2014 Design Week in Toronto

Wednesday, January 22, 2014 by Chris


I happened to be on Queen Street West yesterday just as gallery owner Clint Roenisch was unveiling Dossier, a collection of objects and furniture from the 2014 graduating class of Furniture Craft & Design at Sheridan College. The show is part of this year’s Toronto Design Offsite Festival, which runs tandem to Canada’s biggest design fair, IDS 14, opening tomorrow night with the annual gala party then running Saturday and Sunday at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre ($22). Yes, it’s cold outside — it’s January in the Great White North, after all — but that’s no excuse to miss the biggest week on this city’s design calendar.

As for Dossier I was very impressed by Kevin Jones’s Daily Rush bar chair (below left) and by Cristyan Leathley’s Core Lamp. It’s a good show with lots of promising young talent. And be sure not to miss the Gladstone Hotel‘s always excellent Come Up To My Room, featuring 25 installations by 40 artists. Get out and see what’s hot, what’s new, what’s next.

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Holiday Spirit on Display

Sunday, November 24, 2013 by Chris


Shops on my block put up their holiday windows last weekend and I’ve been meaning to blog about them ever since. Newcomer, Parterre Flowers (1114 Yonge Street), open just three short months, is the star of the street with a window that really transports me. Festive but also creative, the window features a shop specialty, topiary animals.

Just down the block is Putti (1104 Yonge Street) with a hers and hers set of windows in dazzling white with another in pink. I happened past the shop one evening this week to find a rather gay gentleman taking pictures of the pink window and when I remarked about it he said, “Isn’t it just the gay-est thing you’ve ever seen?!”

Readers, I hope your holidays are tres fabulous in keeping with this spirit!

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Decorum’s New Digs

Thursday, November 14, 2013 by Chris


One of my favorite Toronto vintage dealers, Matthew Heney of Decorum Decorative Finds (below), has moved a block north to a bright new space at 1224A Yonge Street, formerly part of Youssef Hasbani’s L’Atelier. Heney is a dealer so don’t expect bargains, at least not at his new shop.

There are, however, deals to be had at Matthew’s old shop (1210 Yonge Street), where he’s clearing out old stock that won’t be making the trip up the block. Sign up for the Decorum eblast, Matthew’s weekly mailer of new stock and sale merch.

Decorum doesn’t actually have a stand-alone website but you contact them via email and ask to be added to their list. In the shot below, the enormous, contemporary Gill mirror is $995 and the vintage Italian chairs are $1,200 for a set of six.

One of my favorite pieces on the floor is the two-headed Stork floor lamp (below center) priced at $695; I neglected to get a price on the gorgeous, vintage Arne Norell Ari Lounge Chairs but they’re not inexpensive.



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Make Love in Venice

Wednesday, November 6, 2013 by Chris


The nice folks at contacted me to see if I would mention their exceptional line of wall-sized map murals. While perusing their offerings I was captivated by a painting of Venice rendered by contemporary artist Timothy Easton. Wallpapered kindly offered to provide the mural if I paid for the shipping ($61 from the U.K.): my original intention was to cover a quirky alcove on the left side of my bed so I chose a size that would fit the area and then I changed my mind and applied the graphic to the other side of the room.

There have been some changes at my building and it looks like I may move AGAIN in the spring so I was reluctant to apply the graphic directly to the wall. Instead, I sourced some wallboard from Home Depot ($30 a sheet), had it cut to size and mounted each of the four mural panels on the boards. I used velcro hanging strips to fasten the boards to the wall so removing the mural will be a snap when the time comes and I can reuse it again and again.

There was one little catch, an electrical socket that I simply could not do without so I worked it into the plan. It was just matter of cutting a notch into the board with a jigsaw and then using the cutout to paper the faceplate.

In retrospect, if I had known I’d be using this particular wall I would have ordered a larger graphic but c’est la vie. When I lie in bed it still feels like I’m submerged in the painting and I find the scene quite romantic. The room has no window so the mural provides a view and a sense of light where there isn’t any.

As for Wallpapered’s product, I am very impressed! My 200 x 179 cm graphic came in four individual sheets with a slightly plasticized coating that made it easy to work with. I used spray glue to mount the sheets to the boards which was a little bit tricky but not at all messy. My order came with wallpaper paste and detailed hanging instructions. The £122 cost of the graphic converted to about $200 CAD, plus the shipping.

Wallpapered’s service was excellent and they have a very wide selection of graphics to choose from, their maps are particularly good.

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Toronto (East) Tool Library Launch

Monday, November 4, 2013 by Chris


The Toronto East Tool Library and Makerspace throws its doors open for a grand opening party Thursday night (1803 Danforth Ave, 8 – 11 pm, free). The Tool Library lets members borrow a dizzying array of electrical and hand tools for up to five days; it’s a cost-efficient way ($50 per year membership) to access tools you only use once in awhile. This sounds like exactly what I need for those occasional reupholstery, cutting and refinishing projects you know I love to tackle. Join me, I’ll be there.

My apologies for the long absence, October was a nutty month. I’ve got projects and posts planned though so stay tuned.

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