May, 2009

Travel Finds! Japan

May 5th, 2009

Our friend Dan sent us a reason to explore abandoned buildings when traveling (be safe, of course!).

“So I thought I would contribute something that we found on our recent trip to Japan. As you know we Love to find abandoned places on our travels. Well this is a find from one of those adventures.


We were driving in the southern Kyushu region in the Saga prefecture of Japan and we passed an abandoned Pachinko gambling house. I immediately pulled the car over so we could further explore!! Upon exploring the outside I was trying to film through a window and was surprised to see Valeria on my lcd screen inside!! I followed her directions and quickly found the entrance. There was so much to photograph and film. It’s a bit frustrating to have so little time in such a photogenic place but I was happy to have just spent 20 minutes in it. There was a lot of old forgotten things laying about in a closet and Valeria helped herself to 6 lovely porcelain chopstick holders that were buried in a thick layer of dust amongst miso soup bowls, cups, drinking glasses and other dishes.



Other things inside included a nice old wall clock that I regret not rescuing from decay. There were also some nice light fixtures hanging from the ceilings and so much more! I wonder what will happen to all that stuff.


Stay tuned for some Iceland finds!”

Love it, Dan & Val! I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to see what you dug up in Iceland! Thanks for sharing!

Photos by Daniel Garbutt

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We Want: Bocci’s 22 series wall outlets

May 5th, 2009


We’d love to outfit all of our home with these stylish plugs from Vancouver designer Omer Arbel for Bocci.

The 22 series questions the existence of traditional wall mounted face plates and replaces it with a socket that is completely flush to the drywall, creating a simple minimalist solution to boring builder quality plates.

At only $10 CND per box of 10, we’re already thinking about ordering some for ourselves!

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War, what is it good for?

May 4th, 2009


Bring back the “Summer Of Love” with these collections of War motifs.

What side are you on?

War is Over” large framed print available at for $54.00 CDN


Photo from: Living Etc, Stylist Jo Berryman’s bedroom from the “Edgy Victorian Home Article”


Greenaid – the first line of defense for the war on plastic bags.
The neoprene outer shell reveals a reusable polyester shopping bag within.
Available for $15 CDN at StyleGarage


Love Grenade coin bank, by designers Owen and Cloud
The tossing of this grenade brings only prosperity, not destruction.
$32.00 USD A+R Store


A Peaceful bomb vase, from designers Owen and Cloud.
The base of this ceramic is cleverly shaped as the peace symbol.
$52.00 USD A+R Store

Toy Soldier Candle Holder – by Chris Collicott for Kikkerland
Standing at 9″ this is no toy!
$45 CDN available at StyleGarage


War Bowl, by Dominic Wilcox
Made from melted toy soldiers, each coloured bowl represents a different war.
£159.00  from Thorsten Van Elten.


Egg Soldier Cup, by Reiko Kaneko
Inspired by traditional English Breakfasts, the soldiers huddle
together to protect the egg, but the toast soldiers seem unstoppable.
£9.95  available directly from Reiko Kaneko

Just a thought… “One wonders if ‘War and Peace’ would has been as highly acclaimed as it was if it was published under it’s  original name ‘War—What Is It Good For?'”

– John Baker

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April: Where did it go?

May 3rd, 2009

Wow, we can’t believe it’s May (three days late with the roundup!).

Lately, we’ve noticed how every time we buy a bunch of stuff from Value Village, our collective purchase of random things always seems to follow a colour theme. I am finding the same thing goes for Kitka too. This month is apparently very neutral (ok, I rejigged the Atomic photo to accommodate, because really, that store is a riot of colour). But just because it was neutral, doesn’t mean it was bland. I love doing recaps because they serve as a reminder of all the great things we saw, bought and discovered.

We had two great store watches and one space this month – thank you to Lawrence, Katherine and Andrew. We started a Canadian Design History series, and dropped the Flickr Weekender – quite frankly, writing a blog is like a full time job and much like everyone, we need the weekend off! We discovered the creator of our toy vikings thanks to one of our readers, but we still have an outstanding question about a beautiful modern bull here. And in the forefront of at least our minds, the cottage reno is fully underway, with the purchase of an under-counter fridge and flooring, and an IKEA kitchen that is constantly being re-imagined. Monday we have an electrician, plumber and painter stopping by to discuss our plans, and a bunch of people will hopefully be buying some of our old-timey cottagey furniture! Very exciting!

Finally, we are so pleased that the Kitka dialog is increasing! Thanks to all who keep checking in, commenting…and to our new visitors, welcome!


Store Watch: Atomic Design


Space: Katherine Chiles


Update: Toy wooden vikings


Kitka’s Canadian Design
History 101: K700 Stool


We’re Watching: Furni


We want: Dala Horses


Store Watch: Neat


Cottage Reno:
IKEA kitchen how-to


Around the House:


Before & After: The Front Door


Before & After:
Vintage Kitchen Utensils


Ebay Find!
Michael Lax Sugar Bowl


The Green Living Show


Cottage Reno: Flooring


New light fixture!


Before & After: Upstairs Nook

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Space: Meera Sethi

May 1st, 2009


Who are you?
My name is Meera Sethi and I run misc, a studio specializing in design and branding for nonprofits. I am also a visual artist and photographer in my spare time.

My artwork is graphic, geometric and often very colourful. I combine Indian, Arab and African patterns and histories, North American musical and pop culture references, and abstracted life drawings to discuss ideas of style, identity and belonging. You can check out my blog for recent art.


This is work in progress from my “Farangi Rang Barangi” series.

Inspiration for home?
My home is inspired by a “third world” eclecticism and a strong sense of colour that comes from my Indian Punjabi background. I have had the opportunity to travel frequently between India and Canada and have picked up inspiration from the vibrancy and minimalism of each country respectively. As an artist, I am also inspired by loft living and the chance to have greater creative control over a large open space.


Most Cherished item/ Favorite Piece?
By far, my favourite item in my place are these two paper mache masks I bought from a craftsman in the Royal Fort in Jodhpur (Rajasthan, India). At almost two feet in height, they are massive and I carried them all the way back as cabin luggage! I love the bold and iconic faces on these masks. They represent a typical rural Rajasthani man and woman.


Best Deal?
The best deal I ever got was a 6 ft. x 11 ft. Moroccan kilim that I bought for $200 on Queen Street. It has these gorgeous rich pinks, reds and oranges and an eye-popping geometric design. I bought it from a store where the owners’ wife sold it to me for much less then what the owner had priced it at. The owner wasn’t in that day and I happily walked away with a steal!


Biggest Splurge?
My biggest splurge has been a fuchsia Saarinen armchair, a recent purchase from Atomic in Toronto. I wasn’t looking for a chair and certainly hadn’t budgeted for it, but seeing the electric magenta pop in the sun drenched Atomic window, I was instantly sold! Lawrence from Atomic chose a fantastic fabric to cover this original 71 series Saarinen. Read the rest of this entry »

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