Scandinavian/Japanese Living in Canada

May 12, 2010

If you love a good mix of Scandinavian and Japanese style with a Canadian twist, you’re going to love the many spaces of Mjolk. Last week I shared a special blog called Kitka that some of you went bonkers over (if you missed that post you can refer to it here) and so today I thought I’d give you a glimpse into the people who author that blog, John Baker and Juli Daoust. This couple lives and works in Toronto, Canada and in addition to their blog they own Scandinavian/Japanese lifestyle store Mjolk. Baker and Daoust also happen to have an 800 sq ft apartment above their shop and a 1,000 sq ft summer home on Georgian Bay. Today they’ve prepared some photos of these spaces to share with us in addition to a mini interview that I had with them. Ready to be inspired?

Scandinavian/Japanese Living in Canada

Scandinavian/Japanese Living in Canada

Scandinavian/Japanese Living in Canada

Mjolk shown above. Store tour available here, photographed by Emma McIntyre.

When did you launch Mjolk and why? We launched December of 2009 because we were frustrated shopping for items for the home. It seemed that it was all about big box stores and boutiques that were not on the same wavelength as us. The closest we got to what we wanted was in the vintage shops, but at the end of the day, you need useful and beautiful new everyday objects as well. We just wanted to fill that need while giving people like us a whole new and interesting experience.

You have a city apartment and a summer house. Wow. Tell us more. We are living our dream, having our home above the shop. It’s really urban being on a major street so we forget about things such as trees and flowers, which is sad. One day we hope to renovate and incorporate a sort of courtyard so we can have some nature around us at all times. The summer house is located on Georgian Bay, home of the best swimming in cottage country, gorgeous sunsets and the feeling that you might just be on the ocean.

Scandinavian/Japanese Living in Canada

Scandinavian/Japanese Living in Canada

Scandinavian/Japanese Living in Canada

Scandinavian/Japanese Living in Canada

Scandinavian/Japanese Living in Canada

Above: Their apartment located over Mjolk.

What attracts you to Scandinavian and Japanese style? It’s just a natural attraction for us. We appreciate simple everyday objects, natural materials, and a focus on craftsmanship.

How would you define your style? We strive for simplicity — think Swedish apartment, light, airy, white and black.

What are 5 of your favorite things in your city apartment? The main living room is spacious and has a big bright bay window; the white floor makeover; it’s not too big to handle; short commute to work; and it’s potential.

Scandinavian/Japanese Living in Canada

Scandinavian/Japanese Living in Canada

Scandinavian/Japanese Living in Canada

Above: Their cottage on Georgian Bay.

What are some features in your summer cottage that you enjoy the most? Since the renovation, it feels so big, bright, fresh and open; the view, thanks to Juli’s parent’s initial vision of switching out the closed in porch with wall to wall windows; that we had free range to do whatever we wanted and we did so almost exclusively ourselves; experimenting with plywood; the future.

What are some key decor tip if someone wants to duplicate your look? You can never have enough white paint! White walls give a beautiful backdrop to our furniture, while white floors/ceiling really brighten a space. Also, don’t be afraid of using unconventional materials (plywood has become our best decorating friend, especially since we don’t know how to drywall). Always bring something home from your travels—big or small, they serve as little reminders once the day to day humdrum sets in. Definitely combine a little old with a little new. Vintage or antique pieces have a history, add warmth, and add uniqueness plus they are oh so fun to hunt for!

Thank you John & Juli for these very special glimpses into your life and home!

(images: john baker & juli daoust)


  • Reply Marthe May 12, 2010 at 3:10 am

    That cottage looks awesome! The wall to wall windows are just what I dream of right now.

    ps. have you been into norwegian stylists and shops?
    On of the best stores here in Oslo is called Milla Boutique. You can see some photos in their press section here:

    They also have a blog here: (it’s in norwegian though…)
    .-= Marthe´s last blog ..Welcome to my new readers =-.

  • Reply Eva May 12, 2010 at 3:28 am

    Love it so much! Thanks for sharing with us!

  • Reply klausandheidi May 12, 2010 at 4:00 am

    I like the shelf unit with the option to adjust the height. I haven’t seen that kind of thing made to this standard before.
    .-= klausandheidi´s last blog ..Caught short =-.

  • Reply Ludmila {} May 12, 2010 at 5:07 am

    Yesterday I finally blogged about Scandinavian style and this is such a delight to see how good Scandinavian can be mixed with Japanese style (or any other)..I’m more and more in love with it! Great pictures, lovely post! xo
    .-= Ludmila {}´s last blog ..Scandinavian Love =-.

  • Reply Vanessa (Lady Grey) May 12, 2010 at 5:14 am

    I’m so in love with that cottage kitchen!
    .-= Vanessa (Lady Grey)´s last blog ..What’s on your back burner to-do list? =-.

  • Reply juliette May 12, 2010 at 5:50 am

    oooh, cottage country =) I love their fresh take on it! I’m always in the campy family cottages of my relatives up in Muskoka, so this is fun!
    .-= juliette´s last blog ..Top 2 Music Videos in Germany =-.

  • Reply Caroline May 12, 2010 at 5:56 am

    Beautiful as usual!
    Love that kitchen.
    .-= Caroline´s last blog ..Un mercredi pas comme les autres… =-.

  • Reply lisa :: the red thread May 12, 2010 at 6:32 am

    Oooohh nice! Japanese and Scandinavian design are both top of my inspiration list. Nice combo Mjolk!
    .-= lisa :: the red thread´s last blog ..Mast Brothers Chocolate :: 3 of My Favourite Things =-.

  • Reply White Cabana May 12, 2010 at 6:59 am

    Oh good – I can’t wait to check out this store in person. It’s close enough to where my parent’s live. Fab! These spaces are so bright & airy!
    .-= White Cabana´s last blog ..White Words in Denver =-.

  • Reply Tanya May 12, 2010 at 9:25 am

    That kitchen is so fantastic
    .-= Tanya´s last blog ..I Confess, I Hate Sitting in Austin Traffic =-.

  • Reply At Home with Kim Vallee May 12, 2010 at 9:45 am

    I like their style. Seeing their interiors encourages me to pursuit my quest to update my home decor. And I need to plan a visit to Toronto soon to see their shop.
    .-= At Home with Kim Vallee´s last blog ..Summer Entertaining Finds at Ikea =-.

  • Reply bethany May 12, 2010 at 9:45 am

    i have that wurlitzer too! :)

  • Reply Juli May 12, 2010 at 9:48 am

    Thanks so much for the post, Holly!
    And thank you for all the lovely comments. I see the kitchen is getting some attention–since it’s a cottage that is only used a few months a year, we didn’t want to get too extravagant, so it’s a simple glossy white Ikea kitchen and plywood counter top treated with a water-based polyurethane. Our kitchen splurge was the undercounter drawer fridge, which freed up so much space! We are looking to get one for home too because it really is the best solution for small kitchens!

  • Reply sandyb May 12, 2010 at 11:02 am

    Thank you for featuring this amazing Toronto couple. I JUST moved into the neighborhood where their shop is and had no idea they existed.. perfection!
    .-= sandyb´s last blog ..Four things in my head. =-.

  • Reply FROM THE RIGHT BANK May 12, 2010 at 12:27 pm

    I always love a good mix of styles and this one just works!
    .-= FROM THE RIGHT BANK´s last blog ..Smitten With Gypsy Caravans =-.

  • Reply eileen May 12, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    Hey that’s in my city. I’m in the eastend and made the grand trek out to the westend where the store is located only to find it closed that day. I’ll have to make the trip again.
    .-= eileen´s last blog ..Mother’s Day =-.

  • Reply hannah May 12, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    oh my, what amazing spaces, especially the summer house – love the ceiling and red rug. The city pad is perhaps a little too minimal for my personal taste, but fabulous all the same!
    .-= hannah´s last blog ..Meet Edie =-.

  • Reply Renee @ May 12, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    i live in toronto and first heard of this boutique a few weeks ago. i can’t’ wait to check it out!
    .-= Renee @´s last blog ..Current Obsession: Floral Dresses =-.

  • Reply Danielle May 12, 2010 at 7:07 pm

    I am always so attracted to Swedish design. It is so calming. Maybe it is my Swedish ancestry that makes me so drawn to its simplicity. I would love to have a country home and I now know where my inspirational photos will from…here.

  • Reply Lisa May 12, 2010 at 9:01 pm

    I live in Toronto and was THRILLED to see this store on one of my walks with the babes. I had no idea the building they were in was so pretty – isn’t that funny? I guess you never look up in a big city… Although everything in there was gorgeous (and sadly out of our price range), they were so nice, and let my 2-year old play with the $$$ wooden toys with a smile (a genuine smile, while I freaked out). I wish them all the best!
    .-= Lisa´s last blog ..Mother’s Day =-.

  • Reply A Merry Mishap May 12, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    Incredible, every bit.
    A great reason to make a trip North!

  • Reply Roxane May 12, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    I love the long rectangular table. Would love to have one myself for those big family gatherings!

  • Reply das. May 12, 2010 at 9:55 pm

    Wow…good recommendation….i love the simplicity and the details of the craftmanship.
    .-= das.´s last blog ..Vintage Blue and Red Medium Tartan Check cotton Tote =-.

  • Reply Jules @ Lovely Las Vegas May 12, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    So much coolness throughout!

    However, I especially love the set up with the white sofa and rug. Classic and cozy and definitely simply cool.
    .-= Jules @ Lovely Las Vegas´s last blog ..Lovely Las Vegas: Ichiza Views and Food =-.

  • Reply Alex May 13, 2010 at 9:17 am

    I agrees with Jules the set up with the white sofa and red/blue/white rug I love too. Very Classic and very cool. Having lived in Oslo I must admit that I am a bit biased too.

  • Reply jenifer May 14, 2010 at 1:19 am

    i’m so impressed with that cottage how neat and clean every thing is like they are just for decoration

  • Reply meagan May 13, 2011 at 10:43 pm

    Ohhh I love Mjolk and that part of Toronto where they are set up! I stopped by their shop in January and actually did a feature on them as well just a few weeks ago… They are such nice people! Honeslty!
    xo meagan, row house nest

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