I recently was invited to visit the new Urban Barn store in the Byward Market, where Roche Bobois used to be. Coming from Montreal, I was not familiar with Urban Barn but some of my peers from out west were really excited to learn that the store was opening in town. They've done a great job with the space, which took them approximately 10 weeks to transform.
I was able to sit down and talk to Rick Bohonis (on the left), president of Urban Barn and Sébastien Duhaime Fauteux (on the right), general merchandise manager for the store (photo by Christopher King).
Rick started the company 20 years ago. A broken shoulder from an accident on a construction site while working as a materials supplier is what got him into the business. He started with one store in downtown Vancouver, which grew into several stores in Canada. The Byward location is their 38th store. When the space became available, they couldn't pass the opportunity, especially considering the fact that they've been looking into opening a store in Ottawa for a while. Eventually, there might be more Urban Barn stores with possible future locations in Kanata and Orleans.
Sébastien gets to travel all over the world to find unique items for the stores. He had many stories about the people he met and items he had found. For example, they carry a line of furniture from Vietnam made of recycled timber to custom rugs made in Montreal. Sébastien gets to pick trends and this year, it's all about birds. He got a little bird obsessed he said, so you'll see a lot of accessories inspired by birds, as shown below.
Clockwise (from top left) : Floral Bird Cutout Bowl, Reflect Mirror Wall Decor, Bird & Tree Tea Light Holder, Willow Candle Holder, Crunch Square Can, Baroque Regal Pheasant Statue, Finch Glass Bird Salt and Pepper Set, Bird Nest Vases
Photos: MOOT | Elevator Communications inc | Christopher King
Earlier this year I taught a decorating class for graduating students at La Cité Collégiale. Since the objective of the course was to decorate commercial spaces, I thought it would be fun if I could find them real clients with real projects to work on. And I did! Andrew from Custom Home Interiors and Christine from Tripp Photography volunteered their spaces.
On a recent trip to CHI's showroom, I noticed that the space my students worked on for their project was under construction. CHI's owners were really happy with the design suggestions, so on top of rewarding the winning design, they decided to go ahead and implement a good portion of the changes proposed by the winning student.
The photo above shows how the showroom looked at the time my students were assigned their project. The client wanted to use that room to showcase flooring, window treatments and paint.
The winning concept makes use of the floor in the showroom to showcase some of the flooring available in the showroom.
It will be interesting to see the final result... more to come soon.
I recently came across this really neat design while browsing through an Umbra catalog : the Fishcondo. Designed by Teddy Luong, a student from Carleton University, this "fish box" is the perfect addition in a modern home. I don't think it even matters whether you have a fish or not. It's a great sculptural piece on it's own. Made with a white ABS shell, Luong's awesome and affordable concept can also be stacked, thus enabling you to create various architectural arrangements.
Not surprisingly, this design won Umbra's "Build a Better" design competition. It is currently available at unica home and the San Fransico Museum of Modern Art Store
photos : Living with white | The Well-Appointed Catwalk