Monday morning vintage

July 13th, 2009


A couple of weeks ago I came across an article on the Teak Pepper Blog feauturing an amazing picture of Dan Wheeler’s Dansk collection (Wheeler Kearns architecture firm). Under further investigation I found the link to the complete article (Mint Design Blog) with a ton more pictures of the Wheeler’s fantastic home.


Collections at its best, each piece tells a story, evokes memories, or just looks cool. We love the beautiful vintage Le Corbusier sofa, what looks to be a Malm fireplace, and that cool hanging bike.


The Wheeler family has a collection of over 600 vintage paint by number pieces.


This really puts my Dansk teak collection to shame, but atleast I don’t see my Viking Bowl.

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Thrifting Find: Nya Clara Can Opener

July 7th, 2009


We forgot to share this find with you back when we were Kitka Design Stockholm. John (who is supposed to be writing this post but had to work) made sure to keep his eye open for these iconic can openers when we visited the Stockholm Stadsmission thrift stores. He managed to find a few, but each was either missing a component or broken. This red one was missing the little plastic piece that makes it possible to wall mount it so hush hush, John pulled a switcheroo and nabbed one off a non-working white one. 40 kr ($6 cdn).


Designed by Sigvard Bernadotte, the son of King Gustav VI Adolf of Sweden, he was one of the pioneers of industrial design in Scandinavia. He’s also known for the Margrethe stacking bowls for Rosti, among other things.

Weird, we’ve been on a real red and white kick lately. Although we don’t eat much canned food (especially during the summer), it’ll look great at the cottage!

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Thrifting finds!

July 6th, 2009


We picked up this Dana-plast nutcracker from Atomic for $20. Designed by Stig Jorgensen.


John’s mom found us this Jens Quistgaard flamestone casserole dish with white enamel interior.


In perfect condition!


She also found us this cool French cheese grater. Mmm…it’s making me want some French Onion Soup!

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What now? We have a flight to catch???

June 23rd, 2009


Well we’re home from our long adventure through Scandinavia, though we almost didn’t come home at all. You see, we were under the impression that we had one more day left in Helsinki. The last three days before were the mid summer holiday which means all of the stores and most of the restaurants are closed with rarely any exceptions. For the locals it’s an amazing thing, everyone goes out to the country and has a great time, leaving tourists walking around aimlessly looking for some food like zombies. At some point during the holiday we made our brains think that we had one more day, which equaled one more day of thrifting since Monday all the stores were back to being open.

We found out about the flight literally the night before. We were looking online to see if we could change our seats (we always have the worst luck with seating) for the dreadfully long journey home and we noticed that our flight wasn’t in 2 days, it was the next day! We got up early and with an hour to spare we went over to the Helsinki open market and got some seriously good finds. Enjoy!


This was a pretty big deal for us, as we’ve always talked about the Antti Nurmesniemi coffee pot (designed in 1957) and how much we’d love to have one, but the prices were always way out of our range. At the Helsinki market we passed by a pretty neat booth carrying a lot of Arabia and Iittala design objects. It was all good stuff but priced at market value and I was looking for the DEALZ. So I left the booth in search of more affordable bounty. While we were scrambling  to get back to our hotel to catch the cab that was waiting for us, I decided to take one last look at the booth, noticing that people were still bringing things out. It was right there, big, red and beautiful and I asked “How much for the coffee pot” and the man who spoke pretty decent English told me it was 80 euros. Now 80 euros is not a bad price, considering these can sell for over $350 on Ebay but I just can’t spend that much on a coffee pot that I don’t even know how to use. I said 50, and he said that 50 was too low and he was firm on 80. So I just studied it for a while and put it down and just like that, he told me I could take it for 65 e, and I happily handed over the money.


Two Arabia planters for 16 euros? Yes please! We already have the large pot at home and now we have one in each size.


This Finnish medicine cabinet was fate and I don’t even know how it survived the trip home. I was looking for a medicine cabinet for the bathroom at the cottage, and we finally found one at the very last booth we visited in Helsinki. The red cross caught my eye right away, it was being sold for 10 euro, which was a great price but this is an awkward metal cabinet and I have to catch a flight. If I was going to have to haul this all the way home, I wanted a MEGA DEAL and all I had left in my pocket was 6 euros. So I had to do a little charming to get them to come down in price—I told them I was from Canada and I was interested in the cabinet, but didn’t know if it was worth having to haul it home. The second Scandinavians find out you’re from Canada something changes in their voice, they get a bit more friendlier. She said if it was going all the way to Canada she’d let it go for 6. Thank god. So now I have to walk back to the hotel with this heavy medicine cabinet under my arm to the awaiting taxi, but I didn’t mind at all. Fast forward: we make it to the airport and it turns out the cabinet is too “big” to go in the overhead compartment, this means I have to put it under the airplane with no protection except a garbage bag. The thrift was too good to be true and I had to accept that the cabinet was going to be manhandled to death. Long story short, it survived! I can’t wait until we start working on the bathroom so I can hang it up.

When we got home we had the chance to take some pictures of the more fragile things we got on the trip that we didn’t feel like unwrapping to photograph in the craziness of travel.


Our Kay Bojesen Danish soldier stands tall next to his heart windowed cardboard home. I bought him from a duty free shop on an overnight ferry from Copenhagen to Oslo. He was a bit less than $80 Canadian.


Yours & Mine cups were bought from a small ceramics shop in Copenhagen. Stilleben sells a lot of product made by local young artisans.


The other side of the cups.


Pia Wallen slippers from Sweden in our usual colour scheme. We’ve been wearing these around our hotels and they’ve been fab.

So that’s about it for our Scandinavian adventures (this time), though we’ve saved a couple of surprises for the big cottage reno reveal.

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Stockholm vintage

June 17th, 2009

We found some great finds in Stockholm at the Stadsmission while we were waiting for our boat to Helsinki. We haven’t had as much luck as we’d thought while we’ve been on this trip, so this was a rare occurrence.


I picked up a beautiful ceramic Fox, designed by Lisa Larson in 1955 for Gustavsberg’s Lilla Zoo series. I’ve always wanted one, so I had to pay more than I would have wanted. $60 cringe… I just wanted to have a souvenir from Sweden.


We found a folksy bird candle holder from Denmark, only 2 dollars.


We were especially excited about this 1950s Danish toy by Hans Bolling, only 4 bucks!


What are the odds of finding an Arabia plate the same year as Juli’s birthday? Pretty good apparently since we got this one for around 8 bucks.


Like I said before, thirfting in Scandinavia isn’t what you think… It’s more like this:


This is Jacksons, and this is the reality of vintage in Scandinavia. The showroom was beautiful with some amazing pieces that were so expensive you would think that they would have no business and have to close down.


That glass apple there is designed by Ingeborg Lundin for Orrefors in 1955, it is an extremley rare example and are known to be sold anywhere between $6000 to over $10,000. Maybe if I get an honorary doctrine in Scandinavian design history I’ll treat myself to one of these.


Wowzers, a leather Bruno Mathsson rocking chair, Arne Jacobsen egg chair, and Poul Henningsen artichoke light. How can you afford insurance on a place like this?


My dream dining chair by Poul Kjaerholm, unfortunately at $6000 a piece, (fritz hansen pricing) I will sadly never own even one of these.


This is more our speed! This is the Stockholm Stadsmission, and we went to every one in Stockholm with absolutely no luck. Until we came to the Gamla Stan location (old town). It was raining all week, but the sun came out for our last day in the city.


Really cool Swedish toys, next time we need to bring a bigger suitcase so we can have an excuse to buy things like this. Also, children.


That teak sofa was only $120!


Can you spot the blue Stelton vacuum jug? It was a bit out of our price range at $35.


There seems to be cool art everywhere, but we don’t have the space to lug it around with us.



Last meal: The best Swedish Meatballs in all of Stockholm at Pelikan! (Sorry, we forgot to photograph it before digging in.)

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Thrifting in Norway

June 11th, 2009

Olso was a bit of a headache at times (like when Juli face planted into a bike lane, spraining her ankle and shredding her knee), but it was by far the best for thrifting. We got some great finds for under $25 bucks.


The scolding grandmother we found for 5 bucks. We’re still trying to find out where it was made, we saw a few of these in Denmark already.


This candle stick was similar to the one in Copenhagen, it has a blue stamp on the bottom and was only $4. It reminds me a little of the Raw Candelabra by Jens Fager. It also could be from a 90s department store, we don’t really care.


This was a really cool plate that features some of Oslo’s iconic areas, it was modestly priced at $12.


chooo chooo!


We found this great canvas organizer for a mere $2, it’s made in Denmark and will definitely come in handy at the cottage.


I love the leather straps…

All of the above items were from a store that is equivalent to Goodwill.


I got my leather on with this vintage bomber jacket, everyone here wears leather jackets! There are even some cool vintage shops that take old leather jackets and repair them, add hoods, and cool purple linings. This jacket was  $100, but it’s hard to find fitted jackets, plus it’s versatile! The fur is easily removed. Also, can I remind you of the cool factor? There’s nothing cooler coming back to Canada with some vintage Norwegian leather.


We took a visit to PurNorsk. If you go to Oslo it is a must visit. Everything here is by a Norwegian designer, right down to their typeface. You can find anything from the Scandia chair to illuminated plastic moose heads (for the outdoors no less).


Utopia is one of Oslo’s best vintage furniture stores, it was highly reccomended so we just had to check it out. There were actually a few great shops along the way that had some wonderful Cathrineholm pieces, that I really should have photographed. Next time!

If you’re in the area the street is called Markveien, in the hip indie Grünerløkka neighborhood.


Lot’s of good stuff here that you won’t find in Canada.


That coffee table was amazing in person, and matched with that leather chair… My god. Those molded birch chairs were also very beautiful, they reminded me of Robin day, but they’re from Denmark.


Eye spy a Quistgaard Pepper mill! It’s so interesting how rare his stuff is in Scandinavia. Dansk products were mostly only shipped to North America, so it felt like these countries were buying their designs back, but at a premium.


I would’ve bought all three of them if I could afford it.


Yay Copco, and Dansk!

All in all Oslo was a great city to visit, small enough to see a lot, but never boring. Unfortunately since we only booked 3 days, we have a few regrets:

Not going to the Fuglen Cafe. We saw it in a copy of Monocle that we picked up at the Toronto airport and completely spaced out. We remembered while we were shopping in Grünerløkka and by the time we remembered and rushed back to our hotel to find out where it was (yes, we checked the newsstand, the new issue was already out), it was closed.

As such, we missed out on the Design & Architecture Museum. We were going to go after Grünerløkka because it closed at 8pm but once back at the apartment, we ran out of time.

Not taking a walk along the river just off of Grünerløkka. Apparently it’s a beautiful walk.

Not eating a traditional Norwegian meal. Even a mediocre meal here would cost $200-300 CAD for the two of us, that’s why we got the apartment.

We’ll see you in Stockholm!

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