – but as we’ll see in the designs below, baby, you can have both!

6 Functioning & Fashionable Hallways

1. A pop of color – That bright red or gold you were afraid to use in your living room or bedroom might fit perfectly in your hallway. Try it out! See how the red sideboard sizzles, but doesn’t overpower the space. 

Image via House to Home 

2. Sometimes simplicity is best – What’s worse than under-designing? Over-designing! Having too much furniture in a narrow space can often leave visitors feeling uncomfortable. This sparse hallway welcomes guests playfully.

Image via House to Home

3. If you build it, they will hang – Built-ins provide unique space-saving opportunities. If you’ve got a really small space to work with, try using the area under your stairs like they’ve done here.

Image via House to Home

4. Stay organized and stylish – Shelves and bins will help to keep your family neat and organized, but that doesn’t mean you have to compromise on decor. Develop your own theme within your storage furniture for a personal touch, like this nautical one.

Image via House to Home

5. Have fun with prints and patterns – A bold wallpaper can make all the difference, and layering complimentary images can add even more depth.

Image via House to Home

6. Try a cute carpet – Creating a warm, inviting space can be as simple as a clean rug with some rich colors.

Image via House to Home

What’s going on in your hallway? Are you feeling inspired by the designs above, or do you have an even better idea for welcoming your guests and keeping your family organized? Let us know! Tweet us (@HomeShows) pictures of your hallway or photos of some of your favorite entryway designs for a chance to be featured on our foyers, entryways and hallways Pinterest board

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Cool or Weird: Moss Graffiti

Interested in low-impact, environmentally responsible ways to make your mark? Look no further than moss graffiti. Also called eco-graffiti or green graffiti, this unique alternative to spray paint is considered a form of guerrilla gardening. Instead of using harsh and damaging chemicals, artists use a paint brush and moss "paint" that grows on its own. You can create an original look and leave the space greener than when you found it! Want to try it for yourself? Check out this guide to creating your own moss graffiti.
We think moss graffiti is an innovative solution to a problem many urban homeowners face. Plus, there’s no end to the ways you can use it to make your home, garden, and community more beautiful. Check out some of the clever green artwork below.

Image via Oliveloaf Design

We’re definitely on board with moss graffiti, but we have to ask: what do you think of this trend? Is this taking the idea of being environmentally conscious too far, or are you excited to get your moss on? Let us know. And, of course, if you’re looking for more inspiration for your home and garden, there’s something for you at any Marketplace Events show.