BY Hilary Caton July 14, 2010 14:07Who: Michelle Mawby, interior designer for Discovery Channel’s Junk Raiders.
What: Her house at Yonge and St. Clair
1. Mawby had been hunting for this orb lamp for a few months and finally found the perfect replica at Restoration Hardware in Toronto.“It’s really the nicest one out there, and is actually a limited edition piece that was redone. And what’s cool about it is you can use it to do Morse code,” says Mawby.
2. Mawby doesn’t remember where she got this decorative ostrich egg, though it’s in a case of collectibles that she likes for their “different shapes and textures.” Of the long-legged creature itself, she says, “I haven’t seen one in real life, but from what I’ve seen in photos, their eyelashes creep me out.”
3. “These wooden wings are over 100 years old and from a church in Europe. They’re about five feet tall. What I really like about them is that they’re on little iron stands, which I thought was interesting because it gives it another dimension,” explains Mawby.
4. This traditional Damask print is revamped with the addition of skulls, giving it a bit of a punk-rock edge, a mix Mawby enjoys. “I just like a little tough mixed in with some pretty, plus it’s unexpected and I love the unexpected.” A fashion icon is also credited for the inspiration. “I’m a big fan of Alexander McQueen and he used skulls on everything.”
5. Mawby is an avid diver, an activity she fell in love with the moment she slapped on her first pair of fins and strapped on an oxygen tank. “I have quite a few ocean pieces. I collect shells from diving trips, too. I just love the ocean; I love being in the ocean, it’s absolutely peaceful under there,” says Mawby. Oddly enough, Mawby isn’t much of a swimmer. “I’m not sure I could swim to save my life, but put a pair of fins on me and I’m good.”
6. Adding to her love of the ocean is a silver, hammered-out bowl with a piece of painted coral serving as a stand. “It was actually a piece on loan that I had taken out to show a client and when she decided not to buy it, I did. That happens a lot,” says Mawby.
7. “The first time I saw a rug like this, I was living in Amsterdam and I fell in love with how it has this traditional print that’s faded away so it looks like you’ve inherited it from your grandmother. After I saw [rugs like that] there I sort of became obsessed with them when we moved back.”