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.

 

 

Go Bold With Blue Hues

Blue has always been a decor favourite. Whether it’s a preppy navy, a royal blue, sky blue or an indigo – blue has withstood the test of [design] time. Generally speaking, the popularity of blues have never faded when it comes to designing bathrooms and bedrooms. For a while though, blue faded from the spotlight when it came to living rooms. We have noticed that it’s definitely back in a big way for 2017!

Every year, for Spring and Summer, we bring in lots of blue and white nautical decor. It pairs perfectly with a summery, seaside or lakeside cottage-vibe. But gone are the days of blue being just for summer! It’s popping up in kitchens in bold and rich hues hues such as indigos, navys and royal blues.

We love this kitchen from designer, Emily Henderson.

Navy is stealing the show lately, and we definitely saw a ton of it at the buying show in January. Trust us, there’s lots of it on its way to Above & Beyond. We love how rich shades of blue pair with white to really brighten up a room. Treat it as a neutral! You don’t need to re-do your entire decor to incorporate navy. It can be fresh, sophisticated, chic and even preppy. It pairs well with other rich tones, greens, pinks – the options are practically endless.

For the dining room, we’re obsessed with these royal blue Orwalk dining chairs from Sunpan. For a real statement, opt for a dark blue in a luxe fabric, like velvet!

(Source: Sunpan)

Here, we’ve paired them with the dining table from Sunpan. And of course, the beautiful Pacific collection dishes from Royal Doulton. Exciting news! They’re now available in melamine for easy outdoor entertaining.

(Source: Royal Doulton)

Not ready to add blue furniture back into your living space? We get it. Many of us lived through some pretty interesting blue florals (wallpaper and couches, anyone?) and blue decor trends of the late 80’s, early 90s. A customer confessed to us the other day that she never thought she’d be bringing blue back into her decor. As we’re seeing in the latest trends though, decorating with blue is a fresh new way to incorporate an old favourite. It can look modern or classic, depending on your taste.

And, you can add pops of blue throughout your decor and stay current without committing to it in furniture. Think about adding some simple throw pillows or accessories.

We adore these new lamps we just received from Mercana.

And we have a lot of blue in kitchen decor right now!

Including this dreamy new addition to our store from Staub:

For those of you who like your white and navy with a hint of nautical, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered.

And of course, if you’re really looking to commit to this bold blue trend, you can up the drama of any room with blue walls. We are particularly enamored with Benjamin Moore’s Gentleman’s Gray, one of their colour trends for 2017.

Source: Benjamin Moore

What do you guys think? Are you ready for the new blues?

(Source of cover photo: Instagram, @em_henderson)

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.

Instagram Accounts to Follow for Design Inspiration

We get our inspiration from many different avenues. Magazines, hours of HGTV, our customers, the buying shows, blogs, Pinterest – and of course, Instagram. We love how Instagram provides us with daily visual design inspiration to scroll through at our leisure. This week, we’ve compiled a list of our must-follow suggestions for some snippets of design inspiration. Go ahead and click follow!

  • @stevenandchris
    @stevenandchris
    Steven Sabados offers us a glimpse into his life and his S&C line that we love so much here at Above & Beyond. Follow for some great decorating ideas from Steven's new CBC show, The Goods.
  • @nateberkus
    @nateberkus
    The world was first introduced to Nate Berkus during his inaugural appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 2002. We have been fans ever since and so has the rest of the world! He has become one of the world’s most recognizable interior designers and we adore his philosophy that, “Your home should tell your story. What you love most collected and assembled in one place.”
  • @apartmenttherapy
    @apartmenttherapy
    Apartment therapy claims to be saving the world, one room at a time. And we tend to agree! This account is a treasure trove of inspiration for small small spaces with its countless apartment and home tours.
  • @designmilktravels
    @designmilktravels
    Follow this account to add some wanderlust to your scrolling. A travel guide for the modern design enthusiast, this will leave you wanting to plan your own getaway.
  • @pantone
    @pantone
    The other leader in colour, Pantone claims to be the worldwide standard for color communication and inspiration since 1963. Their account is full of fun (and coulourful) photos - including many snaps of their colour of the year, Greenery.
  • @benjaminmoore
    @benjaminmoore
    Leaders in paint colour, Benjamin Moore's account is a go-to for paint colour inspiration. Follow for 2017 Colour Trends and how to incorporate their Color of the Year 2017: Shadow 2117-30 into your own design.
  • @houseandhomemag
    @houseandhomemag
    Follow House & Home for daily decorating inspiration. We love the glimpses into homes, trends and products from across North America and around the world.
  • @houseplantjournal
    @houseplantjournal
    Don't have a green thumb? Worry not! Follow this Toronto-based blog for plant watering tips (and gorgeous images of plants). This account is your go-to for responsible plant parenthood.
  • @thejungalow
    @thejungalow
    Add some greenery to your Instagram perusal with The Jungalow. Author of the New York Times best-selling book The New Bohemians, L.A. based designer and blogger Justina Blakeney posts pictures that celebrate colour, pattern and plants!
  • @paddywaxcandles
    @paddywaxcandles
    We love Paddywax candles! Many of you may know them from the very popular candle that we can't seem to keep in stock - Tobacco & Patchouli. This account shows us how to re-purpose the reusable vessels the candles are poured in to brighten your home.
  • @savoygardens
    @savoygardens
    Add some garden inspiration to your scroll through Instagram. Savoy Gardens posts stunning gardens and estates that will help get you through these long winter months until gardening season is here again.
  • @elledecor
    @elledecor
    Elle Decor is one of our trusted go-to's for ample pictures of up-and-coming trends. The account posts all sorts of design styles from modern to traditional, contemporary to eclectic. Go ahead and hit follow!
  • @archdigest
    @archdigest
    From dreamy house tours that grant us access to celebs' homes, to stunningly helpful how-to's, the visual inspiration to be found on Architectural Digest's account is endless. Whether you're looking to renovate or just escape into a realm of beauty, this account is definitely worth the follow.
  • @em_henderson
    @em_henderson
    Emily Henderson is a stylist, New York Times Bestselling author of STYLED, and runs a daily design blog that we adore. She offers a transparent and honest look at how to decorate without rmaking the world of home decor seem intimidating. Her designs are fun, colourful, and never look unattainable. We love her site for how-to's!
  • @mercanaartdecor
    @mercanaartdecor
    This is another one of our favourite suppliers and a fave amongst our customers. Mercana sells excellently curated fine home furnishings & decor, and their Instagram account is just as well curated!

 

Let’s be friends on Instagram! You can find us at @abovebeyondhomedecor.

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!