IN SPOT: Understated luxury, thy name is Avenue Road
Where other high-end furniture stores may encourage patrons to flaunt their wealth, Avenue Road’s meticulously curated collection makes opulence look easy.
Modern contemporary furniture and accessories from top designers including Christophe Delcourt, Ricardo Fasanello and Anna Torfs fill the Eastern Ave showroom. Even Avenue Road’s president and co-founder Stephan Weishaupt is stylishly reserved when bragging about his store. “It’s an assembly of unique stories that, altogether, create a bigger picture,” he says. “I hope to provide a pool of ideas that people can take pieces from and make their own.”
Weishaupt doesn’t simply choose lines to carry, he often has a hand in their design. The store’s exclusive line, Avenue Edition, started in 2007 with a handful of designs created in collaboration with celebrated Toronto design firm Yabu Pushelberg. It has since grown into a collection of hundreds of pieces.
Two years ago, Avenue Road moved from Booth Ave into its current home, a heritage building that originally served as a warehouse for the Consumers Gas Company and later a Chinese newspaper. “It was in really rough shape,” says Weishaupt. “So we had the freedom to do whatever we wanted to do.” It took two years to gut the hundred-and-something-year-old, 16,000-square-foot space. The result: A chic, industrial interior, complete with white-washed brick and glass walls.
Helping to warm the otherwise stark space are stunning wooden chairs, tables and accessories by Brazilian designers, a community sparsely represented in Toronto before Avenue Road opened its doors. “Brazil is very interesting because of its heritage. It had a lot of European immigrants who brought their skills there,” Weishaupt says. Cross those with the precious woods found in the Amazon and you end up with stunning designs by the likes of Sergio Rodrigues and Etel Carmona.
You’re bound to fall in love with something at Avenue Road, whether it’s the $27,000 crystal chandelier or the $6,000 lotus dining chair. Even if you can’t afford any of it, the experience will still be nothing short of stimulating. “There is a lot to discover here,” says Weishaupt. “Even if it’s just to walk through and be inspired.”
AVENUE ROAD 10am-6pm. Mon-Fri. 11am-5pm. Sat. 415 Eastern Ave. (416) 548-7788. avenue-road.com.