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2015 in Review: Toronto’s 12 Best New Design Stores

A dozen stores giving us the urge to splurge

Photography by Naomi Finlay

As 2015 comes to a close, we revisit 12 fresh furniture showrooms and accessory shops that caught our eye this year with their novel takes on modern and contemporary design.

For even more great Toronto shopping destinations, visit our Where to Shop page.

Shown above: Molteni & C.

Photo by Lisa Petrole.

Appliance Love inspires a passion for design-y devices
Founded by a film industry vet, this slick appliance retailer is ready for a close up. Room dividers built out of rebar frame views of fridges, ovens and dishwashers from a select cast of manufacturers, including Miele, GE Monogram and Wolf. Don’t miss Urban Cultivator’s minibar-shaped unit, which controls heating, lighting and moisture to let home chefs grow their own herbs.

Cosentino - Toronto countertop materials showroom Cosentino Surfaces.

Cosentino Surfaces showcases innovative surfacing solutions
This Spanish company has spent 80 years experimenting
. Two countertop offerings indicative of
 its serious
 R & D
 investment: Suede, a matte-finished quartz material with the texture of leather, and Sensa, a granite treated with proprietary SenGuard

 a molecular
provide sealed-drum stain resistance.


Design Within Reach collects modern classics (including Eames birds aplenty)
Newly relocated to the Design District, DWR has expanded to a refined two-storey industrial space – all the better to showcase its timeless licensed furnishings by Knoll, Cassina and Herman Miller. A light cloud installation composed of 148 glowing pendants hangs above the central staircase, while a gigantic fabric swatch wall showcases countless upholstery options from Maharam and Knoll.


G.U.F.F. is loaded with stellar vintage finds
John Jakeman’s vintage and antique emporium expanded to a huge Riverside warehouse earlier this year. Despite the bigger digs, the store is still jam-packed. Mid-century modern teak desks, Victorian buffets and art deco bookcases fill every nook and cranny. Check back often: classics by Eames or Leif Jacobsen turn up occasionally.


Hopson Grace serves up glam tableware
Two marble-topped dining tables sit at the heart of this Burdifilek-designed dishware boutique, covered in tasteful arrangements of china, cutlery and centrepieces. The sophisticated selection – pulled from such top manufacturers as Tom Dixon, Richard Brendon and Hering Berlin – is sure to impress even the most seasoned dinner party guests.


Lab Studio Design experiments with colour, texture and material
Unorthodox designs for the home abound at Kelly Caplette’s boutique, opened in Summerhill late last fall (and relocating to King East later this December). Look for vibrant and brash seating options plus objets d’art featuring geometric forms. A wooden rug by Boewer hinges together hundred of wooden triangles into a sculptural tapestry.


Molteni & C adds its luxe living solutions to Design Mile
This Italian manufacturer’s Toronto flagship emulates a luxurious penthouse, filled with neutral-toned vignettes of elegantly proportioned furniture and a handsome shelving unit stocked with Aperol and Hendrick’s Gin. Must-sees include the sliding accessory trays in the walk-in closet, which provide places for every gold necklace and pocket square, and the Multitank sink, which offers three tiers of sliding prep surfaces.


Monogram Design Centre expresses a love of cooking
Designed by Hariri Pontarini Architects, this upscale appliance showroom combines the latest additions to GE’s lineup, AyA’s kitchen cabinetry, and thin, sculptural light sheets by Partisans, hung at the top of the building’s central spiral staircase. On the second floor, an interactive cooking studio lets food-lovers test-drive the sleek ovens and stovetops on offer.


Made celebrates Canuck designers
After a decade on Dundas West, Shaun Moore moved his eclectic mix of Canadian-designed furniture and accessories to Corktown. Look for Liz Eeuwes’ collection of rugs and pillows reimagining the Canadian landscape in the pixelated style of old video games. Also on offer: customizable  shelving units, dining tables and armchairs, designed in house and by local talent.


Neat’s orderly selection marries style and utility
Long-time Queen West storage emporium Neat expanded its operations to Bayview Village, all the better to help suburban A-types maximize their space. Shelves are stocked with innovative takes on kitchen, bathroom and office tidy-uppers, including Yamazaki’s caddy-like magazine rack and Joseph Joseph’s all-in-one trash, recycling and organic waste unit.

Saudade Toronto

Saudade supplies Little Portugal with imported-from-the-motherland wares
This boutique takes its name from a Portuguese word meaning an intense longing for another person, place or time. Fittingly, shelves are stocked with classic and modern textiles, toiletries and serving ware imported from Portugal. Recessed wall niches, blue and white tiling, moulded reliefs and an antique chandelier lend the space the opulence of old-world Lisbon.


Stylegarage exhibits industrial-chic furniture
Stylegarage fêted its new location on Ossington with a grand opening during January’s Design Week. There was much to celebrate: the sprawling 1880s commercial building is replete with beautiful refurbished flooring and brick walls. Find factory chairs, oil-rubbed walnut tables and Douglas fir benches on the first floor; Gus Modern’s mid-mod collection is upstairs.

Categories: Hot Spots