New Spaces

Not only are we extremely close to opening our new space in
the Exchange District... we have moved our blog.

All the content from this blog has been moved to our new
address on the web. We will leave this blog up as a byway
to ...

See you there!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

New Arrivals

Anyone considering a redecorating project or adding a lot of flair to a room will be delighted to see that Mio Culture's Paperforms are now available at our House.

Designed by Jaime Salm, we love that Paperform tiles add dimension and interest to an entire wall or on a selected section of wall as a focal point.

Customizable to suit individual styles with paint we also love that there are a myriad of patterns which can be created by rotating the tiles. They can be adhered to the wall permanently with wallpaper paste or temporarily with double sided tape.

Another reason we love them? They are made of 100% pre and post consumer waste paper.

Jaime Salm wows again. This time in collaboration with Elizabeth Ingram with the 
Grid Wall Pockets Organizer.

The design duo makes organizing your stuff all the less daunting and, dare we say, pleasurable with their wall mountable organizer. Manufactured from die cut recycled felt, the die cut waste is immediately recycled back into production.

The clean linear design with a pop of vivid colour will elevate your cubicle culture to new levels!

Now available at our House in Orangina and Hot Rod Red.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Not Soon Enough

Ever vigilant, we have been searching the planet to find the best of the best of design to bring home to you.

My better half recently returned from a trip to Copenhagen laden with catalogs and rave reviews. While he was away I kept myself busy by scouring the web for things we know you'll love.

Although we are still locating and contacting distributors and suppliers we did find time to place a number of orders recently. It will be a little more than a week before the first of them arrive on our doorstep, and several weeks for others, but we are far too excited to keep things under wraps.

Being packaged and prepared for shipping, as I tap away here, we are happy to introduce you to...

Pop Out Jewelry by Melissa Borrell:

You participate in the final step of the design process with Melissa's Pop Out pendants and earrings in powder coated stainless steel and 18k gold plate.

Duffy London Chandelier Light

Available in 28" and 36" sizes and a variety of colors.

Champagne Glasses by Wellmade

Celebrate in style with double walled glasses to keep your bubbly cold and sparkly

Innermost Kapow Shade

This lampshade has an explosive impact. Available in red or white.

Jenny Wilkinson's Paint by Number Wall Strips

Encourage your children, friends and family to colour on your walls - provided they stay within the lines.

Innermost Snowflake Light Shade

Though not a great fan of anything winter, this pendant is welcome in my home any season.

Innermost Peony Shade

Striking black shade casts gorgeous floral light patterns throughout the room.  Suitable for a table lamp base or as a hanging shade.

By Canadian Manufacturer Adzif...

Truly sensational wall graphics which will inspire you to zazz up all the rooms in your home.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

ChiChi ~ Not Just a Girl Thing

I cannot tell you how many times I've seen a couple pop into the House where the male counterpart develops a glazed look in his eyes and then sets off to post himself as temporary doorman. His eagerness for his lady to finish her browsing palpable, he develops a glazed look in his eyes as he wishes he were anywhere else but ChiChi. Being close to the door, we imagine he thinks, means a quicker escape when his woman appears ready to leave.

What he-male, other than the most indulgent and patient, willingly comes to shop at a boutique called ChiChi? No manly-man is all too eager to share with his buddies that he went shopping at ChiChi that afternoon. None but that savvy, that is.

When we encounter this particular species of male we approach them with caution. Caution meaning we foist a coffee upon them and tell them they absolutely must see the mAntique room. After we've coerced them to the virile room we rarely see them skittle back to the front. The assurance that we have guy stuff in the house seems to put them at ease and open them up to the whole experience.

So how do we get it out there that our focus and merchandise isn't strictly for the feminine?

We'll keep on telling you about all the great stuff for guys, that's how. We'll continue to thrust coffees into hands and nudge them further into the house. And we'll ask you to tell everyone you know how ChiChi is also swank, dapper, mod and trig.

Some great stuff for guys...

Toys for Big Boys

From vintage stock market games to old models and whittling projects. From funky designer wind up toys to cool wall graphics of (eek!) bugs. We have an eclectic and ever changing variety of items for the guy who likes to play.

Smooth and Sweet

Private label Manly Man shaving bars and Boathouse soap shine him up and make him all the more kissable! Vintage shaving mugs, brushes, mirrors and straight razors for the bold are also available.

King of the Kitchen

The culinary wizardry he cooks up can be done with added pizazz when he utilizes boldly colored mixing bowls and cool vintage utensils. Or... Fetch him a beer....... a beer apron that is!

Shaken, not Stirred

Vintage barware, as unique as he is, lets him show off his shimmy, er, shaking skills in style.

There you have it! Proof positive that we have things for guys to groove on. There is, of course, more but we don't want to spoil the ChiChi experience by giving it all away here.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Romancing Joe

When I was little my first memory of coffee was of the freeze-dried kind, Sanka, and cowboys ‘round the fire, and FireKing mugs. Those freeze-dried grounds were curious looking and smelled kind of odd to me. I’m sure they were cutting edge back then but boy have we come a long way!

I started drinking coffee in my 20’s out of necessity when I worked at an insurance brokerage office with overactive air conditioning. I don’t have a sweet tooth so hot chocolate never did it for me and the perfumey aroma of tea has always put me off (my apologies to all you tea drinkers out there). So I tried coffee. It tasted bitter to me so I tried it with sugar and cream, then just sugar, then the magical formula of 2 creams in a cup of strong coffee. Suddenly a whole new world of potential purchases opened up to me! I rapidly became the proud owner of 2 coffee grinders and one pot.

Then I traveled to Europe. What a shocker! Their idea of coffee was no match for my na├»ve traveling self. I ordered a cup and, thinking I was getting a “cup” of coffee, I got instead a teensy espresso with a teensy almond cookie on the side. You should'a seen the looks I got when I asked for cream! That trip certainly added to my education in the ways of coffee consumption. Fifteen years later when I made it back to Paris I did not make the same faux pas of simply ordering “coffee”, thanks to Starbucks, Second Cup, etc., I knew what to ask for.

In Parisian shop windows I spotted the most gorgeous line of illy cups and beautiful pots. Suddenly one pot and 2 grinders didn’t cut it with me any more. Now if you come to my house you’ll see a red Italian stove-top pot, a filter basket that sits on the cup for single cups, a Bodum Press and a simple vintage chrome electrical percolator from our House, along with about 30 coffee cups. But I want more. Thing is, hubby doesn’t drink coffee and chicklet at 6 years old is too young.

Luckily, having the kind of shop that Kat & I do allows us access to coffee brewers I never knew existed and for the short time they reside in the store I can feel like they’re mine. In the few months that we’ve been the proprietors of ChiChi we’ve seen many options for coffee service. There are the vintage Pyrex carafes, many with their own metal stand. There are countless versions of the chrome pot. There are campfire pots and the lovely red 650 watt percolator we have in stock made by Regal.
My personal favourite right now is the pot made by a mystery maker. Its tangerine hue and wooden accents are vintage, yet modern. The pot comes with its own permanent filter which works well within our environmental concerns and a separate basket to allow the passage of water. I presume you pour boiling water onto the grounds through this basket since the bottom of the pot is virtually pristine. Either no one ever used it or its bottom has never seen a stove top. Who ever made this pot was humble indeed. Not one identifying mark, brand name, stamp, nothing.

Then there are the gorgeous vintage chrome percs we feature whenever possible. I have been eyeing the 600 watt one currently on display in the kitsch’n called the “Berkley Coffee Watcher” put out by Eaton’s of Canada. How do I know that you ask? Because it says so underneath. The mirror-polished chrome is framed out nicely by the black handle and base and the glass perk knob on top. In my opinion the engraved B stands for “beautiful”, it is merely coincidence that Berkley starts with B. I can just see myself carrying this pot to the table for a little coffee klatsch. I can just hear the oooo’s and aaaah’s. I can just taste the rich, strong, delish cuppa Joe sliding down my throat as I burn my tongue in my zeal to rush the experience.

With a Starbucks on every major corner in big cities, and across the street from itself on streets like Robson in Vancouver, is it any wonder 600 of them are closing down? Do you think that once the dust settles, anyone will notice? In my neighbourhood alone there is a Starbucks on one block, another just a few scant blocks away, yet another in a Safeway just a few more blocks away and yet another going into a Safeway currently being upgraded practically across the street from a free-standing store.

Since I'm certain Starbucks will be fine and won't mind the competition, I think it's time for a shout-out to one of the coolest coffee houses in Winnipeg, Cafe del Sol. If you get the chance, seek them out. They're located at 2037 Portage Avenue (right across from Assiniboine Park). The proprietors are lovely and the coffee divine! (When you go, say hi for us.)

As some of you already know, when we opened our store we received a coffee machine as a store-warming gift allowing us to offer each of our customers complimentary coffee. But this is no ordinary coffee machine, no sirree bob. Our machine hails from “The Catering Line” of Argento. We use only the best beans. Each cup is custom. Each sip is a gorgeous experience. We don't profess to be experts but one thing is for sure, we love Joe and this is one affair our husbands wouldn’t dare question.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

What Time Is It?

Its time to let you know about some cool new products which arrived this week!

The Big Wheel gear clock adds an element of industrial chic to any decor.

Miniature Designer Chair collectibles.

Wow your dinner guests with a simple table setting which seems to defy the laws of gravity. The stunning beauty of these magnetic vases, created by Israeli designer Shahar Peleg, is in the brushed silver finish which elegantly display single stems of your favorite flower.

Shuffling off to bed, casting his own shadow before him, Mr. Luke adds a whimsical touch with his flickering battery powered candle.

Last but certainly not least, my favorite of the new arrivals.....

"I am not a paper cup..."

This stunning double walled porcelain cup with silicone lid makes a ChiChi environmentally friendly statement and keeps your favorite beverage hot (or cold).

There are more new arrivals coming, both by local creatives and from orders we are continually placing, as we strive to make the hippest products throughout the globe available to you right here at our House. Stay tuned!