There are a few home and design stores that make you want to buy everything in stock and take it home to make your place look as fabulous as the displays. Hollace Cluny is such a place.
When you open the door, it's like entering the house of a friend of yours that you secretly hate because their place looks so effortlessly perfect. Nothing is out of place, yet everything is comfortable and non-threatening to touch and hold.
At the front, I find the line of Simon Pearce glassware that is the most elegant thing your apples will ever touch if they were in one of his bowls. They almost make me want to eat fruit. This isn't Crystal d'Arques from the '80s.
Toward the back are several collections from design icon Georg Jensen . Not only is there flatware, bowls and dishes, candleholders/candelabras, and jewellery, but also office accessories (most made of stainless steel).
Scattered throughout the store are beautifully-upholstered pieces by HGTV star, Sarah Richardson . There is a selection of sofas, ottomans, chairs, etc. that will last the test of time, at least style-wise. They're not inexpensive (this isn't Ikea ), but prices typically depend on fabric choices.
Upstairs I find more furniture. There are Knoll pieces - such as the Wassily chair - amongst several other well-known classics seen in every dďż˝cor magazine. There is also an incredible bronzed table by Canadian designer, Martha Sturdy which resembles molten chocolate swirls. If the table is too much of an investment (and it might be at $7,000 plus), her line also includes smaller items - bowls, platters, cubes - scattered throughout the store.
As I walk around, I'm not stressed about knocking over a vase with my bag. It's a casual environment. I was asked if I needed any help by several members of the staff only to have them excuse themselves because they were in the middle of moving some pieces around the store. There was no attitude and they were ready to answer any question I had.
Even though you might not be able to afford some of the more expensive items in the store there are a lot of designer pieces that won't hurt your credit card. And if you can't spend a fortune, remember that buying a Georg Jensen letter opener will make you feel like million bucks when you're opening up your Visa bill. Almost.
Contributed by Steven Carver