August, 2009

Mystery Package Reveal #1

August 6th, 2009

As you may recall, we spent most of June thrifting our way across Scandinavia and with each new country, we added another bag (or two) to our entourage. By the time we were on our way to Finland, we looked extremely ridiculous.


The above makeshift suitcase did not help.

But it was what was in this heavy garbage bag suitcase that made the whole endeavor worth it (I presume, as I was not the one who had to endure lugging it around).


What’s this? Could it be an illusive Berber Rug??? Like most fans of mid-century modern, we have the Berber bug. Sadly, Berbers are hard to come by, especially at affordable prices. We found some beauties up at Elte awhile back, but of course despite their massive 50% off store-wide sale, the Berbers were business as usual. Alas at $5000, we shuffled off empty handed.

In Stockholm, serendipity made us stumble upon a beautiful vintage and antique rug shop that is kept by an interesting and knowledgeable gentleman. He noticed we were keen to learn about textiles and showed us binders full of Scandinavian rugs and Berbers (our two principal interests). By the end of it all, we just couldn’t leave without buying not one, but two rugs.

John and I firmly believe that a rug is a vital component that anchors a room. If there is anything you should spend extra money on, as an investment, is an amazing rug that you love. Rugs are like art (often they are art). They create visual impact, they can tell a story, they provide texture and you can change them up and move them about.

Buying a rug should be a special experience (nerd alert). It’s always so tempting to buy some cheap mass produced rug (I’ve had fits in IKEA, but John is so steadfast, which in the long run I appreciate) but they lack pizazz and specialness—you know everyone has it. Vintage on the other hand has that one in a million feeling, something that’s been loved and handled by others, that holds onto a journey, that incorporates the thrill of the hunt. Our Berber rug is 40 years old. It may have served as flooring in a Berber’s tent. It was hand made, the pattern formed at the whim of its maker. How special is that?

Our rug is a little worse for wear because we didn’t want to spend TOO much money—it cost about $1200, a far cry from the $5000 versions on offer in Toronto.


Grover insisted on being in a detail shot (though hilariously he ended up being the detail in focus). Actually, he’s just testing out the rug because I temporarily moved his ugly-mashed up-hairy PetSmart bed.


Berbers and similar graphic carpets really do go amazingly with mid-century modern furniture. Here it is with the chrome and pony hide Le Corbusier chair (ok technically earlier than mid-century but you know what I mean).


One edge has this random bit of blue thread and long fringe, while the other edge has a short, thin fringe.


The diamond shapes mimic the Eiffel base of the coffee table.

The Berber sadly still doesn’t have a place to be in our home. We usually have a gorgeous red and black Afghan that anchors our living room, and it will continue to do so for now because it looks amazing with the sofa. Plus, our cats like to barf all over the place, especially on carpets, and with the longer pile of the Berber and delicate nature of it’s condition, we can’t risk it. It may make it’s way up to the cottage for the time being (a no cat zone), to join our mystery bag reveal #2 rug—which is quite frankly, even better than the Berber…coming soon.

Filed under: Home Reno,Thrifting | 7 comments

Dreaming on Ebay

August 5th, 2009

Well, we spent Monday and Tuesday working on the cottage, it’s coming along and we’ll probably have the kitchen done by next week. We’re setting an end date for the last week of August since it’s been all work and no play all summer long. We really need to start using the cottage as a place for relaxing so we want to make August count! Then we can be lazy all September.

As you probably know furnishings should probably be the last thing on our mind, but while I’m at work my mind starts to wander and it forces me to search Ebay for all sorts of treasures that I’d love to fill the cottage up with.

Here’s what I’m dying for today:


You know we’ve been looking for a rocking chair, and I think this would be perfect! It’s very shaker inspired, BLACK, and only 352 CAD! It’s very similar to the Hans Wegner rocking chair, but without the big price tag, too bad at this stage in the game we don’t have much money left… Juli, do you want to go halfzies?


Ladder back chairs are so cool! I’d love to see this with a Finnish long haired sheep skin.




Isn’t this Kofod Larsen rocking chair absolutely gorgeous?! I remember seeing these chairs for next to nothing a couple years ago, now they’re quite popular reaching very high prices at auctions. This one’s $1378.00 CAD way out of our budget (budget being 50 dollars).




Alright, we found a couple really cool rockers, but we still need to find the perfect pendant for the kitchen area. I really love this NOVA copper light from Fog & Morup. I don’t really see that many copper lights around the city and it might be a cool medium to add to the kitchen $269.10 CAD



Honestly, photos say it all and as you can tell from this photo; this light doesn’t really look as nice as the copper pendant. I assure you; it’s a really nice light and has a beautiful sleek shape. We need something that distributes light well, and isn’t too large (since out kitchen ceiling aren’t that high) I think this glossy white pendant would look really nice against the fir ply kitchen walls. (Fog & Morup 1967) $323.00 CAD



Here at Kitka we are drunkards, and by we, I mainly mean Juli (she can drink me under the table). We don’t have much storage in the cottage, so we need a buffet to hold additional serving ware, plates, and happy juice. I am in love with this cabinet, I really like things that are a bit quirky and it’s nothing like the business as usual credenzas I see on Cragislist (not that those credenzas aren’t beautiful, they’re just too low for our needs).


I love those legs! I think the teak would contrast beautifully against the black dining table and white walls, it’ll also provide more space for our many collections.


The bidding is at $20.00 right now, but the reserve isn’t met.



Here’s a lovely teak coat rack that I’d love to hang my jacket on. The post says it’s by Finn Juhl, but I don’t really believe it; it would be going for much more than $266.00 CAD.
Regardless, I’m into it!


I love the rope!



We really love Hudson’s Bay Blankets, especially if they are vintage. We found an original multi-coloured 4 point blanket while we were in Stockholm for a ridiculously low price, but we really love the red & black versions. Too bad for us, a lot of other people do as well, this is already up to $120.00 CAD with 16 bids…


If there are any readers that aren’t from Canada and you come across one of these blankets during your thrifting, you should definitely buy it! It’s got a really simple modern design for something that’s 230 years old, and it’ll keep you super warm in the winter.


Well, that’s enough dreaming for one day.

Filed under: General | 1 comment

Kitka’s favourite design books!

August 4th, 2009

Here at Kitka we have a thing for design books, we are running out of space in our Expedia bookcase! There’s nothing better than heading over to the local discount book store, in our case it’s The Annex’s BMV Books, and checking out the architecture and interiors section.

Here are a few that are worth mentioning:


Modern Retro is a MUST HAVE for anyone interested in Mid Century modern, it’s full of beautiful images of homes all around the world and even a source book in the back.


One of my favourite interior photos is that cat laying in the sheepskin on Hans Wegner’s Flag Halyard chair (it’s by far my favorite lounge chair of all time).


You probably already know how deep our obsession with Scandinavian design goes, and Scandinavian Style is one of those amazing books that whenever we flip through it, we seem to find new ideas.


Does that picture seem familiar? It should, we posted about how it’s been a constant inspiration for us, during our cottage renovation process.


Design in Canada, all I can say is BUY THIS BOOK. If you are Canadian, or simply interested in Canadian design this is by far the best and only book out there. The Design Exchange is sadly discontinuing this amazing book so get it while you still can, Canada has a very rich design history yet most of us don’t know much about it….



Another Andrew weaving classic, this book takes you on amazing tours of some of the greatest designers of all time. Poul Kjaerholm’s home is pictured below:


Those Poul Henningsen lights look familiar!


Another Scando-book that’s full of amazing interior shots, it’s a bit more current than some of the other books we shared but no less timeless.


Such a rememberable photo, the beautiful white shelves and contrasting objects.


100 Houses for 100 Architects, because what’s cooler than seeing where these legends lived?



Scandinavian design, the best Scandinavian Sourcebook PERIOD. It’s been out of print for a while and really hard to find, but it’s worth it. I found mine on Ebay for around 50 bucks.



Juli and I have also found some really cool vintage books aswell, this one is from a series about architecture around the world.



Finlandesa is just fun to say.


All of these books are written in four different languages, I wonder how many there are…

Some books that I want to mention aswell but didn’t get around to photographing is:

Scandinavian Modern
Scandinavian Country
Mid Century Modern
Norwegian Wood &
Living Modern

There are so many of them out there! We have a whole section in our book case just on Scandinavian design alone, just go to Amazon and type in some key words and see what you find. Books are especially nice to get in the mail!

Did we miss any of your favourites?

Filed under: General | 7 comments

Cottage Update! We’re getting there…

August 3rd, 2009


Here’s a little sneak peak of the bathroom in progress! We’re so close to being finished, we just need to *paint the floors and trim, *find a cool shower curtain, * hang our new light properly, * paint the bathroom door, and finally hang up our cool medicine cabinet. We’re going up to the cottage today, and we’ll share some more pictures of the progress later this week!


We replaced the old fiberglass shower with a nice simple white tiled shower with vertical subway tiles. There were some structural issues with expanding the width, so we had to keep it on the small side. At least we got to increase the height quite a bit, and we layed the tiles vertically instead of horizontally to emphasize the increased height. The shower head is Kohler, I’ll have to get back to you on the model # and the price we paid for it (it looks like a trumpet!).


We decided on the very simple and very affordable Pegasus toilet which features a dual flush system. $149.99 at Home Depot
We also came up with a maple built in shelf to hold multiple rolls of toilet paper,  there is no storage space in this bathroom, so we came up with this easy and affordable solution.


Our new sink already has a new friend! (We still need to do some caulking)


The fir plywood is so beautiful!


Here’s one of the bedrooms, we still need to come up with a solution to remove the trim running along the edge of the ceiling, we just didn’t have a big enough plywood sheet to fill the gap between the ceiling and wall… We would obviously prefer it if it was completely flush. We’ll revisit this at some point today!


Here’s  our bedroom, the white against the plywood is looking great, but it’s still the same problem with the trim. We’re hoping we have a left over ply board to replace that tired looking trim.

Filed under: Cottage Reno | 1 comment

The Eames Lounge Chair

August 2nd, 2009

Our friend Bradley recently told us that he’s on the hunt for an Eames Lounger. I took it upon myself to find the perfect one for him, even if it’s way above what he wants to pay for it…


I have an unnatural attraction to really worn in leather furniture (I’ll just naturally assume he does aswell) this chair is 50 years young, and quite the investment. I love that ox blood head rest against the walnut shell and the rest of the black leather upholstery, it’s just a bit different from other loungers I’ve seen.


At $2765 (Modern 50) it’s quite expensive but much less than the $3899 loungers found at DWR, which don’t have nearly as much character. If I can just congratulate myself, I think I did one hell of a job finding the perfect Eames Lounger! Just for arguments sake, let’s take a look at some of the reproductions out there.


Some of the vintage Eames reproductions from the 60s and 70s are quite nice, most are made in the U.S.A, some are even made in Canada!

This image comes from KW Vintage Camera’s Flickr page. It’s probably either from the 60s or 70s, but the interesting thing is it’s made from a company in Windsor Ontario.


I really do love Eames Loungers upholstered in this tan leather, I just don’t see them around as much. I have to say I’m not 100%  sure this is a copy but it was a birthday present. Either these people have very extravagant birthdays, or it’s a very well made reproduction.

From Paperpony’s Flickr


The Brick House, is probably Kitka’s favourite design blog, it’s always constantly inspiring us, and making us laugh hysterically. Morgan has some experience with Eames lounge reproductions, she scored the black lounger above for only 50 bucks! It’s a big plus that it has that iconic 5 point base, some copies skimp out on the details.

Does anyone have any experince with some of the reproductions out there?

Filed under: General | 4 comments