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


Spring is (almost) here

Last week's warm weather got us all excited and looking forward to spring. While it's cold and chilly out there today, it's fun to daydream of when the tiki patio lanterns are on, and we're sitting outside, a drink in hand.

This pair of bamboo frame lounge chairs would look right at home on a swank patio in Palm Beach. But if you can't make it to Florida, why not bring them home and enjoy a bit of tropical decor in your own home! They have new cushions in a lovely pale green basketweave pattern and are priced at $1400 for the pair. The wicker and wire table between them features a removable wicker tray and magazine shelf below, and is priced at $150. Perfect for cocktails or magazines!

If you don't have room for new tiki furniture, how about a set of daisy coasters, a groovy floral tray and a springtime green cocktail set?

The tray is $12, the coasters are $12 and the cocktail set is $40.

Plastic dishes may bring back bad memories of summer camp, but they're great for the picnic table. Come by the store and check out our selection of vintage Brady Bunch hued Melmac dishes and serving ware. All guaranteed to make that back yard barbecue or balcony brunch just a little more groovy.

If you just can't do plastic, then here's a gorgeous serving platter by Vera Neumann.

Known more for her textile designs, in particular her bold print ladies scarves, she also designed patterns for dishware, and this is a lovely example of her freehand work in Ethel's favourite colours of turquoise, peacock blue and chartreuse. It sells for $40 and would look smashing in your Brini Maxwell dining room.
See you at the store!


To reupholster or not........

To reupholster, or to not reupholster...that is the question.
Whenever we find a nice sofa or chair for the store, we are faced with this decision. If the upholstery is in good condition, we put it on the floor "as is" and let the customer decide if they want to get it re-done. If the piece is in dire need of some TLC (rips, tears, springs poking through the seat...), it goes off to Princess Perfect, where Lisajo will work her magic and help us reinvent an otherwise destined for the dumpster sofa, chair or daybed.

We found this piece today and while the original upholstery is in decent shape, I can't get over the Aztec vibe and I think it would do well if it had a make-over. I'm thinking pink, purple and orange paisley velvet ala Austin Powers or maybe a bold graphic black and white op art print. The chair is enormous and glamorous and fabulous and we here at Ethel are asking you, our Ethelonian followers if we should go ahead with our vision, or if we should let our customers decide.
Let us know your thoughts, as we want to see this baby on the store floor.
See you at the store!


New Modernism Magazine is here!

Just got into the store this morning and lo and behold, a package is delivered. What is in it you ask? Why, the Spring 2010 issue of Modernism Magazine!

We still have a few issues of the Winter 2009 issue left, so if you missed that one, drop by the store to pick up both and get caught up on all things modern.
See you at the store!


The future is Plastics!

While the name of the store is Ethel - 20th Century Living, sometimes we look to the future for inspiration. Like the famous scene in the Graduate, the word is "Plastics!"

This lucite chair with a black upholstered seat is probably from the 70's, but would work in a mod space, an art deco room, with glamorous Hollywood Regency pieces, or just as a piece of sculpture. Priced at $295 it would be perfect in the corner of a room, doing double duty as seating and sculpture, especially if it's lit from behind. Or else use it as a vanity chair in your mod bedroom.
Even if you don't have a vinyl collection, this Apollo 860 turntable is a beautiful example of industrial design.

Designed in 1966 and manufactured by Electrohome, in Kitchener, Ontario, this stereo is a good example of a Canadian manufacturer taking a risk on a modern design, resulting in a big success. The future forward design sold over 42,500 units in six years and while the Apollo 860 & 861 spawned many knock offs, it's the original that's still collectible today. This one is in great shape with minor scratches on the plexiglas dome, and comes with the speakers and speaker stands. At $195, it would be perfect for your space age bachelor (or bachelorette) pad. Use it to play those Enoch Light records you bought just for the cover art.

Also pictured here is another Canadian design classic, the Contempra phone, designed by John Tyson for Northern Telecom in 1967. Northern Telecom ended up manufacturing over 7000 of these a week for over twenty years, and shipping to over 15 countries world wide, making it one of the most recognizable examples of contemporary electronic design in the world. This bright red version has a rotary dial, is priced at $65, and would look perfect on that danish teak desk or on that lucite side table.
If you are not quite ready to embrace the plastics revolution, we still have lots of lovely teak.

We just got in this buffet & hutch, which features a felt lined cutlery drawer and sliding tambour pocket doors. This piece was designed and manufactured in Montreal by RS Associated Limited, and is another example of Canadians embracing modern design.
Whether you're visiting from the future or just want to remember the past, we have lots of 20th century.
See you at the store!


New Atomic Ranch is here!

The new Atomic Ranch just arrived, and can I say...we totally want the pink wall oven on the cover!

Anyway, drop by the store to pick up your copy, 'cause you know they won't last!
See you at the store!