General

That Is Best Which Works Best: Contemporary Works

January 18th, 2017

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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]

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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]

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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

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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!

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

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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

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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

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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).

 

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Howell contemplating the Johnny Cakes.

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

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Next stop was the Evergreen Brickworks for a nature walk.

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

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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.

 

Renaud Sauvé Exhibition at Mjölk

November 7th, 2016

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The other week we hosted Renaud Sauvé of Atelier des Cent-ans in his second exhibition at Mjölk. The theme this time was Bestiary, an exploration in sculpted, engraved and painted animals in porcelain.

Shop the Exhibition here.

Words from the artist:

In my mind, the attention I give animals reveals that through their movements, life remains the focal point and goes on unwaveringly. The violent convulsions of a dragon, the minute impulses of a snail or the quiet comprise and dignity of the tortoise, are an invitation to build a strong connection with them. Animals can express anything. Depending on the context of dynamics they can say anything. Sometimes just as I am falling asleep or returning to consciousness and my eyes are closed, animal images come to me. Such treasures will turn into porcelain motifs or bosses.

This exhibit gives me the opportunity to display a whole series of new works. The term “bestiary” comes to mind. The collection involves (sculpted, engraved or painted) animals that may be real or imaginary. The creatures are often strange but never estranged. At least that is my hope.
– Renaud Sauve

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John, Renaud and Juli.

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Reiko flower arranging.

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Apothecary jars.

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Thank you to everyone who came out to celebrate the opening of Bestiary with us. The works will continue to remain in the showroom until November 9 (many will still be around after this date, and available online).

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True Nordic Exhibition at The Gardiner Museum

October 14th, 2016

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Tuesday night we were excited to go to the opening reception for The Gardiner Museum‘s new exhibition, True Nordic: How Scandinavia influenced design in Canada. Curated by Dr. Rachel Gotlieb and Michael Prokopow, we are honoured that our Garden Works collaboration with Anderssen & Voll is on display.

 

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From the press release: Scandinavian design initially reached Canada’s elite consumers and style-makers via museum and gallery exhibitions, showrooms, small retail shops and articles and advertisements in popular decorator magazines. However, it was the dynamic influx of émigré craftspeople from Scandinavia who both affirmed and vernacularized the aesthetic in Canada and who shaped profoundly the country’s design and craft movement from the 1930s onward. What was broadly known as “Danish modern” became synonymous with ideas about good design, and “comfortable and gracious living.” Capitalizing on the market opportunities presented, Canadian manufacturers added Scandinavian design to their conservative repertoire of colonial and historicist offerings and called these lines, Helsinki, Stanvanger, Scanda and so on. The culminating section of the exhibition will ask why Scandinavian and Nordic aesthetics continue to resonate with so many contemporary Canadian designers and artisans at work today.

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The exhibition was designed by friend of the shop Andrew Jones Design / Graphic design by q30 design inc. Loved the Alto-esque paper room divider and the intimate wall colours.

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During the Q&A discussion, there was a bit of talk about how a lot of the designers were married couples. Naturally we like this dynamic a lot!

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In the contemporary designers section there are a lot of local designers and artisans, such as Castor, Sean Plaice, MSDS, and Bookhou. It was nice to see everyone in the same place.

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The exhibition book was a nice surprise, containing some essays and the exhibition catalog. The fire tools pictured are from a project we have been working on with Winnipeg designer Thom Fougere (to be launched in January).

Please go see this show at the Gardiner Museum, running until January 8.

 

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