December, 2009

mjölk showroom

December 17th, 2009

mjolk shop front-3

Well the first half our our store is finished and looking great!

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Our window vinyl is finally up!

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As is the sign. It was actually supposed to be just the lettering but it didn’t work out. Looks good anyway. Notice the spikes of death above, for the pigeons. A bit distracting but it keeps things cleaner.

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We actually only have half our our showroom renovated, we’ll have the back half for furniture!

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The Thomas Sandell Chairs have beautiful birch socks.

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Kids area. A section that is a lot of fun to curate. We’ve even had our first 2-year old tantrum over the Playsam car–she got it all out of her system and took an interest in some more affordable wooden toys which are equally amazing.

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Swedish textiles.

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Pia Wallen cat bed.

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A shot of the curve wall feature, made from wood shop off cuts.

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The store at night has a really nice inviting glow.

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Here’s our birch bark accent wall (made from real birch bark!)

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You can see the little door at the back that leads to the rest of the showroom, hopefully we’ll have the rest open at the beginning of the new year!

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Our main desk area.

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Best baby hat ever!

December 17th, 2009

When I was in Iceland a couple of years ago I fell in love with the most adorable silk baby bonnet, so much so that I bought one just in case I never returned. When looking for cool things for the store, I hunted the same hats down (with difficulty). Although I always wanted my (eventual) little one to be the fashion forward baby, I am pleased to introduce you to Fiona, who is the first silk hat owner.




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mjölk day one!

December 16th, 2009

First off, thank you to all the well wishers, and kitka readers/curious neighbors who stopped by today. We had an exhausting but exhilarating first day, that solidified further our goals and mission with mjölk. We are so happy with all the positive interactions we had throughout the course of the day. Imagine that, people actually do want to talk about design, with enthusiasm! It’s awesome!

A big thank you to Studio Junction, Joe, Dimitri, Jaro, Thomas, Ben for putting in hours beyond reason to help us open up on the 15th. You are all such amazing hard workers and put in a lot of energy to pull this off. A big thank you to our friend Hollie, who came over last night to help us set up. A big thank you to Lindsey of Lindsey Bakes, for making the best mjölk cookies:


I spy a Pia Wallén ballet slipper, an Oji Masanori wooden mug, a Pia Wallén Crux, our flag logo and the most ambitious, a PH Artichoke light. Lindsey is amazing.


mjölk and cookies!

Ok ok a couple of photos. I wish I took more but the space was ever evolving throughout the day, and there was always something to tend to.


Skagerak teak storage solution with some simple Pia Wallén stockings. Wish we could sell the Iittala fireplace, you know, for Santa.


A section of the Studio Junction 25 foot long C-shelf, with teak interior.

By the end of today, our showroom was getting pretty rammed, but it’s only because we don’t have any furniture in yet and our back area is still under construction.

Ok, I am spent. Wish we could share more tonight, but 2 hours of sleep is inhumane. I’ll share some more photos tomorrow! Off to bed! See you tomorrow!

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mjölk is…open!

December 15th, 2009

Ok, so we are CRAZY! Studio Junction and a group of amazing contractors have been working around the clock to make this opening happen (THANK YOU, ye of sleep deprivation and too many pizza bellas).

Of course, our grand opening is in the New Year, but we have so many great accessories, we couldn’t let the xmas season pass without spreading some joy. So, we are opening, regardless of the state we are in. The space is gorgeous, and so is the product. I am sure you won’t mind a few wayward signs of continued construction and flux.

Check out our sexy PH light on the wood slats:


Ah! Norwegian cottage meets Copenhagen. Fabulous!

Anyway, come on by this week and say hello!




It is almost 3am and there is still loads of setting up to be done, but we’re calling it a night, for at least a few hours. Plus, our cats want to hang out with us, they miss us so.



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mjölk shop gift guide

December 11th, 2009

In honor of last minute Toronto Christmas shoppers, our store will be opening on Tuesday, December 15. Mark it on your advent calendar.

Expect a well-curated selection of unique accessories from Scandinavia and Japan. Expect that what we have on offer will not be found at the mall or a big box store. Expect that whatever you give from our shop, will only be received by the person on your list (and a couple more lists, if it’s an exceptional week and a half).

I imagine by now you may be tired of gift guides, but at least with this one you don’t have to hunt the items down. 2959 Dundas Street West.

Hours: Tuesday-Saturday 10-6, Sunday 12-5.

For men (or man-boys):



Shaving Kit

Designed by Lovisa Wattman

A sophisticated yet rugged old school shaving kit. Includes soft concrete dish and holder, soap and handmade maple and badger hair brush.

Made in Sweden.


Lilleba man

Nordic Long John Pajamas

Designed by Norwegian company Lilleba

Cozy up to your honey with this super soft and warm pajama set.

Materials: 50% cotton 50% bamboo. Sizes: Medium (adult small),  Large (adult medium), Extra Large (adult large).



Crow bottle opener

Designed by Tadahiro Baba

A beautiful and sculptural bottle opener hand-forged by artisans in northern Japan. Each piece is unique and has a very satisfying weight when held in your hand. Available in two variations.

Made in Japan.



For Women:

Picture 2

Ballerina Slippers

Designed by Pia Wallén

These adorable slippers are made of 100% felted wool with anti skid soles. Sizes: S , M, L, XL.

Made in Sweden.




Designed by Tveit & Tornøe

“This characterful little family of hooks is a friendly addition to any wall. The Dots are proud of their round edges and will treat your clothes with the greatest care. They will also let you arrange them on your wall in the pattern you like. Being a very social set of hooks, The Dots love to welcome other Dots to join them on the wall. The only thing The Dots demand from you is that you uncover them every now and then and admire their shape and material”

Material: First class oak
Available in Natural oak, black stained ash
Measurements: Large: Ø 170, Medium: Ø 130, Small: Ø 90 mm

$199.00 (set of 5)



Designed by Helena Rohner

The HELENA teapot combines polished stainless steel with classic porcelain for a design that is aesthetically refreshing and functionally flawless.

Materials: Stainless steel and white porcelain.



For Baby

Bean Rattle 1

Bean Rattle

Designed by Kazuto Komatsu

The bean rattle is designed to fit in a baby’s hand, the wood is smooth and comfortable with a moderate weight. The rattle’s sound is soft, much like the sound of a mother talking to children. It can also be used to help with teething.

Materials: Beech. Measurements: L80 x W 60 x H 15mm

Made in Japan.


Lice blue

Norwegian Lice Marius Onesie

Designed by The Ugly Children’s Clothing Company
Designed in Norway for ugly babies everywhere!

The patterns for this sweater were designed by Unn Søiland in 1953. It was named after the alpine skier Marius Erisen and is the single most knitted sweater pattern in Norway.

Available in Marius red, blue, pink, and green. Materials: 100% cotton. Sizes: 0 to 3 months, 3 to 6 months, 6 to 12 months, 1-2 years



For Kids

Combitoy 2

Combitoy 1

Combitoy Theodore

Designed by Arvid Hope

Theodore is more than meets the eye. He can turn into a truck, boat, house, or camper. Theodore is environmentally friendly, educational and stimulates children’s curiosity, fantasy and creativity. Each toy comes with paper backdrops to help set the scene.

Made in Norway


Rocking sheep black

Rocking sheep

Rocking Sheep

Designed by Povl Kjer

The Rocking sheep is a rocking animal that is primarily intended as a toy, but which is also a unique craft object that fits into any environment. The Rocking Sheep is made in varnished pinewood upholstered with foam and covered in lambskin. Povl Kjer gave the first Rocking Sheep to his niece as a tongue-in-cheek reminder of her parents’ rural background. The Rocking Sheep are hand-made in small series to preserve the high level of quality.

The Rocking Sheep comes in white, black, brown, grey and pink. Measurements: L83x W25 x H60cm, seat height: 40cm.

Made in Denmark



For Friends:


Pill Carafe

Designed by Charlotte Hargreave

Carafe is a new way of framing liquid. It is a carafe, it is a glass. It is transparent, it is colourful. It is for everyday use, it is for special occasions. It is for everyone, it is for you.

Handblown and lidded glass carafe. Choose between lime green or blue lid. Holds 0.5 litre, 23.5 cm tall.

Made in Denmark





Designed by Hironao Tsuboi

Lamp/Lamp gives us the mysterious sensation of the “unknown becoming known”. Lightbulbs that we have so casually used in the past now give us new values and affinity.

Made in Japan



For the Executive:


Wood business card case

Designed by Masakage Tanno

A beautiful hand made wooden cardholder. Each case has a magnet embedded in the wood to keep it closed. The craftsmanship is extraordinary, and all the hinges and detailing are made from Japanese persimmon.

Don’t fumble around for your business cards. Make a good first impression!

Hand made in Japan.



Leather Mouse Pad

Designed by Hironao Tsuboi

A leather mouse pad made without stitches. This single sheet of thick ox hide is over 4mm thick, the thickest among raw leathers. The mat is hand polished with glass by Japanese leather craftsman. Sophisticated texture without any artificial treatments that are found in most leather products.

Produced by veteran leather craft company SANTO INC, founded in 1899. Available in black and brown. W235xD180mmxH5.

Made in Japan



So come on by and say hello! We can’t wait to meet you all!

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Charred cedar facade

December 10th, 2009

Juli and I had an idea of what we wanted our store facade to look like well before we found the right neighborhood to set up shop, but it wasn’t until meeting with Studio Junction that the ideas starting to become a little more unorthodox. We imagined black wooden slats to mimic Norwegian cottages, and our logo in white.


Simple enough, but while we were hanging around Studio Junction’s nest we starting to elaborate a little more about the design of the facade. I don’t know what it is about the different sexes but whenever we all get together it seems the girls are all very logical and realistic, and the boys are… Well, we just get excited and the budget becomes an after-thought. Somehow we starting talking about Terunobu Fujimori, and the primitive but beautiful benefits of Burning cedar.


The Yakisugi House in Nagano, Japan.

Charring cedar is an old Japanese tradition that isn’t used much anymore because it’s so labour intensive. The benefits are well worth it, charring the wood protects it from rain, rot, and insects for 80 years.


Now Terunobu Fujimori would lay a cedar plank down one by one and use newspaper to start a controlled fire on top of the board. Let’s just say lighting large wooden boards on fire in downtown Toronto probably isn’t the best idea so we opted for torches to have a bit more control with the flame.


There’s Christine, the other half of Studio Junction.


Now Terunobu Fujimori is a real purist and chars the heck out of the cedar and puts them up without any seal or anything. We didn’t want kids to come up and start picking away at the char and getting it all over their hands so we’re giving the wood a bit of a finish. Can’t wait until it’s affixed to the store!

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