We’ve had an incredible amount of snowfall during the first few days of the week, but of course if you’re in Toronto today you can appreciate the irony of this blog post since it is raining. We can all agree that any city is much more beautiful with a sprinkling of snow so despite all the inconveniences it causes I would take the snow over the slushy winter rain any day.
During this snowfall, there were some really nice moments in our little courtyard. First being the snow falling on the delicate bamboo leaves, which remain a strong green colour.
There are so many paintings with snow on bamboo, it’s just cool to see it in real life.
Also on our bonsai.
The snow creeping up onto the window sill.
Kazumi Tsuji’s “Snow” bowl looking very appropriate.
Elodie’s first real snow experience.
Our view outside our bedroom to the parking lot behind, luckily with some bamboo making a small privacy screen. If you close the window just right, all you see is bamboo. Very Japanese.
It’s that time of the year! Our 4th anniversary is today! We’re celebrating by giving away cookies of Marten, Eero and Ola from Claesson Koivisto Rune, made by the ever talented Lindsey Gazel. Come on by today and say hello! Also we will have the inaugural production of the Ceremony set available for sale this week!
Thank you for all of your support during our first years. Now that we’re old news, we’ll be needing you now more than ever!
- John & Juli
I hope everyone is having a nice week! It’s been a busy month here, and we found a little bit of time to show you a few new things around the homestead that have been inspiring us lately. If you follow our instagram you have probably already seen photos of our mid century Danish piano. We finally got it all tuned up and it sounds pretty good for such a tiny pianette.
In the festive spirit we have our little Aarikka elves sitting on the ledge.
Our Rosemary bush and Bay leaf tree. The bay leaves come in handy for making soups this winter!
Studio Junction lent us their Danish coffee table to be used as Elodie’s play table. Little friends Miffy and Totoro sitting on Elodie’s African chair, a gift from Tomii Takashi (complete with red crayon).
Advent Calendar bought on our yearly pilgrimage to The Finnish Place. Marimekko with little pockets. Elodie loves discovering the treasures, though it seems that the pleasure in finding out surpasses the enjoyment of the object. Usually she just says More! More!
An antique Zulu beer fermenting pot in clay, such a nice shape and pattern.
A mid century Cleo Hartwig sculpture of a dove, next to a brass bowl by Luca Nichetto for Skultuna.
Left, we bought the most interesting looking tree on the lot (Georgian Bay Xmas Trees outside No Frills on Pacific – convenience!). All of the trees are full and perfect looking but they didn’t feel right. Then we saw this scraggly thing and well, home it came. Tree skirt by Marimekko, from The Finnish Place.
On the right is Elodie’s decorating.
Left, a Royal Copenhagen vase and to the right the only work of a Japanese National treasure that we will ever own, a unique tea bowl by Tatsuzo Shimaoka. The lines in the bowl are actually from ropes that were embedded into the clay, the bowl has a gold repair to the rim.
A vintage wood-mold Savoy vase by Alvar Aalto, along with a collection of 3 Tutsi baskets from Africa. Some of the tightest weaving I have ever seen, and such an incredible form and pattern.
Isha update: happy cat.
Well, winter looming outside our doors and we’re all spending a lot more time around the house and finally getting around to framing art and finding places to hang them. We have a couple of interesting antique Japanese *correction – Chinese scrolls (I bought these from a shop in Japan)* that we thought we should share with you. One is finding its home in a narrow wall in our bathroom to the right of the sink.
It is the popular motif of the plum blossom, but this one is the lucky double plum blossom *peach blossom?* ensuring a good spring. It’s a nice reminder during winter, the promise of the spring to come. Also, the artist used their finger print to make all of the little dots – I think that little bit of charm was what encouraged me to buy it.
A closeup detail of the finger prints used for the blossoms.
The other is just a fun piece that I bought for Elodie. When I saw the cats, bamboo and flowers I thought it would look great in her future bedroom. Plus one of the cats looks just like Isha! Elodie really likes this piece, she likes counting the cats.
Last night we had our opening of the LATrE indigo exhibition and capsule shop here at Mjölk. We are all huge fans of LATrE, and thought it would be very interesting to ask Brian to come up with a conceptual collection of home wares utilizing his impeccable sourcing skills, craftsmanship and of course his Indigo dyes.
In the front window Brian’s friend and merchandiser Jodee set up a beautiful display taking all of the tools from Brian’s workshop and transplanting to the store to show the equipment used in his dyeing process. This combined with the Dead stock WWII army tent turns the tools into artifacts of survival.
You can see the mason jars in the background with indigo dye.
Bamboo stirring sticks.
In the front / middle half of the showroom, Brian’s drop cloth from his studio is used as a rug.
Deadstock wool military socks with various Indigo dyeing methods.
Clothing rack with just a tiny sampling of the items that are currently available.
Along with the clothing articles, Brian made some incredible Boro-esque patchwork placemats made from military sailing fabric.
Only 6 available!
Also, indigo coasters!
We hope to see you while the exhibition is on!
We recently bought a copy of the new Remodelista book, which contains a mix of houses, kitchens, bathrooms and design ideas that are surprisingly accessible. It’s definitely a particular aesthetic, but of course one that we gravitate to: natural materials, plenty of white, and considered accessories.
Notably for us, we couldn’t believe it when Julianne Moore mentioned our shop in her foreword. I think her experience of using Remodelista is one that many can relate to. It’s the only resource on the internet that we’ve found that does such a great job of sourcing the best within a particular aesthetic. I mean, try googling “modern [insert fixture, furniture, accessory, building material etc here]“. I can guarantee you will spend a lot of time sifting through very unmodern products!
The aforementioned Sori Yanagi flatware. We use it at the cottage and love it. Substantial but not heavy, and the knife is so sharp it can cut steak easily.
We were also pleased to see Pia Wallen’s Cross Blanket in The Remodelista 100 listing.
But enough about us. The spaces featured all have a calm, homey feel. I really loved the Remodelista Headquarters, and their investment in mill work. That said, there are enough spaces to provide inspiration for more limited budgets.
In the Remodeling Reality section there are plenty of things to remember when renovating, and some good tips too.
Each featured space has a Steal this Look section. The Shaker peg display is something we were considering at the cottage (the bedrooms were never really finished).
Same goes for the wall of Josef Frank wallpaper. This is the exact one we were thinking about for Elodie’s bedroom! It’s nice to see it used in a large application.
You can get it here or preferably at your local independent bookshop or retailer.