furniture design

for sale: rusa bar chairs (design within reach)

TORONTO: I am selling a pair of these responsibly harvested, bar-height outdoor RUSA chairs from Design Within Reach. These chairs are less than a year old and barely used (and mostly used indoors or in storage). They retailed for $450/each without cushions and I am selling them for only $125/each including Sunbrella cushions in Linen (canvas colour, see second photo below). I am moving and will no longer have a balcony to put these in. View the RUSA Collection at DWR. The bar height table is on sale!

Please email me asap, if interested. Cash only, local pick-ups only. 




standard chair height version shown with the cushions

The RUSA Collection at Design Within Reach

a new surface : the uncarved block

I have begun the (slow) decorating process of my new Toronto digs. My refusal to settle for crappy furniture has caused a slight delay in filling my place with furniture. Tough when you need furniture, want quality and on a limited budget. Needless to say, the delivery of my custom built table this week had me thrilled. Thanks to Craig Marshall of The Uncarved Block, a beautiful, live edge (or raw edge) table now sits nicely in my kitchen/dining area. Craig even let me tag along with him to shop for the perfect slab at Urban Tree Salvage. The UTS showroom was great and their pricing very reasonable. I highly recommend it if you're looking to have furniture made from local salvaged wood.The final product is precisely what I wanted. It's incredibly well made. Even the non-glossy varnish is just as I requested. It actually brought out the colour variations in the wood, which I LOVE. A lot of the slab's unique character were left in (like saw marks, natural markings). I can't seem to stop touching it! 

Although I had originally intended to have a counter height table made, after sitting and working up high for a couple of months made me realize I much prefer a normal table height. The depth of the table is perfect for my small space. The choice to have a live edge on the table adds to the organic warmth that my apartment needs. So next on the list are the chairs. I know exactly what I want and will be able to get an incredible deal on them, thanks to a designer discount! I will post an update when those are delivered. 

Thank you to Craig and Robin from The Uncarved Block!

p.s. the photos are all taken with my iPhone. I'm having some photo download issues on my camera today.


drawing on the slate

My apartment decorating is currently on a bit of a delayed schedule. But I am making some progress! I've put together some mood boards to solidify my thought process. Clearly, this grey and gold thing isn't going away anythime soon. It's the colour combo I've had on two different business cards over the past several years – including my most recent letterpress version. So why fight it?  

I have been searching deep and wide (literally) for an affordable sofa. Most of the ones I've been drawn to have been modern, some leaning toward mid-century modern. Then I unexpectedly came across this Bliss sofa, from West Elm. I knew I wanted comfort and this satisfies all my requirements: extreme comfort, deep/wide seats and grey linen fabric. It won't be available in Canada until December, so I will have to wait a bit longer. 

Over all, I want to offset the boxiness of my space with a lot of organic shapes and a lot of softness. I want to give shape to the idea of warm, organic modernism that I love so much. I've been drawn to the idea of live edged or raw edged wood for a while. The look of ABC Kitchen in NY epitomized it to me. I am currently looking into getting a custom counter table made as well as (potentially) a headboard and platform combo. It would be ideal to work with someone locally in Toronto who works with reclaimed wood slabs. I am open to suggestions!   

It's been tough to be patient with this whole process. I want to just complete this but it takes time! I'd love to hear your thoughts, esp any designers out there :) 

Images sources

(top mood board) 
Bliss sofa photo
Top right painting by Eric Blum
Slab table by BBDW 

(bottom mood board)
live-edge counter on Pinterest 
Top right painting by Eric Blum
Branches Chandelier by Brothers Dressler
Living room photo on Pinterest
Nakashima-style table on Casa Sugar




eero saarinen's : his life's work

I loved seeing the Eero Saarinen exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York this past weekend. Once I saw the show, it completely made sense that the city would curate a show about him. No only was he one of the most prolific, influential architect/designers of the last century, I had no idea he design so many buildings in New York. His second wife, Alin, was also a prominent New York journalist. The show not only showcased his life's work, his process but also gave us all a little bit more of a story about his life. I adored the love letters he wrote/drew for his wife (directly above). It was amazing to see the rough sketches, models and photographs of his work too. I particularly love the design of the TWA terminal at JFK (now closed, but it could potentially be redesigned and reopened again). It is really worth seeing.

jonathan sabine : bookkeeping

Jonathan Sabine, a Toronto-based furniture designer and friend created this great (and highly conceptual) bookcase entitled Bookkeeping. To me it functions as a piece of sculpture as much as a piece of furniture. It is made of oak and bronze. I love that what inspired it was old paper presses and the idea behind data compression and security. Very cool. These are photos I took at his live/work space in Toronto last month.

See my previous post on Amala about Jonathan Sabine's bead pendant lamps.

a living room mini-makeover?

If I could give my living room a makeover, I would add the pieces above. I discovered Bond & Bowery when I was exploring the Mid-Century Modernist. The coffee table would have been perfect. It's got that tropical modern flavour that I want (it's already sold!). That lamp above is called a Rumba M46, I've been wanting it for years. One of these days, it will happen. Currently, this is what my living room looks like. I wouldn't mind lightening things up a bit. What do you think?

my ultimate dream kitchen

This is hands-down my ultimate dream kitchen. The furniture and kitchen design is by Hansen Kitchen out of Copenhagen. Gorgeous with plenty of light and no obnoxious color palette (except for the plants I would bring into the space). Spare yet lived-in and comfortable. I also loved the Joyce cabinet by Pinch Design in London and old school stool from Restoration Hardware. I always love mixing old with new. It makes things more interesting and less homogenous.

One day...

photos by Hansen Kitchen

Vintage chair photo from Restoration Hardware

Joyce cabinet by Pinch Design

inspired workspace : neals yard remedies

I love the design of the Neals Yard Remedies workspace and headquarters in London. All interior and furniture design is by a London-based husband and wife team (and company) called PINCH. Neals Yard Remedies is an organic health and beauty brand. They wanted a positive work environment that reflected their brand values. I love the use of chalkboard paint on the cabinets and the wall calendar. It looks fun and comfortable without looking cutesey.

All images from PINCH Design

a mid-century modern wishlist

Lately, I've had this urge to add or change a few things around my apartment (if only I could afford to!). I've always loved mid-century modern furniture and architecture. Warm modernist or tropical modernist would best describe my personal style. I love mixing up vintage pieces with modern ones. It always creates a more interesting, lived-in space that's still clean. My personal style is not overly feminine or colorful but it's definitely warm and modern. The consistent reaction people have to my apartment is that it's very cozy. My ideal home would probably suit a warmer climate than the northeast. But who says I can't have elements of it in my space?

Below are some mid-century pieces that caught my eye recently...

Ervin Wüd lamp

Wood slat bench/coffee table from Surfing Cowboys (no longer available)

inspired woodworker : palo samko

I was immediately struck by the work of Brooklyn-based designer/woodworker Palo Samko when spotting his furniture at a recent stroll through ABC Carpet & Home. I love the use of recycled and sustainable wood and materials. The pieces have a handmade feel that is sophisticated, innovative and really beautiful. It looks rooted in tradition but is completely modern at the same time. I also took notice of the way the work is photographed. Gorgeous.

All images from

retail inspiration : ABC carpet and home

ABC Carpet & Home is a New York City institution. To call it a place for visual inspiration is an understatement. There is so much to look a and too many things to want! Its filled with new and antique furniture and accessories – many items are unique to the store. I visited it last week with my sister (who is also a designer) because I thought she would enjoy it as much as I do.

Inside Pipa Tapas Y Mas (directly below), a great Spanish tapas restaurant located inside the store features many gorgeous chandeliers and mirrors that are available for purchase.

The second floor houses the modern and modern antique furniture and is my absolute favourite. Below are a few images of the store and some of the delicious merchandise.

A view at the entrance of the second floor

Image from

Image from

I absolutely loved this media cabinet by Wüd Furniture
Another beautiful (and similar) cabinet by Palo Samko
I loved all the mid-century modern antiques.