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Thursday , 5 March 2015

Category Archives: Decor and Design

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Interior design tips, trends, how-tos and features.

Designing for accessibility and convenience

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Universal design, the notion that products and built spaces should be designed to be used by people in all stages of life and at all levels of ability, has been growing in importance over the past several decades. The cut-away or dropped curb on city streets is one of the most widely adopted applications of universal design. Originally meant to assist people in wheelchairs, the dropped curb is now used by everyone, and it is almost inconceivable that a sidewalk would be built without the feature. The World Health Organization defines “disability” in terms of a person’s functional status rather than as a diagnosis. A person’s disability is viewed as ... Read More »

Nova Scotia architect MacKay-Lyons named RAIC gold medalist

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In this age of glamorous, world-famous “starchitects”— Frank Gehry, Santiago Calatrava, Zara Hadid, Norman Foster—whose work is often conceived on a monumental scale and often has very little apparent connection to the place it occupies, it’s refreshing to see that the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) has given its prestigious Gold Medal to an architect best known for daring little buildings in mainly rustic settings. Brian MacKay-Lyons of Nova Scotia designs houses that jut precariously from the edges of seaside cliffs, or appear to slide down grassy country hillsides. They are at once familiar and homely looking, and startlingly original. MacKay-Lyons is co-founder of the firm MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects. ... Read More »

A short guide to using colour in the home

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According to Professor Iain Stewart (How to Grow a Planet), we have fruit to thank for the colour in our world, or for our ability to see it. It seems that when fruit first appeared on earth sometime after the dinosaurs’ departure, animals, particularly primates, ate it up greedily, not waiting until the fruit was actually ripe. As a result, a lot of fruit was discarded half eaten, before the precious seeds within were ready to be dispersed. Since seed dispersal is crucial for a plant’s survival as a species, the fruit-bearing plants evolved a strategy to stop the waste: they made sure that their fruit would be sweet and ... Read More »

Banish drabness with Jonathan Adler at the Interior Design Show

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Torontonians will get to bask in the glitzy-glamorous aura of one of the biggest stars of the interior design world at the Interior Design Show 2015 next weekend. Jonathan Adler, potter, designer, author and self-proclaimed guru of everything chic and glamorous, takes the main stage on Saturday, January 24. Adler is much more than a designer, of course. To him, design and having nice things are just plain good for our mental health. You get a feel for Adler’s approach to design, and to life itself, just reading the titles of his three books: My Prescription for Anti-Depressive Living; Jonathan Adler on Happy Chic Colors and Happy Chic Accessories: 100 ... Read More »

Industry awards highlight beauty, versatility of wood in construction

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Ontario’s wood industry gathered this week in Toronto to celebrate the best in design and construction over the past year. The Ontario Wood Design Awards are given by the Ontario branch of the national advocacy group Wood WORKS! which promotes the use of wood in all types of construction. The Ontario Wood Award Winner this year is a small project compared to other winners, but is described as “difficult” with many demands having  had to be met in order to bring it off. Called “Grotto,” it is a privately owned sauna built on a “remote” island near San Souci, Ontario. Wood is a natural choice for a sauna, and this ... Read More »

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