Spotlight on a New Addition: Zoë Olive Oils

As many of you know, we went to the Toronto buying show in late January. It was our most successful buying trip yet. And, now all of our purchases are starting to show up at Above & Beyond. We bought from our regular suppliers, but we were also on the hunt for new products to bring to you. And we certainly found some great ones! One of our favourite new additions is delicious and healthy – Zoë olive oils and balsamic vinegars.

(Credit: Zoë)

Zoë is a Canadian and Greek company, and the products are from Greece and Modena. It’s owned by two cousins, one from Greece and the other from Montréal. Their olive oil is made from 100% Koroneiki olives which produces olive oil with one of the highest monounsaturated fats and Polyphenols (antioxidants) in the world. Monounsaturated fats are known as good fats, which have been proven to reduce bad cholesterol and help to prevent heart disease.

(Credit: Zoë)

Zoë olives are grown on their estates in the hills of Morena in Filiatra as well as in Gargalianoi by the Mediterranean Sea. The combination of these two very distinct growing areas gives us our distinct taste and superior quality olive oil. The sea, hills and valleys of Messinia provide the perfect climate for olive trees to flourish. The fruit that emerges creates an olive oil that is sweet, nutty and smooth as butter. The olive oil is extracted using the first cold press method; which means the fruit of the olive was crushed exactly one time at a very low temperature – which is then bottled as fast as possible to keep all the flavours and nutrients, then and delivered to you.

Take it from us, these olive oils are incredible. We brought in many oils that are infused. We can’t decide which one we like best, but we are definitely fans of the lemon infused olive oil. And the basil. And the truffle. And maybe just all of them. Zoë also has a beautiful line of balsamic vinegar. The cranberry has definitely been a customer favourite. We love to mix the oils and vinegars for a healthy and delicious salad dressing.

If you’re in the mood for something a little more decadent than a salad, try drizzling some of your favourite olive oil (we like the truffle) over some fresh pasta (we suggest ravioli), add in some sautéed spinach and mushrooms and top it off with a little Parmesan – perfection!

Got a sweet tooth? Try an olive oil cake and brush some of the orange olive oil on top. Trust us, it’s delicious!

We have been sampling these oils and vinegars daily at Above & Beyond, so be sure to stop by and see why we love them so much!

Here’s a recipe for a delicious looking BLT from Zoë:

Ingredients:

  • Zoë olive oil
  • Zoë apple balsamic vinegar
  • Tomatoes
  • Bacon
  • Lettuce
  • Bread
  • Mayo
  • Oregano

Directions:

  1. Cook your bacon and get your bread ready
  2. Get 1/3 cup mayo (homemade or store bought), add 1/2 tsp of oregano, 1 tsp of Zoë Apple Balsamic Vinegar, a pinch of salt and pepper.
  3. Slice your tomatoes and drizzle with Zoë Extra Virgin Olive Oil and sprinkle another tsp of oregano on top of the tomatoes.
  4. Now toast your bread, spread a generous amount of the Zoë mayo on both slices of toast and start layering your with bacon, lettuce, tomatoes.

Enjoy!

Spotlight on a New Addition: Staub

We are pleased to announce a new addition to the store – Staub! We have been in love with this French brand for a long time and finally decided to bring it into Above & Beyond when we opened our new location.

(Credit: Staub)

The real showstopper is their line of round cocottes. These cast iron French ovens are finished in glossy multi-coat enamel and are perfectly designed for slow cooking. The enameling process includes 2-3 coats, inside and out so they’re incredibly durable and versatile! The Staub cocotte is ideal for cooking stews, for searing, and even bread and the best part is that it’s suitable for use with all types of cooktops and it’s oven-safe. We carry them in many different sizes.

The special lids are what make Staub so great. The lids are designed to enclose the moisture, ensuring that the food is basted evenly and continuously to create more delicious dishes than ever before. Want to learn more? Check out this video:

Thinking about frying some foods? They also have a gorgeous line of enameled cast iron frying pans.

They are available in the same colours as the cocottes or in black with wooden handles.

(Credit: Staub)

We also carry the ceramic cookware line. Designed to coordinate with the cast iron line, the ceramics are the perfect addition to your kitchen. We love that they have a high-quality finish to prevent scratches and they’re easy to clean.

We also brought in the cutest ceramics – pumpkins! They are perfect for dips, or entertaining.

Here’s a delicious recipe from Staub for VEGETABLE PILAF WITH SAFFRON AND CHICKEN BREASTS.

Serves: 4, Prep time: 25 minutes, Cooking time: 30 minutes.

 

 

HYGGE – A Cozy Danish Concept

The word Hygge is everywhere these days. It had us wondering what it means and most of all, how to pronounce it. It’s a Danish word that roughly translates to “well-being” or “cozy”. Pronounced “hoo-guh,” there is no direct translation in the English language, but Collins English Dictionary defines it as, “a concept, originating in Denmark, of creating cozy and convivial atmospheres that promote well-being.”

A new buzzword, Hygge was even the runner-up to the Collins English Dictionary word of the year in 2016. We have also seen multiple mentions and books from our suppliers about the concept of Hygge.  Many of our favourite blogs are full of discussions about how to incorporate it into day-to-day life. So we thought we would do some research to learn more.

Hygge is a concept associated with relaxation, coziness and gratitude. It can be achieved through something as simple as sipping tea in front of the fireplace, a night in with friends or family, indulging in freshly baked sweets, or lighting some candles and curling up with a good book. It seems to convey that self-care and a bit of indulgence can go a long way towards happiness. The Danes seem to be onto something because they are often voted the happiest people in the world. We think Hygge is a concept worth embracing, given the long winter nights. This Scandanaivan concept embraces long winters, small moments and creating a cozy environment and has developed into a way of living.

Here are some ways to add Hygge to your home:

 

1 Embrace cozy. A key idea is to enjoy the environment you’re in – especially your home. Add texture with chunky knits and soft textiles. Create a warm and inviting space to relax in after a long day or to hang out with family and friends. Cozy-up your living room with faux fur rugs, soft pillows, and woolly throws. We love this warm and inviting living room from one of our favourite suppliers, @Indabatradingco:

 

2 Candles. Perhaps the easiest way to achieve Hygge, a simple lit candle is seen as one of the most fundamental Hygge moments. Make the long winter nights more enjoyable with the cozy flicker of candlelight. Scented or unscented, take the time to create a warm and inviting atmosphere when the sun goes down early. Indulge in a candle-lit bath, or simply light some candles for weekly game night. We are obsessed with these Paddywax candles from their Hygge collection (They’ll be arriving at Above & Beyond in March):

 

3 Enjoy the small things. This can be accomplished in any room in your home, but we especially adore the concept of taking pleasure in your morning cup of coffee. Many of us are caffeine dependent, but take the time to indulge in your coffee and appreciate the warmth, flavour, and soothing morning ritual as you start your day. Treat yourself to new mugs for home or the office, or opt for a new brewing method that makes an optimal cup of coffee.

 

 

Don’t Wait For Spring Cleaning! Helpful Tips to Get Your Home in Shape This Winter.

It’s hard to believe it’s the last full week of January already! We are in the midst of Winter and sure, spring is coming, but there’s no need to wait for spring cleaning to get your home looking its very best. Many of us focused on fitness and self improvement for our New Year’s resolutions, but maybe it’s time to think about some home improvement, too. Here are some helpful tips to get your home in shape as we enter the second month of 2017:

1 Declutter. The start of a new year is also a great time to do some decluttering. Put those long nights to use and go through your closets, cupboards, drawers, etc. Consider tackling one room per week to make it seem less daunting and donate unwanted items to a local charity here in town. As tax season nears, make sure your office is well organized to make year-end goes as smoothly as possible. Don’t be afraid to tackle that bedroom closet of yours. Investing in some baskets and shoe racks can really help tidy up a closet (we love under-shelf baskets). If you haven’t already, think about keeping your favourite accessories and clothing in sight so they are easier to keep in rotation. This will help you asses what clothing you really need when Spring finally arrives. Most importantly, a well-organized home will help contribute to a sense of calm – and accomplishment.

 

 

2 Safety first! Change your smoke detector battery and check your CO detectors. This is a task that needs to be done annually. Be sure to replace the batteries and make sure your smoke and CO detectors are still working properly. It is recommended that you replace your detector every ten years to ensure it is working at its optimal capacity. This is also a good time of year to check in on your fire extinguisher. Every home needs at least one fire extinguisher and it should be located in an easily accessible location. If it needs to be charged again, have it re-charged or purchase another one to keep your family safe for another year.

 

3 Deep clean! Clean the lint traps. This is another annual task that should be performed to ensure your home is operating at its best capacity and reduces risk of fire. Clean lint traps and the hood above your stove and fans in the bathroom. While you’re at it, clean your humidifier. The cold winter months can be harsh on your skin and on the air quality of your home. Be sure to clean the humidifier so that it will continue to combat dry air for the duration of the winter.

4 Create space to work out. Sure, the weather has been great so far this winter. But some days it’s just too cold to get outside and exercise. Maybe your New Year’s Resolution was to get in shape? Think about creating a space in your home where you can get a workout in. Maybe it’s a corner in your home office, a space in the TV room to do some yoga, or even a home gym in a spare room. Do whatever works for you! But, creating a designated space for you to exercise may help you stick to those fitness resolutions.


5 Organize your pantry. Take stock of your kitchen cupboards. Those cans and boxes that have been pushed to the back won’t stay good forever. Do some meal planning around the items that are going to expire the soonest and you may also see your grocery bill dip over the next week or so. Think about replacing your spices, too! They may seem immortal, but over time, spices lose their potency and ability to flavour your food as intended. Be sure to keep them sealed in air tight containers. A general rule of thumb is that whole spices should be replaced after 4 years, ground spices after 3 years and dried leafy herbs after two years.

How-to: Decorate Your Home for Winter

With this weekend’s snowfall, it looks like winter has officially arrived. Perhaps you’ve resolved not to hate winter as much this year, or maybe you’re just looking for ways to enjoy it while it’s here – we’ve got some suggestions to help decorate your home for winter! Now that the Christmas decorations are put away, we’re feeling like our homes are a little bit bare and could use a some of that cozy glow for the rest of these long winter months. So, this week we’ve compiled a list of ways to winterize your home decor.

1. Get cozy. Add lots of layers and warm textures to your furniture this season. Think woolly pillows, chunky knits, fluffy blankets, and faux fur accents. Add textured rugs to cozy up underfoot. Sheepskin rugs are the perfect way to make a bedside or reading nook warm and inviting. Adding texture to couches, chairs, and to your bed will immediately cozy up any room and make the space look and feel warm and inviting.

2. Add a pop of colour. The landscape outside is looking pretty monotone these days. We recommend adding a pop of colour to infuse some life back into your space. Introduce colour into your space by adding colourful accent pillows, throw blankets, new art, or even some colourful curtains. Looking for a low budget way to add colour? Think about adding some colorful books on side tables, shelves or coffee tables.

3.  Style your fireplace. The weather outside may be frightful, but the fire [can be] so delightful. If you have a fireplace in your home, make it a focal point during the winter months. Style the mantel with wintry objects – don’t be afraid to leave your snowy garland out for a few more months. Or, add some of your favourite collected knick-knacks from over the years. Create depth and texture by stacking books, adding glass pieces, candles, pictures or older treasures. Around the hearth, add some cozy texture with logs and baskets (at a safe distance, of course).

4.  Add some life to your home. We mean plants! There is no better way to liven up a room than to add some greenery. Think about adding large, leafy floor plants if you have the space. A simple succulent on a side table can go a long way to infusing some colour into your home, too. And that kitchen table of yours? Add a big colourful floral arrangement to the centre of it to brighten up your day (and your room).

Source: Paddywax

5. Lighting. The days are short and the nights are long. But we might as well take advantage of that. Introduce accent lighting into your home that makes it cozy and inviting. Think about adding more lamps to side tables, and lighting those candles you’ve been hoarding away. We also love the look of battery powered strand lights in a cloche or a decorative bowl – they’re not just for Christmas.

6. Add some fragrance to your space. Don’t underestimate the power of smell to curate a cozy and warm space! We already mentioned candles, but we can’t stress how much we love them. Lampe Berger is also an amazing way to add scent to a space. We recommend a warm and sweet fragrance, such as the ever-popular Orange Cinnamon, Gourmet Vanilla or Mystery Patchouli. Longing for those summery days? Try adding a fresh scent to your home with Citrus Leaves, or Ocean Breeze.

Holiday Gift Guide – For the House Proud

This week we thought we would share a gift guide for those who love to decorate, adore home decor and are always looking for that perfect piece to add to their living space. Here are some gift ideas for the House Proud:

 

All of these gifts are now available at Above & beyond. Click HERE for the full-sized gift guide. Happy shopping!

Holiday Gift Guides – Men’s Gifts

Today we’re bringing you the latest installment of our Gift Guide! We know it can be hard to shop for the men in your life, so we have compiled a list of gifts to inspire you.

mens-gift-guide

All of these items are available now at Above & Beyond. Click HERE for the full version of our Gift Guide for men’s gifts that go beyond new dress shirts and tools.

Mid-Century Modern – Everything Old Is New Again

Mid-century modern is back. A lot of you ask us what trends we are seeing at the buying shows and how they can be incorporated into everyday living spaces. This week we thought we would talk about the design style that has become popular decades after its inception. Mid-century modern is everywhere right now. It has become more prominent over the past decade, and its popularity shows no signs of fading.

You’ve probably heard these design-world buzzwords tossed around a lot, but what exactly is Mid-century modern? It is a term used to describe the design movement within architecture and interior, graphic and product design in the middle decades of the 20th century. It is a broad term, but it applies to the modern design movement from roughly the mid-thirties to the mid sixties. Looking for a visual reference? Think Mad Men.

Here is a picture of the award winning set design from the hit AMC show:

thumbs_80588-matthew-weiner-mad-men-0414-01-jpg-770x0_q95_crop-smart_upscale

SOURCE: http://www.interiordesign.net/projects/10007-welcome-to-1969-mad-men-s-award-winning-set-design/

In particular, mid-century modern furniture is very trendy right now. It is characterized by clean lines, geometric shapes and functionality. We are seeing this style of furniture popping up in all of our suppliers’ catalogues, including the custom-made furniture company, Stylus.

jets-sofa-mdJets sofa

myer-sofa-mdMyer Sofa

Our lighting suppliers also offer fixtures inspired my mid-century design. Look for Sputnik inspired shapes or wire frames.

Click HERE for more mid-century modern lighting.

We understand that some people are hesitant to incorporate this design trend. Trust us, we understand. It seems like we were just getting rid of the second-hand furniture that we grew up with when this design style became trendy again. Or maybe you decorated your living room accordingly the first time mid-century was around.

Here is an example of mid-century modern design, as shown in House Beautiful issues from 1960.

SOURCE: http://www.curbed.com/2015/4/8/9973300/why-everyone-is-obsessed-with-midcentury-modern-design

SOURCE: http://www.curbed.com/2015/4/8/9973300/why-everyone-is-obsessed-with-midcentury-modern-design

However, the reinterpretation of mid-century that we are seeing today is a bit different. Gone are the days of the olive greens, browns, oranges and mustard yellows of the sixties. We are seeing furniture in neutrals -plenty of greys- and in fun textures, like velvet. In furniture, look for boxy sofas, clean lines and walnut finishes. The revival of this design style can be incorporated into a room in big or small doses. Incorporate golds or silvers, and contemporary lamps and accessories to keep your room from looking dated.

We love this Brooklyn apartment that incorporates mid-century modern into a beautiful living room:

SOURCE: http://cupofjo.com/2015/03/our-brooklyn-apartment/

SOURCE: http://cupofjo.com/2015/03/our-brooklyn-apartment/

If you’re not ready to re-do your entire room in this style, you can mix and match pieces to add an eclectic or curated feel to any room. Try adding a mid-century modern wooden accent chair, or an accent table.

These gorgeous pieces are from one of our furniture suppliers, Neuvo Living.

Although mid-century modern is popular again, the truth is that many mid-century pieces have transcended trends. In fact, some never went out of style – or production. The Eames chair was designed in the 1950’s by the husband and wife duo, Charles and Ray Eames. It remains popular today and has never gone out of production and has certainly inspired many knockoffs, too.

SOURCE: http://www.curbed.com/2015/9/28/9916438/eames-chairs-buy

SOURCE: http://www.curbed.com/2015/9/28/9916438/eames-chairs-buy

Love it or hate it, it seems as though mid-century modern is one style that is not going anywhere. What do you think? Will you be incorporating this trend into your living spaces?

 

 

  • Feature image SOURCE: https://stylebyemilyhenderson.com/blog/neutral-mid-century-living-room-vignette?_sft_category=styling

Benjamin Moore’s Colour of the Year 2017 Has Been Announced

Benjamin Moore just announced that Shadow 2117-30 is their Colour of the Year 2017. As 2016 starts to come to a close, we always anticipate the design institutes’ new colours of the year. We simply love the rich, moody hue of Shadow 2117-30. A far cry from last year’s Simply White, Shadow 2117-30 is a deep, saturated amethyst purple that will add sophistication to any space.

“Emotional connections with this color evoke nostalgic memories of light on space and color.”

–CARL MINCHEW, VICE PRESIDENT OF COLOR AND DESIGN

source: https://www.benjaminmoore.com/en-ca/colour-overview/colour-collections/2017-colour-trends

source: https://www.benjaminmoore.com/en-ca/colour-overview/colour-collections/2017-colour-trends

We think Shadow 2117-30 would make a beautiful addition to an entryway or a living room. It pairs beautifully with gold accents and luxe textures, such as the newly-popular velvet. Pair Shadow 2117-30 with white trim to create a contrast and make a room seem more modern, as in the room below. Or, for a dramatic statement, paint your baseboards and trim with Shadow 2117-30 as well.

bmc_coty_article_03_sunsetlight_desktop

As we discussed on the blog last week, dark tones are making a comeback in colour palettes for your walls. Don’t be afraid to make a statement with dark walls. “Benjamin Moore’s Colour of the Year, Shadow 2117-30, is allusive and enigmatic — a master of ambiance.” Dismiss the age-old rumour that dark colours make a room seem smaller. This regal plum is the perfect tone for all of you who are sick of all greys, beiges and ‘greiges’.

We would love to see Shadow 2117-30 paired with dark wood and beautiful, dark sofas for an inviting and sophisticated living space. This colour will also pair well with neutrals to add drama to any room.

To choose the Colour of the Year, the design team at Benjamin Moore took inspiration from art, cultural influences, and lighting. They studied colour usage to identify key colour families and emerging trends. Watch this video from Benjamin Moore’s designers to learn more about the decision-making process:

We can’t wait to see this gorgeous hue appear in decor pieces and accent pillows. So what do you think? Will you be incorporating Shadow into your decor?

An elusive participant in a theatre of light, a profile, a silhouette, a SHADOW.