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Home Tours

Home Tours

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)

Home Tours

Modern Düsseldorf Home

May 7, 2010

I just spent a few inspiring hours with my friend and whenever I see her, I always feel like coming home and writing because she inspires me so much! I love being with friends who give me a lots of creative energy! So let’s see… how about a little home tour for you today? Well, it’s mostly a glimpse of just a few rooms but this home is so nice that I’ve been looking forward to sharing it with you for several days now. It’s located in Düsseldorf, Germany and I found it because one of the owners, graphic designer Andrea Schreiber, is a flickr contact of mine. She and her family, two teenage daughters and her husband along with Lotte their dog, reside here — she is originally from Bremen and landed in Düsseldorf for her studies and ended up staying there. I really love the architecture and though they just moved in and have a bit more decorating to do I think she’s well on her way to having a lovely home. See what you think… First let’s look at some of her graphic designs and then, her home.

Modern Düsseldorf Home

Modern Düsseldorf Home

Modern Düsseldorf Home

Modern Düsseldorf Home

Modern Düsseldorf Home

If you like what you see, there are more photos here. Andrea likes to crochet in her spare time so some of the pieces that you see in her living room are by her own hand like the colorful crochet pouf above that I think is just the sweetest, don’t you?

Thank you so much Andrea for sharing glimpses of your home with us!

(images: andrea schreiber)

Home Tours

Samantha Robinson Studio Tour

March 31, 2010

Time to go on a mini shopping trip with me today, a little desk vacay. Let’s visit Samantha Robinson’s ceramics studio in Sydney and fight over which ones we’ll take home with us, okay?

Samantha Robinson Studio Tour

I have dibs on nearly all of them (kidding, I’ll share!) and I am especially excited that photographer Jillian Leiboff shot this studio with Samantha’s permission to share here on decor8 today because these photos really capture the essence that is Samantha Robinson. She creates art capturing it in a most functional way to show that everyday objects need not be mundane. This ceramicist is one of my favorites and so for me it’s a real treat to peek in on the space where she creates such precious pieces. I particularly like how fragile some appear, and how others look like paper, painted glass, and even plastic. Gorgeous.


Samantha Robinson Studio Tour

Samantha Robinson Studio Tour

Samantha Robinson Studio Tour

Samantha Robinson Studio Tour

Samantha Robinson Studio Tour

Samantha Robinson Studio Tour

Samantha Robinson Studio Tour

Samantha Robinson Studio Tour

As I look through these photos I can’t help but smell the earthy clay and paint — and imagine how beautiful these vessels would be to hold in my hands — some to drink from, others for flowers, still others for fruit. I get the sense from her studio that she is truly happiest when she is potting. I would like to own a few for my home but I don’t know of any shops in Germany or Europe who would ship them to me… so I guess I will have to drool along with the rest of you who also have little to no access to Samantha Robinson’s beautiful works. I’m sure the more we blog about her online, the more shops will carry her fine things locally. So spread the word!

Thank you Jillian for the photographs and also Samantha – thank you for giving us permission to share them publicly!

(images: jillian leiboff imaging)

Home Tours

Empire Vintage Shop Tour

March 10, 2010

Let’s take a vacation together, shall we? I say we all jump on our virtual plane and jet down to Melbourne, Australia to visit the shop of designer Lynda Gardener, whom I’ve talked about on decor8 before. Gardener is a creative genius and not shy in her decorating approach by any means — she is a bold, confident lady who displays remarkable talent and vision.

Empire Vintage Shop Tour

In her shop, Empire Vintage, her finds are lovingly curated and artfully displayed in a way that inspires creative ideas. Just to walk through is an experience whether you actually purchase something or not. Shopping at Empire Vintage seems to be quite an  experience and to me, that is what a store should do — transport, inspire and if those things are successful then sales are part of the deal because then one wants to bring home a treasure to remind them of that special experience. From early rustic to French country and vintage industrial, this gem has a little something for everyone.

Empire Vintage Shop Tour

As you look through these images, shot by the talented Jillian Leiboff of Jillian Leiboff Photography, try to be in the moment and imagine walking through this shop — what would you touch? How do you imagine this shop smelling? Like patchouli or lavender or perhaps vanilla and honey? Or perhaps you can smell orange blossoms? Imagine the music that you hear… is it French pop? A favorite soundtrack? Classical? I think that it’s good to pause as you are reading your favorite blogs to take in the images that you see, study them, and even put yourself into those images in order to fully experience them.

Empire Vintage Shop Tour

Empire Vintage Shop Tour

Empire Vintage Shop Tour

Empire Vintage Shop Tour

It’s nice to slip out of your “zone” for a moment to enjoy some time for yourself to meditate, reflect and relax and that is exactly what a beautiful retail experience can do — take you away to faraway places without the jet lag! Ah, escapism.

What do you see that you like? :) I love the vintage English eiderdowns, the bunting, linen pillows, antique books, white bone china and the colorful bracelets – I would like the blue and yellow ones, please!

Shop address: 63 Cardigan Place Albert Park, Melbourne, Australia.

(photos: Jillian Leiboff of Jillian Leiboff Photography)

Home Tours, Rooms

Snug Studio: Hannover

February 23, 2010

Ready to be inspired? I’m excited to present another shared workspace between two fantastic designers who happen to live and work in Hannover, Germany. Yesterday I presented the atelier of Sidsel and Line in Denmark and to continue in the spirit of shared paths we’ll visit Snug studio which happens to be in my neighborhood so I visit this space regularly. Snug studio is part showroom, part office and part workspace and is a collaboration between Interior Designer Kerstin Reilemann from Domestic Candy and Architect Berit Luedecke that recently opened in December 2009. (You may remember Kerstin, I shared her home in my column over at Cookie magazine last year.)

Snug Studio: Hannover

This lovely space is open daily and will soon be open 24/7 as they will launch a web shop here on March 1st (bookmark this link!). Don’t worry, I’ll post a reminder on decor8 when the time comes so you can pick out some goodies for yourself. If you cannot wait until March 1, some of these products are sold under the Domestic Candy label over in Kerstin’s DaWanda shop online.

Snug Studio: Hannover

Kerstin and Berit decided to launch Snug together because their design sensibilities are very similar, they like to experiment with turning old things into new ones in addition to creating their own designs — and both enjoy clean, modern lines with a nod to their German heritage. Only their products, mostly handmade from wood, have a bit of a twist – they’ve incorporated elements of traditional and modern Dutch and Swedish design along with traditional German items. I enjoy seeing their unique translation of what German, Dutch and Swedish design looks like combined, at least through their eyes — it’s a fresh and beautiful interpretation.

Snug Studio: Hannover

Snug Studio: Hannover

Snug Studio: Hannover

Snug Studio: Hannover

Snug Studio: Hannover

From ceramic candle holders inspired by traditional cake molds, pendant lights created from vintage porcelain coffee filters, and a wooden bench made using recycled chair backs with new, modern seating surfaces, Snug is a design studio with a fresh approach. Their shop is a place to buy something beautiful or to simply visit for a little inspiration, walking away with new ideas of your own. I’m so happy to have Berit and Kerstin and their beautiful Snug studio in Hannover!

(images: snug studio, hannover)

Home Tours

Swedish Home of Anna Malin

February 18, 2010

I found the very stylish Anna Malin behind the blog Helt Enkelt recently by visiting some Swedish blogs and clicking around on blogrolls — then I contacted her and viola! here she is on decor8. I’m so glad that I found Anna because I am in love with her blog and her home.

Swedish Home of Anna Malin

Anna simply has the best style – she mixes classic Swedish furniture with flea market finds and heirloom pieces resulting in a romantic yet crisp and modern home with lots of personalized touches. Here are some views of her gorgeous space. I especially like the three different ways that she has decorated her dining room, it’s fun to see what she’s up to next! From her blog I gather that she rearranges her home very often, and given that she has a family and kids, I’m quite impressed by this not to mention how clean and organized her space is.


Swedish Home of Anna Malin

Swedish Home of Anna Malin

Swedish Home of Anna Malin


Swedish Home of Anna Malin

Swedish Home of Anna Malin

Swedish Home of Anna Malin

Swedish Home of Anna Malin

To see more visit Anna here on her blog. I’ve added her blog on my list of daily must-reads, be sure to do the same if you love this look too. What an inspiration!

(images: Anna Malin)

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