Mike's Masculine Mischief in Toronto

House Tour

Name: Mike Murphy
Location: King St. West — Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Size: 850 square feet
Years lived in: 1 year — owned

You've read it here before: The character of an apartment often reflects that of the owner. This bright and playful condo in Toronto is the perfect reflection of its proprietor. Besides being my official "hot friend", Mike has a a masculine confidence and playfulness that in seen everywhere in his space.

I should disclose that he is also a really good client of my company Caviar20.com and it is great to see my pieces successfully integrated into his home. But make no mistake, Mike's masculine mischief look is fully his own creation. And yes, he was the one who shot up the black and white target poster at a Czech firing range.

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style: Animated and hand-me-down. Animated because I love illustration and colour. Hand-me-down because a lot of the things that make my place home have been scavenged; The barn light that came from our actual barn, the teak shelves that hadn't seen the light of day in 30 years since were hung at my grandparents', my mom's childhood chest that is my coffee table, the picnic table on my terrace that was in a friend's backyard, the Hans Wegner chairs that a close friend gave to me and the LED Leaf light that I got when I helped bring the product to market while working for Herman Miller in Europe.

Inspiration: Illustrators like Julian Opie, Tokidoki, Carlos Weiz, Roy Lichtenstein. Designers like Tom Dixon, Patricia Urquiola, Doshi Levien, and Paul Smith.

Favorite Element: The painting over my bed by Robert Lee of the broken-toothed smile, entitled "Fight Club". It inspires strong reactions. I think it's happy and mischievous, like me.

Biggest Challenge: I didn't own a single piece of furniture when I moved in. I had lived in various places in Europe and hadn't been able to accumulate anything I couldn't fit into a hockey bag I used to cart all my worldly goods in.

What Friends Say: I want your duvet cover/You need to have more barbecues

Biggest Embarrassment: The folding chairs that people squirm through dinner on.

Proudest DIY: The illustrated paintings on the wall in the dining area.

Biggest Indulgence: My mattress. At the age of 30 it's the first one I've ever bought after living around the world in furnished apartments with beds that made you feel more tired when you got up than when you went to sleep.

Best Advice: Don't feel compelled to complete your house from day one. Living in a work-in-progress will leave you with something that reflects you better than rushing to buy everything at once. There's nothing worse than something that looks like it's been Xeroxed from a catalogue page or friends who refuse to have people over because their place isn't "ready" or "done" yet. It never should be done.

Dream Sources:  ABC home (NYC) is pretty rad. A visit to Milan's Salone de Mobile should be on your list of things to do before you die.

Resources of Note:

ENTRY/OFFICE
Leaf Lamp by Yves Béhar for Herman Miller
Eames Elephant by Herman Miller

BATHROOM
Towel, Volcom

KITCHEN
Hourglass, Fornasetti "Venetian Chariots" plate from Caivar20.com

DINING ROOM
Painted travertine & chrome dining table, Caviar20.com
Mortar & Pestle by Tahir Mahmood, Caviar20.com

BEDROOM
Leaf Lamp by Yves Béhar for Herman Miller
"Fight Club" painting by Robert Lee, from Caviar20.com
Comforter, Olive Kids

LIVING ROOM
Sofa, EQ3
Carpet, IKEA
Hans Wegner chairs
Paul Smith upholstery on chair cushions from Caviar20.com
Animal Cut-outs, Thomas Trafford

Thanks, Mike!

Images: Troy Seidman

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