September, 2010

String

September 11th, 2010

We recently got our shipment from String, which we will be selling through the Mjölk shop. Of course we need to give the shelf the old Kitka approval before we start selling it, so we installed one in our office.

You can never have enough storage, EVER!

Our little Kay Bojesen monkey’s habitat.

A collection of books that are currently inspiring us.

It seems like when I’m done with a magazine I don’t really go back to it, and that’s partly because it’s no longer in view. But there is still good stuff in a lot of them, things that I don’t really want to forget. Now that we have these shelves we can neatly display all of our magazines!

Braun SK4, designed by Dieter Rams.

Our friend Paul volunteered to come over and help me assemble the shelf.

He has way better tools than me.

The system is seemingly simple, but ingenious at the same time. The poles are mounted to the wall where the legs of the pole actually bare the weight of the shelves, it’s a pretty easy install and also pretty affordable.

We currently have the white Pocket String (2 panels, 3 shelves) available in the shop ($200).

Filed under: Home Reno | 17 comments

This is a good weekend to visit The Junction

September 10th, 2010

If you haven’t had the chance to visit mjölk yet, this weekend is the perfect opportunity. The Junction Arts Festival is going to close down Dundas Street West from Indian Grove to St John’s Road to open the street up to live music, poetry, art, crafts and more ALL weekend!

While you’re here, check out a couple of great new shops on Keele, just north of Dundas. Mrs. Huizenga (of Roncesvalles fame) has opened another vintage shop and across the street from her is Russet & Empire, where owner Micah has curated a wonderful selection of objects of interest, from Canada, Sweden and beyond.

[EDIT] Oh! I just remembered there is also a new art gallery that JUST opened. Telephone Booth Gallery is located at 3148 Dundas Street West. Looking forward to their grand opening reception Sept 17, 6-9pm.

Saturday night, catch local musician Justin Rutledge on the stage at 9:30pm, then pop over to Margret for some drinks. See you there!

Filed under: The Junction | no comments

Weniger, aber besser.

September 8th, 2010

Dieter Rams once described his design approach with the phrase “Weniger, aber besser.” which translates to “Less, but better.”

It’s a simple philosophy we need to remind ourselves of.

We’re really happy with the filing cabinets we found by Jean Nouvel at the Queen West Antique Market. They were $150 each, and couldn’t have fit into the office any better.

If you’re saying, “Oh! I wish I would’ve known about those cabinets!” Well, then you really should consider adding us to your Twitter! One of our followers did nab one after we posted a quickie photo.

“A complete modular system built with simple, linear, clean-lined elements. Functional. Forms pared down to pure sign. Essential volumes that design the contemporary office space. Noiseless, disembodied presences that define with rigourous simplicity a sober, rational, authoritative…rhetoric-free work environment. A cityscape delineated by slender architectonic structures.”

I like words like “sober” and “authoritative” when describing our office furniture.

I ordered a Naoto Fukasawa cd player for the office. We even got out our old CDs from storage to listen to while we’re working away.

The CD player follows Naoto Fukasawa’s ethos of design “without thought”. The simple CD player whose form mimics a ventilation fan as it spins its exposed compact disc. Distilled into its most minimal form, the CD player works for people without vision since the player consists of a single speaker, no cover, a vertical power cord, and no digital displays. And yes, it actually sounds good!

It’s great that it’s looking a lot more polished, but there is still a lot of things to do!

Filed under: Home Reno | 16 comments

This bed is what dreams are made of.

September 2nd, 2010

Our bedroom update was awhile ago, but we didn’t get the chance to talk about our new bed! Since then, we’ve been hemming and hawing over whether we should. It’s not the most budget-friendly bed, but it’s an important purchase, and not one that should be considered based solely on price. At the mjölk shop we are adamant about investing in quality pieces of furniture, and a bed should be no different!

Apartment Therapy just started a series called “A Year in Bed“, whereby one of their writers is going to try a different mattress per month, for the whole year. As Maxwell suggests, we never really get to test drive mattresses when shopping. We’re usually sold on brochures and marketing schemes. If you’re thinking about buying a new bed, this is definitely a series to watch!

We unfortunately didn’t have much to go on when shopping for our new mattress. All we knew was that our days with Sleep Country Canada and Serta/Sealy were over (poor or pushy service, seemingly repetitive product, interrupted sleep, sore shoulder, stiff legs). Like Maxwell, we started the hunt with Hästens, more out of sheer curiosity than intent to follow through.

But before being wooed in their showroom, it was the comments on this AT post that lead us to another Swedish company called Carpe Diem. As luck would have it, a showroom up in Newmarket had just started carrying this brand. So off we headed to Goodnight & Sweet Dreamzzz. Best time to mattress shop? First week of January in the evening! We had Debi’s undivided attention and she accommodated all of our whims and fancies for a couple of hours. Unlike the monotony at Sleep Country, at Goodnight, they carry various brands that you can compare – yes, there is a touch of Serta/Sealy, but in between that and the higher end Carpe Diem, is Natura Organic, Kingsdown and at the time, Tempurpedic. Also apparently they are getting a new brand in under the Villsam brand, which will fall in the mid-price range.

We bounced from bed to bed, feigned sleepy time (with pillows and duvet to complete the experience), laughed at the crazy height of the more luxurious Carpe beds (you need to jump, high!), all the while knowing that the basic Koster model was what we would buy. Although I have to admit price was a factor–their beds literally double in price, each step up you take–we also liked how much lower it sits.

Since the beds are made-to-order, we dutifully waited the three months (has to be imported from Sweden as well). When our bed went missing at the border, Debi quickly fixed the problem by offering us a (luxuriously incredible) loaner bed until the one we ordered was remade and shipped again.

Never. Slept. Better. Like sleeping on a cloud. We are actually shocked at how different this bed is from all previous experiences. Now the only thing waking me up in the night is Isha alarm clock. Bad side effect, REALLY not wanting to get up in the morning.

We have many reasons as to why we bought this bed.

We love it’s simplicity (no need to buy a frame and headboard).

We love that they use natural materials, with no threat of off gassing (it has the Eco Label Swan Certification – did you know that most North American brands are sprayed with fire-retardant chemicals? Yuck!). It is completely handcrafted by one artisan from start to finish.  The pine used in the base is from the northern most part of Sweden from sustainable forests. Tongue and groove corner construction means no glue or nails.

We love that it’s customizable. You can pick from 5 fabric choices (we picked light grey) and 11 types of legs (we picked birch). In an act of rebellion against firm mattresses everywhere, we went with the soft mattress – apparently the level of firmness has nothing to do with support, but personal preference. If a bed is good quality, it should inherently be supportive! But since we were going for the basic model, we upgraded the top mattress to the Exclusive, which has a cotton-filled summer side, and a wool-filled winter side, just be safe..

We love that it has a 25 year warranty, with an expectation of it lasting 40 years. (I have already thrown out 5 mattresses in the last 10 years. Sick.)

We love that we finally get a great sleep every night.

Filed under: Home Reno | 19 comments

Easy modern living in Singapore

September 1st, 2010

We’ve been working on the office, but ran into a bit of a snag yesterday. We finally found some filing cabinets at the Queen West antique center, and had to go back to pick up the last one. Unfortunately our car’s engine light turned on, and we don’t feel comfortable driving around unless it’s to the mechanics.

In the meantime, I wanted to share this beautiful and effortless interior by architect Albano Daminato. This apartment just hits all the right notes for me. I love how the books are displayed with the covers up. I makes me just want to walk over there and pick a book up and start reading.

The Butterfly stool is by one of Japans most prominent designers, Sori Yanagi. I would love to find a vintage butterfly stool in rosewood.

I just like how all of the magazines are stacked, not looking messy at all.

A simple bright bedroom, with my favorite light by Isamu Noguchi.

Filed under: General | 1 comment