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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.


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.


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?


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.

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’.


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.


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


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?


Truly scrumptious!


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!).


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!


national velvet

Posted by Cobi on Monday November 04, 2013 at 07:54 AM
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If you’re into decorating, certain magazine pictures stay with you forever. One like that for me, was the House Beautiful feature of The Barefoot Contessa, Ina Gartner’s Manhattan apartment, with pumpkin orange velvet drapes (yes, I know I’ve mentioned them before ; ).

INa's orange drapes

I also always loved this shot in Domino magazine with the massive emerald green drape in front of floor to ceiling bookcases - so dramatic!

green velvet drape

There’s a luxury that comes with a huge swath of velvet fabric, whether in brilliant colour like turquoise or deep purple…

turquoise drapes purple drapes

Or neutrals like soft olive, elegant oyster or butter cream… velvet drapes oyster drapes wheat drapes

When we developed the cobistyle drapery panels I knew I wanted to include velvet in the line. It’s such a great way to bring big colour into a room and Q Design fully agreed.

We chose four saturated, yet very liveable colours…


velvet drape - indigo


velvet drape - mouse


velvet drape - citrine

And Aubergine

velvet drape - aubergine

The other very special quality about our velvet drapery is that it’s fully reversible. Each drape is lined with a colour- matched sateen that looks elegant from outside the home if used on the back and just as beautiful inside when turned to the front:

velvet drape reverse - aubergine

Velvet drapes are just bloody gorgeous - there’s no other way to say it. And if we have to put up with winter in Canada we might as well do it in style!

cream drapes

If you feel like treating yourself, here’s a list of wonderful retailers who are currently carrying the cobistyle drapery collection: click here to see where to buy and if there’s no one in your area contact Q Design directly.

time to cobistyle your bed & bath!

Posted by Cobi on Friday September 13, 2013 at 08:00 AM
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I promise to stop talking about this some day, but TODAY is the first official day that cobistyle premiers at SEARS CANADA. HOORAY!

cobistyle towels

Many of you have written to tell me you’ve already seen it in your local store ~ everywhere from Truro, NS; to Hamilton, Barrie and Toronto, Ontario; to Victoria, BC! How exciting is that?!!

oceanside curtain

90 sstores across this great country of ours and all are getting a little bit a’ cobistyle to kick it up a notch! You’ll also see cobistyle in your upcoming SEARS CATALOGUE and always on SEARS.CA.

birdsong duvet

I want to do a major shout out to my friends at Springs Canada as well. Behind every great line of products is a great manufacturer and we definitely have that with Springs Canada. The team there ~ Jill, Catherine, Shari, JP, Michelle - lead by the fabulous George, has been hugely supportive of cobistyle since the day I walked in the door carrying my pink bags, and I can’t thank them enough.


We can all thank Springs Canada for bringing us such beautiful quality goods that I’m so proud to now call cobistyle!


It’s also been great getting to know the amazing team at SEARS ~ Bruce, Ketty, Colby, Irene, Blaise, Cindy, Carrie; the wonderful buyers, and so on…


As the saying goes, “it takes a village” to launch a brand at a major department store and I feel blessed to have such great people in mine!

trellis blush

Thanks to everyone who’s worked on this project to date and now we hand it to you - the Canadian consumer. We hope you like it - no - we hope you love it, gall darn it! (But even if you don’t let me know.) And if you do - let your friends, mothers, sisters, aunts and distant cousins know! I hope to see you shopping at your local SEARS store soon! (I’ll be the strange lady lurking behind the racks watching what towel colours you buy ; )


Click here to shop cobistyle at SEARS!

10 easy pieces

Posted by Cobi on Monday August 19, 2013 at 06:59 AM
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I’m thrilled to announce that cobistyle has a new Boutique Collection of upholstered furniture!

Please meet….

  1. The enduring Violet VIOLET

  2. The handsome Marigold MARIGOLD

  3. The multi-tasking Petunia PETUNIA

  4. The gracious Dahlia DAHLIA

  5. The flirty Daisy DAISY

  6. The adorable Poppy POPPY

  7. The luxurious Flox FLOX

  8. The practical Lily LILY

  9. The cosy Cosmo COSMO

  10. And the generous Jasmine JASMINE

10 Easy Pieces available in 20 Beautiful Colours.

The velvet we’ve chosen is not only easy on the eyes but also hard-wearing and passed the wipe-ability tests we gave it at home. The styles are classic, comfortable and filled with character.

The cobistyle Boutique Collection is making its way into lovely decor stores across this great country - hopefully one near you! It’s proudly made in Ontario by our friends at the highly-respected furniture maker, Silva. You can check out this list of stores that carry Silva Upholstery (and hopefully soon cobistyle) and for more information on the cobistyle Collection.

rooms with views ~ finally

Posted by Cobi on Monday July 22, 2013 at 06:59 AM
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Almost exactly one year ago, we arrived home from our annual summer holiday in the Maritimes, and is what my son Aidan’s room looked like:

Aidan's room demolished

And this is what my daughter Charlotte’s room looked like:

Charlotte's room demolished

We were launching into a major renovation of our second floor and decided to get some of the loud, messy demolition done while we were out of the house.

If I’m to give full disclosure, you must see what our dining room looked like for 6 months. It acted as both kids closet and storage area:

dining room during reno

dining room during reno

No dinner parties here last fall!

The reno took a number of nasty turns that I am choosing to forget, but I’ll always remember that it was late fall (around the time of the torrential rain storms you may remember?) …

guys with holes cut in roof

…when we finally had two holes cut in our roof for the dormers that were being added to each of the kids rooms:

house with tarps

Funny I never noticed how lovely the leaves were last fall. I must have been distracted by the flapping of tarps in the hurricane.

With a lot of faith, hope and even more patience and rope, eventually, this…

roof tarped

turned into this…

dormers getting built

turned into this…

house in snow

And inside - Aidan’s room turned into this…

Aidan's dormer

Aidan's dormer wall

And Charlotte’s into this…

charlotte's dormer wall

Charlotte's dormer

Both kids enjoy their private spaces and bird’s eye view of the world…

Aidan 3 quarter

Aidan - short

Charlotte's dormer 3/4

Charlotte's dormer short

We talked about adding those damned dormers for almost 10 years. They do everything I knew they would - add character, light and space to rooms that felt dark and isolated, but I’m not the type of person to say I told you so.

The neighbours seems thrilled with our renovation as it stands out against all the new-builds in our area. The guys get a good chuckle out of complimenting me on my “great dormers” and the women make it all feel worthwhile when when they tell me it looks like they were always there. That’s exactly what we’d hoped - a new lease on life for a lovely older home - she’s got a few good years left in her yet.

Paint colours for anyone interested:

Boy’s room: Benjamin Moore Navajo White OC-95

Girl’s room: Benjamin Moore Cloud White OC-40 and Baby Boy Blue 2056-50

postcard from PEI

Posted by Cobi on Monday July 08, 2013 at 07:00 AM
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Part of the fun of owning our cottage on Prince Edward Island is that we get to share it with others through renting for a few weeks each year. We leave a book out for our guests to sign and encourage them to write notes on their finds around the island; recommendations; warnings, etc.

This year I was lucky enough to be given a series of pictures taken by one of our (talented!) guests, Annette Snowdon of Kitchener, Ontario, as she explored our favourite little island on her visit. Many of the snaps are of sites I see each trip, and I’m so glad to now have them recorded as lovely photographs! Please enjoy…

carriage house lounge, PEI

Pam Price fence, PEI

abandoned diner, PEI

perfect fishing hut, PEI

2 fishing roofs, PEI

hut with tuna tales, PEI

Boyes on Swans shed, PEI

cl up of traps beside hut, PEI

3 fishing huts, PEI

Thank you Annette - what a treat! Don’t you just love it that everything is kind of crooked? The simplicity and charm of Maritime life, never loses its appeal to me.

I’m enjoying the island right now for our annual family holiday. I hope you’re having a great summer too!

a peek behind the drapes

Posted by Cobi on Monday June 24, 2013 at 06:58 AM
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Earlier this year we potographed the new cobistyle drapery line at my house.

My personal stock of cobistyle everlasting flowers came in very handy …

cobistyle flowers for props

The living room had seen better days (kind of reminded me of after the presents have been opened on Christmas morning) …

livingroom mess

There are 17 choices of fabrics and patterns …

drapery choices

We shot the straight-on panel shots in my bedroom …

grey panels shot in our room

And needed to make the windows opaque …

outside shot

You’d never know the chaos surrounding one simple shot …

grey panels done

Back in the livingroom another set up was happening …

chaos + Lindsay

Hardware needed to be installed (who needs a man?) …

getting hardware up

It would have been nice to have a guy do the ironing though …

bl + wh being steamed

Photographer Michelle Peek did a wonderful job of getting the light just right - crisp and bright - on a dull day.

blue and white being shot

Amazing what you can do in two days with five strong women (one with a little helper in her tummy); one patient husband; and a fair bit of pizza.

bl+wh panel done

Visit if you’re interested in more information on cobistyle drapery. We’re now selling in 9 great stores across Canada and the list is growing. plus Q Design will gladly send samples out to anyone who doesn’t have a retailer nearby.

right on target

Posted by Cobi on Monday June 03, 2013 at 07:05 AM
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The other day I was on an airplane and therefore had magazines in hand. When I opened the new issue of InStyle and turned to the advertisement for Target, I almost fell out of my seat (well, not really as I was strapped in, but you know what I mean).

I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. There, on a very expensive double-page-spread, was an ad for cobistyle but with the name ‘Threshold’ on it and a red bull’s eye in the corner. (Threshold is Target’s in-house ‘home’ line of products)

target living room ad

Is that me dozing on the sofa under the crab apple tree in my white living room? Visions of cobistyle dancing in my head? NO! It’s some other redhead (!) living my dream. I mean seriously - she stole all my stuff! Check out the photo of the ad closer…

threshold living room cropped

…and then a smattering of current cobistyle products below…

2370 sofa

turquoise morrocan table

apple blossom branches

red poof

gold table

2 jars

apple blossom painting

bird pillow with no backing

turquoise pillow

yellow jar

gold starburst with turquoise stones

white lamp

lving room cropped

See what I mean? It’s crazy! I guess I should be flattered that a major American chain is basing their home-decor look on something I’ve been building for five years.

There are other ads running for Threshold and although I could also be living in this kitchen for example, I don’t have the right hair colour and haven’t got a cobistyle kitchen line of products (yet).

target kitchen ad

I would be very happy in this house, no doubt…hmmm…I better keep working on cobistyle and maybe this dream will come to life too!

target outdoor ad

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