327 Queen St. East, between Parliament and Berkley streets, Toronto, Ontario, CANADA. 416.778.6608. email: info@ethel20thcenturyliving.com
Hours: Mondays by appointment, Tue - Thurs: 12pm - 6pm, Friday: 2pm - 7pm, Sat: 12 - 6, Sun: 12pm - 5pm


New blog....Same old Ethel...

As most of you may have noticed, this blog has been inactive since November of last year. No, our store is not closed and Ethel has not been taking an extended holiday. It's because we FINALLY got our new website done and are using that blog platform for the new blog posts.
We'll keep this blog active but we won't be posting new entries here. Theres a blog archive link on the new site that will link to this blog so our followers can access old entries but all new posts will be on the new website and blog, so please check for updates on whats happening around the store.
Also, you can follow Ethel's adventures on  Facebook and Twitter too!
See you at the store!


Making room for Christmas!

You may be wondering about the lack of blog posts lately. Well, we have a good excuse. We're getting ready to launch our new website, which will include a new blog link (this blog will be archived). Don't worry, we will be posting information so everyone can follow us to the new blog. We don't want to lose our Ethel fans!
Also, we're getting ready for the Christmas season here at the store, which means we are putting some things on sale to make room for all the Christmas goodies.

We've had this walnut double bed frame in for too long. It's a nice solid frame, with headboard & footboard, along with the rails to hold the boxspring.
It was priced at $150 but it can be yours for $50
We'll even throw in the 8'X10' Flokati rug for an extra $20!

We love this vintage handcarved & hand painted riding elephant but since we're not running away to the circus anytime soon, we think its time for it to find a home. Wouldn't it look great under your Christmas tree for your little one? So much more fun than a boring old riding horse!
Originally priced at $350, it's now priced at $250

And while you're at it, you can pick up a copy of Ganesha's Sweet Tooth!
Ganesha's Sweet Tooth is $19.99

If you're having a lot of company coming for the holidays, you'll need more dining chairs.

This set of 4 vintage teak dining chairs was originally priced at $395, but they're on sale for $250
They even have new vinyl upholstery so no worries about sloppy dinner guests! 

Ethel really loves this pair of vintage pink & grey ceramic & brass lamps. We even had new shades made for them using matching vintage pink fiberglass with black swirls. Aren't they pretty? 
We especially love the brass ball frames and the gold flecks in the ceramic balls.
Originally priced at $300 for the pair, they're now $200 for the pair.

Speaking of pairs, we have this pair of classic 50's walnut end tables with a magazine shelf below. These would work in your living room or even as bedside tables.
Originally priced at $150 each or $250 for the pair, they're now priced at $95 each or $150 for the pair.

This kitschy vinyl chair is a vintage chrome frame with all new black & white vinyl upholstery. A perfect side chair for a groovy pad, dontcha think?
Originally priced at $495, it's now $350 

So swing by for some pre-Christmas deals and stay tuned for the website (and new blog) launch.
See you at the store!


Trying something new at Ethel

Sometimes you have to try something new.
While opening the store today, I overheard a conversation between two middle aged ladies walking by the store.
Lady #1: Do you want to go in there?
Lady #2: Hmmm...it doesn't look like there'd be anything that interests me
Instead of pulling a face at them as they walked away and letting this remark spoil my day, I called out "Come on in...you never know what you're going to find".
They came in (along with another friend, a nice gentleman who really liked the teak secretary desk) and were immediately charmed by Ethel. They were surprised at how far back the store goes (remember people, looks can be deceiving!) and were discussing the futile search for a footstool as they checked everything out.
Then they looked at all our wonderful cards and paper. Lady #2 said she likes to support local artists and Lady #1 mentioned how she used to buy all her cards at Arts on King, a now closed boutique not far from where I live. I mentioned that I knew that store and that I lived nearby, and it turns out we both live on the same street! After I told them our cards are all designed and produced locally, Lady #1 ended up buying three, 2 from Smitten Kitten and 1 from Whigby.
After a further discussion on where to get cufflinks for a daughter who has a french cuff shirt (I recommended Barbies Basement Jewellery and even showed them my pink poodle belt buckle made by them), they thanked me for calling them in, agreed that they should always be open to trying something new, and then were on their way.
It doesn't take much to change someone's perspective. I hope these ladies (and gentleman) enjoyed meeting Ethel and maybe they'll stop by again.
See you at the store!


Black & White Classics...

We always say life is too short for beige, but that doesn't mean we don't love the classic elegance of simple black and white.

Take this re-upholstered 50's chrome lounge chair. We had Princess Perfect do it in a harlequin pattern that screams kitschy 50's, but still has class.
Chair is $495

Another kitsch classic is zebra print. It can sometimes read a bit over the top, but we think it suits this gondola style sofa perfectly. A little bit of glam goes a long way!
Sofa is $1695

We went more "hollywood regency" with this swivel lounger. Originally in a worn out pea green textured chenille, we thought pairing basic black with contrasting white buttons and classic damask elevates the mid-century lines of this lounge chair to something more luxurious.
Lounge chair is $1295

Speaking of classics, you can't go wrong with Wassily. While this isn't an original, the leather & chrome are in great shape and this style goes from deco to disco!
Wassily inspired chair is $295

We just got in this pair of mid-sixties made in Denmark FDB Mobler chairs. Currently painted black, we think this pair was originally painted red due to some offspray seen under the seat.
Mobler chairs are $175 each
Black & white daisy canister set is $18

So remember, beige may be boring but black and white is classic!
See you at the store!


East End Rockabilly Weekend!

On Saturday September 22nd, we'll be set up at the 4th annual East End Rockabilly Weekend at the Dominion on Queen (500 Queen St. East, Toronto, Ontario). If you're a rockabilly fan, come by for some sweet tunes, dancin' and some of Ethel's kitschy goodness! Lots of vintage barware, tiki mugs from TikiFarm, and art by Rob Croxford to be had!
The store will also be open, as usual, but manned by my dear hubby Dave.
See you at the Dominion!


Finding good homes for vintage furniture....one sofa at a time!

Nothing makes us happier than to know that something we have sold is going to a good home. As we always say, we’re an adoption agency for furniture!

You may remember the case of the Purple People Eater. It was a huge purple sectional sofa we had in our old location a few years back. It was a gorgeous piece, custom built back in the 50’s for the original owner (one of the planners for Don Mills, Toronto’s most mid-century of mid century communities), and had been recovered a few times in it’s 50 plus years. 
Sofa in it's original Don Mills home

When it arrived in the store, it was sporting purple wool upholstery and looked brand new. We thought this monster would be around forever (which really didn’t bother us as it was sooo comfortable!) but we did sell it a few months later. The buyer was a client of our friend, Paul Dowsett, a LEED certified architect. His firm, sustainable.to is a green architectural practice, and focusses on providing sensible, sensitive and sustainable solutions for their clients. How appropriate (and green) is it that his client would buy vintage furniture!. His client decided to leave it in it’s purple glory which made us very happy as the wool fabric was in pristine shape.
Anyway, fast forward to yesterday, when I had an opportunity to visit the sofa in it’s new home. As you may or may not know, my husband is a columnist for the Globe and Mail (The Architourist) and he writes about architecture, specifically mid-century preservation, adaptive re-use and heritage topics. You can read all about the sofa’s new home in the real estate section of next Friday’s Globe and Mail (Friday September 28th), but in the meantime, here’s a sneak peek of the sofa in it’s new home.

There’s also an epilogue to this story. After visiting the home and interviewing Paul’s client, it was late and we didn't feel like cooking so we went out to dinner. Our waitress recognized me and told me that she and her boyfriend had bought a yellow sofa from me a few weeks back. I totally remembered them, and the sofa they bought. They are now really enjoying the Keith Muller & Michael Stewart designed and Precision Craftwood manufactured Image Series 2 seater sofa and they watch tv on it all the time! 

See you at the store!


New Modernism Magazine is here!

We just got in the Fall 2012 issue of Modernism Magazine and, as usual, it does not disappoint. The cover story is on Canadian architect Arthur Erikson's 1964 house for painter Gordon Smith in Vancouver, which we're going to read immediately. Also featured in this issue are stories on architectural photographer Balthazar Korab, art glass in the World's Fairs, and lots more.
We also have a few Summer 2012 issues of Modernism Magazine left, so pick one up while you're at it!
See you at the store!