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I Covetous: Pirwi Design at Fiber Living

Wednesday, February 15, 2012 by Chris


It felt like IDS all over again when I popped into Toronto's Fiber Living last week and stumbled upon the jaw-dropping work of Mexican design firm Pirwi. Fiber's Ansis Kalnins told me the furnishings had just arrived from Mexico City and hadn't been on the floor for a week yet so what you're seeing here is literally fresh off the truck. Pirwi's designers are focused on sustainable materials and practices and they mix the latest computerized cutting tech with old fashioned hand bending and finishing to craft tables, chairs and case goods that look and feel truly innovative. Constructed mostly of plywood, the designs are skeletal, geometric and absolutely beautiful. Pricey, too, as you might expect from products this cutting edge.

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INabstracto Pops Up at Design Exchange

Wednesday, October 19, 2011 by Chris


INabstracto owner Kate Eisen and textile/wallpaper designer Julie Jenkinson have teamed to create a pop-up store at Toronto's DX. Jenkinson's Animaze pattern, which I blogged about back in August 2009, is the connecting thread, showing up on everything from cushions and dog beds to pajamas, cloth bags and upholstery for some of Eisen's iconic mid-century pieces like a Jacques Guillon Cord Chair and a Russel Spanner dining chair. Classic vintage pieces in immaculate condition don't come cheap, however, so be prepared to open your wallet wide if you crave a piece of this action. The Chord Chair is $995 and the Spanner piece is $650. There's also an impressive Herman Miller sectional by Guy Chadwick available, five pieces priced at $4,500. Yeah, like I said, big money. But also big style.

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Bright Ideas: AM Studio

Friday, December 17, 2010 by Chris

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When I was pulling out of the Patina parking lot last week I happened to glance to my left and see the most stunning light fixtures shining in the window of AM Studio, a custom glass and lighting specialist. Nearly all the pieces I admired turned out to be by Israeli artist Martin Or who is clearly a master intent on pushing the boundaries of his craft. I've lead-off with the 24kt gold "crispy balls", not because they were my favorite design but because they're so damn photogenic. The 2" diameter lights are $300 each and are ordered individually then custom mounted depending on how many and what configuration suits the client's needs: they can be suspended along a rectangular plate or be dispersed on a round ceiling mount.

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Bigger, Better, More Patina

Saturday, December 11, 2010 by Chris


In addition to my stop at Shelter, last week's trip to Castlefield was arranged principally to check in on Patina (131 Miranda Ave., 416.862.8880), which decamped from Queen Street East last summer. Owned by partners Sal Shivji and Garry Punnett, Patina has always been one of my favorite shops in which to daydream because sadly for me, the boys deal in higher-end merchandise, nearly all of it out of my price range. But what merchadise! What taste! Unlike so many stools, the ones above are a great height and supremely comfortable in addition to being very well made ($685 each), the 1970s Italian brass and Lucite pendant will set you back $2,600.

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Less is More at Avenue Road

Thursday, August 5, 2010 by Chris


There are all kinds of gorgeous, high-end stores in Toronto that I've never blogged about because frankly, if I can't afford to shop there, what's the point? But I'm making an exception with Avenue Road, partly because there's such a buzz about the place, partly because it's so darn beautiful and partly because it was designed by hometown boys George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg whose stellar work is also the subject of a gorgeous new coffee table book.

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