Introducing: Calligaris, King Street East’s newest home decor shop
The place: Toronto’s largest selection of Calligaris merchandise is housed in a heritage building, originally built in 1907 for the Sovereign Bank of Canada, on King Street just east of Jarvis. Of course, King East needs more furniture stores like Queens Quay needs more condo buildings, but this Italian import offers a sleek alternative to the more traditional styles of Up Country and the antique stores that dot the strip.
The stuff: Designed and manufactured in Italy, Calligaris pieces are all about being multifunctional. The newest design, the Odyssey ($5,286) table, is a circular table for four that, with a simple pull, swivels into an oval that seats 10; the Mascot ($1,278) doubles as a coffee table and by adding height and folding out; and the Airport ($3,834), in sleek black glass, is a dining room table that pulls out to seat a whopping 16 guests. Sticker prices are certainly not cheap, but condo dwellers who value saving space will appreciate the innovative designs.
The shoppers: The store opened just last week, but European design junkies are already flocking for the collection of convertible pieces with a look similar to (though scads cheaper than) Roche-Bobois (sadly, everything in the store costs much more than anything from IKEA).
Our favourite things: Look past the tables (and there are a lot to check out) to the selection of luxe sofas. Our favourites were the Grace Romantic ($5,631), a burlap-coloured oversized throne ideal for watching television or taking a cozy nap, and the Upgrade in slate with adjustable headrests. The Teflon-treated cushions repel stains, allowing for carefree rowdy holiday parties and pass-out spots. For a more pocketbook-friendly taste of Italy, the teak Memorabilia coat rack ($573), with wide wooden hooks, is modern and makes for a better hanger than the floor or kitchen chair.
Calligaris, 170 King St. E., 416-504-2959, calligaristoronto.ca.