Sneak Peek: One of a Kind Show Spring Show & Sale

[Bookhou bucket tote, $60]

Like a guy who starts wearing shorts when it’s only 5°C outside, we can’t contain our excitement about the One of a Kind Show Spring Show & Sale which starts today at the Direct Energy Centre, Exhibition Place. First of all it’s always an amazing opportunity to score great treasures because it brings artisans and designers from across the country to one place. This year 150 makers will be displaying their wares at the show.

As always, we are keen to discover new makers as well as visit with old favourites. Each year, too honour folks who have helped build Canada’s current scene, a One of a Kind veteran is inducted into the Hall of Fame. This year, the show is recognizing John Booth and Arounna Khounnoraj of Bookhou (and from our January 2012 issue).

[Etsy seller SHIiliconfETTI's Cloud pastel pillow, $50]

As for the new, One of a Kind has created distinct market places to showcase new and undiscovered artisans. The diversity of First Nations contemporary craft gets a showcase at the Thunderbird Marketplace while the Etsy Section will highlight the talents of online entrepreneurs.

[Matter Company Mom belly jelly, $19]

What else can we tell you? There are craft workshops to help you get your creative juices flowing. If you can’t make it during the day, there’s a late night shopping extravaganza on Thursday. And on Sunday, Jessica, Lynda and myself will be talking about our favourite conversation pieces from the show.

[Tissage Magély Weaving pastel-coloured blankets, $80 (small) to $155 (large)]

[Etsy seller Embroider{wee}embroidered art, $15-$20]

[Mad Batter Bakers cookies, $3.50 to $4]

And of course, there's yummy food. 

The show runs until Sunday, so come on down and discover your next new favourite artisan or object!


Awearness Awareness

For the second year in a row, Covet Garden is a proud sponsor of aWEARness — an annual multimedia performance and fundraiser put on by the Visual Merchandising Arts students at Conestoga College in Kitchener, Ont. We were introduced to the event by our original intern Sarah Samms, a graduate of the programme, and we were blown away by the creativity and inventiveness that we saw.

Last year's show was a rousing success, raising over $3,000 for Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto. Each year the event explores a different theme and this year it's Music. We've showcased some images from last year's show, The Elements, to illustrate how much fun the class had using recycled materials to create wearable art.

The graduating students are also collaborating with their colleagues in the Broadcast Television programme to create a memorable multimedia event this Thursday March 27th at the Waterloo Region Museum. If you're in the neighbourhood, We'll also be auctioning off copies of Covet Garden Home to help raise funds — and aWEARness!

[photography: Adam Sachs. Models from top: Alannah Bruder, Kate Schmidt, Florentina Leonte]


Covet Garden Home/CIL Paints Share Your Story Contest

Covet Garden Home is now available in stores across Canada! You can also order copies online at here

This special print edition was born from our love of sharing interiors that tell a story inspiring readers to share their own narrative with creative decorating. So to celebrate we are partnering with CIL for a contest that can help you experiment and explore your decor even more!

We want to share the story of your home. If you’ve got a favourite room makeover or upcycling project that uses paint, take a photo and send it to us at

[some of our favourite paint projects from Covet Garden HOME and past issues of Covet Garden online: 1. Clover's room shot by Jodi Pudge, 2. Iza's kitchen shot by Ashley Capp, 3. Holly's place shot by Valerie Wilcox.

We'll post your images on our Facebook page. The picture with the most likes will win three gallons of the paint of your choice from CIL. That’s a lot of paint to help you realize even more decor dreams!

Open to Canadian residents only. Contest closes at midnight on April 21, 2014.


This is Not a Toy: Redifining Design

[The Super Malfi Bop Bag, FriendsWithYou]

The Design Exchange's This is Not a Toy exhibition has been up since February, but we thought it was important to note the impact this show has had on the design community in Toronto. Pretty much anyone with an Instagram feed has no doubt seen hundreds of pictures of the figurines, sculptures and other artworks by an international cast of creators like Japan's Takashi Murakami, the Los Angeles-based collective FriendsWithYou and New York's KAWS. 

Curated by John Wee Tom and Sara Nickelson (with guest curator Pharrell Williams), the name of the exhibition is a nod to Surrealist artist René Magritte's painting "Ceci n'est pas un pipe (This Is Not A Pipe)", which is, of course, a painting of a pipe. Many of the objects in the DX show are ready made (like the polka-dotted punching bag pictured above), but they are also a unique form of artistic expression in their own right.

The exhibition not only explores the the intersection between toys and art, but also as design objects. like the benches by Misaki Kawai pictured above. Not only can art be fun, but it can also be useful. This is not a Toy begs us to ask the question "Why do we draw lines between different kinds of beautiful objects in the first place?" In fact the whole layout of the exhibition made us want to spend a night or two at the museum.

We especially loved the installation spaces by FriendsWithYou. Pictured above is a the Rainbow Vortex Room, but there was also a little seating area where the collective's video "Cloudy" played on a cheerfully endless loop. If there's one thing that the artists represented at This Is Not A Toy have in common, it's their ability to create whole worlds and environments.

[photos above, Jessica Reid]

Still, the biggest impact that This Is Not A Toy has had is that the big name draws like Pharrell Williams and Takashi Murakami jewel enrusted collaboration "The Simple Things"  (above) have helped local audiences gain insight into living with art because these friendly objects provide an accessible entry point into the world of collecting. The show also has them talking about art and design which helps shine a light on local artists such as fashion designer Jeremy Laing (who is represented here with a customized Munny) and Nathan Jurevicius.  


You can also kickstart your own collection at Magic Pony's Pop Up Shop at the DX. They offer a wide selection of pieces by artists featured in the exhibition, such as FriendsWithYou, Yoshitomo Nara and Medicom. If you haven't had a chance to experience This Is Not A Toy yet, we strongly recommend that you do — you have until May 19 to experience the wonder (and Instagram it up).


Postcard from Los Angeles: Hot Hot Heath

Back in January, Covet Garden's own Jessica was in Los Angeles to escape Toronto's endless winter and to explore the wonders of the West Coast. She found herself enchanted by Heath Ceramics — one of the many California potteries that popped up after WWII but one of the few still producing today. The company was founded by Edith Heath (1911–2005) in 1948 with a goal to make "simple, good things for good people."

Heath Ceramic's tablewares and tiles are iconic — you can find Edith's original designs in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Los Angeles County Musuem of Art in LA — which is what drove our Jessica to visit the shop in the first place. They have an unmistakable richness of glazing and a silky smooth finish that comes as a result of a Edith's biggest innovation — a single kiln firing, at a lower than normal temperature.

While Heath celebrates its heritage, the company is also commited to experimentation. There are four different shops, each with it's own unique design and in-house ceramicist. The Los Angeles store was created by Commune Design to showcase the actual production as much as the product.

Each location showcases our dinnerware, tile, and homeware products from like-minded designer/makers around the United States (and beyond). Jessica says that it was great to see pillows and leather/powder coated metal furnishings by Garza Marfa (pictured above) and textiles from Covey G fave Skinny LaMinx up close and in such an inspiring setting.

The LA store is also partnered with celebrated potter Adam Silverman who produces work in the on-site studio. Hours could be spent hanging out, making it a perfect place for a pottery pilgrammage next time you find yourself in the City of Angels!

[images by Jessica Reid]