Colour your room
Our recipe for banishing the winter blahs is to brighten up your bland beige decor with a visit to Ma Zone 's (63 Jarvis, 416-868-0330) winter sale. Design-mag-worthy home accessories in bold hues are marked down by 20 to 40 per cent. Squeeze some OJ in Alessi's rocket-ship-like juicer by Philippe Starck or curl up with a giant cup of java in Ritzenhoff's cartooney café au lait mugs.
Commesse (412 Roncesvalles, 416-533-2258) owner Keren Perez promises size 14-24 shoppers there's not a single boxy cut or elastic waist in her west-side boutique. Stylish gear from labels like Nine West, Point Zero and Green Jean fills her three-month-old store dedicated to fashion-plating fuller figures. Most of her merch is now marked down by 15 to 30 per cent, but you can get a bonus 10 per cent off if you mention hearing about her Sweet Deal in NOW.
Reality TV's current craze is with helping people get their lives on track by purging their basement clutter. If watching has you wondering what to do with your rammed-to-the-rafters attic, give Toronto's Furniture Bank (200 Madison, 416-934-1229, www.furniturebank.org) a call. Since 1998, they've been collecting used furniture and housewares (free of charge) for folks leaving shelters and setting up house for the first time. They're currently on the hunt for bedding, towels and kitchen supplies.
Are your shoes looking a little shabby from winter pavement-pounding? Find a friend who needs new shoes and head to Heel Boy (682 Queen West, 416-362-4335) for the two-for-one sale. Buy any combo of men's or women's shoes or boots by labels like Miss Sixty, Frye and Fornarina and the cheaper pair is free. You can even substitute a perfect purse by Matt & Nat or Jeanne Lottie.
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