Posted by Cobi on Wednesday July 23, 2014 at 07:00 AM
I’ve decorated our little cottage in PEI on a shoe-string. Here are a few easy ideas…
10. Framed maps of the area as affordable art.
9. Tin-topped kitchen tables from flea markets clean-up great for empty corners or porches. I painted this one with high-gloss marine paint.
8. Trays add character to cookie-cutter, thrift-store dressers.
7. Garage sale vases grouped with one or two wild flower stems make a statement.
6. Paint-by-numbers are surprisingly cute and fun to do at the cottage!
5. Choose a theme to work with your cottage and start an art collection.
4. Put an old worn chair to work by holding towels.
3. Let mundane supplies double-duty as pretty little moments.
2. Use large pickle jars half filled with local sand/stones/shells for porch lanterns.
1. Forgo plastic chairs for a pair of porch rockers - guests will fight over them!
Posted by Cobi on Wednesday July 09, 2014 at 06:27 PM
I wasn’t the least bit worried when I purchased my cobistyle headboard and ordered it in turquoise velvet. I knew it would go with lots of other fabrics and patterns I love.
But when I ordered two cobistyle red cabinets (no longer available) to go on either side, I did start to wonder if I was pushing my luck. But as is often the case when we listen to our gut, I love the look and it’s easy to live with the cream walls and lots of other colour accents.
I was working on instinct with those colour choices (not a formulated plan) but there are many wonderful examples of rooms using the combination of turquoise and red.
Of course that now makes me feel validated - goodness knows why we need that! - but it does.
There’s something about the equality of the colours that looks really attractive together.
Like a fabulously fashionable couple, red and turquoise bring out the best in each other.
The robustness of the red and the cool, calm of the turquoise.
If you’re looking to jazz up a room, I highly suggest you consider inviting this couple into your home.
Or if you already have a room with one of the two colours, try adding the other for a punch of fun.
Here are some options that would give you a nice jolt:
cobistyle Poppy stool, $430.00
cobistyle Daisy chair, $1,090.00
cobistyle red glass lamp, $270.00
cobistyle large glass hurricane, $270.00
cobistyle enamel tray, $32.00
cobistyle mirror, $260.00
cobistyle knitted poof, $200.00
Another way to try a colour in a room is to buy some flowers.
It might just inspire you to take the leap with something more permanent.
Posted by Cobi on Wednesday June 25, 2014 at 06:59 AM
1,000 years of history can’t be wrong. That’s how long barrel or drum-shaped garden stools have been used in China.
They may have evolved out of the Buddhist garden tradition, where natural elements like tree stumps and smooth rocks were used as seats.
Traditionally, Chinese homes were built around a courtyard, with an emphasis on landscape and gardens, so outdoor furniture was essential.
By the Song Dynasty (960-1279), these types of stools were used both indoors and outdoors as casual seating.
Indoor stools were typically made out of wood, while outdoor furniture, needing to withstand the elements, was made out of stone, glazed stoneware, or porcelain.
Although ceramic stools have been exported to the West for about 300 years, it’s only since the mid-20th century that they gained much currency in North American interiors — and exteriors.
My own backyard.
Their uses are endless - bathrooms are a natural:
As are patios, decks and terraces:
Love them clustered:
Excellent for extra seating or drinks tables when entertaining:
For books or a beverage in a quiet spot:
Or at a vanity:
They’re a compact, sturdy little surface that tucks in neatly, even in a high-traffic zone.
They add a pop of colour!
And a worldly look wherever they pop up:
Even in the garden!
There will always be Chinese Garden stools in the cobistyle accessory line. I think they’re one of the best multi-use, portable, pretty-yet-practical accent pieces you can own.
Here are the current styles in our lineup (they change over the seasons):
cobistyle Pierced yellow, $240.00
cobistyle Yellow patterned, $180.00
cobistyle Turquoise stoneware, $180.00
cobistyle White cutout, $200.00
cobistyle Blue and white, $190.00
Posted by Cobi on Wednesday June 11, 2014 at 07:00 AM
I had to share this….it’s a table setting on display at the wholesaler I work with for my decorative accessory line.
They often set things up so that the retailers you shop with, get inspired for their displays. I thought this table was particularly well done…
You know how I love blue and white as a decorating scheme, both is porcelain and in textiles…
Well I think people often struggle with how to blend it in at home, but look how great it works here with beautiful neutral tableware similar to what many of us own.
It just pops against the white, wood, silver, stainless and natural fabrics.
This is a great lesson in how things often work together that don’t necessarily “match”.
So next time you’re setting a table and cursing you don’t have everything matching, try adding something a little unexpected. It may give you the biggest surprise.
The cobistyle items above are the blue and white porcelain pieces, large blue glass vessels, everlasting flowers, mercury glass votive holders and decorative cushions. They are for sale in boutiques across Canada. Just drop me a line if you need help finding something.
Posted by Cobi on Monday May 26, 2014 at 11:40 AM
Looking for drapery panels at a great price? Look no further than Sears! cobistyle has launched drapery at Sears stores, sears.ca and in the Sears catalogue starting this month. In fact, I see they are all on sale until June 1st!
Here’s a sneak peek at the launch designs…
Trellis is a fresh-looking grommeted and lined drape made of 100% cotton with a slight texture to give it a linen look. It comes in two choices of length: 50” x 84” ($49.99) and 50” x 95” ($54.99) and three choices of colour: Gun metal, Marine and Burnt Orange (shown here).
Thermal Tweed also has a grommeted top but is unlined as the fabric has a thermal back - great for drafty windows or the cottage. It’s made of super hard-wearing polyester and comes 50” x 84” ($39.99). Currently this drape is available in Chocolate, Marine and Moss; with Terracotta and Taupe coming in June.
Paradise is a grommeted, lined, 100% cotton floral print in a lovely, subtle aqua and taupe combination. It comes in two lengths: 50” x 84” ($49.99) and 50” x 95” ($54.99).
I love this ‘burn-out’ sheer called Hourglass. It’s perfect for a window where you just want sheer coverage or layered with another drape. As you can guess, the pattern appears to be burned out to give a tone-on-tone affect. It’s made of a rayon/polyester blend and constructed with a 2” rod-pocket. There are two lengths: 54” x 63” ($34.99) and 54” x 84” ($39.99) and three neutral shades: White, Ivory and Taupe.
Coming in June online and in catelogue…
Framework is a practical yet handsome polyester jacquard (meaning it has a woven design) with a foam back to make it sturdy and light resistant. It comes in 54” x 84” ($49.99) and 54” x 95” ($59.99) with either back tab or grommet heading styles. There are four colours to choose from: Sage, Spice, Taupe and Black (shown here).
Stitched Sheer is a light sheer with a vertical stitched look to give it enough interest for it to stand alone, but it’s also simple enough to layered with another drape. This polyester sheer has a 1.5” rod pocket and comes in 50” x 84” ($24.99) and 50” x 95” ($29.99). Available in Ivory, Terracotta, Moss and Marine.
Why not switch up your drapes for summer? Try a simple sheer for a light and airy look or if you need sun protection, a thermal tweed in a pretty colour will keep the heat out as well as it keeps the heat in in the winter. At these prices you can afford to have some fun!
Posted by Cobi on Wednesday May 14, 2014 at 07:00 AM
My friend Laurie is a multi-talented lady. She helped me to realize the cobistyle decorative accessory collection right from the beginning when it was nothing more than magazine clippings, a long wish-list and me blabbing in her ear. It gave me confidence that she actually ‘got it’!
She has now branched out on her own doing a number of things including writing her own blog called Laurie Loves and hosting events where she sells some of her favourite products, in her beautiful home in Oakville, Ont.
These are a few pictures from her last event that feature cobistyle products (some are no longer in stock but I thought it was fun to see them in action anyway).
For example the ranunculus napkin rings - they were a huge hit for their blowsy, Springy feel and I still have people write to me looking for them.
These porcelain bird vases look wonderful empty or filled with a few fresh flowers tucked in as Laurie has done here.
Laurie has a natural talent with flowers (both real and imposters) and I understand she comes by it honestly from her mom!
Notice how she cut the stems of these cobistyle peonies so the heads just hit the top of the vase? That way they look full and not floppy!
Who doesn’t like peonies? These look great all summer long and no arranging required as they come in a square white pot.
Thank you for your constant support of cobistyle Laurie. We’ll be watching as your own Laurie Loves story takes flight.
Posted by Cobi on Tuesday April 22, 2014 at 07:04 PM
I am so excited about the new cobistyle patio-ware collection at sears!
Not only is the product terrific ~
But the packaging is too!
Which means it’s great for gifts - Spring showers, Mother’s day, birthdays…
The placemats are 100% cotton and reversible (lime/navy or lime/turquoise).
And the plates all mix and match - fresh gingham prints with solids.
Think of what fun you’ll have setting a summer table!
Dishes and drinkware are all dishwasher proof (top rack) and microwave proof.
The only tough part is choosing between the navy combination…
Or the turquoise combination…
Which is my cue to remind you of what a terrible winter we just endured and say, “Why not treat yourself and get it all?!”
Posted by Cobi on Tuesday April 01, 2014 at 04:46 PM
Chevron = any v-shaped pattern. Originally used in the 1300’s to describe rafters in houses and then hardwood floors….
Now chevron patterns are found on everything from apparel fashion to home fashion.
It’s a bold and graphic pattern that works well with almost anything.
Particularly florals and more organic shapes because it cuts through the flow and adds some edge.
Chevron looks best in one strong colour and white.
And it works at all different scales.
A repetitive pattern running down a table…
Or a wall…
Or a pillow!
Chevron brings a bit of pizazz to everything it adorns.
From Kate Spade to cobistyle.
Say hello to my favourite cobistyle item in this season’s accessory line-up!
I just bought one to jazz up my own home office. Look for this lamp in boutiques that carry cobistyle this Spring.
Posted by Cobi on Monday March 17, 2014 at 12:32 PM
I’m excited to introduce our latest collection of cobistyle bedding at SEARS!
~ Charlotte ~
It’s designed with kids in mind but I’m personally thinking kids of all ages.
~ Emily ~
These are bright and happy top-of-bed patterns (meaning comforters, quilts and shams) that will work just as well in a child’s room…
~ Mary ~
As a teen’s room….
~ Jane ~
As a young adult’s room…
~ Charles ~
As the cottage or chalet!
~ Virginia ~
Available in two sizes - twin and double/queen - these nine lively patterns will set the tone in an otherwise simple room, making decorating a snap.
~ Lucy ~
And all of them come packaged with fun coordinates like throws, towels and decorative pillows.
~ Elizabeth ~
There are 9 patterns in total - 6 are currently featured at SEARS.CA
~ James ~
And the rest are now in SEARS stores across Canada.
Finally something to put a Spring in our step!
Posted by Cobi on Thursday February 20, 2014 at 10:30 PM
I was invited to do a ‘tablescape’ at the GTA Home Show this week.
Here are some pictures I took during set up…not the greatest setting and lighting but you’ll get the idea…
It was fun to see all of that cobistyle together in one spot!
The only thing that wasn’t cobistyle was the table and chairs which was kindly donated from Alta Moda Furniture.
We draped the table in cobistyle bedding from Sears. First we laid out two white Willow quilts and then on top, a Willow duvet cover which has a nice blue flange edge. The size of the king duvet cover was perfect for the table and it’s so fun to see all the blue and white porcelain mix with it.
We decided to break all of the blue and white with lots of green in the flowers and a few accessories.
Instead of place mats we used a lacquer tray at each place setting.
They come in two colours of blue and so we alternated them which brings more interest than if they were all the same.
Little natural touches like the raffia wrapped glasses, bamboo chopsticks and decorative twig balls also give the colour a rest.
I love seeing the jumbled mass of pattern - a kind of visual chaos that’s tamed by the limited colour palette.
I also love seeing the white porcelain birds chirping around the table.
If you get a chance, check out the table for real this weekend! And surely we’ll soon hear the birds for real too!
Dare I say, happy Spring decorating?
Posted by Cobi on Saturday February 01, 2014 at 08:33 PM
• cobistyle products
Celebrating Chinese New Year has become a fun winter tradition in my house.
It’s a cheerful diversion to stave off the winter blues.
And it’s a great excuse for me to play with all of my Asian-inspired cobistyle accessories!
I mix them in with things I’ve picked up in Chinatown over the years.
Odd sets of china tea cups and plates. Did you know a shot of Whiskey in green tea is a tasty after-dinner drink?
I don’t fuss over the food - bbq pork, snow peas, rice, mandarin salad and little nibblies to start.
But I go to town on the table setting - my favourite part!
I start with Chinese newspaper (free at the Chinese grocery store) - I love the graphics and print.
Then layer dollar-store red woven place mats.
On top of those go plastic gold chargers - cheap and cheerful but they look fine under candlelight.
I use brightly-coloured paper napkins because they’re easy, but I also love the look of paper with Chinese decor.
My bowls are Japanese but they work just the same and are big enough for a ‘one-bowl meal’.
cobistyle glasses with woven holders bring a natural element to the table and are the perfect size for water.
And of course I have to use cobistyle chopsticks!
But I always offer cutlery along with chopsticks so everyone is comfortable.
Little treats like fans for the girls (they love to use them at the table) and laughing Buda’s for the boys are a fun addition.
I used a dry erase marker on the cobistyle porcelain fortune cookies to turn them into place holders.
And of course the table wouldn’t be complete without paper lanterns strung overhead.
It’s amazing how well the colours of the Emerson cobistyle drapery panel mixed in with the colours on the table.
cobistyle lanterns run down the middle of the table and I tuck a fortune cookie into each of the mini-satin-covered take-out containers.
When the table is done it transforms the dining room and our guests get such a surprise when they arrive.
This year I gave the men a big special-issue Kit-Kat and the ladies a silky loot bag of Chinese candies and a cobistyle surprise.
I hope your Year of the Horse is filled with luck, prosperity and love.
Gung Hei Fat Choi!
Posted by Cobi on Wednesday January 08, 2014 at 03:22 PM
I’ve always been inspired by family photo and art walls.
The sense of a collage is more visually exciting to the eye than the usual placement of one or two pictures.
These are some of my favourites.
When we redecorated our master bedroom last year, I had a large blank wall to fill between our two windows and decided it would be a great place to showcase some of my favourite family photos and art.
Rather than deal with the commitment of hanging things directly on the wall, I splurged on 3 IKEA pictures rails ($16.99 ea.) and hung them staggered on the wall.
Then I went to work framing some pictures and pieces that were lingering around our house.
I thought I’d want all matching frames originally but quickly realized the variety creates interest.
I’m really happy with the result and the fact that as the kids change I can add new shots.
Now I just wish I had more room!
Posted by Cobi on Monday December 23, 2013 at 06:00 AM
I’ve always blamed being a redhead for my preference of warm metals over cool.
My personal colouring suits gold tones over silver and it’s natural that translates into home.
I love the warmth and age that burnished golds bring to a room whether that be in lighting…
or wall hangings…
I also like offering warm metals in some of our cobistyle collections because it isn’t as commonly available as cool metals.
Although lately the rest of the world seems to be warming to the idea, because more and more gold tones are showing up in the market.
They must all be following the cobistyle lead ; ).
I hope your house stays warm with some gold tones this winter!
Posted by Cobi on Monday November 25, 2013 at 06:00 AM
I am thrilled to participate again in Toronto’s Gardiner Museum’s 12 Trees of Christmas Charity Gala. The theme this year is “Things starting with the letter G” as the Gardiner is celebrating its 25th Anniversary. Assuming that Gold, Glitter, Giving and Grinch were all quickly spoken for, I decided to go with the visions of sugar plums dancing in my head, and chose Gumdrops and Lollipops as my theme.
The first step was to select an artificial tree. It was a stretch for me not to choose the most realistic green tree I could find, but I liked the idea of one appearing to be sugar-coated and so I looked for a flocked or glittery tree. Instead I found a pink one! I knew as soon as I saw it, it was perfect because it reminded me of candy floss!! A pink, flocked tree with pink lights ~ yum!
I lucked out with ornaments too - can you imagine my delight when I found these gumdrop garlands?
And over-sized lollipops?
I knew from past experience that it helps to have something large on the tree (to fill in space and give it oomph). I found wonderful felt stockings in the same candy-coloured palette and ordered 12.
Isn’t it amazing how realistic these foam cupcakes look?
And I love the scale of these big glittery gingerbread boys…
And girls! The chocolate colour is a nice addition to all the syrupy pink.
We filled in the spaces with lots of perfect candy picks…
And I couldn’t help but tie on a few real sweet treats in hopes of adding to the sugar-high of little ones viewing the tree over the holidays.
Gumdrops of course…
All done up in cellophane cones which I found online through an amazing Ontario company - Crystal Clear Bags Canada- a great find!
We topped the tree with lollipop fairy wings from the Party Market (apologies for the bad shot!).
And then skirted it with children’s books (sweet-themed of course) and cobistyle pillows in assorted silk-look colours of fuchsia, turquoise, lime and orange.
There’s no doubt this tree is suffering from sugar-overload and will crash after December 25th.
But I’m so happy to report that very kind donors have purchased the tree (thank you Frank Bowman and Aaron Milrad!) and it will be brightening up the Princess Margaret Hospital Cancer Centre over the holidays. What a sweet treat for us all to share indeed!
Posted by Cobi on Monday November 18, 2013 at 06:00 AM
• cobistyle products
I’ve neglected our living room for the past few months. No point listing excuses why, but we use this room very little in the good-weather months and I guess it’s just too easy to ignore.
Once the winter comes I want to make it cozy and welcoming again and so the first thing to do is reorganize the book cases.
As you can see, Bob and I love our books and obviously I never really figured out what to do with all of them after a piano arrived in the living room last year. What a mess!!
And so a few weeks ago I started to cull. I got rid of ones that were just too dated or redundant.
And I added some of my favourite blue and white pieces from cobistyle.
The repetition of the blue and white porcelain breaks up the books and adds a nicely unified decorative element.
Plus I find blue and white looks great any time of year - with reds and oranges in the fall and at Christmas or with summery yellows and greens in the fair-weather months.
The ginger jars are not just pretty, but make sturdy bookends.
And I fill planters with either real plants or fake - depending on what’s on hand.
It definitely looks better when the books have a little breathing room and something pretty to break up the monotony.
Plus, I now have a nice big new donation to make to Goodwill!