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Category Archives: Furniture

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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!

Wilsonart black and white Solicor specialty laminate

Wilsonart® SOLICOR™ is a specialty laminate created with a solid color core – eliminating the troublesome “brown line” of traditional laminates. Photo: Wilsonart

I am still so full of inspiration from my recent trip to Las Vegas for KBIS2016, the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show, as a part of the Modenus BlogTourKBIS. An incredible experience and a Designer’s paradise in terms of creative inspiration, innovation, and invention! So many new products, new suppliers, and new ideas for me to explore and discover.

Something that was also a wonderful surprise was just how many venerable and trusted brands were also represented at KBIS2016. Fabulous products by design darlings Karastan, Wilsonart, and Wood-Mode Fine Cabinetry were on display, and ALL had completely reinvented existing ideas and were showcasing some of our new designer favourites. It’s not often that you can get me all excited about flooring, or laminate, or even cabinetry – but I was blown away by what I saw, and super impressed by the creativity and ingenuity of these brands!

Wilsonart-28 copper shelving/Tori Aston & Modenus

Beautiful Wilsonart Quartz Collection – perfect for countertops! Photo: Tori Aston Photography & Modenus

Wilsonart-27 copper shelving close-up/Tori Aston & Modenus

Perfect copper metallic done in laminate! Amazing.  Photo: Tori Aston Photography & Modenus

Wilsonart is one of those long-trusted and favourite brands that every Designer has used.  Founded in 1956 in Temple, Texas, by the end of the 1970’s Wilsonart Laminate had become one of North America’s leading brands of decorative laminates. It was fabulous to see how creative and innovative this brand has been in actively developing new and exciting products that are not only practical, but gorgeous as well. I am totally in love with the Decorative Metals Collection, which are actually pure metal surfaces with a sturdy laminate backing. These copper shelves are truly stunning. Also, they have done a fabulous job developing their Wilsonart Quartz Collection, as shown in the top photo, an engineered stone that is perfect for countertops.

As much as I LOVE the way that Wilsonart has showcased the metallics (love the bronze, the copper, and the gorgeous pewter!!), I do have a soft spot for the new Retro Collection….

Wilsonart Retro Boomerang Collection

The new Retro Renovation Collection featuring the classic boomerang design was introduced at KBIS2016. Photo: Wilsonart

Wilsonart introduced seven new classic retro colours in this boomerang motif, designed to emphasize the small-scale, tone-on-tone, abstract pattern in popular colours from the 1940’s, 1950’s, and 1960’s. My favourites are the pink (First Lady Pink) made popular by Mamie Eisenhower in the 1950’s, and the green (Delightful Jade), inspired by vintage jadeite milk glass – which I collect and adore!

 

Another long-time favourite for me is Karastan.  A trusted and beloved brand, a designer staple for sure. Karastan was founded in 1928, and their innovation made the production of stylish, high-quality carpets affordable to the consumer. It was actually American retail icon, Marshall Field, who pioneered the technology that could make elegant, machine-made carpets and rugs, that became known as the Karastan brand. Fascinating!!

So how would Karastan impress me at KBIS2016? I was excited to find out…

Karastan at KBIS wool wall to wall carpet

Beautiful wool carpet in stunning patterns and elegant colours. I LOVE the Scottish Highlands & Southwick Gardens Collections.

Karastan Scottish Highlands image

Wool is beautifully soft to the touch, and I love the subtle hint of tartan in the Scottish Highlands Collection. Photo: Karastan

This collection is made out of 100% New Zealand wool, which is not only soft and comfortable, but also durable and easy to maintain. People get nervous when you say “wool”, but honestly I love the natural beauty of it. It is super easy to care for, wears like iron, and cleans up like a dream, AND it’s perfect for our Canadian climate. With as many as 8 elegant colour ways, and Karastan‘s “A Cut Above” Program,  I could very easily also use the Southwick Gardens or the Scottish Highland Collections as bound area carpets – they are that lovely! Great colours, patterns and textures. Love, love, love! Thank you, Karastan. Yes, very impressed indeed.

 

Now you may think that when it comes to cabinetry, you have seen it all.  Well, then you have not seen the glorious finishes from Wood-Mode Fine Cabinetry. So creative, so innovative, and such a great use of mixed media and materials! Like I said, it takes a lot to impress us Designers, and believe me, Wood-Mode Fine Cabinetry did!

Yardley CloseUp Wood-Mode photo

“Yardley” Style recessed inset doors with mirrored stainless steel drawerheads. Photo courtesy of Wood-Mode Fine Cabinetry.

Gorgeous and unique finishes and combinations of finishes is what Wood-Mode was expertly showcasing at KBIS2016. This stunning breakfront is made of rift-cut white oak and then sandblasted for a more “weathered aesthetic”. Add in the stainless steel inset drawers, and it is the perfect blend of traditional meets industrial. The finished exterior done in Matte Shale with Graphite glaze also makes this subtle grey-washed finish perfectly on-trend.

Westchester Detail Wood-Mode pic

Close-up of Wood-Mode’s “Westchester” Style vanity. Beautiful design in the stepped mullion detailing. Photo: Wood-Mode Fine Cabinetry

I love all of the little brilliant extra touches in this vanity. The classic Bright White opaque finish, the antique mirror inserts in the door front, and the graceful arcs of the stepped mullions and crown moulding. Classic and elegant, the antique mirror adds that extra bit of sparkle and glamour.

I think my favourite from Wood-Mode had to be the “Brookhaven” freestanding island done in a spectacular Agate Blue Opaque finish.

Agate Blue Opaque finish Wood-Mode island

This colour is completely swoon-worthy! Insanely in love with this sophisticated, soft, blue-grey finish.

I made a bee-line for this showstopper as soon as I saw it at the Wood-Mode display at KBIS2016. Immediately and totally in love with this subtle colour! This “Brookhaven” freestanding island, with the “Tribeca” recessed inset door, has the spectacular Agate Blue Opaque finish.  A lovely, watery, blue-grey colour. A perfect solution for those not sure if they want bold colour in their cabinetry, and also works beautifully in combination with classic white as a subtle accent piece. Beautiful face-framing and base detailing, makes this an exquisite and elegant piece of cabinetry.

 

These beloved brands all brought their “A-Game” to KBIS2016 with innovative, creative, and compelling new products and ideas. I’m so happy when a reliable, quality brand can keep surprising me with fresh and exciting designs.  So a very big THANK YOU to Wilsonart, Karastan and Wood-Mode Fine Cabinetry.  Thank you not only for continuing to be trusted and reputable, but also for your inspiration, imagination and ingenuity.

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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….

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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.

graphic diamond

Exciting Summer News August 25, 2015

Water Lilies

It’s hard to believe that the Summer of 2015 is nearing it’s end….Bittersweet, really. It’s been a fabulous summer! Full of cottaging, friends, sunshine, and some really wonderful projects and opportunities, too.

We are almost ready to take photos of our High Park Bathroom renovation. That turned out so beautifully, and I am so excited to share the finished project with everyone!
We are starting our Dunblaine Master Ensuite renovation, and that will be a real stunner as well, with beautiful marble inlay, custom millwork, quartzite countertops, and a whole new layout. Exciting!
This week, we are also staring work on our Munro Double Bathroom renovation. A Master Ensuite AND a Main Bath, that back onto each other….We will definitely be working some magic there! Love it!
And I love being able to work with such fabulous clients. Truly a “labour of love”….
I do think that the absolute most exciting thing however, is my involvement with The Furniture Bank and their upcoming Gala Charity Event on October 30th, The Chair Affair.

I have now also started volunteering at The Furniture Bank, so this is a cause very near and dear to my heart.

The Chair Affair

“Chair Affair is Furniture Bank’s annual auction based gala and fundraiser where we team up with prominent artists and designers to reimagine, redesign and repurpose old chairs for auction.

It is an evening of fun, food and drinks where designers and leaders in the furniture loving and home decor industries join together to raise funds and help our clients find warmth, dignity and stability in their new homes.”

I am so lucky to have been chosen as one of the featured Designers for this year’s Chair Affair Gala.

I am currently hard at work to create something beautiful out of this chair……

Original Chair for Chair Affair

My chair waiting to be found on the floor at the Warehouse of The Furniture Bank.

Well, this mid-century modern chair has fabulous “bones”, and it was love at first sight!!

The Furniture Bank is where clients in need can come to fully furnish their homes at no cost.  It is such a wonderful organization and I am honoured to be a part of their team….

So for now, it is all about selecting the right fabrics and finishes – my favourite thing to do!  I will keep you posted on my progress….

Just you wait and see!!  Anything is possible!!

Tout est Possible