June, 2009

Inspiration: Red Mobler chairs

June 3rd, 2009

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I came across this great image via Apartment Therapy the other day. It’s a set of mismatched dining chairs featuring one of Kitka’s favorite chairs: the FDB Mobler chair designed by Folke Palsson. As you may know we purchased a set of 6 for around our dining table, we never did mention the price, and we felt like we should be honest and be as realistic as we can, whether we’re finding mad deals or splurging. Let’s just say these chairs fall in between a deal and a splurge–we paid $595 for a set of 6, which for us is a deal but after you tack on the $200 shipping it quickly became a splurge. Luckily we found someone trying to sell a single chair for around $235 so that made us feel a lot better–as long as they are being sold for more than we paid, we’re relieved.

I really love this shade of red. If you remember the set we purchased were all black but it might be interesting to add a little colour to our cottage. We’ll have to see when they come in, we can’t wait!

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Store Watch: Drake Hotel General Store

June 2nd, 2009

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Who are you?
Drake Hotel General Store

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Why did you open your store?
The Drake felt like it was a natural progression to open up a shop for hotel guests.  This neighbourhood was aslo lacking a general shop for gifts and curios.
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What can people expect to find when visiting your store?
A mix of old and new, a carefully edited selection of books, magazines, loot bags, Canadiana merch…..tons of fun stuff.  We’ve just added Cheap Mondays, Toms and Bensimon sneakers to the mix.

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Who are your customers?
Hotel guests from around the world.  The neighbours of Queen St West West, all ages!!

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Is there an item you regret selling?
No but we sold all of our tees with an illustration of Yves Saint Laurent before i could buy one.

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Name something  you sell in your store, that you also own in your own home?
I love you Civilettes, Frida and Diego candle and a burlap pillow.

What are you really interested in right now?
French books.

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The Drake General Store
1144 Queen Street West
Toronto, Ontario
416-531-5042 x101

Hours: M closed, T-W 12-7, Th-Sa 12-11, Su 12-6
(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.)

More photos after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

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Space: Adam Pesce

June 1st, 2009

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Who are you?
My name is Adam Pesce.  I’m a product specialist for Reunion Island Coffee and a freelance food writer.

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Inspiration for home?
Besides warm colours, textures and tones, I’ve always liked the combination of new and old – finding antiques, or even garbage, and turning them into something useful in the home, while juxtaposing them against new items.

Buying less new stuff has become a bit of a hobby for me, and that really started with this apartment. It’s been interesting to see how the place has evolved since I moved in.  At first it was mostly filled with things from Ikea and department stores, but I’ve gradually rid myself of most of the new things in the place, replacing them with items I’ve found in shops, thrift stores and dumpsters around the city and on a few road trips around Ontario.

The new/old mix has gone further and further to almost entirely old, and now the TV and a few miscellaneous pieces are the only things in here that are less than ten years old.

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Most Cherished item/ Favorite Piece?
Hands down that would have to be my coffee table.  I made it from an old, Maritime lobster trap that was handed down to me from my friend Josh, who I took the apartment from when he moved out west.  He actually had it hidden away in storage and was going to throw it out when I saw it as I was helping him pack up.  I built a simple base for it and had the glass cut at a shop on Broadview – the whole thing probably cost around $40.  The wood isn’t in the best condition and I’m sure it won’t last forever, but I’ll keep it until it starts to disintegrate.

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Best Deal?
Probably the turquoise pie shelf that’s acting as my TV stand goes down as my best deal, not including the free stuff and hand-me-downs.  I found it on the way to a friend’s cottage in Mt. Forest, Ontario at a small antique shop
that was actually just an elderly couple’s living room.  I’ve always preferred antiques that have some colour to them and aren’t just brown and drab.  One of my favourite shops in Toronto, Uppity, specializes in those types of things, but can be really expensive (note: the yellow ladder in my living room was a gift purchased there).  So finding the pie shelf for $70, when it would probably be $300 in the city, strikes me as my best deal.

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Biggest Splurge?
I haven’t really splurged on anything, but if I had to say, it would probably be the Gus sofa.  I bought it at the StyleGarage sample sale a couple years ago for around $600.  It’s normally a $1950 sofa and is also designed with a material that never made its’ way into their regular line-up – brown linen – so it’s a bit unique as well I suppose.  Luckily, last year at the sample sale I was able to find another sweet deal on a chair by Gus that goes perfectly with the sofa and picked it up (literally, and walked it home) for $200.  Seating in my living room had always been a bit of a contentious issue for some of my friends; hopefully one more sample sale and I’ll be able to quiet them down.

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Most Gratifying DIY?
The lobster-trap coffee table notwithstanding, I’ve built a few things around the house.  Recently I put together an herb shelf for my tiny patio, made from reclaimed skid wood.  Also, for years I’ve had my old high-top bar table and stools that I got from a neighbours garage.  In September I painted a chess board on top of the table as a home for a set of pieces (white are sandstone and black are volcanic rock) that I got in Indonesia last summer.  The barstools were pretty beaten up and were upholstered with black vinyl so I sanded them down, painted them brown and covered them with burlap coffee bags to completely change their look.

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What would you do differently?
Probably de-clutter.  I’ve developed a bad habit of grabbing everything I see that I like.  It’s great when you have space, but in a 500 square-foot apartment, less is definitely more.

Plans for future?
Moving.  The prospect of finding a new place intrigues me.  Somewhere that needs work, both cosmetically and functionally, and transferring what I’ve already got, plus finding new pieces – I can see that happening in the near future.

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Anything to add?
I was always bad at having good stuff on my walls.  Great art is, for the most part, a luxury of age. But now I’m pretty lucky to have a talented girlfriend whose art is all over my walls (www.juliananeufeld.com).  The kitty painting above my bed is only going to be there until she sells it, but for now, it’s definitely one of my favourite things in the place.

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Hand-me-downs, freebies and loaners are a homeowners best friend.  When I look around my apartment, I realize that some of the most important pieces in the place are gifts or other people’s junk.  The New Mexico-style rug was my father’s from his first house in the 60s and my stereo system was my parents’ from the 70s.  It took time to figure out my style, and personal style is something that is so constantly evolving, but I finally feel like I’m in an apartment that I really enjoy coming home to.

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Photos by Adam Pesce & Juliana Neufeld.

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