General

London, day one

June 4th, 2016

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In London we stayed at The Laslett hotel in Notting Hill. Would definitely stay here again. Mid-price range and a fantastic location right by Notting Hill tube station. We found it very easy to get around from this vantage point.

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They upgraded our room so I am not sure what it would have been like in a smaller room, but it was clean and comfortable and well put together. Because we didn’t have time to run around looking for breakfast we had it in our room and it was actually reasonable (and not ridiculous, like the platter of 7 pastries I received for like $45 at one hotel…I mean, I love pastries, but can really only eat one or two at most).

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Inga Sempé w103c Clamp Table Light in the library.

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More shots of the library. There is also a little eating space and bar on the other side of the entrance.

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Naturally our first stop in London was to visit Margaret Howell, unattainable up to this point, since her clothing is not readily available in Toronto and we are wary online clothing shopper. Let’s just say we did some shopping.

R: A gorgeous wall hanging (or rug?) by Mourne Textiles

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Margaret Howell seamlessly incorporates lifestyle and homestyle in one space, with a focus on British design.

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We asked for a lunch recommendation and ended up at Fishworks on Marylebone High Street. From the outside it just looks like a fishmonger but there is a restaurant nestled in the back. Although we felt a bit unadventurous ordering the Fish & Chips, it was the BEST decision.

Then some wandering around and a lovely dinner at Fera at Claridge’s with a customer of ours.

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A few things from Iceland

April 30th, 2016

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As we mentioned previously, Spark Design Space closed at the end of March. We were thankful that we had one last opportunity to check it out and to speak with owner Sigríður Sigurjónsdóttir.

We picked up one of the candleholders from Spark’s last show 1+1+1, whereby three design studios reimagine and collaborate on a variety of objects. This candlestick is comprised of elements designed separately by each group, and then put together to make about 30+ unique combinations.

I also attempted to impulse purchase the book Questions of Travel: William Morris in Iceland but ended up receiving it as a gift from Sigríður (thanks again!!!).

Also pictured: A sculpture by Paul Wackers and a vintage Alvar Aalto door handle.

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Although these pretty Hafod Grange Paperweights hail from the UK (our next trip!), John has been obsessing over them for awhile. One for John.

Also pictured: Tapio Wirkkala copper bowl

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One for Elodie.

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Howell got this gorgeous sweater by As We Grow. Based out of Reykjavik, the company is trying to bring back a sense of value to children’s clothing, with the idea that it can be passed on. Really beautiful quality. I wanted to get the kids Icelandic sweaters but most of them can be a bit scratchy. This one is so soft. Howell hates when we put it on him but then we can’t take it off him. I have to hover by him while he eats so he doesn’t get food on it (he also refuses a bib). So I’d say he loves it.

[photo of Howell by Gaby]

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Adaism Mobile

March 12th, 2016

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Last year when we visited Kumu in Tokyo, we picked up this beautiful mobile, which currently hangs over Howell’s crib, accompanied by (and complimentary to) a Junpei Ori painting. Every baby needs a mobile, and we like to buy mobiles that can be enjoyed long past babyhood.

This particular piece caught our eye because it’s so delicate yet balanced, and its movement was so subtle.

I was particularly excited when the designer of the mobile contacted us via email, because she is actually a follower of the blog and read that we had bought her piece. Having lived in Japan, Annett shares our affinity for the Northern spirit and aesthetic.

Currently based in Portugal she picks up bits’n'pieces for the mobiles during long walks on the beach and in the streets of Lisbon.

Here are some descriptions of the mobiles she currently has up on her website:

room poetry made of found objects 
in a silent conversation with air and light

a kinetic sculpture composed with found material 
fragile metals and stones transformed by the ocean

 

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Stockholm souvenirs

March 9th, 2016

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We didn’t do too much shopping on our last trip to Stockholm, but we did manage to all come away with a little something. Claesson Koivisto Rune gifted us their book about their recently completed architectural project The inde/jacobs gallery in Marfa, Texas. They also collaborated with Skultuna to create a limited edition run of paper weights, so we popped by the Skultuna concept store to pick one up.

Marfa 1/32″ = 1′ Scale model paperweight
The desk in the inde/jacobs gallery is strategically placed in the cross-breeze between the entrance and inner courtyard doors. To hold papers down, the Marfa 1/32″ = 1′ paperweight was designed. Made in the shape of a scale model of the gallery and manufactured in sand-cast and polished brass by Skultuna, a Swedish brass foundry established in 1607.

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Nearby is a little Swedish folk craft shop we like to visit called Svensk Slöjd. They happened to have some simple brown leather clogs on sale, and I couldn’t pass up the $20 score. Looking forward to wearing these around the cottage.

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We’ve been waiting years to indulge in some Pippi Longstocking…Elodie is still a tad too young for the movies but we thought an introductory book and the hobby horse (and a dress, not pictured) were a good place to start. We had to go to three toy stores to find that horse - there was something about buying the Pippi horse that had to happen.

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Stockholm February 2016, part two

February 27th, 2016

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Day three brought us to Gamla Stan for a morning meeting. I absolutely love the coloured buildings. It was an especially grey and dark week and the colours certainly bring some joy.

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We enjoyed a lovely conversation about design at Cia Weden and Lovisa Wattman’s shared studio. You may remember Lovisa from our very first Mjölk book. I absolutely love how the Swedish offset the dimness of winter with candles.

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Terrazzo flooring at Gamla Stan station.

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Next up was lunch at Ett Hem. We originally wanted to stay there but they were fully booked, so a meal in their kitchen was the next best option. Served at the communal harvest table in the cozy kitchen, we dined on a two course meal. To our surprise, none other than Ilse Crawford ended up dining with us. What a pleasure it was to be able to discuss design with her.

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Then we had a quick peek around…

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Pallo Vase by Carina Seth Andersson.

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I liked the green tile in the bathroom, which matched my blouse.

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Our first visit to the Svenskt Tenn tea room.

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Estrid Ericson‘s office.

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Asplund featured a pairing of Pia Wallén capelets, bags and slippers on Asplund utility furniture by Broberg & Ridderstråle.

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We were supposed to meet somewhere new to us for dinner with the Anderssen & Voll team however we ended up at our old favourite Pelikan, for SOS and meatballs.

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Stockholm February 2016, part one

February 25th, 2016

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A few weeks ago we went to Stockholm for the Furniture & Light Fair, and to reconnect with friends, since we missed the previous year. I didn’t bring my camera but most of the following photos were not shared on Instagram.

For this trip we got a bit extravagant and stayed at the Grand Hotel. It had been our 5 year wedding anniversary recently and we thought we’d celebrate in style. Too bad I got a terrible cold on the lead up to the trip. On the upside, the hotel spa was a total benefit, one that I am afraid has spoiled me forever. Imagine after 12 hours of travel time, arriving at your hotel and being able to decompress in the steam room, sauna, pools and massage service.

Above is the view from our room.

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Since we usually stay in Södermalm, we weren’t sure where to grab a bite close to the hotel. We were looking for a konditori and it was suggested to go to Wiener Caféet, where we grabbed a late lunch and shared our first of many semla.

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Afterwards we popped over to the Nobis Hotel to catch Claesson Koivisto Rune‘s Smaller Objects press party and launch.

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Off to dinner at Matbaren, located conveniently in our hotel. Designed by StudioIlse, love these floor tiles.

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The following day we spent at the Furniture Fair. We barely managed to see anything because our discussions with our suppliers took most of our time.

This year there were two designers representing Canada in the Greenhouse section of new design. Above is local Toronto/Junction design duo MSDS Studio. They also participated last year, whereby several of their lights were picked up and put into production by Danish brand Woud. This year’s collection was equally tight, the photo above not doing it justice. My favourite pieces were the porcelain lamps (prototypes made by Alissa Coe).

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New to Greenhouse this year is our good friend Thom Fougere (you may recall us having that wonderful tyndall stone coffee table, pre-kids).

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We’ve been working with Thom on developing his prototype for a fireplace tools set. We have yet to purchase one for our home, because it’s so challenging finding a nice modern set (we once tried to buy a vintage set but it was priced around $10,000!).

We hope that everyone had some success at the fair!

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