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


Ethel gets a facelift!

First of all, we apologize for the lack of posts this month. We've been sooo busy with our new design venture AND reconfiguring the shop so we have more workspace for our design projects. Yes, you heard it, Ethel Design Inc. is finally up and running and we're already on project #2 with our first client! We partnered with our friend (and former co-worker in another life) Jordana Leventhal and we spent most of the summer working on our business plan and design menu. We unofficially launched at the end of August and it's been full steam ahead ever since. As soon as the Ethel Design website is up and running, we'll post a link.

To accomodate this addition to the Ethel family, we finally reconfigured the store and set up our new (vintage) desks. Plus, I was tired of everyone asking if my prized baby blue 1960's Steelcase metal desk was for sale so we figured they wouldn't ask if I was actually working on it!

First set was to clear the area out where the new store desk would be set up. Then my husband hung vintage op art graphic wallpaper that we've been saving for a special occasion. I guess Ethel's facelift is a very special occasion!
Then we moved the old cash desk into place, and refaced it with more vintage wallpaper, this time a crazy daisy pattern. Don't you love how the turquoises, blues and greens all work together?

Finally, we moved Jordana's new (vintage) 1970's metal steelcase desk to her workspace in the back area of the store. That way, if she's kneedeep in design work, she'll have some privacy and I can stay upfront and help all the customers!

All these changes mean some of the signature Ethel pieces are for sale. Yep, that's right, the famous light fixture that used to hang over the cash desk is now up for grabs.
It's two pieces, a vintage industrial pendant from Norway and the mirror "halo" that hangs indepentently around it. We're hanging a $350 price tag on it.

We're also selling the vintage office credenza that was our back counter.
This credenza was made in Canada by Tempo, is 7' long, weighs a ton and has tons of storage. It's priced at $995.
UPDATE: Credenza has sold!

We're also letting go of the bright blue plastic pop mirror that used to hang behind the cash desk. This mirror was manufactured in Finland by Finnmirror and is very Verner Panton!
Mirror is priced at $125.

So come by to see all the big changes at Ethel and ask about our new Design Menu.
See you at the store!


New Modernism Magazine is here!

Just got in the Fall 2011 issue of Modernism Magazine, and it's packed full of vintage goodness, as usual!
This issue contains features on George Nelson, living in a Round House (I wonder if Chuck Norris lives there, due to his fondness for roundhouse kicks?), Mexican Deco graphics, and modernism in India.
So drop by the store and pick it up, and if you haven't grabbed the latest Atomic Ranch, there's still a few left.
See you at the store!


DIY Dining

Sometimes all it takes is a little elbow grease, a little love, (and maybe some help from some qualified professionals), and a sad, tired piece of furniture can be as good as new. Take this vintage 1960's walnut dining set for instance.
The chairs are solid with a graceful upholstered back insert, despite the not so fabulous striped tweed fabric.
This would be an easy fix by our friends at Princess Perfect Upholstery.

The table is sturdy, and has a gorgeous grain, despite the water damage due to being stored on it’s side in a damp basement.

The damage has caused some swelling and some of the veneer to lift, but this can mostly be remedied with a stripping, sanding glueing, clamping and refinishing. This set is a diamond in the rough and is waiting for someone to love it enough to polish it up and give it a good home!

Dining set (As-Is) $250

UPDATE: Dining set has sold (to an adventurous young lady who's going to take on the refinishing herself!)


Black and White world

Ethel loves old movies, especially film noir. Sometimes black and white can tell a story better than a riot of colour, even though a steady diet of grey tones can leave one a little cold. We love colour in the store but sometimes it's nice to bring a little of that black and white home.
We've had this vintage shelving unit in the basement at the store for a while, but only just have had the room to set it up on the shop floor. It was custom built in the 50's for the home of a toy shop owner by the same person who built the store fixtures for the toyshop. It's modular and has really nice brass door pulls, and we love the contrast of the black and white doors against the blondewood cabinet frames.

The unit sells for $1395.

Peeking out on one of the cabinet shelves is this framed 70's owl (are there any other kind?) in tones of grey, black and white.
This glamourous fellow would look perfect in a space filled with smoked glass coffee tables, lucite light fixtures and shag rugs.
Framed owl is $65

Check out this vintage 1940's black and white chalkware lamp with oversize whipstitched shade. It looks like it's from the set of a film noir, maybe on the end table in the living room of the femme fatale, waiting to be used as a murder weapon! It weighs a ton so it's heavy enough!
Chalkware lamp is $125

Speaking of lamps, we finally crossed a project off our store to-do list. With the help of HandyBro (my brother-in-law Paul), we were able to install this shelf to feature all of our lamps with no shades.
On their own they look sad and orphaned, but grouped like this, they look quite elegant, we think. Now all they need is someone to adopt them and find them some lampshades.

See you at the store!