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Europe is kicking back into gear—and so is this Euro-centric showroom in Riverside

Augustus Jones is where architects and designers go for hard-to-find European labels, but you can too

By Toronto Life| Photography by Daniel Neuhaus
Europe is kicking back into gear—and so is this Euro-centric showroom in Riverside

In a pocket just east of the DVP and north of Queen East’s decor-store strip, there’s a slick furniture showroom that architects and interior designers go to for hard-to-find European labels. Founder Cliff Smith, who was once the art director at beloved children’s magazines Owl and Chickadee, deals primarily with professional designers, but given a few months’ lead time for goods to arrive from Europe, private individuals with appointments can shop the showroom too. The collection is relatively small—just 17 or so brands with a strong focus on chairs—but each brand is known for its quality or innovation. There’s Fermob, maker of the Jardin du Luxembourg’s famous metal loungers, and Ton, the 171-year-old Austrian manufacturer that pioneered the ubiquitous bentwood bistro seat (design geeks know it as the No. 14 chair).

This past April, Smith’s suppliers were meant to debut their latest at Milan’s Salone del Mobile—which is where Smith would snag the season’s most beautiful pieces—but instead, their factories were closed, countries went on lockdown and the emails slowed. Requests from professional designers for future projects were only slightly down during the worst of the pandemic, which was a relief. Now, as Europe kicks back into gear, his suppliers are getting ready to ship over the delayed samples of their creations. 33 Davies Ave., 416-360-1788, augustusjones.com.

 


A few of his current favourite things…

 

Europe is kicking back into gear—and so is this Euro-centric showroom in Riverside
Chips lounge: “An excellent Prague-based furniture and lighting designer named Lucie Koldova made this light lounger for Ton. The wood for the backrest is bent by hand to mimic the shape of a potato chip, and pocket springs make for a cushy seat.” All prices upon request

 

Europe is kicking back into gear—and so is this Euro-centric showroom in Riverside
Ilia glass coffee table: “This table is designed by the prolific French designer Christophe Pillet for a modern Turkish brand called Enne. It has three adjustable heights so you can combine two or more at different levels.”

 

Europe is kicking back into gear—and so is this Euro-centric showroom in Riverside
Up Lift armchair and sofa by Prostoria: “Prostoria is a Croatian company that used to manufacture mattresses. The armchair transforms into a bed in a single motion, which makes it perfect for condos or guest bedrooms.”

 

Europe is kicking back into gear—and so is this Euro-centric showroom in Riverside
Butterfly chair: “Vincent Sheppard is a Belgium-based company that makes outdoor furniture from Lloyd Loom, a material created by wrapping kraft paper around wire that’s then woven into a fabric.”

 

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Europe is kicking back into gear—and so is this Euro-centric showroom in Riverside
Domus 175 floor lamp: “Ateliers Clarisse Dutraive is a small studio in Neuilly-Plaisance, Paris. I’m always looking for items that have lots of options, and this comes in a limitless variety of colours and diffusers.”

 

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