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The Find: a trendy, top-of-the-line play kitchen for miniature food fanatics

(Image: Kid-Chen Co.)

(Image: Kid-Chen Co.)

Torontonians are obsessed with fancy kitchen appliances: Aga cookers and Miele dishwashers have become serious status symbols. It figures, then, that a plastic Little Tikes play set might not cut it for the offspring of the foodie generation. Instead, there’s the work of Mike and Kelly Collier, the husband-and-wife duo behind Kid-Chen Co., a local company that hand-crafts complete kitchen sets for fussy future chefs. Our favourite is this mint-hued, vintage-inspired model, which looks just like the real-life retro kitchens we spotted at this year’s Interior Design Show. Made to order from sustainably sourced maple plywood and non-toxic paint, the fridge stands about 30 inches tall—and contains some unusually sophisticated faux foods, including a whole roasted salmon with asparagus and lemon. $1,100

Kid-Chen Co., 647-999-5241, kidchenco.ca

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The Find: five Om-worthy accessories for the meditation-mad

Restoration Hardware: An essential shopping list for serious serenity seekers

Ten years ago, it was yoga. Now, the voguish wellness crazy is meditation—tranquil, incense-fumed, cross-legged sessions that melt frantic millenial minds into a calmer state of being. The latest prescription for strung-out suits is a five-minute breathing session in a Bay Street boardroom turned ashram, or a 10-day silent retreat in a remote rural sanctuary. Here, an essential shopping list for serious serenity seekers.

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The Find: a kaleidoscopic collection of Danish-designed dining chairs

(Image: Carl Hansen and Son)

(Image: Carl Hansen and Son)

Carl Hansen and Son’s Wishbone chair, named after its delicate Y-shaped backrest, has been beloved by furniture buffs and design aficionados for decades. Created in 1949 by Danish furniture maker Hans J. Wegner, the chair’s simple design—which only uses sustainably sourced hardwood and paper cord—is an ode to the Danish Modern movement of the mid-century. To mark more than a half-century of production, the company is now selling the famous seat in 25 bold shades, including fire-engine red, deep purple and Easter-egg blue. Fans of the look can go for a monochromatic seating plan, or snap up the entire rainbow-hued range for an ultra-playful dining experience. $660 each

Available at Bulthaup, 280 King St. W., 416-361-9005, toronto.bulthaup.com

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The Find: beautifully patterned yoga mats for a zen-filled practice

(Image: Laviebohemeyoga.ccom)

(Image: Laviebohemeyoga.ccom)

To achieve ultimate zen this year, Toronto yogis should consider trading their worn-out rubber pads for something a bit more aesthetically pleasing. L.A.-based wellness label La Vie Boheme creates beautiful yoga mats inspired by Navajo art and ancient Buddhist symbols. At a quarter-inch thick, the eco-friendly pads are sturdy enough to support the most advanced inversions, stretches and balancing postures. And the kaleidoscopic colours are sure to stand out against lush grass, a sandy beach or—more realistic, maybe—the pale wood flooring of your local studio. $83

Available at Ardith, 373 Roncesvalles Ave., 647-878-1412, ardithstyle.com

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The Find: winter running essentials, for the motivated jogger

The Find: winter running gear that'll make you want to keep those resolutions

Jogging during a Toronto winter takes determination, but it also takes something else: proper gear. Fortunately, shelling out for fancy leggings and insulated shells makes it possible to pass on expensive gym memberships, so the cost has a way of balancing out. Here, some of the best cold-weather running pieces for those who refuse to hit the treadmill, no matter how chilly it gets.

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The Find: pretty hand-painted paddles from Norquay Company

(Images: Norquay.com)

(Images: Norquay.com)

Natasha Wittke, founder of camping brand Norquay Company, designs beautiful paddles that would look equally at home in a rustic living room or a cedar-strip canoe. Handcrafted from Northern Ontario cherry wood, the paddles are stained, branded and painstakingly painted by Wittke in her Montreal studio, creating what the designer calls “collectible pieces of functional art.” You may not want to risk the paintwork on a rugged back-river canoe trip, but a special varnish finish makes them sturdy enough to withstand a leisurely cottage paddle (just be sure to wipe them down afterwards). In the meantime, we suggest hanging a particularly bold piece—like this one, dubbed “Hunter”—anywhere in your house for an artful, outdoorsy look. $275–$380

Available at Tuck Shop Trading Co., 1226 Yonge St., or online at norquay.com

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The Find: a parka that manages to be incredibly warm and extremely stylish at the same time

Untitled-1For Toronto women, appearing even remotely stylish in the dead of winter usually involves a stiff trade-off: do you put comfort first in a cozy North Face or Canada Goose (or any other ubiquitous winter parka), or brave the chill in a fashionable peacoat or menswear-inspired piece? It’s a lose-lose scenario. That’s why we’re thrilled about this jacket from Montreal label Soia and Kyo. It manages to satisfy winter warmth requirements—generous hood, down filling, durable outer layer—while ensuring its wearer doesn’t resemble an arctic explorer. On less blustery days, the fur trim can be removed for a simpler look. A bonus: the lower sides zip open to allow for a wider range of movement, should you need it (spontaneous ice-skating, perhaps?). $545

1-855-588-5287, soiakyo.com

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The Find: the 17 coolest items on offer at the Christmas 2014 One of a Kind Show

The Find: fifteen amazing items on offer at the Christmas 2014 One of a Kind Show

The One of a Kind Show, a twice-yearly shopping extravaganza dedicated to Canadian-made goods, kicks off its 40th anniversary tomorrow at Exhibition Place. The massive hall will once again be crammed with stalls selling all kinds of unique gift ideas—including gourmet food, quirky toys, artful kitchen accessories and statement jewellery—from over 800 designers and artisans. It’s the closest you can get to a one-stop-shop for Christmas gifts, and well worth a trip or two. That said, navigating the hundreds of sellers can be overwhelming, so we’ve nailed down the coolest products you won’t want to miss. Here, our 17 favourite items up for grabs this season, including leather baby moccasins, a hand-blown glass Scotch set and ultra-luxurious facial masks.

Nov. 27-Dec. 7. Direct Energy Centre, Exhibition Place, 100 Princes’ Blvd., oneofakindshow.com

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The Find: sustainable, paper-like bins provide a new way to artfully organize household objects

(Image: Toofifteen/Facebook)

(Image: Toofifteen/Facebook)

Toronto-based company Toofifteen has created a beautiful new way to use Tyvek, a sustainable material used to make protective coveralls. The new business, launched by design duo Ashley Botten and Nina Jones, consists of three simple products: a pouch (that you can write on and decorate yourself), a multi-purpose bin and a “pouf” (essentially a square ottoman), each of which is recyclable, durable, mold-resistant and extremely easy to wipe clean. We particularly love the versatility of the bin, which comes in three sizes and can artfully contain a variety of household things, like floor plants, bathroom towels and fruit. It’s also the most affordable option, with small bins priced at $23.

Available at Augustina Boutique, 138 Cumberland St., or toofifteen.com

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The Find: 17 great pairs of boots that’ll get you excited for cooler temperatures

The Find: seventeen great pairs of boots for cooler temperatures

It’s around this time of year that most women realize they’ll have to ditch their favourite sneakers for something a bit sturdier. Cue the tedious task of finding that perfect pair of boots—because chances are, if you’re planning to drop a few hundred dollars on footwear (well-made boots never come cheap), you’ll want something that works with every kind of outfit. With that in mind, here are 17 pairs of extremely cute all-purpose boots, from functional Chelsea booties to elegant two-toned knee-highs.

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The Find: a Fashion Week–worthy clutch that’ll get you noticed for all the right reasons

Evil Eye clutch 1

Quirky clutches are definitely having a moment: this past month saw street-style stars around the world grasping bags shaped like all sorts of strange items, including a ham hock, a box of Digestive cookies and even SpongeBob SquarePants. There were also a fair amount of eyeballs (a trend that’s been going strong since Kenzo’s bold eye-themed collection in 2013). This Toronto Fashion Week (which starts on Monday), bag the trend—and support a good cause—by picking up this “Evil Eye” clutch. Hand-embroidered by women living in northern Pakistan, the purses are being sold by Far and Wide Collective, a Toronto-based online boutique dedicated to peddling one-of-a-kind goods crafted by artisans living in struggling countries. The playful pattern and bright blue hue are sure to add style cred to any outfit, and if you happen to get snapped by a photographer outside a show, you’ll be able to prove you’re not a fast-fashion follower. $199

Available at farandwidecollective.com

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The Find: an edgy sneaker for girls, by local designers Sully Wong and Amanda Lew Kee

SULLY WONG X AMANDA LEE KEW

George Sully and Henry Wong, the duo behind acclaimed footwear brand Sully Wong (which already has a number of interesting collaborations under its belt), have joined forces with Toronto designer Amanda Lew Kee to create the brand’s first women’s shoe. Lew Kee, who also designed a stylish capsule collection for Roots last year, drew on her appreciation of comfortable athletic wear to create the handcrafted high-top, which uses raw leather and denim for a simple yet rugged look. We love that the label’s first “women’s” shoe is kind of androgynous—it’ll go perfectly well with skinny jeans or add some edge to a girly mini. If you’d like to snag a pair, don’t procrastinate—the limited edition shoe hits Gotstyle boutiques on October 9 and is bound to be snapped quickly up by sneaker enthusiasts worldwide. $225

Sully Wong, sullywong.com

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The Find: a graphic cushion designed by an eleven-year-old artist

generation_art_pillow_02

Eleven-year-old artist-in-the-making Andrew Lee created this pillow design as part of EQ3’s Generation Art Project. For the homegrown furniture maker’s second annual competition (which is designed to empower youth by celebrating creativity), applicants of all ages were asked to submit art that represents their personal expression of Canadian diversity. Here’s what Andrew had to say about his winning piece:

“Sports bring people together. I think sports are really good. Through basketball I met different kinds of people and learned to accept everyone.”

All proceeds from the collection (which, for now, is only available at the brand’s Liberty Village flagship store) will go to the Michaëlle Jean Foundation, which funds a range of arts-based community projects for underprivileged youth. While we’re partial to Andrew’s playful sketches (and especially the guy with “skating rocks” on his t-shirt), there are also other appealing designs in the collection, including a geometric pattern in pretty pastels from 28 year-old artist Selina Wong. $50

EQ3, 51 Hanna Ave., eq3.com

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The Find: twelve fresh fall coats to combat end-of-summer blues

The Find: Fall Coats 2014

This autumn, coats are brighter and funkier than ever. Instead of settling for muted seasonal tones (remember army green?), shoppers can opt for an oversized blazer in a bold floral pattern or a boyish bomber jacket in a refreshing pastel hue. Cozy quilted jackets are also making a comeback (we love the bright orange at Mackage). Plus, now that summer’s over, homegrown outerwear designers are really getting a chance to shine: Rudsak has just released a limited edition luxe rocker collection, and Smythe has debuted a chic anniversary collection, in honour of 10 years perfecting blazers. Here, twelve fresh new jackets for fall.

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The Find: an asymmetrical umbrella that’ll stand up to wind tunnels

Senz Umbrella

In a world dominated by flimsy round umbrellas, the beautifully asymmetrical Senz is your best bet for staying completely dry this fall. Designed specifically to combat the annoying features of traditional brollies (which have a tendency to turn inside out at the slightest breeze and take out the eyes of unsuspecting pedestrians), the streamlined Dutch model can withstand 100 kilometre-per-hour winds and has eye-saving patches at the end of each point. It’s also won a ton of international design awards. If you’re not convinced, check out some of the demo videos online. The red ikat print makes for a chic autumn accessory, but you can also hunt down some other snazzy variations. $85

Raindrops, 50 Bloor St. W., 416-203-7246, raindropsto.com