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The Wood Whisperer

Friday, May 3, 2013 by Chris


If I'd known this was going to be a styleNorth post I would have taken better "before" pics. Honestly, the table was a mess before I took it to Emanuel Calleja at Old Fashioned Restoration (3068 Dundas St. West, 416-767-6989). It's a long and not very interesting story as to how I came to be the guardian of this particular table, suffice it to say that I felt responsible for the state it ended up in and wanted to do right by the piece before I returned it to its rightful owner. Emanuel charges around $250 to do a job like this so if you've got a good piece that needs some TLC, I highly recommend this refinishing genius, he truly is the Wood Whisperer.

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New Windows Not Necessarily Better

Friday, March 1, 2013 by Chris


I'm contacted by publicists all the time with pitches about this or that product or designer. I rarely take the bait but I was intrigued by what Ottawa-based general contractor Paul Denys is doing on the restoration front, specifically his methods of reviving and restoring hundred-year-old windows to make them energy efficient and beautiful again. Denys is putting new technology at the service of old technology and saving the environment and his client's money in the process.

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Dishing Design for the Globe and Mail

Thursday, November 22, 2012 by Chris


On Tuesday I joined Globe and Mail reporter Dave McGinn (second from right), Commute Home's Sara Parisotto and designer Robin Lewis, co-host of HGTV's Reno Vs. Relocate, at Toronto's La Merceria to dish on design trends we love and a few we love to hate. Dave is paring our chat into bite-sized service-y pieces that will run periodically in the Globe's Style page. The first entry is up today, a short bit about hanging chandeliers — Robin doesn't, I do and Sara prefers them low.

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Cindy MacCool: A Dealer’s Dealer

Friday, March 30, 2012 by Chris


Where do vintage dealers mine their treasure? It's a question that comes up again and again when I'm blogging and one of the sources that's frequently cited is MacCool's Reuse, the namesake business of Cindy MacCool, above, a champion picker and dealer in her own right, who operates out of a barn on a rural road in Ontario's Prince Edward County. Last week, on a beautiful spring day, my friend Susan and I made the trip from Toronto — a pleasant two hour drive — to meet Cindy as she gears up for another busy season.

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Turning to a Pro For Help

Thursday, December 1, 2011 by Chris


StyleNorth reader Liza wrote to me seeking some help finding a well-priced coffee table (up to $250). Liza lives in North Bay, Ontario, where the Craigslist pickings are slim to non-existent so after discussing size and style, I pulled scads of Toronto-area options for her to consider. Liza found the winner herself, above, but there was a caveat (or two, as it turned out). There were a couple of pronounced, white watermarks on the surface that I was pretty sure I could tackle and turn into a good blog post (this one!).

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