Normally, one photo from a shop review jumps out as the one to feature: I’m usually looking for some colour and an image that gives a good sense of what the post is about. But the choice was especially hard with Toronto’s Zenporium (998 Queen Street East, 416.778.1936), a relatively young retail operation specializing in home furnishings crafted from wood reclaimed along the Pacific Rim, particularly Indonesia. To make matters more difficult, Zenporium’s offerings fall into two distinct camps, the rough and rustic and the sleek and contemporary. The teak root side tables below have a foot in each camp (priced around $400); the dresser above is crafted from wood reclaimed from old fishing boats (about $1,000).
Zenporium is the brainchild of Serene Gebara and her husband Omar Kamal. The shop is celebrating its one year anniversary with a sale of up to 35 per cent off regular prices until November 13 so now is definitely the time to check the place out.
Probably my favorite pieces in the shop were the sexy Sol Chairs ($680) above, a riff on Hans Wegner’s folding chair using thick saddle leather either stretched or woven, for the seats and backs. The vegan in me inquired whether the chairs can be made with canvas strapping and the answer was yes, definitely. I also loved the dining table below, an example of a range of items crafted from “erosion teak” which is chiseled and pieced together into solid forms (about $1,000).
Zenporium also trades in a wide range of accessories from baskets and containers to decorative bowls and planters, prices vary.
While the aesthetic is sometimes quite rough, the overall spirit is unquestionably modern and, reclaimed boats notwithstanding, the overall colour palette veers towards the neutral.
So, whether you’re looking for rough or sleek, Zenporium is likely to have something interesting to perk up your space.