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.