Book collectors and connoisseurs know the name, but soon enough, everybody with a penchant for art books will once again: Cahiers d’Art. That name has referred to, at various times, a publishing house, a gallery, and also a revue, founded in 1926 by Christian Zervos at 14 rue du Dragon in the heart of Saint-Germain-des-Prés in Paris.

Looking at its granite-grey exterior from afar, the manorial 18th-century Houghton Hall in Norfolk, England, doesn’t appear as though its inner walls would be brimming with canvases by Rembrandt van Rijn, Anthony van Dyck, or Diego Velázquez. And though it certainly did display those artworks a few hundred years ago, in recent history it hasn’t—until now.

In simple terms, nordic design, much like the cuisine, places its emphasis on a Scandinavian heritage and clean simplicity; it’s a combination that continues to impress the design world.

Love him or loathe him, philosopher Alain de Botton has gotten a couple of things quite right. “There is psychological pleasure [during] takeoff,” he writes in The Art of Travel. “For the swiftness of the plane’s ascent is an exemplary symbol of transformation.”

FROM THE ARCHIVE: Sand sculptures aren’t just for kids. Our profile on Ontario’s Karen Fralich who began sculpting at the age of 14 and competing in 1998.

Centuries ago, porcelain was born from fire in China, and today its fine sheen continues to elevate the common plate to a higher realm. By way of this baptism by fire comes Bernardaud, which recently debuted a new collection to celebrate its 150th anniversary.

Less of a wanderer and more of a permanent fixture on the streets of New York, a beaux arts building on Broadway and 28th Street opened up as the NoMad Hotel last year to widespread acclaim.

Four blocks away from New York’s Central Park, on the 10th floor of the Architects & Designers Building, is the GE Monogram Design Center—an oasis of possibility for a master chef, and an exploration for a culinary neophyte.

When Want Passport opened up shop at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport last fall, heads turned. It is prim and proper, and it has a resolute purpose to fill every last space in any fashionable traveller’s carry-on.

Before Louis Vuitton was the brand, it was one very stylish man. In 1888, that very Vuitton, together with his son Georges, developed a checkerboard motif of small brown and beige squares emblazoned upon canvas; he named it Damier.

FROM THE ARCHIVE: “Wine,” wrote Ernest Hemingway, “is one of the most civilized things in the world.” He spent a good portion of four decades, from the 1920s through the ’50s, living and writing in Spain; it’s easy to guess the origin of his choice elixirs. Whatever Hemingway was drinking, I’m channelling his sentiment while sipping a cocktail mixed with cava in Valencia, the country’s third-largest city.

In 2007, Barcelona-based designer Cristian Zuzunaga founded an eponymous creative hub. Today it produces multicoloured mosaic-like prints and accessories for both homes and humans. Bespoke blankets, cushions, espadrilles, bags, and scarves make up the thoughtful collections.

Scott Schuman’s crystalline eyes don’t just have a penchant for spotting striking street-style fashions; the baby blues are easy to get lost in, too. The hard work of those talented eyes has earned the Indianapolis-born, New York–based blogger and photographer cult status as street photographer extraordinaire, stemming from the 2005 creation of his fashion blog, The Sartorialist.

Thirteen is a lucky number for Regalia, the latest jewellery collection from Mikimoto, which features just that many pearlescent pieces. For inspiration, the company’s master artisans spent two years poring over their rich and plentiful archives, studying seminal works in order to create new interpretations that alluded to the past.

Location is everything, and at the world’s best resorts a serendipitous setting puts them leagues ahead of the rest. Consider the St. Regis Bal Harbour Resort, situated on Miami Beach in South Florida’s esteemed Bal Harbour enclave.

Lights. Camera. Action. When the Toronto International Film Festival hits every September, red carpets roll across the city and set it all aquiver. When TIFF was founded back in 1976, it was called, charmingly, the Festival of Festivals, but today it really is, as it is the largest public film festival in the world.

If anybody were to call Jeff Hamada a square, they would have it almost all wrong. Yes, the glasses he wears are more right-angled than spherical. Certainly, many of the drawings he showcases on his blog sit comfortably within the parameters of straight-edged borders.

Jean Schlumberger was one of the most renowned jewellery designers of the 20th century, and during his long and storied career, he created whimsical pieces for the likes of Elizabeth Taylor, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, and Greta Garbo. The Frenchman’s spirit lives on in the sparkling repertoire of Tiffany & Co., and a recreation of his Bird on a Rock brooch design is a prime specimen.

In just five and half years, the meticulously branded Monocle empire has become a media monolith. Created by Wallpaper* founder Tyler Brûlé (who now serves as editor-in-chief), Monocle is known for its crisp aesthetic, bespoke products, radio broadcast, website, and print magazine. A network of boutiques has also opened up and on October 18, Canada got its first.

Evolution and innovation take to the racks for Max Mara’s Here is the Cube collection, a selection of customizable down jackets. Originally created in 2008, the Cube was recently adapted in both form and function for fall/winter 2012, adding extra options for additional layers of finesse.

From the streets of Hong Kong to the boroughs of New York, Herschel Supply Co.’s distinctly nostalgic backpacks and bags are strapped onto backs and slung over shoulders the world over. Herschel was founded by brothers Lyndon and Jamie Cormack in Vancouver three years ago, and the company still calls the city home.

The creation of a fragrance is rooted in chemistry, but the beauty of scent is shrouded in mystery. At first blush, the aroma reveals not only the wearer’s taste, but also ignites intrigue: who is the woman behind it? Balenciaga bottles this juxtaposition with Florabotanica, a heady composition of rose, vetiver, amber, carnation, and mint.

Native Shoes, based in Vancouver, crafts the most comfortable footwear you may ever wear. “Keep it Lite” is the company’s ethos, and they do. Their flexible (and easily packable) signature hole-covered styles are 100 per cent hip, and made from soft and flexible EVA material for a breathable, all-in-one gardening, camping, or beach slide-on.

Québécois sugar shacks harvest their maple motherlodes in the spring, but autumn is when breakfast tables become laden with syrup bottles. Noble Handcrafted, a culinary line created by Mikuni Wild Harvest, blends two types of maple syrup, each one a confectionary tribute to Canadiana with a hint of je ne sais quoi.

Ever since Sebago was founded back in 1946 by three East Coast entrepreneurs, the footwear company hasn’t stepped far from its New England roots. Every design is classically crafted with the countryside and oceanfront in mind—from collaborations with Americana outdoor outfitters like Filson and Woolrich, to their salt water–washed docksides.

Geometry melds with botany in the cells of plants, but Score + Solder elevates that to the macro level with the clean-cut lines of their handmade terrariums and planters. The B.C.-based operation is helmed by Matthew Cleland, who builds each piece—works of art in and of themselves—at his Pender Island home.

FROM THE ARCHIVE: Safety first. That is always the rule when heading to a foreign land (although it’s not one that I’ve always heeded). When my plane takes off for Bogotá, the Spanish-speaking elderly lady on my left signs the cross. After we hit the tarmac in Colombia, the young woman to my right does the same.

Panamax. It’s not in the dictionary, but if you know big boats and economics, you probably know it’s the term used to describe the maximum size of ship that can squeeze through the Panama Canal. For almost 100 years, Panama has been famous for that canal and its cross-country joining of the coasts, and the nation’s location is also a meeting of the Americas, north and south.

“Watch Out: Morning Person”. These are the deadpan warning words emblazoned on the backs of T-shirts at CreativeMornings lectures in Vancouver. On one Friday of every month, 250-odd creative types gather together for a lecture under the CreativeMornings moniker.

Fashionably functional, Molami was born from the mind of industrial designer Maria von Euler during study breaks while attending design school in Stockholm, Sweden. The result is a collection of lust-worthy headphones and earbuds that fuse technology with tailored contemporary design.

Lovers of all things Christian Louboutin, take note. In celebration of the company’s 20th anniversary, the designer’s famous red-soled shoes stroll from the catwalk and into London’s Design Museum this summer with a retrospective devoted to the man and his designs.

Toronto rules victorious this June with the opening of Canada’s very first Victorinox Swiss Army boutique. With 2,200 square feet of retail space spread across two floors, (plus a cutlery area on the lower level and offices on the top), the Bloor Street flagship is fully loaded with an arsenal of Victorinox’s finest products.

At Cartems Donuterie in Vancouver, sin has a conscience. Their ethically decadent, ingeniously-flavoured donuts—think rich, meat-embedded Canadian Whiskey Bacon, Earl Grey Tea, and Triple Chocolate Threat donuts—are wildly popular, and with good reason.

Tiffany & Co. adds alchemy to their repertoire with the launch of Tiffany 1837, a new collection crafted primarily from a new jeweller’s metal called Rubedo. Lightweight and radiant, Rubedo is composed of gold, silver, and copper.

We all know the philosophical question involving a tree falling in a forest. Now, Austrian design studio KMKG has devised a way to keep a tree trunk singing long after it is felled, with their iTree docking stations. Each individual work of art is carved from a hollowed tree trunk and is compatible with iPhones and iPods.

This May, Virgin Atlantic officially enters the Canadian airline market with a new flight route between Vancouver and London (Heathrow Airport). The service will start with four flights per week on its Airbus A340-300 carrier—and, of course, the complete Virgin experience is in the cards for all customers.

William Shakespeare invented a language all his own—that of a universal human condition. But a global language spoken in only one tongue is a limited existence. This summer, Shakespeare’s Globe theatre in London aims to change that with Globe to Globe.

FROM THE ARCHIVE: Just because you can tame something doesn’t mean you should. And thankfully, Tasmanians agree. The rugged island off Australia’s southern shore is known as the country’s wildest state, and also its smallest. Within its heart-shaped borders lurks an island utopia.

The town of Argenteuil, just outside of Paris, was something of an artistic Holy Land during the Impressionist era. In the 1870s, Claude Monet would invite Pierre-Auguste Renoir and Édouard Manet there to paint with him, capturing the idyllic surroundings on canvas. Today, Nathalie Decoster finds inspiration on the same hallowed grounds, working from her factory-turned-studio, casting sculptures out of bronze, stainless steel, and concrete.

For a restaurant with a Greek name, a New Zealand–born chef, and a location in the unassumingly hip Ripponlea neighbourhood just outside the city centre of Melbourne, Attica’s unpredictability is more than part of its charm.

Step into a Betty Hemmings Leathergoods boutique and the first sense to be triggered is smell: pure, rich leather. Next, set sights on some of the world’s best, which has been stretched, cut, dyed, and crafted into functional attachés, briefcases, luggage, jewellery boxes, backgammon sets, and more.

“Every man is the builder of a temple,” and art collector David Walsh has created one of mammoth proportions that’s filled with art. On the outskirts of Hobart in Tasmania—a small island off Australia’s southeast coast measuring just 315 kilometres across at its greatest width—is the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA), the largest private art museum in the country.

When Liana Yaroslavsky fell in love with a Murano chandelier during a trip to Venice, she didn’t know it would one day be the catalyst for her signature chic table designs.

FROM THE ARCHIVE: For the chess aficionado, a well-played checkmate is a sense of unparalleled satisfaction. Louis Vuitton wants to make that feeling even better with their new bespoke chess set, now offered as part of their custom-made product portfolio.

The locals have dubbed Sparkling Hill Resort “the Crystal Palace,” an apt moniker because this resort is, indeed, full of crystals, and sits high atop a granite ridge overlooking a kingdom of scenic rolling hills and Okanagan Lake below. Crystal architecture is its central theme, with more than 3.5 million individual Swarovski crystals incorporated into the design.

A mountain-biking vacation is usually a rugged adventure—with similarly rugged sleeping accommodations—but soon you may have the option of leaving the tent at home. That is what Philip Modest Schambelan and Anton Fromm are proposing with their concept hotel, Hiding in Triangles.

Reimagining everyday objects is something that Hermès does all too well—especially with their leather goods, which are unsurpassed in craftsmanship.

Moleskine notebooks have long been a staple for artists and authors past and present; Ernest Hemingway, Pablo Picasso, and Vincent van Gogh were all devoted fans. Now, oenophiles have their own version: the Wine Passion Moleskine, specially tailored for wine lovers.

This year, two decades after the classic Trésor fragrance debuted, Lancôme is launching Trésor In Love, a reworking of the original formula.

At the end of the Roaring Twenties, René Lacoste was the best tennis player in the world. The sports legend later became a fashion icon when he put his favourite white polo shirt into production, launching his eponymous brand.

Sleepbox is a welcome solution for every weary traveller who has ever fallen asleep hunched over in an airport lounge chair. The Arch Group design firm has conceptualized this series of sleep pods, which act as miniature pop-up hotels within airports.

Once the summer sun is burning bright, staying indoors begins to feel like a prison. For those of us who eschew the concept of year-round tans from bottled bronzer, summertime is a golden opportunity to head outside for a healthy dose of vitamin D. But what can we do post-beach to help sustain a glowing tan?

Pure, all-natural skin-care products don’t have to come from a health-food store to include a list of organic ingredients and have a handcrafted feel. Canadian company Consonant covers all the bases by uniting luxury with organic—two words that don’t often find themselves side by side.

We all know that sleep is important, even if we don’t always make time for it. Sleep, or lack thereof, impacts us in myriad ways, from our productivity at work to the glow of our skin. And for something we spend a good chunk of lives doing, it’s worthwhile to ensure that we’re getting quality rest.

From collar to cuff, customized Prada shirts are now ready for order through their made-to-measure program, available at the Fifth Avenue, Madison, Broadway, SoHo, and Beverly Hills Prada boutiques.

Curtis Stone has a straightforward kitchen code: take pleasure in simple foods and enjoy them with close friends.

The Museum of Vancouver explores the world of taxidermy with “Ravishing Beasts”, on display until February 28, 2010. The exhibit features pieces from the museum’s natural history collection that have not been shown for half a century and were acquired mainly by Vancouver residents from 1894 to 1950.

What lies within a gift box is a question of joyful anticipation; all the better if the box is orange. This season, Hermès has dreamed up two new whimsical gift-box sets. To give or to receive, that is the question.

You can still have an Olympic medallion without having to compete in Vancouver’s 2010 Games. The Royal Canadian Mint is offering a special collection of commemorative coins, each one intricately decorated and etched with images and symbols of Canadiana and Olympic pride.

Since 1964, the infamous Pirelli calendar—often referred to as simply “the Cal”—has achieved cult status with its eye-popping photography and art direction.

We feed our bodies from the inside out, so why not target our complexions the same way? Enter French skin-care company Skeen+, whose Skeen+ drink extracts the antioxidant benefits of grapes into drinkable, pipette-size doses

A crumpled tie does nothing for a smart suit. Louis Vuitton’s tie travel case keeps up to five fine ties looking fresh and pressed for business on the road.

Fifth Avenue Brown, Rodeo Drive Violet, Causeway Bay Smoke—Tie-Ups plastic belts are as creatively named as they are coloured. Made in Italy, the multihued belts have interchangeable buckles that can be mixed up to match any outfit, and are made from recycled rubber and plastic (which means you can keep it on when walking through airport security). The slim-waisted can …

Even if you’re not an architect, you can still build your own Guggenheim. Clear a space on the living room floor for the latest LEGO innovation.

There is nothing like the lather of a bar of soap. And luckily for us, the bar is back, with rich suds, great packaging, and our favourite fragrances. Chloé leads the pack this fall with the launch of two luxurious new bars, both variations on the rose-scented original, and both available in limited edition soap sets.  

The biggest season for fashion is also the best time of year to find a favourite handbag revived and refreshed by a redesign.

Searching for a polo shirt that’s a little out of the ordinary? Look no further than Lacoste’s collaboration with São Paulo–based industrial designers Fernando and Humberto Campana and their company, Campanas.