Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Queen Street West: Part 1

This picture says it all:

Queen West: a lively, vibrant, and edgy neighbourhood in Toronto where fashion, restaurants, and home decor all at your reach within a 30 minutes walk.  Since Queen West has so much to offer, this entry focuses on the hot spots between Bathurst and Shaw.  

I started from the west end this time and the first stop was Style Garage and Gus Studio.  The two stores are owned by the same owner.  While Style Garage offers pieces that are more refined and slightly higher in price range, Gus Studio takes on a more relaxed and wallet friendly approach.  This is the vision shared by both companies:

The previous makeover entries of my living room and bedroom featured two great pieces from Style Garage.  Needless to say, I'm a big fan of the store.  I particularly like how they combine warmth and comfort to their edgy/industrial approach in designs.

The featured items on display:  I love the warm leather and wood contrast with the brushed stainless steels .. .and that reindeer rug!

Here are a few more pieces that caught my eyes:

Next stop: Ella + Eillot

I know this is a baby store, but this store offers pieces that appeal to the big baby in all of us as well!  I am in love with a couple of the framed simple prints by Enzo Mari  and this is also where I got my Hans Bolling ducks (a.k.a. scary allien ducks per Chris).  Ella + Eillot has proven that parenthood and stylish home can live happily ever-after!

Within minutes after Ella + Eillot, you will find Polka Dot Kids:

You will feel a warm welcome the moment you step into the store.  I can't really pin point why I felt so comfortable in this store but you will know what I mean when you go check the store out.  Polka Dot Kids offers a wide range of products including kids clothings made from organic cottons, decorative items and crafty supplies from Japan, and unique cookie cutters!

Check this out:

So far, I've scored some great Japanese cotton tapes for my lamp shade project, a decorative bird house to frame up as art, some delicate mushrooms for gift wrapping, and a cute bear cookie cutter from Polka Dot Kids.  Just look at how adorable and irresistible these shoes are!

A few stores down the street is the Paper Place: my all time favorite for Japanese craft supplies and THE paper source for all my Sarah's Books.  They carry a wide range of Japanese papers, card stocks, stationaries from Japan, and many books on origami.

The Paper Place also carries a selection of cards for all occasions, and here are a couple that put a smile on my face:

We are probably a little tired and hungry by now after all the walking and shopping.  No worries ...  Nadege is just across the street!

Although it is known for its sweet treats, the coffee and sandwiches at Nadege may just be the doctor's order after a couple of hours of shopping.  Located right next to the Trinity Bellwoods Park, it's the perfect place for tired shoppers to pick up a light and tasty treats, sit at the park, and reenergize before another round of shopping!

Here is why you don't want to miss Nadege:

and just look at how stylish the place looks...

Moving on to our next stop, Chatelet

Although the items at Chatelet are usually more girly or romantic than what I normally like, the store always surprises me with one of a kind unique pieces that keep me coming back the store.  On this visit, I love this pendant fixture and this antique bar cart:

Only if I have the space for them, otherwise they would be coming home with me.

Off to Pavilion, the store first came to my attention as Sarah's office used to be just acrossed the street and a few great finds were featured on her show.

This store offers furniture, lighting, and accessories that are clean-lined with a traditional flair.  Best of all, many pieces in the store are very similar to their high-end cousins but at a much more affordable price range.   Check these out:

and for those who know me, I'm a sucker for pillows and for this season, I'm all for felt.  Here is my pick:

Who knew this simple material we used in art class back in elementary school can be so chic and stylish!

A few minutes away is Neat: the ultimate home organization store

When most of us think of home organization, we think of those options from Ikea or Business Depot.  And since they are not always attractive looking, many of these home organization products tend to spend more of their lives behind closed doors.

Neat has breached the gap between function and style, offering us the final solution to a clutter-free, functional/practical, stylish living space.

Love this cake stand and the dish rack...

Morba is up next.  This store focuses on mid-century modern inspired furniture, lighting, accessories, as well as some new pieces that are very on trend.  The prices are reasonable and there's always something interesting in the store.

I love this grouping pendants and check out these Tom Dixon's inspired fixtures:

I love my Cherner side chairs from the 60s but I'm still short on two end chairs for dinner party.  I'm still not sure if I want the Cherner arm chairs yet, since I think that maybe a bit too matchy matchy.  Instead, I thought these may work:

Abraham's Trading Inc. is also a great place for vintage and one-of-a-kind finds!  

It may scare you but just set your brain at treasure hunting mode and make sure you go through the store twice, since you probably have missed something the first time around.  Don't believe me, see for yourself.

My last stop on this trip is Mokuba, a high-end place for ribbons.  

Prices are more expensive here but you sure have a lot of high qualities and unique options to choose from.  

and this is what I got for this trip.  

You will see what I'm doing with this soon.  Stay tuned!


  1. I enjoy reading your blog posts so much. They are always so thorough and thoughtful. Makes me want to drive there ASAP!

    BTW - I loved your bedroom storage. Would you mind sharing the source for the custom work. Also, how do you get in touch with Noel to get a price quote? They never seem to answer the phone at his store!

  2. Hi Trio,

    Thanks for the encouragment! I enjoyed blogging as well.

    The custom work is from a Chinese place. Don't know their name in English but the contact there is Peter (416)520-7338 and it's up in Scarborough.

    As for Noel, you will just have to keep trying. He is normally at the back working so he doesn't pick up his phone most of the time and yes, he does have a tendency of not returning calls.

    with me, I started going to Noel 3 or so years ago and that's why he's not as busy as he's now. I didn't ask for a quote to begin with since I thought there are no other places for me to get the pieces sprayed anyway. So whatever he says I guess I will have to be ok with it. But his pricing is quite reasonable. A kitchen door for about $30 + the cost of paints.