This month’s design and garden news, buys and curiosities
Quiet zones at work
With more employees back in offices, the oh-so-cool, open seating plan is making many workers feel exposed. A post-lockdown report from Steelcase office solutions called The New Era of Hybrid Work found employees desired more privacy to complete focused work and uninterrupted video calls. Enter sound-proofed pods that instantly equip an open space with private workstations. Framery recently launched the Framery One, a pod that’s so well insulated the company says it shields those inside from overhearing nearby conversations (as well as keeps their own under wraps). Equipped with a Logitech 4k webcam and a flattering lighting system, the pod will also help workers look their best on video calls. (Notably, company research shows that the cost of constructing a meeting room is 55 per cent higher on average than investing in an equivalent number of private pods. The Framery One starts at $13,400, or, alternatively, there’s an option for a pod that seats up to four people). Another noise solution: Abstracta acoustic specialists have launched the Zen Pod, “an acoustic oasis.” The minimal Japanese aesthetic, from Scandinavian designer Staffan Holm, incorporates oak, glass, wool, aluminum and steel, which cushion sound. A North American launch date is still to be confirmed. Visit frameryacoustics.com and abstracta.se for more details.
Freshen up your patio or backyard for spring and summer with CB2′s Suites – a new collection of outdoor furniture and accessories by Los Angeles-based celebrity designer Ross Cassidy. The modern furniture brand, part of the Crate & Barrel brand, has debuted 65 new pieces scaled for small to large spaces, including loveseats, lounge chairs, throw pillows, stools, dining chairs and many table options. Pictured here is Cassidy’s Baccio sofa, previously made for the indoors, reimagined in all-weather wicker. The collection has an overall coastal look, created with the use of classic neutrals, pops of colour, curved shapes and organic materials, such as patinated teak and woven rattan. The pieces are starting at $49.95 and are available in-store in Toronto and Vancouver or online at cb2.com.
A new brew
Most celebrating the coronation of King Charles III don’t have the budget or the free miles to attend the Coronation Afternoon Tea at the famous Goring Hotel near Buckingham Palace. But you can toast the occasion at home with the new Windsor Blend, an indulgent afternoon tea from Fairmont’s LOT 35 brand. Or enjoy the tea as the Brits do: as a daily ritual. The blend is a combination of Darjeeling and black teas from Sri Lanka’s high-altitude gardens with fragrant honeysuckle notes, and is available to purchase at fairmontstore.com for $14.95.
Look on the bright side
Vancouver’s Otto Studio has unveiled the latest in a series of exclusive artist collaborations, a vibrant capsule collection of peel-and-stick wallpaper by local artist Tierney Milne. Known for producing murals that incorporate a kaleidoscope of shapes, patterns and simple forms in striking ways, Milne delivers nine new wallpaper motifs that are intended to enliven any space, whether you rent or own. “I like to think of empty walls like I would a blank page,” says the Vancouver-based artist, who was born in Montreal. “Nostalgic play, bold shapes and geometric structure are the biggest things that drive my art.” Previous artists who have designed wallpaper for this collection include Tay BeepBoop, Dani Klaric, McKenzie Parrott and Zoe Schlacter. Wallpaper prices in the series start at $75, while decals start at $86.
When it comes to footwear, gardeners can be picky – and rightly so. They need shoes or boots that are slip-proof (treads are good), water- and muck-proof, and nothing too clunky that will impede movement in tight spaces (gardening involves a lot of bending and kneeling so you want a shoe that offers some flexibility in the sole). The Original Muck Boot Company has come up with a sturdy solution that ticks all those boxes and offers one more – it’s a good looking boot that easily transitions from yard work to running errands or walking the dog. There’s a Muck boot for every type of gardener – a clog for people who want their feet to breathe, an easy to slip-on ankle boot, and the Muckster II Mid Boot (featured here), which can be rolled up when you need extra coverage or rolled down on warmer days. The heavy-duty rubber outsoles are designed to easily shed debris, be wiped down or hosed off. Currently on sale, the Muckster II Mid Boot retails for $84.99 and comes in a wide assortment of colours for both men and women, at muckbootcompany.ca.