Store Watch: Atomic Design

April 1st, 2009


Who are you?
I am a Brit who moved to Toronto in 2001. I trained as a Gemmologist in the UK and have been involved in the jewellery industry on both sides of the Atlantic for around ten years. Apart from jewellery my other passion is Mid century Modern and decorative arts.


How long has the store been open?
I opened Atomic Design last Spring May 08.


Why did you open your store?
I come from a family that has been involved in the jewellery & art business so I think opening up my own shop was a natural progression for me. Initially I intended to open up a jewellery boutique but the more I thought about it the more I felt that just focusing on one art form would not be rewarding enough for me. I am intensely interested in all aspects of design and passionate about mid century modern which I have been collecting for over ten years so it really excited me to open up this type of shop.


What can people expect to find when visiting your store?
A well edited collection of unique mid century furniture, art, lighting, modernist glass, jewellery & objects from the early 1960s through to the mid 80s.


Who are your customers?
I have a broad range of customers from all professions and age ranges. I would say that they all tend to be highly individualistic, creative, have a great sense of style and above all love design.


Favourite moment while running your store?
There have been lots of favourite moments since I opened Atomic. One of the greatest things about running this type of shop is all the interesting people that I get to meet and share my passion about design with everyday.


Worst or most Embarrassing moment?
I have not had too many embarrassing moments so far. Although we have some retractable screens that can be used to divide the space and are integral to the shop,  I was once asked how much I was selling them for.


Is there an item you regret selling?
A 1960s Czechoslovakian art glass sculpture. It had an internal air bubble suspended in the centre with a red ring encircling it like a Saturn ring. The techniques employed to create this were very skillful. I had not seen anything like this before and had to fight not to keep it for my collection.


Name something you sell in your store, that you also own in your own home?
I have a pair of original 1970’s space age pod chairs which I had reupholstered in an electric blue. They looked so beautiful that I kept one for my own loft.


What are you really interested in right now?
1960s Scandinavian Art glass. Abstract sculpture. 60s & 70s silver modernist jewellery. 70s Futurist lighting. 80s Pop Art. Allen Jones. Ettore Sottsass. Gae Aulenti.







Check out the Atomic blog for updates on news, inventory, and design history.

Atomic Design

WQW Art + Design District Member
965 Queen Street West
Toronto, Ontario M6J 3X5

Tues-Sat 12-7.
Sun-Mon by appointment.

(days and hours can change over time. These are up to date as of July 2009. Always best to call or check their website for the most recent info.)

Photos: Juli Daoust

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