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  • November 12, 2018

    The Stone House: First Snow

    A few weeks ago we got to experience the first dusting of snow at the stone house.

     

    Pure magic!

     

    Peter Tan of Studio Junction and his crew have been working at the stone house weekly to get the last bit of the reno completed. Up the path, you can see that the large picture window has been installed. They unfortunately tortured us all weekend with the plastic covering, but I guess good things come to those who wait.

     

    Another view of the picture window. This window has taken on various iterations in our imaginings. A large swing door inspired by Donald Judd was the top runner for the longest time, however, in the end in order to cut on costs, we decided it wasn't the most logical expense since we plan to inhabit this place more so in the winter time! The other version was to have a fixed window with a door, but I really felt it was important to have an uninterrupted view. I am very pleased with how the fixed window is turning out, as a deep bench has been fashioned from the inside, perfect for daydreaming.

     

    The kids finally emerged...

     

    This massive tree was still green, it's leaves so thick it was actually raining under the canopy. Unfortunately we missed seeing it turn yellow, and by the time we return all the leaves will be on the ground. Hoping to make a massive leaf pile to jump in.

     

    The snow was perfect for snowballs and snow people/pets. I shared some of those photos on my Instagram stories.

     

    Inside view of the picture window and Studio Junction temporary work station. Next visit this window area will be complete! In the meantime, we were debating what to do with this extra space. It was always meant to be a more raw workspace, a spot to get messy with paint and clay. That said, the window beckons for some cozy seating. I feel like the window will be our tv and we will want to sit in front of it all day long. 

     

    Another progress view. On the right you see a walnut cabinet that will be used to store winter gear, cleaning materials and any other things we don't want to look at. The cut out in the middle allows light through to the wood door, and also acts as a peekaboo to the outside when you enter. Additionally, that void offers a spot to sit for lacing boots.  

     

     

    A little sneak peek of a gorgeous antique cabinet purchased from Japan.  Acquiring that was a not fun adventure - antiquing in Japan from Canada is...discouraged. Also pictured is the Sutoa Drawers from FRAMA. We plan on using it in the creative space.

     

     

    We had our first impromptu guests over the weekend. Alex Fida of Angeline's Inn and House of Falconer--check out his instagram @alexfida to see his own renovation/restoration projects--in PEC popped by with some friends. Alex had originally looked at the house when it was for sale so it was exciting to show him all the work we'd done. Thankfully John had overbought food from the Cheese Boutique so we were set to receive guests--though we were short on chairs and plates!

     

    Pictured here is the amazing serving bowl with handle by Tomii Takashi and some brass servers by Mami Hasegawa. We don't currently have it listed on the website but we do have a few of the serving bowls available in the showroom ($720-$780).

     

  • October 23, 2018

    The Stone House: a few more details from the weekend

    The guest bedroom is coming together nicely with the addition of the elegant opal glass and oxidised brass Copenhagen table lamp by Space Copenhagen.

     

    The door to the guest bedroom doesn't stay where you want it to. This beautiful cast iron acorn shaped doorstop by Eva Shildt and Maja Sten for Svenskt Tenn has been hanging around our house in the city, but with no doors that need stopping, it's finding a more useful life at the stone house.

     

    Another shot of the Hans Wegner Peacock chairs. This corner is still in progress.

     

    Painting by Sean Stewart.

     

    A closeup of the Swedish kakelugn tile stove. Although we have big love for the round versions, it's special to have a mantle to display some beloved objects. Some antique finds on the left, a couple of Masanobu Ando's Box of Air sculptures and a meiping shaped vase acquired at an antique shop/cafe in Japan several years ago.

  • October 19, 2018

    The Stone House: Bathroom

    Dreaming of going to the stone house. Don't you just love the deep window sill? Objects are starting to accumulate. Troll Vase by Anderssen & Voll, lavender from Coriander Girl in Picton, a Märta Måås-Fjetterström textile, some natural finds from Frank and Emily's summer stay, a special edition urushi Kin tea light holder by Claesson Koivisto Rune, a watering can bought from an antique market in Tokyo and the newest addition, a brass candle holder found during our last stay at one of the antique shops in Stirling.

     

    This old door handle really gets me. Seeing it photographed though, it deserves some better screws...add that to the to do list!

     

    John recently installed some Matureware hardware, including this neat adjustible lock, available for special order via Mjölk.

     

    There are two doors into the bathroom. I think on our next visit we need to sand what appears to be a wood door handle.

     

    Also installed in a few locations are Matureware brass light switches. So much better than the readily available standard plastic. I want to change all our switches everywhere but it only comes in single or double.

     

    Enjoying the Alma pendant.

     

    The Belgian barber cabinet has a few items in it. I like how we have closed storage in the bottom and then some glass display shelves as well. The other two urushi Kin, plus an antique wooden head and a Byredo  candle from a very kind customer. On top, an antique mask, and Socket Light from Menu (currently in stock despite what the webshop says).

     

    Overview shot of the bath area, with antique stool. On the wall is a bronze wall vase prototype in the spirit of Masanobu Ando and Tomii Takashi's wall vases. We are hoping to produce some in time for the holidays.

  • October 12, 2018

    The Stone House: an autumn weekend

    It's been awhile since we've been to the Stone House. In part because it's still a little under constuction, but also because of the usual September busyness of back to school and an increase in customers at the shop who have returned from their summer activities. 

     

    The kids had a four day weekend over Thanksgiving so we decided we needed to go for a visit. Thankfully Peter Tan from Studio Junction accommodated us, despite his (very tidy) construction zone. 

     

    It was heaven. A perfect sort of moody, foggy, drizzly but not too wet weekend. Everyone was so calm and happy, and surprisingly busy with the little things.

     

    I spent quite a bit of time enamoured with the landscape. The colours were just changing so it was mostly golds and greens, with splashes of red and purple. The property becomes so lush over summer it's interesting to see everything wither. 

     

    This front area is the only larger open field area that we have. Last year the middle patch was so natural and pretty. Our farmer friend razed it last fall and we tried to till and plant wildflowers but unfortunately something else took hold, a variety of very strong grasses/wheat? It didn't have the same appeal so we are going to cut it back again and work a smaller section. I guess it'd be good to have a larger space to play too.

     

    I imagine using this open space for archery. It's the one thing from my day camp days that I loved doing and never ever got to do it enough. If anyone has any tips on real kid friendly sets or places to buy, let us know via email. I started looking while in Belleville and am not sure the hunting shops would sell leisure/kid friendly archery equipment.

     

    Under construction, Peter and his crew have been working hard on the drive through doors - they will become a solid wood entryway and on the other side a large picture window. The concrete pads have been poured, hence the protective tent.

     

    Glad that the cornfields are still hanging around. They were working across the street on Friday...but seem to get to these fields last which I appreciate.

     

    This is the only window we didn't switch out. I am sure we will come to regret that as the wind begins to whistle through. I am enjoying this little view into the kitchen.

     

    We are just waiting on the glass panel for this massive picture window that will look out onto our tiny apple orchard. They found a perfectly good concrete pad already there so to make things easier, the window will sit atop a concrete ledge but the bonus is we will have a little bench on the inside, perfect for contemplation.

     

    More textures, colour and fog.

     

    I found John under the only producing apple tree. Unfortunately all the apples had fallen but he was salvaging what he could.

     

    No filter required, these apples are pretty much the only colour going right now.

     

    I am pretty envious of John's get up. Where can I buy this without going to the UK? Not a rhetorical question, shoot me a message via juli_at_mjolk instagram or Mjolk email. It sounds silly but I feel I need an appropriate wardrobe of tweeds and horseback riding fashion breeches (I had a great pair from Club Monaco circa 1994. What ever happened to Club Monaco? They lost me awhile back...). 

     

    We have lots of little paths around the property. Here I found the kids exploring on their own.

     

    Meanwhile, inside we drank a lot of coffee, had fires, and enjoyed the dark moody interior. The kitchen is obviously still a work in progress but the light, THE LIGHT! It's like living in a Vermeer.

     

    On Saturday we went into Belleville, to L'Auberge du France for some promised french fries. Next door is Scalliwag Toys which we popped in to grab a new board game (based on my Instagram Stories and availability, we bought Ticket to Ride). We were feeling a wee bit high on family life and ended up buying the deluxe Brio train set...and a Playmobile bakery too. The owners of the shop were very sweet -- the very reason it's important to SHOP LOCAL. I don't know how this little shop survives with all the big box shopping mall competition but I hope that locals begin to appreciate their very cute and walkable downtown main street. It's high time we reclaim our retail landscape.

     

    A mini tour of Belleville, to inspire you to shop local. 

     

    Left: Scalliwag Toys and L'Auberge du France cafe.

     

    Middle: Stephen License Bicycles & Hobbies - this place is so classic.  We almost went in but I was feeling reckless and knew I'd end up buying an electric John Deer riding car or something. Also the reason we didn't go into the neighbouring pet shop...that bunny in the window was so cute and living life in a cage that was past due for a clean up. It's important to know when you have no boundaries.

     

    Right: We haven't been to The Lark yet, but know many people who have or who know the owners so we look forward to visiting the next time we are up and without kids.

     

    Funk & Gruven A-Z antique shop and Howell talking to 1974.

     

    Back at the stone house, the kids were playing hide and seek, which always tickles me considering there are nearly no places to hide. Howell usually ends up running shoeless outside in search of cover so Elodie ended up out there too. They returned about 5 minutes later with a bucket of leaves and proceeded to work quietly on the perfectly positioned large scale Fly coffee table. Using the leaves they acquired they did leaf studies. Be still my heart!

     

    So quiet, so focused.

     

    The Hans Wegner Peacock chairs are together again. We just couldn't separate them, despite our best intentions to buy two and sell one to pay for the other.  That corner needs work but it's a great start! It's my newspaper reading corner.

     

    Next post will be about some new hardware and small design objects.