I’ve been meaning to write about this subject for some time, but between summer and the Nakashima exhibition, we’ve been in a bit of a whirlwind. We haven’t shared much of our house yet, mostly because we are still settling in! It takes quite some time to feel comfortable putting art up (or acquiring it) and finding special textiles that take a space to the next level of homeyness.
We have a flex space that is currently Elodie’s bedroom (she’ll move to another room once either a) another baby comes along, or b) she escapes her crib and becomes ready for a big kid bed. She has been sleeping in here since December but we’ve only just felt like the room is complete. It’s a small space that is ALL windows and doors. So that makes for a challenge when it comes to shelving and art. I think ultimately though, this isn’t a play room. It’s a sleeping space and needs to be calm and minimal. There is a nice pop of nature out the window (in Canada you legally need to have an operable window in each bedroom, so Studio Junction made a clever little courtyard, where we are in the process of planting some bamboo).
The second we saw the Leander crib and change table we knew it would be perfect for our new home. I had some serious baby brain going on when I put it together but the craftsmanship is really solid and it’s wearing really well despite the odd bite mark around the edges. We invested in the bed because it also turns into a toddler bed, by expanding by about another foot and a half. The only worry I have is that if I turn it into a toddler bed now, we’ll eventually need another crib. I wish buying the toddler bed wasn’t as expensive as buying the crib. If anyone in the Toronto area is selling or sees one for sale, let me know!!!
We found this mobile via Remodelista (oddly I cannot find the post) and ultimately bought it from the maker as the store they had linked in the story didn’t ship to Canada. Another piece that is perfect for both a baby and an adult space (would look nice in a sheltered garden for example).
Pia Wallen Cross Baby Blanket is now available at Mjölk (though may not be online yet). Adult version also available.
Bunny was a birthday gift from a very lovely customer.
This carpet we bought via Etsy. John was looking for Moroccan rugs and this was added while he was lurking on a page. It jumped out at us for Elodie’s room. Since she lives in a pretty neutral world, we thought it’d be that extra punch of colour necessary to make it a less serious space. And even though it’s kid friendly, I think it’s a rug she could love and use into adulthood (that is, after her inevitable rejection phase).
Needing some storage we turned to the much loved Ribba picture shelves from Ikea.
Painting at top was commissioned by Melinda Josie, of our cats. The elephant picture was made by our friend Hollie as a birthday gift. The wood blocks with Elodie’s name are from our friends over at Ltd. Supply Kitchen Brewery (ok, they are our besties, but check out what they are up to if you’re into craft beer).
The Muji CD player is the perfect little thing for a nursery. The giraffe was a surprise gift from Jake of Machine Age Modern. Some vintage and new Moomin books. A Dala Horse from our wedding. The Chalk Piggy Bank was bought from Ladies & Gentlemen Studio (wow they’ve been busy!). Monkey is from our first trip to Copenhagen together. String is from when we tried to sell it in the shop but it proved too complicated. Portrait of us (just pregnant and not knowing it) is by Phillipa C in collaboration with what was Russet & Empire, during the first Junction Design Crawl (mark your calendar, next one is Friday August 23rd!!).
On the left was a gift from Arounna and John of Bookhou.
The print on the right is a signed and numbered lithograph that I coincidentally bought on the same day the rug arrived. Serendipitously they have the same colour scheme and sealed the look for the space. I happened to wander over to Williams on Keele, and as I was chatting away my eyes kept scouring. The print was originally in a fake bamboo style frame and I could only see a part of the gold section – somehow I knew it was a Japanese print worth checking out. I asked to look at it and was shocked, $45! I NEVER luck out with finds like this. Honestly, we debated putting this piece in our room, but Elodie liked it from the get go. She gave it a kiss.
We immediately took it to our new framing friends over at The Gilder. It costs a bit more to get a custom white oak frame but so much better than all the generic styles that are readily available.
The Hans Wegner J16 rocking chair and Artek Zebra Pillow. We use this rocking chair every day, and once this room is no longer a nursery, it will most likely move up to the cottage to continue to be enjoyed.
Moving away from the bedroom, we all know kids stuff gets everywhere. I was starting to feel like we have too much stuff, but have realized we barely have anything. We have two bins and half the stuff is for babies. Elodie doesn’t slow down much to play anyway. She likes running around and practicing skills like climbing up and down. So books and balls and babies are the only things she really interacts with (not even blocks!). The above cardboard box? Needs to go in the recycling…she’s over it.
Elodie loves her chair by Tomii Takashi. It’s the perfect size.
Not pictured is the Ikea easel, for colouring….
And yes, she colours outside of the box. This has been like this for weeks too. Ohhh we are certainly not perfect over here!
The Brasilia coffee table by Claesson Koivisto Rune is a perfect sort of coffee table. Soft rounded corners and hollow means we don’t have to worry about bumps on the head. Except when she climbs up onto the table and jumps off, a constant fascination.
She barely pays any mind to that Masanobu Ando sculpture. And if she does we just take it and move it up high. But generally she’s not all that interested in the stuff around the house. Now that’s obviously her personality, and not all kids will act this way. I find that she gets into trouble if she’s bored or tired.
In the living room there are some low shelves for Elodie’s toys.
Shhh sleeping bunny. Also, banana hands, everywhere, always.
Finally on this not so kid friendly yet kid friendly home tour, the rocking sheep (contact us for info, not on website), which for some reason ended up in our bedroom but has yet to leave. And really, it’s quite nice in our room. A touch of kid in an adult space.
Note: Based on this post it seems like we get a lot of free stuff, but it’s not usually the case. Babies bring the love.
Last week on Wednesday night we opened our doors for the opening reception of the first Nakashima retrospective in Canada. We had an incredible turn-out and we thank everyone who took the time to visit and say hello to us and the Yarnall-Nakashima family.
An Ikebana bowl specially made by Masanobu Ando, and a flower arrangement by Mira Nakashima with flowers from Coriander Girl. So beautiful!
Conoid dining chairs made with walnut and carved hickory pickets.
Beautiful lounge chairs in cherry with maple burl arms.
Asa-no-ha cabinet with a Conoid coffee table in front. Tea ceremony tools by Masanobu Ando.
Large vase by Uchida Kouichi on the left, and Urushi tea containers, and tooled tray by Shingo Tsukuda.
A Mira box / jewelry box.
Nakashima belongs in our showroom.
The most beautiful wood boxes and trays by Tsukuda Shingo.
The tori arch of the Conoid Bench.
A special vase by Japanese potter Uchida Kouichi resting on the edge of the bench.
Hand tooled wooden trays by Tsukuda Shingo.
Peeking into the rarely photographed back half of our showroom.
Tea Ceremony bowls and trays made by Masanobu Ando.
A unique collection of Calligraphy tools made by Masanobu Ando for the exhibition. Mira Nakashima was nice enough to lend us her Calligraphy brushes for the exhibition display.
One of our favourite collections in the exhibition, the desk, the Captain’s chair and the table lamp are spectacular. Hovering above is a silver glazed cross by Masanobu Ando. Ando-san doesn’t have a connection to the cross, but he saw many on a trip to Europe and thought they would make a nice wall flower vase.
Grass-seated chairs with a wall hanging cabinet.
Ultimo bench with Japanese indigo fabric.
Minguren end table with vase by Uchida Kouichi.
Black copper glazed lidded statues by Uchida Kouichi.
Hand chiseled black urushi coated tableware by famous wood craftsman Ryuji Mitani.
A collection of hammered silver works by Mami and Takejiro Hasegawa.
The Opening reception with Mira Nakashima in her summer Yukata.
A collection of woodworkers (including our architect Peter Tan) nerding out ;)
The two Johns – John Baker & Jon Yarnall (Mira’s husband, woodworker and head of the Nakashima chair department).
A big thank you to:
Fielding Estate Winery - your wine was highly complimented all evening. Thank you for helping make our evening a special success.
Sali Tabacchi – we adore your innovative program design!
Mira and Jon Yarnall, Maria and Maya for coming to Toronto to be a part of this historic event.
July 24, 7-10pm
Mira Nakashima and family in attendance.
2959 Dundas Street West
Mjölk is honored to present the ?rst Canadian retrospective of works by legendary architect and craftsman George Nakashima, and his daughter, architect, designer and head of the Nakashima Studio, Mira Nakashima. We are proud to showcase a large collection of iconic works by George Nakashima as well as new works from Mira Nakashima’s Keisho (continuation) collection. Mira Nakashima, along with her daughter Maria, and granddaughter Maya will be special guests in attendance.
Exhibition runs July 24th to August 30th.
Please note that the store will be closed July 23-24 for the installation of the exhibition. If you are looking to pick up something from our regular collection, please give us a call/email and we can accommodate your request!
The Nakashima furniture collection will be complemented by a curated collection of art by some of Japan’s most famous contemporary artisans. This group of artists include potters Masanobu Ando and Koichi Uchida, wood artisans Ryuji Mitani and Shingo Tsukuda, and metal artists Takejiro and Mami Hasegawa.
The group of artisans will provide a living context to the Nakashima collection and offer visitors an exclusive opportunity to see and purchase works by artists who seldom show work outside of their native Japan. We believe this group of artists capture the spirit of the Nakashima’s work and carry on the mission of providing beautiful well-crafted items that go beyond their basic function and provide something beautiful that enriches the soul.
On their last night staying with us, Kazumi Tsuji cooked dinner. Kazumi lived in San Francisco so her cooking is a mash up between Japanese, American, and Italian.
We used a mish mash of tableware: Teema (for some reason we only own four cereal bowls, but there were six of us), beautiful lacquer bowls bought from Sabita in Sapporo on our honeymoon, Kazumi Tsuji glasses, Masanobu Ando plates…Japanese cooking is all about the small and many plates, so it’s fun to get to use an assortment of beautiful pieces in one sitting.
It was such a treat to have Kazumi cook for us!
I hope everyone is enjoying the sunshine! I just wanted to let everyone know I spent the day yesterday updating our website with around 20 new items! Please take a look when you have a moment.
We’ve also started to get some exciting new shipments to freshen up our showroom for the summer. There were too many to photograph, but here is a little sampling of some notable new works available.
This is pretty incredible, the Tati coatrack by Mats Broberg & Johan Ridderstråle. Also pictured is the Gallery Stool.
Finnish shoes not for sale.
Brass “Fanny vase” by Ami Katz. We’re thinking of getting one for the cottage.
The long awaited brass and silver cutlery by Masanori Oji for Futagami. We exhibited the prototypes last summer, and we’ve had people waiting ever since to get their hands on them. They are now finally available and added to our online shop.
A few weeks ago we headed to Japan for a whirlwind trip to gather content for volume 3 of our book and to visit with friends. First stop was a day in Kyoto. It’s kind of embarrassing but we’ve been to Kyoto twice and still haven’t visited a temple or garden. I demanded that next trip we make it a priority. But this time we had another agenda – glass artist Kazumi Tsuji traveled in to say hello and to introduce us to another artist. We have an exhibition with Kazumi on May 30th.
A cute sweets shop, and playing ball at sunset in a back street.
As many East coasters can relate, we were desperate for a hit of spring.
John was obsessed with the potted trees. We wandered through Gion over to Pontocho to find some dinner. We ended up at a Japanese bbq joint where we grilled some amazing marbled beef. I am sparing the vegan/vegetarians from the obligatory gross raw meat photo. You all know what it looks like!
After a wonderful stop in Tajimi to visit Masanobu Ando, we headed over to Matsumoto in Nagano Prefecture. We were treated to an incredible cold soba lunch, to which we realize we have never truly had soba before. Unfortunately I don’t know the name of the place but it’s renown and the outside looks like ^^
The space is so simple and calm, just three tables. The owner, pictured, does it all.
Love the plant.
The pottery has been used for 20+ years and has a beautiful patina. It’s the kind of thing that needs special care, like hand washing, but creates such an integral experience.
The owner made the indigo textile rug draped over the Tsuitate in the front entrance. She does it as a hobby! Next door there is a nice antique shop with plenty of indigo pieces but we didn’t have time or cash (we always forget how Japan is still quite the cash society).
We stopped in for a coffee and cheese toast at the famous Cafe Marumo. The cafe is designed by the founder of the Satsuma-Mingei-Furniture movement, and it was the local hang out for philosopher Soetsu Yanagi, and other famous Japanese writers. The cafe opened in 1956 and is a part of a Ryokan (Japanese style Hotel), but you can just visit the cafe on its own.
3-3-10 Chuo, Matsumoto-city
8.00 – 18.00 (open 7 days a week)
End of the cherry blossoms, but still photo worthy I guess!
A beautiful vintage book shop.
We stayed in Asama Onsen at a ryokan. Usually we stay in the super mod ones, but this was our first classic ryokan experience. It actually took awhile to relax, though we desperately needed it. After a bath and dinner served in our room, we passed out at 8pm! The other plus was all of our meals were included, and since we usually stay at modern ryokans we got really used to the gastronomy Kaiseki experience which we weren’t enthusiastic about. Here the kaiseki was more approachable, still delicate and beautiful but everything just tasted delicious.
By the time we returned to Tokyo I was over carrying my camera around! We met up with Masanori Oji and Taku for izakaya.
A platter of sashimi and sea urchin. So delicious!
We’re looking forward to sharing some more photos with you this week!