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corner office

Posted by Cobi on Wednesday July 22, 2015 at 12:21 PM
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We’ve all said it - “All I really need is a corner!” - and sometimes it’s true! For example, one little corner in the hub of a busy household can make all the difference in avoiding missed soccer games and unpaid bills.

We tarted up a just such a corner in a busy family home - have a look…

cobistyle accessories in kitchen corner

The ghost chair is warmed up with a cobistyle velvet and silk-look reversible pillow (14” x 20”) $50.00. And basic white cabinetry was dressed up with some smartly chosen accessories.

cobistyle storage box with brass trim

cobistyle lidded storage boxes in faux leather and gold trim keep loose papers neat but within reach. ($120.00 for a set of 2)

cobistyle natural grass storage box

cobistyle natural grass storage boxes corral everything from rubber bands to house plants and bring some low-key, natural texture to the area. ($75.00 for set of 3 nesting)

cobistyle inlay decorative box and tray

The impact of grouped accessories in like colours is always more than the sum of their parts. This cobistyle resin inlay decorative box is the perfect colour match to the lamp and our eye picks that up immediately. (8” x 5” x 3” $80.00) The crisp white faux leather tray with gold trim looks polished and clean. (20” x 14” $120.00)

cobistyle yellow glass gourd lamp

This cobistyle glass gourd lamp is a beautiful shade of earthy yellow that’s highlighted by its fresh white shade and Lucite base. Definitely a statement piece. ($250)

cobistyle faux leather kleenex box cover with brass trim

Of course I love it when form meets function and what could be more-so than with a tissue box cover! Necessity meet Style. ($37.00)

corner dressed in cobistyle accessories

Command central - ready and dressed for action, sir!

cobistyle decorative accessories are available in the best boutiques across Canada. Let me know if you are looking for something in particular and we will try to find it in your city.

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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.

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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?

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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!

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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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‘twas the night before christmas-decorating

Posted by Cobi on Monday December 03, 2012 at 06:00 AM
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We all need a little inspiration sometimes. Enjoy!

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

blue door with Xmas wreaths

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.

mouse cookies

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

stockings

In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds, While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.

sugared fruit

And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap, Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

baby it's cold outside

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter. Away to the window I flew like a flash,

candy canes

Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

winter windowboxes

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.

pinecones on chandelier

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer.

guinness dressed as reindeer

(I am so doing this for Bob!)

With a little old driver, so lively and quick, I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.

santa hat brownies

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came, And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

“Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen! On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, on Donner and Sam (I couldn’t find anything with Blitzen on it)!

christmas place setting

To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!

pots on porch

Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly, When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky. So up to the house-top the coursers they flew, With the sleigh full of Toys, and St Nicholas too.

urn with boxes

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof, The prancing and pawing of each little hoof. As I drew in my head, and was turning around, Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot, And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.

boots

A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back, And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.

candy cane wrap

His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry! His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!

white choc cherries

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,

red bow

And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth, And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.

wreaths on cake plate stack

He had a broad face and a little round belly, That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!

bowl of cranberry

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf, And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself! A wink of his eye and a twist of his head, Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work, And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.

christmas stockings

And laying his finger aside of his nose, And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle, And away they all flew like the down of a thistle. But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight, “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!”

happy christmas

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public hanging

Posted by Cobi on Monday November 05, 2012 at 05:59 AM
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I’m so pleased to finally have my necklaces hung up and organized so I can see them!

necklaces 3

I bought these hangers a long time ago and was waiting for our bedroom to be painted for me to hang them up.

necklaces 4

I hung them behind our door which is in a small entry hall to the room.

necklaces 2

The best part is that they’re out of the way but still visible. I’m terrible about buying things and never wearing them - hopefully this will help.

necklaces 1

I know it isn’t an original idea but I kind of thought it was a bit unique, until I went on the internet (of course), where I found necklaces hung on shower curtain hooks on drapery rods…

necklaces on shower curtain hooks

necklaces on hooks

On fabric covered boards with tacks…

necklaces on board

necklaces on tacks

On all kinds of coat hooks…

necklaces on diff. hooks

On peg boards…

necklaces on pegs

On an old rake head!…

necklaces on rake head

And even as an artistic element in a room.

necklaces as art

Oh well, I may not be unique but at least I’ll be wearing a nice necklace.

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pumpkin couture

Posted by Cobi on Monday October 22, 2012 at 07:00 AM
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Like most people, I have a love/hate relationship with luxury brands.

hermes in a hall

One point for the “love” side, is the packaging.

hermes in another hall

The colour and quality has such substance - a shock in our throw-away society.

hermes on sideboard

Just as the Tiffany blue box has become an icon, so has the Hermes Orange box.

hermes Barbara Barry

Designer-types are famous for reusing their orange boxes in their offices - to store things but also show off the number of purchases they’ve made at the famous store.

hermes in an office

I have a few such boxes but prefer to keep them more hidden.

hermes as jewellery box

No, these are not my boxes (big sigh).

jewellery in hermes box

Mine are filled with ephemera….old birthday cards, paper souvenirs from weddings and funerals, special photos. Imagine 100 years from now, a great-grandchild will be going through the box, filled with this and that…

hermes box

I also love the colour.

hermes scarves on chairs

It’s an inspiration in decorating.

hermes pillows on daybed

My friend and colleague, Cameron MacNeil, once did a story for House & Home magazines on matching paint colours to prestige packaging - he chose Fiesta Orange (27/701) from CIL to match the famous Hermes orange. I always thought a dressing or powder room would be amazing in it ~So daring, dahling!~

Martha Stewart did it in a hallway…

hermes Martha room

I love this more contemporary version…

orange runner on stairs

As my own ode to the famous Hermes Orange, we did some wonderful leather-like accessories in cobistyle. A magazine or wastepaper bucket… orange waste paper bucket

Jewellery box…

orange jewellery drawers

Tray (and coasters not shown)…

orange tray

Perhaps Santa will bring you something in an Orange box this Christmas…or even better - some cobistyle!

hermes Xmas

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the last hooray!

Posted by Cobi on Monday August 27, 2012 at 07:00 AM
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Summer decorating is special.

pretty porch

There’s a simple ease about it that makes us all say “ahhhh”….

beach hats in hall

I tend to think ‘country’ when I think summer…

summer picked flowers

But not everyone does. Some think ‘exotic’…

summer terrace

And far off places…

summer patio

Even if they live in a downtown apartment.

pink fabric in apt.

But that’s the beauty of summer.

summer pots in garden

It is what you make it.

And hey - there’s still enough time to make this - one of the cutest, cheapest ideas I’ve seen in a long time!

bandana table runner

Enjoy the last unofficial week of summer 2012!

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beautiful blue & white

Posted by Cobi on Monday August 13, 2012 at 06:59 AM
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Ginger Jar: A Chinese porcelain jar with a wide mouth; domed lid and often a bulging, spherical body.

Although the Chinese traditionally used the jars to store a variety of goods, they acquired the name “ginger jars” because ginger was one of the most common spices exported to the West.

blue + white close shot w peonies

Today designers use ginger jars for display and decorating.

blue + white in foyer

Of-the-moment American designer Ruthie Sommers chose this vignette for a recent portrait…gee, I wonder why? The mix of pretty blue and white porcelain, with powerful blue/black leather, is fresh and fun looking.

blue + white behind sofa with girl

At this time of year, blue and white porcelain looks amazing outside, and it’s practical because it doesn’t rust or rot like metal and wood.

blue + white on garden table

Of course it looks just as good inside loaded with blooms from the garden.

blue + white in rustic living room

When buying a ginger jar, be sure to ask if it’s water tight so that you can remove the lid and use it as a vase.

blue + white on dining table

What I love about blue and white porcelain is that it’s so quick to mingle. Look at it here in a rustic farmhouse setting…

Blue + white in contemporary setting

And here in a contemporary, art-filled, classical home…

blue + white in tradition foyer

And here in a very traditional hallway….

console loaded with bl +  white

Nothing phases blue and white - it’s like that friend who can mix equally well with royals and rebels alike. Speaking of royals, Ralph Lauren has always used blue and white porcelain in his home line…

bl + wh Ralph set

And I expect we will at cobistyle too. Here are just a few pieces in the current line:

bl&wh ginger jar

blue & white umbrella/large vase

bl & wh lamp

Lots of pieces to mix and match…

bl & wh stool

bl & wh vase

bl & white bowl

Blue and white does love a party ~ it’s definitely at its best when grouped…

bl+wh in stairwell landing

And with a classic decorating style like this, it looks like the Chinese will be exporting Ginger Jars for many years to come!

blue + white on motor bike

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tabletop fashions

Posted by Cobi on Monday June 18, 2012 at 07:07 AM
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What I like about the female brain is that it works laterally. Men would never get the idea of ‘Table Scarves’. But women do! We introduced Table Scarves into the cobistyle line this Spring and they’re a hit! Have a look: scarf Plus we all know women will shop anywhere for anything - home in a fashion store - fashion in a home store - who cares? scarf If it’s pretty - lay it on me - literally! scarf scarf scarf Of course we’re suggesting you use these gorgeous scarves on your table…

dark pink scarf

Comme ca…. summer table with cotton runner

At home… scarf on round table

Or at parties… orange table runner

They also look great over a chair… pashmina over chair orange scarves over chairs

But when the mood suits - make your table share! And wear it like you’re a 9’ model!

model in green scarf

And like celebrity ‘it girl’ Sofia Vergara… S. Vergara in denim blue scarf

I love this pink/red combo from an American dept. store… model in pink scarf

Our scarves tie great and are a generous size (bigger than this)… pink scarf on manequin

They bring pop and pizazz to a plain outfit… yellow scarf on manequin

So what’s my home wearing this spring? Just let me check my closet… orange scarf

And what am I wearing? Let me check my table. I knew you’d get it.

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music to my livingroom

Posted by Cobi on Monday May 07, 2012 at 07:00 AM
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My daughter became a teenager over the weekend. She loves anything to do with the arts but particularly music. Her main birthday gift is a piano (her little keyboard just ain’t cuttin’ it any more).
As I’ve been trying to figure out where to fit a piano into our home - I started to look online for inspiration. Of course the best inspiration comes from a grand…

grand piano in living room

And although our living room housed a ‘grand’ when we purchased the house.

grand piano in living room

I managed to fill up the room with furnishings so that the only realistic option is an upright upright (for the pocketbook too).

grand piano in living room

I expected most pianos to be black… piano black

Or dark wood… piano wood

But on a quick search, I found every colour of the rainbow.

Yellow… piano yellow

Turquoise… piano turquoise

Red… piano red

Pale blue… piano pale blue with silouettes piano pale blue

Green… piano green

Cream… piano cream with bookshelves

So many ideas, my ears are ringing. I will post a picture of our purchase once we have it and hope that you will all say, “Bravo!”

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this christmas, have a ball

Posted by Cobi on Monday December 19, 2011 at 06:00 AM
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I trust you’re all busy bees, creating…

cobi

…in your home this season.

If it’s like my place, it feels more like a hurricane.

cobi

Baubles and beads are hanging everywhere.

cobi

Even from the rooftops!

cobi

I might as well serve them up for dessert!

cobi

They’re in every nook and cranny!

cobi

Even a few disco balls have gotten in on the act - “you’ve gotta move your feet when you feel the beat!”…

cobi

But wait - what about something homemade?

cobi

There’s still time to needlepoint a pillow if we work all night!

cobi

Or at the very least, make a snowman and dress him just right!

cobi

Whatever you do this Christmas, remember to smile. And don’t even THINK about escaping the Peace and Joy of Christmas.
You know you’d miss every crazy minute of it and so would I.

cobi

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decorating by the book

Posted by Cobi on Monday November 07, 2011 at 06:00 AM
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I once read about a study that was done on how to get your kids to read. Was the key, reading to them every night? Making them read to you? Starting them young? What was the key to teaching kids the joy of reading? The scientists were very surprised to find that none of that mattered as much as one very simple thing. Having books in the house. By simple virtue of having books in the house - not even kids books - children turned out to be the biggest readers. The adults in the house didn’t even need to be huge readers themselves - it was simply the number of books in the house that made the difference. That being said, I can’t imagine a house full of books without an owner who loved to read. I imagine it’s just another life lesson of ‘actions speaking louder than words’. Kids or no kids, books are a wonderful addition to any house.

cobi

They not only add depth and character, but beauty as well.

cobi

I’ve always loved the idea of a ‘dining room/library’. It’s a great way to give a seldom-used dining room more purpose, and what a rich atmosphere in which to dine!

cobi

Black shelving is dramatic… cobi

…but I’ll always be a sucker for white.

cobi

Bookshelves make for a double-duty room divider if you’re short of space.

cobi

And they provide a natural backdrop for bringing colour into a room.

cobi

For some, that means serious colour!

cobi

But for dabblers, books make wonderful pedestals for objets on tables…

cobi

Or on chairs…

cobi

Trolley’s…

cobi

Consoles… cobi

And of course, coffee tables…

cobi

cobi

Books can even make a coffee table!

cobi

Or side table! cobi

cobi

Books are a great way to warm up a mantle-scape…

cobi

Or fill in a big empty hole!

cobi

Wherever you choose to display your books, they’ll help make your house, a home, and it’s probably the easiest thing you’ll ever teach your kids.

cobi

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table ideas to fall for

Posted by Cobi on Sunday October 09, 2011 at 07:00 AM
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If you’re hosting the turkey dinner tonight, have no fear - cute fall tabletop ideas are here! This image is stunning. The orange paper lanterns look like giant pumpkins overhead and I love the idea of bringing tartan to the table through napkins and blankeys. We should all have a collection of old wool tartan blankets to pull out in the fall!

cobi

Here’s another cute idea - pull out old family photos to use instead of place cards. What a great way to get people to the table!

cobi

And enjoy memories of family no longer with us.

cobi

If you have a box of price tags from the dollar store - create instant place cards by slipping them over the stem of a pear.

cobi

If you don’t; a little piece of twine works well with any kind of tag and fruit…

cobi

No tags at all? How about metallic pen on an apple or pomegranate? See - no excuses not to tart up the table!

cobi

If you’re more of a ‘professional arrangement kinda gal’ just make sure it’s gorgeous and bountiful like this…

cobi

Or buy a bunch of mixed flowers at the grocery store and cut them really short to create your own arrangement…

cobi

I love this skinny table set with old and new pieces. Classic and lovely.

cobi

Here’s a fun little craft if you own carving tools - these gourd vase and bowl ideas are sweet…

cobi

If warm tones aren’t you, don’t despair - purple looks amazing with fall colours…

cobi

As does crimson! It’s fabulous and unexpected alongside yellows and golds…

cobi

Try using unexpected items on your table or convert things, like candle holders, into props and pedestals.

cobi

Head out to the garden for some branches - understated elegance in a glass vase.

cobi

Or just lay one beautiful branch at each place - Bittersweet is perfect…

cobi

No branches? How about a simple piece of raffia and a wooden bead? See … no excuses…

cobi

Fall foliage also looks amazing in a glass vase - no fuss, no muss, no cost.

cobi

And here’s a perfect kids table anyone can do with kraft paper, crayons, a few pears and pots…

cobi

If you aren’t hosting this year, don’t miss out - do up your mantle and light a crackling fire …

cobi

And then take a moment to give thanks for all of your many blessings…

cobi

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