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.
Our best cooking tips for making dough and so much more!
When prepping grains (think quinoa, bulgur or rice), enhance their flavour with tea rather than the usual broth or water. Cook with your favourite brew: I prefer a full-bodied tea, such as smoky lapsang souchong, fragrant Earl Grey or aromatic chai, but you can also choose a milder green tea or herbal blend. Before adding the liquid to grains, steep black teas for three to five minutes, green for two to three minutes, and herbal for five to seven minutes—tisanes don't become bitter, so they can take a longer brewing time.
Here's a foolproof way to remove a lingering garlic scent from your hands: Rub your fingers against a stainless-steel object, like your kitchen sink or a spoon, then rinse under cool water. Garlic is packed with sulphur molecules (that's what gives it a lovely taste and a not-so-lovely smell), which scientists say can form a chemical bond with stainless steel.
Out of vanilla? Head to your liquor cabinet—Kahlúa makes the perfect replacement.
Save your parmesan rinds! Store them in the freezer (they'll keep for months), then drop them into simmering soups or sauces for an amazing flavour boost.
The next time you're making dough, instead of using a pastry blender or the two-knife method to cut in cold butter, try grating it over the flour mixture, then tossing to coat. The butter will be more evenly distributed in the flour mixture, resulting in a light, flaky crust.
Tools of the trade
Three must-have items for a well-stocked kitchen.
1. Y-peeler: The wide grip makes peeling easy, plus the blade creates perfect Parmesan shavings and vegetable ribbons.
2. Large canning jar: This kitchen MacGyver doubles as a cocktail shaker and storage for dry goods. It's also a great place to keep fresh herbs—stand your mint or basil leaves in about two inches of water and change the water daily.
3. Kitchen scissors: This gadget is a huge time-saver when it comes to chopping herbs, segmenting a whole chicken or trimming veggies.
This reversible cowl will keep you super warm on those cold, winter days.
The Whistler Cowl is a stunning accessory that looks beautiful on everyone. The cowl has a cabled stitch pattern and is completely reversible. It is knit in Mezcla de Lujo yarn – a luxurious worsted weight yarn made of 70% merino wool and 30% cashmere. This cowl was originally created as a gift, and it is an extra-special way to show someone you care.
The Whistler Cowl is of intermediate difficulty, and it is a great opportunity to learn a new stitch pattern. The reversible cable stitch is created by alternating knit and purl stitches (as you do to create the rib stitch) and then crossing the stitches over one another (as you do to create one-sided cable stitches). While you may find the stitch pattern tricky at first, the remarkable results are more than worth the effort.
Note: We used a modified 3 needle bind off technique for the finishing on our sample. If you prefer an easier version, simply cast-on right away with your working yarn and end by seaming the cast on edge to the cast off edge.
Note about the yarn: Mezcla De Lujo is available through Americo Original online and at select yarn stores. You can substitute with Americo’s Superwash Merino, Pluma, Alpaca Worsted, Worsted Merino or with any suitable heavy DK or Worsted weight yarns in your stash.
Measurements: Circumference: 52" (132 cm) x Depth: 8" (20 cm)
22 stitches and rows = 4 inches (10 cm) in pattern using 5.5 mm (US 9) size needles or size needed to achieve gauge.
K, k: Knit
P, p: Purl
//M// Denotes a stitch marker on the needle
RS Right Side of work or right side of fabric
WS Wrong side of work
CN Cable needle
LC Left cross cable; slip stitches to a cable needle and hold in front
RC Right cross cable; slip stitches to a cable needle and hold in back
Reversible Ribbed Cable Stitch Pattern: (multiples of 24)
12-st LC: slip 6 stitches from left needle to a cable needle and hold in FRONT, (k1, p1) 3 times, work sts from cn as follows; (k1, p1) 3 times.
12-st RC: slip 6 stitches from left needle to a cable needle and hold in BACK, (k1, p1) 3 times, work sts from cn as follows; (k1, p1) 3 times
Before you begin:
NOTE: We used a modified 3 needle bind off technique for the finishing on our sample. If you prefer an easier version, simply cast-on right away with your working yarn and end by seaming the cast on edge to the cast off edge.
For the modified 3-needle bind off technique: using a scrap piece of yarn in a contrasting colour and 5.5 mm (US 9) size needles, cast on 72 stitches. Change to your main colour and work to the end but leave your stitches on the needle.
Unpick the provisional scrap yarn from the cast on edge, placing the stitches on a spare needle. Join the cast on edge to the cast off edge using a 3-needle bind off: www.knittinghelp.com/videos/binding-off
Using 5.5 mm (US 9) needles, cast on 72 stitches.
Rows 1-2: *k1, p1; repeat from * to end.
Row 3: *12-st LC, (k1, p1) 6 times; rep from * to end
Rows 4-8: *k1, p1; repeat from * to end.
Row 9: *(k1, p1) 6 times, 12-st RC; rep from * to end
Rows 10-12: *(k1, p1); repeat from * to end of row.
Repeat rows 1-12 for 25 repeats.
Cast off depending on your chosen cast on method. Sew in ends and enjoy your beautiful new cowl!
Americo Original is a Canadian yarn company and online knitting shop with its own line of quality yarns, knitwear patterns and accessories. Americo’s yarns are made exclusively in the Andean highlands of South America, using only natural fibres, including luxurious wool, llama, alpaca, cotton, linen, silk and cashmere. Americo and its in-house design lab are based in Toronto, offering international shipping from its online store: americo.ca/shop.
Drop that takeout menu, and walk away from the fast food. These tips will make you an ace at Monday-to-Friday dinner prep.
Set for success
Shop once, eat all week
If it's Sunday and you haven't thought ahead to what you'll have for dinner on Thursday, you're missing out on the world's simplest time-saving tool: meal planning! Write out a list of what you'll need to prep your family's meals for the entire week, and get it all in a single supermarket trip before your busy weekday cycle begins. There's no need to worry about wilted veggies when you have a Bosch refrigerator that is equipped with the special VitaFresh system. It maintains just the right level of humidity and helps keep produce fresh longer.
Call in the troops!
You don't have to handle meal prep alone: enlist your family's help. Even young kids can gather ingredients from the fridge, and Bosch's large-capacity drawers and shelves mean it's highly unlikely the broccoli will have been flattened by a jar of pickles. (Everything in its place!) Plus, the efficient LED lighting system keeps items in clear view without hogging a lot of electricity. Once your ingredients are on the counter, kids can shift to sous-chef mode. Safe tasks for little ones include tearing lettuce, crumbling cheese and whisking dressing. Older kids can peel veggies and stir sauces or brown meat on the stove.
Love your leftovers
Plan to make a double batch of your favourite casserole, soup or stew, allowing you to easily transform leftovers into lunches or use them as a base for tomorrow's dinner. Consider cooking more than one recipe at a time: Bosch stoves have five burners and three oven racks, so you'll have space for it all. Don't your weeknights feel less stressed already?
Label and date all freezer foods so you can know at a glance what you have on hand at all times. This minimizes waste, as you're less likely to buy items you already have, and makes it easier to put dinner on the table efficiently by using up leftovers.
Thaw frozen dishes in the fridge, as opposed to on your kitchen countertop, to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. To avoid freezer burn and keep food at its best, use airtight storage containers or large bags that are designed for the freezer.
To maximize storage space in your freezer, package items like soups and sauces in resealable freezer bags so you can flatten and stack them on top of one another.
Freezer staples—like peas, edamame, corn, bread, ravioli and puff pastry—make weeknight cooking easier. Have these on hand at all times and make a note when one of those items is running low so you never run out.
For more on how Bosch appliances can make prep, cooking and cleanup easier, visit bosch-home.ca.