Tuesday, May 29, 2012

International Architecture and Design Magazine: Markham House

Thanks to Alex Bozikovic for a great write up in International Architecture and Design magazine on a recently completed project.  We started working on furnishings and interiors for this house, then landscaping and then added a second floor addition.

Link to article and photos here

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Favourite Room in the Globe and Mail

How an interior designer uses antiques to liven up his den

For the past four years, Toronto interior designer Mazen el-Abdallah has lived in a downtown Victorian row house that he renovated himself.

“I was just starting up my design business, Mazen Studio, and wanted to create a real live-work space where I could work but also relax,” the 33-year-old Ottawa native says.

He revitalized the space by opening up a second bedroom to the hallway to create a second-floor den furnished with vintage pieces and modern photography. It’s easily his favourite room: “It’s like a private cocoon in the middle of the house. I spend a lot of time here decompressing, reading, going through magazines and browsing auction sites for more furniture.”

The side board

“I spotted this rosewood credenza through the window at Zig Zag [on Toronto’s Queen Street East] one night and rushed over the next morning to buy it. I had been looking for one for months, and this had spectacular lines to it.”

The antique mirror

“I found it after brunch one morning and thought its proportions worked perfectly over the credenza. The dark blue with gold leaf complements the blue-black doors and brass accents in the house. I placed it across from the windows to increase the natural light.”

The prints

“I bought these at [OCAD University’s] graduation show several years ago. They’re by a fantastic artist, Tek Yang.”

The photographs

“These photos, by artist Tricia McKellar, are of an abandoned water-treatment plant in Raleigh, N.C. I love the intensity of colour and texture. They’re a great reminder of the effects of time on buildings.”

The day bed

“This day bed was a housewarming gift from my friend Suzanne Dimma [editor-in-chief of House & Home magazine]. I love the colour and pattern it brings into the room.”

The leather sofa

“I spotted this antique leather sofa at Cynthia Findlay Antiques [in Toronto]. The scale of it was perfect for the small room. I love the texture of aged leather and the sense of history it brings to a house.”

The coffee table

“This is a 1960s Karl Springer white lacquered Linen Coffee Table. It’s four feet square and can hold all the books and magazines I go through.”

Monday, January 30, 2012


We are thrilled to have been invited by The Interior Design Show to participate in this year's 'How Do You Live?' exhibit. Six designers were each given a 20' x 8' shipping container, and asked to create a room installation. Here are some photos from the event.

A few people we want to acknowledge:

First off, a huge thanks to Shauna Levy and her team at The Interior Design Show (Judy Merry, Jennifer Kreyssig, Kristen McDonald and the rest of the team), the entire team at Faulhaber PR, Jonathan and Curtis at Juiceworks, and all our sponsors who helped make it possible.

The beautiful tumbled oak herringbone oiled floors came from Moncer Specialty Flooring. They added instant character to the space. It leaves me wanting them at home. If you can, you should visit their serene and inspiring showroom in Jordan village, designed by Iain Stewart.

The stunning vintage Borge Mogensen sofa came from Scandinavian Modern in Winnipeg. We loved it so much, we decided to keep it for our new office space (more on that later). There is nothing quite like the softness of 50 year old leather with down filled cushions.

The sculptural spalted maple coffee table with the intricate detailing is by Don Howell, available through Caviar20. Owner Troy Seidman has some beautiful things and is one of our favourite sources for one of a kind pieces.

The leather lounge chair and slatted bench were both designed in the 1960's by the amazing Brazilian designer, Sergio Rodrigues, and are available through Avenue Road. The chair has no mechanical fasteners, and is assembled with a series of dowels.

The vintage rosewood bookcase was from ZigZag. We're keeping this beauty as well. It is from Norway, and we suspect from the 1970's. We added a beautiful piece of marble to the modular system. Our friends at Greengold Construction Ltd and AST helped us out with this. It instantly transformed this wall unit into an office / dining space. David MacHenry Design took care of the solid brass leg, giving it a patina that is perfectly muted. David also made the wall mounted black lacquer and rosewood cabinet that we designed.

The ever popular and classic leather round mirror is by BDDW and provided by Hollace Cluny. It is inspired by an original design by Jacques Adnet, who made some of the most beautiful furniture for Hermes.

The art above the sofa is by Tricia McKellar. It got alot of interest. I found them years ago, had Tricia blow them up to 30" x 40" each. We're contemplating another of her prints.

The black and white drawing of the chairs and table is by Montreal artist Helene Cenedese. We love her work, and look forward to adding a few more of her pieces to the collection.

We recently discovered Ateliers Des Cent Ans, run by Renaud Sauve. Renaud makes truly beautiful heirloom quality pottery, which he graciously lent us for the show, and which we ended up buying. He is definitely one to watch. I also think he has one of the most beautiful websites.

And a huge thanks to our friends and clients who helped us with loaning us art from their collections, and helping with moving, set up and takedown. We are forever grateful.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Weekend To End Women's Cancers Walk

A HUGE thankyou to everyone who supported me in the 30km walk this weekend with the House & Home Magazine team. With your help, our team was able to raise $25,000, contributing to the $10.8 Million raised by the over 4,600 participants.

We started our walk at 8:30 am at the CNE grounds in downtown Toronto, and wove through the city, ending at Downsview Park at 3:15 pm, where we proudly crossed the finish line arm in arm. Along the way were thousands of generous people who gave their time to offer us food, drink, cheer and a reminder of why we were doing this in the first place. It was truly moving.

I can't think of a better group of people to walk with! Thanks to each one of you! It's an experience that I'll remember for a very long time.

- Mazen el-Abdallah

first photo L-R: Mazen el-Abdallah, Suzanne Dimma, Christina Tsui, Ryan Louis, Sheri Graham, Charlene Gilmour, Mark Challen, Lynda Reeves, Michel Zelnik, Ryan Sargent.
(Jason Stickley not shown in first photo, but is in the second photo on the right.)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

House & Home September 2010

Check out our feature cover story in House and Home's September 2010 issue.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Arne Jacobsen

We had the pleasure of hearing New York architect Michael Sheridan talk about one of our favourite designers, Arne Jacobsen last night at Gingers Bath in Toronto. Michael Sheridan is a leading authority on Arne Jacobsen and author of 'Room 606: The Sas House and the Work of Arne Jacobsen'. It was truly inspiring to trace the progression of Arne Jacobsen's ideas throughout his life, and how they manifested themselves in architecture, furniture and everyday objects.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Our New Facebook Group

We're very excited at the studio about the various projects we're working on this year! We've just launched our facebook group, and are working on launching our website in a few weeks!

We'll be using our facebook group to keep you informed about our various projects, and about various noteworthy events, blogs, and all things that inspire us.

We have just uploaded many project images, so click on over to facebook, and join our new 'mazen studio' group.