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


Lazy Sunday

It's Sunday here at the store, and after a crazy busy day yesterday with all the shoppers from Leslieville Stomp, we're actually enjoying the lazy pace here today. Friday was crazy too, with Sarah Richardson filming here for her new show Sarah 101. She loved the store and she and Tommy (her sidekick) were pretty funny when the cameras were rolling. She really liked the Spanner set, but only wanted the chairs, and I didn't want to break up the set so it was a no sale (the set ended up selling on Saturday anyway, so it all worked out). Sarah did end up buying a few things for one of her clients, including a lovely piece of Murano art glass, a pair of brass trays (Brass is Class, babies!) and a few photographic prints from Maureen O'connor. Maureen is a Toronto photographer who also collects vintage negatives and slides and reprints the images using old school darkroom techniques. We have a few of her framed prints in right now, as well as matted prints with no frames. Really popular is her series on the construction of the TD centre here in Toronto.

Here are some of her framed prints, ranging in price from $90 for unframed prints to $125 for framed prints.
Stop by the store and check out her collection, and we'll tell you the ones Sarah bought!
See you at the store!


Sarah's coming!

We've just been informed that either tomorrow or Friday, HGTV personality Sarah Richardson and her camera crew will be dropping by to film a segment at the store. So if you're popping in to say "hi", we may be a little scattered as we'll be scrambling around the store making it presentable. Let's hope Sarah likes what she sees and buys something cool for one of her clients!
See you (and Sarah) at the store!


Sidewalk success!

It's 4 oclock on Monday afternoon and so far, the First Annual Victoria Day Weekend Spring Cleaning Sidewalk Sale (or whatever we were calling it) has been a resounding success. Lots of big pieces have sold and we've made room for new stuff. The gorgeous teak dining chairs we had recovered in the glamorous velvet leaf pattern sold, as did the chrome framed puce coloured sofa (the one we liked to call the 70's porn movie producer casting couch). We also had lots of fun bringing stuff up from the basement and putting it outside.

Lots of wicker hoop chairs, perfect for the patio in the summer, along with some tables, etc...

Here's a shot of me, enjoying the sun.
We also have some progress on the sign! The west side is done, and now Ralston is going to start on the main sign.

Doesn't it look smashing! Hopefully he'll have the main sign done by the end of this week.
See you at the store!


Flower fun

It's Saturday, and the rain has finally stopped so I can start bringing out some of the sidewalk sale furniture. We have quite a few things marked down this weekend, so drop by the store and check it out.
We were able to bring our new planters outside, even with the rain. They're not technically new, as we got all crafty and made over the old ones. A fresh coat of turquoise and green paint to cover up the beat up silver paint, some lovely flowers and some DIY Ethel E's on sticks, painted to match the planters and they look fabulous!

They make the place look so much classier!
Drop by the store and say "hi" to the flowers!
See you at the store!


Storefront makeover - progress report

The west side sign is slowly getting done, and when it's finished, Ralston will do the main storefront sign. Here are some pics of the progress.

This is the two tone turquoise, slowly covering up the old two toned blue stripes.

This is the oval almost done, with the chartreuse and the woodgrain blocking. See how Ralston did faux woodgrain? Man, he's good!

The next step is the new oval frame, repainted letters and repainted silver, which is changing to a charcoal grey. We can't wait!

We also are getting very excited about our May 24 sidewalk sale. We're finding all kinds of forgotten stuff in the basement to bring outside, as well as marking down some favourites here inside the store. The big purple sectional will be 20% off as well as some of the other sofas here. We're also marking down some lighting and accessories so you can freshen up your space for spring.
See you at the store!


Victoria Day weekend sale

Well, the old signage is coming down today, to be hauled off to neighborhood legend Ralston Bennett's signage shop, to be stripped and made ready for new paint. Also, Ralston will be making our new sandwich board for the front of the store, so we can write pithy comments and notices about sales, the weather, Ethel's mood of the day and such. We're really excited about the changes around here and to celebrate, we here at Ethel have decided to have a Victoria Day Weekend sale. Instead of closing on Monday as per our regular hours, we'll be open all day Monday May 24th, with some fun furniture finds out on the sidewalk and marked down prices inside. We want to make room for new stuff and what better way than to clear out the old? So come on out to celebrate the old gal's birthday (Queen Victoria, not Ethel!) And while you're here, you can check out some of our new finds for the store.
We just got in this gorgeous teak and tile table, originally purchased from DeBoers' in the 1960's.

This long and slim beauty is 5' long by 18" wide and is priced at $350.
We also have this new pair of vintage ceramic lamps with new shades.
If the shape looks familiar, it's because Jonathan Adler, one of our favourite contemporary potters, has been using this shape, reminiscent of the classic George Nelson bubble lamp for inspiration for many of his ceramic lines. We decided to pair this classic shape with new pale blush shades with gold flecks to pick up on the warm brown flecks in the ceramic. The pair is now very glamourous and is priced at $225 each or $400 for the pair.
There's lots more but you'll have to drop by the store to see it for yourself.
See you at the store!


Facelift progress!

As we keep saying, things are always changing here at Ethel. We're getting geared up for the big facelift, so if you're by the store and you see the exterior signage letters are gone, no worries. We're updating the signage so it looks like the new and improved logo. Also, we're doing a feature wall behind the cash desk and the cash desk itself is getting new facing. We're also going to be bringing in more card lines as the Whigby line is becoming very popular, so we're putting up some slatwall.
Don't worry though, we're still bringing in lots of fabulous furniture and accessories so you can give your space a facelift too.
After languishing in the basement for a few months, we decided this set of 6 Danish teak dining chairs needed a makeover so we sent them off to Princess Perfect for the full treatment.

The ugly pea green stained upholstery was replaced with this ultra glam velvet leaf pattern and the frames were all tightened and cleaned up. This set looks great around a round table and is $1500 for all six chairs.
One person here who isn't bothered at all about all the work being done, is Edie, our store cat.

As long as there's somewhere fashionable and comfy for her to stretch out on, like this gorgeous Corbusier lounger, I'm sure she'll sleep through it all.
See you at the store!


How much are those letters in the window?

Everything in stages. I keep telling myself that. When we first bought Ethel last year, we had big plans and thought we'd get it all done before we opened. Well it's six months later, and while we didn't get the signage re-done for the grand opening, we have accomplished a lot, and there's still more to do.
Last week we finally got the vinyl letters done for the windows. At first we were a little worried that they'd look like those "Veal sandwich for $5" graphics on all the italian take out places, but Todd Temporale of Viva & Co and Whigby made sure they looked stylish enough for Ethel's standards.

Here's a picture of Todd and my hubby Dave putting the graphics in place. The last thing we wanted was to install them all crooked and people think we were drunk when we did it.

Heres the boys starting to remove the paper backing. Be careful!

Heres the logo on the door, right at eye level.

Here's the final product. It says "Vintage Modern - Interior Design" and the website below. We've already had some design work inquiries and we think it looks smashing! The next step is the exterior sign re-furbish and then the back wall feature details. Now if only we could sell the big purple sofa to pay for it all!
See you at the store!