Kendall & Co.
Kendall & Co. is an interesting urban hybrid. It's probably best described as a work/shop. On one side of the long space is a fine gallery of well-chosen, surprisingly affordable home decor. Pieces that, for the most part, you will not find elsewhere.
The other wall is a series of open offices which house the design team. Kendall & Co. is a 20 year old interior design firm that evolved to include a retail space earlier this year in an effort to engage the community, demystify the design process, and make interior designers as accessible as regular shopping. It works.
They have a formidable portfolio that is reflective of the neighbourhood's tastes and budgets. The offer to have someone guide you through the bewildering forest of home renovation is both welcome and comforting.
Naturally such a vast array of knowledge, services and abilities comes at a price, but the nice thing about Kendall & Co is that you can get a taste of their extensive experience by touring the store and maybe buying a ten dollar gift for your friend.
The product for sale is unique and affordable, adjectives that don't usually share a sentence in Toronto. I point you to a retro hardware hanging lamp ($55), Indonesian shadow puppet ($24), and some very cool Le Rochere glassware adorned with bumble bees and dragonflies ($12 to $16). I'm told all the pieces are bought in limited numbers to ensure a certain level of exclusivity.
The firm and its products show an awareness of the world. A line of rugs, while shipped from New Zealand, are fair trade and hand made. A portion of the proceeds goes to ensuring early childhood education ($89 to $3,000).
This is how we need to think about our world now - a global reach, but with local impact. Don't give away your time, effort, love or resources - get something back for you and yours.
Photos by Dennis Marciniak