Tuesday, July 27, 2010

found objects found in new furniture

Attica is carrying a new collection of furniture that combines new and old materials. The designer for this line sources materials that can’t be found in the market place such as discarded telephone poles and other flooring that is hundreds of years old, combined with new wood such as American walnut. There’s a beauty in discarded, and this distressed, patina on the wood is even more striking when juxtaposed with the smooth, clean material.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

attica celebrates 15th anniversary

15 years ago two art college graduates, Christopher Joyce and Suzanne Saul, didn't have any money but they had an idea about bringing good design, in all price points, to the good people of Halifax and beyond. They found a really large studio space on the second floor of a building Gottingen Street. The space was over 3000 sq. ft., and it had hardwood floors and track lighting. Chris only needed about 1000 sq. ft. for his furniture workshop, so Suzanne said, "Let's go in with a big idea - let's start a store in the other part of the space."

Chris made accessories and furniture in his workshop (stone, steel and wood end table by Chris is shown above), and the new Attica showroom was filled with work by local craftspeople and artists. It was difficult to get customers to visit this second storey location, and if eight people came over an eight hour period, then that was considered a good day. It was Chris's custom work that paid the bills, and after struggling for two years, Suzanne and Chris realized that if Attica was to survive they would have to move.
In 1997, they took a leap of faith and secured a location in Halifax's downtown core on Granville Street. While the street was quiet, it was street level. With a $5,000 line of credit to buy inventory and renovate the space, combined with a whole lot of sweat equity, Attica opened again to the public. Slowly, as funds would allow, in addition to the handmade items, Attica expanded into contemporary production furniture and accessories.

Attica continued to grow, and be the first to introduce many products, such as the Michael Graves Bird Whistle Kettle, or the Tolomeo Desk Lamp, in addition to featuring the latest in Canadian contemporary design. The store received press locally, nationally, and internationally. In 2000 Attica expanded to Newfoundland and opened the province's first contemporary furniture boutique.

Today, Attica has grown to a four-storey location in a beautiful historic building on Barrington Street for the flagship Halifax store, and a hip boutique location on Freshwater Road in St. John's, Newfoundland. Attica continues to set the trends for home design in Atlantic Canada.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

decorating with white

For years, many thought that white walls looked unfinished. Now, the trend is back to white, but with care to add warmth and texture to the room. This kitchen above, for example, features white; it is kept monochromatic with the white walls, white cupboard and counters, and white marble floor.

It's not, however, by any means boring. Visual excitement is added through a variety of elements. The grey marbling on the floor and wall carries the eye up and across the kitchen. A bold collection of large handmade vases by Eighteen Karat captivates and maintains interest through their commanding use of texture. The stainless steel counter adds the metal element to the room, while still reinforcing the neutral palette. The architectural Mu solid wood stools from Eighteen Karat provide warmth, while the reproduction print "Composing Chaos" from Eighteen Karat at the end of the kitchen lends pattern repetition to stimulate the viewer.

When carefully considered, white is not boring at all, but fresh and exciting.

Monday, July 12, 2010

christopher joyce featured in east coast living magazine

The newest issue of East Coast Living Magazine features an interview with Attica co-owner and artist Christopher Joyce. Magazine editor Janice Hudson interviews Chris on his diverse art and design interests and inspirations, as well as his latest venture in designing rugs for Hellenic Canada. Shown here is Chris next to an image of a rug based on an aerial map of Toronto, part of a series of map rugs of world fashion capitals, handtufted in India from New Zealand wool. His rug designs were also listed by The Globe and Mail as one of the "funkiest introductions" at this year's Canadian Home Furnishings Market in Toronto.

To read Janice's article on Chris, please visit: http://www.eastcoastlivingmagazine.ca/Home/Libations/tabid/61/Default.aspx.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

jonathan legate to give free decorating seminar at attica on july 28th

"Live With What You Love": this is a free lunchtime decorating seminar by Jonathan Legate, being held at Attica on Wednesday, July 28th, from 11:45 to 1:00 p.m. A light lunch is provided.

His work is both contemporary and traditional, often in a surprising yet seamless integration. He has been featured in various media, and in spring 2009 was Canadian Home and Country’s first Nova Scotian cover in its 20-year history.

Driven not only by clients’ tastes and requirements, but by their personalities, Jonathan creates homes that express the essential natures of their owners. In this seminar, Jonathan will help to give you the confidence to create a personal space that you truly love.

Seating for this seminar at Attica, 1566 Barrington St., downtown Halifax, is limited, so please RSVP early by emailing info@attica.ca.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

high polished stainless steel and chrome

Sometimes in the store I hear someone refer to an item as "chrome and glass" or "chrome and leather". Sometimes they are right in saying this, and sometimes they are not. We also carry products that are made from a high polished stainless steel, which is a much more labour-intensive process, and stainless steel commands a higher price than chromed metal.

While polished stainless steel has the shine of chrome, there are some other differences. Stainless steel resists attack by rust "all the time" while chrome plated steel resists attack by rust only until any flaw or crack appears or is created. It is then vulnerable to attack. A scratch on stainless steel, while unsightly, is not going to open a path for attack by rust.

Which is better? Well, it's not always clear. It depends on how well the chrome plating was done, what grade of stainless is used, and how the stainless was finished, as well as the exposure conditions. Purists, however, will prefer the polished stainless steel. It looks similar to chrome in it's mirror finish, but resonates more color, allowing you to see the true metal without it being covered by plating.

Friday, July 9, 2010

tripod collection: american modern design

Strong geometric forms combine with solid wood and traditional craftsmanship for a new definition of American modern design. In this collection, the tripod form is famous for its unique strength and efficient use of material. The key to the execution of the Tripod vertical design is the unique joint making that unites the three leg elements in a long tapering joint. This table is available in six different sizes, in several different stains. The chairs are available in an arm and side version in a variety of fabrics. Come to Attica to see more American modern designs.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

a mid-century classic

A mid-century classic, the Bubble Lamp was first designed by George Nelson in 1947 and was produced by Howard Miller starting in the early 1950s and ending in 1979. Our supplier has reissued the Nelson Bubble Lamps to the original specifications, using the original Howard Miller tooling. These famous lamps are part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and are available at Attica.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

candela doesn't blow out in the wind

Light the night with OXO Candela Glow rechargeable lights. The warm, ambient LED lights can be left unattended and won't blow out in the wind. With 8 hours of run time, these versatile lights create ambiance on the dinner table or bedside, while entertaining or reading alone. Portable and cordless, they are suitable for many uses and occasions. The long-lasting Glow rechargeable LED lights are brighter, safer, cleaner, more durable and easier to use than candles.

The kiddies don't have to feel left out, as this innovative series also has several night lights just for them, but adults will love them, too! Ward off the darkness with OXO Candela Tooli nightlights. Tooli warm, ambient LED lights make great bedside companions. Providing 8 hours of soothing light, there's plenty of time to make sure that even the most restless little ones are off to dreamland. Simple even for children, Tooli lights illuminate automatically when lifted from the charger base or if the electricity goes out. Tooli is intuitive, safe and portable. Best of all, it's perfect for brave trips to the bathroom at midnight.

Visit Attica to see more style of Candela LED lights for adults and kids.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

umbra celebrates 30th anniversary

A directive at Attica has always been to look for good design at all price points, which has led us to companies like Umbra. We began carrying Umbra in the mid-1990's, shortly after we first opened. Umbra was our very first manufacturer; before then, all of the items that we carried were one-of-a-kind. We were drawn to Umbra's innovative design aesthetics, and the fact that the price points made the products accessible to everyone.

Les Mandelbaum and Paul Rowan, two childhood friends in Canada, began Umbra in 1979, and it is now one of the most creative forces in the home furnishings industry. Thirty years later, they have built their business to over one hundred million dollars a year in seventy-five countries around the world.

Perhaps one of Umbra's most famous products is the Garbino, a wastebasket designed by Karim Rashid that revolutionized how people thought about the place to store their trash. I remember how excited we were at Attica when it hit the scene. Today, the Garbino is one of Umbra's best selling products and is a design icon. It's design has been so successful, in fact, that it has earned a spot in the Museum of Modern Art's permanent collection.

Not bad for a product that sells for under $9.00!