Origami chair

The lovely life-sized origami-style Folder chairs by designer Stefan Schoning are assembled by folding them just like an origami creation. How cool is that?

The ‘Folder’ can withstand your weight since it is made from paper-thin polypropylene, which means the look is very cool and the construction lightweight, rigid and tough. The chairs more durable than wood, plastic or metal and have been exhibited around the world: the National Design Museum in NY, Nike Design Library in Oregon, Colette in Paris, Salone Satellite in Milan, and 100% Design in London, UK.

What’s not to love?

Images courtesy of Stefan Schoning.

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Forging French doors

This week I had the most exciting time meeting and getting to know one of Canada’s foremost window dressers, Philip Minaker. Having created hundreds of major storefront windows during more than 25 years as a style director for many iconic Canadian and international retailers in Toronto and his home town of Winnipeg, Philip is a fascinating individual unlike any other.

His boundless creativity and problem-solving know-how are only surpassed by his sweet and fun personality. Philip is a fashion force and he’s put on countless runway shows and deconstructed trends working for various styling and retail roles at The Bay, BCBG, Lipton’s, Eaton’s, Mondi, Parachute, and the list goes on and on.

He is known for his stunning sales-boosting windows and his ‘let me show you’ philosophy about sharing his fashion knowledge. His windows are known to increase sales; a job well done, then. Look for his work coming up at Toronto’s downtown Josephson’s in the next few weeks- he told me that he’s currently fabricating the set pieces for the fall windows.

Beyond having a keen eye for styling, trends and balance, Philip is an incredibly talented artist and he creates much of what you see in his displays. Today’s French doors featured below are an example of his incredibly simple take on getting what you need: make it yourself.

When I met Philip on the weekend during his first of two moving sales, he invited me in his home where he has these gorgeous antique French doors behind a bed (those aren’t for sale, though, sorry! but just DIY for these and drop in on Philip’s second sale for other very cool stuff).

These gorgeous French doors are not real; they’re two large format prints of doors that are glued to large pieces of foam. The antique look is truly outstanding and the quality of the print here is just right, working in favour of achieving that natural aged look that the doors have.

The best part about all this is that they weigh nothing! They’re made of foam! You know, the inch-and-a-half rectangle sheets of white foam from the craft store. So simple. Philip told me that he cut the print and foam in the curved shape at the top and he has another piece that creates an archway to really bring it all together. I think they are spectacular just like this.

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Images courtesy of me via Philip Minaker

You’ll want to be there for Philip’s second moving sale in a few weeks, September 13-16: he is parting with some of his window dressing treasures including props, decorative urns, industrial art, art hangings and artist canvasses, art that he has created, beautiful vintage mannequins, and so much more.

You’ll love meeting Philip- just drop in to say hi and check out all the fascinating pieces of his career that he’s selling to new good homes, and meanwhile take a look at his moving sale ad on Kijiji– lots more pics there to see what he’s got on the floor (including Herman Miller La Fonda chairs…).


20 Below: Bath Mats

Aren’t these great Frenchie bath mats?

 Madame/Monsieur bath mats, $17.99 (small), Ballard Designs


Art: Abstract and Affordable

It seems that we’ve got summer activities and art on our brains this week. I was browsing through the amazing work of some Etsy artists last night in hopes that I would find inspiration for the three blank canvases that are waiting for me (this was the last piece I painted – a year ago!). What do you think of the works I’ve gathered here?

$50, Adriane Duckworth

$280, Tainted Canvas

$325, Letter Happy

$260, Linda Monfort

$81, Lulu & Drew

Do you buy original art? Do you always have a budget?

Or, do you prefer to make your own?


Knot a bad seat

After coming across my second knotty pouf, I decided it’s time I feature the thing. Surely we’re onto a trend here.

The knotted ottoman we have here today is a beautiful thing (isn’t it?) by Prague-based design studio Kumeko. Inspired by old techniques of weaving fabrics and baskets, the pouf comes in two sizes and are said to be outstandingly comfy. I really like the weave pattern we have here in the Kumeko but CB2 does a similar pouf (no white option, sadly- just black, blue or red) that is knitted with large ribs.

The fabric, knotty pouf is a really nice way to round out all those harsh modernist edges in otherwise very angular spaces and well, let’s face it, it offers up a backup place to sit for when there’s just no more room on that loveseat.

Knotty poufs by Kumeko


The Friday Five: Knobs

Okay. Does anyone else go into Anthropologie, browse through all the knobs, fall in love with half of them, want to buy a bunch, then wonder what the heck to use them for, and walk out of the store empty handed? This is what happens to me. Every. Single. Time.

black & white stripe knob, $8

deco block knob, $10

squirrel knob, $10

linen flower knob, $12

molten spectrum knob, $8

The knobs are so pretty but I really have no use for them. Do you?

Images via Anthropologie.


Marketplace: Z Gallerie Storage Solution

I don’t know about you but if I used a suitcase as a decorative storage solution I would probably be depressed. A constant reminder that I’m not on vacation!?

Veneto suitcases, $79.95, Z Gallerie

Thoughts?

p.s. Is anyone else surprised at the price of these storage containers? Do people really pay $80 for storage boxes? A better-for-your-budget option – buy an old suitcase at a thrift store and paint it white! Genius!