Love the Design
Love The Design, the new Leslieville shop opened by artist and designer Christine Flynn, combines Flynn's signature stationary and photography art with 1920's finds and chic industrial vintage furniture.
"Everything in here I would put in my own home," Flynn tells me as we walk around the store. "These are pieces that will really complete the look of your space."
Flynn has been creating things all her life. She took design and photography in university, then worked in a small design firm for six years before deciding to pursue her own art. After an attempt in a three-flight walkup on Queen West fell flat, Flynn finally opened this space early March, achieving what she calls a "life-long dream."
The west wall of the boutique shop exemplifies what Love The Design is all about. There, Flynn spent 30 hours pasting pages from three early-1800's books onto the wall, covering it entirely. "First, I picked out the pages with the most beautiful images," she says, referring the Farmer's Almanac that sparked the idea. "Then it was about arranging everything so the most interesting photos and typography could be seen."
The idea of finding new, domestic uses for old industrial materials seems to unify everything in the shop. From the vintage Toronto maps, which have been mounted, covered with a thick layer of resin, and stamped with numbers or letters from Flynn's collection of Letraset ($225 for 8x10), to the pained blue architect's chair ($325) that would add a great eclectic element to a conventional kitchen bar, everything has been restored for a fresh take.
Besides a fantastic 1920's original doctor's cabinet ($2695), I was completely won over by an amazing 1920's wall block of numbered mailboxes. I checked around the back, and sure enough, the original names were still there, with a Velma Thomas holding steady in unit 54, Mary Cobban in 24, and J. Wolfe Jr in unit 2. Oddly enough, the piece struck me as the perfect solution to housing, organizing, and displaying my growing collection of loose leaf teas. Now I just need to find $3495...
Flynn's photographs, many of which capture Ontario landscapes and horses ("I grew up with horses. I love them"), are resin-covered and mounted, displayed around the store. They vary in price and are created in limited editions of 10. The other popular item at Love The Design is the customizable 1940's Toronto trolley sign, one of which is proudly displayed at Bobbette & Belle a few blocks down the street.
Photos by Dennis Marciniak