Friday
Dec202013

We Covet: Tapio Wirkkala

[Rosenthal Studio-Linie Pollo vases via 1st Dibs]

Of all the amazing objects in Peter and Debbie's place, we here at Covet Garden are most envious of the couple's Tapio Wirkkala collection. 

As you may recall from our current issue, there's a small collection of vessels by the Finnish designer and sculptor in the bathroom. “My sister called me up and told me that they had a bunch of Wirkkala Rosenthal Studio-linie porcelain vases at Winners. This coincided with the Tapio Wirkkala exhibition at the DX which I had loved, so I acquired a vase and started collecting his pieces on eBay” says Debbie.

[Wirkkala, via Iittala]

Wirkkala was born in 1915. He trained as a sculptor at the Central School of Arts and Crafts, and objects designed by him often are very sculptural. His design career began in the late 1940s, when he won a design competition held by the Finnish firm Iittala. Thus began a lifelong association with the company.

[Leaf plate via Etsy seller foxbride]

As you can see, Wirkkala's design sensibily was extremely diverse. He worked with many mediums — wood, bronze, glass and clay , he even designed plastic ketchup bottles. ”All materials have their own unwritten laws… You should never be violent with a material you’re working on, and the designer should aim at being in harmony with his material.”

[Chantarelle Vase via Iittala]

[White porcelain Rosenthal Studio-Linie Vase via Etsy seller Nordic Form]

One thing that is consistant across all of his work is his respect for natural forms. His objects pay homage to leaves, mushrooms and birds. One of his most iconic collections, Ultima Thule, is embellished with what looks like dripping glass and was inspired by melting icebergs in Finland.

The best thing about Wirkkala's work is that many of his pieces are still in production today. While many of his art objects are much sought after by collectors (and, alas, priced accordingly), many of his dinnerware designs were so popular that they frequently pop up on eBay and Etsy making it easy for anybody to start a Wirkkala collection.

[Hopla tumblers via Etsy seller Troedelzimmer]

Monday
Dec162013

Sponsor Love: We Heart Glass With Jeff Goodman Studio

We here at Covet Garden have been big fans of Jeff Goodman Studio since we discovered his work in the home of Sandra, James in Luca back in June 2011. The studio has an international reputation for its incandescent hand blown glass vessels, sculptures and architectural glass. 

The studio was started by glass artist Jeff Goodman in 1989. His goal was to create an environment where designers, artists and architects could experiment with the capabilities of glass. While Goodman passed away on March 22, 2012 the innovative spirit of the studio lives on with the work of artisans Blaise Campbell, David Williamson and Nick Chase. Their creations (along with classic designs by Goodman) show that glass can be bold and strong as well as organic and colourful at the same time.

[Chandelier at the Ritz Carlton Spa]

[Vase installation at the ROM]

While the studio is best known for its cast glass designs at the Royal Ontario Museum, the Hazelton Residence and Hotel and The Ritz Carlton, they also stand out as artworks in their own right and have been shown at galleries across North America.

So how do you get your hands on one of these one-of-a-kind studio designs? You can visit the Studio’s website to contact them about pricing and availability of their signature pieces. Or you can call them to collaborate on a commission a work for your own home. Either way, a Goodman is an exceptional investment.

Friday
Dec132013

Guest Post: The Leslieville Flea on Eclectic Yuletide Decor

[All images: Nanne Springer]

The holidays are upon us and most of us will be entertaining at some point this season. For a truly unique and beautiful holiday look that won't blow your budget, deck your halls with one of a kind vintage and handcrafted items. To inspire your seasonal decorating, we created the following tableaus using treasures from The Leslieville Flea.

To get this eclectic mix of new and old to work, you need to make sure to use a common theme. Here we combined vintage linen, natural textured materials, fresh holiday flowers and greenery with vintage glassware and silver. The look is layered neutrals with an emphasis on mixing texture, materials and shapes.

Delight your dinner guests with a lovely take-away gift. Use small, vintage bottles and jars as personal flower arrangements that will mark their place at the table. They can take it with them at the end of the evening as a reminder of good friends and the occasion.

For interesting centrepieces, try using vintage and antique silver and glassware as vessels for flowers. Above, we've used vintage lace napkins from Slim Pickins and gold glassware and serving spoons from Bragg and Bee. And instead of one large arrangement use several smaller ones along the length of the table (just remember to keep the rule of odd numbers here).

An antique silver coffee pot becomes the perfect backdrop for Kate Hardy’s stunning holiday florals.

Dark, cold holiday evenings get warm and cozy with the glow of candles—not to mention it's a flattering light for your dinner guests! Try bringing out those unusual items you've collected at The Leslieville Flea as candleholders. Get creative and use multiples here....the effect is stunning and original.

An old wooden spool from She's Crafty gets repurposed as a candleholder to add height and texture to the table.

Here we’ve used old upholstery springs with vintage Fire King teacups from Bragg and Bee as tealight holders.

For something different on the mantle, these vintage sock stretchers (from the Revival Store, and available at the December Leslieville Flea for $18/pair for the aluminum, and $60/pair for the wooden ones), are beautiful, interesting, and also practical—they can stay hung on the mantle even while the fire is roaring!

We here at Covet Garden are pleased as punch to have Chris Roberts and Brigid Elmy, founders of the Leslieville Flea, as guest bloggers. Visit their blog for regular news and style ideas. And and keep checking this space for more of their insights on incorporating vintage and handmade finds into your decor.

p.s. The Covet Garden team will be selling copies of Covet Garden Home, our hot-off-the-presses print edition at the December 15th Leslieville Flea! Come out and say hi!

Sunday
Dec012013

Issue 40 is Now Live!

[photography by Naomi Finlay]

Covet Garden is ringing out the old year with an issue dedicated to the home of designers Peter and Debbie. This couple and their former industrial space sums up a lot of the things that excited us in 2013: They are champions of Canadian design, they are committed to sustainable building in an urban environment, and they have fun and amazing collections. They are a pretty interesting duo as well, so be sure to check this blog space over the next month for more posts inspired by Peter and Debbie's abode.

December is a busy month for all of us, so we want to remind you that if you sign up for our free newsletter, we'll keep you up-to-date on when new issues of Covet Garden are online, as well as any upcoming promotions and appearances.

Thursday
Nov282013

Covet Garden at One Of A Kind

[Bookhou's ornaments]

An annual tradition since 1975, the One of a Kind Christmas Show and Sale at the Direct Energy Centre is the big daddy of craft shows—not just in Toronto but North America. This year features handmade designs by over 800 artists, makers, designers and craftspeople working in many different mediums like glass, ceramics, textile and wood. We always look forward to see what special offerings artisans such as Bookhou and Jen Bulthuis of Fidoodle have for us; we also can’t wait to discover new makers.

[new pouches from Boohou]


[Fidoodle's gorgeous butterfly flip doll in action]

We’re also excited to announce that the Covet Garden team will be at the sale on Sunday presenting our Favourite Under $100 Decor Finds. We are going to hunt through the OOAK offerings for pieces that really resonate with us and then share those pieces with you. Stop by the mainstage on Sunday, December 1 at 1PM for our show and tell and then stick around after to say hi and even buy a copy of Covet Garden Home.