Taking Stock: five Toronto trendsetters tell us what they can’t live without

Taking Stock: five Toronto trendsetters tell us what they can’t live without

We talked to five Toronto trendsetters from the fashion, art and design worlds who make a living selling style. Here, an inventory of home stuff they can’t live without

Daniel Faria

Co-owner of the Clark and Faria gallery and co‑chair of this year’s PowerBall, Faria is an art-worshipping man about town who calls a Victorian semi at Dundas and Euclid home

Describe your decor style
Easy modern, but you can still put your feet up. I like my home to feel welcoming.

Colour palette
Black and white—a blank canvas, so that the art and objects are the focus.

Favourite piece of art
I love them all. From the first piece I ever bought—a Roy Arden from the Fragments series—to the most recent: a Scott McFarland photograph called “Gorse and Sky.”

Biggest splurge
My first Scott McFarland photograph, “Inspecting.” I bought it six years ago when it was a real stretch for me financially. I cashed in my RRSPs, but I don’t regret it.

Item at the top of your wish list
I’m lusting after the Brad Turner decanter and glass set from this year’s Made exhibition, Radiant Dark. And Tom Dixon wingback chairs.

Most lived-in room
My home revolves around the den and the TV. Friends drop in to watch favourite shows or listen to music. It’s the nucleus of the house.

Most-used appliance
My PVR. I can’t miss Big Love, The Amazing Race, The Joy Behar Show, Nurse Jackie, Brothers and Sisters…

Cherished memento
The photograph of Madonna on my bedside table. My friends and I took it when we saw her perform in the West End play Up for Grabs. We waited at the stage door to see her leave the theatre. It was ridiculously cheesy but surreal to be that close.

Light fixtures
I have the As We Cascade design by Rob Southcott hanging in my dining room. It’s absolutely stunning. He’s a great young Canadian talent.

Your most recent purchase
I had always wanted an original, worn-in Eames lounger and ottoman. Luckily, a friend of mine was selling one from the early ’60s. I sit in it every morning while I check e-mail on my laptop.

Biggest reno project
Rewiring the house and waterproofing the basement—pretty boring. But I feel a major kitchen reno coming on soon.

Best bargain
My mid-century modern teak dining room set. It was $800 at Ritchies for six chairs, an expandable dining table and a hutch.

Best housewarming gift you’ve received
My friend Michael Macaulay gave me this pedestal fruit bowl. “You’re Portuguese, moving into Little Portugal—you need plastic fruit,” he told me. It sits proudly on the dining room hutch.

(Image: photography by John Cullen, light by Devin Jeffrey)

Christie Smythe and Andrea Lenczner

The design duo behind the Toronto fashion label Smythe have turned the boyfriend blazer into an art form

Appliance you can’t live without
Christie: My Cuisinart vege­table steamer.
Andrea: The oh-so-sexy Dustbuster. I am obsessed with it and use it all the time. My husband hates the noise.

Inherited treasures
Christie: An antique chinoiserie mirror that was given to me by my grandmother.
Andrea: Mid-century Scandinavian pieces passed down from my husband’s family—a sideboard, a coffee table and chairs.

Best bargain
Christie: Corelle unbreakable sectioned plates for kids, from Walmart. They’re remarkably good looking for something so practical.
Andrea: Tracy Kendall Scroll Art—it’s actually framed wallpaper—for he kids’ rooms, from Hollace Cluny.

Your most recent home purchase
Christie: Fluf Floats—they’re oversized floor cushions for the family room.
Andrea: Taschen’s Julius Shulman, Modern­ism Rediscovered (V 1–3).

Colour palette
Andrea: Shade upon shade of white, cream and grey. And every imaginable hue of blue.
Christie: Grey, black and white, with pink and red accents.

Object that makes you happy
Andrea: My colourful Sophie Cook ceramics collection.
Christie: An origami mobile I made for my daughter, Coco, when I was pregnant.

Christie: Always white Athena hotel sheets from Dreams Bed and Bath Decor.
Andrea: The same.

Light fixtures
Christie: I’m obsessed with lamps. I love lampshades lined in gold—they cast the prettiest, warmest light.
Andrea: I have a very cool resin dining room light fixture from Phil’z.

Where to shop for a splurge
Andrea: 1stdibs.com.
Christie: Klaus by Nienkämper.

Where to shop for a deal
Andrea: My mother’s house.
Christie: St. Lawrence Sunday Antique Market.

Item at the top of your wish list
Andrea: A vintage Poul Kjaerholm leather daybed.
Christie: Christopher Wahl’s limited edition portrait of Queen Elizabeth.

Biggest splurge
Christie: I bought vases at L’Atelier and had them made into custom bedside lamps at Residential Lighting.
Andrea: A hand-loomed mohair throw from Finland. I don’t want to tell you how much it was.

(Images: mirror, vases, origami and blanket by devin jeffrey)

Nicholas Mellamphy

The creative mastermind of The Room, The Bay’s temple of couture, has outfitted everyone from Lucy Liu to Laureen Harper. He lives in a condo at Yonge and St. Clair (and refers to it as “the suburbs”)

Describe your decor style
Minimalist. Probably more masculine than you’d expect, and very streamlined. I hate to use the word Zen, but it’s quiet and mellow.

Appliance you can’t live without
My oven, because that’s where I keep all my mail. Literally—it’s stacked up inside. I never cook
at home. I don’t even like the smell of food in my apartment.

Favourite room
My bedroom. I don’t know why I have other rooms. I love Sunday mornings, lying in bed, having
my coffee.

Favourite art
I’m a big lover of celebrity photography. I have a series of Linda Evangelista photos. My all-time favourite is a black and white portrait of Donna Summer and Barbra Streisand by Francesco Scavullo, taken in the late ’70s. It was such a glamorous time period.

Where to get a bargain
The markets in Paris are great for deals on knick-knacks. At one point, I was really into buying figurines, so I have a lot: the Eiffel Tower, the Statue of Liberty, little souvenirs. I keep them in the bathroom.

Inherited treasure
I have a black lacquer music box with a geisha girl on it. It was originally my grandmother’s, and as a kid I was enamoured of it. I’ve turned it so many times that it doesn’t work anymore. I keep cuff­links in it now.

Current obsession
Sneakers and bow ties. When you walk in the door of my condo, all my shoes are lined up neatly: velvet, suede, all sorts of unique runners.

Morning ritual
I have about five espressos every morning. I spend two hours preparing myself for the day—sitting down with the newspapers, looking at fashion and celebrity gossip Web sites. By the end of it, I’m majorly wired.

Biggest reno project
For me? That’d be changing a light bulb.

Design inspiration
Tom Ford is a huge influence after all my years working as an assistant manager at the Gucci store. The clean lines, meticulous details, and everything just so.

Item at the top of your wish list
I’ve been looking everywhere for the perfect coffee table. I haven’t had one for three years, but I’ll know it when I see it.
mirror, vases, origami and blanket by devin jeffrey

Arounna Khounnoraj

The co-owner of Bookhou, a Dundas West indie design boutique that makes Canadiana cool, lives above the store with her husband and two kids

Describe your design inspiration
Natural materials and clean lines. I like Scandinavian design, mid-century modern furniture and textiles, vintage objects for flair, and Japanese Zakka—it’s kind of like Asian kitsch.

Favourite art
Abstract paintings by my husband, John Booth. They’re mostly monochromatic and look like architectural spaces.

Sound system
It’s a Tivoli Audio Model One. It’s mainly a radio, but I plug in an iPod for all of my playlists, and we use a Technics SL-1200 turntable for all of our vinyl. My husband likes soul, and I like newer stuff, like Metric.

Favourite room
Our bedroom, even though it’s small. It’s cozy, peaceful and a lovely place to start and end the day.

Always white sheets from IKEA.

Best bargain find
I found vintage wire baskets at a studio sale for $2 each. I use them for all my storage in the shop and in the studio. I like how I can see what’s inside.

Light fixtures
My husband and I make our own lampshades out of linen or wood veneer.

Appliance you can’t live without
I spend a lot of time with my Juki sewing machine and my Rowenta iron. I make all the pillows, tea towels and children’s clothing we sell.

Most ambitious reno war
The building that houses our shop, our apartment above it, and both our studios. It took a lot of manual labour from friends to get us up and running quickly.

Where to shop for a splurge
One of my favourite places to indulge is the One of a Kind Show and Sale. I love ceramics, and they have great stuff there.

Where to shop for a deal
We go antique-hunting at MacCool’s in Prince Edward County and all over Bruce County, which is where we found an old farm table from the late 1800s for about $1,200. We bought it as a wedding present to ourselves.

Best housewarming gift
My sister-in-law gave us three tall, hand-thrown white vases by Hilary Masemann. We’re “makers,” so we love getting and giving handmade goods.

Object you’re obsessed with
My Fiskars scissors—they work like a charm and fit perfectly in my hand.

(Images: pillows by Felix Wedgwood)