February, 2009

In Review: Miller’s Collectibles Price Guide

February 13th, 2009


Miller’s Collectibles Price Guide 2009, available at Book City for $29.99.

This guide is a great jumping off point for people that are looking to dive into the world of collecting. Offering 5000 full coloured items with descriptions and pricing in US dollars, it’s the first time Canada is getting it’s own recognition in the world of collectibles. Featuring over a dozen pages of Canadian ceramics from the likes of: Blue Mountain, Lorenzen, Sovereign and Beauce (pictured below), Toronto’s own Holly Gnaedinger from Twice Found was the “Expert Eye” of Canadian ceramics, allowing photographers to come and take pictures of her own collection.

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Store Watch: Machine Age Modern

February 12th, 2009


Who are you?
Jake Keck and I’ve always lived in the Junction

How long has the store been open?

I’ve been in the present location for 8 years. But the first location was on Queen West at Roncesvalles 17 years ago.


Why did you open your store?
I always loved deco-designed pieces, like furniture, the clocks, the barware and then I started to collect it with a mind to open a shop.


What can people expect to find when visiting your store?
Machine Age Modern is a well-known destination in Toronto to find modern vintage, designer attributed furniture, at reasonable prices (some pieces are rare international finds).  Also, I always have good quality generic teak and good vintage styled pieces at affordable prices.



Who are your customers?
Anyone, any age. A lot of people in design from Fashion, Art, Photography, Architecture, industrial and graphic designers who have an appreciation for fine lines and details. And of course, interior designers shopping for pieces with unique characteristics. People from all over Toronto, and international visitors too.



Favorite moment while running your store?
On a winter day, with a snow storm raging outside, we thought nobody would come into the store because the mayor had called in the army to help clear snow. Ironically it was the best ‘business’ day ever, with a young couple coming in to pick-up and complete a large purchase. A set-designer and prop-stylist came with a 5 ton truck to rent furniture for a film set, another customer came in to pay the balance off a sofa and make delivery arrangements.


Worst or most Embarrassing moment?
One day a sketchy guy came into the store, and it turns out he was a good customer of mine from about 10 years ago. Now he was a crack head. He hung out that day for hours and hours. He wouldn’t leave. He was using our phone, and internet. He was wearing leather pants and he smelled.


Name something you sell in your store, that you also own in your own home?
We manufacture one item, the cubist mirror wall sculpture that was inspired by a vintage one we had at the store.  That mirror design looks fabulous in any setting, like a glass-walled, waterfront condominium, or a traditional home library in Rosedale. [see above photo]

Mine at home hangs on a bedroom wall and with the door open, it’s visible from the hall and makes the room look expansive.   I also have one at my cottage.  I am very proud of these mirrors


What are you really interested in right now?
I’m loving the mix of  classic  mid-century modern pieces with touches of Hollywood Regency from the 1940s. Beautiful designs from all decades  mix together.







Machine Age Modern
1000 Queen St East, Toronto

Store Hours: M-F 11-6, S-S 12-5
(days and hours can change over time. These are up to date as of July 2009. Always best to call or check their website for the most recent info.)

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Etsy find!

February 11th, 2009


I found this amazing vintage Copco kettle designed by Michael Lax on Etsy last week. Originally intended as a Valentines gift for Juli, I couldn’t stand the wait to put it on our stove replacing our big-box stainless kettle that lacked all sorts of personality. I thought this was a thoughtful gift because I found out Juli’s mum used to have a kettle exactly like it in the 70s in a great yellow enamel, but as with most vintage household pieces it was discarded, lost, or sold in a garage sale.


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Craigslist Find!

February 11th, 2009


There’s a great industrial school desk on craigslist
right now going for $100 bucks!

click on the picture for a link to the original posting.

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Space: Aprile & Jory

February 10th, 2009


Who are you, what do you do for a living?
We are Jory Graham and Aprile Elcich, currently students. Jory is in Computer Science and I’m in Graphic Design.

Inspiration for home?
I guess I took inspiration from the building (built in 1911). I aspire to a vintage and eclectic style, and the building features were pretty important to me. Things like the claw foot tub, dark wood trim, fireplace mantel and stained glass windows are what drew me to it. Jory likes it more clean and contemporary, so we have a nice mix of the two styles.

Most Cherished item/ Favorite Piece?
The letterpress type drawer turned mirror, from Jory for my birthday last year. I know it’s something I will hold on to (unlike a lot of our “it’ll make do” furniture). I’m obsessed with letterpress printing, and I WILL have my own press one day. We don’t have the room right now.

Best Deal?
The set of animal portraits (squirrel and raccoon) dressed in suits from Berkley Illustration, I really love these, and they were only $15 each. They were a gift for Jory’s birthday after being framed.

Biggest Splurge?
The white shag rug? We didn’t really spend a lot of money on anything… Our bed and sofa were pretty big purchases, but they usually are!

Most Gratifying DIY?
Probably our kitchen chalkboard, which was kind of an unsightly column before I spray painted it with chalkboard paint. Now it looks like it serves a purpose, and it does—we use it for grocery lists. I also plan on making a giant vector image of a green apple to put up in our kitchen, because the walls are pretty bare.

What would you do differently?
Not spending all of our money in one place! It’s difficult when you start with nothing and need a lot of the basics.

Plans for future?
Now we can slowly replace our furniture for really good quality furniture we will keep forever. This way, we can choose carefully. Also we plan to collect more things we love!

(Photo Above)
Our bedroom, painted a daring chocolate brown! I love how warm it feels, and also how dark it gets at night. I put up these letters (just cut out paper) after seeing this show at harbourfront.


My favourite, the fireplace in our living room. The curtains are made from IKEA fabric, and the typecase mirror is a vintage find. The collage on the left was given to me by a friend, the right is my own. And I love that weird little bubbly vase, found at goodwill. The faux logs (which light up orange, so tacky!) were left here by the old tenants. They’ve grown on me, but I think I’d like to replace them with log pillows eventually.


I’m proud of this crooked little display… Most of these images actually came from magazines, which I framed, save for the large animal portraits by Berkley Illustration, the neon anatomical painting made by a friend, and the three square prints from Urban Outfitters.The ornate frames are actually plastic, each of which I paid $1 for and painted black.


Living room and hallway. We actually have two of those shelves, one on each side of the doorway so that it feels like built-in shelving. We have a lot of guitars in our living room but we aren’t really musicians—yet anyway! Yes, that’s a panda stuffed animal, one of us has a penchant for them, I won’t say who exactly…


Welcome! Hallway… change bowl, keys, pretty typical. The mirror frame has been painted and repainted countless times, and I can’t say it will be black forever.


The door to our office/studio has a glass window, which I think makes perfect sense. We have it split into two halves, his and hers. I make more of the messes on my half. Those pink metal mini-blinds were here when we moved here… Again, they’ve grown on me.


My desk and Fyodor (our cat). I bought these clipboards ($1 each), and they work as an organization system for different projects I’m working on.


More of my half. The plastic cabinet hanging on the wall was for garage storage. It was dark blue, I spray painted it white and it serves as storage for little things like safety pins.


Some of my current products and supplies.


In our kitchen, the black radiator was a bit of an eyesore, but I evened it out a little with the chalkboard. The curtain was actually a fabric shower curtain, believe it or not.


Our lovely green kitchen, all with open shelving so I can show off my small green glass collection. The leaf bowl I stole from my mom, and the slatted kitchen table (from IKEA) used to be our patio table. I love that it’s a bench seat on one side.


Aprile is the author of two blogs: not paper & you are what you love

Visit Aprile’s etsy store here

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IDS: Roundup

February 9th, 2009

IDS 09 is over and we are, quite frankly, exhausted! But alas, there are a few straggling things we didn’t get to cover yet so we’ve amassed them into this final to do.



Full disclosure: John works here but we can’t help but love the look of clean lines and the pops of yellow.


Plus they have a new prototype wing chair that’s pretty sweet.


And some new custom prototype cube ottomans too.


We were a bit confused about IKEA’s display, as when we inquired as to what was new, they pointed to a bunch of stuff that’s been in stores for ages, like the cowhide rug. We were really hoping and expecting to see the upcoming items in their IKEA 2009 PS range, which instead you can see here (but come back after).


But we did like this new laquer style line callend VINSTRA ($399 for the dresser) that recalls Hollywood glam. Love the little drawer pulls too.



$299 for the dressing table, $49.99 for the Nils cowhide stool. Read the rest of this entry »

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