Unique, Canadian-designed homeware to put on your radar
Designed here, made with integrity, these are finds to treasure.
As much as many of us love big box stores and mass-market chain retailers for their broadly appealing designs, wide range of prices and convenient ubiquity, there's something to be said for decorating with unique accessories and fixtures that you won't see in all of your friends' homes, too.
Outside of custom commissions and sourcing vintage items on the second-hand market, the other option for finding more exclusive finishes and décor items for your apartment or house is to source from smaller, local companies with smaller production runs. Not only will you be supporting independent makers and designers, but sometimes prices can be comparable to buying from a high-end store, especially if you're buying online and have to pay for shipping or customs and taxes. Plus, there's no reason you can't mix-and-match — for example, why not pair your minimalist Ikea platform bed with a handcrafted-in-Toronto floating nightstand?
Designed in Vancouver and made in Lithuania using pre-washed natural linen, this collection of home textiles takes its colour inspiration from British Columbia's diverse landscapes. The textured linen feels soft, and is substantial yet airy enough to have on your bed year-round.
Sömn linen pillowcase, $65, orlingandwu.com
Rock Huynh and My Le Nguyen, a husband and wife team in Toronto's West End, launched their custom door and furniture shop in 2012. Since then, they've expanded the business to include a few patent-pending, made-to-order styles of barn door hardware and kits, and even rolling library ladders and hardware.
Custom ladder, 1925workbench.com for details
Designer Dustin Kroft offers made-to-order, custom and ready-made furniture and décor items from his Toronto workshop. This minimalist nightstand, for example, is made using solid wood and comes with a mounting kit that works even on drywall.
Buoy Too walnut floating nightstand, $598, ca.croft.co
Old Faithful Shop
This Gastown, Vancouver-based homewares store carries everything from Japanese ceramics to American chocolates, but they also have an in-house line of thoughtfully-designed products. Their brushed brass pendant light is both designed and assembled in Vancouver, and can be customized upon request.
Brushed Bent Brass Pendant, $194.95, oldfaithfulshop.com
Designed in Canada and made in Peru, BLACKSAW's luxurious blankets, throws and other accessories are sustainably-produced with natural or upcycled fibers. The super soft baby alpaca blanket is made without dye and woven using "humanely shorn" wool.
BLACKSAW Rattlesnake Baby Alpaca Reversible Throw, $395, holtrenfrew.com
Coolican & Company
The tagline for this small, Toronto-based furniture company is "endlessly durable - purposefully made," which says a lot about designer Peter Coolican's intentions. Every locally-made item is part of a numbered, limited-run batch; the minimalist pieces are designed to be durable, and classic enough to be aesthetically pleasing for years to come.
Abbott Stool, $289, coolicanandcompany.com
Alphabet, the furniture-making arm of a Montreal design firm, specializes in sleekly modern, slightly industrial furnishings. The angular Île lamps series, for example, mixes LED strips with maple hardwood and powder-coated steel.
Île Lamp B, $824.95, alphabet.machina-da.ca
This Montreal retailer and manufacturer has its own workshop, where you can also have furniture custom-made from thousands of different fabrics, leathers and other materials. In 2014, RENO collaborated with local fashion designer Marie Saint Pierre for a special décor collection, including this cushion necklace.
Marie Saint Pierre + RENO Karwai Cushion, mreno.com for details
MacAusland's Woollen Mill
Founded in 1870, family-owned MacAusland's Woollen Mill is one of the few mills in North America that makes only 100% pure virgin wool blankets. Handcrafted on Prince Edward Island using raw wool produced in the Atlantic region, the blankets are made to last.
MacAusland's Woollen Mill MacAusland Blanket, $95, maudandmontgomery.com