Sleek or traditional, kitchens go European
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.montauksofa.com/ or valcucine.com/.
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.
> JANET SMITH
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.