A glass wall staircase.

A Record Credenza Is the Main Attraction Inside This Toronto Dining Room


Since it was such a new renovation, we opted not to paint and instead we added art to the walls to make them more personalized. We are lucky to know some very talented artists and have fun pieces from J. Penry, Brian Chippendale, Joe Bradley, Nick Gazin, plus a vintage painting of my mom by her friend, amongst others. We own a lot of artwork, and that is one thing we were able to bring from New York without taking all the art off our walls in Brooklyn and really makes it feel like a home. We also love books and have a massive book wall at our home in New York that we have tried to recreate here in Toronto. 

Since you like to travel, how has sourcing for work influenced the way you decorate at home?

Mary and I recently traveled to Mexico City to find cool handmade goods for [our store]—one of the things that makes Friends special is we buy products that other stores don’t have, which is why travel is an important part of our process as buyers. I bought a lot of stuff for my house as well as gifts for family and friends, from handmade ceramic mugs and bowls to recycled bags to baskets and planters, as well as woven items like hats and textiles. Mexico has many rich manufacturing traditions, but what I love most is how you can see the human hand in most of what their artisans produce. Friends NYC doesn’t take itself too seriously; we focus on quirky, funny, whimsical home and gift items. This has inspired me to have items that will make me smile when I’m at home, like this baguette candle

The glass wall is actually part of the staircase. It was the creative decision of her landlord, Matt Malloy, who renovated the space before she moved in. “I like the glass because it keeps the room very open and airy,” says Emma, noting that its beautiful reflections can also make taking photos difficult.

Photo: Emma Kadar-Penner

A Polaroid photo of Emma and her husband is placed on one of the shelves.

Photo: Emma Kadar-Penner

What is your biggest splurge item in the kitchen or dining area? Where and how did you get it?

We have a few splurge items from a local furniture and design store called Mjolk that focuses on beautifully made, highly crafted pieces. My favorite item from them is our record credenza, made by Toronto cabinetmaker Thom Fougere. My husband is a musician and DJ, so he sourced all the vintage stereo equipment that lives on the credenza—we love it for the sound and the aesthetics. I’m also obsessed with this brass candle sconce, which reflects candlelight beautifully.

I love low lighting and candles, so this was the perfect piece to get that chill, evening vibe. I’m crazy for candles and incense, so these are things I always have on hand. Also, most of my baskets are from the store but not currently listed online. I also own the Areaware x Sophie Collé splat table, which I got at Friends, but it’s also only available in store. Our web store is totally adorable and amazing, but there’s nothing quite like coming to see us IRL. We’ve tried to create an escape, a little Bushwick oasis, and it just feels good to be here.

Denon DP-67L Direct Drive Record Player Turntable

Article Lenia White Oak Sideboard

Geometric Oushak Handmade Turkish Rug

Brooklyn Candle Studio Catskills Escapist Candle

Sophie Collé Splat Side Table

Friends NYC Baguette Candle



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