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The Globe and Mail

Why this is Shaun Moore’s favourite room

Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail

When Shaun Moore bought his home in Toronto's Cabbagetown district with partner Todd Caldwell 12 years ago, the 1874 terraced house was so dilapidated many buyers would have torn it down and built anew. But given the Winnipeg native's predilections – he is co-founder with Julie Nicholson of MADE, a showroom dedicated to handcrafted Canadian design – Moore decided to renovate the structure instead. The decade-long process has seen some rooms opened up and others kept as is (with the help of judicious patching, polishing and painting). Among the latter is the dining room, where the couple likes to entertain. "We do have friends over a lot for dinner and the room has a nice feeling, especially at night," Moore says. "The dark walls make it feel warm and intimate."

The chairs

"These chairs came with me from Winnipeg. They are from the store Bud & Betty's Inc. and are original Eames chairs, bought for a fraction of what they are worth today."

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The table

"This was Todd's great grandmother's and came all the way up from Wisconsin, where his family is from. One of the reasons we kept this table even though our tastes tend to be more modern is that it has four leaves which we can add to the table and expand for enormous dinner parties."

The light fixture

"This was the first major purchase made for the house. We got it at Quasi Modo in Toronto. It's a George Nelson bubble lamp and it creates a canopy over the dining table, casting a gentle glow. We also like the large scale of it in the room."

The artwork

"This is hot glue and glitter, a piece created by the Winnipeg-born, Torontobased artist Andrew Harwood. It has a three-dimensional quality to it, and looks like a web floating in a box."

The flooring

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"The original floor was so ruined it really couldn't be sanded or polished. But we loved the wide planks and decided to keep them. We painted them over with an oil paint that is just a shade below black but reads like blue."

The wall colour

"We had originally painted the walls chocolate brown and then grew tired of it. We wanted a change and so last year re-did them in a deep navy from Benjamin Moore called Marine Blue. It makes the walls look silky."

The console

"My business partner, Julie, and I made this. We call it the Hybrid Console. There were only three of them, and they were sold at MADE. They are made of found milk crates, lacquered bamboo legs and Queen Anne-style legs. The idea behind it was the collision between refined and cheap, old and new, antique and modern. The hot-pink milk crate was particularly hard to come by."

The sculpture

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"This is by the Canadian author and artist Douglas Coupland. It's basically a stack of various children's building blocks. We found it at Coupland's dealer, the Daniel Faria Gallery in Toronto. Doug's works are very collectible. A few years ago, he did what he called recession art, selling his pieces for a lot less than what they usually go for. So not only was this a great work with a lot of personality, it happened to be within our budget."

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