A wall isn’t just a wall when there are plants growing out of it. Vancouver-based Green Over Grey transforms bare walls into living art by planting lush greenery directly into them. Living walls start at 50 square feet, priced at around $10,000, and can run as large as a few thousand square feet. Not to worry if you don’t have a green thumb, because the plants stay hydrated through recirculating reservoir and pump systems or plumbed-in systems that are connected to house plumbing for larger walls. Green Over Grey creates both indoor and outdoor walls and uses tropical plants that typically grow against rocks by waterfalls to create a soil-free, and thus mess-free, masterpiece (Visit the Green Over Green website).
Colour Me Happy
Leave it to the Swedes to come up with rugs that are as colourful as they are sustainable. Pappelina rugs are made from recycled plastic using a weaving technique developed in 1848. The result is child- and pet-friendly rugs that can be used indoors and outdoors. Liven up a bland indoor space with the 70-by-100-centimetre striped Molly rug ($131.99 at Örling & Wu [28 Water Street]), in both purple and green colourways. Or, add a touch of vintage funk to a hallway with the 70-by-150 checkered Mose Green rug ($185.99).
Tivoli Audio is a line of table and portable radios, iPod docks, and sound systems that are vintage-inspired yet sleek and modern in design. Best known for its Model One table radio ($179.99 at Vancouver Special [3612 Main Street]), which comes encased in a sleek wooden box, and its rainbow-hued PAL portable radios ($249.99), Tivoli has launched a clock radio called Model Ten ($249.99) to mark its 10th anniversary. It features Tivoli’s room-filling audio and a digital interface, as opposed to the dial that is featured on most other Tivoli products. In addition, the Model Ten is available in 10 finishes, from a bright-red-and-silver combo to more muted walnut.
Amid the new industrial-styled pieces at IKEA this year—lamps, stools, chairs, and more, all with utilitarian exposed parts and stark steel—one of the most fun has to be the Fiskevik picture holder ($12.99, various locations). You can clip on oddball vintage postcards, Polaroids, love notes, and magazine clippings so they dangle from chains that hang from a bare-bones metal rod. Use them instead of a bulletin board or a larger poster over an antique desk or bureau, build your own theme with images, and cut the chains to off-kilter lengths.
Painting it bold
Farrow & Ball’s brash new Charlotte’s Locks screams out amid the fog of dove, mist, and heather greys that characterize its new palette for interior paints this spring. The fiery red-orange looks for inspiration to the 1950s, when it was used as an accent colour at the height of minimalism. If you’re daring enough to use it today, it looks coolly contemporary on a feature wall, played off white, grey, and metal. Pair it with wide, white baseboards and crown mouldings for dramatic effect. (Available at Kerrisdale Heritage Paint and Paper [6131 West Boulevard] and At Home [1530 Marine Drive, West Vancouver].)
In fashion, grey is the new black; in home décor, call it the new beige. But in Vancouver, too much of it can be soul-sucking, especially during our wet springs. For a newer look, play it off this year’s bright, bolder paints and accents this spring, with hues like fiery red, orange, or turquoise. Think beyond walls for grey: try it instead in a couch, like Urban Barn’s chic new tufted Cedric sofa. With its retro silhouette, skinny legs, and flannel-look polyester upholstery ($999, various locations), it looks like something Cary Grant just got up from. We also like the Audrey accent chair, with its hourglass waist, tufting, and curved legs, in a silvery grey that’s a little warmer ($499) and, true to the name, a little more feminine. (It also comes in rich chocolate.)