July, 2009

Monday morning vintage

July 13th, 2009


A couple of weeks ago I came across an article on the Teak Pepper Blog feauturing an amazing picture of Dan Wheeler’s Dansk collection (Wheeler Kearns architecture firm). Under further investigation I found the link to the complete article (Mint Design Blog) with a ton more pictures of the Wheeler’s fantastic home.


Collections at its best, each piece tells a story, evokes memories, or just looks cool. We love the beautiful vintage Le Corbusier sofa, what looks to be a Malm fireplace, and that cool hanging bike.


The Wheeler family has a collection of over 600 vintage paint by number pieces.


This really puts my Dansk teak collection to shame, but atleast I don’t see my Viking Bowl.

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Giveaway + TOAE

July 11th, 2009

First order of business, I want to remind everyone that we have a giveaway on until Wednesday, to win an Oiva Toikka Little Tern Bird! Only like 0.01% of our lovely readers have signed up for this contest! Of course, for them that means the odds are on their side so they totally want me to shut up right now but seriously folks, it’s a beautiful little prize. And it’s soooo easy to enter! This contest is open to anyone that lives in North America. Friends, family can enter as well as we will be drawing at random the winning prize, so if you aren’t feeling like writing a creative comment, no worries!



Next order of business: If you aren’t an Indy car race fan (so noisy, even from inside my house) and you aren’t afraid of a little garbage strike (well, I am starting to be a little afraid after I saw a handmade sign posted on a garbage can at Bloor and Spadina that read: “Caution! Rats!”), then you should head down to the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition.

I really wanted to cover it for you yesterday but we just couldn’t get it together. Too much to do, absolutely no time. This art exhibition is a great place to go to acquire local and often reasonably affordable art.

Some things you must see (sadly I have no photos because the TOAE website has decided to put watermarks on all the images, which tells me it’s a no no to grab them. I of course think this is silly but I’ve gotten in trouble in the past so you’ll just have to take my word for it or follow the links!):

Katrina Tompkins Solid Companion Hybrid Series (Furniture grad from Sheridan — we featured her way back at IDS)  in Blue South booth 229.


(photo Alex Kisilevich)

Alex Kisilevich – Photographer and recent OCAD grad – touted as a star in the making – in Blue North booth 841.

Darren Rigo – Photographer and OCAD student.  I saw him develop his process over the few years I had classes with him—his talent grows with every series—in Blue South booth 220.

Julie Moon is always a prominent and interesting ceramic artist in Yellow 694.

Ok, I wish I could sample more but without photos it’s kind of pointless. So, if you have a chance to go, check out the four people above. Or tell us who your favourites were. I will try to get down there for a bit tomorrow and do a mini recap, but I can’t make any promises.

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Cottage Reno: Ceiling

July 10th, 2009


Before we went away, we thought we were done with the demo/clean up and ready to start putting it all back together again. We returned to discover that there was more to dispose of along with a plethora of mouse poop that keeps appearing from all the nooks and crannies (John made a discovery of perfectly sized mouse holes–were they initially for ventilation?–running all along the area where the ceiling meets the walls…perfection).


Anyway, aside from the bathroom that needs to be done by the end of July, is all the painting, plywood installation and kitchen frustration (aka putting together Ikea cabinets). So a couple of weeks ago John and I headed up north and directly to Home Depot with optimism. We decided that we were going to rent a paint sprayer and get going on all that painting. At $115/day, it’s pretty pricey but we were feeling good. So off we trundled to the cottage to get going on the job. Not. We both got inside the cottage and took a real hard look around and realized that we had an awful lot more prep work to be done than we thought. So we got to work (miserably) and about 30 minutes in we regrouped and decided that this scenario was not working for us. It’s not that we’re lazy, it was just so incredibly overwhelming! On top of that, John realized that painting the exposed ceilings in the bedrooms and kitchen wasn’t necessarily going to equal a gorgeous looking space. It looked busy and it wasn’t intended to ever be exposed so it’s not the best construction. We’ve since decided to cover the low ceilings with plywood (which we were going to do anyway on some key walls). That saves us from preparing and painting the low ceilings, but we still have to install the heavy plywood boards. Argh!


So after all that we rushed the unused sprayer back to the tool rental department. The guys were super nice and didn’t charge us for the 2 hours we had the machine and we returned to the cottage on much happier terms. That said, nothing really got accomplished over the last two visits except for some cleaning up and prep work.


So….this past week we finally made some progress. We hired a (human) paint sprayer and after two hours of assisted prep and about an hour of spraying…


Voila! So different (yet still a mess). Of course, the cedar was a lovely colour but not in the best shape.



We also got the fresh drywall painted.


We’re getting closer, kinda sorta.

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Rock out with my wallet out

July 9th, 2009

During my spare time I like to think about all the amazing modern rocking chairs that are out there, and which one would fit our cottage just right.


The Hans Wegner is my clear choice, it’s just beautiful! This one was on Ebay a couple of months ago and went for around 800 bucks.
Available for $2950 USD from Fredericia Furniture


The Colmio rocking chair from Finland! You might remember this from our coverage of IDS 09.
Pricing  available from Ella + Elliot


Onedge Rocking Chair from Brothers Dressler. I really love this rocker, it would probably have to be left as just the natural birch plwood. It’s a big plus for us that it is designed and produced right here in Toronto.
$1,700 CAD from Made Design


I got to see a lot of these in Helsinki, I really wish the price wasn’t so high!
The Mademoiselle Rocking chair, $2000 USD available at DWR


IKEA is probably the best thing that’s happened to modern design, I mean it allows anyone with any income to have the opportunity to own beautifully designed modern pieces for their home. What’s not to like about this rocker? Birch wood, 100% cotton fabric, and a price that can’t be beat! I’ll have to find out where they are made, since I announced my pompous boycott of anything made in China.

LILLBERG rocking chair $159 CAD available at IKEA

Help us out! Which would would you choose? Any other Reccomendations?

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ALLMODERN.com Giveaway!

July 8th, 2009



In keeping with our apparent red themed July, All Modern is giving one of our lucky Kitka readers a chance to win an Oiva Toikka Little Tern Bird in Red, valued at $76 usd! These sculptural birds are still made by hand at iittala (dimensions are 3″H x 4.25″W).

All Modern offers a huge selection of modern and contemporary furniture, home accessories and lighting from brands like Blu Dot, Kartell, Herman Miller, Heller and more.

Just write in the comments what you would do with this beauty of a glass bird and promise to send us a photo if you win. Sorry, the giveaway is limited to Canada and the US. We’ll draw a winner on Wednesday, July 15. Good luck, it’s an amazing prize!

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Thrifting Find: Nya Clara Can Opener

July 7th, 2009


We forgot to share this find with you back when we were Kitka Design Stockholm. John (who is supposed to be writing this post but had to work) made sure to keep his eye open for these iconic can openers when we visited the Stockholm Stadsmission thrift stores. He managed to find a few, but each was either missing a component or broken. This red one was missing the little plastic piece that makes it possible to wall mount it so hush hush, John pulled a switcheroo and nabbed one off a non-working white one. 40 kr ($6 cdn).


Designed by Sigvard Bernadotte, the son of King Gustav VI Adolf of Sweden, he was one of the pioneers of industrial design in Scandinavia. He’s also known for the Margrethe stacking bowls for Rosti, among other things.

Weird, we’ve been on a real red and white kick lately. Although we don’t eat much canned food (especially during the summer), it’ll look great at the cottage!

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