February, 2009

We’re Watching:

February 19th, 2009

We’re watching: Toronto based designer Rob Southcott, a graduate of OCAD’s Industrial design program. Ever since IDS 09 we’ve been thinking about Rob Southcott’s Community chest, arguably one of the most talked about Prototypes. We wanted to take a further look into his designs and showcase his very impressive portfolio.


An IDS 09 favorite:  Community was the inspiration for this article. Made from selected pieces of reclaimed lumber Community symbolizes our multiculturalism, a reoccurring theme in Southcott’s recent works.


United We Stand is a striking piece made up of Interlocking molded birch plywood. These organic lines remind me of vines struggling to reach the sky in an attempt to be nurtured by the sun. “United we stand”  is a very fitting title since the interlocked branches gain support from each other to hold the branches in place and keep the chairs sturdy.


Totem Cups are a modern interpretation of an early Native American tradition, we ask ourselves is this a tribute to a dying artform? Or Native American culture being overrun by Western society’s obsession with coffee?
Available at imm-living.com for $59.99


As We Cascade is comprised of cocoon like birch shades formed into a clustered hanging light (available in different lengths, number of lights, and stains).
inquire at Made.

rob-southcott must stash

mustStash A must have for mustache enthusiats (I know there are a few of you out there), this quirky chest adds a bit of whimsy to the utilitarian everyday dresser. Made from birch ply, a reoccurring vehicle for Southcott’s work.

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Craigslist Find!

February 18th, 2009

eames-chair eames-2

Today we have a great Craigslist find for you! An original fiberglass Eames chair, from 1959! It looks like it’s in fine condition, it does come with a $500 price tag which is decent, but might not be the scavenger deal you may usually go for. You can find the original link and more information here.

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February 18th, 2009


Stylegarage/Gus* Studio are carrying this mirror mascarading as a security camera. We thought it was an interesting response to our collective paranoia of being watched. Plus, it functions as a wall sculpture as well (comes in other colours).

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Mom’s cupboard find!

February 17th, 2009


After reading John’s review of Danish Pepper, my mom got to thinking about her old Dansk teak peppermill. She bought it from a Dansk outlet store in the early 1970s, which means this particular mill is probably from the late 1960s. My mom has toted this mill around for over 30 years, which is a testament to it’s quality and design. She ended up finding it in the back of her cupboard, unused for over 10 years.

All of the Dansk peppermills are made by Jens Quistgaard (with a few exceptions) and based on the mechanism at the bottom, we found out it’s the third generation of design–the last of the Peugeot mechanisms–thanks to the Danish Pepper “Identifying Vintage” breakdown. For all of you who’d like to do some mom’s cupboard hunting of your own, if you happen on a teak peppermill, check for markings on the bottom. They should read something along the lines of: Dansk Designs Ltd./Denmark/ IHQ/ The Dansk Ducks logo (thanks mom for the suggestion!)


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Store Watch: Chabichou

February 16th, 2009


Ok, so we’re straying a bit from design here but we’ve been frequenting local Harbord Village shop Chabichou–named after a cheese from the Loire Valley in France)–a lot lately and we’re so happy it’s in our neighborhood, we just had to share it with you. We’ve been complaining about the lack of a healthy butcher shop in our neighborhood (Kensington is too far and Metro is just kind of gross) so the opening of Chabichou is like the second coming.


Specializing in fine cheeses hailing mostly from France and Quebec, every day they seem to be adding new decadent foods to their arsenal (one of three refrigerated displays – it seems like every time we go there they keep expanding!).






Pepperettes, sausages, smoked salmon, cold cuts such as ham & salami are just some of the meats they now offer. They also have organic dairy! Which means all they have to do is offer a small selection of vegetables and they can become a one stop shop to an easy dinner (we can dream).


Two shelving units provide ample space for gourmet pantry items and ubiquitous toile linens.


Being the owners of French restaurant Tati down the street means that they are able to produce baked goods and pre-made meals like coq au vin, maccaroni & cheese (incredible), lasagne and shepherd’s pie, which hit the spot for only about $4.50-$6.00 each.


There is limited seating in the shop, but enough to stop and have a latte and baguette with ham and cheese, or a pre-made rich tasting croque monsieur (above – they heat it up and serve it in a cute little wooden tray).



We were expecting high prices but as we slowly explore the options, we’re finding them to be very reasonable. Of course, if you’re going to buy foie gras, escargots in butter or other specialities, the higher price is to be expected but for those everyday staples, there have been no shockers. Plus, it certainly is nice to have a selection of gourmet foods so close by in case of an impromptu dinner party (the best kind).


We’ve been into their bacon which was meaty and flavorful, sandwich ready salami (we like buying small quantities because it ALWAYS goes bad otherwise – so convenient), crispy fresh baguettes, croissants (perfection), lasagne (John says it’s great), creamy maccaroni & cheese (perfect portion).


Desserts seem to be a new and welcomed addition to the shop, and these tartes look particularly tasty.


This space used to be a totally vintage burger joint, then briefly a coffee shop and now Chabichou. We love how the integrity of the building’s past has been maintained.

196 Borden Street (at Harbord), Toronto

Hours: Tues-Sun 10-6
(days and hours can change over time. These are up to date as of July 2009. Always best to call for the most recent info.)

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Small Spaces: Laundry solution!

February 15th, 2009


I stopped by friends Jennifer and Taylor’s place last night and was greeted by an amazing contraption rigged up in their kitchen. For the past few years they have been struggling with the Laundromat –not so fresh smelling laundry, hauling, waiting, looking for coins, going out into the cold–so I knew this was an amazing purchase for them, and one that I am sure many other small space apartment dwellers will be overjoyed to know exists, so I asked Jennifer to fill us in:

“Taylor and I were constantly struggling with piles of laundry building up. Every time we went to the laundry mat we vowed to be more on top of the laundry piles… but this never happened! We needed a solution to our laundry woes so we tried sending our laundry to a service, but that was too expensive. Two weeks ago we ordered this Haier HLP21E Portable washer from homeelegancecenter.com. It has been a total life saver. It plugs right into your kitchen sink, is quite compact, doesn’t make too much noise and washes our clothes much better than the laundromat. We just hang everything to dry and this works very well. Haier also makes a dryer that doesn’t need ventilation and plugs into the wall, but we are going to just hang our clothes for now and use a clothes line in the summer.

I would highly recommend this amazing alternative to the laundromat–it pays for itself within 6 months [of laundromat coinage] and makes life a lot easier.”

Jennifer told me that the cost is about $250, which blew me away. I mean, that’s just a few meals out or a pair of J Brand Jeans. When you think of the time and effort you save, it’s definitely a worthwhile purchase.


[stock photo to show scale]

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