Local Is the New Black: ADDRESS for a Fine Home

Sorry I’ve been MIA, but I’ve been busy working on a number of different projects that I hope to share with you soon.

Today I did some design sleuthing. The Chinatown Experiment showed up on my Instagram feed so I headed down to 434 Columbia street to see ‘ADDRESS’ an assembly of fine furniture and home accessories put together by Kate Duncan. ADDRESS is a carefully curated display of locally designed and crafted furniture, lighting, textiles, artwork, as well as natural and sculptural home accents.

business cards

I met Kate and was very impressed by the wood furniture and accents which she personally designed and made. There were beds, coffee tables, cutting boards, dressers, and an amazing bathroom cabinet made from a number of different maple finishes.

chinatown expirement bed

The lighting here by made by Alex Kyriazis out of plumbing pipe, wood and a very good looking bulb. Ceramics are by Golem Designs. The knit blankets are by Hendrik Lou, Painting by Derek Dix

bathroom cabinet

Maple bathroom vanity by Kate Duncan. Terrarium by Green with Envy.


Cutting board by Kate Duncan, owls on cutting board by Amanda Parker, ceramics by Golem Design, Terrarium by Green with Envy. Textiles by Le Fil Rouge. Hanging sculpture is by Justina Yang of Fiber Lab. Justina is a one-time structural engineer who “uses math and science to create beautiful things.”

pillows plusThe watercolour effect pillows are by  Le Fil Rouge Textiles, terrarium by Green with Envy, ceramics by by Golem Designs.

coffee tables

Kate showing me the quality of the metal work on the maple coffee tables she has made. Painting below is by Derek Dix and is a collage of evocative outdoor images.

painting by Derek Dix

artist namesADDRESS is at the Chinatown Experiment until June 3. Come down, have a look and support our local artisans and craftspeople. The work is so impressive!

A.J. Donahue’s ‘Winnipeg Chair’

My husband, Graham, and I have always had an affinity for chair collecting.  Over the years we have found and gone through many chairs.  Usually we think we will recover them but often we don’t.  Eventually we give them away or ‘store’ them in friends’ cabins. Graham found this chair at our local ‘Sellution’ consignment store.  He was immediately drawn to its design.  We did some research and found out it had a name and a very interesting history.

The ‘Winnipeg Chair’, also known as, the Canadian Coconut Chair, was designed by an Architect by the name of A.J. Donahue.   A.J. studied at Harvard with Marcel Breuer in the 1940s and explored techniques of bent wood furniture construction. After Harvard, Donahue settled in Winnipeg to teach architecture. Donahue developed his lounge chair, according to Rachel Gottlieb’s book Design in Canada (Design Exchange, 2001), in the late 1940’s in his basement with the assistance of his students. Donahue only produced about 200 examples of the chairs and we happen to have one of them.

The Winnipeg chair bears some resemblance to George Nelson’s Coconut chair—which actually wasn’t introduced until much later, in 1955.  According to Tim Borys, founder of the new furniture company HutJ, which is reissuing the Winnipeg chair, “That’s a classic Canadian story. Here’s a great design that gets swept under the rug and then it gets knocked off five years later,” Borys says, before remembering his Canadian manners. “I’ll be careful where I push that story. I don’t want to offend anyone.”