Philippines Via Dundas West



On the weekend I made a reconnaissance sortie to Magiks Home Furnishings, a quirky little shop on Toronto’s Dundas Street West (near Dufferin). Proprietor Rodel San Miguel was very sweet: “Everything in the store is from the Philippines,” he said, “including me.”

The shop window proclaims, “Authentic. Majestic. Divine.” which struck me as a rather odd tagline until I went in and confronted the perplexing range of religious icons and statuary peppered among the plantation-style furnishings and lighting. “The Philippines is a very catholic country,” Rodel said solemnly, and then he explained a bit about the Spanish colonial tradition of folk art santos and bastidor sculptures, which he proudly sells.

Magiks’ lighting in particular caught my eye. Called kabuti, the woven table lamps range in price from $90 – $160 depending on size; the very impressive floor lamps are tagged at $595 and $995.

Rodel also carries some otherwordly barnacle lamps, below, priced from $250 to $300.

I see a lot of cushions in my travels but I’ve never seen any quite like the t’nalak pillows woven by the T’boli people of southern Philippines, priced from $60 – $90.

Made from the abaca plant, sometimes called Manila hemp, the fibers are smooth and shiny but not especially soft. Ikats are woven not printed and are a traditional motif; the beaded pillows are strictly decorative and utterly divine.

Rodel sells the t’nalak fabric at $30 per meter in 6-meter bolts and he has taken to sprucing up vintage chairs using the fabric for upholstery.

Nearly all of Rodel’s stock is exclusive to Canada so if you’re looking for accessories that are unique, exotic and most of all, well priced, I highly recommend a visit. The stools below are deceptively strong for items so light and airy and Rodel is practically giving them away for just $145 each. No wonder these are the last two in stock.


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Tuesday, May 8, 2012 by Chris
This post was written by - who has written 865 posts on styleNorth.

6 Comments For This Post

  1. Lois Says:

    Good evening. Unusual place Chris, not quite my style…Gayle of nonetheless interesting StyleNorth can ALWAYS be relied on for interesting

  2. sc Says:

    that daybed/chaise is lovely. do you remember how much it was?

  3. Neville Says:

    Yet another great shopping source. Thanks, Chris!

    Really love the t’nalak fabric as upholstery. Maybe I’ll finally tackle the sad looking occasional chair in my LR…

  4. Wallis Says:

    Thanks Chris! I love the t’nalak cushions!

  5. Chris Says:

    SC, the daybed — actually a massage bed — is $2,200, a very well-made piece.

  6. VegHead Says:

    I think the capiz light fixture is pretty fab.

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