I’ve been meaning to write about this subject for some time, but between summer and the Nakashima exhibition, we’ve been in a bit of a whirlwind. We haven’t shared much of our house yet, mostly because we are still settling in! It takes quite some time to feel comfortable putting art up (or acquiring it) and finding special textiles that take a space to the next level of homeyness.
We have a flex space that is currently Elodie’s bedroom (she’ll move to another room once either a) another baby comes along, or b) she escapes her crib and becomes ready for a big kid bed. She has been sleeping in here since December but we’ve only just felt like the room is complete. It’s a small space that is ALL windows and doors. So that makes for a challenge when it comes to shelving and art. I think ultimately though, this isn’t a play room. It’s a sleeping space and needs to be calm and minimal. There is a nice pop of nature out the window (in Canada you legally need to have an operable window in each bedroom, so Studio Junction made a clever little courtyard, where we are in the process of planting some bamboo).
The second we saw the Leander crib and change table we knew it would be perfect for our new home. I had some serious baby brain going on when I put it together but the craftsmanship is really solid and it’s wearing really well despite the odd bite mark around the edges. We invested in the bed because it also turns into a toddler bed, by expanding by about another foot and a half. The only worry I have is that if I turn it into a toddler bed now, we’ll eventually need another crib. I wish buying the toddler bed wasn’t as expensive as buying the crib. If anyone in the Toronto area is selling or sees one for sale, let me know!!!
We found this mobile via Remodelista (oddly I cannot find the post) and ultimately bought it from the maker as the store they had linked in the story didn’t ship to Canada. Another piece that is perfect for both a baby and an adult space (would look nice in a sheltered garden for example).
Pia Wallen Cross Baby Blanket is now available at Mjölk (though may not be online yet). Adult version also available.
Bunny was a birthday gift from a very lovely customer.
This carpet we bought via Etsy. John was looking for Moroccan rugs and this was added while he was lurking on a page. It jumped out at us for Elodie’s room. Since she lives in a pretty neutral world, we thought it’d be that extra punch of colour necessary to make it a less serious space. And even though it’s kid friendly, I think it’s a rug she could love and use into adulthood (that is, after her inevitable rejection phase).
Needing some storage we turned to the much loved Ribba picture shelves from Ikea.
Painting at top was commissioned by Melinda Josie, of our cats. The elephant picture was made by our friend Hollie as a birthday gift. The wood blocks with Elodie’s name are from our friends over at Ltd. Supply Kitchen Brewery (ok, they are our besties, but check out what they are up to if you’re into craft beer).
The Muji CD player is the perfect little thing for a nursery. The giraffe was a surprise gift from Jake of Machine Age Modern. Some vintage and new Moomin books. A Dala Horse from our wedding. The Chalk Piggy Bank was bought from Ladies & Gentlemen Studio (wow they’ve been busy!). Monkey is from our first trip to Copenhagen together. String is from when we tried to sell it in the shop but it proved too complicated. Portrait of us (just pregnant and not knowing it) is by Phillipa C in collaboration with what was Russet & Empire, during the first Junction Design Crawl (mark your calendar, next one is Friday August 23rd!!).
On the left was a gift from Arounna and John of Bookhou.
The print on the right is a signed and numbered lithograph that I coincidentally bought on the same day the rug arrived. Serendipitously they have the same colour scheme and sealed the look for the space. I happened to wander over to Williams on Keele, and as I was chatting away my eyes kept scouring. The print was originally in a fake bamboo style frame and I could only see a part of the gold section – somehow I knew it was a Japanese print worth checking out. I asked to look at it and was shocked, $45! I NEVER luck out with finds like this. Honestly, we debated putting this piece in our room, but Elodie liked it from the get go. She gave it a kiss.
We immediately took it to our new framing friends over at The Gilder. It costs a bit more to get a custom white oak frame but so much better than all the generic styles that are readily available.
The Hans Wegner J16 rocking chair and Artek Zebra Pillow. We use this rocking chair every day, and once this room is no longer a nursery, it will most likely move up to the cottage to continue to be enjoyed.
Moving away from the bedroom, we all know kids stuff gets everywhere. I was starting to feel like we have too much stuff, but have realized we barely have anything. We have two bins and half the stuff is for babies. Elodie doesn’t slow down much to play anyway. She likes running around and practicing skills like climbing up and down. So books and balls and babies are the only things she really interacts with (not even blocks!). The above cardboard box? Needs to go in the recycling…she’s over it.
Elodie loves her chair by Tomii Takashi. It’s the perfect size.
Not pictured is the Ikea easel, for colouring….
And yes, she colours outside of the box. This has been like this for weeks too. Ohhh we are certainly not perfect over here!
The Brasilia coffee table by Claesson Koivisto Rune is a perfect sort of coffee table. Soft rounded corners and hollow means we don’t have to worry about bumps on the head. Except when she climbs up onto the table and jumps off, a constant fascination.
She barely pays any mind to that Masanobu Ando sculpture. And if she does we just take it and move it up high. But generally she’s not all that interested in the stuff around the house. Now that’s obviously her personality, and not all kids will act this way. I find that she gets into trouble if she’s bored or tired.
In the living room there are some low shelves for Elodie’s toys.
Shhh sleeping bunny. Also, banana hands, everywhere, always.
Finally on this not so kid friendly yet kid friendly home tour, the rocking sheep (contact us for info, not on website), which for some reason ended up in our bedroom but has yet to leave. And really, it’s quite nice in our room. A touch of kid in an adult space.
Note: Based on this post it seems like we get a lot of free stuff, but it’s not usually the case. Babies bring the love.
We understand that shipping can be expensive, and we really wish it weren’t so. Please meet our stockists! We are so happy to be working with such an interesting variety of cafes, book stores and retail spaces. If you live near one of the following, we highly recommend you pay them a visit, if only to check out what they are bringing to their respective cities.
Analogue Books – Edinburgh, UK
BooksActually – Singapore
Fredericia Shop – Copenhagen, Denmark
Kiki – Stockholm, Sweden
Magic Pony – Toronto, Canada
Monocle Shop - Toronto, New York, London, Tokyo, Hong Kong
Parlour Coffee – Winnipeg, Manitoba
Post Espresso – St. John’s, Newfoundland
RosaBooks – China
Your Mind – Seoul, South Korea
If you live in a city that is not represented above, and know of a shop that you think would be perfect for our book, please let them, or us know!
Last week on Wednesday night we opened our doors for the opening reception of the first Nakashima retrospective in Canada. We had an incredible turn-out and we thank everyone who took the time to visit and say hello to us and the Yarnall-Nakashima family.
An Ikebana bowl specially made by Masanobu Ando, and a flower arrangement by Mira Nakashima with flowers from Coriander Girl. So beautiful!
Conoid dining chairs made with walnut and carved hickory pickets.
Beautiful lounge chairs in cherry with maple burl arms.
Asa-no-ha cabinet with a Conoid coffee table in front. Tea ceremony tools by Masanobu Ando.
Large vase by Uchida Kouichi on the left, and Urushi tea containers, and tooled tray by Shingo Tsukuda.
A Mira box / jewelry box.
Nakashima belongs in our showroom.
The most beautiful wood boxes and trays by Tsukuda Shingo.
The tori arch of the Conoid Bench.
A special vase by Japanese potter Uchida Kouichi resting on the edge of the bench.
Hand tooled wooden trays by Tsukuda Shingo.
Peeking into the rarely photographed back half of our showroom.
Tea Ceremony bowls and trays made by Masanobu Ando.
A unique collection of Calligraphy tools made by Masanobu Ando for the exhibition. Mira Nakashima was nice enough to lend us her Calligraphy brushes for the exhibition display.
One of our favourite collections in the exhibition, the desk, the Captain’s chair and the table lamp are spectacular. Hovering above is a silver glazed cross by Masanobu Ando. Ando-san doesn’t have a connection to the cross, but he saw many on a trip to Europe and thought they would make a nice wall flower vase.
Grass-seated chairs with a wall hanging cabinet.
Ultimo bench with Japanese indigo fabric.
Minguren end table with vase by Uchida Kouichi.
Black copper glazed lidded statues by Uchida Kouichi.
Hand chiseled black urushi coated tableware by famous wood craftsman Ryuji Mitani.
A collection of hammered silver works by Mami and Takejiro Hasegawa.
The Opening reception with Mira Nakashima in her summer Yukata.
A collection of woodworkers (including our architect Peter Tan) nerding out ;)
The two Johns – John Baker & Jon Yarnall (Mira’s husband, woodworker and head of the Nakashima chair department).
A big thank you to:
Fielding Estate Winery - your wine was highly complimented all evening. Thank you for helping make our evening a special success.
Sali Tabacchi – we adore your innovative program design!
Mira and Jon Yarnall, Maria and Maya for coming to Toronto to be a part of this historic event.
July 24, 7-10pm
Mira Nakashima and family in attendance.
2959 Dundas Street West
Mjölk is honored to present the ?rst Canadian retrospective of works by legendary architect and craftsman George Nakashima, and his daughter, architect, designer and head of the Nakashima Studio, Mira Nakashima. We are proud to showcase a large collection of iconic works by George Nakashima as well as new works from Mira Nakashima’s Keisho (continuation) collection. Mira Nakashima, along with her daughter Maria, and granddaughter Maya will be special guests in attendance.
Exhibition runs July 24th to August 30th.
Please note that the store will be closed July 23-24 for the installation of the exhibition. If you are looking to pick up something from our regular collection, please give us a call/email and we can accommodate your request!
The Nakashima furniture collection will be complemented by a curated collection of art by some of Japan’s most famous contemporary artisans. This group of artists include potters Masanobu Ando and Koichi Uchida, wood artisans Ryuji Mitani and Shingo Tsukuda, and metal artists Takejiro and Mami Hasegawa.
The group of artisans will provide a living context to the Nakashima collection and offer visitors an exclusive opportunity to see and purchase works by artists who seldom show work outside of their native Japan. We believe this group of artists capture the spirit of the Nakashima’s work and carry on the mission of providing beautiful well-crafted items that go beyond their basic function and provide something beautiful that enriches the soul.
We were so thrilled to host the first North American solo exhibition for Japanese wood artisan Tomii Takashi. Thank you so much for everyone who came out to the opening reception, and for the people that came to visit us the following days who weren’t available for opening night!
There are still plenty of amazing pieces still available and on display at Mjolk, so please drop by in person to see the work before it’s gone. For our supportive international customers, please hold tight as we will be adding the works to the website soon. If there is anything in particular you wanted to inquire about, don’t hesitate in dropping us a line.
Above: Wall vase (sold out)
Window decal by Sali Tabacchi.
Turned bowl with natural urushi lacquer-ware coating.
An incredible solid walnut salad bowl!
Wooden coffee mug with natural urushi coating.
right: chestnut serving tray
A hand chiseled oak tray with porcelain tea cup and saucers by Renaud Sauvé.
Chestnut canoe bowls.
A collection of serving trays on our black library shelving.
A hand carved chestnut bowl with black urushi salad servers.
A chestnut tray with specially made white-urushi plum blossom and clover dishes.
A fantastic collection of wooden cutlery.
Cherry soup spoons.
Japanese lacquer-ware sake cups.
Elodie received the nicest gift from Tomii-san. This kid officially has an amazing chair collection at 15 months old, thanks to this gift and the Børge Mogensen Shell Chair given to her by Thomas Graversen of Fredericia. This chair is especially novel for her since she can sit and get up easily from it, though because she is used to climbing onto chairs, she’s had to practice a bit. Last night she kept practicing backing into it. Too adorable.
Please mark your calenders! Next Wednesday on June 26th we are presenting the first North American exhibition for Japanese wood artisan Tomii Takashi. The evening reception starts from 7:00 – 10:00pm, and Tomii Takashi is flying here all the way from Japan to attend the opening and meet you all.
We just received a sizable collection of work that will be making it’s debut next week, and everything is incredible. I took the liberty to photograph a sampling of what to expect come opening night, all of the pieces in this post and many more will be available for sale (and not before).
Anyone who loves wood should be in attendance to this show, please invite your friends.
Here is our little write up for the exhibition:
Tomii Takashi is known as a prodigy in Japan and is quickly becoming one of the most recognized wood workers in his field. His work exhibits very clean modern forms that are contrasted by soft tool marks. These marks leave a connection to the maker, and also reveal that such refined work can be made by the hand.
Tomii Takashi’s interest in woodworking began during his one year stay in Vernonia, Oregon where forestry is the key industry. After coming back to Japan in 1995, he started to carve kitchen tools such as butter knives, spatulas, and spoons out of twigs he gathered in the nearby hills. Although he dedicated himself to science experiments throughout his student years, he was inclined to cook and collect kitchenware, ceramics, and wooden tools and furniture. Gradually he started to dream of living by making wooden tableware, and finally in 2002 when he was 25, left graduate school and entered the “Shinrin Takumi Juku” where he learned solid wood furniture making for 2 years. He then worked for Oak Village in Gifu.
In 2008, Tomii moved to Shigaraki, Shiga prefecture and started creating wooden tableware for daily use in his workshop in Minamiyamashiro, Kyoto. All of his pieces are hand tooled or turned on a lathe into very simple and beautiful shapes.
Tomii lives with his wife, Miyuki who helps his work, a daughter and a son. They are enjoying their everyday lives surrounded by rich nature.
Incredibly deep bread trays made from one solid block of chestnut.
Hand chiseled oak tray, with small sakura dish and lotus spoons.
Large Japanese white urushi lacquer-ware bowls
Tomii Takashi will see you next Wednesday!