Elte (second floor)
Elte has a new second floor showroom that's a little more modern, a little more hip, and a little less expensive than its main floor retail. Elte is known for its high-end classic furniture and carpets, but with its new line of rugs upstairs, along with new, condo and apartment-appropriate furnishings and home decor, it may be fitting to add "trendy" to its list of descriptors.
I made my way past the sea beige and pastel downstairs to a pair of shiny new escalators that would presumably take me to my prize. As I headed on up, eyes facing forward, glowing letters on the second floor wall rose into my line of vision.
"SEX," it read, in glowing pink neon.
The escalator hauled me up a little higher, and some more words became visible.
Aha, so I hadn't somehow made my way to some lewd, atop-furniture-store lounge.
"ROCK 'N ROLL"
Sex, Rugs & Rock 'N Roll is actually the name of the new line of rugs specially designed for the second floor. Most are 100% wool, come in five sizes, and range from $435 to $2,525. More interestingly, each rug is named for a rock star, including Feist, Metric, and my pick, Bruce (Springsteen). The latter is a chic, almost reminiscent of exposed-brick design, which works equally well on the floor or displayed on a wall.
Elte's second floor features furniture and decor by three primary labels; Casamania, Hussl, and Magis, along with its house line. Heather from Elte leads me through the showroom.
"This is really fun," she says, directing me to a round chair that actually looks more like a planter. "This is the Spun chair ($615)," she says. "You can sit in it and lean back, spinning it all the way around and you won't fall off."
Was that a dare? Well, I took her up on it, and indeed, I left with all my teeth. We then moved onto the Casamania "Him" and "Her" chairs ($1075 each), which are moulded polyethylene chairs with backs sculpted in the form of male and female bodies.
Of course, there is also milder decor on the second floor, including a low-back grey sofa ($1,295) that looks like it was pulled straight from the Mad Men set, a grey oak consol table with x-base design ($795), and a whole collection of Kartell chairs.
But for me, the most interesting part of Elte's second floor was its step-down gallery called The Yellow Korner, which actually happens to be the only purveyor of YellowKorner art in Canada. There you'll find Thomas Hebrich's Elephants ($995), Alastair Magnaldo's La Reveuse ($395), and a whole collection of small framed prints ($145). Certainly a far cry from the beige and pastel downstairs.
Photos by Dennis Marciniak