The Friday Find: Canadiana Without the Kitsch

Happy Canada Day to you, you gorgeous Canuks!

Don't get me wrong, I love poutine and beavers as much as the next Canadian (and I mean this is the cleanest possible sense) but at the risk of offending anyone's patriotism here, sometimes our national symbols can be displayed in ways that are slightly less than sophisticated.

I TOTALLY get that in the right setting a well-placed canoe paddle can be the perfect accessory and I mean what Canadian can't rally behind a well hung set of elk antlers? But for those among us that feel these symbols may be a tad too literal we want you to know that it is possible to bring touches of Canadian symbolism, culture and design into your home without going overboard on the kitsch factor. 

And so, in celebration of this wonderful, beautiful, and yes very stylish land of ours, here are five gorgeous ways to celebrate Canada through design with out a hint of kitsch: 

1. Hudson Bay Iconic Point Blankets

Image: Houzz.com

The iconic point blanket is just as at home in a chic modern space as it is in a rustic cabin setting. It's the perfect Canadian accessory—warm, durable, stylish and loaded with a rich and storied history. Everyone should have one in their Canadian home. 

2. Halifax Cups & Saucers

We may borrow our teatime traditions from the Brits but this lovely set featuring the lush seaside landscape of Halifax, Nova Scotia is just abstract enough to avoid being overly kitschy. Instead it will elevate your morning or afternoon cuppa into a chic and distinctly Canadian ritual. Also available in this series are The Rockies side plates and The Yukon dinner plates. 

3. Woods; Cole & Son Wallpaper

Despite the fact that it skyrocketed into ubiquity over the last several years, I will not, I repeat I WILL NOT apologize for my love of the Woods wallpaper, designed in 1959 by Michael Clark and distributed by Cole & Son. I know, I know, he's a Brit but the birch tree is a Provincial symbol in both Quebec and Saskatchewan and an unofficial icon that short of the Mighty Maple is about as Canadian as it gets. Though I, like many others, grew weary of seeing it in every magazine spread and chic city townhouse entryway for a spell there, I still think it's a gorgeous and striking way to bring the essence of nature and wildness into a modern, urban space. Used sparingly and smartly, like in the nursery shown above or maybe a petite powder room, this is a fantastic way to reflect the vast expanses of Canadian wilderness without getting overly literal. 

4. Aboriginal Art

The stunning contemporary work of Canadian Aboriginal artist Alex Janvier is but one example of the absolute wealth of remarkable Aboriginal painters, sculptors, textile designers, poets, authors, and musicians that we're so lucky to have our Canadian lives enriched by. What better way to honour and celebrate this land we all love than with an original work of art?

5. Red and White

It is not easy to decorate with red. I find it one of the most difficult colours to use and if I'm being really honest, there's nothing that turns me off faster than a room with cherry red walls. Just a flat out NO for me personally. But the room shown above? This is how you do it right. I'm obsessed with it and I know that even though this is a Scandinavian home not a Canadian one, but we can do this my Canadian friends. WE CAN DO IT TOO. Accent an  all white room with a stunning red rug for a wallop of Bohemian style. Add in some natural elements like those freakin' perfect occasional chairs and tie the whole thing together with a gallery wall that includes splashes of a similar red. BOOM. A red and white space that celebrates our National Pride with timeless style and nary a moose in sight. 

Happy Canada Day everyone! We hope you're celebrating in style.

Wallflowers

A while back we designed a bedroom for one of our youngest (and cutest) clients. You can see photos of the whole room here. It's a pretty, girlie space, with an eclectic mix of new/big box furniture, interesting vintage finds and fun vignettes that all join forces to create the perfect room for this young lady to grow into. 

One of our favourite design features in this room is a cosy reading nook that we created from a closet that once opened into the adjacent bedroom. Rather than simply extending the closet in her room to run the length of the wall, we kept this spot separate, added some floating shelves, hooks and pillows and voila! A little nook in which to tuck away her treasures, curl up with her journal or favourite book and perhaps most importantly, hide away from her little sister! 

Reading nook, perfect for stashing treasures and curling up in with a good book. 

Now that the room as been finished for a while, the little client has decided that she wants to put more of a personal touch on her well-used room-within-a-room. Frankly, the IKEA floating shelves have not held up all that well, they are sagging and in danger of collapsing at any moment, so those will be replaced with sturdier, bracketed shelving but more importantly she wants to add some colour and texture to her secret spot. Her request? Wallpaper!  

The wallpaper rabbit hole is a deep one and so after many hours of hunting, sourcing and deliberating, we've put together the six choices you see above. The flora and fauna themed patterns were all selected with a mind towards creating a colourful pop of fun fit for a growing girl and her daydreams. Jury is still out on which of these pretty papers she'll select, but you can bet we'll be sharing the finished space right here when she decides. 

Which would you choose? 

  1. Pop Floral Wallpaper in Peony by Aimee Wilder
  2. Flamingo, New Contemporary Collection by Cole & Son
  3. Petal Pusher (Gold) by Oh Joy! - Hygge & West
  4. Pina Solo Wallpaper in Bijoux by Aimee Wilder
  5. Woods and Stars, Whimsical Collection by Cole & Son
  6. Daydream in Blush by Julia Rothman - Hygge & West