August, 2010

Finn Juhl poster

August 30th, 2010

There have been a couple of comments about of Finn Juhl poster in the office. We picked up the poster while we were in Tokyo! We had a meeting with a small company that reproduces licensed Finn Juhl and more obscure mid century Danish furniture. They had this poster hanging in their showroom.

I think they ended up selling us a print for around $30.00.

They told us that all of the chairs and sofas were all hand drawn.

We finally got it framed at Picture it Framed up the street.

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Office Space: It’s all coming together

August 26th, 2010

One of the best things in life has got to be those moments when you just stand back and give yourself a high five for accomplishing something.

That’s how we felt today.

Last night (even though it was the last thing we felt like doing) we took a trip to Home Depot to pick up some 10″ pine baseboards. We don’t have any tools in our apartment, so we went the easy route and got it all cut at Home Depot. I got to painting the base boards right away to let them dry over night.

Please note how terrible the room looks without baseboards before appreciating the after photos.

We installed the baseboards, and we’re slowly starting to add furniture.

We’re really happy that the messy office renovation is DONE! Now it’s all about making it organized and livable, adding things in slowly, and creating an efficient place to work.

You can already see the pile of papers collecting against the wall to the right. That’s because we haven’t found a nice filing cabinet! Does anyone know any good ones out there?

We’ve got some cool new desk accessories, and a shelving unit to come.
So make sure to check back!

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Working on the new office space

August 23rd, 2010

It’s been a rainy couple of days here in Toronto, so we decided to stay in the city for the weekend and finally work on something that we’ve needed since we moved in here.

An office.

We were going back and forth on what room we wanted to make into an office and finally settled on the back room. I had to convince Juli a little, but I knew the southern light exposure and large size of the room would make it into a place we’d like to spend a lot of time. It was hard to take the room seriously because it was painted beige and yellow, and was filled with all of our stuff that didn’t get a home after we made the move back in November. It was going to take a lot of work, and purging to get the room empty and ready for painting.

We were determined to get as much done in one day that we could, so I started painting right away. We’re always amazed at what a couple of coats of white paint can do!

We proceeded to take up the rest of the orange laminate flooring, and had a junk remover take it all away. It feels like such a waste but it’s made with formaldehyde and looks really cheap. Plus it sucks up what little natural light we do have. I’d rather have painted sub floor, or plywood than laminate any day, that way when you do get around to real hardwood you can just install it right over top.

Although it would have made sense to leave the office blinds in the office, they shut out too much light, and are ugly, and stupid, and cheap.

We were so gung ho to get new blinds we took a trip to IKEA to score some Enje blinds (the website claimed they had 2 in stock, though we should have known better considering they haven’t been on shelves ALL summer). No dice. As we returned our accidentally purchased Tuppler blinds, they even went so far to say they might never get them back in! By the way, why on earth was IKEA so rammed on a Monday afternoon–THIRTY PLUS people waiting to return. We were able to go through the entire place AND buy hot dogs before our number was called. NUTS.

Alas, we had to forgo the Enje blinds and simply frost the windows, but in the end it’s nice because we can put a few objects on the window ledge.

Please note the mess on the floor has been cleaned up!

We wanted to try something a little different in the office, and since we have the benefit of lots of natural light we went with glossy black painted floors. This is just one coat in, but it’s looking really great! Please forgive the lack of baseboards, we’ll have to find some time to pick some up…one day…

We’ll have more updates for you this week! Holy mackerel, we’re excited.

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David Ericsson “Carl Malmsten Made Me Do It”

August 19th, 2010

We’re very inspired with the collection David Ericsson created for his thesis project at Carl Malmsten University. One of our favorite pieces of the collection is the wooden shelf with vegetable tanned leather doors held together by toggles.

Here’s what the designer had to say about the collection:

The aim with this work is to try to create processes and products deriving from humanist values. I have developed a humanistic design manifesto that I relate to in my work and based on it, I make wise choices from. In order to verify the work process, I have tried to answer to various philosophical choices, choice of materials, choice of cultural values and choices in life that I have as a human being.

I have chosen material that the consumer can put in his compost after end of life. All local materials nearby Stockholm. All the prototypes are in wood/linen and natural tanned leather.

I think this would be the prefect office desk, the large leather mat looks like it’s flush with the wood top. Just Beautiful.

The leather shade is such a brilliant idea.

via From Scandinavia with love & Contemporist

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Cottage hodge-podge 2

August 18th, 2010

We’re slowing down any work to the cottage for the rest of the summer. Last year we worked all summer, and even this year we’ve done quite a bit to get the cottage a little more live able for our guests. It was getting a bit silly having the mattresses on the ground so we got some IKEA box springs with oak legs to bring them off the floor.

We installed some Muuto oak dots on the wall to hang clothes and towels.

We replaced the old ugly and broken sconces with AJ wall lights. It made a ridiculous difference and added a bit more modernism to the cottage.

We finally found a place to put our 50s yacht photograph (very George Nelson’s office in the 50s) and hung our MayDay light by Konstantin Grcic.

One of best things we found this summer was this beautiful sideboard by Peter Hvidt & Orla M.Nielsen. It’s one of the only cabinets I’ve seen to be made out of solid teak, and will hold all of our dishes and any other miscellaneous things we have that are filling our kitchen cabinets. The legs and tambour sliding doors are really unique, I still can’t believe it’s sitting in our cottage it looks fantastic.

The big apple print is by Italian mid century designer Enzo Mari.

We got the sideboard at the Queen West Antique Centre, which is where we got a lot of the vintage cottage pieces.

Still enjoying the cedar slats. We thought we were going to get a cloudy rainy day but it turned out gorgeous. Lounging, swimming and mass magazine reading.

Juli: I have been wearing the same bikinis since I was in my early 20s. Something had to give, they really are too small. SO, I finally headed over to Sandpiper’s in Yorkville as it’s the only bathing suit store I know of in the city (Bikini Village does not count for even one moment). I fell in love with two retro style suits, one full, one bikini and all I wanted to do was sit around in it all day. Love it. Feels so much better than squeezing into a teeny tiny itty bitty two-piece.

Medium rare steak served over a bed of arugula and Parmesan, drizzled with olive oil.

We were in a pocket of stars and sky while all around us raged thunderstorm war.

In the morning I was cooking bacon with tin foil on the barbecue for breakfast (yes it works and it’s not messy) and our old screen door didn’t close all the way when I went inside to grab my barbecue tongs. I came outside to find Isha trotting around cottage grounds with her feet walking on sandy soil and head moving everywhere trying to take in this big outside world. Luckily when I came to approach her she didn’t take off. I scooped her up and sat down on a chair and let her have a stare fest with the world until she got a bit squirmy, then I brought her inside.

She had a big day, and slept the whole car ride home.

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Reykjavik: day three

August 13th, 2010

Well it’s day three, and the last full day of our trip to Reykjavik. We started the day off right with breakfast at Tiu Dropar. We attempted to have breakfast here the day before but we were too early.

At this point I have to mention that all the lattes have been delicious, and I’m convinced it’s because they use unpasteurized milk.

The wallpaper was pretty amazing.

We had “The truck” breakfast which includes eggs, bacon, potatoes, tomatoes, and of course waffles!

After breakfast we visited the Listasafn Reykjavikur (Reykjavik art museum).

The different uses of oxidized materials was beautiful. It really makes us want to re-shingle the peak of our building with copper.

The lighting in the gallery was amazing!

The sitting area of the museum had a really interesting sofa. The arms were leather, the body was tweed wool, and at the end there is a sheep skin upholstered cushion.

What a lovely fence.

We had our last meeting of the trip at Farmers Market. Their studio and  retail store is located in the fish packing district right near the water. We’re really excited to expand on the brand this fall, when we first got the sweaters in we only had 2 patterns so we’re happy to get more of a variety this time.

These chairs belong to Bjork (no seriously).

A trip to any Scandinavian country wouldn’t be complete without a hot dog or two. Especially when it comes from Bill Clinton approved Bæjarins Beztu. On the ads coming over from Toronto there was one that said something along the lines of  “Iceland is wonderful because their most popular restaurant is a hot dog stand.”

We meant to go to the grocery store to get whatever the mustard was on these hot dogs to barbecue some wieners at the cottage. Unfortunately time wasn’t on our side, but at least we can pick up some dehydrated onions and try to make as close as we can.

It seemed as though we’ve saved the best for last with a visit to the Nordic House. We arrived for our 8pm reservation at Dill restaurant, so the building was mostly closed, but we were able to sneak a few pics of the interior. Strangely, I missed snapping any of the restaurant!

The Nordic House was designed by one of our favorite architects, Alvar Aalto. The second you walk into a space designed by Aalto there is always a sense of warmth and comfort. The Nordic House is the only building in Reykjavik designed by an internationally acclaimed architect.

The library: note the shelves and lighting!

The Auditorium.

And so begins an epic meal that rivals last year’s Alberto K. We were given a glass of champagne and the menu, from which we could choose the 3, 5 or 7 course meal. We’re a go big or go home twosome, so 7 courses it was! They don’t have a wine list so in the end we succumbed to the wine pairings (always dangerous)…everyone was doing it.

Amuse bouche #1 – salmon and roe with dill. How can something so small taste so good?

Amuse Bouche #2: Apple and arctic char (totally guessing here).

Fennel salad.

Gorgeous view of a pond and the city beyond. They have a little herb garden right outside the window which they use daily.

Ok, I am a serious bread monster. This was absolute heaven. The whipped butter on the left went with a dark molasses bread and the liquid gold on the right (burnt butter) went with a light bread. I know it’s not right to ask for more bread when one is consuming a 7 course meal, but I HAD TO.

Icelandic Beer! Made with 1000 year old glacier water.

Every time this group of lawyers go out for a nice meal, they pick a table to buy shots for. We were the lucky pair!

Of course, this meant the night was going to get dangerous.

A refreshing desert to clear the palate.

I think this is around 7 glasses of wine each.

Getting distracted and artistic.

The Aalto A110 pendant lights were being used as hot lamps!

Icelandic treats and french press coffee.

That bottle there is known in Iceland as “Black Death”, it has a black label because it was one of the first alcohols to be sold after prohibition and it could only be sold if the bottle had a big black label so it didn’t look attractive to shoppers. After 7 glasses of wine, 1 glass of champagne, 1 glass of beer, and 2 licorice flavored shots each, this took us over the edge.

The restaurant had about 2 larger groups and 5 smaller groups, a total of about 30 people and two friendly servers. Definitely make a reservation! The pacing was also really great, however we paid for our indulgence the next morning…

Well it’s time for us to catch our flight, but there’s one last thing you need to do before leaving Iceland. You need to take a quick trip to the Blue Lagoon! There are buses that leave Ryekjavik that stop by the Blue Lagoon on the way to the Airport. Sadly we were in a bit of a rush so we didn’t get a photo of the lagoon. Oh well, next time!

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