Positive Space just opened on King East, and while some might say there isn’t a dearth of furniture stores on the stretch, designer Alex Arcese thinks otherwise. He brings his unique brand of custom beds and shelving anyway—he likely hopes his work will stand out from other area shops like EQ3, Toronto’s slightly higher-end IKEA, and specialty boutiques like Visitor Parking, Bulthaup and Modern Weave. The space is a showroom, and there’s very little decoration in an effort to keep the focus on the pieces themselves. But the space isn’t completely void of details—it’s dressed with a selection of Eurolite fixtures, like several strewn Spacewalker lamps, pendants and an LED lighting system featured in Arcese’s ALX Raw custom jobs. Our favourite features were the drawers built into beds for easy-access storage, but the real highlight of this space is ALX Raw’s TV unit ($8,000) which comes with a gas burner—eight small openings release fire with the flick of a lighter (it might make parents uncomfortable, but for someone who likes party tricks, this could be just the ticket). Take a tour of our gallery and find out how pieces are made after the jump.
True to its name, ALX Raw uses raw wood that’s treated only with oil, while the Positive Space bed collection ($1,800–$10,000) is sanded, stained and shaded to smooth out any inconsistencies in finish. The beds are fairly grand in scale, but everything can be customized, from the finishes to the hardware. For someone seeking something more ornate, or for people who try too hard, these beds will probably seem a bit too conventional—they’re modular with a dark espresso finish. We sat on them, and even bounced a little, and while they’re not the race cars of the bed world, they were certainly strong and visibly utilitarian, with drawers for all our unmentionables.