Mjölk, barely open a month, is an interior design store in the Junction. Pronounced mi-yelk and meaning, wait for it...milk, this seemingly odd moniker perfectly befits the aesthetic and ethos of the Swedish-centric store.
As the offspring of Scandinavia-philes John Baker and Juli Daoust, Mjölk is a chapel for Nordic homeware, and has all the tacit qualities of a long glass of Harmony. Simple, rustic and nurturing notions abound, from the Charlotte Hargreaves carafes to the Moomins illustrated children's books.
Even the walls of Mjölk, whose interior was co-designed by Studio Junction, are decidedly milky.
Baker and Daoust decided to open the store together after years of collaborative vintage furniture scavenging hunts and renovations, which were inspired by their collective love of interior refurbishment.
They originally intended to open a vintage store but became increasingly interested in Scandinavian design, a mutual passion which coalesced while on a working vacation in Sweden and Denmark.
As the initial stages of establishing Mjölk unfurled, the couple documented the associated design-fuelled travels and travails on their excellent design blog Kitka Design.
Mjölk stocks a wide range of home furnishings by Scandinavian designers, ranging from dish cloths to book cases, all of which are sourced from abroad and imported into Canada by the store.
Pared-down wooden tables with felt covered chairs vie for attention with stained wood rocking chairs, minimalist lighting fixtures and fetchingly functional tableware.
Mjölk is very much a family-oriented lifestyle store, stocking an array of children's clothing, wooden toys (such as the entertaining pair of rocking sheep that were stationed under a shelf stocked with home accessories on the day that we visited) and even a baby bassinet.
As they began collecting the inventory for Mjölk, Baker and Daoust became more interested in Japanese designers, noting the crossover of clean, functional design inherent in both Scandinavian and Japanese furnishings.
They began bringing in a few pieces of furniture from Japan, and might eventually even dedicate half the store (which is still presently under construction) to Japanese imports.
Whatever the case, the future of Mjölk's catalogue is fluid, given the enthusiasm both owners have for stocking the store with the latest results of their design scouring.
They are currently furnishing the apartment they occupy above Mjölk, and as Daoust tells me "it's hard to decide what pieces to order for each...right now it's one for us, one for the store".
Photos by Emma McIntyre.