What does it say about me that it took me three looks at this sign before I stopped reading Drugs and finally saw Rugs? The neon greets you as you come up the stairs into Elte’s newest showroom, the trendy, contemporary Second Floor at Elte. Sex, Rugs & Rock ‘N’ Roll is a new carpet line featuring of-the-moment styles at mid-range prices.
And while the neon signals the general attitude, it’s the vignette below that says the most about where the Toronto retailer is going with the concept; the second floor of the flagship store, which opened Friday, is aimed squarely at lofters and condo-dwellers seeking clean, contemporary interiors with a somewhat minimalist aesthetic.
The furnishings are mostly neutral — no surprise there — but the retailer has injected excitement with colour blocking and zingy artwork.
All of the art in the space is drawn from YellowKorner, an international gallery specializing in affordably-priced, limited-edition photography from a stable of contributors. The framed, finished pieces range in price from $145 – $995.
Elte has always carried contemporary furniture but the Second Floor concept is clearly the retailer’s attempt to stake a claim in what is becoming a very competitive segment of the home furnishing market, especially since the arrival of relative newcomers Shelter (lower end), Avenue Road (high, high end) and Domison and Bo Concept (medium high).
Styling aside, a few individual pieces caught my eye: I really liked the contemporary flair of Casamania‘s Meduse Dining Table ($1,935) with its paper clip legs and Bek Side Chairs ($245 each), above. I also thought the Nloan Accent Tables were pretty spiffy, especially for $275 each. Other specialty brands featured include Kartell, Hussl and Magis.
Elte has built a solid reputation for higher-end furnishings and in the process acquired a slightly stuffy, middle-aged rep: the Second Floor is obviously designed to put the retailer on the radar of today’s successful 30-somethings. The new showroom definitely hits the mark.