Living as a Mod in the 21st Century

Friday, May 7, 2010

Parka Avenue in a Top 10

According to Apartment Therapy, a great American website dedicated to home decor and design, my pad was ranked #5 in a post entitled 10 Great Canadian Small Spaces. How cool is that?

My loft might not be a strict Mod haven but I'm still honored to be mentioned on their site. My home certainly doesn't please everybody but it always leaves an impression. Most of all, it makes people smile and laugh. I never pretended to be a design guru but I'm always flattered when guests leave inspired.

Check out the post:

Speaking of inspiration, I highly recommend visiting the website for all your decorating needs. You get to see ideas from real people in real homes, unlike magazine photos that are staged by professional designers.

An essential part of their site are the Apartment Therapy Cures. This is when people exchange and share ideas on how to improve, organize and embellish their space in just 8 weeks. They are presently in full Spring Cure mode.

I'm sort of in a Spring Cure state myself. I recently decided it was time to rethink my whole media center. When I bought my loft 2 years ago, I came up with a Tetris-like entertainment center made of cement blocks and black melamine shelves. I liked the fact that I could insert CDs in the holes of the blocks. Plus, concrete blocks are cheap and fit well in an old converted factory.

I was proud of the results but it was time for a more mature look. I was ready to invest in a mid-century modern teak credenza. I have a thing for Scandinavian design. I visited a great neighborhood store called Showroom. They specialize in mid-century modern furniture. They offer a wide selection of vintage pieces at fair and competitive prices. Every once in a while, you'll come across an original designer piece for sale. Eames, Panton, Wegner, Jacobsen, Breuer, Saarinen are just a few of the names you might find stamped on chairs and tables.

I ended up leaving with a remarkable Bramin credenza signed by H W Klein. I appreciate the fact that it's longer than your standard credenza at a little over 7ft. It also has 2 pairs of sturdy legs situated at each end. This liberates space for additional storage under it. Most furniture that size have central legs to support the weight. Another interesting feature is that it has a nice finished solid teak back. You don't usually see that level of detail on your common buffet. That means I could always use it as a room divider.

To complete the look, I found 3 V-shape teak shelves in a local antique store on Amherst Street. They are perfect for holding small books or CDs. I thought they were a unique alternative to your ordinary straight shelf.

And finally, I bought this fine Scandinavian shelf system from a German seller on eBay. It’s just what I needed to display small objects. They are supposed to be hung like a picture frame but I found it to be very unstable, especially on a brick wall. So I ended up substituting the rope for a pair of small brackets.

I’m quite satisfied with the final result. I believe that my two main goals were achieved. One, I have attained a more “adult” and polished look. Two, I added some much needed storage.

Have you embarked in a Spring Cure of your own? Share your ideas! I would love to hear about them.