Home Reno

Living room light and pattern

December 19th, 2016

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A new Mirakel special edition pillow from Svenkst Tenn.

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Midday light on the shoji door and print by Max Papart.

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A random sculpture, copper low table and African textile from Latre.

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A kindergartener’s treasure shelf

December 17th, 2016

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This is Elodie’s bedside Aalto shelf where her treasures live.

I write this post inspired in part by this sweet photo series “Preschool Pocket Treasures”. I enjoyed reading this article because it reminded me that I shouldn’t discredit the treasures my kids find, even if they appear to be actual trash or seemingly useless randomness.

I love that she likes to keep a fresh flower in the Natalie Lahdenmaki bud vase. She goes with John to longtime Junction flower shop Martin’s, who incidentally set up in some very nice new digs near Keele, with an expanded selection of blooms and plants now available.

I also love that she just had to have the Renaud Sauvé porcelain container with moss. She kept eyeing it and finally John just told her to take it.

You may remember the Hafod Grange paperweight acquired on our trip to Iceland.

The Little Mermaid (Architect Made) was bought while in Copenhagen last spring.

John has a mild obsession with giving Elodie shells. It’s sweet.

The square blue tile is Elodie’s “favourite” (whatever that means) colour, and came off our neighbour’s exterior, as they renovate to open a new Northern Thai restaurant. Looking forward to that!

While I’m at it, plant people, what is going on with this Peace Lily? What does it need?

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Howell’s Room

December 14th, 2016

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We only have a few unresolved spaces in our home. Naturally one is the space that we won’t speak of (the laundry area aka deposit random everything here spot). The other two spaces are our kid’s rooms.

Maybe because they were in cribs, which were temporary, or maybe because we had hoped on bringing them together–Howell refuses this, classic littlest child, he wants to carve out his own path–we never really resolved their spaces. Then again, in a way, the beauty of Studio Junction’s woodwork and our desire for simplicity almost demand that we don’t interfere too much.

In the end, we seek a bit of coziness, and an element of playfulness, that is a real challenge to bring together.

In the meantime while we mull things over, we have gone plant crazy. We cannot get over how quickly and easily the plants have transformed their spaces. It’s beginning to look like a jungle.

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Howell’s room still has a black and white theme, and he recently picked out this cute panda pillow by local maker (and friend) Newmies. I let the kids pick out a pillow pal to help cozy up their beds.

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A temporary help in getting Howell more excited about his bed was letting him pick his duvet cover. This one is from Ikea, and has all the favourite toddler things on it.

I still desperately wish I could buy some bedding from Chamomile London but it’s too hard matching the sizing with North American standards,  I’m having long distance commitment problems.

Anyone find some fantastic North American bedding? It always seems too saccharine or too geometric or two trendy. You know when you have a feeling of what you want, but never ever see it anywhere (besides halfway across the world, naturally). That’s where I am.

I’d love to hear how you resolved your kid’s room conundrums!

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New Front Door

December 9th, 2016

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We are so excited to finally have a new front door to our house installed. Made by Studio Junction, it replaces a standard grey metal door. Now we have better sound insulation, as well as a better seal against the cold winter air.

The door is made of white oak, and the handle is a simple brass style, ordered via our neighbour Safe Guard Locksmith.

Unfortunately we just missed the warm weather window, so we’ll have to wait to apply a fresh coat of black Falun paint to the wood slats.

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We picked up a holiday wreath, which finishes the space nicely. I cannot express how nice it is to come home to this door. The entry way feels so much bigger as well, now that the door opens to the right.

Thank you to Studio Junction for their great work!

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Junpei Ori Paintings

May 18th, 2015

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We were introduced to Japanese painter Junpei Ori through the OEN blog, and fell in love with the compositions and charm of his work.

Many of the painting depict everyday life with a nod to Scandinavian design and lifestyle. We ended up buying a couple of paintings after seeing the OEN blog post, and after seeing a recent batch of new works decided to round out the collection with three.

The one above is a newer work with figs, these shapes are cut out and painted and placed back on the wooden canvas to give it more depth.

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These shapes remind us of Alvar Aalto’s Savoy vase.

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This one is inspired by the Tea Trolley by Alvar Aalto which is one of our favorite pieces of furniture.
Also in this photo: The Spoke-back sofa by Borge Mogensen for Fredericia, a pillow from Marimekko, a Zebra pillow by Alvar Aalto for Artek, a blanket by Inga Sempe for RorosTweed and a Moroccan Berber rug. All items available from Mjolk.

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Abandoned Space

April 6th, 2015

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Are you familiar with the book “Scandinavian Modern” written by Chrystina Schmidt and Magnus England?  It contains some beautiful interiors of some of the most notable designers and architects in Scandinavia spanning from mid-century homes to current dwellings. The photograph above is from my favourite article, which is the home of Børge and Alice Mogensen, it is especially beautiful since the home itself (designed by Børge Mogensen) is a beautiful blend of Danish and Japanese design sensibilities, and also includes all their personal effects and art, all in perfect harmony within the space.

The photograph above is of particular significance, as you can see it has been opened to this page so many times the binding has broken which means when opening the book it naturally wants you to settle here. This is where we show a lot of our customers what a Mogensen sofa will look like in 40+ years, and how natural materials get better with age. It also in some ways gave us the courage to buy our own 2213 sofa, and as a direct result of that experience of buying a sofa from Denmark and having a lot of trouble during the process bringing it over to Canada, it gave us the idea to open our own shop bringing in Scandinavian furniture and crafts from Japan.

I don’t know how many times I’ve looked at these images of Mogensen’s home, first obsessing over the furniture, and then the rugs and pottery, trying to find out who designed them… Then the artwork on the wall, who made these pieces? Particularly that purple modernist painting… How would you ever go about finding the name of the artist?

Unfortunately Alice Mogensen died a few years ago, and the home was sold along with all of the personal contents which were sold at auction. For better or worse, the home has found a new and different life, and we will never get to see it as it once was.

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I personally think the Mogensen home should have become a museum like Finn Juhl’s home, or Alvar Aalto, but of course I don’t know the circumstances and cannot speculate further. If these pieces were to disperse around the world it would seem very fitting that fate would find us and give us the opportunity to secure the exact painting we had been so captivated by in Mogensen’s home for years.

Recently I was searching for Mogensen pieces online and serendipitously stumbled across a listing for this exact painting!

The artist is Albert Mertz, and the name of the painting is “The Abandoned Space”, painted in 1962 and presented during an exhibition in Denmark, of work that the Danish painter had done while living in Paris. All of the other paintings in the room are also by Albert Mertz, possibly acquired from the same opening.

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The Spanish chair in front of the painting.

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Our new-ish Mogensen 2213 sofa slowly turning that famous cognac colour, although it will take many more years.

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We feel very lucky to be able to have this work in our home, and have a little part of the interior that inspired us so much in our life.

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