Turn the corner, and you'll find new gems popping up all over James North. And that means more places to shop local. On the art crawl this month, we discovered Home, and after two minutes in the shop we were ready to move right in. The space is airy, bright, and filled with beautiful vintage furniture and decor selected by owner Bridget Coruzzi. We instantly felt like old friends with Bridget. After scribbling email addresses on paper, we quickly made plans to come back when she had more pieces in to photograph. With September approaching, it always feels like the time to start new endeavors. We were so charmed by Bridget's story and her spontaneity. After studying Fashion Arts at Humber College, and Business Administration at Mohawk, she realized that she had reached a crossroads in her life and decided to turn her passion for antiques and design into a business. All it took was a small push from her family. "The whole store was so spontaneous," says Bridget, "Back in April, my sister, mom and I were talking about how much we would love to own a home decor store, and within three months it happened!"
Home features a mix of all design styles -- traditional, country, rustic, contemporary. "Growing up, my parents always had an interest in interior design," explains Bridget, "They were always taking us to antique markets and flea markets on weekends." The mix of modern and traditional style in her childhood home largely influenced her style today. "I love blending vintage pieces with new ones and mixing eras together," she says. The shop is filled with pieces that suit her personal taste. Think classic fabrics, French country, paisleys and bold floral prints. Trunks and bookshelves are among the requests that come in from customers. But she loves finding pieces with character behind them. "Sometimes it ruins a piece when you try to reinvent it," says Bridget. Antique shopping can be intimidating to some, and often associated with a hefty price tag. But with very reasonable pricing and her friendly approach, Bridget is making antique shopping attractive and affordable to a whole new clientele. We'll be coming back again and again to see what new pieces she has in store.
Bridget herself lives on James Street, so it was an obvious location to set up shop. The art crawl largely influenced her opening up here. "I love how the art crawls are bringing people back downtown again," says Bridget, "There is such a great energy and creative vibe in the neighbourhood." We definitely agree. And with the AGH announcing a new storefront to open at 118 James North this spring, there's definitely a positive vibe in the area that's sure to draw more independent businesses, shop owners and entrepreneurs.
Bridget sources the pieces in the shop from estate sales, antique markets and the like. We're keen on visiting estate sales ourselves, so we were curious to know if she keeps an eye out for a certain period of design when she is looking for pieces. "Each era is so different," she explains, "I'm drawn to certain qualities from each period. I love the clean lines in art deco, the detailed patterns in art nouveau, and the fun, unique retro pieces."
With Stephanie having sold her home, and Jacklyn having been abroad, we're been in the midst of living out of suitcases and drawers. We're seriously looking forward to settling into new homes and apartments downtown, and setting up an office to work out of. That's right, office. Get excited. We asked Bridget if she has any design advice for a person decorating their first home or apartment. "It's easy to decorate on a budget," Bridget suggests, "I find you can make almost every piece multi-functional. An old dresser also works great as a hallway table or a buffet in the dining room. A vintage trunk is a great coffee table or tv stand that doubles as storage." In other words, a little imagination goes a long way.
Though Home has just opened its doors, Bridget is already planning for the future direction of the shop and we're pretty excited for what's to come. "I would love to offer interior design services," she says, "I am also hoping to take an upholstery course in the future. Upholstery is such a great way to freshen up an older piece." We're certain her customers would be thrilled if she ventured this route.
128 James Street North
Open Wednesday - Sunday
*Update: Sadly Bridget has decided to close Home. A new floral shop called Il Fiore will be opening in its former space soon.