ATOMIC DESIGN 965 Queen West, 416-912-2358, www.atomicdesign.ca Rating: NNNNN
ATOMIC DESIGN 965 Queen West, 416-912-2358, www.atomicdesign.ca
Plastic doesn’t get as much design lovin’ as other mid-century materials like teak and art glass, but Atomic Design’s Lawrence Blairs is out to change that. His Queen and Crawford decorative arts boutique is primary colour-blocked with ice buckets, plateware and side tables from the mid-60s to -80s, an era when designers played with plastic’s function and form.
Blairs is drawn to those decades for the furniture’s spacey styling, organic shapes and references to films like Clockwork Orange and Rollerball. For such a future-foreboding time, pieces like abstract lithographs and stackable wine racks look surprisingly optimistic as they brighten up industrial lofts and beige-overloaded micro condos, where their smaller scale means an extra-perfect fit.
According to Blairs, restoring plastic isn’t easy (white plastic actually discolours over time, and coloured pieces look their best after a buff and wax), so the great condition of portable radios and kitchen utensils make them all worthy of our design swoons.
Atomic Design picks: Blairs has restored a trio of Pierre Paulin mushroom chairs in era-authentic royal blue, fuchsia and green wool crepe, $1,500 each; a Sanyo digital clock radio is a stretched out hexagon shape, $95; serve up some tea from Mikasa Japan’s yellow and black thermos, $75.
Look for: A rack of vintage clothing and jewel-toned pumps at the back of the shop, curated by Blairs’s wife Rebecca Bachinger.
Hours: Monday and Tuesday by appointment, Wednesday to Saturday noon to 8 pm, Sunday noon to 5 pm.