Monday
Sep302013

People In Your Neighbourhood: Made

 

The current issue of Covet Garden takes you on a tour Shaun and Todd's very cool Cabbagetown home. Many of the furnishings in the house come from the same designers featured in Shaun's Dundas West store, Made. While we were there shooting the space for the issue, we also noted some of our favourite pieces in the shop — like the digital print of an original photo/painting by Christina Zeidler pictured above. 

Made, which is owned by Shaun Moore and Julie Nicholson, is dedicated to showcasing the work of Canadian designers and craftspeople. You can find things small (such as the ceramic  "Pentakis Vessels" by Kristen Lim-Tung, pictured above), medium (such as Bev Hisey's "SARS" carpet, shown here on the wall) and large (like the walnut and hand-painted MDF credenza by Jason Wheeler).

The vessels look great on The Agostinis and Harrison-Off Design Institute's coffee table.

And of course, we couldn't not mention designer Katherine Morley's clever message vases (above), or the wondrous, hand painted mohair throws by Wild Haliburton Elephant Weavers (aka WHEW). We are really scratching the surface of a great design scene here in Canada. We stopped by the shop today to double check the spelling of some names and noticed that some great new pieces had into the shop. We really wish we could mention them all (another post perhaps?).

 

Saturday
Sep282013

Issue 38 is Now Live!

[cover photo: Donna Griffith]

 

This month, Covet Garden visits the very modern, recently renovated Cabbagetown home of furniture designer (and Canadian design champion) Shaun and landscape designer and florist Todd. The couple have a keen eye for amazingly beautiful objects and their place is full of the works of established and emerging artists. At the same time, the story of their residence is a great demonstration of how an old timey space can transition over time as its inhabitants’ needs change.

 

And speaking of transition, even though we're only a few weeks into Autumn, we want to remind you that the holiday season is only a few months away. If you are looking a great gift for your décor-obsessed friends, our special print edition Covet Garden Home is coming out this November. That’s two months away. Visit our new shop to reserve your copy and have it delivered to your mailbox.

Wednesday
Sep252013

Getting Creative With PlayPlax

[image: Jessica Reid]

Covet Garden co-founder Jessica was recently reintroduced to the iconic British kids building toy PlayPlax when she bought a set for her daughter Sophie. Another friend readily identified the colourful, translucent interlocking squares as a childhood favourite. (She also noted that she thought they were something that only architects' children played with because everyone else had lego when she was growing up).

Immediately we started building connections between the colourful, translucent interlocking squares and a lot of other creations we love, like the Palais du Congrès in Montreal.

[images: Palais de Congrès de Montréal]

[image: National Geographic]

PlayPlax was originally created in 1966 by award-winning toy designer, Patrick Rylands. The original game sold over one million copies by 1970 and was on sale in over 30 countries. The toy is marketed at ages three and up, which we take to mean that grown ups can use it to get creative too. We've already made a cool scuplture and the next project is a windowsill planter for succulents.

In the meantime, can you make out a connection between PlayPlax and The Kaleidescope House — a cult dollhouse designed by the architect Peter Wheelwright and the artist Laurie Simmons? (Side note: one of the dolls created for the Kaleidescope house was modelled after Simmons' daughter Lena Dunham, creator of the TV show Girls.)

 

Thursday
Sep192013

We Covet: Paul Rand

We here at Covet Garden respect the distinctions between typography, layout and artwork. Which is why we are so much in awe of the American art director, graphic designer and illustrator Paul Rand — a man who could do it all (and do it well).

Born Peretz Rosenbaum on August 15, 1914 in Brooklyn, New York, Rand got his start painting signage for his father's grocery store and for high school dances and assemblies. He studied at the Pratt Institure but claimed that his reall education came from reading avant garde European periodicals.

[images via: here]

Rand identified himself a problem solver. After school, Rand quickly rose through the design ranks as an art director for Directions and Esquire magazines. Despite being a whiz kid, his star never faded. In fact his reputation only grew when he started designing identities for corporate entities like IBM, ABC, Westinghouse and Steve Job's NeXt Computers. (An aside, when he changed his own identity from that of Peretz Rosenbaum because, according to friend and associate Morris Wyszogrod, "he figured that 'Paul Rand,' four letters here, four letters there, would create a nice symbol."

Rand fans are just as enamoured of his work in books — both designing covers and illustrating children's books. Sparkle and Spin (pictured above and below), for example, is a book about words, witten with his then-wife Ann. Even though their union didn't last, the book is the perect marriage between Ann's rythmic and sing-songy prose and Paul's vibrant, minimalist illustration.

The book is still in print today. In fact most of Rand's work is still in circulation in one form or another (the IBM logo, for example, still drives from Rand's original). The secret to his enduring appeal is best summed up by Rand himself: "Ideas do not need to be esoteric to be original or exciting."

[image: paul-rand.com]

Wednesday
Sep182013

Be A Guest Curator for Etsy Canada and Covet Garden 

We are super excited about this weekend's BlogPodium event. Covet Garden co-founder Rhonda will be speaking on a panel called "Let's Talk: Old Media, New Media, Social Media" alongside design luminaries such as Leigh-Ann Allaire Perrault of Hue La La, Margot Austin from Canadian House & Home, Jaclyn Clark of Style Me Pretty Living and Lark & Linen and Chatelaine's home editor Emma Reddington. Rhonda is a little nervous.

We're also excited to be partnering with BlogPodium and Etsy Canada for an exciting contest. Etsy wants to reward design bloggers who feature Etsy shops with a little free publicity. And as fans of Etsy, design blogs and independent designers, we also wanted to shine a spotlight on the makers scene. Here's the prize: one lucky winner will be featured as a guest curator in a dedicated Etsy Canada newsletter and will be profiled on the Covet Garden newsletter and covered on the Etsy Canada blog and the Covet Garden blog. All you have to do is sign up for Etsy's affiliate program, make a list of your favourite Etsy finds (complete contest details and rules and regulations can be found on the BlogPodium blog).

Hope to see you at BlogPodium, in the Etsy and Covet Garden newsletters and on the the Etsy and Covet Garden blogs.

[Swallows Return cloud pocket tunic from Blog Podium's Jennifer Flores' Etsy picks]