What's new in fuzzy footstools and cool cuckoos

    1 of 1 2 of 1

      Lap of Luxury
      Venetian Décor puts a new twist on Old World living by creating French-inspired chairs, ottomans, and plush cushions from recycled fur coats and buttery-soft Italian leather, embellished with silk, velvet, vintage rhinestones, and brooches. Pemberton-based designer Pamela Beattie’s down-filled Highland Court chair (starting at $8,000) is fit for a king or queen, while her fur-trimmed Princess Emma footstool (starting at $4,600) adds a touch of opulence to any living space. (Available through the Venetian Decor website.)

      Bright Organics
      Those who think that organic linens are bland and only come in neutral colours like sage and white should think again. Vancouver-based lifestyle company Dream Designs (various locations) has been making beautiful certified-organic cotton sheets for 30 years, and for 2011, it is releasing a collection of bed linens ($89 for a flat or fitted sheet) in bright, saturated colours, among them turquoise, midnight blue, pink, and paprika. To mark its 30th anniversary, Dream Designs will also be releasing a line of pillowcases ($39) featuring the company’s butterfly logo set against a swirling tile pattern. The new colours and prints will be available in stores starting in March.

      Cuckoo for clocks
      If you’re used to seeing cuckoo clocks where the little bird pops out of a kitschy wooden alpine chalet, you’re in for a surprise: MINT Interiors (1805 Fir Street) has brought in contemporary versions from Italy’s Diamantini & Domeniconi that have sleek lines and whimsically mod details. As for the hip little birdie, she flaps her wings and chirps when she appears, but a light sensor keeps her from doing it at all hours of the night; there’s also a volume control and on/off switches on the styles. The Meridiana finds a red cuckoo emerging from a minimalistic white house ($398, framed and roofed in red, yellow, orange, magenta, or green). Meanwhile, the Cucú reinterprets the traditional, ornate cuckoo clock in a graphic, 2D version, in black, bold orange, or white, or materials like walnut wood, or funky mirrored gold ($565 to $899, with smaller and larger versions). The Arcoiris is the most mod of all: it’s a stripped-down, rainbow-striped box with a little white bird that emerges above a numberless clock ($495, arriving soon).

      Architect Fest
      Architects and architecture fans take note: the 2011 Festival of Architecture is scheduled for May 24 to 27. This four-day event is themed “Architecture on the Edge” and will take place at the Vancouver Convention Centre (1055 Canada Place). Organized by the Architectural Institute of B.C., and Architecture Canada/Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, the festival is anticipated to bring in nearly 800 architects and architecture professionals from across the country. The event’s focus is on West Coast architecture, particularly its unique approach to place and space-making. It will include guest speakers and six professional-development sessions, as well as a dinner and awards gala.