Re­tail A min­i­mal­ist’s dream flower shop opens in Toronto

MSDS Stu­dio cul­ti­vates a flower shop that in­te­grates craft and com­mu­nity


FLÙR, on Toronto’s Bathurst Street, em­bod­ies a new breed of plant and flower shop; one that’s not drip­ping with ivy. In large part that is thanks to the min­i­mal­ist de­sign of the store’s in­te­rior by MSDS Stu­dio – an in­ter­ven­tion more art gallery than ar­bore­tum. Play­ing to Flùr owner Chloë Fraser’s back­ground in vis­ual arts, a care­fully spaced wall of fixed shelv­ing that boasts a ro­tat­ing dis­play of vig­or­ous trop­i­cals, lo­cally grown flow­ers and tex­tu­ral ves­sels, most of which are ar­ti­sanal ce­ramic works.

“For bud­getary rea­sons, we de­cided to use in­ex­pen­sive ma­te­ri­als, but they also go nicely with the shop,” says Jes­sica Nakan­ishi, co-prin­ci­pal of MSDS. Li­noleum curves around the cen­tre plinth, cre­at­ing an or­ganic and multi-tiered dis­play of plants and pots. (The shop sells MSDS’S planters for Um­bra Shift along­side other af­ford­ably priced pots and ac­ces­sories.) “It’s prac­ti­cal for plants, too, be­cause it’s wa­ter­proof.

And the par­ti­cle­board pro­vides a neu­tral back­drop from a dis­tance, but some in­ter­est up close.” The builder­ba­sic ma­te­rial was acid-washed to ab­sorb a milk stain, then sanded and stained mul­ti­ple times to achieve a “mys­te­ri­ous” fin­ish, as Fraser de­scribes it.

The stu­dio worked with a nar­row range of colours, ad­her­ing to the land­lord’s re­quest to not dis­turb the cop­per-painted ceil­ing, or­ange-hued wood­work and mar­ble floor­ing. Mov­ing the junc­tion boxes was also off lim­its. “We ba­si­cally had to build a space within the space,” says Jonathan Sabine, Nakan­ishi’s part­ner. Neu­tral greys, soft pink and a botan­i­cal green on the in­dus­trial duct­work were used to com­ple­ment and also soften the build­ing’s ex­ist­ing fea­tures. A pair of buoy­ant LEDS from Anony high­lights the scale of the shop.

“This is the first space where we are also sell­ing our own prod­uct,” says Sabine, point­ing out that MSDS’S stu­dio is just around the cor­ner. “Chloë has a strong ap­pre­ci­a­tion for de­sign, so this is a good ex­am­ple of how real col­lab­o­ra­tion can ben­e­fit ev­ery­one. The op­po­site of zero sum.”, msds-stu­

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