David Graham: Now what is it about Asian inspired design that has made it so popular in home decor? Is it the strength and character of the pieces? Or is it the clean, simple lines? Perhaps it's the tranquility it makes you feel when we're around it. I'll let you be the judge at Greentea Design.
Dale Storer: The theme is very Asian based. We deal with a lot of antiques, and we deal with our own collection, which is Asian inspired (usually North Asian). We have our own factory and we do our own designs based on historical designs with funky updates.
David: Why do you think Asian inspired design has been so popular recently?
Dale: Because of the very clean, simple designs. It is what inspired Mission, it inspired arts and crafts, it has been a long standing design trend that architects even use. Because of the calming, sort of Zen thing that the furniture does - people are very busy, they're very hectic and when they come home to these nice pieces it has a calming influence.
I would say that a lot of people, (especially in Canada) love wood, so they have a few pieces with wood incorporated. We do all solid wood, and that tends to work with what other people are doing. Again its not a conflicting design, it's something that is warm, we use a lot of warm woods and warm tones and that works well with what people have going.
Most of our end tables and coffee tables are, again, Japanese inspired. The three that you see in the grouping are called the Kotatsu tables, and they're inspired after the Japanese heating tables. They have a bit of a lattice grid on top and very straight simple lines. We don't do fancy cut outs and things like that because we prefer to let the wood speak for itself (as the Japanese do).
We have Korean Screens which you can put rice paper on, and they are beautiful dividers, and we also have really dramatic Chinese doors as well, some of which we have incorporated with mirrors. Going back to the kitchen we have an island that is two sided. Many of our pieces are two sided so you can divide spaces. Not only for lofts, but you know how the living room and kitchen in a lot of places have become the great room and they flow together, and you really need a piece of furniture or something to divide the space.
David: You've got a wonderful kitchen set up here as well.
Dale: What we've done, and we've sort of named it 'Japanese industrial', but it's not a fitted kitchen, it's a stand alone kitchen, and we have a lot of different pieces that we can addapt. Again it's solid wood with the Ginkgo, sorry, solid Ginkgo wood, and we can do different stains and different hardware combinations. We can do pieces where you integrate sinks on it. We, in our kitchen as you can see, we have a concrete sink on top of one of our pieces and we can do different configurations, drawer configurations, and it justs gives more of an open feel.
David: Now I gotta say this is probably my favourite piece, 'cause as you mentioned it makes an awesome room divider in a lot of homes and it's got all these great little secret compartments that I love.
Dale: Yes, the Japanese are famous for those hidden drawers. This is our most popular piece and it is based on the actual stair cases in Japanese homes. They would come apart and when the tax inspector came over they wouldn't get taxed on the loft area. So very ingenious. This is a South Korean Bandaji, which means a half door chest. It features the Dragon and the Phoenix, a classic in Chinese symbolism, and it is mother of pearl inlay, and actually shark skin makes up the Dragon and then you have gold thread trim as well. Done by an artisan in South Korea, just an unbelievable piece.
Awesome Asian inspired decor and great design ideas. You can visit Greentea Design in the heart of the Riverdale Studio District, or online at Greenteadesign.com. For Shopping Toronto I'm David Graham and I'll see you next time.