Toronto Life - The Goods

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Introducing: Green Light District, a housewares boutique in Roncy with plenty of wood for everyone

Green Light District, 365 Roncesvalles Ave. (Image: Caroline Aksich)

The Place: Newly repatriated Torontonians David and Deborah Peets have just moved back to Hogtown after two decades of living in Ottawa and, lucky for us, they’ve erected their high-end furniture store, Green Light District, in Roncy. Deborah has set up little vignettes throughout the store to help people visualize their future dining-table set, living room or study.

The Stuff: Deborah and David are seasoned travellers who started curating their furniture collection while jetting off to lesser-known design capitals―South Africa, Argentina, Egypt, Thailand―and sourcing one-of-a-kind finds. Everything they carry at Green Light District is handcrafted and made to order for them by designer-owned companies that are ecologically and socially conscious. The Thai-made hand-hooked carpets and pillows are made with reclaimed cotton from factory floor–gathered scraps (the scraps are sent to women who work from their homes). The tree-embroidered Egyptian pillows are made by a small village that profits from the sales while simultaneously keeping their embroidering traditions alive. Because the Peetses go to such lengths to track down their recherché furnishings, they like to keep their suppliers sub rosa.

Our favourite things: There was a South African table and chair set that was absolutely stunning from any angle: it was made from kiaat―a West African wood with a dark, rich, reddish colour―and was accompanied by nguni chairs ($575), named after the nguni cattle’s half-moon-shaped horns (the chairs’ top rail mimicked the shape). We were also taken by the two Michael Iannone sideboards—one was made from salvaged sorghum stalks with a white laminate overlay that had been cut to display a woodland scene ($3,195). The other dresser was inspired by mid-century modern design, with a multi-coloured cork frontispiece ($3,395); both sideboards have solid walnut bases and walnut veneer tops.