Photography by Michael Graydon
Sarah Gunn, our home and garden director, shares her picks for the hottest looks you'll want to try in your home in 2017.
1. Wonder wall
The new breed of adhesive wall art (think colourful abstract patterns, gorgeous watercolours and large-scale moody florals) is sophisticated, is super easy to apply and makes a serious design statement.
Blossoms large wall mural, $811, anewalldecor.etsy.com.
2. Shape up
We've seen geometric home accessories in gold and other metallics, but now this silhouette can be found in light fixtures, decor and even furniture in a matte ceramiclike finish. This approach hitches onto the still-hot handcrafted trend and elevates mere home accents to objet-d'art status.
Mine pendant lamp, $389, anthropologie.com.
3. Purple reign
With some major paint companies choosing purple as their paint chip of the year—Benjamin Moore has selected Shadow, a rich amethyst shade, while CIL calls out Antique Violet, a soft greyish lavender—the time has come for this underused hue to hit its stride. While pastels are still holding on, this daring palette reflects a move toward intense, striking paint colours. If purple walls are too dramatic a change, try adding a smaller hit to your home by painting a console table or a desk in this royal hue.
4. Green crush
Following fashion's lead in textile and colour (Pantone has placed two verdant hues, Greenery and Kale, on its Spring 2017 Fashion Color Report), home decor has brought back luxe bottle-green velvet in a big way. While this incarnation calls to mind a posh library or a private club, its sleek lines and brass accents give a modern effect. A jewel tone might feel like a bold choice for such a big piece of furniture, but in an otherwise neutral room, it's a more approachable way to add colour.
Avec apartment sofa with brass legs, $2,199, cb2.com.
5. Swan dive
Move over, owls, foxes and flamingos. We predict that swans will make a graceful appearance as the animal motif of the year. Look for them in everything from fabrics to artwork.
We've got something for all tastes – and knitters of all skill levels – with these timeless knitting patterns.
This Alpaca headband's soft, thick yarn and easy pattern make it a satisfying quick knit. The headband is designed using a simple two-by-two rib pattern with a unique twist. And it's so practical as an ear warmer, you might be tempted to make it in several winter colours.
Full instructions: Alder headband knitting pattern
The Billberry Bias Wrap is a timeless transitional piece that can be worn anywhere, with anything, all year round. Plus, it's a pleasure to knit.
Full instructions: Billberry bias wrap knitting pattern
Quick to knit and extra-cozy, the Sundew Hat is the perfect cold-weather accessory. Whether you are looking to knit a thoughtful last-minute gift or your own quintessential hat, the Sundew Hat is a crowd-pleasing favourite with its classic design and soft texture.
Full instructions: Sundew Hat pom-pom beanie
The medallion mittens are a fun pair to knit. They're designed to snugly fit the average woman's hand.
Full instructions: Medallion Mittens
The Ellenesque Bowls are a practical and stylish solution to all your storage needs. Knitting your own bowl is an easy way to create the perfect size vessel for any purpose, and you can choose from a variety of colour options in our Merino Copito yarn to match your home décor.
Full instructions: Ellenesque Felted Bowl knitting pattern
A knit bag is the perfect accessory—unique, practical, and stylish. The Salta Bag’s design begins with a simple rectangle that is folded and seamed to create a classic tote.
Full instructions: Salta Bag knitting pattern
On those cold, wintry days when you need something warm around your face, grab your knitting needles, hibernate for a weekend and knit up The Stone and Arrow Winter Set. Designed in bulky yarn, The Arrow Headband and The Stone Scarf come together in a snap.
Full instructions: Winter headband
The Stone Scarf got its name from its 3D texture, created by alternating knits and purls, that resembles a stonewall. The quirky stone-like bumps are tempered by a garter-stitch border and a slipped selvedge for a tidy edge.
Full instructions: Stone Scarf
Enjoy our free knitting pattern for this Honey Stitch Cowl and make a modern classic to enjoy for years.
Full instructions: Honey Stitch Cowl
Add pattern to your floor without breaking the bank.
A rug can help define a space, ground a room and add much-needed colour and pattern, but they can be super expensive! So, we went on a search for fabulous but frugal rugs. With many budget-friendly options, these websites prove you don't have to empty your wallet to add some patterned goodness to your floors.
Crate and Barrel
Crate and Barrel has a sophisticated selection of rugs in a variety of patterns and colours. Afraid to order a rug online? Order a 12 inch by 12 inch swatch to try before you buy.
Our top pick: Olin grey striped dhurrie rug
West Elm’s offerings (in mostly muted tones) include a stunning selection of custom rugs. Want to see how the rug will look in a styled space? Click on the #mywestelm photos below the main rug images to see photos shared by West Elm shoppers.
Our top pick: Ashik wool rug.
This online-only shop has a huge selection of over 10, 000 rugs in endless shapes, sizes and patterns. With free shipping over $75 and an excellent return policy, you don’t have to fret over making the wrong choice!
Our top pick: Zanzibar multi area rug
Land of Nod
If you are in the market for a rug for a child’s bedroom, playroom or family room, Land of Nod has your floor covered. Their selection of colourful, geometric and neutral floor coverings means there is something for everyone. You can order a small swatch to test a rug’s colours and pattern at home.
Our top pick: blue indoor and outdoor rug
They are known for their on-trend selection of geometric and kilim rugs in the prettiest selection of colours. Make sure you check back often for new styles.
Our pick: Pala textured loop rug
This site has over 200, 000 rugs in stock, with 75% off retail prices! Every rug includes free shipping and a 30 day return policy.
Our pick: Monaco rug (available in 10 colours)
Hair and makeup, Cia Mandarello/Oribe/Charlotte Tilbury/P1M.CA. Image by: Jenna Marie Wakani
Whether you're curvy, plus-size or big-busted, our columnist Meredith Shaw has a supportive and sexy lingerie pick that will work for you.
When it comes to choosing a mate, we all know that it's what's on the inside that counts, but while deciding on an outfit, we often overlook what's underneath. Big mistake. Huge! I've experience a series of blush-worthy Bridget Jones-esque granny-panty moments, like the time my tutu got tucked into my undies post-bathroom visit, which meant the whole room for to have a look-see—and it was an event I was hosting! If my embarrassment has taught me anything, it's that what we choose to hug and support our curves with can have the biggest impact of all. Think of lingerie as your undercover confidence.
I used to shy away from the body-conscious trend, until I realized, Oh, it's not my body that's the problem; it's my lack of support! Undergarments, especially shapewear, are kind of like a permanent Instagram filter. It's still you, but better. Now, if you don't own any lingerie, girrrl, you are missing out! Buy it for yourself, wear it for yourself—and, hey, if someone gets to see you in it, lucky them.
Here are some of our favourite styles of the season:
Bodysuits are so in this season, they're out. Wear one in the boudoir or pop one under a skinny jean and a blazer for a sexy night-out look. Being able to get more mileage out of just one piece allows you to justify spending a little more, giving you the best fit and fabric for your budget.
Anita comfort corselet (sizes 4 to 22 and cups B to H), $165, anita.com.
BE MY VALENTINE
Few things are sexier than a well-fitted bra and matching briefs. When it comes to buying sexy underwear, don't dress to hide; instead, dress to show it off. If you love your cleavage but hate your hips, choose lingerie to maximize your chest rather than purchasing a piece to minimize what you don't like.
Ashley Graham Showstoppers bra (sizes 36DD to 44DD), $70, and underwear (sizes X to 3X), $30, additionelle.com.
MAKE SHAPEWEAR YOUR BFF
Underpinnings with purpose have got a bad rap over the years, but the technology has come a long way. No you won't fee like a sausage, and yes, you can still go pee—I know you were wondering. I love this bodysuit from Maidenform because it goes all the way from your thigh up to your underarm (buh-bye, back fat), plus you can wear your own bra with it making it great for a body-con dress.
Maidenform Wear Your Own Bra singlet (sizes M to 2X), $77, thebay.com.
Dita Von Teese, Christina Hendricks and Downtown Abbey's Lady Mary Crawley are to blame for my new obsession. Corsets are a stunning complement to a curvy shape. The style is made for us, with its perfect balance of sex appeal and coverage.
J'Adore corset and matching underwear (sizes 2X to 4X), $56, curvynbeautiful.com.
As a curvy woman, I searched for a strapless bra like it was a mirage in the desert. But with brands such as Addition Elle and Torrid, we now have the option to be both supported and strap-free. Look for a strapless bra with a convertible strap option.
Ashley Graham Phenomenon bra (sizes 36DD to 44DD), $70, additionelle.com.