August, 2009

Craigslist Find! PH 5 light

August 18th, 2009


By now you are all familiar with our obsession with Poul Henningsen lights. We picked up a pair of PH 4 lights while in Copenhagen (THE mecca for all your PH light needs). We would have loved to have grabbed one of the larger PH 5 lights on offer for about $200 each but we still had three countries to visit so it just wasn’t possible. Ebay usually has them but the going price often falls between $400-600.


A flash of purple.

Last week John came across one on Craigslist and although we really don’t have the money for it right now (the reno budget has long gone), we jumped on it with little hesitation. It’s our favourite and we’ve been wanting one for above our kitchen Saarinen table. At $350, it’s far from a bargain, but it is a fair price. We didn’t have to pay shipping, instead opting for the longish drive to Whitby. The seller told us the previous home owners were Danish and although she’s been living there for a number of years now, she held on to the PH light because she liked it. In the end, however, it was simply too modern for the rest of her decor. Score for Juli and John.


From above–the lightbulb fixture easily twists onto the body,
sliding effortlessly into the thrree round metal bits.


The blue underside.


A view of the underside.

According to the Louis Poulsen website, “In PH 5 the legs are purple and 2 smaller coloured shades enhance the part of the spectrum of light least sensitive to the eye – Red-painted inside of the cone creates a warm tone of light.”

There’s a reason why these lights were/are standard fare in Danish homes. Thoughtfully crafted, they are unimposing yet visually appealing, giving off a soft, diffused and gorgeous light. Kitka votes them best kitchen table light ever.

Filed under: Thrifting | 4 comments

Cottage Exposed Shelving

August 16th, 2009


Well we’re back again from a long weekend at the cottage, this time we got to do a little decorating! While we were tearing down the old musty 60 + year old drywall we found that the only thing standing between us and the outdoors was beautiful exposed cedar slats. We toyed with the idea of leaving all the walls exposed but came to the conclusion it wouldn’t be too comfortable with the wind whistling through our walls during those cold spring nights. We wanted to keep a piece of this architectural detail, to remind us of the construction of the cottage so we left a set of studs completely exposed to be used as shelving.

We had a really fun time getting out some of our nic knacks to make a display, but first! Let me tell you about what we put on our table. The two teapots are by Ulla Procope for Arabia Finland, the larger white pot was a wedding present for Juli’s parents in the 70s, Juli’s mom was nice enough to search through her cupboards and lend it to us indefinetly. We also were lucky enough to get a smaller black tea pot for 3 dollars during a thrifting adventure in Southern Ontario. The black candleabra we found in the cottage’s boat house while we were looking for the sconces.



Jens Quistgaard trivet. During the long dark Scandinavian winters, these trivets were reminiscent of the warm spring to come.
Ebay, $5.


“Enjoy!” trivet from Japan, Value Village $3. Matching Ulla Procope sugar and creamer set from Juli’s Mom.


Kay Bojesen soldier from a Danish cruise ship duty free. Aarikka Finland napkin holder, Ebay $15.


Well this half of the cottage is looking pretty good, despite the one unstrung Poul Henningsen light. Stay tuned for more pictures later this week!

P.s. maybe next year we can replace the Deck X’s of Death with wooden slats…

Filed under: Cottage Reno | 6 comments

Reno Reveal: Wall Sconces

August 13th, 2009


Awhile back when we were in destructo mode, we had two nice gaping holes on either side of the fireplace thanks to the removal of my dad’s somewhat fishy taste in decor.

estatesale-24 estatesale-23

I’ve been wanting to switch these beauts up for awhile but sconces are, quite frankly, a hard thing to buy! Thankfully my dad was also a huge pack rat when it came to redundant bits and bobs (he has canisters full of used nails and screws in the shed, which we learned during the demolition, he used in abundance – just try removing stripped screws). I recalled seeing the original sconces somewhere in the boat house so the other week we went a treasure hunting and thankfully I found them.

This is where ordinarily you would see a “before” photo but as most blog writers out there can attest, sometimes you’re just too excited and although you have every intention of taking photos, you get lost in the moment and don’t realize until it’s covered in matte black spray paint (another product that fellow home bloggers can’t keep their hands off of). The candleabra sconces were originally bronze with fake white candle (with drips!) and candle bulbs (same shape as the after version) that were sprayed a pinky-orangey colour. They were cool as they were but dusty and tired looking. We went with painting them matte black in order to create a dramatic effect next to the fireplace. But that said, they also know how to just be without demanding too much attention.


Now we can clearly see the lovely shape that they are, and I really think we’ll get a lot more use out of them now that they look really slick.


Here they are on! I guess it’s a bit light out to see the full effect.


John couldn’t resist picking up the antlers that are now hanging on the fireplace. Nothing says cottage like antlers!

Filed under: Cottage Reno | 1 comment

Sasha Hayman Tapestry

August 12th, 2009


We spent all of Monday and Tuesday getting the cottage primed and painted and my hands are still covered in white paint. While we waited for the paint to dry (around 5pm, no less), we had our first swim of the season, after which we set about the task of putting the living room back together.

The big plus of getting all the walls painted was putting up this vintage tapestry we bought from the Queen West Antique Center. Also included in this picture is a pair of old snowshoes that belonged to Juli’s dad.


Juli’s dad would go hunting for rabbits with his wooden snow shoes and trusty dog “Sport”. We found them when we were cleaning out the loft space, among a few other treasures…


The tapestry works perfectly in our cottage. It reminds me of the reflection of the sun in the water during a sunset, which is perhaps why there is that wonderful red line diving the two spheres. The colours work within our scheme, the blue being almost identical to our two blue FDB Møbler chairs that sit at the heads of the dining table and the off white/red can be found throughout the rest of the living area.


The tapestry is probably from the 70s based on the style and condition. It was really cool to find out the artist is from London Ontario, I wonder if she’s still producing her work…sadly there is not much info on the internet.

I’d love to find out some more information if anyone out there knows of her.

Filed under: Cottage Reno,Thrifting | 5 comments

Store Watch: Studio Brillantine

August 10th, 2009


The other week we decided to swing on over to Parkdale to check out Studio Brillantine’s new location. Ferdinand Suzara’s shop is filled with amazing design icons and objects of interest. This month (August) SB is having a 15% off sale, so head on over there and say hello!

Who are you?
Ferdinand Suzara…owner

How long has the store been open?
12 years now… 11 years at the old location
1 year at our new location

Why did you open your store?
I have always wanted to experience a shop like this but they are too serious as in museum shops…so here it is a hybrid. Regarding the sensibility of SB… the element of surprise and of course a sense of humour. I like independent shops that provide a unique experience rather than a mall experience. The product mix and selection is due to my fine arts and design background [Emily Carr University of Art & Design]. I have an interest in the design object and its role in our culture and that’s why I also have the museum permanent collection pieces beside the Japanese anime vinyl figures.


What can people expect to find when visiting your store?
It is basically an international design gift shop with nicely designed objects, museum pieces, award-winning products for your home from around the world. We also carry personal items like designer watches, wallets,  etc…as well as novelty items to make you smile. The international brands that we carry are Alessi, Georg Jensen, Iittala, Stelton, etc. and these are side by side with fun items like Tintin, Barbapapa, Moomin and Japanese novelty items.


Who are your customers?
Our customers are ones who appreciate well-designed products and like a different shopping experience. We have of course our regular customers who are very devoted to our shop as well as the designers, architects, design/fine art students etc.

Favorite moment while running your store?
Each day is appreciated…even after 12 years…it doesn’t feel like work.



Worst or most Embarrassing moment?
More funny and amusing…we sell some of the Taschen sexy books that everyone gravitates to and this one day there were about 4 different customers who kept on dropping the same book after looking at it…

Is there an item you regret selling?
Yes…some limited edition Philippe Starck items that are no longer in production and a Jeff Koons balloon dog sculpture…


Name something  you sell in your store, that you also own in your own home?
Nearly all items that I use at home are sold in the shop.

What are you really interested in right now?
To continue to provide a different experience in Studio Brillantine. It is very satisfying to give our customers a good, positive and life-affirming experience seeing them smile and enjoy the shop even if it is just to browse. I guess in this case it can be said about shopping.


Studio Brillantine
1518 Queen Street West
Toronto, Canada
M6R 1A4

M-Sat. 11 am-6 pm
Sun. 12-5 pm

T 416.536.6521
F 416.536.1984

Filed under: Toronto | 1 comment

Iittala Little Tern Bird Winner

August 7th, 2009


We received an email from our contest winner Kate on Thursday! Her prize arrived safe and sound (and fast!).

“When I picked it up from Purolator last week, I was handed a rather large box. I wondered if I’d mistook how big it was, but it turns out that All Modern just does a really good job at packaging fragile things. After excavating a layer of inflated plastic, I dug out a smaller box that contained the bird wrapped up inside.

The fact that the bird is hollow (because it’s hand-blown) really contributes to its beauty. Ideally, I would have placed it in a window so that the light would reflect through. Bachelor apartments don’t always provide ideal settings though, so it’s living on my faux fireplace mantle instead where it impresses me every time I look at it.”


We’re so glad you are enjoying the Little Tern Bird.

ps. Nice Finel bowl! John got me that very one for Christmas. And we saw some pendant light shades with the same pattern in a vintage store in Copenhagen.

Filed under: General | 1 comment