July 1, 2022
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Harness the power of beauty in design
Happy Canada Day to those who are celebrating! 

For those not in the know, Canada Day is like Christmas Day or New Year in that it always falls on the same date – July 1st. This year we are all thankful that it lands on a Friday, so our weekend is long. 

I am a week late in sending out this newsletter which usually arrives on the last Friday of the month. But, I was away on vacation last week, and truthfully, time, projects, and life simply ran away with me. So, I thought I’d give you something to read and noodle on over your long weekend. 

June was an interesting month, a month of firsts and much learning.
Science in design
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We learned why we find certain places more comfortable and inviting than others and why some places just simply feel (and probably are) safer to be in.

So much of what we instinctively feel is hardwired in our DNA. We feel safer in an open space where we can see all around us. We relate better to homes and buildings that look like a human face from the outside – where the windows form eyes, and the door could be a mouth.
We’re wired for connection, and at our core, we connect strongly with things that look like us. Maybe I love my Mini so much because she looks like she has big eyes and a smiling face. 
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We also learned why exposure to nature has such a positive influence on our health and wellbeing.

I know personally that I love to hike at the weekend - it's lovely to leave all the asphalt and weekday hard surfaces behind and instead get to walk on the earth and immerse myself in trees and wilderness. This always makes me feel better, more rested, and happier. 
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We feel better surrounded by greenery and living things, so something as simple as having the view of a leafy tree out of your window or having several plants in your home can improve your wellbeing.

A plant on your desk and a diffuser with Cedar essential oil might very well improve your productivity. 
Incorporating fractal patterns found in nature is also hugely beneficial in reducing stress and mental fatigue. 

I left the conference with a list of books to read, four of which I duly purchased. So far, I have read and really enjoyed Cognitive Architecture by Ann Sussman and Justin B Hollander.

Ann Sussman spoke at the conference, and her presentation was fascinating. I now understand why Apple stores feature walls of photographs of faces and why their diminutive and light hardware is placed on such large and heavy tables. 
My Canadian vacation
Last week I took my first proper vacation in three years. The first time I didn’t feel like I was hiding from the bogeyman, and the first time I didn’t even think about wearing a mask.

It was amazing to dress up and go out for dinner and actually wear lipstick – I am sure lipstick sales will soar. I loved smiling at everyone and striking up conversations with people dining next to us instead of being frightened by everyone. Long may this continue!! 

We spent time in the province of Quebec, firstly in the Eastern Townships (a new place to visit for me) and then in the city of Montreal. It was delicious – so much great food and incredible cheese…… I’ve missed puttering and people watching, and this little trip away gave me this.

Our darling Reba stayed with Amanda who was her trainer for three months before she became ours. I know she had a fun time if the photos on Instagram were anything to go by, and I am hoping she is happy to be back. I know she is, but I think she also misses having other dogs to play with 24 / 7. Yes, there is probably another puppy in our life at some point! 😊
This month's loves
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1. Unforgotten - I’ve called this show out before, and the final season just landed on Prime, and it’s the best one yet. I love this show!! British telly at its best. 

2. Oh William! - I purchased this book at Newark airport but didn’t get around to reading it until my holiday. It’s a lovely and beautifully written read, and I will surely pick up more by Elizabeth Strout, who was new to me. 

3. The latest SMYTHE collection in collaboration with indigenous textile artist Kataleen Webb - They are bold, bright and beautiful, and $50 from each piece sold will be donated to Indigenous Fashion Arts Toronto to help foster and support the talents of other Indigenous artists. 

4. The city of Montreal - We had a blast, and I can’t wait to go back!!

5. Le Club Chasse et Peche, Montreal - Amazing food and service = winning combination. A hidden gem. 

6. Henri Henri hat store, Montreal - Aka, the mother ship; we wandered around on our first day, and my natural hat tracking navigation skills brought me to the front doors of Henri Henri. Incredible service and attention to detail. I dare you to go and only buy one! 

7. Edition Boutique, Montreal - This gorgeous gallery has a beautifully curated collection of decorative objects and jewellery. Andre, the owner, has amazing taste, and his store is a must-visit! 
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Well, that is how we saw June, and we now are in the heady depths of summer. I hope you all manage to enjoy some quality downtime this weekend, and thank you for letting us be part of your weekend reading.

If there is anything specific you would like to know about from the world of design, please do let me know, and I'll do my best to incorporate it into a future newsletter. 
Happy July,
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