November, 2009

Light, white, and modern

November 10th, 2009

house-n-7

Well it’s still early and we don’t really know what we’ll eventually do when we renovate the apartment, but I’ve been dreaming up some ideas. I’ve always really loved the look of light wood and white walls, and I’ve found the perfect examples of these being executed.

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house-n-8

House N by Sou Fujimoto Architects. It’s such a beautiful home you should really check it out.

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House No. 5 design firm Claesson Koivisto Rune. We blogged about this before and I haven’t forgotten about it. It just hits all the right notes for me

Light wood floors

the image is from and live/work home in Nikko by architect Japanese Katsutoshi Sasaki. I just love the open space and the slanted walls.

tower-house-2

Now the winning design combination of 2009! light wood and white painted metal staircases, let’s take a look at a few more.

white staircase

Oh yea, all these examples only work if you never plan on having children, or aging.

nagoya-residence-7

I think I need this no matter how “not up to code” it is here in Canada. Nobody can come to our house unless you sign a waiver saying you won’t sue us if you fall down our metal staircases that is blinding from all the natural light being reflected off the white surface.

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Mjölk under construction

November 10th, 2009

Mjolk under construction-9

Well the demolition is on its way, and it’s really coming along smoothly.

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Pretty soon this will all be one large open space.

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The before! The glass partition and the closet really cut the space in half,  we’re taking it in a different direction

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The closet is almost completely removed.

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We’re also converting the 2 large washrooms, into one neatly packed powder room.

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Lot’s of random stuff…

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We’ll come back to this picture in a couple of weeks!

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This is our current floor, stained chip board. It’s actually not a bad look but way too industrial for us. We have a very beautiful and affordable solution that we will reveal once we start going to work on the floor. (And by “we” I don’t mean Juli and I, we learned our lesson after tearing up the floor at the cottage.)

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John & Juli are Dead Sexy

November 9th, 2009

We’re going to hand our Monday post over to Dead Sexy Magazine for several reasons: one, because they put out a cool online monthly magazine about Toronto that we think you should know about; two, because the current issue has a great article on The Junction that we helped put together and; three, there is a lovely article about us and our shop, mjölk.

john and juli DS

Dead Sexy Magazine

By Alex Brown, Issue 7, November 2009

Ok, so, essentially they were born in Canada, not Copenhagen. But it comes as a mild shock to me since they look and talk the part of a typical Scandinavian couple: cool, laid back and with an impeccable vision for style, only thing missing is the white blond locks and the Danish dialect. I can’t help but think how proud I am that Juli Daoust and John Baker (kitka.ca) are Canadian. The design duo met at a bar in downtown Toronto a little over two years ago and their common love for design has been growing ever since. Now opening a design store in the heart of the Junction at 2959 Dundas St. West, they have scored a place on Dead Sexy’s A-list. Yes, we have a list. This month we headed to the Junction where this fast growing hood is also where Juli and John are living above their design store, Mjolk: Pure Scandinavian. First we talked, then we walked.

DSM: What were you doing 5 years ago?

Juli: I had a boring desk job, which was brutal. When John and I started dating
he was a musician, so we thought we would maybe have a band. We had great
band names but in the end it didn’t quit fit for me. Design was the only thing
that made sense.

DSM: Did starting the design blog come naturally? 

John: Well, we wanted to talk about what we were experiencing in Toronto and felt like there were barely any personal, Toronto-based, design blogs. We thought ‘people must be having the same experiences and reactions as us.’ So, we basically just wanted to open the doors and have a forum for people to talk about it.

DSM: From reading your blog, I can see that Scandinavian design is a huge influence for you. What draws you to it so much? 

Juli: The people inspire us because they are the “happiest people in the world”. They have simple ideals that consist of having less stuff and more life.
John: The North American perspective sort of pokes fun at how Scandinavians live (in terms of the size of their home, how everything is so small and simple) because they can’t identify with them. But we completely identify with them and sometimes find it harder to identify with the North American lifestyle, in a way.

DSM: Are you sure you guys aren’t from Scandinavia and just don’t know it?

John: Ha ha, we’re sure. We’ve thought about moving there.
Juli: But as much as we love it there, at the end of the day, Toronto is our home. We really love it here. I love the different neighbourhoods because there’s so much culture going on in each one. Scandinavia is cool and all, but we’re not Danish. We wouldn’t fit in the same way we fit in here.

DSM: What Scandinavian influences do you hope to bring to your Toronto life?

John: We love living the Toronto day-to-day lifestyle of going out to restaurants, and galleries, seeing Canadian art etc., and then having the Danish sensibility in our home at the end of the day.
Juli: John and I always joke about how were going to torture our kids by not allowing them to have separate living quarters.

DSM: Why is design so important to you?

John: It’s amazing when we see designers making the utilitarian beautiful; something as simple as cutlery that you use day–to- day and then being surprised at how much pleasure you get from it. I think being able to make beauty out of the ordinary is important.

DSM: Why did you decide to open Mjolk in the Junction?

John: We knew we had to live in the same area as where we’d be working all the time, so it was important that we relate to the neighborhood.
Juli: We heard of this building in the Junction, which we had passed before, but eventually we decided to look into it. It had a great feeling to it and the more time we spent in the Junction learning about the neighbourhood, the more we felt connected to it.

DSM: What is the biggest challenge being partners and working together?
John: Communication. But those are things that all couples struggle with. It’s great because we actually get the opportunity to learn how to do it better by working with each other everyday. I think it makes our relationship stronger.

DSM: How does it feel to be recognized by the design community? What do you hope to accomplish in the next 5 years?

Juli: The recognition we have gotten from the design community has been incredible. I mean we’ve been approached by the Etsy blog. They photographed our newly renovated cottage. House and Home has also approached us and we’ll be working with them in the next little while which is very exciting.
John: We love that we’ve gotten recognition from our peers, as well.  The design world is a great community and there is endless support and possibilities here. If we could make a living doing what we love; owning the store, being able to live above it and eventually raise a family here than we will have accomplished everything. And I don’t mean in a financial way, I mean, having the store for the rest of our lives and doing what we love.

 

To read about The Junction click here:

the junction DS

Thanks so much to Alex Brown and Issha Marie for a fun day hanging out in our new favorite hood, as well as Dead Sexy Magazine for featuring us!

Filed under: Mjölk,The Junction | 4 comments

The temporary sign goes up!

November 6th, 2009

mjolktempsign

Well it’s official, we have our temporary sign up and it’s a very surreal sensation. The moment we put it up people walking by stopped and took a second look. We’re also getting big packages in the mail, so now everyday it feels like Christmas. I can’t wait to share some of the products with you guys, they are really beautiful. You’ll have to wait till we have our website up!

Filed under: Mjölk | 7 comments

First day!

November 5th, 2009

day-1

We survived the move! Remarkably, it was a pretty smooth day.

We found our movers, Ultimate Choice Movers through the homestars website, which is pretty much my go-to source for trade work, taken with a grain of salt [UPDATE: we used this company a second time and it was TERRIBLE. Don't recommend anymore]. The guys that did our move were great, even when they had to haul about 20 giant boxes of books not once but twice (I was told that the size of box I was using was “perfect for books”, but I still felt way bad). The piano movers came and went. Joshua Jensen-Nagle, the artist who did two of the major pieces we own, was super nice and helped us out by transporting and storing our art in his studio until we settle in – which seriously was the best idea ever because we still haven’t dug out from all the boxes yet. And around 10:30am I realized our snowball-style pendant light was still hanging in our hallway, so I quickly called Java Electric, the same person I used to install it, and he came within an hour to help us out! I was even able to coordinate Molly Maid to give the apartment a quick scrub because the last thing I wanted to do was to clean a dirty bathroom at the end of such a long day.

The worst thing about the day was that our coveted Borge Mogensen sofa didn’t make it up to the 2nd floor. It is sitting in the basement, keeping the piano company. We still need to devise a way to get it into our living room because the other sofa we have is very painful to sit on (and the cats don’t fit).

After we moved in John put together a make-shift living room, we picked up some local junction pizza from Vesuvio (note: we checked out Vesuvio in the summer and thought it wasn’t that great but their take-away pizza is really amazing) and then crawled into bed to watch The Hour. Incidentally, we discovered that we get about 8 channels so we are going to try and go without cable. The experiment begins…

As for the apartment, it’s pretty great. Size is good, though we all keep running into each other in the hallway and the cats don’t like that much. Needs PAINT, lots and lots of cloud white paint. And we have a plan brewing for the kitchen because it’s good, but right now the best looking thing in there is our Jasper Morrison toaster and coffee maker.

More soon!

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