Mjölk: The Boutique/Gallery in Toronto Bringing Together Japanese and Scandinavian Design
Mjölk, based in Canada, is the ultimate reference for lovers of Japanese and Scandinavian design. This boutique in The Junction, a neighbourhood that’s home to many of Toronto’s artisans and creators, selects and imports its pieces with remarkable care and attention.
Situated on the ground floor of a magnificent white building (the last tin facade Victorian building in Toronto), the boutique houses the most sophisticated design selection in the city. But it’s also a very warm, welcoming place: made primarily from wood and flooded with light, it invites passers-by to take the time to discover what’s inside.
At Mjölk, tableware by Finnish designer Birger Kaipiainen rubs shoulders with a walnut butter-dish from Kyoto-based artisan Takashi Tomii and a dustpan by Bunbuku (a Japanese company which has just celebrated its 100th birthday), while desks by Naoto Fukasawa sit alongside lighting creations by Space Copenhagen. These pieces have crossed an ocean, whether the Atlantic or Pacific, but all seem to have found their true home far from their place of origin, in this timeless spot in eastern Canada.
The fact that this huge mixture of objects is able to come together in harmony is surely due to the values shared by Japanese and Scandinavian designers: the importance attached to purity and refinement and woodwork, the close relationship with nature and, above all, the balance between elegance and practicality. The majority of the selection offered by owners Juli Daoust and John Baker is intended to be held in the hand. Their dream, they say, is for their pieces to raise each little everyday gesture to ritual status.
To achieve this, Juli and John provoke fate and put their objects in movement, in contact with life and all the daily routine entails. Their pieces can be found in their apartment (they live above the boutique with their young children), in the cottage they’re currently renovating and in Detour Cafe, a spot for which they’ve recently carried out interior design work.
Several times a year, they transform their boutique into an art gallery and meeting place. The last event they hosted of this kind was an exhibition displaying Norihiko Terayama’s floral trompe-l’œil, in the presence of the artist himself and a small crowd of admirers.
Address: 2959 Dundas Street West Toronto
Tel: +1 416 551 9853
Opening hours: Monday, 10am-5pm - Tuesday to Friday, 10am-6pm - Saturday, 10am-5pm
Closed: Sunday, Labour Day, September 3www.mjolk.ca
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