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The Globe and Mail

Take-out decor ideas from a trendy Toronto restaurant

The most memorable restaurants pay as much as attention to the decor as to the food. At homey Ruby Watchco in east-end Toronto, the modern-rustic design is as delicious as the dishes - and offers plenty of ideas for your next reno project

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FOLLOW THE SIGNS Here, a vintage commercial sign established not only the restaurant’s key colour theme, but also its moniker: Bought at Cornerstone Home Interiors in Toronto’s west-end Junction area, the mirrored mosaic find, originally from India, was so inspiring that it became the restaurant’s name.

Handout | Christine Flynn | Love the Design/Handout | Christine Flynn | Love the Design

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ADD COLOUR TO YOUR KITCHEN Bored of whites and metallics dominating the kitchen? Consider adding colour, especially with smaller elements such as cooking and serving vessels. Boasting oven-to-table versatility and a cherry-red finish, the Le Creuset dishes that chef Lynn Crawford uses combine function and high style.

Handout | Christine Flynn | Love the Design/Handout | Christine Flynn | Love the Design

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FILE UNDER CHARMING Bring a little instant history and charm to your storage solutions, whether in the kitchen or elsewhere, with reclaimed and recycled metal filing systems. At Ruby, the rustic patinated green filing cabinet used to be in an Ontario courthouse.

Handout | Christine Flynn | Love the Design/Handout | Christine Flynn | Love the Design

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DARE TO GO BARE Old-school Edison bulbs are a hot lighting trend, attributable to the industrial charm of the exposed filaments and the warm amber glow they give off. Ruby’s decor took the exposed-bulb fixtures, then ordered up some oversized mood enhancers from Restoration Hardware in homage.

Handout | Christine Flynn | Love the Design/Handout | Christine Flynn | Love the Design

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DRAFT A STYLISH SEATING PLAN If you’re looking for an inexpensive group-seating option, consider a basic yet stylish old-style drafting table. Thanks to the pedestal base design, you’ll be able to squeeze an expanding crowd around the perimeter. But be sure the tilting mechanism is fully tightened.

Handout | Christine Flynn | Love the Design/Handout | Christine Flynn | Love the Design

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CELEBRATE YOUR PREP WORK Embracing the value of fresh ingredients from local farmers, the prep table is visible for all to see and is lit from above with enameled industrial pendants to give it the air of importance of an operating table.

Handout | Christine Flynn | Love the Design/Handout | Christine Flynn | Love the Design

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OPEN EXPOSURE Instead of keeping your everyday dishware and glassware behind closed doors, place them stylish display for quick table-setting ease. Think of this as a one-stop storage solution for everything from linens and cutlery to basic dishes.

Handout | Christine Flynn | Love the Design/Handout | Christine Flynn | Love the Design

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DINING ANGLES Installing a bar? You might want to consider wrapping it around the corner in a L shape. The perpendicular counter allows you to sit at a 90 degree angle to your neighbour, which is much more intimate that sitting side by side like you’re on the bus.

Handout | Christine Flynn | Love the Design/Handout | Christine Flynn | Love the Design

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