Happy New Year!

January 2nd, 2011

This post is a bit late. Like we’re into a whole new year late. But we felt the need to share our Christmas stocking bounty since we managed to actually find some great items! We weren’t going to do presents this year but a few days before Christmas, we decided to do stockings and for the most part, we shopped local (yay Junction!).

John’s stocking for Juli (above): MOR candle from Russet & Empire, Happy Socks, Aunt Lolo’s DIY Cookies and airplane comfort kit (in grey bag) from Drake General Store and the Kay Bojesen monkey was a lucky find from World Headquarters.

Juli’s stocking for John: washi tape from The Paper Place, socks and letterpress cards from Drake General Store, Kay Bojesen soldier from World Headquarters and Panasonic Toot-a-Loop bracelet radio from Mrs. Huizenga (Junction location).

We hope you all had a wonderful holiday!

White sprayed electric fireplace

December 20th, 2010

We finally got our vintage fireplace sprayed white and lugged up to the apartment (I’m very proud of Juli). The burnt orange was pretty cool, but I’m happy that we got it sprayed a simple white.

Tim from Beresford Inc. did an amazing job keeping all the details intact, including this retro “Log” logo.

We picked up an extension flue at Home Depot and the little tin cap which finishes off the top, but also has an open vent for the fan.

The faux logs are pretty quirky, but they do set the mood. I’m still toying with painting the brass handles black, just for simplicity sake.

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Present from Summer.

November 10th, 2010

Our friend Summer recently traveled to Scandinavia and thoughtfully brought us back a really special piece of pottery to add to our collection.

It’s numbered on the bottom, and in handwriting it says:

Swiss made

We love the use of geometry, texture and colour.

It has found a good home. Thank you Summer!!!

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November 1st, 2010

Before there was Mjolk, there was a groundbreaking modernist store on Bloor Street West Front Street East called Karelia. It was a store that introduced modern Finnish design to Toronto. You could find high-end pieces by Yrjö Kukkapuro and Eero Aarnio, designers that still haven’t returned back to the Toronto modern retail scene.

The store existed before our time, but we have a lot of customers and former employees of Karelia that come in our store and reminisce about its time as a store.

Let me back track a little — Every Monday on our day off we visit a neighbourhood in the city. Today we trekked over to Leslieville, on Queen St. East. We visited Jake at one of the best stores in the city, Machine Age Modern. After talking obsessively about Tapio Wirkkala he took out an old poster he had from Karelia. He mentioned he had visited Janis Kravis, the owner of Karelia who is still working as an architect in Toronto.

He told me the owner has a whole wall of modernist glass, one of which was signed “Thanks for having me over for dinner – Alvar Aalto” A one of a kind piece created by Aalto to mark the occasion.

Imagine getting Finel coffee percolators for $15.95?

Jake gave us an early wedding gift, which are little mementos from the old Karelia store.

Two stainless steel hearts.

Which come together to form a sculpture. I’m not sure who the designer is but Jake thinks it’s from Sweden, I still need to do some research…

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Icelandic pottery

September 28th, 2010

We never really got around to sharing the Icelandic pottery we found during our trip to Iceland. We got this little vase from an antique shop called Fríða Frænka in Reykjavik. It’s a simple shape with an interesting texture.

There were some pretty neat lava vases which were really textured, but the colours were a bit to intense for us.

The bottom is stamped “Glit” a ceramics studio founded by Ragnar Kjartansson in 1958. I don’t think it exists anymore, but there was another studio producing similar “lava” vases that we poked our heads into during the trip.

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Found discontinued

May 20th, 2010

Monday we visited the Niagara region and stopped in at my parent’s home. I came across our old coffee maker in the basement pantry while hunting for homemade preservatives.

It’s a timeless design. Something that isn’t designed to look dated after a year, or come in a trendy colour that you get sick of and decide to toss out in replace of a new shiny one. This coffe maker has been working for at least 15+ years, sometimes a little investment goes a long way. Braun took a chance on the idea that people would pay a little more money for something that is well designed, an idea that isn’t as apparent in their recent designs.

Why did they discontinue it?!

We still haven’t decided whether to take it to the cottage or keep it here. We are pretty confident that when my parents opt for a modern prefab up North to retire in we will give them back their coffee maker.

An exciting eBay find was a set of old Vola wallmounted bathroom accessories by Arne Jacobsen. We actually sell all of the vola accessories but they aren’t available in this beautiful red finish!

From left:

1) Vola soap magent (you twist a bottle cap into a bar of soap and it sticks to the magnet)
2) Toothbrush holder
3) Towel hook
4) toothpaste tube holder

These are coming with us to the cottage.

Another exciting find is an original set of barbecue tools Harri Koskinen designed for Hackman WAY BACK in 2000. They are dead stock and unused.

Harri Koskinen is one of our favorite contemporary designers. We have many of his designs in our store and even have a set of chairs he designed for Artek around our dining table.

the only issue I have with them are they’re too beautiful to use! It’s kind of funny really, this is the first year we are going without a barbecue and I went and bought a set of barbecue tools… I guess they’re going up to the cottage.

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