Finding Inspiration: Josef Frank–The Unknown Watercolours

April 13th, 2017


John picked up this beautiful book from Svenskt Tenn. It’s interesting to delve into how a creative mind works, from still life exploration to timeless and delightful patterns for the home. The book also covers his life and various relationships and how they inspired his work.


It showcases Josef Frank’s watercolours of nature, still life and street scenes.


Tulip inspiration for his famous Primavera print.


A Greek myth painting and Svenskt Tenn pattern based on Greek poet Anacreon.


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That Is Best Which Works Best Exhibition

February 3rd, 2017


Thom Fougere’s fire tools received a coveted Designlines Loves tag during our amazing opening reception Wednesday night. Unlike past years, our new products are available for purchase, as are a selection of Shaker items (to be added to the website next week, apologies).

This show came together serendipitously. We’d been talking with Thom for years about his fire tools design, while this spring John saw Hallgeir’s pieces for Furnishing Utopia at Hancock Shaker Village. Meanwhile, all of us visited Hancock within a month of each other. So Shaker has been on our collective minds!




Original Shaker stove – $3500 CDN with Thom Fougere fire tool set


Wall mounted is a Shaker chopping board – $3000CDN

Shaker inspired towel rack from Momogusa, special order – $675CDN


Shaker Bench – $3500CDN



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Large Wool Storage Basket – $2500CDN
Shaker cabinet – $22,000 CDN


In the foreground, a Portable and collapsable herb drying rack – $1800CDN


Shovel used by the Shakers  – not available


Wall mounted candle holder – not available


Sabbath day Lake Shakers’ Herb Containers (set of 5) – $ 400


Herb Cultivating Basket – not available


Chabako Tea Kit by Masanobu Ando, with shaker inspired box – $1300


Doverail shelves and mirror by Hallgeir Homstvedt.


Enfield Shaker Table – developed by John Baker and Jason Collett


Portable, by Hallgeir Homstvedt receives a Designlines loves tag.


A variety of handmade Shaker Whisks – not available


Shaker inspired George Nakashima bench – personal collection

Tyndall Stone Vases by Thom Fougere – available for a variety of prices






A unique Shaker invention: The apple peeler $2200 CDN


Børge Mogensen J39 chair next to a Shaker chair (not available). Both hanging on our shaker peg rail made by Jake Whillans.


Hans Wegner J16 rocking chair and stool next to a Shaker side table – not available.


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That Is Best Which Works Best: Contemporary Works

January 18th, 2017


Back in 2009, John and I were green, fresh faced bloggers, checking out the Interior Design Show and making new connections. One such connection that has grown through the years is with Winnipeg designer Thom Fougere.

We started working with him on his fire tools project because we simply couldn’t find a nice set of fire tools for the cottage fireplace. We immediately responded to the simple language Thom uses to create a clean lined and concise response to our problem, and set to working with him to bring his drawing to fruition. We worked with various makers, most notably building on our ongoing relationship with Toronto-based Harnisch for the metal components.

We have two versions available for sale, brass and blackened brass with horse hair bristles, walnut/oak and natural leather handles.

[click on images to see more details and pricing]








Photo credit: Charlie Schuck

John originally contacted Hallgeir Homstvedt back in May regarding his Shaker pieces for the exhibition Furnishing Utopia. John simply wanted these pieces for himself, but when he found out they weren’t in production, we decided to work with Hallgeir on bringing them to market. Using Ontario-based Speke Klein for the wood components, we will be launching these pieces on Wednesday as well.

On the left is the Doverail Mirror, which can be moved up and down using a brass knob. No peg rail necessary for mounting, it is more of a reference to Shaker peg rails, made for the modern home.

On the right, the adjustable Doverail shelves, perfect for a small entryway catch all, bathroom accessories, or any where you need a little #shelflove.

[click on the images to see more details and pricing]




Photo credit: Charlie Schuck

Portable is a toolbox that functions as a desktop organizer, with a reference to Shaker cabinets.

[click on the images to see more details and pricing]

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Photo credit: Charlie Schuck

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From John, to Juli

December 28th, 2016


Shaker chair, bought in part because we passed a chair up while on our shaker road trip–although it wasn’t a real Shaker chair, we had felt kind of disappointed we didn’t buy it. This one will come in handy with our upcoming exhibition in January!


Cast-iron Doorstop Acorn by Eva Shildt and Maja Sten. We admired this piece when interviewing Eva Shildt in her home.


The gorgeous brass Plate Moondrop in the foreground, by Ingegerd Råman. Howell is obsessed with this piece, and keeps getting his little fingerprints all over it.

In case you’re wondering, yes, the coffee table always has these objects(or some iteration) on it, and mostly the children pay no mind. We just have to be mindful when they are feeling some big feelings…then we have to batten down the hatches so to speak.

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Merry Christmas!

December 25th, 2016


It’s becoming a yearly Christmas tradition for John to go on a Svenskt Tenn bender. With such a gorgeous and otherwise inaccessible collection it’s not hard to understand why. One spectacular piece he picked up is this giant candelabra. I cannot even find it on their website anymore so I assume it was a holiday thing. This is the only calm moment during an otherwise chaotic dinner.

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Before dinner on Christmas Eve we open presents. We celebrate our own little Christmas with local grandma Mémé before heading out to the other grandparent’s house in the morning. I am pretty proud of our holiday buying this year, one gift per kid (Howell received a Brio firefighter train extension set and Elodie received a Maplelea doll) plus one joint gift (Magnatiles). Paw Patroller courtesy of Mémé. How many Paw Patrol toys did your kids get? I assume too many.

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Our visit with Santa this year, at the Junction train platform. What a nice tradition our BIA has going. It’s so lovely to just walk across the street, see Santa arrive on a local firetruck, wander the neighbourhood watching local dance school students perform the Christmas themed dances in shop windows, grab a hot chocolate and warm up inside doing a craft at ARTiculations.

We hope that everyone had a lovely holiday, and we wish you all the best for 2017!

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Friday in the city

November 21st, 2016


Last week I picked up a new camera, the Canon PowerShot G7X, in the hopes of blogging more – the quality I’m used to, a compact size and wifi were what I was looking for. On Friday I took it out for a test drive and am really excited for the potential!

First stop was newish Junction spot Dirty Food. When Locomotive and Little Fish closed awhile back we were pretty sad about a lack of early morning breakfast spots so Dirty Food has opened at an opportune time. With an 8am start to the day, they are ideal for our early risers (meaning we are only on second breakfast by the time we head over).



Howell contemplating the Johnny Cakes.


John had the Chicken and Waffles. They also have a fantastic eggs benedict, and my favourite lunch item is homemade pierogies.



Next stop was the Evergreen Brickworks for a nature walk.


The fall colours are pretty much gone but the wintry light was still really pretty.





A boy and his stick. Thank goodness he’s obsessed with those rain boots.

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What a beautiful day it was. I hope everyone in Toronto had a chance to get out for a little bit, especially now that the cold has arrived.