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cute cottage decor “do’s” list

Posted by Cobi on Wednesday July 23, 2014 at 07:00 AM
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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.

framed map

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.

tin top table

8. Trays add character to cookie-cutter, thrift-store dressers.

tray on dresser

7. Garage sale vases grouped with one or two wild flower stems make a statement.

milk glass vases

6. Paint-by-numbers are surprisingly cute and fun to do at the cottage!

paint by number

5. Choose a theme to work with your cottage and start an art collection.

ship prints

4. Put an old worn chair to work by holding towels.

red chair with towels

3. Let mundane supplies double-duty as pretty little moments.

jars of toiletries

2. Use large pickle jars half filled with local sand/stones/shells for porch lanterns.

pickle jar candle holders

1. Forgo plastic chairs for a pair of porch rockers - guests will fight over them!

porch rockers

red + turquoise = gorgeous

Posted by Cobi on Wednesday July 09, 2014 at 06:27 PM
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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.

turquoise headboard and red chest

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.

cobistyle red chest + turqoise stool

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.

framed scarf on turquoise shelves

Of course that now makes me feel validated - goodness knows why we need that! - but it does.

red + turquoise

There’s something about the equality of the colours that looks really attractive together.

great dining room

Like a fabulously fashionable couple, red and turquoise bring out the best in each other.

retro kitchen

The robustness of the red and the cool, calm of the turquoise.

laundry room with red w+drier

If you’re looking to jazz up a room, I highly suggest you consider inviting this couple into your home.

bedroom

Or if you already have a room with one of the two colours, try adding the other for a punch of fun.

bedroom with twin beds

Here are some options that would give you a nice jolt:

cobistyle poppy stool cobistyle Poppy stool, $430.00

cobistyle daisy chair cobistyle Daisy chair, $1,090.00

red lamp cobistyle red glass lamp, $270.00

turquoise glass vessel cobistyle large glass hurricane, $270.00 red platter cobistyle enamel tray, $32.00

turquoise mirror cobistyle mirror, $260.00

red poof cobistyle knitted poof, $200.00

Another way to try a colour in a room is to buy some flowers.

red flowers

It might just inspire you to take the leap with something more permanent.

front door with roses

If you are interested in any cobistyle products, just drop me a line and we will try to find a store near you. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

red raspberries in turquoise dish

in praise of the lowly garden stool

Posted by Cobi on Wednesday June 25, 2014 at 06:59 AM
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1,000 years of history can’t be wrong. That’s how long barrel or drum-shaped garden stools have been used in China.

blue stools fave

They may have evolved out of the Buddhist garden tradition, where natural elements like tree stumps and smooth rocks were used as seats.

cobistyle white stool and throws outdoors

Traditionally, Chinese homes were built around a courtyard, with an emphasis on landscape and gardens, so outdoor furniture was essential.

chinese stool to raise up plants

By the Song Dynasty (960-1279), these types of stools were used both indoors and outdoors as casual seating.

perfect drinks side table

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.

on deck

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.

Cobi's backyard black chairs/white stools My own backyard.

Their uses are endless - bathrooms are a natural:

chinese stool beside the tub

bathroom contrast

As are patios, decks and terraces:

cobistyle blue and white in backyard

compact stools on a terrace

Love them clustered:

clustered garden stools

Excellent for extra seating or drinks tables when entertaining:

chinese stools tucked for extra seating or drinks tables

beautiful living room through arch

For books or a beverage in a quiet spot:

at end of a chaise longue

beside blue chair - for books

Or at a vanity:

vanity stool

Perfect poolside:

poolside stools

They’re a compact, sturdy little surface that tucks in neatly, even in a high-traffic zone.

blue and white with colour

They add a pop of colour!

yellow drinks table

And a worldly look wherever they pop up:

works in any style

Even in the garden!

garden stools 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.

yellow stool in Cobi's bedroom

Here are the current styles in our lineup (they change over the seasons):

yellow pierced stool cobistyle Pierced yellow, $240.00

yellow patterned stool cobistyle Yellow patterned, $180.00

turquoise stool cobistyle Turquoise stoneware, $180.00

white pierced stool cobistyle White cutout, $200.00

blue and white stool cobistyle Blue and white, $190.00

If you are interested in a cobistyle garden stool, just drop me a line and we will try to find a store near you. .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

neutrals get the blues too

Posted by Cobi on Wednesday June 11, 2014 at 07:00 AM
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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…

overall table setting

You know how I love blue and white as a decorating scheme, both is porcelain and in textiles…

blue and white cups

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.

one place setting

It just pops against the white, wood, silver, stainless and natural fabrics.

place setting with pillow

This is a great lesson in how things often work together that don’t necessarily “match”.

place setting close up

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.

cobistyle drapery at sears!

Posted by Cobi on Monday May 26, 2014 at 11:40 AM
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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).

trellis drapery

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.

Thermal tweed drapery

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).

Paradis drapery

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.

Hourglass drapery

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).

Framework tab

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.

stiched sheer drape

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!

laurie loves cobistyle

Posted by Cobi on Wednesday May 14, 2014 at 07:00 AM
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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.

table with ranunculas

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).

on plate plus napkin ring

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.

charger plates

These porcelain bird vases look wonderful empty or filled with a few fresh flowers tucked in as Laurie has done here.

birds with read flowers

Laurie has a natural talent with flowers (both real and imposters) and I understand she comes by it honestly from her mom!

peonies in window

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!

light pink peonies in glass

Who doesn’t like peonies? These look great all summer long and no arranging required as they come in a square white pot.

tea table with potted peony

Thank you for your constant support of cobistyle Laurie. We’ll be watching as your own Laurie Loves story takes flight.

flower market

patio party ~ cobistyle!

Posted by Cobi on Tuesday April 22, 2014 at 07:04 PM
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I am so excited about the new cobistyle patio-ware collection at sears!

patio display

Not only is the product terrific ~

patio green check plates and white jugs

But the packaging is too!

boxes cropped

Which means it’s great for gifts - Spring showers, Mother’s day, birthdays…

patio white and turquoise plates

patio - overall

The placemats are 100% cotton and reversible (lime/navy or lime/turquoise).

patio - placemats

And the plates all mix and match - fresh gingham prints with solids.

patio - turquoise and white plates

Think of what fun you’ll have setting a summer table!

patio - table set

Dishes and drinkware are all dishwasher proof (top rack) and microwave proof.

cobistyle patio bowls

The only tough part is choosing between the navy combination…

cobistyle navy and white

Or the turquoise combination…

cobistyle turquoise and lime

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?!”

patio overall display

chevron and on and on…

Posted by Cobi on Tuesday April 01, 2014 at 04:46 PM
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Chevron = any v-shaped pattern. Originally used in the 1300’s to describe rafters in houses and then hardwood floors….

chevron blouse

Now chevron patterns are found on everything from apparel fashion to home fashion.

chevron bedding

It’s a bold and graphic pattern that works well with almost anything.

chevron napkin

Particularly florals and more organic shapes because it cuts through the flow and adds some edge.

chevron notecard

Chevron looks best in one strong colour and white.

chevron plates

And it works at all different scales.

chevron rug

A repetitive pattern running down a table…

chevron table runner

Or a wall…

chevron wallpaint

Or a pillow!

chevron pillows

Chevron brings a bit of pizazz to everything it adorns.

chevron straws

From Kate Spade to cobistyle.

chevron iphone case

Say hello to my favourite cobistyle item in this season’s accessory line-up!

cobistyle blue and white lamp

I just bought one to jazz up my own home office. Look for this lamp in boutiques that carry cobistyle this Spring.

introducing cobikids!

Posted by Cobi on Monday March 17, 2014 at 12:32 PM
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I’m excited to introduce our latest collection of cobistyle bedding at SEARS!

Charlotte bedding ~ Charlotte ~

It’s designed with kids in mind but I’m personally thinking kids of all ages.

Emily bedding ~ 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 bedding ~ Mary ~

As a teen’s room….

Jane bedding ~ Jane ~

As a young adult’s room…

Charles bedding ~ Charles ~

As the cottage or chalet!

Virginia ~ 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 ~ Lucy ~

And all of them come packaged with fun coordinates like throws, towels and decorative pillows.

Elizabeth ~ Elizabeth ~

There are 9 patterns in total - 6 are currently featured at SEARS.CA

James ~ James ~

And the rest are now in SEARS stores across Canada.
Finally something to put a Spring in our step!

blue + white and spring all over

Posted by Cobi on Thursday February 20, 2014 at 10:30 PM
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I was invited to do a ‘tablescape’ at the GTA Home Show this week.

overall

Here are some pictures I took during set up…not the greatest setting and lighting but you’ll get the idea…

paper lanterns

It was fun to see all of that cobistyle together in one spot!

vertical bench to balloons

The only thing that wasn’t cobistyle was the table and chairs which was kindly donated from Alta Moda Furniture.

chinese stool and lanterns

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.

bedding at end

We decided to break all of the blue and white with lots of green in the flowers and a few accessories.

flowers and table

Instead of place mats we used a lacquer tray at each place setting.

horizontal tabletop

They come in two colours of blue and so we alternated them which brings more interest than if they were all the same.

place setting

Little natural touches like the raffia wrapped glasses, bamboo chopsticks and decorative twig balls also give the colour a rest.

close up on table

I love seeing the jumbled mass of pattern - a kind of visual chaos that’s tamed by the limited colour palette.

bowl of balls

I also love seeing the white porcelain birds chirping around the table.

close up with bird

If you get a chance, check out the table for real this weekend! And surely we’ll soon hear the birds for real too!

end including sign

Dare I say, happy Spring decorating?

gung hei fat choi!

Posted by Cobi on Saturday February 01, 2014 at 08:33 PM
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Celebrating Chinese New Year has become a fun winter tradition in my house.

paper umbrellas

It’s a cheerful diversion to stave off the winter blues.

apples

And it’s a great excuse for me to play with all of my Asian-inspired cobistyle accessories!

chopsticks on side table

I mix them in with things I’ve picked up in Chinatown over the years.

Chinese new year sign over tea

Odd sets of china tea cups and plates. Did you know a shot of Whiskey in green tea is a tasty after-dinner drink?

tea

I don’t fuss over the food - bbq pork, snow peas, rice, mandarin salad and little nibblies to start.

appies

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.

newspaper

Then layer dollar-store red woven place mats.

newspaper and red placemats

On top of those go plastic gold chargers - cheap and cheerful but they look fine under candlelight.

newspaper, red placemat, gold charger

I use brightly-coloured paper napkins because they’re easy, but I also love the look of paper with Chinese decor.

newspaper, placemat, charger, napkin

My bowls are Japanese but they work just the same and are big enough for a ‘one-bowl meal’.

bowls

cobistyle glasses with woven holders bring a natural element to the table and are the perfect size for water.

cobistyle cups

And of course I have to use cobistyle chopsticks!

cobistyle chopsticks

But I always offer cutlery along with chopsticks so everyone is comfortable.

place setting with chopstick

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.

fans and Buda's

I used a dry erase marker on the cobistyle porcelain fortune cookies to turn them into place holders.

porcelain fortune cookie

And of course the table wouldn’t be complete without paper lanterns strung overhead.

paper lanterns

It’s amazing how well the colours of the Emerson cobistyle drapery panel mixed in with the colours on the table.

drapery

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.

overall table w lanterns

When the table is done it transforms the dining room and our guests get such a surprise when they arrive.

overall table without lanterns

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.

loot bags

I hope your Year of the Horse is filled with luck, prosperity and love.

front door

Gung Hei Fat Choi!

family art wall

Posted by Cobi on Wednesday January 08, 2014 at 03:22 PM
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I’ve always been inspired by family photo and art walls.

pink pagoda wall cropped

The sense of a collage is more visually exciting to the eye than the usual placement of one or two pictures.

bedroom art wall

These are some of my favourites.

tumbler wall

photos up stairs

heidi wall

art wall

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.

photowall 42

photowall 45

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.

photo wall 36

photo wall

Then I went to work framing some pictures and pieces that were lingering around our house.

photowall 46

I thought I’d want all matching frames originally but quickly realized the variety creates interest.

picture wall

I’m really happy with the result and the fact that as the kids change I can add new shots.

photo wall 49

Now I just wish I had more room!

precious metals

Posted by Cobi on Monday December 23, 2013 at 06:00 AM
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I’ve always blamed being a redhead for my preference of warm metals over cool.

gold bedside table.

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…

light fixture

furniture…

domino table and lamp

or wall hangings…

gold round mirror

I also like offering warm metals in some of our cobistyle collections because it isn’t as commonly available as cool metals.

gold table

closet shot in bedroom

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.

rectangular trays

gold tray at bedside

They must all be following the cobistyle lead ; ).

brass and glass box

gold boxes

I hope your house stays warm with some gold tones this winter!

small chandelier

tub and chandelier

gumdrops and lollipops for a cause

Posted by Cobi on Monday November 25, 2013 at 06:00 AM
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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!

undecorated tree

I lucked out with ornaments too - can you imagine my delight when I found these gumdrop garlands?

gumdrop garland

And over-sized lollipops?

blue lolli

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.

felt stockings

Isn’t it amazing how realistic these foam cupcakes look?

cupcakes

Truly scrumptious!

cupcake

And I love the scale of these big glittery gingerbread boys…

gingerbread boys

And girls! The chocolate colour is a nice addition to all the syrupy pink.

gingerbread girls

We filled in the spaces with lots of perfect candy picks…

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…

gumdrops in celo

And Lollipops!

lollipops in celobags

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!).

topper

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.

pillows and books

There’s no doubt this tree is suffering from sugar-overload and will crash after December 25th.

tree close up

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!

final overall

bookcase before + after

Posted by Cobi on Monday November 18, 2013 at 06:00 AM
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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.

overall living room

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.

before shot left

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!!

before shot right

And so a few weeks ago I started to cull. I got rid of ones that were just too dated or redundant.

after left overall

And I added some of my favourite blue and white pieces from cobistyle.

after left closer

The repetition of the blue and white porcelain breaks up the books and adds a nicely unified decorative element.

after right overall

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.

after right closer

The ginger jars are not just pretty, but make sturdy bookends.

ginger jar on tilt

And I fill planters with either real plants or fake - depending on what’s on hand.

round planter

It definitely looks better when the books have a little breathing room and something pretty to break up the monotony.

ginger jar

orchid and jar

Plus, I now have a nice big new donation to make to Goodwill!

books

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