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Design Department Inc. co-owner Meredyth Hilton takes a well-rounded approach to building dream gardens.

Alex Lukey/Design Department

In home decor, greenery may be valued for its aesthetic properties, but it’s clear that there’s more to flora than just looks. At Design Department Inc. by Artistic Gardens, co-owner Meredyth Hilton takes a well-rounded approach to building your dream garden, outdoors or in. Hilton specializes in hand-drawn garden plans tailored to each unique space along with design workshops and classes, and custom and vintage home-decor items. After an initial consultation where Hilton discusses botanical needs, lifestyle and taste with her clients, she’ll prepare a drawing to map out their garden. “I have sensed a need for this service for some time,” she said. “It’s a satisfying process for me and it gives people the option of building the garden themselves or contracting it out and they can have their design on the spot.”

Sprucing up your indoor space with greenery is always a good idea, especially with winter on its way. Hilton offers classes geared to condo dwellers with minimal space, such as her Coffee, Croissants and Terrariums Workshop on Oct. 21, and recommends starting small when you plot out your indoor garden. Look for species like the popular fiddlehead ficus, forgiving philodendrons or a dwarf lime tree, a citrusy delight at cocktail hour, which are ideal options for the home. “Plants are alive and people treat them as beings, not objects,” Hilton says of the continuing plant craze in interiors. “There is nothing that can replace a living, changing aspect in your home.”

Design Department, 558 Mount Pleasant Rd., Toronto, 416-488-2179, designdepartmentinc.ca.

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Alex Lukey/Design Department

Vintage 1920, aqua-blue glass car-battery jar repurposed into a terrarium, $120.

Alex Lukey/Design Department

Vintage cast-iron dog door stops, $120 each.

Alex Lukey/Design Department

1960s antique German educational botanical print, $475.

Style news

In its first exhibition dedicated exclusively to fashion, the Vancouver Art Gallery is bringing the work of Chinese couturière Guo Pei to Canada. Running from Oct. 13 to Jan. 20, Guo Pei: Couture Beyond showcases the opulent designs of the avant-garde designer, who is influenced by the craftsmanship of the Qing dynasty. Guo gained global recognition in 2015, when Rihanna wore one of her designs – a yellow cape made of 55 pounds of embroidered silk with a five-metre train – to the Met Gala in New York. This piece, along with more than 40 others in the VAG show, will trace the evolution of Guo’s design sensibility.

If you’ve ever flipped through a Canadian fashion magazine, you’ve likely come across a beautiful bauble from the Carole Tanenbaum Vintage Collection. Tanenbaum is a Toronto-based collector of costume jewellery who has amassed more than 30,000 pieces, ranging from the Victorian era to modern day. On Oct. 15, she’ll be auctioning off more than 400 items from this collection through Ripley Auctions, with pieces from brands such as Dior, Chanel, Trifari and more. Highlights include a 1970s Kenneth Jay Lane serpent cuff and a rare Cleopatra pin brooch. Although the auction is held live in Indianapolis, bids can be made online at ripleyauctions.com.

This fall, the Ottawa Art Gallery is presenting the first Canadian large-scale exhibition dedicated to the work of designer Karim Rashid. Karim Rashid: Cultural Shaping runs from Oct. 11 to Feb. 10 and includes some of the designer’s best-known works such as the Oh Chair designed for Umbra. Rashid has more than 4,000 designs in production, client work in 40-plus countries and has won nearly 300 awards. This exhibition features more than 200 designs and includes unique objects and original sketches. It also examines Rashid’s continuing emphasis on environmental responsibility and sustainability.

The 12th Wearable Art Show is returning to Oakville, Ont., this month. Promoting the work of Canadian artists from Oct. 18 to 20 at the St. Volodymyr Cultural Centre, this year’s edition features the work of about 30 makers, including Sofia Thomson’s hand-crafted leather handbags with acrylic paintings and Caryl Richmond’s headbands and leg warmers made of recycled garments. The concept of this year’s show is Birds of a Feather and includes a contest inviting artists to create something new based on this theme with an award presentation on Thursday evening.

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