3 Instagram-Worthy Eats From The New Cookbook, Vibrant & Pure

Vibrant & Pure cookbook

The debut cookbook from Adeline Waugh, creator of the popular Instagram account @vibrantandpure, proves that healthy foods can be beautiful, too. Gorgeous photos of these recipes will make you want to try holistic eating, if you’re not doing so already. The book offers 80 recipes, and many are gluten- and dairy-free. Vibrant & Pure’s dishes range from smoothie bowls to filling mains (you’ve got to try the Roasted Cauliflower Tacos) to sweets with no refined sugar. You’ll also find practical tips for kitting out a clean-eating kitchen, filling your pantry with wholesome ingredients and presentation.

Scroll down to bookmark these three Instagram-worthy eats!

Coconut Bolognese with Zucchini Noodles

Coconut Bolognese With Zucchini Noodles

Chili Passionfruit Salad

Chili Passionfruit Salad

Unicorn Toast

Unicorn Toast

The post 3 Instagram-Worthy Eats From The New Cookbook, <em>Vibrant <span class="hhamp">&</span> Pure</em> appeared first on House & Home.

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Ask A Designer: How To Modernize A Kitchen That Is Stuck In The Past

ask a designer kitchen with a light palette and open shelves

In this Ask A Designer column, Jennifer Koper shares her tips for refreshing a kitchen with a light palette and open shelves.

Jennifer KoperQuestion: I’d like to spray my lower cabinets white and swap out my uppers for open shelving. How do I make this look good? K.S., Calgary

ask a designer kitchen before with dark cabinets

Answer: Having your cabinets painted a new color is an excellent way to update your kitchen! Opt for a bright white that will reflect light around the space. Replacing your upper cabinets with open shelving will definitely make your kitchen look airier, too. For a modern vibe, consider having your vent hood boxed in with drywall and painted to match your walls. Extending the box right to the ceiling will draw the eye up and create visual interest.

ask a designer kitchen with a light palette and open shelves

Similar to the Inspiration kitchen designed by Whitney Williams (above), install two floating wood shelves on either side of the vent hood. The top shelf should align with the bottom of the hood, with the second shelf 12 to 18 inches lower. Then, continue the shelving on the window wall, stopping just shy of the window frame. The key to styling your shelves is to choose items that are both good-looking and functional.

ask a designer speckled serving bowl

(Source: Speckle Serving Bowl 14″ (set of 2), $140, shophouseandhome.com)

ask a designer pitcher

(Source: Galiano Pitcher in Beige, $28, vdevmaison.com)

For color, try leaning a piece of art on a shelf.

ask a designer artwork with pears

(Source: Art by Kate Schutz, price available upon request, kateschutz.com)

Next, swap out your backsplash for an off-white quartz or marble slab with veining. For a more affordable option, opt for ceramic or marble tiles. Install the slab or tile just below the height of the lowest shelf and then, behind the range, up to the vent hood.

ask a designer quartz slab

(Source: Chantilly Quartz Slab, price available upon request, hanstone.ca)

Consider adding two white and brass sconces on either side of the hood as decorative lighting. Additionally, you could have puck lights installed on the underside of the shelves to illuminate your work surfaces.

ask a designer sconce with brushed satin brass

(Source: Small Cypress Sconce in Brushed Satin Brass and Satin White, $408, rejuvenation.com)

Finally, to bring in some warmth, replace your cabinet pulls with brass versions and add wooden counter stools at the peninsula.

ask a designer satin brass cabinet pull

(Source: Kent Collection Contemporary Cabinet Pull in Satin Brass by Richelieu, $11.50 each, homedepot.ca)

ask a designer counter stool

(Source: Kelley Counter Stool by Nuevo, $510, thebay.com)

These simple changes will give you the look of a bright, new kitchen without having to start from scratch!

Do you have a design dilemma? Send your questions to askadesigner@hhmedia.com.

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This article originally appeared in the February 2020 issue of House & Home

Lynda Reeves portrait

You can probably imagine how many scouting shots of condos and newly renovated houses arrive in our office every month. Over the 30-plus years of looking at thousands of photos, patterns emerge that can’t be ignored. Some have been great, while others, not so much….

The problem is when a certain look reaches a tipping point, and we’re over it, having seen the exact same thing in so many renovations, there must be the inevitable backlash, right? For example, there was the “Ionic column trend.” Back in the ’80s, when walls were coming down on the ground floor of old Victorian houses, fat faux columns complete with Doric or Ionic plaster capitals were going up. They were all the rage for at least a few years. And then they weren’t.

Or how about the pass-through window between the kitchen and dining room? It was the first step to the open kitchen we now take for granted, and it’s one of the first things that gets ripped out in today’s renovations.

For a time, we were in love with front foyers and hallways. Long, narrow corridors from the front door through to the back of our houses were not only expected, they were necessary to avoid having to step from the entryway right into your living room.

Kitchens were prized for the number of overhead cabinets and the amount of storage that could be crammed into that huge island. The style was heavy wood with carved mouldings. Ugh!

I recall when the first condos hit the luxury end of the market. The best ones were built out with panelled walls, deep mouldings, English- or French-style mantels and miles of built-in bookcases and cabinets. Except for the views, you could easily be in a traditional mansion instead of a box in the sky.

Today, we’ve turned the tables. Old houses are being renovated to look like new condos with open-concept floor plans replacing traditional formal rooms for the loft look that is popular with both the luxury market and the more moderate midrange buyer.

outdoor-indoor living windows

Right now, I’m looking at scouts from Montreal of two different renos by two different designers, and I can hardly tell them apart. It’s the new “It” Look, and it’s a formula: wide open from the front door through to the backyard. White walls, one big room dominated by the open kitchen/living/dining area. Blond wood floors, sleek, airy cabinets and loads of light through big windows and NanaWalls, and plenty of room for dramatic art. That’s what we’re seeing over and over again.

I asked Maggie Lind of Chestnut Park Real Estate, whose clients tend to be affluent, downtown couples and families, if it’s true that most buyers are looking for the same thing. Most of all, I wanted the hit list of what you should do if you’re renovating and want to have the best chances to maximize your investment on a resale.

entryway with glass stairs

She agreed. “There is still the affluent buyer who appreciates a house with formal rooms, although they admit to rarely using them”she said. But, by far, most people want open-concept layouts. “Clean lines, open spaces, easy to come home to” was her description of the new dream home. I asked her about my theory that people must be sick of seeing the same look over and over again. Wrong, she told me. Apparently, there’s comfort in the familiar, and we’re far from tiring of a style that is prized by most buyers in urban markets across North America.

laundry room with textured tile

I asked Maggie to review my hit list of “wants,” and she added a few surprises that you should consider if you’re renovating. If you can check all these boxes in your renovation, you’ll have a prime house for resale.

  • Real hardwood floors over engineered wood floors. Light blond is fine, but dark floors and mid-tones are making a comeback.
  • Signature ranges. “People love their Wolf stoves,” says Maggie, but they also love complete suites of appliances including drawer microwaves, wall ovens and wine fridges by high-end brands such as Miele, Sharp, JennAir, LG, Thermador and Fisher & Paykel.
  • Exhibition kitchens with eating counters, always open to family rooms or dining areas.
  • “Wine storage walls” made of glass that line a dining room or kitchen, instead of basement wine cellars.
  • Mudrooms are a must, along with good laundry rooms.
  • Basement walkouts to a backyard or deck, especially for a family house.
  • Principal bedrooms with a walk-in closet, an ensuite bath with a freestanding tub, a separate shower and water closet and double sinks.
  • Gas fireplaces for ease.
  • An elevator corridor for a future elevator in houses that are more than two storeys. A working elevator is the best, but just having thought out the space and allowed for it is in itself a huge plus for a future buyer.
  • Sliding or folding glass doors that open up wide to the outdoors.

I also canvassed several agents who all agree on the single biggest-selling feature: high-end buyers want a house that is done. Great kitchens and bathrooms will sell a house. No one wants to have to do that work. If they did, they would most probably buy a “redo” that needs a total renovation.

And then there is that other factor: location, location, location…. But you already know that.

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In this Ask A Designer column, Jennifer Koper shares her ideas for making an awkward living-dining room more polished.

Jennifer KoperQuestion: The angled wall in my living room has me stumped, and I’m not sure what to put on my bare walls. Could you help me with furniture and lighting? T.M., Dawson Creek, B.C.

ask a designer awkward living-dining-room

Answer: You’re on the right track with your deep wall color, but the bare walls make the room fall a bit flat. A wonderful way to add architectural interest and texture to a space is to invest in built-in bookcases. Consider having shallow, wraparound built-ins made for both long living room walls, as well as the angled wall. Paint the bookcases the same dark hue and fill the shelves with books, art and decorative objets. Be sure to vary the “fullness” of each shelf to avoid a look that’s packed too tight. Treating all three walls the same way will also help disguise the awkward angle.

ask a designer living-dining room

Next, update your sofa with a contemporary charcoal-colored version with subtle texture. The tone-on-tone effect of the sofa, walls and bookcases will create a snug, cocooned feeling. Consider choosing a sofa that’s slightly less deep than your current one to gain back some of the space that will be taken up by the new bookcases.

ask a designer sofa

(Source: Kimberly Sofa in Midnight by Distinctly Home, $1,599, thebay.com)

I recommend swapping out your love seat for two luxurious club chairs in a channelled black leather.

ask a designer chair

(Source: Schuler Club Chair, $999, shelterfurniture.ca)

Then, add a smoked glass coffee table for a modern touch; the glass, although tinted, will make the table feel lighter.

ask a designer coffee table

(Source: Verre Square Coffee Table in Grey, $599, eq3.com)

A round wooden accent table placed between the club chairs and a nubby wool rug underfoot will bring in a touch of warmth.

ask a designer rug side table

(Source: Trill Round Wood Side Table, $499, cb2.ca)

ask a designer rug

(Source: Hand-Woven Chunky Woolen Cable Rug in Off-White by NuLoom, $444, homedepot.ca)

In your adjoining dining area, replace the exposed bulb fixture with a more streamlined shaded version that will cast a softer glow. Its classic style will also temper the more modern pieces in the living area.

ask a designer light fixture

(Source: Piaf 39 Inch 4 Light Chandelier by Thomas O’Brien for Visual Comfort, $1,467, robinsonlightingcentre.com)

This mix of textures and styles will add plenty of interest to your space and give you a cozy but dynamic room, perfect for relaxing or entertaining.

Do you have a design dilemma? Send your questions to askadesigner@hhmedia.com.

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House & Home

In this Ask A Designer column, Jennifer Koper shares her ideas for giving a drab fireplace a modern makeover.

Jennifer KoperQuestion: We’re moving into a new home that has a fireplace with decorative niches on one side of the wall. Could you recommend a mantel style and help us furnish the space? — M.B., Kanata, Ontario

ask a designer fireplace before

Answer:  Congratulations on your new place! Instead of adding a mantel, why not try something with serious impact? For a truly modern focal point, tile or paint the fireplace wall black, similar to the Inspiration room designed by Amber Interiors (see below). This will visually unify the television and fireplace and really make a statement.

ask a designer fireplace

Ideally, you could replace your current fireplace with a larger version that would better anchor the room. Make sure that the fireplace and television are installed in the center of the wall, with the television above. I recommend drywalling over the niches to simplify the look. Opt for a paint treatment if you’re not sure you want to commit to tile, but a large, matte black, flat-edged subway tile with black grout would look very polished.

(Source: 4″ by 12″ Soho Black Matte Tile by Cinca, price available upon request, ciot.com)

Next, cozy up the space with a large leather sectional so that the wall adjacent to the fireplace isn’t left empty — and you’ll also get plenty of lounge space.

timber corner sectional through Article

(Source: Timber Corner Sectional in Charme Tan, $4,399, article.com)

To add depth and color, layer in modern and traditional rugs.

stockholm rug by Anna Sörensson through Ikea

(Source: Stockholm Rug by Anna Sörensson, $249, ikea.com)

hand-knotted touserkan rug through Shop House & Home

(Source: Hand-Knotted Touserkan Rug, $1,603, shophouseandhome.com)

For a textural accent, opt for a round rattan coffee table that can do double duty as an ottoman.

(Source: Somerset Cocktail Table in Neutral, price available upon request, cocoonfurnishings.ca)

Finally, set an open-framed accent chair just left of the fireplace.

chiara lounge chair in leather through EQ3

(Source: Chiara Lounge Chair in Leather, $1,149, eq3.com)

With these steps, you can enjoy an inviting and modern living space, perfectly set up for entertaining.

Do you have a design dilemma? Send your questions to askadesigner@hhmedia.com.

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House & Home

Chef Paul Kahan may have built a culinary empire in Chicago, but he’s also known for his casual style of entertaining at home. He knows that getting everyone involved, and having drinks and snacks while you cook together is key to a fun gathering. In his latest cookbook, Cooking for Good Times, Paul shares the secrets to low-stress cooking, as well as favorite recipes from his restaurants. (Oh, hello Bacon-Wrapped Chorizo-stuffed Dates!)

Scroll down and bookmark these vibrant and flavor-packed recipes.

roasted and marinated roots with smoky yogurt, crisp lentils and dill vinaigrette

Roasted & Marinated Roots With Smoky Yogurt, Crisp Lentils & Dill Vinaigrette

grains with roasted cauliflower, black olives and oranges

Grains With Roasted Cauliflower, Black Olives & Oranges

bacon-wrapped, chorizo-stuffed dates

Bacon-Wrapped, Chorizo-Stuffed Dates

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House & Home

There’s something about the start of a new year that makes us want to indulge guilt-free in rest and relaxation. That’s exactly what Cynthia Loyst — writer, producer and co-host of The Social — wanted to achieve with her debut book, Find Your Pleasure: The Art Of Living A More Joyful Life — a guide to satisfying your wants and needs in all aspects of live, including the home. We sat down with the TV personality to break down easy ways to turn your space into a personal respite for 2020.

cynthia loyst find your pleasure reading on a chair

Tip #1: Carve Out Your Own Self-Care Space

“I think everyone needs a place that they can retreat to when necessary,” says Cynthia. “There should be a small room (or area of a room… could be your writing desk or a cozy chair you can curl up in) that is filled with stuff that grounds you, like candles, sentimental artifacts or photos — anything that brings you deep pleasure.”

cynthia loyst find your pleasure folding napkins

Tip #2: Get Lost In The Kitchen

“For me cooking is not only a deep pleasure, it’s also a form of ritual and meditation,” she says. “When my son and I cook together, it’s near impossible not to be in the present moment (or else there’s a good chance something will get ruined). It’s also an act of self-care through which all of our senses are engaged. I especially look forward to Sundays when I can put on some music, pour a glass of wine and create something really special. My go-to when I want to feel cozy is a big pot of stew — it takes me back to the winters of my childhood.”

Tip #3: The More Plants, The Better

“We have a ficus tree right in the middle of our living room and it brings me so much joy,” she says. “We also have a number of orchids that are in various stages of bloom. I’m even charmed by their dormant stage — it’s an exercise in patience, like waiting for a gift to arrive. But my current obsession right now are succulents. I love the way that word sounds and the way that they look — juicy and vibrantly verdant. Plus, they are very forgiving.”

cynthia loyst find your pleasure vintage bottles

Tip #4: Fill Your Home With Personal Treasures

“Throughout my twenties, I worked at a vintage store,” says Cynthia. “I especially loved the monthly visits to the warehouse when we searched through piles of items to unearth some gems to bring back to the store. Through that job, I realized that personal style (whether through fashion or decor) is storytelling.”

Tip #5: Create A Bedtime Ritual

“I always need to shower or bathe before getting into bed,” she says. “I also need a good book (or several) within arms reach. Right before falling asleep, I spray my pillow with my lavender spray before placing a silk face mask over my eyes (we don’t have black out curtains and I need complete darkness to sleep!).”

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House & Home

This article originally appeared in the October 2019 issue of House & Home

Lynda Reeves portrait

Kitchen design has a way of bringing out strong opinions in many of us. Everyone has their view on exactly what they don’t like, plus a list of things they’re considering but wonder about. The investment is always big and the results permanent, so deciding what materials to use is especially critical in a kitchen renovation

Inevitably, the kitchens I gravitate to are handsome, with some classic detailing, heavy polished hardware, some feature appliances like a great range, a mix of painted and natural wood cabinets and always counters and backsplashes of natural stone — soapstone, granite, slate or marble — plus oiled or varnished woods.

For the longest time, I’ve only ever considered real marble with a honed or half-honed finish for my own kitchen designs. Believing that imperfections and the inevitable scratches and stains would only enhance the patina of honed marble counters, I wouldn’t even consider a man-made alternative. But then, I also thought that jeans had to be 100 percent cotton denim with no synthetic mix, and only pure linen pants would do, no matter how much better a little bit of Lycra could make them fit.

I’ve totally changed my tune, just in time to avoid a dinosaur designation, because not seeing the huge advantages of today’s alternative materials would be crazy. Engineered stone is any man-made material that mimics stone. It includes brand names such as Caesarstone and Silestone, both manufactured from quartz and resin. The advantage to these surfaces is that they aren’t porous so they don’t absorb liquid, they don’t stain and rarely scratch, and they come in a huge number of great finishes with a wide range of textures and colors, including subtle shades from nature. You can create a larger surface with no seams than you can using natural stone. Even the biggest real marble slabs won’t cover a whole kitchen without multiple seams.

The granddaddy of all composite solid surfaces is Corian, DuPont’s brand name for its groundbreaking material that debuted in 1971, which is now offered in more than 100 colors and can be installed to look virtually seamless.

Dekton, which is Cosentino’s sophisticated new blend of glass, porcelain and quartz, offers the ability to produce a seamless surface of any size that has zero porosity, is heatproof and comes in a wide range of colors and finishes.

If you’re building a new kitchen and can’t give up on the beauty and tactile feel of the real thing, consider using a mix of both natural stone, wood and engineered materials for what is perhaps the perfect marriage. Mixing materials in a curated way is the number one trend I’m seeing in the best kitchens around. I’ve picked two that are my current inspirations for my own kitchen refresh (stay tuned!), and both fit the bill of being handsome, tactile and bespoke-looking, with mixed materials and touches of old world elegance. I love the feeling that these could be kitchens in a grand house, even if the butler is actually only me.

steve gambrel kitchen

“Grand Casual” is still my favorite decorating style, and it’s especially on show in these fabulous rooms. The first is the townhouse kitchen in the former home of New York designer Steven Gambrel (top and above). You can see that it’s partially below ground with steps that lead up to the garden. It’s a subtle mix of salvaged architectural antiques and materials, such as the marble-slab stone floor, vintage marble work table and the marble farmhouse sink with antique brass faucets and handles retrofitted with new interior parts. Notice the extra-tall backsplash behind the sink, and the way the sink is tucked into a corner and the faucet is side-mounted.

les ensembliers kitchen

Next is the Westmount, Quebec, kitchen in the home of Montreal designers Maxime Vandal and Richard Ouellette. It’s such an uplifting room with huge charm and plenty of display space against a window wall so their collection of handmade bowls and dishes are backlit. Lovers of natural stone, yes, but the designers chose ceramic floor tile from Stone Tile, laid in a herringbone pattern, for its beauty and durability. The wall behind the range is clad in natural marble called Turkish Lilac, and the upper cabinets are oak with a linen hand finish, which means they have the texture of weathered oak. Notice the mix of metals, including the matte gold finish on the custom range hood. It’s interesting to note that both kitchens feature vintage tables in place of new islands and painted cabinets in their mix.

les ensembliers kitchen

Kitchens, because they’re permanent installations of craftsmanship, are the best place in your home to experiment with different textures, finishes, hardware and architectural details. Choose which appliances you want to feature on full display, and which ones will be hidden behind custom panels or tucked into an island. Experiment with paint colors and playful light fixtures. Find your own perfect recipe for a joyful kitchen. You may never go back to what you thought you had to have. I can’t imagine life without stretchy jeans. Can you?

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Ask A Designer: How To Wake Up A Tired Dining Room

ask a designer dining room

In this Ask A Designer column, Jennifer Koper shares her ideas for refreshing a dining room without changing the furniture.

Jennifer KoperQuestion: I’d like to pull my dining room together and give it some style, but I want to keep my furniture. Where do I start? — B.B., Montreal

ask a designer dining room before

Answer: The good news is that you can definitely make this room feel fresh and beautiful while keeping your existing dining set. Take inspiration from the lovely room designed by M+M Interior Design (below) — the hand-painted mural is the perfect backdrop for classic furniture.

ask a designer dining room after

Add a similar energy to your space by installing romantic wallpaper with a botanical motif. Then, paint the ceiling a watery blue — like Behr’s Flowing Breeze (N480 – 2) — to pick up on the tones in the wallpaper and give the room another subtle hit of color.

ask a designer dining room wallpaper

(Source: Peony Tree wallpaper in Aqua by Sarah Richardson Design, approx. $234.91 per roll, brewsterwallcovering.com)

Next, remove the vase of branches and chairs flanking the sideboard to give your table and chairs some breathing room. If you have a match for the white upholstered chair, consider using them at the ends of your table. Otherwise, invest in two new upholstered end chairs to break up the set and add an element of softness.

ask a designer dining room linen chair

(Source: Slipcovered Host Chair, price available upon request, leeindustries.com)

Update your lighting by installing a pair of classic brass lantern sconces and add sparkle by replacing your ceiling fixture with a traditional chandelier.

ask a designer dining room lantern

(Source: Camden lantern sconce in Natural Brass by Regina Andrew Lighting, $496, primalighting.ca)

ask a designer dining room chandelier

(Source: The Valentina chandelier by Feiss, $1,187, livinglightingottawa.ca)

Then, switch out your art above the sideboard for a tall mirror that will bounce light around and add brightness to the space.

ask a designer dining room mirror

(Source: Dauphine mirror in Antique Silver Leaf, price available upon request, cocoonfurnishings.ca

Finally, bring in texture and coziness with a basketweave-style sisal rug. Make sure it’s large enough so that the chairs fit onto it when they’re pulled out. A great way to get a custom-size rug is to start with your preferred dimensions of broadloom and have a band added around the edge.

ask a designer dining room basketweave rug

(Source: Basketweave rug in Pewter, price available upon request, available through Signature by Shelley Alexanian)

With these changes, your dining room will feel refreshed and polished.

Do you have a design dilemma? Send your questions to askadesigner@hhmedia.com.

The post <span class="title_highlight">Ask A Designer:</span> How To Wake Up A Tired Dining Room appeared first on House & Home.

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