January, 2012


January 28th, 2012


We can’t believe it’s time for the Interior Design Show already. Time sure does fly! After a really great dinner at Bannock (ok, to be honest we were trying to go to The Keg because we had a gift certificate but it was so rammed with after work suits, we headed over to try Bannock at The Bay, and it was well worth it!), we scored a prime parking spot at the convention centre, grabbed our passes and headed up to the Prototype section.


We immediately wanted to check out our friend Thom Fougere‘s new Tyndall Table, made of tyndall stone which is common in the Canadian prairies. Those organic lines are actually made by fossilized shrimp when the prairies were a tropical jungle.



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On the left is Anthony Frank Keeler‘s Pivot Lamp. On the right is Anna Buechin‘s Moonlight Lampshade.

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Dale’s Bench by Tomas Rojcik. The bowl acts as a catch-all when your taking off your shoes in the entrance to your home.

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On the left is the Norb Rain Barrel by Nicholas Herling, complete with hand pump and spigot, and can do double duty as a bench in the garden. We’re also fans of Herling’s Tempus Fugit bedside table which we saw last year.

On the right is the ceramic Tiffin Lunch Kit by Lorea Sinclaire, which we couldn’t resist, as it reminds us of bento take away boxes.


Heading over to the Studio North section, we ran into friend of the store and recent graduate Tyler William MacKenzie. His concrete and wood shelf is simple, and would be a lovely backdrop to special little objects.

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One of the most considered booths of the night was Ateliers Des Cent-Ans, with their combination of woodwork and ceramics and thoughtful display.
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On the left, we can’t resist some Canadiana with Contact Voyaging Co.’s modern take on the paddle. We’d love to get the black and white cross version since it matches our business cards.

On the right, are Lori Harrison’s lovely soft toned Ward Occasional Table and pillows. You can by her work at MADE in Toronto.


Of course, it’s not IDS without a visit with Shawn Place.

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I can’t believe he has the time to introduce 3 beautiful new works every year.

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Mjölk was happy to oblige Williamson Chong Architects with helping them to furnish the booth they designed for Tiltco Fenestration.


The beautiful Mundo Lounge chair (it darkens every day…will be a lovely cognac brown one day) and some Eero Aarnio rocket stools and Alvar Aalto light.

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Another highlight is the How Do You Live? shipping container special exhibition. Above is The Last Supper by Quadrangle Architects. The chairs represent the 12 design apostles.


Of course Mazen Studio‘s space caught our eye, with all its midcentury modern goodness (including a Børge Mogensen sofa).


We were blown away by neighborhood design studio MASON‘s entry Our Home and Native Land.

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We loved the use of charred wood, the water feature that ran through the table top and into the garden, the neon sign and the colourful foods.


Above, landscape architects Earth Inc. have also used charred cedar in their display.

And that was just a small sampling of IDS12. This was certainly not a definitive list! We sadly ran out of time and completely missed the student work which has relocated to another floor. Regret! But we had a great time talking with friends new and old. We wish the best to all the participants!

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A few baby notes.

January 18th, 2012


While in NYC we picked up a few cute baby things. I’d seen these Fort Standard building blocks online before, so when we saw them at Bird in Brooklyn we bought a set. It’s the first thing that John actively bought for the baby’s room.

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Also based out of Brooklyn is Coral & Tusk. This camera toting fox caught my eye.

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High Five onesie by Coral & Tusk.

Aaaand photo of me. We’re 28 weeks and entering into the final stretch!

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Getaway to NYC

January 9th, 2012


We decided to close between Christmas and New Years to take a rest before the baby arrives (apparently we won’t get a rest until…forever) so we decided to visit NYC, a trip we’ve been putting off for a very long time. We arrived at around 11am, dropped our bags at the Ace Hotel and headed over to Momofuku noodle bar for lunch. Here’s a shot of the delicious pork buns.


We hadn’t eaten anything that morning so we were starving and inhaled the ramen. Never leave it up to the pregnant lady to photograph food (hence photos of partially eaten food).


After lunch we needed a pick me up so we took a short walk over to Abraco, a small coffee shop with an amazing reputation for good coffee.


For the rest of the day we just wandered around Soho visiting a bunch of places that were recommended to us by friends and customers. Some really notable retail shops that left an impression on us were:

Matter: where design meets art, a beautiful and inspiring shop. Reminds us of the now closed Ministry of the Interior, and how much of a loss it is to our city.
Wyeth: an amazing collection of mid century Scandinavian design, as well as a collection of rare George Nakashima pieces.
Atelier New York: A menswear clothing shop with a collection of very edgy pieces, basically art that you wear.
Creatures of Comfort: A great collection of clothing and accessories.
KIOSK: Forgot to mention that we went here, but it was a really cool concept and space. Much better than we had thought it was going to be based on their website. Kudos!


That night we had dinner at a dimly lit restaurant called Freemans, with a spectacular atmosphere and a hunting lodge type of feel.


The entrance of Freemans is at the end of a long alleyway.




The next day we met our friends Andi and Hamish at a Smørrebrød restaurant called Vandaag. This was the second of two great recommendations by our friend Nils, who owns Parlour Coffee in Winnipeg (shout out to the Peg! Go visit if you live there and haven’t already!).


It was such a nice place to stop in for lunch, so full of light, and way more quiet than the place we were originally going to try (Ippudo – 2 hour wait in the freezing cold for ramen? No thank you!).




To get rid of our chill Andi and I ordered some Glögg, Juli of course stuck with hot apple cider.


We started off with a bowl of mixed homemade bread and some delicious butter.


Salmon with roe and dill.


Rabbit with barley (our fave of three that we split).


Wildboar with radish and carrots.


Perch with mushroom and beet (another delicious choice).


After lunch Hamish and Andi acted as our local tour guides, taking us to see some shops in the neighborhood, including Dashwood Books, a Japanese art book and photography store and the Vitsoe showroom above.

In the photograph is Hamish, and me with the Hoi Bo travel bag (yes, we do have them in stock, just have to figure out why the website is not updating!).


One of the best experience shops we saw was this Japanese denim shop 45rpm (thanks everyone for the name). This is the entryway complete with an aromatic hinoki cedar water bucket, and a purposely watered stone walkway. It was such a cool space, and left an impression on us.


The Rockefeller Christmas Tree is something else…


We had to get out of the craziness of Soho so on day 3 we escaped to Brooklyn. We had a great list of things to see thanks to Andi and Hamish, starting at the top end of Williamsburg with brunch at Five Leaves. The day was so beautiful we got a table outside in the warm sunshine. The ricotta pancakes were delicious but they missed the mark when it came to maple syrup. I know it sounds CRAZY but there is no syrup better than Canadian maple syrup, this syrup tasted like water in comparison. Again, apologies for the half eaten breakfast…baby’s got to eat.


A lot of people had the same idea (thankfully we didn’t have to wait long)!


We liked bird, and bought something from there that we’ll share in another post.

Another notable Williamsburg shop that Juli forgot to photograph is Mast Brothers Chocolate. Andi and Hamish sent us some for Christmas, but we couldn’t help but stock up on some new flavors:  black truffle and vanilla smoke.


America – love it or leave it.




Some trees doing their thing.



Juli hasn’t been to Brooklyn for over 5 years, so it was interesting to note all the new condo developments being built.


Time for a late lunch at DuMont Burger.


They felt like they took too long to take our order so they gave us some homemade donuts with chocolate sauce.


Mini cheeseburger and fries. Even though we went mini, it still ruined our appetites for dinner!


Old timey shop Darr has a nice classic storefront.

And this is about when we ditched the camera. We attempted to visit Brook Farm General Store but like us, they took a holiday (thank you helpful neighbor). We were going to go to nearby Marlow & Sons for an early dinner, but of course we had just eaten those burgers so we were totally out for the count. Back to the hotel for a rest and then out with Hamish and Andi to Sake Bar Decibel for some Man Mountain and snacks, then off to find a classic slice of NY pizza, then to Momofuku milk bar for a dessert, and then John picked up a Kimchi and Pork Taco from a food truck. Basically a night of junk food :)

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