Inspired by: Spring

16 Apr

It happens like clockwork, every year. As soon as the sun starts staying out later and the flowers start coming up, we find ourselves wanting to throw open our doors, purge the old, and bring in all the new and beautiful! We get visions of new throws, airy curtains, and blossom-inspired colours floating through our heads. Is that just us or are you feeling it too?

Unfortunately for those of us who live in Toronto and just endured a lovely mid-April snowfall, these happy spring feelings need to be channeled into planning so that we’re ready when that sun comes back out. It will, right?!

Luckily for all of us suffering from this optimistic spring-decorating-fever, there is inspiration to be found everywhere – and for any budget. Spring is, in its essence, beauty, colour and life, so what better time to infuse those very things into your home décor?

HGTV.com is a great resource when it comes to what is trending and how to incorporate those trends into your own home. We want to share three of our favourite trends with you here. What we loved the most is that these trends totally translate into any space, large or small, and to any degree, whether it’s a whole room transformation or a new piece here and there.

We were particularly inspired by “6 Spring Decorating Trends, Translated” and “Radiant Orchid: Bringing Home a Little or a Lot”; check them out for even more spring-spiration!

 

1. Watercolour florals

It’s pretty hard to ignore the fact that spring brings florals, but when florals are this good, it gets even harder!

These throw pillows, curtains and cut flowers bring the outdoors in, without the hay-fever.

We love the trend towards watercolour inspired floral patterns; it’s a fresh, modern take on a classic trend. They are just as striking on the couch or covering the window as they are in the closet and are a very simple way to revamp your living spaces this year!

 

2. Radiant Orchid

We couldn’t get away without mentioning Pantone’s Colour of the Year, could we? Whether you go for bold and paint your bedroom the purple hue, or go a bit more subtle with radiant room accessories, you’re guaranteed a royal success.

The vibrant purple is paired with muted pastels here for a bold, yet coherent, sitting room.

This living room designed for Bri Emery, of DesignLoveFest, brings orchid accents into harmony with bright whites, blues and greens.

 

3. Updated metallics

Metallics are one of our favourite neutrals – a neutral because they pair with nearly everything, a favourite because they make a room pop! Talk about pizzazz!

One of our favourite DIY projects will always be updating an old piece with a metallic spray paint. A few sprays and you have a new table lamp, a new photo frame, new table legs, new shelf brackets, and new bric-a-brac’s to put on those shelves.

A new copper pendant is a quick, on-trend addition to this dining room.

Interchangeable and easy to DIY, artwork is one of the easiest, and most inexpensive ways to stay on-trend!

When searching for new (or new-to-you) pieces this year, says Nancy Fire of HGTV,  keep your eyes open for metallic pieces that combine colour and shimmer – reminiscent of watercolours. Notice the theme growing this spring?

If you’re in the process of cleaning up your home to make room for some new pieces this spring, check out our household cleaning services; we offer cleaning for everything from rugs and blinds, to duvets and pillows – and we even pick-up!

What are your favourite home trends for spring? What ways are you hoping to freshen up your living spaces? Let us know! @ParkersCleaners

All images from HGTV.com.

Here Comes the (Eco-Friendly) Bride…

11 Apr

Over the last few years, there has been a dramatic increase in the demand for eco-friendly wedding fashion – and we think that designers are truly rising to meet the challenge with excellence! Gone are the days where being eco-friendly meant sacrificing personal aesthetics for ethics; now, we can have our (vegan) wedding cake, and eat it too.

This is fantastic news for all the brides who want to be responsible with their choices, while still looking one hundred percent fabulous walking down the aisle. “Why”, you ask? Because we get companies like Beyond Skin launching their spring 2014 bridal line, showing us there has never been a better time to be an eco-friendly bride!

We first heard of this company via Ecouterre and instantly fell head over heels (we couldn’t resist) with the brand’s work. Not only do they make beautiful products, but they’re using one of our favorite mediums, fashion, to make a positive impact on the world. According to the Ecouterre website,

“Beyond Skin’s ‘do no harm’ ethos extends beyond kindness to animals. The label frequently uses planet-pandering materials such as organic cotton, hemp, and recycled plastic bottlesBeyond Skin recently partnered with Suzy Amis Cameron’s Red Carpet Green Dress’ initiative to shoe actress and former “Bond Girl” Olga Kurylenko for the 2014 Oscars.

‘To us at Beyond Skin this way of working makes good sense because we are passionate about making a difference whilst staying true to our ethos: that of creating beautiful, ethical footwear for discerning style-led ladies proving that fashion and ethics can go hand in hand,’ says Whittle. ‘[We want to] be the change you see in the world.’

Take a look below at some of our personal favourites from their bridal line, along with some other great ways to incorporate eco-friendly fashion into your wedding day.

 

Source: Beyond Skin

 

Source: Pure Magnolia

 

Source: Green Wedding Shoes

If you’ve been reading our blog for a while, you’ll know that we feel passionately about brands being environmentally responsible, especially in the fashion industry. Also, we know that just talking about what other people are doing without taking any action would be a little hypocritical, which is why we offer eco-friendly cleaning at Parkers. Contact us if you have any questions!

Where do you go for your eco-friendly fashion picks? We are always on the lookout for new brands! Let us know your favorite places to shop responsibly by tweeting @ParkersCleaners.

 

The Small Joys: Tips For Kids During A Wedding

2 Apr

We like to talk a lot about weddings here at Parkers. Specifically, we like to talk about what to wear at weddings: gowns, suits, bridesmaid dresses, shoes, veils – you name it! So, imagine our surprise when, in our last editorial meeting, we realized we have been neglecting to talk about one of the most important – and most fun – parts of any wedding celebration: the little ones.

Whether or not they’re there as flower girls and ring bearers, are standing beside you as two families merge into one, or are simply there as guests, having kids at a wedding can be both totally fun and, if we’re honest, a little stressful.

Keeping a few simple tips in mind will go a long way to ensuring that everyone involved, big or little, will be able to enjoy the wedding as much as possible!

1. Choose weather-appropriate wear

 

Source: 1 / 2 / 3

Being too hot or too cold can make or break a day for all of us. If it’s cold and you’re going to be outside, consider thick tights and fur stoles or vests and jackets for the littles. If it’s mid-August, perhaps nix those tights and jackets to avoid overheating. You’ll all be glad you did.

 

2. Give them options

Source: Heavenly Blooms

Source: Style Me Pretty

Pick out a few choices you would be happy with, let your children try the outfits on, and ask them which one is their favourite. This step won’t guarantee to eliminate a morning meltdown, but chances are your kids will be much happier with the outcome if they get to choose what they’re wearing. If they absolutely hate your dream outfit, will it be worth the fight on the morning of?

 

3. Look with your hands, not just your eyes

Source: the Knot

Source: OliveAndFern, Etsy

The last thing anyone wants is to suffer the fate of a scratchy crinoline or a polyester suit that won’t breathe. If you wouldn’t want to feel the lining of that skirt on your legs all day, chances are your flower girl doesn’t want to either. There are lots of totally adorable outfits in comfy, natural fabrics, these days!

 

4. Make sure the kids go first

Depending on how you structure your photo shoot, consider getting all the shots you want with the littler ones done first. This gives them time to go rest or play, while ensuring that you get photos with them before they hit their nap-time wall.

 

5. Pack some snacks

Source: Luke Liable Photography

This is actually one of our biggest tips for everyone, no matter the age, but especially if you have kids involved. Try packing a little goodie bag for them to get after the ceremony and include fruit, string cheese, and crackers to hold them over until the reception. It’s easy to forget that between the ceremony and the reception, you might not get a chance to run and grab something if you’re doing photos.

 

6. Don’t worry!

 

Source: 1 / 2 / 3

Let the kids be kids! Remember that a teary flower girl is still pretty cute and having to coax a shy ring bearer down the aisle is adorable. If they get a bit dirty in that field during photos or spill juice down their front at the reception, remember that we are dry cleaners and will be here to clean up the mess afterwards. The less you stress about the little things, the more you’ll able to enjoy the day.

Parkers’ favourites from Toronto’s World Mastercard Fashion Week

27 Mar

Whew! Is it just us, or did last week’s World Mastercard Fashion Week feel like a total whirlwind? As you must know by now, we get pretty excited over all the fashion weeks: London, New York, Paris, and so on. So, you can only imagine how excited we get when fashion week descends on Toronto.

We’re well aware that it’s a little funny to be so enthusiastic about a Fall/Winter show when just the week before, we were starting to feel cabin-fever set in, but it just goes to show how incredible the vision of these designers really is. If you can make a Torontonian excited for winter during one of the coldest winters we can remember, you are very talented, indeed!

One of our favorite aspects of the IMG Fashion owned and produced event is the focus on Canadian designers – both the established and the up-and-comers.  In our opinion, who is better to design for the winter months than those who have felt the sincere tension between fashion and not succumbing to hypothermia? We are pretty thrilled that this year, some of our absolute favorite collections came from designers based right here in Toronto. Pink Tartan, Laura Siegel, Beaufille, David Dixon and, of course, Joe Fresh (to name a few) wowed us.

Maybe the cold isn’t so bad, after all.

Here are some of the looks we’re scrambling to find before summer finally gets here and that we are anticipating for later on in the year. From boho to 90’s to bridal, we’re sure there is something for you in here:

  
  

Laura Siegel

 

  
  

Pink Tartan

 

  

Beaufille

 

  
  

David Dixon, White Label (which, by the way, will soon be available at Hudson’s Bay Queen St.!)

 

Joe Fresh

 

You’re already enjoying the long winter a little more, aren’t you? To top it off, here is one of the best looks of the week, courtesy of Sunny Fong of VAWK.  We love how dedicated he is to showcasing women in reality. Ultramarathon runner, Amy Winters, walked the runway with a fantastically bedazzled prosthetic leg and showed all of us that confidence really is the key.

What were your favorite collections? Did you happen to catch any of the runway shows? Tweet us with your feedback: @parkerscleaners

 

Enjoy spring – the season, not the cleaning

20 Mar

Ah, “Spring Forward”. We have a love/hate relationship with this day. Though we hated losing that hour of sleep last Sunday (did anyone else feel like they had a bit of jetlag Monday morning?), we love that now that we’ve set our clocks forward an hour, we are officially on our way into spring! Longer days, sunshine on our backs, warmer temperatures and, eventually, spring flowers are all on their way!

For many of us, this season also means spring cleaning, which we can have a similar love/hate relationship with, as well. At Parkers, we look forward to the chance to shake the dust off of our warm weather clothes, air out our homes, and clean that duvet we have been hiding under all winter. Really, what feels better than climbing into crisp, clean linens; walking across your perfectly clean, not-a-hint-of-dust-or-dirt rug; or folding up your winter clothes and using those hangers to display your summer ones? Not much else, if you ask us.

But we do know that cleaning an entire home can be a pretty tiring task. It takes a fair amount of both time and commitment. Often by the time we’re halfway done one room, we’re already ready to throw the towel in. The end result feels so good, but getting there is the biggest battle, especially if you want to do it well. In the midst of dusting, vacuuming, closet organizing, and fridge purging, finding the time for your more delicate and needy items can seem impossible.

Until now!

Not having the time to properly clean dirtied or dusty parts of our home no longer needs to be an excuse to not have them sparkling before summer! Parkers is pleased to offer two services that may completely save your spring cleaning efforts and keep you totally on schedule to enjoy that well-deserved sunshine and warmth that is on its way.

1. Dry-cleaning pick-up and delivery

This year, when you are folding up your winter duvet and bringing out your lighter comforters, give us a call. We will come to you, pick your household fabrics up, and have them back to you on the next scheduled delivery day.  We will even put them in breathable storage bags to keep them as fresh as possible until the next polar vortex hits (too soon to joke?).

How about those winter clothes you are sick of seeing? We’ll come and get those from you and have them back to you before you can say “tank top season”. Just in case we haven’t reminded you in a while, you can ruin clothing by storing it unclean.

2. In-home cleaning service

After months of closed windows, we know some of your drapes have more dust on them than you’d care to admit. Don’t worry; we’ve got it.

Did winter wreak havoc on your flooring? Heavy soled shoes, salt from the streets outside, dirt, gravel, melting snow, mud – all of it comes inside our homes and finds a place to hide. It seems no matter how much we sweep, vacuum, and mop, the dirt keeps showing up! We’ve got this, as well.

How about your wonderfully comfy, but a bit-more-than-gently-used sofa? Not the easiest to clean, right?

Parkers now also offers in-home cleaning services. Working alongside Yorkville Carpet Care, a certified cleaner of Hunter Douglas window treatments with over 15 years of experience, we are proud to offer: carpet cleaning, upholstery cleaning, fibre protection, off-site and on-site drapery cleaning, and Hunter Douglas blind cleaning.

We will help out, so you can enjoy spring, and not just the cleaning, this year. Find a location near you or schedule a pick up!

Photo: Natures Pic Wallpaper