Design+Shelter - Olivia Stren



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Textile designer Virginia Johnson’s mission to brighten life

National Post

May, 2011

 On a sanity-testing afternoon in Toronto, an Aspirin-white quilt of cloud hovering over soggy streets, I’d prefer to cozy up to a quilt of another kind: one by Virginia Johnson. When it’s grey in my soul, there is nothing — short of a one-way ticket Outta Dodge — more restorative than spending quality time with […]

Living in a Material World

National Post

January, 2011

Textile designer John Robshaw is wandering around his midtown Manhattan showroom wearing a deep suntan, Paul Smith sneakers and his bed-sheets. (He’s sporting a fresh pink-and-white button-down that he fashioned from leftover bed-linens.) Mr. Robshaw, with floppy, sandy blond hair, looks much like a fair-haired Notting Hill-era Hugh Grant. Stepping into the showroom — floors […]

Life’s sweet at St. Lucia’s Tides at Sugar Beach

National Post

November, 2010

 “I travel more than emails do,” Lane Pettigrew, unofficial architect laureate of the Caribbean, tells me over the phone from his pied-à-terre in Madrid. Mr. Pettigrew, who grew up in Venezuela in a family he calls “gringos perditos,” trots the globe more than most gmail addresses and spends more time island-side than the average sun […]

Sunshine in SoBe

National Post

December, 2009

 If you think the women floating around the Gansevoort South Hotel and Residences look like they’ve starred on America’s Next Top Model, you may be right: The South Beach hotel houses the Wilhelmina modelling agency, ensuring the property is perpetually touristed by ludicrously leggy models squiring their portfolios in one manicured hand and a Maltese […]


National Post

August, 2009

 OK, I’ll admit it: I’m an Anthroholic. I’ve had a longtime love affair with Anthropologie (and I have the charming summer frocks and decidedly less-charming Visa bills to prove it). I can actually recall my first coup de foudre encounter with Anthropologie on a gloriously sunny spring day in Chicago, and all the inappropriate, weirdly […]

The Hedonists

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Toronto Life

November, 2007

How two Toronto designers reinvented decadence. LUNCH #1: PASS THE CHABLIS It’s a flawless spring day in Manhattan, and the noonday sun is dressing the Hudson River in a sheath of silver sequins: a perfectly opulent backdrop for a luncheon with George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg. We meet at Perry Street, a Jean-Georges Vongerichten bistro that faces […]