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Madame? Or Madame’s Designer?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012 by Chris


Estate sale spaces are typically very ho hum and have never before inspired me to create a post but there's an exception to every rule. The image above — attached to a sale being held this Saturday (April 21, 8 am) in Toronto — really made me wonder about the woman who chose to live with the blue walls and the blue and white rug and those chairs, my God, those chairs! Love them or hate them, and I suspect some of you will divide into each camp, they're just sooooo designer. You'd certainly never find anything like them at Elte. There's nothing as interesting as this seating set in the rest of the house, which begs the question, why just this one flight of fancy? Did madame decide on a lark to go up and over the top or did a designer give her a push? And if she was coerced, did she come to love them or did this one risque gesture embarrass her ever after?

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So Hip it Hurts

Saturday, August 13, 2011 by Chris


Project Runway judge Nina Garcia often describes this or that design as being "very editorial," meaning it will jump off a page and look good in her magazine. I can only assume that's why Studio Pepe Heykoop's fugly Skin collection is featured in today's Globe and Mail. If this ridiculous design from the Netherlands is available in Canada, Globe Style editor Danny Sinopoli is keeping the details to himself. You can bet the chairs cost a small fortune, which further begs the question, what kind of slobbering trend addict would shell out hard-earned smack for something so preposterous? Get a load of the Martin Margiela chair, below, described on the Pepe Heykoop site as "dirty chique." Need I say more?

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This Is Paradise . . . On Crack

Monday, June 27, 2011 by Chris


The all-toile bedroom has been a popular decorative folly since Toile de Jouy fabric was invented in France, circa 1760. Fashion icon Diana Vreeland famously took the all-pattern room to new heights in the 1950s when she asked decorator Billy Baldwin to create a garish red "garden in hell" for her Park Avenue apartment. Toronto artists Elinor Rose Galbraith and John Scott took the concept to another extreme altogether when they created The Bunny Boudoir - Redux (1984-2011), above, which has been installed at the centre of the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art for a new show called This Is Paradise.

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Designers Gone Wild

Tuesday, May 17, 2011 by Chris


From the outside, the Corus Entertainment headquarters on Toronto's waterfront looks much like any other glass and steel office complex but the interior is a whole other story. I recently had the pleasure of touring the space, whose interior was designed by Toronto's Quadrangle Architects (the building was designed by Diamond+Schmitt). The Top of the Hub Lounge is a riot of fun, contemporary furniture: the Hot Wheels-worthy, looping bench is called the Highway Sofa by Italy's Segis, the green Alcove sofas are by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec for Vitra and the enormous task lamp is called the Giant Lamp from Luxo.

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I Covetous: Monumental Brass Chest

Saturday, November 6, 2010 by Chris


This is the worst photograph I've ever run on styleNorth, please forgive me. But I'm so thoroughly captivated by the beauty and mystery of this gargantuan and richly embellished brass chest that I just have to post about it. The chest is about 4' tall, nearly as deep and at least 5' wide; it stands in the window (hence the glare) of a would-be antiques shop at 3045 Dundas Street West in Toronto's Junction neighbourhood. I say would-be antiques shop because in five years of spending time on this strip I have never, ever seen the place open -- mornings, afternoons, weekends, weekdays, never open. Consequently, I have no idea what the chest would cost even if it could be purchased.

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