It’s the kind of magically functioning Murphy bed that James Bond himself would have loved. At Solterra’s new Keefer Block condos in Chinatown (above), what looks like a simple display shelf or book case for personal belongings suddenly transforms. When you twist it 180 degrees, it reveals the hidden fold-down bed—without disturbing any of the items on the shelves. The 007-worthy trickery doesn’t end there, however: spin the shelf back, and one of its partitions will convert into a dining table. Right now, this shape shifter comes as an upgrade to the development’s multifunctional one-bedroom homes—and as you can imagine, with urban dwellers hungry for flexible spaces, it’s been a hit.
Get into the grain
Solid teak stools, left to look like knotty, gnarled little stumps, serve a plethora of purposes in a contemporary condo. In EQ3’s latest catalogue, one is shown in a sleek, white carpeted room, alongside a white-linen-like sofa with aluminium legs and a leather chair. Acting as instant seating, a coffee table, or an end table, they also offer a natural, organic offset to even the most modular furnishings. At EQ3 (2301 Granville Street) this fall, find them for $199. They come in basic cylinder and rectangle shapes, but we like the rounded Mushroom stool, as well as the primitive Square stool, with its notched-out legs.
In a small urban space, pop-up privacy comes at a premium. That’s why we’re loving IKEA’s new Jordet room divider. Made of powder-coated white steel, it comes with a removable white and grey dotted textile screen—but don’t feel limited by that. You can remove the fabric and replace it with whatever suits your taste, from a feminine French toile to a modernist Marimekko splash of colour. Throw it in the bedroom for an old-fashioned changing area, or cordon off your workspace in a loft. Best of all, the Jordet folds up in one easily stored package ($49.99, various locations).
Looking for some gothic little eccentricities for your curio cabinet this Halloween? Charlie Ford Vintage, the antiques webstore launched a few months ago by interior designer and former Bachelorette Jillian Harris (along with partners Tori Wesszer and Alyssa Dennis) has a darkly chic little section to capture the spooky mood. But we’re not talking clichéd pumpkin-themed plates here; rather, think of the stylish setting for a Victorian ghost story. At last check, it featured a sun-bleached desert horse skull ($195), a vintage green wrought-iron bird cage ($225), old deer antlers ($165), and a metal hat box ($99) that looked right out of The Others. There was also a darkly elegant Vincent Price–worthy candelabra ($65).
Vancouver bike enthusiasts: we have found you the perfect pedal-friendly décor items. Goderich, Ontario designer Gilbert VandenHeuvel, a road cycling and touring fan himself, has fashioned hip handmade tables, mirrors, clocks, trays, and more out of old bike parts. Check out his Double-Rim Coffee Table, a silver metal look with two side-by-side frames complete with spokes, covered in tempered glass. Gears give a single black end table an industrial look, while another one actually spins. Funky trays also feature the gears through glass. Prices run from about $30 for candle holders up to $400 and more for glass tables. Scope these styles out at www.therecycler.ca/, then find them at the Circle Craft Christmas Craft Market from November 7 to 11 at the Vancouver Convention Centre.
And speaking of homemade crafts: the Craft Council of British Columbia is about to hold a 40th anniversary conference around Vancouver. Called Craft Invested: 10,000 Hours, it’s named for writer Malcolm Gladwell’s idea that it takes 10,000 hours to achieve proficiency. Featuring more than 50 experts who work at every level of craft—including woodworker Peter Pierobon, Elliott Louis Gallery owner Ted Lederer, and Diane Carr, founding director-curator of the Canadian Craft Museum—the conference runs on Granville Island and various other locations in Vancouver from Thursday to Sunday (October 17 to 20); see craftcouncilbc.ca/conference-2013/.