Who are you?
Jake Keck and I’ve always lived in the Junction
How long has the store been open?
I’ve been in the present location for 8 years. But the first location was on Queen West at Roncesvalles 17 years ago.
Why did you open your store?
I always loved deco-designed pieces, like furniture, the clocks, the barware and then I started to collect it with a mind to open a shop.
What can people expect to find when visiting your store?
Machine Age Modern is a well-known destination in Toronto to find modern vintage, designer attributed furniture, at reasonable prices (some pieces are rare international finds). Also, I always have good quality generic teak and good vintage styled pieces at affordable prices.
Who are your customers?
Anyone, any age. A lot of people in design from Fashion, Art, Photography, Architecture, industrial and graphic designers who have an appreciation for fine lines and details. And of course, interior designers shopping for pieces with unique characteristics. People from all over Toronto, and international visitors too.
Favorite moment while running your store?
On a winter day, with a snow storm raging outside, we thought nobody would come into the store because the mayor had called in the army to help clear snow. Ironically it was the best ‘business’ day ever, with a young couple coming in to pick-up and complete a large purchase. A set-designer and prop-stylist came with a 5 ton truck to rent furniture for a film set, another customer came in to pay the balance off a sofa and make delivery arrangements.
Worst or most Embarrassing moment?
One day a sketchy guy came into the store, and it turns out he was a good customer of mine from about 10 years ago. Now he was a crack head. He hung out that day for hours and hours. He wouldn’t leave. He was using our phone, and internet. He was wearing leather pants and he smelled.
Name something you sell in your store, that you also own in your own home?
We manufacture one item, the cubist mirror wall sculpture that was inspired by a vintage one we had at the store. That mirror design looks fabulous in any setting, like a glass-walled, waterfront condominium, or a traditional home library in Rosedale. [see above photo]
Mine at home hangs on a bedroom wall and with the door open, it’s visible from the hall and makes the room look expansive. I also have one at my cottage. I am very proud of these mirrors
What are you really interested in right now?
I’m loving the mix of classic mid-century modern pieces with touches of Hollywood Regency from the 1940s. Beautiful designs from all decades mix together.
Machine Age Modern
1000 Queen St East, Toronto
Store Hours: M-F 11-6, S-S 12-5
(days and hours can change over time. These are up to date as of July 2009. Always best to call or check their website for the most recent info.)