September, 2009

The new normal?

September 16th, 2009

A quick question. How do you feel about infill housing? The kind that happens in established urban neighborhoods, where quaint post-war bungalows get switched out for large new builds. This has been happening in North Toronto (between Davisville and York Mills along Yonge St) my whole life. Areas like Leaside can kind of handle it because the properties have a larger footprint, but what about more condensed streets.

The reason I am asking is because the other day I took a side road that runs north of Lawrence, west of Avenue Road and was AGOG at what was happening. I am surprised I didn’t get into a fender bender what with all my rubber necking.

And here is the reason why: On a stretch of road about 1 kilometer long, I was confronted with infill house upon infill house upon infill house to the point of being dumbfounded. About 85% of the street (if not more) has been converted into what looks to be the suburbs. It’s as if different people keep using the exact same builder. Nothing against the homes, but I feel like the street has lost all character. It’s seems too manufactured.

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One lonely little home among the big kids. I get that a tiny post war bungalow just doesn’t cut it for most people any more but jeeze louise.

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Anyway, I just had to share because it was such a surreal street. When did this become the new normal???  It’s not like I want everyone to have super modern homes or anything. I can appreciate more classic styles but how did this house style become the NEW go-to style?

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Guerrilla Gardening

September 15th, 2009

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We just spotted this fresh installation on Harbord Street. Not sure if it has anything to do with the new little gallery opening down the way, or some random OCAD student doing an assignment for their Installation class, or just a random act of niceness. This building miffs me because for as long as I’ve been living around here (10 years off and on), this wide, one-storey building has been borded up and accumulating layer upon layer of advertisements and posters.

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Cutting into what must be at least a thousand layers of paper, the guerrilla artists made a perfect little pocket for some greenery. Evidence of what was probably a nighttime adventure, is left on the concrete below. Read the rest of this entry »

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Studio Junction: Courtyard House

September 14th, 2009

As we may have mentioned, we are moving to the Junction neighborhood so I thought it might be nice to feature Junction related highlights leading up to the big move. Since it’s one of those neighborhoods that inevitably seems like it’s far away, even though it really isn’t (it’s a 10 minute drive from where we live right now, closer than Queen Street East which is at least 20 minutes away), we want you to really get to know our new hood.

Because it really is a diamond in the rough.

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So, who better to start with than Studio Junction? Architects Peter Tan and Christine Ho Ping Kong have built a beautiful (though unassuming) lane way house, dubbed the Courtyard House for its generous enclosed yard. You may have seen their home featured in the April 2009 issue of Dwell magazine, and if you’re local, they were also featured in the Spring 2008 issue of Design Lines Magazine.

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Looking up the lane way to Davenport Road. The exterior is clad in wood detailing, cinder block construction and vines that dance in the breeze, adding an arresting textural, organic element.

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The upper courtyard tends to always have clothes hanging out to dry (well, every time I’ve been by…and no I am not a stalker).

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John and I had a meeting with them on Monday morning, so we had the pleasure of seeing–in person!–the inside of their living space. The first thing that hit me was how peaceful, warm and inviting the open concept main floor is.

The other thing I loved about visiting Christine and Peter’s home, was that it truly is lovingly lived in. Evidence of toys, a creative play area and even a chalk mark on the wooden door frame, are all reminders that this is a functional home, not an architectural museum. As such, I grabbed the indoor and courtyard shots below from Studio Junction’s website.

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via Studio Junction

When you first walk in, you are greeted with the office area (left photo). The stairs in the photo on the right have storage for shoes built right in, and a pint sized handrail for their children, picked up from a marine store. The railings are beautiful – simple, streamlined and elegant…sometimes you just have to get creative! Read the rest of this entry »

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Kitka’s turning JAPANESA!

September 11th, 2009

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I am in love with this house by Suppose Design, I am obsessed with Japanese architecture and I think I’ve found the perfect place to get you guys just as addicted as I am.

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This kitchen came from my dreams turned into radiowaves and made it’s way to Nagoya Japan where it was actualized. I love those thin wooden slats and white faucet, It’s just given me inspiration for our future kitchen.

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Are you kidding me with those Jean Prouve chairs?!

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I know all this minimalism is for the architectural photo shoot, but I want it! I feel like I could be very happy having a minimalist home, maybe not as sparse as this but free of cluter and surrounded by great design.

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Imagine having these stairs in your home? Or falling down them? WICKED!

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One thing about modern Japanese architecture that I’m still too private to want… Glass bathrooms.

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Three floors with huge glass windows, I want to world to watch me eat cereal!

via Trendir

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New Dansk Pepper Mills

September 11th, 2009

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Well the news is in, Dansk is officially re-releasing 5 of Jens Quistgaard’s peppermills. Now there will be a few interesting changes in the contemporary Dansk line. The pepper mills will be made of Acacia wood, instead of teak, And the mills sport an adjustable porcelain grinding mechanism suitable for salt and pepper.

I’m interested to see these in real life. I really love the teak mills so I’m a bit standoffish about how Acacia wood will look. Of course there is also potential quality issues since it seems Peugeot won’t be providing the mechanisms like they did with the original mills that were made in Denmark.

Regardless I’m still very hopeful and excited about bringing back JHQ’s designs, maybe some colourful enamel is on its way!

via Teak pepper

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The sexy originals… I want them all!!!!!!

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Lighting over coffee tables

September 10th, 2009

Here at Kitka we are big fans of lighting.  We’re always looking for ways to make the best out of our reading areas, that’s why we’ve been compiling images of pendant lamps over coffee tables. It’s something we would have loved to try in our home, but it just wouldn’t have worked with our ceiling height, and the pot lights and floor lamps were a sufficient source of lighting. However in the new apartment we’ll have a touch lower ceilings and no pot lights to be found anywhere, so it’s an option I’d like to explore. Here are some images of lighting over coffee tables really working.

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via Apartment Therapy via September issue of Dwell

I kind of prefer the look of a smaller pendant light over a coffee table like this subtle orange flowerpot light.

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via Design*Sponge

A product shot of the new toldbod 120 pendant lamps from Louis Poulsen, and can I add I really love the white painted log cabin that they did the shoot in!

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via Nestled In

What an amazing wooden shade! I’ve never really seen anything like this, it looks great over their coffee table.

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I’ve always loved this image from DWR’s product page about the PH Snowball pendant light. I can easily imagine myself on that womb chair reading a book by the light of that gorgeous light.

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via The Brick House

The Brick House’s yellow pendant light over a beautiful teak coffee table, looking fab with her new leather sling butterfly chairs.

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These images come from the home of Architect and Industrial designer Knud Holscher. I love the PH lights over the coffee table and side table,  I think this is as close as it gets to what I envision for the lighting in the new living room! Then again I don’t know where we’ll find another pair of PH lights for a fair price like the ones we found in Copenhagen… I guess we’ll just have to take another trip!

via Living Retro by Andrew Weaving, with photography by Andrew Wood

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