Sleek or tra­di­tional, kitchens go Euro­pean

The Georgia Straight - - Urban Living -

EURO KITCHENS Sleek is the word as Mon­tauk Sofa (228 Ab­bott Street) moves into kitchen de­sign, open­ing the first Val­cucine show­room here—and al­low­ing Van­cou­verites to achieve the clean lines they’ve seen in Euro­pean cuci­nas. Amid the Ital­ian de­signer col­lec­tions, look for Artem­at­ica and Ge­nius Loci’s smooth, seam­less con­tem­po­rary cab­i­nets and open shelv­ing, or Ri­ci­clan­tica’s mod­u­lar hits of colour. The lines em­pha­size sus­tain­able ma­te­ri­als and come with sys­tems so ad­vanced they verge on the fu­tur­is­tic: with Val­cucine’s V-mo­tion sys­tem, you can cue cab­i­nets to slide open and al­ter the hue of serenely glow­ing back pan­els with the wave of a hand. Er­gonomics, max­i­mized stor­age, and even sound con­sid­er­a­tions are worked into ev­ery high-end de­tail, in­clud­ing the New Log­ica Sys­tem’s touch-trig­gered doors that tuck ev­ery­thing away be­hind pan­els. See more at www.mon­tauk­ or val­

SPACE SAVER It’s an on­go­ing prob­lem for Van­cou­ver condo own­ers and apart­ment dwellers: a des­per­ate lack of cup­board and counter space. If you have a spare bit of room on the wall be­side the stove, over the sink, or on the end of the cab­i­nets, look to IKEA’S (var­i­ous lo­ca­tions) hang­ing sys­tems to store ev­ery­thing from pots and pans to tea tow­els and uten­sils. The matte black Fin­torp rail ($9.99, 57 cen­time­tres long) pairs with hooks to at­trac­tively hang what­ever you need handy—a colan­der, wooden spoon, cop­per pot, or lit­tle pail full of forks and knives—while the Fin­torp mag­netic knife rack ($11.99, 38 cen­time­tres long) beats a big, blocky wooden holder that takes up valu­able counter space.

A TASTE OF FRANCE It’s the kind of lux­ury stove that makes home chefs say “Ooh la la”; in fact, French-trained Ju­lia Child once sang her La Cor­nue oven’s praises. Van­cou­ver’s Mid­land Ap­pli­ances (2015 Co­lum­bia Street) now car­ries France’s most charis­matic stove line, with pieces that look straight out of a Provençal coun­try kitchen. The com­pany, founded just over a cen­tury ago by Al­bert Dupuy, a Parisian herbal­ist and per­fumer, en­joys En­treprise du Pat­ri­moine Vi­vant (Liv­ing Her­itage Com­pany) sta­tus in its home coun­try. The line boasts a range of fea­tures, from heat-dis­pers­ing vaulted ovens to French plaque burn­ers, for se­ri­ous gourmet cooks. But we love th­ese high-end stoves for their Old World looks, com­plete with knobs and fram­ing in cop­per, brass, or chrome (bur­nished or shiny), and hues that range from an­tique ivory and pis­ta­chio green to south-of­france sky blue and rich Beau­jo­lais red. Prices start at about $10,000, but we know some se­ri­ous cooks who would forgo a sports car to have one of th­ese heir­looms.


Mar­pole has long had sin­gle-fam­ily homes, but a new city strat­egy is boost­ing multibed­room con­dos and town­houses like Shaugh­nessy Res­i­dences (shown here).

Fe­bru­ary 15 to 21, 2018

And now for some­thing fresh, new, per­haps out of the blue, too. It re­mains to be seen if Thurs­day’s par­tial so­lar eclipse will pack as much of a punch as the re­cent to­tal su­per lu­nar eclipse did, but when Aquar­ius is the head­liner, it is sure to pro­duce some­thing be­yond the or­di­nary!

Adding ex­tra turbo to the start of the Chi­nese New Year of the Earth Dog, which be­gins on Fri­day, Thurs­day’s so­lar eclipse is aus­pi­cious for all fresh starts, rein­ven­tion pro­grams, and con­tract un­der­tak­ings (ac­tual, karmic). Think out­side of the box; try some­thing dif­fer­ent, even rad­i­cally dif­fer­ent. Risk is in the mix—but, hey, when is it not?

Mer­cury and Juno, the con­tract as­ter­oid, are ma­jor play­ers of Thurs­day’s so­lar eclipse. Watch for a key some­one to be an agent of change, per­haps un­ex­pect­edly so. A brain­storm, flash of in­spi­ra­tion, or sud­den in­sight is well worth the fol­low-through. News, an in­vi­ta­tion, first look-see, talk, ne­go­ti­a­tion, or spon­ta­neous im­pulse could trig­ger some­thing op­por­tune, per­haps even some­thing ex­cep­tional.

Watch for more to un­fold and/or be ex­posed in the days fol­low­ing the eclipse. Keep­ing the ac­tion mov­ing along a fluid track, Mer­cury en­ters Pisces on Satur­day evening and the sun does so on Sun­day morn­ing. Use the week­end to cre­ate, play up the ro­mance, re­lax, take in a movie, or en­joy some other es­cape. On an­other note: pump up on the vi­ta­mins; pro­tect your im­mune sys­tem; and be es­pe­cially care­ful re­gard­ing al­co­hol con­sump­tion and drug use.

To sum­ma­rize, po­ten­tial is at a peak. Put courage into ac­tion and go for it with all your heart.


March 20–April 19

Whether you have been think­ing about it or are ac­tively go­ing for it, Thurs­day’s eclipse is a spring­board for so much more to come. A big re­veal, sur­prise news, a wind­fall, some­thing com­pletely un­ex­pected—the ex­cep­tional could come to pass! Some­one you know or some­one you are about to meet can thrust the ac­tion switch on a whole new re­al­ity.

TAU­RUS April 20–May 20

Thurs­day’s so­lar eclipse can bust up the con­crete and jet­ti­son you into a com­pletely al­tered re­al­ity. It’s a shake-up or wake-up time. Held up no longer, watch for the eclipse to fast-track a ca­reer tra­jec­tory, a ne­ces­sity, or a life­style change. Off with the old, on with the new. The time is right for a ma­jor re­vamp, and you know it.


May 21–June 21

Op­por­tu­nity comes knock­ing. Try your luck. Thurs­day’s so­lar eclipse can in­spire your spe­cial brand of ge­nius or sur­prise you with some­thing un­ex­pected. Some­one en­ters or ex­its, opens a door, or de­liv­ers news. It’s an aus­pi­cious time for all fresh starts, in­clud­ing a new re­la­tion­ship chap­ter or so­cial or public-life rein­ven­tion. Re­lo­ca­tion, travel, study, a le­gal un­der­tak­ing, or spec­u­la­tive in­vest­ment are also favoured.

CAN­CER June 21–July 22

Thurs­day’s new-moon so­lar eclipse can spark some­thing lu­cra­tive; you might call it a life­saver. Per­haps there’s a cer­tain some­one who ful­fills that role (an agent, spe­cial­ist, lover, good friend, et cetera). As of the week­end, Mars/nep­tune clears it up or opens it up for you fur­ther. Both Mer­cury and the sun into Can­cer go eas­ier on you. Both stir up fresh prospects.


July 22–Au­gust 22

Over this next cou­ple of days, some­one you meet or some­thing you hear, see, or read could make a sig­nif­i­cant im­pres­sion or im­pact. Thurs­day’s so­lar eclipse could burst onto the scene, pro­duce a quick re­sponse or re­ac­tion, or thrust the ac­tion switch. An in­stant hit or a first at­tempt could be the “it” ticket. Jump on it quick. Fast is where it’s at.


Au­gust 22–Septem­ber 22

Start­ing a new job or train­ing pro­gram, a new line of work, or a health regime? Vol­un­teer­ing your time and/or ex­per­tise? Thanks to Thurs­day’s so­lar eclipse, bet­ter-than-av­er­age po­ten­tial is up for grabs re­gard­ing all new be­gin­nings and in­vest­ments. On an­other note, ex­tra free­dom, in­de­pen­dence, and time to your­self also serves you very well. Through next Wed­nes­day, one thing leads to the next.


Septem­ber 22–Oc­to­ber 23

Ready for some­thing new? Thurs­day’s aus­pi­cious so­lar eclipse can pro­duce a spe­cial event, great syn­chronic­ity, a team­ing of heart and mind, or an ex­cep­tional op­por­tu­nity. Some­one could make an en­trance or act as a ma­jor in­sti­ga­tor of change. Rely on in­stinct, in­tu­ition, or first im­pres­sion. Try a first date. Don’t hes­i­tate to act on a sud­den flash or spur of the mo­ment. Sign the con­tract.


Oc­to­ber 23–Novem­ber 21

A new home-life or liv­ing­with-your­self chap­ter be­gins now. If you have al­ready been at it, this eclipse can feel more like a set­tling-in pe­riod and/or the start of a next phase. Ren­o­va­tions of all kinds or a new self­em­ploy­ment ven­ture is well-timed. Of di­rect or in­di­rect in­flu­ence, a fam­ily mem­ber can face some­thing ma­jor.

SAGIT­TAR­IUS Novem­ber 21–De­cem­ber 21

Feel­ing in­spired, re­freshed, and/or ex­cited? Light­ing a fresh spark and keep­ing you es­pe­cially quick on the ball, Thurs­day’s new-moon so­lar eclipse launches you on your way. There’s some­thing new to talk about or to do, some­place new to visit, some­body new to share with. A change of mind or plan, a fresh per­spec­tive or at­tempt makes the grade. Op­por­tu­nity is for the tak­ing.

CAPRI­CORN De­cem­ber 21–Jan­uary 19

A sig­nif­i­cant self-dis­cov­ery process is un­der way, one that un­cov­ers feel­ings, re­sources, tal­ents, and ca­pac­i­ties you didn’t know you had. Thurs­day’s so­lar eclipse can strike flint on a prof­itable new idea or in­vest­ment, a new re­la­tion­ship or re­la­tion­ship sta­tus. Satur­day through mid–next week, more un­folds. When op­por­tu­nity or in­stinct rings the bell, act fast.


Jan­uary 20–Fe­bru­ary 18

You are at the start of so much more to come! A no­table, per­haps ex­cep­tional, year lies ahead, es­pe­cially if your birth­day falls on or near Thurs­day’s aus­pi­cious so­lar eclipse. Whether it’s on the to-do list, it’s a re­sult well earned, or it shows up out of the blue. Your fu­ture now moves on to a faster go.


Fe­bru­ary 18–March 20

A pre­mo­ni­tion or a sud­den flash is worth heed­ing. Don’t dwell on things be­yond your con­trol. In­stead, pour your­self into a cre­ative project or a new ro­man­tic in­ter­est, or im­merse your­self in a re­treat, work­shop, or spa week­end. Time out or time away is re­fresh­ing. Watch for this next week to re­veal or to in­sti­gate more.

Clock­wise from top, Mon­tauk Sofa’s new Val­cucine show­room car­ries Ge­nius Loci de­signs from Italy; IKEA’S Fin­torp space savers; and a La Cor­nue stove.

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