Cubeshops has finally opened and Toronto is better for it. Let me explain....
There are people who travel the world uncovering cool designs. I am not one of those people. Don't get be wrong, I'd love to be a jet-setter who can rummage through the cool finds of other cultures finding key pieces along the way that accentuate my IKEA bookshelf, it's just not exactly in this writer's budget.
What I can afford, however, is the TTC fare to get to the just-opened art gallery-cum-design store Cubeshops. Located on the restaurant-filled strip that is Baldwin Street, Cubeshops looks very much like an art gallery from the outside, painted all white with a big glass window. It takes a trip inside to realize Cubeshops is much, much more.
Lining the whitewashed shelves is an eclectic mix of household, office and just plain fun products from Japan. Carefully chosen by the store's owners (I had the pleasure of meeting the very charming Sid, KC and Robert the night of my visit), the objects are as much fun to look at as they are to play with. Not only that, most of the products at the store are making their Canadian debut, making this a must stop spot for anyone fascinated with distinct design.
There are the +d umbrella stands ($52) or the hilariously malleable accessory stands ($24). I loved the paint tube doorstoppers ($8) as well as the collection of vases they have on display, including +d's michi-kusa vase for arranging wildflowers ($23) as well as the stands for individual daisies ($20). The store seemingly has it all, even an array of ninja pins ($5), graphic ties ($30) and cellphone holders ($10).
But the pièce de résistance? A line of coffee makers from Hario (the guys gave me a sneak peek of the pots while pulling them from storage). Exclusive to Cubeshops, the line (from $50) brews the kind of coffee connoisseurs dream of (I'm not even a coffee drinker and I want to try it). They hit store shelves this week.
All in all, I don't think it's an understatement to say Cubeshops is one of the most unique stores to have opened in Toronto in a long, long time. And because new product will be rotating through the store's shelves every few weeks, it's a pretty safe bet to say it'll stay that way.