March, 2009

Around the house: Vikings!!!

March 11th, 2009


Vikings, they set our wallets on fire, and pillaged our hearts. Now they’re looking to take over our house, will they succeed? They’re doing a pretty good job so far!

We can really see the appeal of Viking motifs. Nowadays Vikings aren’t so much remembered for their pillaging ways, but more for their sense of adventure.


These cool guys are made by: “Brdr. Bonfils” in Denmark, circa 1950s. We’re still trying to find some additional information about them, but we haven’t come up with that much. They all carry the same markings on the bottom, and we were lucky to have one with the original sticker still on it’s feet. They would have been so much fun playing with these as a kid, as all the pieces can be detached, limbs and heads flying everywhere! Oh my! From Modern 50. Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Thrifting | 7 comments

We love what you’ve done with the place.

March 10th, 2009


Every time we wander over to the Victory Cafe, we keenly keep an eye on a modern build happening right in our neighborhood. The space before, if I remember correctly, was occupied by a house begging to be torn down. The new owner probably got the lot for a song (or five), since it’s location is less desirable in a very desirable neighborhood. Next to a laneway and across from a high school is not the best scenario (trust me, we know), but when you can build your dream home then does it really matter? My only hope is that this home is being built for personal use and not for resale–I get that people love to flip houses but it really takes away from the personal aspect. Read the rest of this entry »

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Product Review: Hästens

March 9th, 2009


It’s no fun at all buying things like pillows. That’s why the majority of people, present company included, use the same pillow for decade(s). I actually have a hierarchy of pillows in the house – the super old ones from the days of living under the rule of parents (how do we dispose of them!!! I can’t stand the idea of throwing them in the garbage. There must be some use for the fill), the Winner’s discount buy, the IKEA, the more expensive (but then discounted) Beddington’s buy. And you know what, each time I AM NOT HAPPY. It’s not like you can test them out and then return them. I often find myself in the store holding it up to my head, pushing it against my skull to simulate the feel of sleeping on it. That does not work and it makes me look and feel silly every time. But I feel compelled to use this as my measure of worthiness.

I feel like Goldilocks. I want one that is just right. Read the rest of this entry »

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Pillow Talk: 10 ways to help you sleep better

March 9th, 2009


Take a bath before bedtime!
In those cold winter nights a bath will help increase your body temperature and help you relax. The drop in body temperature that occurs when getting into that (often cold) bed afterward triggers a subjective sense that it’s time to go to sleep.

Create a bed time ritual!
It could be as simple as washing your face and brushing your teeth, our settling down with a cup of Bedtime tea (Yogi Bedtime Tea certified organic tea available at retailers across Canada), a bedtime ritual allows you to slow down and prepare yourself for a good night’s sleep.

Clean Sheets!
w/ Liquid Soap Nuts (organic/chemical-free detergent) & Certified Organic French Lavender oil
The last thing you want to worry about while trying to fall asleep is dirty sheets, so make sure to clean your sheets regularly. Also add a few drops of Lavender oil in your washing machine’s rinse cycle and let the calming effects of lavender take you to sleepy land. Lavender has been known to decrease anxiety and has been proven to help you sleep better, also it’s nice not have any modified perfumes in your bedsheets that might cause irritations to the skin. Read the rest of this entry »

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Teak Week: Teak Care

March 7th, 2009


So you found a great set of teak dining chairs for a good deal the other day, the only thing is that they’re in pretty rough shape.

What now?

Well you’re in luck! Teak is one of the most durable woods out there. It’s a dense close-grained hardwood that actually contains it’s own natural oils that make it resilient to water and termites. I spoke with Carol Gray from Machine Age Modern on Queen St. East about some tips when restoring old teak furniture.

“I see a lot of older teak furniture, and the wood condition falls into two categories — some dry as a bone (never conditioned or oiled in its 40 year life) — and some that has layers of teak oil built up over the years.”

If a piece simply looks dry, Carol recommends “Howard’s Feed-N-Wax Wood Preserver.” Apply a heavy layer with a cloth and let it soak in. More may be needed the next day if you see dry patches, or you may have to wipe off excess if it’s still sticky.

If a piece looks dirty (dark, cloudy and feels tacky), glass cleaner does a surprisingly effective job cutting through the layers of old oil and dirt. “I work with 4-zero (extra extra fine) steel wool.  Spray the Windex, rub lightly in the direction of the wood grain with the steel wool.” Use paper towel to remove the grime, let dry and apply “Howard’s Feed N Wax” (be careful the glass cleaner doesn’t run and drip). Read the rest of this entry »

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Teak Week: How to Score at Auction

March 6th, 2009

We’re really excited to have a guest post by Chris from Toronto-based styleNorth! We’re a bit green behind the ears when it comes to live (as opposed to online/ebay) auctions so he’s been nice enough to put together some information to help us all become a little more savvy. Thanks Chris!

Vintage shops are a great source for quality teak furniture but you can also score amazing pieces at auction. This week provides a prime example: Ritchies (380 King St. E. in Toronto) is holding its spring Select Sale March 10 – 12 with some top notch teak up for grabs at potentially killer prices.


The shot above is from Ritchies’ window featuring one of two Danish Moderne-style coffee tables (estimate $300 – $400 for the set) and a Jens H. Quistgaard, teak covered Congo Ice Bucket (estimate $125 – $175), just like John and Juli’s. Of course either piece could sell for far less than the low estimate, or for far more, that’s the crazy fun of auctions, you just never know which way it will go.

Auctions can be intimidating, especially if you’ve never been to one before. But make no mistake, you can land some incredible deals not to mention enjoy an entertaining evening or afternoon.

The merchandise is posted online in advance to give you an idea of what’s up for grabs but it’s crucial to attend the preview, which provides the opportunity to really look over the merchandise, checking for damage, repairs, and general condition. If you’re interested in a set of dining chairs, for instance, sit in each one, make sure they’re not wobbly or creaky. Previews of next week’s Ritchies sale are on this weekend (Sat – Mon 12 – 5 pm). Read the rest of this entry »

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