A little cabin chic warms up that urban cool
It’s time to get a little rough around the edges this fall: designers and stores are pairing the most rustic pieces with sleek contemporary furniture. That means you can throw a nubby blanket or pillow on your mod sectional sofa; a chunky woollen rug under your glass-and-chrome coffee table; or surround a weathered harvest table with your favourite moulded dining chairs. You’ve already got the sleek pieces; here, then, are a few of the not-so-polished pieces you need to mix them with this season. Mash up your minimalist urban loft with a little backwoods cabin and you’ll be there.
Patchwork and wood
The new West Elm store (2947 Granville Street) is full of neo-rustic looks in both textiles and furnishings. Rough up a clean-lined, modular bed with the Pieced and Patched Valley quilts and shams ($34 to $189), cotton covers frayed for texture in rich rosehip-red and grey on cream-white pinstripes—perfect on a metal frame or against a chic, tufted grey-velvet headboard. Otherwise opt for a reclaimed natural-pine Emmerson bed frame ($1,199 to $1,399), almost monastic in its simple, boxy lines, and keep the sheets clean white. There are funky, mid-century-meets-back-cabin bureaus and nightstands to match ($349 to $1,099). On the floor? We love their artisan-crafted carpets, all braided, loomed, or hand-dyed: for neutral colours, try an ivory-and-grey, sweaterlike Fair Isle rug ($129 to $849) or rock a rich, Indian-made jade or scarlet patchwork rug ($199 to $899) in hand-distressed wool.
If you’ve been pining over Pinterest photos of farmhouse-style harvest tables adorned with candles and wildflower-filled mason jars, you won’t have to head to a country store to find one. EQ3 (2301 Granville Street) now carries the Harvest Table ($799), a solid-oak piece with natural oil finish that can easily seat six to 10 people when both leaf extensions are pulled out. The Harvest Bench ($299) fits under the table, or can double as a rustic coffee table when not in use. For a true farmhouse feel, scour garage sales and antique furniture stores along Main Street and Commercial Drive for vintage wood chairs and stools to place around the table, or juxtapose it with your most contemporary metal chairs.
U.K. designer Charlene Mullen’s pillows have just the right mix of handmade stitching and mod graphics. Some play on vintage patterns; others update crochet and needlepoint in the most artistic ways. We love the mid-century feel of her Walk the Line style, with its abstract gold and black designs, or the red-and-black Stig Lindberg–like freakout of the Big Dipper. More geometric are her Plectrum looks, with their rows of grey and black embroidered triangles with random hits of colour, or the Ripple pillows, with their ’60s-reminiscent gold squiggles. They’re about $156 to $295 at Provide (529 Beatty Street).
Burlap and glass
As days get darker and temperatures drop, add colour and warmth to your home with jewel-toned accessories. The Clift Glass Table Lamp Base ($156 to $221 at Pottery Barn [2600 Granville Street]) comes in three gorgeous hues—eggplant, moss green, and coppery espresso—and two sizes and shapes. Inspired by oversized wine jugs spotted at a Sonoma winery, the lamp bases have rustic appeal, yet will fit seamlessly into downtown living spaces. Made from hand-blown glass with a mottled texture, the lamps come in two sizes, one spherical and the other cylindrical. We like these lamps paired with the Burlap Tapered Drum Lamp Shade ($63 to $102 depending on size). The unfinished texture of burlap shades adds kitschy casualness to the lamps, and its natural hue won’t steal the spotlight from the jewel-coloured base.
Bring a little earth into the room with the Boom or Blast vases from 18 Karat (3039 Granville Street). We like their thick, clay forms and subtly weathered, textural finishes—chic, but at the same time with that unearthed-in-an-archaeological-dig feel. The basic Boom vase is a simpler, organic shape, while the Blast has more of a bottle silhouette and almost a gourdlike bottom. They’d be great played off the hard sheen of a glass coffee or end table, or grouped on a white-washed modular wood table. The vases come in brown, black or ivory ($188).
Cinnamon, peppermint, and pine needles—there are certain scents that we all associate with fall and winter. Now, urban dwellers can bring the woodsy feel and fragrance of pine into their homes with the new FJELL bedroom series from IKEA (various locations). The wardrobe ($449 available mid-November) and chest of drawers ($249 available now) are made from solid pine and feature raised metalwork for an outdoorsy, country feel. The wardrobe measures over two metres in height, 110 centimetres in width, and 64 centimetres in depth, and includes two side-swinging doors, as well as two hooks, two rods, and a hanger rail inside. The chest of four drawers measures 91 centimetres high, 96 centimetres wide, and 50 centimetres deep—enough room for all your chunky sweaters and blankets.