Alexander the Great

[Alexander Girard by Kiera Coffee and Todd Oldham]

I have long been a fan of American designer Alexander Girard's typography, his iconic sun graphics and his whimsical wooden people. But it wasn't until I came across this beautiful book did I understand the entire breadth of his design work.

This 672 page tome published by Ammo Books covers all aspects of his design career from brand identity work to fabric design and furniture design to interiors. Co-author and Girard fan Todd Oldham went through the entire Girard archive to uncover designs that had never before been published. 

This book now lives on my coffee table in the living room and is a source of delight and inspiration every time I go through it and discover something amazing and new to me about this prolific and versatile mid-20th century designer.

The book is a bit of an investment, but is well worth the cost because it is such an exhaustive collection of his work. The news gets better: Ammo is publishing a popular edition of the book in a smaller size this fall and it can be pre-ordered here for a fraction of the price.


Issue 56 Is Now Live!

[photo by Marina Dempster]

Welcome to the June/July issue of Covet Garden. There is plenty of summer lovin' in Sara, Daniel and Adelaide's Roncesvalles Village home. The family took an earth-friendly approach to decoraton when they moved in, opting to work with their home's features and adapting their favourite furnishings rather than doing a big reno. We think you'll love the way they brought it all together.

Also in this issue: Sara shares her simply delicious salads; we get inspired by wonderful woven objects and our take on Dan's urban country gentleman style.


Auction Fever

The Design Exchange is holding its first DX Design Auction on Friday May 29th and we couldn’t be more excited about the event.

First of all, it’s an amazing opportunity to view iconic examples of design from the personal collections of many local and international designers, such as Brian Gliuckstein’s Russell Spanner chair. There are also items by Mooi, Philippe Starck, Kelly Wearstler, Bang & Olfusen and Hans Wenger.

Secondly, the auction also features so many collaborative pieces. For example, one of our favourite people, artist Alanna Cavanagh, has teamed up with West Elm to customize one of their side tables. In classic Cavanagh style, her hand-lettered Hemingway Martini Table is a real conversation piece. We also love the lovely Patrice chair by Canadian company Statum Designs in collaboration with Bluebellgray.

Thirdly, the auction looks like it will be a social event of the season. You can hobnob with people who are passionate about design like auction committee co-chairs Arren Williams, Raymond Girard and Tommy Smythe. If you don’t need any more objects in your life you can also bid on experiences such as a Trip to Fogo Island and Design Exchange memberships.

And lastly, it’s all for a good cause — supporting DX's education programs, curatorial initiatives and the permanent collection. Tickets are $50 for general admission and $100 for the Champagne Preview. Click here for a sneak peek.



Best of Etsy: Get Hitched

[1. Why The Hell Not? typography poster by Alphonnsine; 2. Save the date card by Mooseberry Paper Co.; 3. Antique engagement ring by Eric Originals; 4. Letterpress coasters by Ruffhouse Art; 5. Double pearl earrings by The Tidal Collective; 6. Ceramic caketopper by Melabo; 7. Custom cushion by Apple White; 8. Retro typewriter (for typing messages to the bride and grrom) by Petars Vintage.]

Wedding season has already begun but if your big day is still a month or so away, you can still find lots of inventive gifts, garments and decorations from Etsy. To help you find sort through all the nuptual niceties that are online, check out ovet Garden's Wedding Planner treasury for fantastic finds like the goodies pictured above and much, much more.

PS> We think that "Well Why The Hell Not?" poster makes for great inspiration after the vows have been exchanged


You Spin Me Right Round

[Marimekko pattern designer Sanna Annukka illustrated one of Jessica's favourite album covers]

It was Canadian Music Week in Toronto last week. Which got the Covet Garden team to thinking about music. And since we are a visual lot, the conversation soon turned to album cover art.

Lynda's favourite record covers are Peter Frampton's Frampton Comes Alive ("I kissed the lips off my copy," she says) and Sonny & Cher's The Two of Us, if only for the gatefold sleeve depicting the couples 1970s haute hippie home.

Jessica's an art director so it makes sense that her picks include New Order's Power, Corruption and Lies. The title of the album was based on a bit vandalism by German artist Gerhard Richter and the image is a detail of a painting by Henri Fantin-LaTour. And of course New Order was on Factory Records, which was famous for having everything they produced—from record sleeves to founder Tony Wilson's tombstone—designed by the legendary Peter Saville. She's also a big fan of illustrator Sanna Annukka, which is what drew her to the cover of KEane's secon album, Under the Iron Sea (sometimes when you judge a book — or record — by it's cover, it pays off with great tunes too).

Rhonda has a framed copy of the Rolling Stone's Sticky Fingers hanging on her office wall. The artwork for the album was conceived by Andy Warhol and photographed by fellow Factory artist Billy Name. Basically, it was a black and white closeup of a gentleman's tightly bejeaned family jewels with a working zipper stiched in. "it's the closest I'll get to owning a Warhol," says Rhonda.