Howell’s Room

December 14th, 2016

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We only have a few unresolved spaces in our home. Naturally one is the space that we won’t speak of (the laundry area aka deposit random everything here spot). The other two spaces are our kid’s rooms.

Maybe because they were in cribs, which were temporary, or maybe because we had hoped on bringing them together–Howell refuses this, classic littlest child, he wants to carve out his own path–we never really resolved their spaces. Then again, in a way, the beauty of Studio Junction’s woodwork and our desire for simplicity almost demand that we don’t interfere too much.

In the end, we seek a bit of coziness, and an element of playfulness, that is a real challenge to bring together.

In the meantime while we mull things over, we have gone plant crazy. We cannot get over how quickly and easily the plants have transformed their spaces. It’s beginning to look like a jungle.

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Howell’s room still has a black and white theme, and he recently picked out this cute panda pillow by local maker (and friend) Newmies. I let the kids pick out a pillow pal to help cozy up their beds.

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A temporary help in getting Howell more excited about his bed was letting him pick his duvet cover. This one is from Ikea, and has all the favourite toddler things on it.

I still desperately wish I could buy some bedding from Chamomile London but it’s too hard matching the sizing with North American standards,  I’m having long distance commitment problems.

Anyone find some fantastic North American bedding? It always seems too saccharine or too geometric or two trendy. You know when you have a feeling of what you want, but never ever see it anywhere (besides halfway across the world, naturally). That’s where I am.

I’d love to hear how you resolved your kid’s room conundrums!

Filed under: Home Reno | 4 comments

New Front Door

December 9th, 2016

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We are so excited to finally have a new front door to our house installed. Made by Studio Junction, it replaces a standard grey metal door. Now we have better sound insulation, as well as a better seal against the cold winter air.

The door is made of white oak, and the handle is a simple brass style, ordered via our neighbour Safe Guard Locksmith.

Unfortunately we just missed the warm weather window, so we’ll have to wait to apply a fresh coat of black Falun paint to the wood slats.

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We picked up a holiday wreath, which finishes the space nicely. I cannot express how nice it is to come home to this door. The entry way feels so much bigger as well, now that the door opens to the right.

Thank you to Studio Junction for their great work!

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Friday in the city

November 21st, 2016

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Last week I picked up a new camera, the Canon PowerShot G7X, in the hopes of blogging more – the quality I’m used to, a compact size and wifi were what I was looking for. On Friday I took it out for a test drive and am really excited for the potential!

First stop was newish Junction spot Dirty Food. When Locomotive and Little Fish closed awhile back we were pretty sad about a lack of early morning breakfast spots so Dirty Food has opened at an opportune time. With an 8am start to the day, they are ideal for our early risers (meaning we are only on second breakfast by the time we head over).

 

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Howell contemplating the Johnny Cakes.

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John had the Chicken and Waffles. They also have a fantastic eggs benedict, and my favourite lunch item is homemade pierogies.

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Next stop was the Evergreen Brickworks for a nature walk.

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The fall colours are pretty much gone but the wintry light was still really pretty.

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A boy and his stick. Thank goodness he’s obsessed with those rain boots.

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What a beautiful day it was. I hope everyone in Toronto had a chance to get out for a little bit, especially now that the cold has arrived.

 

Ingegerd Råman Stockholm Studio Visit

November 14th, 2016

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A few years ago we had the pleasure of visiting with Ingegerd Råman at her studio in Stockholm. Located on the tiny island of Skeppsholmen in the heart of the city, near the Moderna Museet and overlooking the Strandvägen with important design shops Svenkst Tenn and Carl Malmsten across the water, it’s an ideal location for inspiration.

We had saved the images to accompany our conversation in Mjolk Volume IV, however, we later visited Ms. Råman at her summer home in the south of Sweden. I figure now is a good time as any to share a few snapshots from our initial visit!

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The desk is where Ms. Råman meticulously lays out things of interest, both found objects and special gifts, grouped by materials and colours.

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Glass work for Skruf, currently available at Mjölk.

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The Swedish touch, floral arrangements in winter.

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What a lovely thing to find Mjolk Volume II on the bookshelf.

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A pangapanga tray by Swedish architects Claesson Koivisto Rune

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Check out Mjolk Volume IV to read John’s interview.

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Filed under: Mjölk,Travel | no comments

Renaud Sauvé Exhibition at Mjölk

November 7th, 2016

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The other week we hosted Renaud Sauvé of Atelier des Cent-ans in his second exhibition at Mjölk. The theme this time was Bestiary, an exploration in sculpted, engraved and painted animals in porcelain.

Shop the Exhibition here.

Words from the artist:

In my mind, the attention I give animals reveals that through their movements, life remains the focal point and goes on unwaveringly. The violent convulsions of a dragon, the minute impulses of a snail or the quiet comprise and dignity of the tortoise, are an invitation to build a strong connection with them. Animals can express anything. Depending on the context of dynamics they can say anything. Sometimes just as I am falling asleep or returning to consciousness and my eyes are closed, animal images come to me. Such treasures will turn into porcelain motifs or bosses.

This exhibit gives me the opportunity to display a whole series of new works. The term “bestiary” comes to mind. The collection involves (sculpted, engraved or painted) animals that may be real or imaginary. The creatures are often strange but never estranged. At least that is my hope.
- Renaud Sauve

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John, Renaud and Juli.

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Reiko flower arranging.

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Apothecary jars.

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Thank you to everyone who came out to celebrate the opening of Bestiary with us. The works will continue to remain in the showroom until November 9 (many will still be around after this date, and available online).

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True Nordic Exhibition at The Gardiner Museum

October 14th, 2016

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Tuesday night we were excited to go to the opening reception for The Gardiner Museum‘s new exhibition, True Nordic: How Scandinavia influenced design in Canada. Curated by Dr. Rachel Gotlieb and Michael Prokopow, we are honoured that our Garden Works collaboration with Anderssen & Voll is on display.

 

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From the press release: Scandinavian design initially reached Canada’s elite consumers and style-makers via museum and gallery exhibitions, showrooms, small retail shops and articles and advertisements in popular decorator magazines. However, it was the dynamic influx of émigré craftspeople from Scandinavia who both affirmed and vernacularized the aesthetic in Canada and who shaped profoundly the country’s design and craft movement from the 1930s onward. What was broadly known as “Danish modern” became synonymous with ideas about good design, and “comfortable and gracious living.” Capitalizing on the market opportunities presented, Canadian manufacturers added Scandinavian design to their conservative repertoire of colonial and historicist offerings and called these lines, Helsinki, Stanvanger, Scanda and so on. The culminating section of the exhibition will ask why Scandinavian and Nordic aesthetics continue to resonate with so many contemporary Canadian designers and artisans at work today.

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The exhibition was designed by friend of the shop Andrew Jones Design / Graphic design by q30 design inc. Loved the Alto-esque paper room divider and the intimate wall colours.

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During the Q&A discussion, there was a bit of talk about how a lot of the designers were married couples. Naturally we like this dynamic a lot!

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In the contemporary designers section there are a lot of local designers and artisans, such as Castor, Sean Plaice, MSDS, and Bookhou. It was nice to see everyone in the same place.

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The exhibition book was a nice surprise, containing some essays and the exhibition catalog. The fire tools pictured are from a project we have been working on with Winnipeg designer Thom Fougere (to be launched in January).

Please go see this show at the Gardiner Museum, running until January 8.

 

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