Yes, you didn’t read that title wrong. We are back picking up where we left off 6 years ago, when we first started renovating our clapboard cottage on Georgian Bay.
So much has happened in that time, the short of it being:
We opened Mjölk
Had 2 kids
These are significant milestones and as you get older and your family begins to grow, your needs tend to change. When we started our first renovation we did all of the work ourselves, and of course we were limited by our abilities and had to use some ingenuity to get the job done. Hence the crafty plywood walls (I didn’t know how to drywall) and the relentless use of white paint on the floors, walls, doors and ceilings.
We’ve reached a point that some of our initial handy work is starting to get a little shabby looking, and this summer we decided to do some aesthetic and functional renovations.
Above: A photo of some work in progress: new sconces for the mantel, repurposed from two of the bedrooms.
One of the biggest changes we have made is we cladded the entire interior of the cottage with tongue and groove pine painted white. We also painted the blue doors out white.
It now looks incredibly Swedish and has given the space a whole new energy!
The sexiest change is definitely the kitchen, which has been a source of frustration for us during the past few summers. Our small work kitchen was perfect when it was just the two of us but now with two kids we are cooking in portions to feed four each meal, and when we have guests over this number can easily reach over 10 people. Our sweet deal of a find under counter fridge died THREE years ago (we’ve been running back and forth to the guest cottage) and no one would service it (too good to be true I guess). As a result, we had to get a regular sized fridge which completely compromises our counter space.
We took a look at the configuration of the cottage and ultimately decided to move the entire kitchen(!!!), and in the process come up with an entire new design.
A couple of teaser additions are in the photo above: I am not going to lie, I have always wanted a SMEG fridge. I can’t believe they are still made in Italy, and the design is just so endearing. The jewelry so to speak is the unlacquered brass faucet resting on top which will be wall-mounted. We got this faucet from Addision’s here in Toronto, which is a fascinating architectural and antique plumbing store. I think it is made from two different fixtures put together by the owner so we could achieve a super long faucet.
You may also be wondering what will replace the old kitchen – we have zero storage so we thought some large wardrobes would be perfect, making the space more of an entryway instead of a bottleneck.
We’re looking forward to sharing the results with you as we get the work done!
In the meantime, if you want to see some of this stuff live as it happens please follow our Instagrams:
Many of the painting depict everyday life with a nod to Scandinavian design and lifestyle. We ended up buying a couple of paintings after seeing the OEN blog post, and after seeing a recent batch of new works decided to round out the collection with three.
The one above is a newer work with figs, these shapes are cut out and painted and placed back on the wooden canvas to give it more depth.
These shapes remind us of Alvar Aalto’s Savoy vase.
This one is inspired by the Tea Trolley by Alvar Aalto which is one of our favorite pieces of furniture.
Also in this photo: The Spoke-back sofa by Borge Mogensen for Fredericia, a pillow from Marimekko, a Zebra pillow by Alvar Aalto for Artek, a blanket by Inga Sempe for RorosTweed and a Moroccan Berber rug. All items available from Mjolk.
Last week we launched Alissa Coe’s solo exhibition at Mjölk. Above you can see her stunning installation hanging above the dining table, which is showcasing an exploration in tableware. We had a wonderful turnout during the opening party, and we thank you all for attending!
Below you will find more photos of the exhibition, but if you live in Toronto, we encourage you to come by and check it out in person. The pieces are so fine and delicate, something that is hard to appreciate in photographs. We hope to get a selection of pieces in the webshop as well.
Vincent Joseph Monastero and Alissa Coe – they collaborated on the Elements carafe and cups
We’re very excited for porcelain artist Alissa Coe’s solo exhibition, happening here at Mjölk in just two days!
We’ve received some finished samples to photograph and the work is incredible! Please come out to our opening reception this Wednesday, May 6th from 7:00pm – 10:00pm.
A collection of work in porcelain inspired by the power and primordial nature of geometric form.
With this body of work I have attempted to create a primal feeling, as if each piece could have existed from the beginning of time, encapsulating all the strength and fragility of nature in the quality of the forms and materials.
– Alissa Coe
If you haven’t already had a chance to watch any of the City of Makers episodes, we would recommend watching Alissa’s first. This interview happened during the beginning stages of her work for this exhibition, and you can get a glimpse into her inspirations and hints at what might be in the exhibition.
The image above is a sampling of the vessels and tableware that was made specifically for the show in primary shapes, made from thin white nearly translucent porcelain. She will also be presenting a 6′ long ceiling sculpture and a 6′ tall pyramid sculpture.
Large hexagonal flower vessels.
Elements water carafe and tumblers, a collaboration between Alissa Coe and Vincent Joseph Montastero.
Hand thrown cone vase.
A grouping of three hand thrown vases.
Black glazed hand thrown vessels with distorted lip.
Some photos of Alissa’s studio during the process of creating works for the exhibition.
The rough porcelain components of the pyramid sculpture.
Various plaster moulds and nearly finished pieces.