These days, when designers source décor objects like furniture, lighting, and design pieces, the one constant is to find a few really great eclectic pieces to throw into a space to generate a visual buzz.
This mindset of looking for objects that satisfy that craving for utter originality and the need for sophistication is now, more than ever, driven by the demand to share aspirational design visuals online.
MADE is a Toronto-based store, situated in the creative hub of the King East design district, stocking exactly those pieces that will generate the required room-buzz, not only for the people using the space but also for those who will view it on social media. These items are definitely different but still retain a sleekness and high-end appeal. All items are hand made by Canadian designers including the owner, Shaun Moore, who makes clean, modern and luxurious custom furniture his "specialty". (A notable design credit includes upholstered benches for the Toronto International Film Festival).
Moore curates the store's selection based on his own preference to offer only the unusual and his desire to exclusively support contemporary Canadian artists and designers.
MADE is the place for anyone, whether design professional or end consumer, looking for curated pieces that will be noticed.
Below is an image of a Stack of Plates, but actually it is a light fixture! Yes, you are reading correctly: this really is a light fixture! Made by an incredibly imaginative design duo, Annie Tung and Brad Turner, who envisioned stacking the waterjet cut vintage china plates, crowning it with teacups and adding a central light diffuser, this is piece takes the concept of an ordinary item to the extraordinary. Very Alice In Wonderland and perfect for your private Mad Hatter tea parties. There is only one available which is the last of an edition of 3.
Next up is another standout piece available through MADE that would be very easy to incorporate into any space. The Rise/Set Mirror by Dayna Gedney and Niel Bothelo. This mirror creatively capitalizes on the trend of incorporating a mirror with a shelf but is executed in a particularly poetic way with an homage to the Sun (represented by the mirror) rising and setting on the horizon (the shelf). My suggestion would be to place it above something, like a long bench or possibly above a retro-styled credenza. size. This piece is made to order in 4-7 weeks and is available in 2 sizes and 2 finishes (Walnut or Maple).
Bring an empty wall to life with prismatic colours! The Chroma Curio Shelf by Annie Tung can be called one of the three: wall art, 3 dimensional tile, or a practical shelf to display small objects. It is recommended to place it near an ambient light source (window or electric fixture) to display the rainbow of shades. MADE's description also mentions that the most striking feature of this object is "how the iridescent film paints colourful shadows on the wall and how the two panels intersect so that the 'hot' and 'cool' colours blend together in their shadows and reflections". However you decide to use it and whatever you decide to call it, this highly innovative object will add great interest to a space.
Here is the gorgeous Bevel Edge Dining Table with a solid walnut top and fun-coloured, powder-coated metal frame made by Shaun Moore. This table is made to order in a variety of sizes and colour choices for the metal base. What is really special about Moore's designs is the quality of the materials and finishing. I am extremely picky and difficult to impress but Moore satisfies my standards with the quality of his work.
Called the Common Copper Chair, MADE's online description states this "traditional Mennonite design has been modernised through distinct gentle tapers and unusual rail placement". As a decorator who has seen many, many chairs, I don't find this chair's form to be what sets it apart from the norm but I can say this is definitely one-of-a-kind in its finished material. The chair's name references the actual coating of a thick shell of copper over a solid maple wood base. MADE claims the copper coating on this piece will develop a patina over time. Amazing!
MADE has all you need to make a space statement and, at the same time, has object that serve the more practical need for living which is, after all, the most important aspect of good design. No matter how striking a piece may be, it must be functional to be a winner.
MADE has a physical retail space in Toronto and also has an online store offering shipping across Canada and internationally.
To learn more about the store's projects and products, visit MADE.
Interested in seeing some more innovative Canadian design objects? Check out these houseporn.ca articles:
All photos courtesy of MADE.
Researched and written by Namrita Kohli, student in the Interior Decorating Certificate Program, George Brown College.