Monday, June 17, 2013

Music Monday / Austra

Since their debut in 2011, Toronto-based band Austra has just launched their second album, Olympia. This album is completely different and not as dark as their last album. It’s obvious that the influence on Austra by production giants such as Mike Haliechuck, Damian Taylor (Bjork, The Killers), Bill Skibbe, Leon Taheny, and Tom Elmhirst has made its mark. However, you can still hear the usual feature arrangements that are in both albums, the nocturnal synths, danceable beats, and Katie Stelmanis’ vocals.

The album delivers first-rate synthetic-pop with beautifully written lyrics. Songwriter Katie Stelmanis’ lets you have a glimpse into her exotic musical mind. While we love the album, we’re completely confused with what’s happening in the official music video, ‘Home’. Let us know what you think of their latest album and the video!?

Friday, June 14, 2013

Friday Find / Frank Gehry


Frank Gehry- talented artist and world-renowned architect is a born and raised Torontonian who now has big plans for Toronto’s own King St. W.

For those who are wondering what all the fuss was about when the redevelopment plans for King W. were released last fall, here it is. Joining forces with city-builder David Mirvish, Gehry and Mirvish plan on redeveloping a block and a half on the north side of King St. where several century-old warehouses and the Princess of Wales Theatre currently 

Creating a trio of towers rising from a glass podium he calls “the cloud” Gehry wants to create an organic complex that isn’t just going to be another dark glass tower in Toronto.

Although Gehry has completed incredible buildings all over the world, we’re not sure if this project will really go through, according to the plans anyhow. There’s been huge controversy so far due to the fact that the development site is a heritage location. And that’s not all. Heavy height and density restrictions in the area don’t comply with the proposal. This would be a seismic shift from the current neighborhood vibe in the entertainment district (not to say that Toronto wouldn’t benefit from some such a shift).

Yet there is still the possibility of this major architectural landmark that would mean big changes for the entertainment district in our city. The ambitious plans have done a lot to continue to raise awareness surrounding the demand for interesting architecture in the city of Toronto. We are hoping to see Gehry’s vision realized which would mean adding another great architects unique vision to our city’s skyline. 

Gehry received his Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Southern California in 1954, and he studied City Planning at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and has completed many major architectural masterpieces throughout the world. His latest addition to Toronto was the renovation of the AGO – Art Gallery of Ontario.

Find out more about the recent release of the changed development plan below.


Source: BlogTO

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Wine & Dine Wednesday / The Stop’s Night Market

Have you been to the Stop’s Night Market over at Honest Ed’s Alley? Well this fun and lively charity event is back again on June 18 -19!

Yes, a two-day fundraiser event with all-you-can-eat and all you can drink for $50 a ticket. Seems like a fair deal to us! The proceeds are going to a great cause and you get great food, drinks and entertainment. 

The Stop is one of Canada’s first food banks where community members participate in a broad range of programs to provide health food, foster social connections, build cooking & food skills, and promotes engagement in civic issues.

Check out their website for more details about the live performances and vendors.

Location: Honest Ed’s Alley, 581 Bloor Street West on June 18 & 19 from 7-11pm. Must be 19+. Bring ID.

Images: 01 Postcity 02 The GridTO  03 Postcity 04 Toronto Life 05-09 BlogTO

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Tip of the Day Tuesday / Home Inspection

Purchasing a historic or turn of the century home can be daunting. It can be an exciting adventure yet you have to do your homework in order for a renovation project like this to go well. AOD’s going to make your life easier! We’re giving you tips on what to look into before taking on a 100 year old home reno project.

First things first, it’s important to hire your own professional home inspector that will give you an unbiased overview of the home. They will give you a document that identifies problems that may exist and repairs that will have to be made once you purchase the home.

Here’s a list of what should be inspected by a professional:

- Flat or sloped roof covering
- The roof drainage systems
- Eaves, soffits, and fascias

- Exterior wall covering, flashing, and exterior trim
- Exterior doors, garage doors, windows, and window wells
- Attached decks, balconies, steps, and porches
- Grading around the house (foundation)
- Down pipes and the extensions
- Drive ways and walk ways
- Basement walkouts

- The accessible structural components of the foundation and super structure
- The floor, wall and ceiling structure
- Roof structure (trusses, joists, and metal & wood sheeting)
- Steel beams, wood beams, and columns
- Suspended concrete floor slabs and slab on grade
- Wall bearing and joist hangers
- Fire separations
- Cracks in the foundation walls, settlement and frost up-lift
- Under ground garage or basement leaks

Designer Tip – Foundation is the key to the structural integrity of the home, therefore make sure that there’s no cracks or major complications. Horizontal cracks in the wall are the main thing to look for. This shows that the foundation is unable to bear the weight of the soil surrounding it.

- Location of the main electrical panel
- The interior components of service panels and sub panels
- The service drop, service equipment, and the service grounding
- The ground and arc fault circuit interrupters (GFCI) & AFCI
- Representative number of electrical outlets
- The type of distribution wiring (copper, aluminum or knob & tube)

Designer Tip – Check the type of electrical wiring throughout the house. It will be a costly (but necessary) expense to update from an old system like knob & tube, which was the main system of home electricity installed throughout North America from 1880 to 1930s.

- Heating equipments (roof tops, furnaces, boilers)
- Furnace efficiency (conventional, mid efficiency & high efficiency)
- Type of fuel (gas, oil, electric)
- Baseboard heaters, fan heaters, radiant heat
- Adequate air for combustion
- The vent system and the flues
- Duct system (air supple & air return)
- Heat recovery ventilation (HRV)
- Humidifier

- Central air conditioning systems

Designer Tip – Most historic homes do not originally have adequate HVAC systems for modern air conditioning. AC and HVAC systems should be taken into budgetary consideration.

- Insulation in the attic
- Insulation and vapor barriers in unfinished spaces (basements especially)
- “R” value of the insulation

Designer Tip – “R” Value is the measure of thermal resistance used in the building

- Location of water meter and the main shut-off valve
- Interior water supple and distribution systems
- Functionality of all plumbing fixtures and faucets
- Water pressure
- Location of the main floor drain
- Condition of the caulking & grout in showers & tubs

- Ventilation of attics
- Mechanical ventilation systems for the washrooms & kitchens
- Ventilation of the furnaces, hot water thanks & dyers
- Check vent pipes to make sure they discharge outside of the building
- Check that the vent pipes are insulated to avoid any condensation

Here’s more information about the neighborhood you may be looking into and about stats related to the houses average age.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Music Monday / City and Colour - The Hurry and The Harm

Have you had the chance to listen to City and Colour’s latest album The Hurry and The Harm? Former Alexisonfire singer/guitarist Dallas Green has done an amazing job on this album.

It’s simplistic yet sophisticated and leaves a powerful impact.

Green has definitely outdone himself with this album and his talent and ability has clearly grown. We are loving how he has incorporated more instruments and musicians into each song, creating a unique mood and atmosphere to each track. His previous albums we’re very calming and soothing. Comprised of a folk sound while this album is more of the catchy pop-rock variety. We’re satisfied and impressed with exceeded expectations from City and Colour. We think this has been Green’s best album to date.…What do you think?

AOD's Top 3 from the Hurry and the Harm Album.

Sources: Youtube

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Thursday Travels / Ritz-Carlton Montreal

Are you looking for a luxurious getaway but can’t afford to go overseas? Then you’ll want to check out the newly renovated Ritz-Carlton Montreal. The Grand Dame of Sherbrooke Street was built in 1912 to the exact standards of legendary hotelier Cesar Ritz. 

After a jaw-dropping $200 million renovation, the hotel is once again back to it’s former aesthetic maintaining much of the original charm and elegance in the lobby and public spaces. 

Although this hotel his old-world charm, we love how they’ve incorporate modern technology. The Ritz-Carlton incorporated the latest high-tech amenities such as guests’ temperature preference upon check-in, motion sensors that activate lights to guide guests in a darkened room, motorized blackout blinds or the high-tech toilet that does everything for you (though we are not sure what “everything” is).

In addition, the 98 rooms and 31 suites have been updated with a modern twist while reusing original treasures, such as the marble fireplaces, antique furnishings, and art collection. The grand staircase at the Ritz is still in place for ladies to make a dramatic entrance during formal functions. Hopefully, we’ll be making a grand entrance one day very soon at the Ritz.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Tip of the Day Tuesday / Turkish Style

AOD is falling head over heels for Turkish Décor! Turkish design is based on the philosophy of balancing the opposite, harmonizing the rough with smooth, traditional with modern, and colour with neutrals. We’ve got a few tips on how to add touches into your space with some lovely Turkish décor accents.

A trip to Istanbul is a great way to inspire the soul as well as sightsee some of the country’s top architectural masterpieces. If you do plan on going, it’s a great place to buy unique home décor items at the marvelous Grand Bazaar. With over 33 acres of shopping and over 4,500 shops that offer everything from scarves to rugs you wont leave empty handed! So make sure you bring a few empty suitcases. If not, don’t worry there are some fantastic finds in your local stores and now you will know just the thing to look out for.

AOD’s Top 5 Turkish accessories must haves.
Turkish rugs, also known as Kilim combine classic colours in interesting patterns, making the space feel exotic yet cozy. Purchase rugs online or find a vintage carpet and re-dye it with a modern colour scheme.

We advise shoppers that can’t afford a Turkish rug to opt for something more accessible such as pillows. You can easily DIY a project by purchasing the fabrics yourself and making creating similar pillow patterns. The easier option is to order online or from Etsy.

Mosaic Detailing
The mosaic detailing throughout traditional Turkish décor is phenomenal and showcases great craftsmanship that you hardly see today. We suggest using mosaics as accents in the bathroom or as a kitchen backsplash.

Turkish towels are a great way to accessorize in the bathroom. They can also be used as a light blanket or even a small tablecloth. It’s great how one item can be so multifunctional and stylish!

Turkish Glass Mosaic Lamps or Candle Holder
These lanterns are all hand-done making them unique and a one-of-a-kind gem! We love how light reflects the colour onto the wall creating a unique pattern and a warm ambience.

Designer Tip: Be careful not to go over board with too much pattern. Use specific accents to highlight an area or focal point in the room.
Images: 01 Small Shop 02 Small Shop 03 Pinterest 04 Alanya Living 05 Etsy 06 Nazarim Imports

Monday, June 3, 2013

Music Monday / Blurred Lines – Robin Thicke ft. T.I & Pharrell

Monday mornings aren’t the greatest but we’re grooving along with Robin Thicke’s latest hit single Blurred Lines featuring T.I and Pharrell. Robin Thicke usually produces soft, sultry and soothing ballads but he’s made a major shift with Blurred Lines. It’s a fun, catchy, and upbeat tempo that blends in a vintage funk sound that really has made a great start to our week!

Blurred Lines is on fire and what makes this single so spectacular is the flirtatious and playful video but we’ll let you be the judge of that.

Images: Vimeo

Friday, May 31, 2013

Friday Find / Charles Khabouth

Ruling Toronto’s nightlife, Charles Khabouth has been acclaimed as the king of Toronto’s nightlife & entertainment scene. A party scene guru owns multiple swanky restaurants and clubs all over the city including, La Société, This is London, Guvernment/Kool Haus, Spice Route, Tattoo Rock Parlor, CUBE, Dragonfly, Weslodge, and Ame. Even with the multitude of businesses he is running, it’s not quite enough for Khabouth and he is venturing into new territories. Currently, he is developing the boutique hotel Bisha and a downtown condo development Storys. It doesn’t stop there! His latest is an outdoor summer haven for Torontonians designed after the all day party scene in places like Miami and Vegas.

Bringing a Miami and Vegas-themed mega-poolside retreat to Toronto with 50,000-square-foot attraction accommodating 2,500 visitors featuring 12 elevated and private cabanas and 42 chaise lounges.

Cabana Pool Bar is set to open on June 15th at the dreadfully designed Sound Academy on Toronto’s east waterfront. The Pool Bar is design by Toronto based design firm Munge Leung and is sure to be a spectacle of glittering poolside delights. We are looking forward to scoping out the scene and finding out if Khabouth has in fact, hit the summer sweet spot.

Read more about how Khabouth establish his career in The Star

 Night Club: Cube, 314 Queen Street West, 416.263.0330

 Restaurant: Ame |  19 Mercer Street, 416.599.7246

Restaurant: La Société | 131 Bloor Street West, 416.551.9929

 Restaurant: Patria | 480 King Street West, 416.367.0505

Nightclub: Uniun, 473 Adelaide Street West, 416.603.9300

Images: Dolce

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Wine & Dine Wednesday / WVRST

Looking for a resto that is casual to duck into during this weeks rainy days? We suggest trying out WVRST, pronounced v-e-r-s-t, a gourmet sausage eatery with a great selection of BEER! Although this joint seems very casual with a communal beer hall, the design of WVRST has an impressive quality to it. 

You’ll be awed by the rows upon rows of exposed light bulbs that are strung by the ceilings.

Customers order at the counter where there is a display case with a wide selection of sausages to choose from served with either a toasted fresh bun or a currywurst- Yum!

We have a suspicion that when it’s a full house this place gets pretty rowdy. Cozying up to your neighbors is all part of the experience at the communal dinning tables.

The Duck Fat Fries are a must try if you come to this taste bud happy joint. They are to die for! All the delicious menu items are accompanied by an impressive selection of beer – sure to be a hit with any beer connoisseurs, your man friends and your BF!

AOD’s Top Menu Recommendations:

Pork/Chili Paste

ITALIAN $7 *vegetarian

All Natural Beef Wiener wrapped with Bacon, served with a choice of two toppings from above.

Fine Herbs

DUCK FAT FRIES SM $3.5 | LG $6.5

WVRST 609 King Street E, 416.703.7775
Sun-Wed 11:30am - 11:00 pm, Thur 11:30am - 12:00am, Fri-Sat 11:30am - 1:00am

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Tip of the Day Tuesday / Closet Makeover 101

Ladies & Gents time to take out your summer outfits and get ready for the hot sunny days ahead! You may find yourself (and your closet) trapped in your winter gear and asking yourself what’s the point in owning great pieces if you can’t find them?

We’re here to help! AOD’s got tips on how to get a clean and well-organized closet to maximize the functionality of your storage space.

Step 1: Game Plan & Purging
Categorize the items that will go into your closet, especially if you have a small closet. We really only use 20 percent of our wardrobes as we tend to wear clothes that are comfortable, make us look good, and fit. Therefore get rid of things you no longer wear and if you need help with what to get rid of ask a friend to help. Chances are they may find new joy in some of your old pieces!

Step 2: Storage Solutions
Hiring a professional may be more affordable than you think. They’ll design something that works and on your budget! But if you plan on designing your own storage unit, there are a lot of great closet organization systems that you can purchase at Ikea, Walmart, Canadian Tire, Target, and Home Depot.

Designer Tip: Pick a unit that allows you to see your clothes and accessories. If you don’t see it, you won’t wear it.

Step 3: Start Organizing
AOD has categorized each piece and how to organize it to make it easier for you. If you have the space we really recommend that you hang everything on hangers for a stylish and accessible closet.

Designer Tip: Avoid using plastic storage of any kind. Fabric garment bags and boxes will protect your clothing from chemicals and damage and are great for seasonal storage.

Tops: We recommend that you hang tops; they won’t wrinkle as much and are ready to wear. Organize according sleeveless or long sleeves and then categorize it by colour.

Sweaters:  Knitwear and sweaters should be folded so they won’t lose their shape on hangers. You will want to organize sweaters by colour and then put them on shelves with dividers or in cubbies.

Jeans & Pants: There are a number of ways to organize your jeans & pants; it’s really a personal choice. We recommend that you sort them by colour first and then light to dark denim. To keep them from wrinkling, we suggest you hang these on pant hangers or have a pant hanging system installed.

Shorts & Skirts: Hang shorts and skirts by using clipping hangers. Pinch or fold at the top of the garment on either side. Place clips on the inner part of your fold so the hanging clips don’t mark the garment.

Dresses: We suggest that you hang your dresses according to colour rather then by length. You may what to categorize your dresses into 2 categories, the first category for formal wear and the second for everyday wear.

Shoes: There’s certainly mainly ways to organize shoes! We highly recommend putting your winter boots away in storage. Shoes will look great in cubbies or on shelves where you can see them. For space saving try toe L to heel R. This gives at least an extra pair per shelf.   

Under garments & Lingerie: Lingerie should be tucked away in drawers, Bras in one drawer and underwear in another. Organize these items by colour, size and type while laying them flat down (think Victoria Secret Store drawers, they’ve got it down).

Jewelry: These delicate items should be kept in a built-in drawer or one with suede or plush fabric dividers.  No space for an extra drawer? Try a large jewelry box or two that can be stored or sit attractively on top of your dresser or vanity.

Bags, Scarves, and Hats: We suggest hanging hats and scarves on wall hooks or if you have quite a collection on a shelf folded and sorted by colour. Bags should hang on the highest shelves.

Finally some inspiration to get you ready for your closet make over. Here are AOD’s favorite closets:

Images: Pinterest