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


Boxing Day Sale

Since the last thing we want to do is pack up Christmas stuff (we have enough to do at home!) Ethel is taking 25% off all remaining holiday merchandise. Stock up on vintage ornaments, boxed Whigby cards and ornaments, handmade ceramic JoyPottery ornaments, vintage Christmas annuals, and vintage Christmas themed servingware.
Also, come by the store to see what else is on sale. Lots of new furniture is coming in January but we need to maker room first!
See you at the store!


Christmas Holidays at Ethel

Well, it's Christmas Eve and we've decided to close early, so we can be with friends and family. Ethel will be closed December 25th, 26th and 27th and we'll be back December 28th.
We hope you all have a fabulous Christmas with lots of cheer and, of course, eggnog!
Merry Christmas!


The new issue of Modernism Magazine is here!

We just got in the Winter 2010/11 issue of Modernism Magazine, just in time for Christmas! With feature articles on Richard Neutra in Europe, the Finn Juhl revival, fabulous Fifties fabrics and collecting vintage jewellery (a favourite pastime of Ethel's), this magazine makes for a great read while drinking eggnog by the fire, or a hostess gift for the modernista in your life.
And if you haven't picked up your Fall issue, we have a few of those left too.
See you at the store!


Whigby saves Christmas!

For those of you who've been asking about the Whigby Christmas ornaments, we just got an emergency order in, along with more of their very popular boxed sets of Christmas cards. Come and get them while you can!
See you at the store!


Furniture under the tree

Christmas is just over a week away and while Ethel should be shopping for her loved ones (including me!), she keeps buying furniture for the store.

Check out this late 60’s custom Spanner dining table with 11 chairs.

As some of you may remember, we had an early Ruspan dining set in the store back in the spring (see the “Spanner in the Store” post under April 2010 on the right) but you may not know that after those early lines, Spanner Products went on to do more Scandinavian inspired designs. This table is 8 feet long, features a racetrack top with additional glass top for a wider width and length, and the 11 chairs are in fantastic condition. The table is priced at $495 and the chairs are $150 each or $1000 for the set.

This buffet came with the Spanner set, but we suspect it’s a custom job and not a Spanner piece.

It’s 7 1/2’ long and features sliding doors and four pull out drawers behind the middle drawer. It’s priced at $895 and would be perfect for holding all your vintage dishes!
UPDATE: Buffet has sold!

This pair of 70’s tub chairs have their original white chenille upholstery and are priced at $395 each or $695 for the pair. They’d be perfect in a rec room or a lounge-y mod bachelor pad.

UPDATE: One chair and ottoman has sold...one chair left

UPDATE: Second chair has sold!

This chrome framed lounge chair has the original brown vinyl upholstery and is the perfect height for either playing video games on your Xbox or reading a good book. Priced at $150, it’s a steal.

UPDATE: Lounge chair has sold

If you’re just in the market for a little Christmas cheer, then pick up a handmade ceramic ornament from JoyPottery.
Priced at $16 each, these are a great addition to your Christmas tree or as a hostess gift. Give the gift of handmade!

See you at the store!


Pink comes in many shades...

As many of you may know, we have a new mayor in town. During his inauguration, some interesting comments were made by a certain hockey personality about those who voted against the new mayor. We here at Ethel love hockey AND the colour pink, and think it has its place, but its place is not at city hall. So when Spacing Magazine decided to thumb its nose at the comments by making these buttons, we had to get on board.
The buttons are $3 each and the magnets are $5 each. And just to show how Pinko Spacing is, they're making a donation to the Darling Home for Kids in Milton, Ontario. The child hospice was originally named the Rose Cherry Home for Kids because of the work and generosity of the Cherry family.

UPDATE: We've sold 7 buttons already by mid-day December 16th, so if you're in the market for one, come by soon!

UPDATE: It's Saturday December 18th and we're down to 5 buttons. Get 'em while they're hot!

UPDATE: SOLD OUT!!!!! If you want them, go to the Spacing website:


Company's coming!

It’s Christmas time and that means a lot of different things to different people. Christmas shopping, planning parties and festive feasts, getting ready for out of town company.... It can be exciting and fun, or stressful and worrisome.

Ethel completely understands. Having a hectic holiday schedule herself, she knows what it’s like to have company coming with not enough room. So she’s helping out by having a little pre-Christmas sale on some furniture staples that will come in handy.

If you’re planning a dinner party or having the in-laws over for the first time and you still only have a door on trestles for a dining table, then you need this gorgeous six seater teak set.

The table is 48” in diameter and with the 18” wide leaf, you have enough room for everyone. Originally priced at $1350, we’re letting it go at $995.

UPDATE: Dining set has sold!

If you have overnight guests and the inflatable camping mattress just won’t do, then how about this lovely teak double bed?

Since it’s a slat frame, you don’t need a box spring and since it’s a double, it’ll fit in your cosy spare room. It’s classic Danish “knock down” style, meaning it’s easy to disassemble and reassemble, so even if you have a small house with narrow stairways, you’ll have no problem getting this home.

Originally priced at $950, it’s on sale for $600.

UPDATE: Bed has sold!

If you’re having a Christmas cocktail party but nowhere to put snacks and drinks, or your tired feet at the end of the night, then you need this vintage 70’s Danish coffee table.

With a fabulous 70‘s custom tile top you don’t have to worry about drink rings on your teak and you can put out hot dishes without worry of scorch marks. Originally priced at $495, it’s yours for $300.

There’s a few more lovely pieces for sale in the store so come on by and buy your home a Christmas present!

See you at the store!


Broomie Law, a gal after Ethel's heart!

Ethel is very careful who she keeps company with. So when she introduced us to Broomie Law,we knew Broomie had what it takes to be part of the Ethel family.
Broomie was originally created in Scotland by Cinders McLeod (a very talented cartoonist), and lived in a Scottish newspaper for five years. She moved to Canada because she thinks it's worth saving. She's not a children's book, but we think a lot of young girls could learn a lesson or two from Broomie!

Her book is now available at Ethel for $4.99, and we think it would be perfect for that woman in your life who really doesn't need another set of bath lotions or scented candles in her stocking this year!
See you at the store!


Joy to the world!

We've mentioned Joy Pottery many times here on the blog. We love her Spike tea set and have lent it out many times to magazines for photoshoots. Joy does much more than spike tea sets though. If you're interested in checking out more of her work, she's having her annual Holiday Studio sale December 11th and 12th at her home studio.

Check it out and tell her Ethel says hi!


The new Atomic Ranch is here!

We just took delivery of the latest issue of Atomic Ranch! The winter 2010 issue is packed with great stories on modern homes in Arkansas, Palm Springs and Wisconsin, as well as the regular features on Cool Stuff, Open House, and Ranch Dressing.
Drop by the store and pick up your copy before they're all gone.
See you at the store!


I'm dreaming of a pink Christmas...

This year's holiday window theme is "I'm dreaming of a Pink Christmas". White is just so done! We went with pink as we knew we were getting the throne chair in from Princess Perfect, and what a chair! It's perfect for the window, and we think Santa would approve.

You may remember this chair from a post back in May, about whether to upholster it or not. Well, we went the glamorous route and we think we made the right choice. This fabulous chair is priced at $2400 and would be perfect in a little girl's room, or as the centre piece in that fabulous swingin' sixties bachelorette pad!

We also have the traditional Ethel tree in the window.

This vintage aluminum tree features pink sputnik decorations this year. It's not for sale, because if we sold it, Ethel would have nowhere to put her presents on Christmas Eve!

We decided to get crafty this year and try out a pine cone project. With some leftover fuschia latex paint mixed with water and an empty peanut butter jar, we spent two hours dunking pinecones while watching America's Next Top Model (no judgements please, we know you're all fans too!) and yes, it was a bit messy. But when we were done, we had lots of pink pinecones to play with. Here's a wreath we put together to hang in the window.

We also put some of the pinecones around the store to add a little colour. Don't these three little ones look lovely with the Rosenthal vase?

Lest you all think that we've abandoned the traditional red and green of Christmas altogether, we have lots of red and green glass goblets and when they're grouped together it looks quite festive, especially with the addition of red and green Christmas balls (vintage, of course!)

So if you're in need of a little holiday inspiration, just Think Pink!
See you at the store!


Holiday Wanderlust - the day after!

Last night's 5th annual Holiday Wanderlust was a raging success! Lots of families out enjoying the festive atmosphere and, of course, starting their holiday shopping. As mentioned, we were serving hot cider and homebaked cookies.

I made the gumdrop cookies from a recipe in our vintage Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, and my mother in law made the sugar cookies and peanut butter cookies. All the cookies were gone by 9:30, along with the cider. The cider smell is still lingering in the store today. Yummy!

I admit, I ate a few cookies as I needed the energy to keep up with my customers! Here's a picture of me, hard at work writing up sales. Look how fast my hand is moving!

Before the night kicked off, I put the finishing touches on the Christmas windows. The theme in the big window is "I'm dreaming of a Pink Christmas", and features the big gorgeous "throne" chair all reupholstered by Princess Perfect and looking quite glamorous.

(apologies for the blurry picture, hubby took it and it was cold out so his hands were shaking!)

The small window is a bit more classic. Lots of red and green glassware and a classic Eames aluminum group lounger.

We hoped that Ethel herself might make an appearance, but we didn't see her all evening. Perhaps she was checking out the other great shops in Leslieville, possibly even buying us our Christmas present! She was with us in spirit though.

See you at the store!


Holiday Wanderlust!

Its that time of year again. When Leslieville kicks off the holiday season with the annual Holiday Wanderlust, an evening of light, warmth and adventure. This Thursday November 18th, businesses in Leslieville will stay open till 10pm with food, drink, music and Christmas cheer to get everyone in the holiday mood. Ethel has decided to keep things simple this year and offer hot cider for cold hands and homemade cookies for the sweet tooths.
Also, to kick off the holiday season, we have our famous collection of vintage ornaments and decorations out again.
Sure you can buy a bucket of balls at Canadian Tire for four bucks, but you only need a few of these beauties to make your tree spectacular!

We also have the Whigby collection of ornaments in again this year. These powdercoated steel tree ornaments are 100% Canadian made and designed. The collection consists of an elk, beaver, goalie, snowmobile and bushplane, and all are packaged in their own giftbox.
Priced at $16 each, these are a perfect hostess gift or for the true Canadian in your life.

We also are proud to announce that we're carrying the Jane Jenni line.

Featuring melamine plates, china mugs, lunch bags, fridge magnets, and lapel buttons, this collection is all about the rebus and there's one for everyone.

So please join us this Thursday evening, and maybe Ethel will make an appearance herself!
See you at the store!


Pillow Talk

We're really excited to announce that we are now carrying pillows from local artist and designer Amy Migicovsky. Her company is called Rock My Soul and she has a great 60's fun vibe to her work, which we think works great with the Danish Modern. Her pillows are made using organic cotton and kapok fill; an organic and hypo-allergenic material.
You can check out more of her work at her website, http://www.rockmysoul.ca/ or you can drop by the store to see it in person.
See you at the store!


Serve it in style

Hallowe'en is but a distant memory and that means one thing. Holiday entertaining is just around the corner. Why not make your Holiday party stand out and sparkle with a little help from Ethel!

Instead of serving salad in your soup bowls, how about this gorgeous vintage glass salad set?

Adorned with a gold and creme leaf pattern, this set is complete with the big salad bowl, 8 serving bowls and a matching set of gold fleck salad tongs. Priced at $65, this set will make even iceberg lettuce look glamorous!

If you have salad bowls already, but don't want to your guests to know you're using Kraft dressing, then how about this mint in box salad set?

Complete with oil & vinegar cruets, salt & pepper shakers, and matching salad tongs, this sweet 60's set is priced at $24, and will make even a storebought mixed salad look fantastic! It would also make a great hostess gift for the mod party planner in your life.
UPDATE: Salad set has sold!

If you like the look of lettuce but plan to serve finger foods, try this segmented server for size.

With four matching lettuce leaf dishes, matching salt & pepper shakers and center bowl for dip, this set is on a lazy susan spinner for your lazy guests! Even baby carrots and celery sticks look good when presented on a lazy susan! It's priced at $45.

If cheese and crackers are more your style, then you need this Georges Briard tile cheese board.
George Briard (born 1917, as Jascha Brojdo in the Ukraine - died July 30, 2005) was a noted, award winning designer in the 50s, 60s, and 70s. He is most well known for his signature dishware and glassware - everything from cups and plates to gold plated serving dishes. Most famous for dishware and glassware, his signature collection was stocked at noted department stores, such as Neiman Marcus and Bonwit Teller. We love the gold and blue birds on this tile, and we think it would make even Ritz Crackers and cheddar cheese look classy. It's priced at $24.
UPDATE: George Briard cheese board has sold

If you do plan to serve chips 'n dip, then at least take the Doritos out of the bag and put them in this swingin' 70's chip bowl.

With a black and white diamond pattern, featuring the signs of the Zodiac, this set is perfect conversation starter. Hey baby, what's your sign? It's priced at $35.
UPDATE: Zodiac chip & dip bowl has sold...and we want to go to that party!

Your party is more of a "come on over and watch the game" party? Then serve your tv snacks on this snack set.

Each tray has a spot for your beverage and the faux tortoiseshell look is very very in right now! The set of four is priced at $18.
UPDATE: Snack trays have sold

If you're serving sushi but want to stay away from the typical chinatown cheapo dishes, then how about mixing it up with this set of divided melmac trays?

Your guests will reminisce about these from their highschool or prison cafeteria days. Again, another conversation starter! Two available, priced at $15 each.
UPDATE: One tray has sold and there's one left.

Hosting a tea party for the little princesses in your life? Well, those princesses can sometimes get out of hand, so keep the Royal Doulton safe and serve the Earl Grey in pop colour melmac tea cups instead.

Plenty of colours and styles available. Cream and sugar anyone?

So if you're stuck trying to make your holiday party sparkle, then just keep this in mind. Your guests don't care what you serve, as long as you serve it in style!
See you at the store!


Happy Hallowe'en from Ethel!!

While Ethel is out at a glamorous costume party (dressed to kill, we might add), we're at home handing out candy to the neighborhood kids. And if we don't get any more, there'll be more candy for us!
Happy Hallowe'en everyone!
See you at the store!
p.s. our house is still on the market and we just reduced the price. So if you're in the market, please check it out! We may even throw in the tiki bar if the right person comes along!


Let the Light in!

It's getting darker earlier every night now and we love the look of the store all lit up with vintage lamps. But you know what we love more? Sending those lamps home with customers!

Here's a pair of vintage 50's table lamps all dressed up with new shades from Aristocrat Lighting.

Priced at $225 each, or $400 for the pair, these brass beauties have pink, grey and gold details are perfect for your rockabilly retro lounge or just to dress up a dreamy bedroom.

If pink's not your colour and you want something more masculine, then check out this big blue baby.

The base is a lovely blue ceramic with brushstrokes of green, and has a wood neck and wood finial and with it's original linen weave shade, it's perfect for a bachelor pad or Scandinavian style space. It's priced at $375.
UPDATE: Big Blue has sold!

If Big Blue is too manly, then how about this exquisite Murano glass lamp?
This Italian beauty has a new silk shade, is so pretty and feminine, and is priced at $595. Perfect to dress up that Hollywood Regency sideboard.

If Hollywood glam is too much, then how about this minimal Space Age lamp?

Looking like something straight off the set of 2001 a Space Odyssey, this lamp has a light up band in the base and reminds us of R2D2. It's priced at $125 and would be perfect for your Moon base living room.

So let Ethel light up your life!
See you at the store!


Purple spirit day

We all know that Ethel's favourite colour is turquoise. But today, her favourite colour is purple.
Why, you ask? Because purple represents spirit in the GLBTG community and wearing purple today has special meaning for those seeking to honour the memory of young people who have committed suicide after homophobic bullying. Life is too short for beige, as we say here at Ethel. It's also too short for bullying.


Atomic Playhouse still for sale

Our fabulous house is still for sale, with a new lower price.


If you know anyone who's looking for a Don Draper worthy house in the 'burbs, please pass this on!

UPDATE: Our house has sold and since we're moving into a smaller space, some of our fabulous personal collections will be coming into the store!


Sexy Sofa Time!!!

Ethel is always encouraging people to "Go big or Go home". Why live in a dull space? Why not have some fun with colour and shape? Life is short, so why should your sofa be?
If you are having trouble finding that signature piece to build your room around, then check out this baby!

Custom built as a prototype in the 60's by local furniture designer Eduard Kubis, this beauty has been fully reupholstered by Princess Perfect, and comes with the groovy coordinating triangle and octagon throw pillows in the George Nelson designed Quatrefoil fabric.

The sofa is 11' long and is priced at $2800. It's a one of a kind and we think it's pretty spectacular!
See you at the store!

UPDATE: Sofa has sold!


Things that make us smile

Sometimes we don't need a big new thing to make our day. It can be an experience, like getting a good seat on the streetcar, hearing one of our favourite songs on the radio, or even just a good cup of coffee. Even though Ethel is, for the most part, a store and stores need to sell things to survive, we hope that our customers get just as much enjoyment out of visiting the store and seeing something that makes them smile.
We smiled when we found this set of four vintage "pin up" themed coffee mugs (to have that perfect cup of coffee in!).

These lovely ladies are vintage fifties, were made in Japan, and totally embody the cheeky sense of humor that is typical of a lot of novelty ceramics from that period. They're priced at $75 for the set of four, and we think they'd be perfect as a bachelor pad housewarming gift, or just to put a smile on someones face. And heck, even if they stick around the store for a while, we know they'll make our customers smile.

UPDATE: The mugs have sold....I guess this blog really does work!
See you at the store!