Ottawa Design – UpDated Furniture


Sydney discovered another great design store in Ottawa – UpDated Furniture, located at City Centre, on the back ramp, Bay #222, owned by Stephanie Halin and Ken McKay.

If you’re looking for that piece that you just can’t seem to find anywhere else, this is definitely the place to go. They rescue and refinish vintage furniture so it doesn’t end up in the landfill, so you can go in, find something you like, pick out the finish and/or fabric and have it turned into your dream piece. Sydney did just that and you can see the before and after at the end of this post.

If you’re not in Ottawa, check out their website and order online. You can also follow them on Facebook and Instagram at upd_furniture. If you are in Ottawa, drop in for a visit!

Wall 4

Wall 3




Floor 1

More fabric

Fabric samples


And here is Sydney’s chair before…

Sydney's chair

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…and after!

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I love my new old chair.
This store totally reminds me of my Granddad’s house and garage – I felt like I was taken back in time.
I absolutely agree with you – it is like walking into someone’s back shed and finding all these wonderful things.
What a great find – another Ottawa design treasure.
Once again, Myles has introduced us to a fabulous store – he’s in the know, you know.
And the service is amazing – Stephanie has to be one of the most energetic people around.
When I picked out the fabric for my chair, she assured me it was a perfect choice.
And that was great for you because once in a while you second guess yourself.
They called me when they were starting to work on the chair and told me I’d have in the next week. More great customer services.
I think we’re in fierce agreement – anyone in Ottawa looking for some furniture should check out Updated Furniture.

Foraging in Gatineau Park

This weekend we headed up to Gatineau Park to do some foraging. With garden gloves, twine, scissors, plastic bags and box for fern, and without water or bug spray (no biggy – it was only about 34 degrees Celsius) we wondered through the woods, collecting far more than we needed and thoroughly enjoying ourselves. Here’s a glimpse of our outing.

The path

Beaver dam

The beavers have been busy

ground cover

Wall of ferns

Macro fern leaf

This is a fern leaf photographed with a Kikkerland macro lens that clips onto a smart phone.

The haul

The haul

So Sydney, now what? You love sticks, so naturally I love sticks and think we really need them, but now that I have a stack in my basement, I’m not at all sure what I’m supposed to do with them.
Well, we’re going to sand them down with sandpaper and display them in artful ways.
I have an idea…we can go to the tool library and sign-out a sander.
Great idea except that the sticks are only 1″ in diameter. The sander will obliterate them.
True that. I obviously have no idea what I’m talking about.
But you came up with a better way to carry them.
You realize that if we take my granny cart the next time, it might be easier to bring our haul back to car, but it will confirm us as strange old ladies.
What do you mean ‘us’?


Summer in the City 2016

This is a re-post from last June, because it’s that time of the year again – summer in the city and there’s lots to enjoy in Ottawa. All the events we blogged about last year are coming up again this June, so get out there and enjoy!

Royal Oak Music

Music at the Royal Oak

So there were a couple of young ladies dressed in nothing more than body paint and fishnet on Bank St. this weekend, but that’s not what we’re going to focus on. I think that’s what you call a ‘hook’.
Hook. That’s a good one.
And no, we don’t have pictures of them.
It was an unexpected sighting at that time of the day. But I don’t get out much.
But we got out this past weekend and I think we walked about 100 miles in two days. We went to GlowFair, Art in the Park and Ribfest! And Sydney could not get enough of that pulled-pork.
Yes that pulled pork is perfect for the non-meat eater.
More commonly known as a vegetarian.
So here’s a glimpse of what’s going on in Ottawa this summer.


This is the second annual Glowfair Festival where Bank St. is closed from Slater St. to James St. Friday night and all day Saturday. Free music, yoga, a silent disco and lots of stuff for the kids (and adults too!). If you missed it this year, plan to go next year – it’s a blast.

Glowfair Schedule

Skate boarder

Ghostly horse

Stilt LadyStilt man
Street Chess

Glow rings for when the dancing starts

Glow rings for when the dancing starts




The Strain rockin' it Friday night

The Strain rockin’ it Friday night

The New Art Festival

Formerly known as Art in the Park, the New Art Festival takes place in Central Park in the Glebe. It’s full of amazing art and you don’t have to pay to get in.

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Patrick Lajoie Photography

Patrick Lajoie Photography

Behind the Woods

Behind the Woods

Art in the Park1


Ribfest is an annual event on Sparks St. – one that public servants ALL enjoy.


Would you like some music with those ribs?

Would you like some music with those ribs?

Ribfest smoke

I think you should don some of that body paint and fishnet when we take your photo for your online dating profile.
Brilliant idea and I’ll lie about my age too.
The men will be lining up around the block with money in-hand to get in.

Design – Maker House


While we were out and about checking out Mikaza Home and Founddesign, we discovered Maker House – what a great store! They are located at 987 Wellington Street and plan to have an e-commerce platform on their site soon.

Store 1

They really have a bit of everything in this store from candles to lamps to tables to greeting cards as you’ll see from the photos below, and they’re all made by Canadian artisans.

Tables 2

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License Plates

Table lamp 2

And for a bonus, Brew Donkey has a counter set up in the store. Brew Donkey conducts tours of Ottawa breweries. Someone else does the driving and you get to taste the beer. Stay tuned for a post about that!

BD Info

If you’re looking for the perfect gift for a fellow design junkie, you should definitely check out Maker House.

Wall 1

Maker House was a good find. And we found it because you were looking for the liquor store which is conveniently located right next door.
That big LCBO sign does tend to draw one’s attention. And if memory serves, we both shopped at the LCBO after spending time at Maker House.
I like that 2% of all purchases go back to community projects such as Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society and Ottawa Tools Library.
The Hintonburg neighbourhood is really becoming a go-to place for everything – design, baked goods, coffee –
– the Hintonbourg Public House –
– plus there’s even a great Christmas store that’s open all year.
And a great fabric store, which are few and far between these days.
And as we said in the post, Brew Donkey has a counter inside Maker House.
We’ll definitely be checking that out – I think we need to get a group together and take a brewery tour.
Sounds like a plan – stay tuned everyone!

Design – Founddesign

Front sign

When you first step into Founddesign, you immediately get a sense that this store is a labour of love. It’s not really like a store – it looks and feels more like a space where some people who are passionate about mid-century furniture collect and display all their cool stuff.

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There is lots of teak in this store. All the items are ‘used’, but they are in impeccable condition. And amazingly, they don’t smell of cigarette smoke, given everyone smoked their faces off in the 50’s and 60’s.

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Grow lamp

Lamp planter










I wonder what kind of plants were originally grown in these planter-lamps…





Groovy sectional

Coolest sectional ever and I’m pretty sure it came from I Dream of Jeannie’s genie bottle. If you look closely, you can see that the blue painting on the right hand side looks pregnant – wonderful!

Desk and lamps

More lamps and desks…


…great cutlery.

Airplane ashtray


This ashtray is enough to make you want to take up smoking again.


We got a great cleaning tip while we were there – dust with a dryer sheet and it will keep the dust away longer. It works!


Founddesign is located at 164 Elm St. in Ottawa, very close to City Centre. You can check out their wares on their website. If you don’t live in Ottawa, they’ve got you covered as they will ship worldwide. And if you’re looking for a particular piece or designer, let them know and they may be able to help you out.

I love this place. It’s just like being at my Granddad’s house, but without the clouds of pipe smoke that hovered in every room.
Where are the cocktails? Everyone had a martini or a tumbler of single malt before sitting down to dinner at their teak dinning table.
Good point. I’ll go make the martinis and you ring up Don Draper to see if he’s free to join us.
Great idea. I think Don has some free time on his hands these days.
Is he out of rehab now? Oh, we should get back to the post. Was your grandparent’s house full of this kind of furniture?
My grandparent’s? We aren’t that young – it’s our parent’s house that had this stuff.
Right. I wonder what our parents did with all that amazing furniture?
If they were anything like my parents, they sold it when something new came along – like the 70’s.
My parent’s kept most of the furniture their entire lives.
I have a friend whose dad’s house is filled with original mid-century furniture. He lives not far from your place…
What are we waiting for?
Let’s go. Does everyone love Don or just those of us with low self-esteem?

Design – Mikaza Home

Ceiling lamps

Mikaza Home is a great shop (discovered by Sydney, of course). There are stores in Ottawa and Montreal, and a super website, so anyone can shop there. They describe themselves as a ‘modern’ furniture store, but if you’re of a certain age, you might refer to it as ‘mod’. Think ’60’s, Twiggy, big white sunglasses, Get Smart and sun hats with floppy brims and you’ll get the picture.

Multi-colour sectional

Chair wall

Fabric samples


In Ottawa, Mikaza Home is located at 250 City Centre. Most of the products are made in Canada (which we think is a very good thing) and there is a lot of mixing and matching available. There are TONS of fabrics and wood finished to choose from if you’re buying furniture.







Faucet lampSo many cool light fixtures!
Denim ottoman

If you have any old jeans lying around you don’t know what to do with, you can whip this up in a year!


End table

Blue sofa bed

Black hutch

The accent and art pieces at Mikaza are so much fun, you’ll be hard-pressed to walk out empty-handed. But you’ll need at least one hand free because their Ottawa store is a few doors away from Art-is-In Bakery and that’s a must-stop too.



You love that style that I refer to as ‘crap our parents had’ don’t you? You call it something else though.
I think what you mean is mid-century modern.
And now that it’s many years later, it’s not cheap crap anymore.
That’s for sure, unless you go to estate sales.
I have to admit, after looking at lots of it with you, I do like it now. Better than I did when I was growing up with it.
In the coming weeks we’re going to show our readers some of what Ottawa has to offer if you like this style.
And this is not just for fun – you’re on something of a mission, aren’t you?
Yes. I’m searching for a sofa so stay tuned and watch my year-long search.
Year-long? That’s a bit optimistic isn’t it?

Christmas Gift Ideas for 2015

This will be our last post before taking a break for the holidays, so we thought we’d help out with the Christmas shopping with suggestions from some of our posts this year. Follow the blue links to see the full post.


We did a post about our favourite artist Moya Foley Art Ecuador. Given Moya lives in Ecuador, it’s too late to have a piece of art arrive before Christmas, but it’s not too late to put a gift card under the tree for a piece of art from Moy. Her contact information is on her website and if you missed this post, you’ll be blown away by her art.

Moy's home page

Olive Oils

We fell in love with The Unrefined Olive, a wonderful shop with custom olive oils and balsamic vinegars you can taste before you buy. They also have a great selection of sea salts and other seasoning. A perfect gift for the foodie on your list.

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For the Guys

We visited Stroked Ego in their new location at the corner of Bank and Slater. It’s a beautiful space with just about everything the fashion-conscience men on your list would want.

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Bloomfields Flowers

One of our favourite shops in the city (or any city for that matter), Bloomfields Flowers has amazing flowers, bouquets, plants, house and Christmas decor. A great place to find something for the person who has everything.

3 WM



The Clothes Secret

We’ve done several posts about the best consignment shop in Ottawa – The Clothes Secret. The selection is amazing, the prices are unbeatable and if you need some help picking out a gift, the staff are the best personal shoppers around.

The Clothes Secret

Gift Certificates

If you’re stumped and Christmas Day is fast approaching, gift certificates are a great option and we have a few ideas.

Stillwater Stables

Any kids on your list? They would love to have some lessons, or a party, or spend a PD day with horses, rabbits, cats and dogs at Stillwater Stables.


Daya Spa

Located on Dalhousie Street, Daya Spa is the perfect place for a treat any time of year, but especially in the winter. Daya carries a large selection of organic products and it also happens to be where our favourite esthetician, Hailey Hamilton, works 🙂

Daya collage 2

Parlour Hair Salon

Located around the corner from Daya (why not make a ‘daya’ of it) Parlour Hair Salon is the best salon in Ottawa. The salon is beautiful, the products are amazing and you will walk out of there with the best haircut you’ve ever had.

Parlour chair

That’s all our suggestions for this year – hope they helped!

This is a silly question…have you finished your Christmas shopping?
Our readers may not know you’re making a joke. Of course I’ve finished my Christmas shopping. I started last January. And you?
Almost. Can’t decide what to get for Matt. Any thoughts?
Well he does have a very refined palette and is crazy for a good Chardonnay, but I’d go with beer.
Chardonnay it is then.
I hope everyone has as much fun and alcohol as we’re planning to.
Enjoy the holidays everyone!
Merry Christmas!

Stroked Ego – One Stop Shop for Men


Stroked Ego is located at 131 Bank Street above the Starbucks at the corner of Slater Street. It’s a beautiful space with lots of light. When you arrive you’ll be greeted by Jasmine. She is very affectionate and loves a little rub. Kevin Martin is the owner of Jasmine and the shop.


This is a one stop shop for men. Kevin has everything one would need to pull together a great wardrobe and more. They have an onsite barber, Jay, and a large selection of men’s skin care products. Below are a few photos of what’s in the store now.

UnderwearStroked Ego has the best selection of men’s underwear in the city.

more socks

3 pack socksThese socks come in packs of three so when one inevitably disappears, you’re still good to go.

Must have jeans

Kevin has a great selection of jeans for every style and budget.

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IMG_9189 (956x1280)You’ll find accessories to go will your new outfit!

Barber's chair

barber's desk


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This is our second post about Stroked Ego. You can check out our first post here – Stroked Ego Summer 2014.

I’ve been back to Stroked Ego three times now.
You went without me? What’s up with that?
The first two trips were to purchase gifts and the 3rd to exchange sizes. Even when I’m not returning things I keep going back.
And you didn’t want me to know you were returning things…I always assume you’re doing that on Saturday morning. So does Matt.
Aww…really? What else does Matt know about me.
He knows everything. But back to Stroked Ego – no question it’s the best shop for men in Ottawa.
Absolutely – Kevin has everything. If you’re Christmas shopping for the men in your life, this is where you should go.
Not that we bought anything for the men in our lives – and that would be our boys.
Right. Make your life easy this holiday season and head over to Stroked Ego.
And tell Jasmine that Sydney and Irene sent you!

The Unrefined Olive


Everyone has someone on their Christmas list that has everything/wants nothing. The Unrefined Olive, located at 151A Second Avenue in the Glebe and 499 Terry Fox Drive in Kanata, has the answer for just those people. You can check out their website and also find them on Facebook and Twitter.

IMG_9175 (1280x956) (3)They have olive oils and balsamic vinegars from around the world, and you can taste them before you buy them.

IMG_9174 (956x1280) (2)Once you make your selection (not an easy task), the oil/vinegar is poured into bottles and labelled for you.


taste testing

premium virginIf you don’t want a flavoured oil, but simply a great virgin olive oil, there’s a large selection to choose from.

specialty oilsThey have specialty oils and seasonings. The truffle sea salt smelled unbelievable!

salt and seasoningsSome great stocking stuffers…

olives…and other things to go along with your oils and vinegars.

cutting boards

I’m so glad we finally made into The Unrefined Olive – that place is amazing!
I know! I love the set-up and the very helpful service. I’m sure the people on my list will love their gifts. Guess where I’m buying yours?
At another great Glebe retailer -Bloomfields. I thought we decided that.
Did we?
So, I bought the first oil and first vinegar I tried. How many did you try before you made a decision?
I tried two.
I don’t believe you and neither does Matt.
I’m telling the truth. We should go back to taste the other oils. It’s such an amazing place.
It could totally be a dating place it’s so great.
We can go in there to write my online dating profile while tasting olive oil.
We absolutely should. They are so good at pairing oil and vinegar they could probably pair people too.

3 Cool Things from Bloomfields Flowers

In case you missed our post this week, we went to the holiday season launch at Bloomfields Flowers in the Glebe. Bloomfields is one of those (much-too-rare) magical retail spaces where every item looks as those it was carefully hand-picked and placed exactly where it should be in the store. And don’t even get us started on the flowers!

Their holiday season stock was so wonderful, we just had to point out a few of our favourite things again. So here they are, and if you missed our post, just keep scrolling down and you’ll see it right below this post.

1. Klippan Blankets

A bit of background. Klippan is a family owned business that started in Sweden in 1879. Their blankets are made with pure lambs wool from New Zealand and the designs are incredibly beautiful which makes it difficult to decide which one to buy. Klippan is one of the very few producers of this kind left in Europe. These blankets are meant to be handed down to future generations. I have my eye on the one second from the left…















2. Reindeer Soap Dish

Soap dish


Great for Christmas…and all year long as far as we’re concerned.









3. Flowers/Plants

Bloomfields Flower collageBloomfields is a florist and their flowers and plants are the best!