Cori Halpern

Cori Halpern logo

Design that brings your personal style to life.

Category Archives: Fabric

graphic diamond

2016 – A Year in Review… December 31, 2016

Happy New Year - Cori Halpern Interiors

Happy New Year!! Farewell 2016, and what a fabulous year it has been….

Wow. That went fast….and what an incredible year 2016 has been for me – both personally and professionally. I may be one of the few people who did not think that 2016 was the worst year ever. While I am still recovering from and trying to come to terms with the political craziness in the world, and while I am deeply saddened by the loss of some of my childhood icons, 2016 was indeed a fabulous year for me.

It began with a bang last January, when I was so fortunate to be able to go on Modenus BlogTour to Las Vegas for KBIS2016. What an incredible opportunity and experience! The friends, colleagues, and connections that I made on that trip will stay with me forever. Thank you so much Veronika and Modenus for an amazing adventure!!

Right on the heels of KBIS2016 was Toronto’s own IDS (Interior Design Show). So much inspiration, and so much support and encouragement from my Design Family. A wonderful show, and I am so looking forward to this year’s upcoming event!

I attended some incredible Toronto art events as well this year. I am a huge fan and supporter of my local artists and artisans. The Artist Project, The Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition, and Art Toronto, were just a few of the amazing shows that I was fortunate to attend (and purchase art!!).

artwork by LB St. Jean - Cori Halpern Interiors

Alas, I did not purchase this beauty by Canadian Artist, Louis-Bernard St. Jean, but The Artist Project was an incredible Toronto art event.

 

2016 was also a year of incredible growth and amazing projects for Cori Halpern Interiors. Projects with amazing clients who challenged me as well as trusted me, to create their dream homes.

Cori Halpern Interiors Dunblaine Master Ensuite bathroom artwork and tub close up

Our Dunblaine Master Ensuite was a highlight, and just one of our fabulous projects of 2016. Photo: Stephani Buchman Photography

 

We completed work on our Dunblaine Master Ensuite, on our Beach Condo Project (and have begun more work on Phase 2 of our Beach Condo!), our High Park Kitchen, Rosedale Office, Cedarvale Kitchen, and Palace Pier Condo, just to name a few. We are still busy with our Almond Avenue Project, our York Mills Reno, our Chaplin Estates Project, our Sanibel Family Room, and our Project Plumbstead, with other new projects coming in the first quarter of the new year. We have been busy!! It’s wonderful.

custom design Cori Halpern Interiors

Everything is custom designed for my clients, and each space is unique and one-of-a-kind. Photo: Angelina Aristodemo for Weaver & Loom

 

Because I know that I am one lucky girl, I need to devote some of my time giving back within my community. If you have followed my blog, or my social media posts, you know that I am a huge cheerleader for The Furniture Bank in Toronto. They do amazing work for so many people, and volunteering there is one of the true joys of my life. Being able to give people a fresh start and make their house into a home, is an incredible feeling. Yes – in a way, it is totally selfish, as I do feel like I am the one who is getting so much from this experience….I have met some truly inspirational people – both as clients who come to The Furniture Bank, as well as the staff and volunteers who work there.

I was honoured to be a featured Designer at this year’s Chair Affair fundraising event gala. LOVED how my chair turned out!!

Chair Affair 2016 - Cori Halpern Interiors

I adore this fabulous leopard print fabric!! Thank you to JF Fabrics for all of your support! Photo: Larry Arnal

Thank you so much to JF Fabrics, Drapes & More, Kravet, and Regency Upholstery, for all of your support and encouragement. So happy that my chair found a home, and that the money raised from its sale furnished the homes of 3 families. Yay!!

So thank you all so much for making 2016 such an unforgettable year! It definitely had it’s ups and downs, but the highs far outweighed the lows.  I am so fortunate to have some of the most amazing people in my corner, cheering me on.

I wish you all a wonderful 2017, and may your year ahead be filled with joy, laughter, health, happiness, and love. Be kind, give more, create beauty, keep learning, and enjoy the small moments.

Happy New Year!!

 

"Calypso" collection of Sunbrella indoor/outdoor fabrics from Thibaut Design

Fabulous colour & pattern from the “Calypso Collection” of Sunbrella outdoor fabrics from Thibaut Design. Photo: Thibaut Design

It’s SPRING!! Well, okay almost. It’s ALMOST spring!! At least here in Toronto, we have had an incredibly mild winter (I really can’t complain too much this year) – I mean my trees have buds on them, and it is February! But thankfully next week is March.  I cannot believe it, and I am so excited.  I know it is very un-Canadian of me, but I detest the winter, and usually spend all of it willing spring to hurry up and get here. And now it is almost here – in about 24 days (give or take…) And while I hear that the weather may turn a bit nasty over the next few days, the fact remains that March is just around the corner and that means that I have already started imagining that spring has sprung…

In Canada, it is very easy to tell when spring has arrived. The first day that it hits about 10 degrees Celsius (about 50 degrees Farenheit) you will see us in shorts and driving our convertibles with the tops down.  Seriously, this is 100% true. The other thing that we do is plant lots of containers with beautiful, colourful, frost-tolerant plants and then start shopping for our outdoor furniture. I love it!

Calypso Collection from Thibaut indoor/outdoor fabrics

 

Outdoor fabrics from Thibaut Design’s new “Calypso Collection” are a perfect way to say “Hello Spring!” Photo: Thibaut Design

Now is the perfect time to think about and plan for a beautiful spring and glorious summer. I have always said that your outdoor space should be treated like another room in your home, and it is very often the most “unused real estate” that clients have.  Backyards are not just for the kids, or for a swing set (do people still have swing sets??) or for storing unused “stuff”.  Backyards and outdoor spaces are for living in, and for enjoying the great outdoors.  After all, here in Toronto we spend at least 6 months of the year inside. For those of you lucky to have a climate where you can be outdoors all year long – I am extremely jealous!! We cherish our warmer months –  so why not spend that outside?? I have a few ideas on how you can make that happen….

Furniture. Get something fabulous. Decorate your outdoor space and treat it as if it were another room in your home.

Turquoise Palace black wire ottoman

close-up white wire ottoman Turquoise Palace

Unique and intricate black and white wire “Willow Weave” indoor/outdoor ottomans from Turquoise Palace. Photos: Turquoise Palace

Turquoise Palace Density table and accessories

Stunning bronze “Density” table and colourful accessories are perfect for your outdoor space, from Turquoise Palace

I adore the unique indoor/outdoor furniture and accessories made in India and sourced by my friends at Turquoise Palace. With the vibrant colours and truly interesting shapes and designs, it’s a perfect way to add something special to your outdoor living space.

 

Responsive Home by Bobby Berk & Pardee Homes

Spectacular outdoor furniture and living space at the Responsive Home designed by Bobby Berk. Photo: Pardee Homes

Responsive Home by Bobby Berk outdoor space

Even this small-scale covered outdoor space is beautiful! Responsive Home designed by Bobby Berk. Photo: Pardee Homes

There are so many different ideas and choices for outdoor furniture! It’s come a long way since our parents put a picnic table and a sandbox in the backyard for us! Although, picnic tables are actually making a huge comeback so if you see a fabulous one, feel free to use that too. Outdoor furnishings have become more durable, lighter weight, easier to maintain, and more colourful. It is so fun and so easy to experiment with new textures, patterns and shapes. Televisions, fireplaces, fire pits, and water features are all popular elements to also add to your outdoor living space.

One of my favourite trends when it comes to outdoor living, actually involves the indoors too. Bringing the indoors out – or bringing the outdoors in.  However you see it, technology by companies such as NanaWall can create a whole “new dimension of air and light” to your space. NanaWall is a system of glass walls and panels that can fully open up a space to the outdoors, creating a wide opening and completely transforming the room. The barrier of a traditional wall can be fully removed, and all of the sights, sounds, light, and fresh air from the outdoors creates an incredible living and dining experience.

Responsive Home by Bobby Berk - contemporary farmhouse dining area indoor/outdoor

Responsive Home by Bobby Berk Contemporary Transitional dining indoor/outdoor space

Sliding glass panels bring the outdoors in, expanding the entire living & dining spaces. Responsive Homes in Henderson, Nevada designed by Bobby Berk. Photos: Pardee Homes

Incredible!! NanaWall glass wall panels are energy efficient, easy to operate, durable, and give you a clear view when they are open or closed. How fabulous is that? I love this idea – just imagine the back of your home completely opening out onto your outdoor space, patio, or deck. Amazing!

An easy way to start getting ready for spring, is to take a look at all of the fabulous new outdoor fabrics that are available. So many beautiful options are being shown now – in so many different colours, patterns and textures. Solids, stripes, prints, geometrics, and florals – all in beautiful bold colours, all on trend for spring and summer, and all are a perfect way to create a dynamic and luxurious outdoor living space.

Close up Thibaut Calypso peony/turquoise outdoor fabrics

 

How gorgeous is this peony/turquoise colour combination from Thibaut Design’s outdoor collection? Photo: Thibaut Design

Now these fabrics just make me so happy. They just scream “SPRING IS HERE!!” I love it.

So let’s get ready for spring – trust me, it is not too early!

Whether you are thinking of renovating, remodelling, refurnishing, or reupholstering – there are so many ways to live beautifully and experience the Great Outdoors.

Hello Spring? I am SO ready!

graphic diamond

Anthology of a Chair… November 5, 2015

sneak peak of Chair Affair 2015 chair

A sneak peek of my finished entry for the Furniture Bank Chair Affair 2015.

It was a wonderful evening! The annual fundraising gala for the Furniture Bank, in Toronto, known as The Chair Affair, was a huge success! It was also so much fun.  A beautiful evening with good friends, delicious food, great design, fabulous furniture, and an amazing sense of community and cooperation.

It was a long journey from that sweltering hot day this past summer, when I went to the Furniture Bank to select my chair. It was love at first sight when I spied my mid-century Modern armchair, in its sad and tired olive green, 40-year-old, original tweed fabric. But I could see the potential….

Me and my Furniture Bank Chair - Chair Affair 2015

I knew this one was “The One”! I loved the classic lines.

 Once I selected my chair, the real work had to begin. In my last post, I talked about my inspiration and how I was going to put all of the things that I loved into one chair.

Of course, I knew it may be risky – after all, my finished chair was going to be a vibrant green velvet – not exactly a neutral, if I was trying to have it auctioned off to raise a lot of $$ for The Furniture Bank. But, I stayed true to my inspiration and my concept. If I was the only green chair, then at least I would stand out and be special and unique!!

Turns out, I was special and unique! With 40 furniture pieces that were submitted, The Chair Affair had to find a way to pare down and qualify the entries for the live auction. Of course I wanted to be in the live auction, as it would probably raise more $$ than the silent auction…Well, my chair received the MOST online votes!! Everyone loved it! I did not win a prize or anything like that – it was not about that at all.  But, there was a deep satisfaction in knowing that my friends, peers, and even total strangers thought that this chair was a showstopper.  That’s what I was going for – showstopper!  Go Big or Go Home, right?? This guaranteed that I would be in the live auction – awesome.

close-up detail of Regency Upholstery putting the finishing touches on my chair

 Regency Upholstery putting the finishing touches on my chair.

 I cannot say enough what an outstanding job my brilliant upholsterer did.  Steve from Regency Upholstery really brought my concept to life with the quality of his craftsmanship and his attention to detail.  I’m so glad that he could be there with me at The Chair Affair 2015, to see how everyone really appreciated his fine workmanship.

One of the true highlights of the event was Olivia Chow as one of the celebrity auctioneers.  She was fantastic!!

Olivia Chow as auctioneer Chair Affair 2015

Olivia Chow was incredible as one of the celebrity auctioneers!

Before pic

The “BEFORE” – It’s hard to believe now that this is where we started from….

And then before I knew it – I was #8, they called my name, auctioned my chair and it was SOLD!! $800 will furnish the homes and change the lives for 3 families.  To be honest, I would have liked to have raised more $$$ for The Furniture Bank, not to be greedy, but just because I wish I could have contributed more…..

So happy that my chair is sold!

SOLD!!

What a fabulous experience! From selecting my chair, to finding my inspiration, to working with a great team to complete and execute my concept, to meeting and celebrating with my fellow Designers, to finally finding my chair a forever home – truly rewarding.  So incredibly happy that I could contribute to such an amazing organization as The Furniture Bank.

My Chair Affair Chair 2015

The completed chair for the Furniture Bank Chair Affair 2015.

Truly a labour of love! So pleased with how this chair turned out – and I hope the wonderful gentleman who purchased my chair enjoys it for many years to come….

graphic diamond

Chair Affair – My inspiration September 16, 2015

black and white and green

Inspiration. I have always loved the dynamic and graphic design details of black and white.

Chairishco IG inspiration photo green sofa

Love this IG shot from Chairishco.  Bold black and white geometrics next to the brilliant green velvet.

I cannot believe that September is halfway over already!  Wow!  The summer seemed to fly by, although I did manage to truly pack a lot in….It was so great to catch up with friends, hang with my hubby and our kids, soak up the sun, and even get a couple of glorious sailing dates on the lake.  Brilliant!

It has also been an incredibly productive summer project-wise.  We are in full swing on several bathroom projects, and are in the proposal stage for a few other really great and interesting spaces.

I am truly excited about the upcoming Chair Affair event on October 30th, to benefit The Furniture Bank.  I have finally nailed down my fabric choices……Woohoo!

Fabric Samples for Chair Affair

These beauties are my final choices for my Chair Affair chair! LOVE!

Being exposed to so many beautiful fabrics everyday, I will admit it was very hard to narrow down my choices for The Chair Affair.  The theme this year is “From my home, to your home”, which is pretty broad and all-encompassing.  It could be anything!  So, I interpreted that to be “a few of my favourite things”….I adore the black and white, my favourite colour is green, I love the classic geometry of a lattice pattern, and I have always been obsessed with toile and chinoiserie prints.  So here it is! I have been able to use all of these fabrics (okay, two of them are for a toss cushion, but it is still a part of the overall design!) in one place.

green headboard with black and white

More black and white geometry mixed with my favourite green. Just makes me happy…Photo taken at the Kimpton Hotel Monaco in Pittsburgh by Preston Konrad.

It’s hard sometimes to find inspiration for things.  In this case, I just went with what makes me happy.  It’s also hard when there are no “client requirements” to consider – just my own creative energy.  What a wonderful experience it has been!  I am loving this.  And I have been truly lucky – so many of my wonderful suppliers have either donated or greatly reduced the costs of their fabric, as to help me achieve this vision that I have in my head…The fabrics are now on the way to my brilliant upholsterers,  Steve and George at Regency Upholstery, and soon there will be a chair to unveil! I am so excited!

Thank you so much JFFabrics, Kravet, Robert Allen, Primavera and Regency Upholstery, for your kindness and generosity.

leopard print fabrics

So many beautiful ways to use a fun animal print!

I would do just about anything for a good animal print!  I love them!  Different colours, different textures and patterns, but still, animal print.  Cheetah, zebra, leopard or ocelot – adore them all.

For me, they invoke a classic elegance about them.  And the best part is that you do not need a lot.  Just a little touch of leopard will instantly elevate any space and give it that extra “something”.  It’s all a part of layering pattern, texture and colour into a space to make it special.

What can a little animal print do?  In a traditional space it can liven it up, give it a little “boost”, and make it seem a bit more fun, like it doesn’t take itself too seriously.  Adding a bit of whimsy is always a good thing…

In a more contemporary space, it adds a little something unexpected.  A little nod to a classic pattern.  In a more contemporary space, I will often change up the colour of the print – greens, reds, blues – all look amazing as a leopard motif.

North Toronto LR - benches

We used a pale Robin’s egg blue and bronze zebra-inspired print on these skirted benches.

In this classic contemporary living room, we used a beautiful fabric – a zebra print!  It brings a wonderful texture to otherwise plain skirted benches, and is so much fun.  It actually doesn’t really even look like an “animal” print in the traditional sense – but I know it is!  These clients loved it when I showed it to them, and were excited to use something so fun and different.

“Decorating with a little leopard”, is my mantra – there is always room for an animal print!

Ocelot print tufted & fringed ottoman

Tufted and fringed ottoman with an ocelot print in a more traditional space.

In this more traditional space, we still went for fun with this gorgeous Cowtan & Tout ocelot print fabric.  We even added the bullion fringe and tufting details.  Go big, or go home!!  The client loved this little detail so much, that we made another similar ottoman for her pied-à-terre in Manhattan.  It was the one thing that she absolutely had to have in her second home, even though it was a completely different design concept and style of decor.  See, animal prints go with everything!

So, if you are looking to add that little extra special detail, that extra special “something”, you cannot go wrong with an animal print.  Don’t want to commit?  Do a toss cushion or a chair seat, or a small ottoman.  It does not have to dictate your entire design concept or colour scheme.  It will add that element of fun and unexpected whimsy to your space. Animal prints are luxurious, on trend, unique, special, and classic all at the same time.  So try it!  Everything is always better with a little leopard in the mix.

Custom toss cushions add so much personality and colour, and transform your space.

“It is just as disastrous to have the wrong accessories in your room as it is to wear sport shoes with an evening dress.” – Dorothy Draper

I often lovingly refer to accessories as the “jewelry” of the space.  It’s the often the last thing to go into the space, although I always have the accessories in mind as I am developing a client’s design concept.  It’s the jewelry because it’s those beautiful fabrics that are the showstoppers in the room.  Much to the client’s shock, they are also often quite expensive.  It’s the conversation that I almost always have when they say, “How much for that cushion?”….This is where trust comes into play.  I promise my clients that they will not be sorry.  That this will be worth it.  That they will love it. That the room is naked without accessories.  After all, you would not leave the house without makeup or jewelry, would you?  Then we have a good laugh, and I know that they still do not believe that a few simple cushions will actually do anything, but they trust me.  At this point in the project, they know that I have not steered them wrong yet.

Quite often the fabrics that I select for window treatments or toss cushions, or side chairs are the really special ones.  The spectacular colours, patterns and textures that may not be suitable for a large sofa or for heavy wear.  They are the “bling” of the room, and what can transform a room from simple to stellar.  It’s where a client’s love of purple can be showcased – while they may not want a purple sofa (I would LOVE a purple sofa!), they are thrilled with a purple chair or a purple cushion.  It’s also where we can pair interesting colour combinations that are showcased by beautiful fabrics.  You may not think that purple, turquoise and orange look good together, but as you can see in the above photo, once we pull these fabrics together – those colours look like perfection.

Green pillows from Primavera

Gorgeous green velvet from Primavera Interiors.

Just look at these gorgeous green velvet cushions!  They are just yummy!  And look how they completely transform a classic grey sofa.  The sofa on it’s own has beautiful lines and is lovely on it’s own, but it looks plain and unfinished.  The green adds a pop of life, gives the sofa a stylish edge and certainly adds some needed glamour with the colour and the beautiful texture of the plush velvet.  Pair this with some gold accent tables and you have instant gorgeous!

It’s these finishing touches that make the space.  The cushions, the art, the books, the lamps, and the collections from our client’s lives that make up a completely finished space.  It is what brings a space to life and gives us a clue about the the people who live in it.  Accessories should absolutely enhance the space and make it beautiful, but should also reflect the personalities of the clients, almost like a visual history for everyone who is in the space to enjoy.

masks in foyer

Art can define a space.

For this client, their collection of South West art and these masks specifically, were very important to them.  They were symbols of their travels and of their deep affection for that part of the world.  In this foyer space, I paired a natural hide and kept the side chairs simple, so that what is showcased is the collection.  Without the masks, this would be a boring and empty space.  In this instance, I did not have to create the “bling”, it was supplied by the client and creates and showcases the personality and mood of this part of the home.

“Have nothing in your home that you don’t believe to be useful or believe to be beautiful.” – William Morris

Accessories provide that little additional “something”.  Sure a sofa or a chair or a table can be stunningly beautiful on their own, no question.  But it’s the accessories, the added “bling” that give a space something special and unique.  They emphasize that each home is different, and can help to illustrate the personality of the family that lives within that space. Accessories are what gives a home it’s life, and it does not hurt that they are beautiful too.  So, add those finishing touches!  Trust me, you will love it…..Bring on the “bling”!

Missoni Home display in Adare, Ireland

It’s that time of year…. Finally! When the last 4 months of Canadian gray, wintry white and inky black give way to spring green and sky blue, sun yellow and crocus purple. It’s time for colour to come back into our lives.

In nature, colour is bursting everywhere. I think our homes should always have a strong injection of colour. Colour affects our moods – how we sleep, how we relax, how we interact. Colour is personality. Colour can be dramatic, fun, sophisticated, peaceful or stimulating. What I know for sure is that colour is an essential element of good design. Here are the top 5 ways to bring colour into your home:

  1. Fabulous toss cushions – here is where you can really go to town. Think jewelry for the living room. Let your personality really shine through and pick what you love. Mix colour, texture and patterns. You can always change the toss cushions yearly, or even seasonally. You do not need to make a lifelong commitment…
  2. Duvet cover and bedding – nothing says summer like all white bedding. Or go with a wild floral, a soothing pastel, or an elegant toile. Changing up your bedding will refresh the entire bedroom and give you an instant makeover. The best part is that bedding does not have to be expensive or take up a lot of storage space.
  3. Add curtains – so many people have told me that they are “not curtain people”. That is because they have never had good curtains. Drapery can inject much needed pattern and/or colour into a space. Whether you opt for full length drapery panels, or tailored roman blinds, good window treatments are essential to finishing off a space.
  4. Artwork – A space without art looks naked. The entire room could be professionally designed, it could have the most beautiful furniture, carpet, fabrics, and even toss cushions (see above!), but if the walls are empty, the room will look naked and incomplete. Art does not need to be expensive, but it does need to be well framed, at an appropriate scale within the space, and there should be a good mix of different media and types of artwork. I love helping my clients pick just the right pieces to enhance their home.
  5. Paint – Easy, inexpensive, and effective. Paint can completely transform a space, change the entire feel of a room, and totally refresh a home. I love the opportunity to makeover an existing space with a new coat of paint! It is the way to make the biggest impact with colour.

So, at this time of year, when we Canadians are waking up from a long winter slumber, as we peel off the layers of our black coats and hats and boots, let’s think about bringing colour into our lives.

What colours do you love?
Happy Spring!!