March, 2010

L450 + TG 60 + TS 45 = love555

March 25th, 2010

There are some things out there that you absolutely lust over, but at the time you didn’t have the money or you didn’t have sufficient reasons for getting one. A big obsession of mine is the L450 flat loudspeaker, TG 60 reel-to-reel tape recorder and TS 45 control unit designed by Dieter Rams for Braun (1962-64).

There was one on eBay a couple of weeks ago for around $1400.

Reasons why I didn’t get it:

1) Juli said so.

2) The week before I tried to buy a $6 sandwich and my debit card was declined.

3) Purposes of use would be limited to the radio, since I don’t own anything reel to reel.

4) I don’t want to turn into an hi fi hoarder like the audio repair store up the street.

5) People might start disliking me due to jealousy.

These reasons are valid enough, but that’s not going to keep me from obsessing and sharing some beautiful interior shots with you.

Above: A graphic designers home in Helsinki

via Flickr.

Habita hotel. We sell those georgeous A110 black and brass pendant lights designed by Alvar Aalto. You would actually be surprised how affordable they are!

via plastolux

That’s me in my bedroom.

I would love to have a quick cup of coffee with Dieter Rams. We could talk about sports.

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Guuing is addictive.

March 23rd, 2010

Looks like this is the week of good eats! Last night we went with our fellow Japanophiles Aprile and Jory to Guu Izakaya (398 Church St). I know there’s been a lot of buzz since they opened but *LOVE*. The style is Tokyo pub, beer and appetizers with communal tables and a boisterous hum. At first the yelling is distracting but it quickly becomes charming a few sips of Sapporo in. Every person that comes or goes from the restaurant is greeted with big smiles that are genuinely endearing.

It was really hard to decide on what to eat – everything looked so good – so we just ordered with reckless abandon.

The large glass of beer dwarfs Jory. Aprile ordered some crazy marble pop. John had warm sake and I had a small Sapporo (designated driver!).

The parade of food begins (I am fully guessing at the descriptions)…deep fried octopus balls, I think.


hmm…grilled ribs?

Udon noodles with roe – tasted like salmon a bit, John said it was cod?

Aprile and I got the butakimchi bibimbap.

Jellyfish something or other (sorry, not helpful!).

John ordered fried chicken accidentally, but it was delicious and not greasy. Of course there is the obligatory edamame.

Grilled pork.

I feel like we had even more food than this but it appears this is it.

The girls. Really casual, warm atmosphere.

With really nice architectural features like these little windows.

The boys. Jory is thinking really hard about what he wants to order next.

Birthday noms. Everyone sings Happy Birthday like they do at family restaurants, minus the awkward silence before and after. It was sweet, because everyone in the restaurant is having a good time.

Tempura banana with coconut ice cream. Amazing, we wish we ordered more!

The most modern bowl of ice cream ever. I mean, charcoal? It’s sesame flavored – weird but actually pretty good.

The prices are really great which makes you order like it’s the last supper. The sheer length of our bill was pretty ridiculous, but we had such a good time it was worth it! At the bottom of the receipt it says “Be Careful!! Guuing is addictive.” and we’d have to agree. If it wasn’t for the 2 hour maximum we would have stayed all night. We’re praying that they open another location in the west end (it is after all a Vancouver-based “chain”), but we’ll make the trek again and again if we have to.

ps. this place is still mad busy, so show up early or expect a wait! Also, best to go in a group!

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Plywood countertops

March 22nd, 2010

The old kitchen counter tops were a source of grief in the kitka kitchen. I (John) love to cook, and I just couldn’t go on with the fake granite particle board counters anymore. I needed a nice surface to work on, and since my cooking was already being compromised by an electric stove, I needed my wooden counter.

We first used plywood as counters at the cottage and were very happy with the result both aesthetically and financially. We even had some left over plywood from the flooring downstairs so the only material costs were the ceramic sink ($99.99) and faucet ($149.99) from IKEA.

The magisso kitchen cloth holder

A new item we’ve recently added to the mjolk shop, a cast iron grill pan designed by Sori Yanagi. I made some pork chops last week and the grill marks made all the difference.

We love our Kristian Vedel bird, and “mine and your” cups.

I applied three coats of left over Bona Traffic water based finish that we used on the floors downstairs. Each coat needs about 4 hours to dry and a light sand.

The birch counters added some much needed brightness, since our kitchen has no natural light. All we need to do now is rip up the floors and paint them white and we’ll have a pretty decent kitchen!

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A taste of Iceland

March 19th, 2010

Last night for Juli’s early birthday celebration we went to the Drake for “A taste of Iceland” LET’S GO CRAZY! 4 course prix fixe dinner ($42) from the master minds: Chef Thor Eggertsson from Orange Restaurant, Reykjavik alongside Chef Anthony Rose of The Drake.

We’ve been on the hunt for a meal comparable to the dream that is the Alberto K restaurant in Copenhagen Denmark. We’ve been to several nice local restaurants since including Canoe and nothing has come close!

Blueberry Geyser
Reyka vodka, fresh lime juice and mint w/ blueberry essence + an erupting, devils-ice blueberry fountain.

There was a parcel of dry ice tied with a red ribbon in the drink which bubbled, smoked and really made it look like we were drinking from a blueberry geyser.

The first dish and it’s great to start off with a good presentation, doing something as simple as adding milk to a dish at the table makes the meal a little more special.

Breakfast of Champions
Langoustine Jerusalem artichokes + pumpkin

A warm creamy dish with delicious fresh water crustaceans, and crunchy pumpkin hash. It really was the breakfast of champions.

Fresh cod, estragon egg, pumpernickel + herbs

The cod tasted SO fresh it almost looked raw (in a good way), it was sandwiched between mashed potatoes on the bottom and a potato chip, swimming in a creamy butter sauce that was to die for.

Rudolph goes 2 the olympics
Reindeer in pecan nuts, cauliflower, root vegetables + Madeira

really the stand out plate. The reindeer was cooked to perfection. It just had that melt in your mouth texture, paired with the crunchy pecan nuts and cauliflower mash. The flavors blended beautifully.

chocolate duck, vanilla + pineapple x 3

The Duck in a tub was kind of a wild card. The duck shape made me smile and the frozen cream sprinkled all around was delicious, but I didn’t quite see the connection to the other dishes. Maybe I was looking for something with wild berries and nuts, pineapple kind of threw me off.

All in all the meal was delicious! The welcomed connection between all the dishes was that great crunch that really balanced out all the cream.

It made us miss Scandinavia so we filled out 2 ballets for a free 3 day trip to Reykjavik.
Fingers crossed!

I should also mention for all our readers outside Toronto, if you’re planning a trip to T.O. Please consider staying a the Drake hotel, even for just 1 night. It’s such a hip boutique hotel with the best hotel gift shop in town, a great brunch outdoor patio, restaurant, and bar.

For the record in the above photo I was just checking what time the Drake general store closed.

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New Shoes straight outta Sweden!

March 18th, 2010

Although most of my days are consumed by interiors and furniture, the change in season has moved my interest over to fashion blogs. I don’t know how I normally survive the summer, but generally I hate dressing for it so inspiration is in order. My first purchase for the season arrived the other day straight from Sweden.

Swedish Hasbeens have been in production since 1972, and are still made in the same little factory in Sweden. The shoes are made of Swedish alderwood, lime tree, rubber and high quality natural grain leather. From what I’ve been seeing, these shoes are pretty versatile since they theoretically can bridge the seasons with tights, and then act as sandals in the summer.

I’m not going to lie. I despise having my photo taken and you can tell. I kind of wish I bought black ones for the spring, since my wardrobe tends towards the morbid (I’m also angling for the braided Hasbeens). I bought the natural leather, however, because over time it ages to a lovely mid-brown colour, which I thought would be perfect for summer blues, whites and er, black. But I wanted to try them on today anyway, so although I don’t think the tights are a home run, my legs are not exposure worthy before a visit to the spa.

I also had a great shopping trip to Robber on Queen W yesterday, where I picked up this silk Build by Wendy skirt and Steven Alan shirt (gah! looking a bit frumpy due to my awkward no photos please posture), among other things…Robber is seriously one of my favourite shops in Toronto.
Thanks Erin!

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House in Katsuragi

March 17th, 2010

I just spotted this georgeous home in Aomori City by Fukushi and Fukushi architects.

It’s such a light and beautiful home.

Another great example of plywood working in a home.

There’s a great sense of height in such a small space. I think our trip to Japan will really influence how we look at space in terms of our own building.

via the amazing blog what we do is secret

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