Our new studio! Showroom and workshop

June 2016, we found a charming white building in South Etobicoke that used to be a machine shop. The building belonged to the same family for 60 years. We thought it was perfect to make it our brick and mortar, with the showroom in the front and the workshop in the back. 

The building came with this cute door cover in the front, and we thought it would be nice to have "wallpaper" painted on the inside of it. Because 1925Workbench started from our house, it would be a homey thing to do. We worked with Make Good Design and the result is fabulous! We decided to paint our name really big on the wall in light grey so that it's like a watermark on the building. That way the wallpaper and mustard door can stand out.

The building came with this cute door cover in the front, and we thought it would be nice to have "wallpaper" painted on the inside of it. Because 1925Workbench started from our house, it would be a homey thing to do. We worked with Make Good Design and the result is fabulous!

We decided to paint our name really big on the wall in light grey so that it's like a watermark on the building. That way the wallpaper and mustard door can stand out.

As you enter the building through the mustard yellow door, you'll see our showroom, it's minimal with colour. It's a place where I (My Le) love to spend time to work. We love plants, and on the left corner of this picture is our Guava plant we had for 6 years. We made the nun table and bench you see here for the Interior Design Show 2016. It is made completely of solid white oak, including the drawer boxes. The pink door was also made for IDS2016, there are two of them, and they do lift your spirits when you look at them. 

As you enter the building through the mustard yellow door, you'll see our showroom, it's minimal with colour. It's a place where I (My Le) love to spend time to work. We love plants, and on the left corner of this picture is our Guava plant we had for 6 years.

We made the nun table and bench you see here for the Interior Design Show 2016. It is made completely of solid white oak, including the drawer boxes. The pink door was also made for IDS2016, there are two of them, and they do lift your spirits when you look at them. 

Beyond the white oak doors on the left is the workshop, it's where the white walls and minimalism stop, and the chaos of creation begins. The photographs on the walls are my own. We aim to blend art and design, function and aesthetics. The black frame here are windows that belong to a large black door made of ebonized oak.

Beyond the white oak doors on the left is the workshop, it's where the white walls and minimalism stop, and the chaos of creation begins. The photographs on the walls are my own. We aim to blend art and design, function and aesthetics. The black frame here are windows that belong to a large black door made of ebonized oak.

Here a larger view for context. We've made movable walls so that if we wanted to change the layout in the future that it is possible. the wall with the yellow door here creates a section for bed. see in the next few posts.

Here a larger view for context. We've made movable walls so that if we wanted to change the layout in the future that it is possible. the wall with the yellow door here creates a section for bed. see in the next few posts.

Here is our platform bed inside made of reclaimed wood. The left wall are electrical panels from the machine shop before us. we decided to leave them on the wall and paint them all white as an installation and to reclaim a piece of the building's history.

Here is our platform bed inside made of reclaimed wood. The left wall are electrical panels from the machine shop before us. we decided to leave them on the wall and paint them all white as an installation and to reclaim a piece of the building's history.

View of the electrical panels. it is my favorite part of the showroom.

View of the electrical panels. it is my favorite part of the showroom.

my little work station using the walnut credenza. you'll see in the pictures below of the before, the space was slightly different. 

my little work station using the walnut credenza. you'll see in the pictures below of the before, the space was slightly different. 

The big ebonized oak door slides on the I-beam that goes across the room. The windows open too, and that's what you saw in the picture above.

The big ebonized oak door slides on the I-beam that goes across the room. The windows open too, and that's what you saw in the picture above.

One view from the yellow doors where you see the daybed made of white oak, inspired by mid-day naps in Vietnam.

One view from the yellow doors where you see the daybed made of white oak, inspired by mid-day naps in Vietnam.

Here is looking to the showroom from the workshop. Photograph on wall is my my le nguyen. 

Here is looking to the showroom from the workshop. Photograph on wall is my my le nguyen. 

This is the before of the spot where the pink doors and walnut doors are now. 

This is the before of the spot where the pink doors and walnut doors are now. 

There's that wall with all the electrical panels that we painted white along with the rest of the space. Each of these control a machine in the old shop. They are now art for our showroom, taking back some history of the building.

There's that wall with all the electrical panels that we painted white along with the rest of the space. Each of these control a machine in the old shop. They are now art for our showroom, taking back some history of the building.

A more complete angle of the showroom before we did anything. I still love that industrial look. But it's a tranquil place now for quiet work and for our clients to come discuss their project.  

A more complete angle of the showroom before we did anything. I still love that industrial look. But it's a tranquil place now for quiet work and for our clients to come discuss their project.  

The New NXL Architects playground

I had a little visit with the new NXL Architect office a few days ago at 31 Scarsdale Rd. 

We made the sliding doors that covers almost the entire strip of the office's right side where the board rooms are. We even made the sliding hardware specifically for these doors as they were quite heavy being 2-1/4" thick of Baltic birch plywood with fluted glass panels.

I couldn't be more happy to see such a beautiful office that seems more like a playground as it was done so thoughtfully and creatively. We are so proud to have worked on this project. 

The note book on the shelf above belongs to the principal architect's father. Four doors were installed for the large board room. Two are stationary on each side, while two slides in a bi-parting manner to open and close. 

The note book on the shelf above belongs to the principal architect's father. Four doors were installed for the large board room. Two are stationary on each side, while two slides in a bi-parting manner to open and close. 

A more frontal view of the board room with the four doors. These doors slide on the existing I-beam!

A more frontal view of the board room with the four doors. These doors slide on the existing I-beam!

The other set of doors is for a smaller think room. I felt like I was going back through time seeing this room amidst the modern, clean lines of the entire office.  

The other set of doors is for a smaller think room. I felt like I was going back through time seeing this room amidst the modern, clean lines of the entire office.  

I took this picture of Rock while he worked on getting the doors installed months ago while NXL was under construction. Light through fluted glass is so beautiful. 

I took this picture of Rock while he worked on getting the doors installed months ago while NXL was under construction. Light through fluted glass is so beautiful. 

We made the hardware specially for these doors since they have to slide on the I-beam which had a thicker flat track. The wheels are metal instead of nylon to bear the weight of the doors. 

We made the hardware specially for these doors since they have to slide on the I-beam which had a thicker flat track. The wheels are metal instead of nylon to bear the weight of the doors. 

During under construction. Amazing what the space looks like now. 

During under construction. Amazing what the space looks like now. 

Debuting our Library Ladder hardware.

We did a custom library ladder hardware while building a 16' high shelving for a client. We've been asked before but always said no. We're finally coming out of our no to library ladders and here it is! ***Click on link below to go to a video

https://www.instagram.com/p/BMiL-dSD07o/?taken-by=1925workbench

We built this wall unit along with the ladder and the coffee table. The library ladder hardware debuted with this project. 

Breezeway largely made of Douglas Fir

When our client wanted to build another house beside their house for their son's family, they wanted a breezeway that would connect the two houses. But they didn't want to cover up the view or access to the backyard. So the solution is to put two large barndoors across the openings. You can walk right through to the backyard in the summer when these doors will be kept mostly open.

Yes, the house is too big for my camera. If I stood back any further, I would have fallen into bushes.

 

We also made the entry door to the new house out of Douglas Fir.

From the backyard looking into the front.

 

Closer look at entry door.

Details. This is the connecting line where two doors were made into one large one.

Late in the day. This is from the stand point where family from the new house would begin to walk to the old house.

That white door at the end is where you would enter the old house.

 

Closed off for the night.

House&Home magazine Fall2015 small space issue features our house!

We had so much fun doing the photo shoot with House&Home. Kai and Morgan were so good at making our place look fantastic (that's right, our house don't normally look like this). Thank you Virginia and Sara for photographing our house in the best light! The family portrait. Khai (the baby) is just about to fall asleep, so no smiles from him, only a little frustration with all the locomotion.

 

Dan is a favourite here. And that's not a TV on the wall, it's actually a photograph of a TV, by me. Want to see more? www.mylenguyen.com/work/

And that's what H&H looks like for September 2015

 

An old factory loft becomes homey with the barn door transformation

And old factory in New Market has been turned info beautiful living lofts. But what is missing in these lofts are the real barn doors that truly transforms the space. We retrofitted three openings in this two-bedroom unit, two openings with double doors, and one single door closet, and home couldn't be cozier.

This is one set of the double biparting doors for the second bedroom. How lovely are these doors with that ceiling!

On the other side of the room is the master bed and there is another set of double biparting doors as the entrance.

Inside the master bed is the single door for the closet.

View from outside the master bedroom .

From inside the master bed, it is absolutely gorgeous. The frosted glass provide privacy at the same time adds light.

If you lay on the master bed, and look out, this would be your view...an escape better than the Bahama's 5 start hotel!

 

New! Our signature walnut stools!!

We are excited to launch our new solid walnut piece, the loveable and sturdy walnut stools!! It comes in 2 heights, 18" and 9" It is perfect for that occasional seating, side table, or an accent piece. It be used as stools for a dining set, or console. We use the little one as a stepping stool for our toddlers in the bathroom, it looks great!

Here they are!

 

We use the larger stool here as an accent piece for our living room.

A look at the larger size.

Please inquire for pricing and sizes.

 

Sporting Life Ottawa received 4 barn doors for Christmas

Now that we are in July and it's so hot, it makes me think about the bitterly cold day of December 1st when Sporting life Ottawa received 4 early Christmas gifts, 2 in red and 2 in black. The cottage feel that Sporting Life is known for has just top the scale once these four doors were installed. This distressed red barn door on the Heavy Metal hardware covers up the access opening of the display window.

The other red door, also covering access to the display window

Far view of both red doors on the main floor.

The two black barn doors are for the fitting room upstairs, both to cover an access to the window display.

The black is great with the wooden fitting stalls and that light grey pattern rug.

 

The walnut live edge desk for a newly revived home office

Need I say again? Walnut, walnut, walnut. We can't have enough walnut. It is timeless beauty. The waterfall edge is stunning with a live edge walnut piece because it actually does look like water is falling. This was made using one continuous solid piece of live edge walnut. The corner is mitered for that seamless fall.

Set against the white built-in cabinetry and the grey tones rug, the walnut desk with raw steel legs really pops.

This is the view coming into the front door on your left side. Our client were thinking of putting a navy blue chair with this, I think it would look gorgeous because of that nice contrast between the deep blue and the yellow/brown warmth of the walnut, against a neutral backdrop. 

A closer look at the live edge. This would also work nicely as a mantle, or a simple kitchen island.

View from the dining room area looking into the the home office

Another look !

Summerhill Optical is seeing barn doors

Located on a residential street minutes from Summerhill subway station, this amazing optical clinic (summerhilloptometry.com) will having you seeing all things beautiful! They have the most exotic and beautiful glasses frames I have ever seen. And all these frames are sitting there in this stunningly hip space---eclectic and elegant at the same time. And to top off the beauty of the space, Dr. Naeem has asked us to create doors to cover an unsightly nook that houses electrical panels. These bypassing barn doors covers a nook right in front of the store that houses electrical panels. Now they are the center of attention!

I'm not kidding about the amazing frames you'll find here. There are even frames made of wood. Those are my favorite!

The space is filled with personality but still retains a sense of minimalism and tranquility.

Not only is the space where you want to come to have your eyes checked and feast on the frames, but you'll enjoy your time with Dr. Naeem and his staff--amazing customer service. I know because I've seen it while I was there photographing, and through working with Dr. Naeem on the barn door.

One last look at the barn door. As you can see, the horizontal lines of the barn boards mimic the horizontal lines of the shelves for the frames creating an echo that bounces back and forth across the walls.

The walnut slab door feels right at home in this gorgeous art-filled loft

Wanting to replace a old sliding door for the front closet, our client asked for our opinion. After seeing the space, nothing speaks louder than a solid walnut slab door with horizontal planks on the stainless steel barn door hardware. At the end of the loft is a built-in bookshelf that was also made of walnut, so we thought we would have a dialogue going with the walnut pieces. As it turns out,the newly renovated kitchen area also has walnut cabinetry.

Oh, and did I mention the art? Both Rock and I were so overwhelmed by the art in this loft that was hard to focus on the question at hand -- the barn door. It's like going to a gallery, except this was in someone's home, and so the curated collection was much more interesting . No wonder this loft was featured in Designlines magazine.

There it is. I can't say anything more. It's just simply stunning, and those black shoes on the steps...is it art? or is it function? See what I mean about it being much more interesting a gallery?

The walnut flows  nicely with the orange front door. The loft is being re-design by Eduardo and his team at www.aagency.ca. I like the orange so much I called Eduardo to ask for the code. We ended up painting the door we displayed at the Interior Design Show this orange.

This picture doesn't do justice, but your senses and brain get a stimulation rush in this place.

Rock always has to make his way into my picture somehow. I love that black piece that looks like a double tobacco pipe.  And of course the door. The horizontal planks leads the eye into the loft where all the excitement awaits...

 

 

Sculpting a door out of barn boards and having it revolve in the middle of a house.

Building, making, and constructing a door is what we normally do, but sculpting one and have it revolve in the middle of a house takes a bit more work than we're used to. But our client wanted just that. The door then became a sculpture and a room divider for this modern home in Bayview and Steeles The door is 7" thick, over 6' wide and 7' high.

Take a look for yourself and see if this is really a barn board door or a barn board sculpture?

Rock is getting the revolving hardware in place, while my brother is cutting out some baseboards to make room for the door. No need to mention here how big the door is.

Ta-ra! i's in place and now rotates if you push it.

Behind the door is the kitchen and dining area, and in front of it is a sitting area and an office.

 

This is view from kitchen and dining area.

 

When the door is revolved to a position that it cuts the opening in half.

The red clock is where the office is.

Here is a view when it in a position of closing the opening.

Last one, that's Rock's pony tail.

If you like to have a revolving door in your house, talk to us!