Small businesses often thrive through word of mouth about their unique products and great service, but the really good ones also succeed because they work at curb appeal.
DaDe Art and Design Lab is one such store. Located in the Inglewood BRZ, DaDe is that set-back place on the south side of 9th Avenue S.E. that for years had those see-through horse sculptures in front on their little plaza area and a broad front window expanse brimming with interestinglooking art.
These days there is a metal sort of filigree seethrough outdoor sculpture called The Cube by Michael Perks that can be rotated and a large piece by Matthew Mark Bourree that looks like two giant ever so pretty pickup sticks wooden bouquets. DaDe's frontage grabs your eye and draws you in.
After meeting charismatic co-owners Darcy Lundgren and Greg Fraser, I was determined to make the time to go take a proper look. DaDe opened in a small space in 2008 in Art Central, but success prompted a move to their current 3,000 beautiful, airy square feet in Inglewood.
Lundgren describes the gallery as an exhibition space for unique local art and unusual furniture from all over the world.
One artist, known only as Sam, creates pieces using old elm wood salvaged from warehouses in Beijing that are just astounding.
DaDe carries antique, repurposed and new items. They have an amazing pair of antique red Chinese wedding wardrobes.
The groom's piece is decorated with a bamboo design and the bride's with cherry blossoms.
I should be so lucky to have a bedroom in which these exceptional pieces could be displayed. At the other end of the spectrum are stainless steel handcrafted wardrobes, media cabinets and sideboards.
DaDe's modern couches and chairs, by Bullfrog, are so chic, so comfortable, I can only dream of such sophisticated furniture instead of the tatty Velveteen rabbit couch currently in my living room and habitually occupied by a gritty, hairy dog and two snacking teenagers. The cool thing about these couches is you can reconfigure the backs and arms to create new shapes.
There are also some pretty amazing art pieces here, including abstract pictures, lots of cool glass sculptures from Bee Kingdom that are made from flowing coloured glass, a guy who does bike sculptures for those of you who are passionate about your bikes, some one-of-a-kind jewelry and leather pieces, and interesting room dividers that are made of smaller shapes and incorporate light and movement in their design.
DaDe will work with clients to help them design, to decorate or to rework their living space using the clients' own pieces as well as new items from the gallery.
If you have an old wardrobe, sideboard, bureau or other piece of antique furniture in need of loving care, check out their antiques that have been redone in beautiful coloured lacquer finishes that play up all the wonderful features of these old pieces while making them look fresh and modern.
Reupholstered, repainted armchairs and reclaimed wood cabinets with graffiti-inspired designs created by David Brunning (KidBelo) as well as paintings and a mural outside the store are part of the current exhibit.
DaDe's lovely space is also available to rent for private functions, fundraisers and exhibitions in case you are on the lookout for an amazing location to host your next event.
Next time you are in the Inglewood BRZ, be sure to check out DaDe Art and Design Lab located at 1327 9th Ave. S.E.
Prepare to be wowed and probably a bit covetous and inspired.
best known for: Bagliore uses sexy, buttery Italian jersey fabrics, edgy monochromatic, draping silhouettes and assymetrical cuts. “There are a lot of seemingly basic pieces that are not boring,” she says.
inspiration for 2011 collection: Italian sculptor Bernini. Bagliore’s Italian background comes to the fore in her fall collection, featuring pieces such as the brilliantly designed Desiree “endless” dress that can be worn 15 ways, short or long and even upside down. “I looked at something hard like marble and saw how the masters could make it look so flowing.” Bagliore’s achieved that beautifully in several pieces like the Toga gown and the namesake Bernini dress
favourite piece: The coats. Cashmere/wool blends will stand up to Calgary’s winters and make a stunning statement with their assymetrical cuts, a shawl collar that doubles as a hood and a horn clasp.
who would love this: Women who want comfortable, edgy clothes that can be worn in layers for a seasonless look.
totally new in 2011: The coats, which will be numbered and singed just like art pieces. She’s also introducing some eye-popping silk prints, which can be seen in the linings of her coats, but will be even more prevalant in Spring 2012.
what’s next: Asian inpiration from a recent trip to Thailand will show up in Bagliore’s spring 2012 collection.
pricetag: $525 to $3,200
where to find it in Calgary: Starting Sept. 1, Bagliore’s designs can be found at DaDe Art and Design Lab in Inglewood (dadegallery.com). Also watch for a fashion show and exhibit at the gallery on Nov. 3.
Bicycles are most often seen as utilitarian objects, and through that they have become universal. But in that utility, they also have a unique and interesting esthetic.
Those are the themes explored in the work of Calgary artist Robertus van der Wege, who has an exhibition called The Secret Life of Bicycles at the DaDe Art & Design Lab in Inglewood. van der Wege creates art out of bicycles, toying with ideas of technology, universality, consumerism and humanity.
Here’s how the artist describes it:
“I chose to use these simple pieces of engineering because they are so universal in nature, and I have come to see them as a metaphor for humanity. Throughout the world, only our ability to walk is used more as a means of locomotion. The bicycle exists in every culture and the knowledge of the bicycle mechanic is universal. The skill to repair a bike is the same in Boston, Bangkok, Beirut, or Beijing, and language is not a prerequisite to solving the most complex bicycle problems.”
The Secret Life of Bicycles runs until Sept. 4, so you better hurry down there and check it out.
It’s in the heart of the popular Inglewood neighbourhood with all its unique business ventures.
And DaDe Art & Design adds a different twist to the retailers that dot the 9th Avenue S.E. landscape.
“We’re a really unique concept for Calgary,” says Darcy Lundgren, who owns DaDe Art & Design Lab with Greg Fraser. “What we’re doing is we’re focusing on local artists, but we’re importing furniture from all over the world.
“Right now, we have 15 local artists. Anywhere from blown glass to metal sculpture to silver work to artwork on the walls. Just a very dynamic group of artists that we’re working with.”
The gallery is set up for exhibition space and part of their business plan is renting out the space for private functions and events. There is a rotation of events every six weeks with the artists.
DaDe Art & Design Lab opened in 2009. It is in 3,000 square feet of space. The building was originally a radiator shop. Three garage doors open into the building.
“I’ve been designing high-end residential for 20 years,” says Lundgren. “This has always been a dream to move into the interior design, but offering clients just something unique and very different. Everything we have for product — the furniture, the artwork — it’s all exclusive to us.”
Items range in price from $200 to $20,000 for a sofa.
There is also unique wood product salvaged from buildings slated for demolition in Beijing.
“Our craftsman over there dismantles old factories and warehouses and saves the wood,” says Lundgren.
“Our antiques range anywhere from 100 to 200 years old from China. There’s a library cabinet, wedding cabinets. An altar table.”
The same craftsman does a stainless steel cabinet.
Lundgren says customers range from clients in their 20s starting a new home right up to retired people.
“It’s quite interesting that there hasn’t really been a common denominator so far. It’s just definitely people who want to spend their money on good quality original pieces other than just buying kind of what everybody else has.”
The business opened when other local furniture stores were closing.
“We have taken a huge risk,” says Lundgren. “The year has been quite amazing. The art especially has been doing really well. People are really supporting our artists.
“But we’re not out of the woods yet. We have a long ways to go to let people know that we’re here.”
Looking for a statement piece for your home? The Arte De Meubles ("furniture art") Chinese cabinets at DaDe Art & Design Lab (1327 9th Ave. S.E.) fit the bill.
Made in Beijing from reclaimed elm, the traditional boxy designs have been given a modern makeover by Calgary visual artist TheKidBelo (a.k.a. David Brunning). TheKidBelo, the name behind some of Calgary's best-known murals -including the colourful one in East Village -has painted the DaDe pieces with street art-inspired designs in vibrant colours.
These wow-worthy wardrobes blend today's hot graphic style trend with the classic lines of yesteryear. It's a surprising juxtaposition that pleases the eye and could work in either a modern or traditional space.
"They're definitely like a statement piece," says DaDe co-owner and creative director Darcy Lundgren, who moved DaDe into the large space on 9th Avenue in Inglewood last year.
"It's also a one-of-a-kind artwork as well," he adds.
The artistry is reflected in the price: Arte De Meubles pieces cost $2,800 or $3,200, depending on the size.
DaDe brings in well-made furniture brands from Germany, Italy and the Netherlands, and the gallery also represents 16 local artists.
"We try to select artists that have a different voice," says Lundgren.
DaDe also strives for exclusivity -you won't be able to find their Bullfrog Design furniture, LightFacet room dividers or Arte De Meubles cabinets anywhere else in Calgary.
"We just pride ourselves in having unique product," says co-owner and general manager Greg Fraser.
Lauren Bagliore Design House is please to invite you to an exclusive shopping event "Art and Fashion Night Out" at DaDe ART & DESIGN LAB in Inglewood on Thursday, November 18th, form 7 to 10pm.
Come shop the current Fall Collection and pre-order for the spring season. Here's a sneak peak, LG Fashion Week.
The Desiree Endless and the Celia Cocoon Coat (as seen in Western Living Magazine) will also be available for purchase that evening.
Colourful blown glass works by Bee Kingdom Glass is now available at DaDe Art & Design Lab.
Beautiful blown glass
DECOR DaDe Art & Design Lab in Inglewood is displaying the work of local glass blowing studio Bee Kingdom Glass.
The colourful, gorgeous designs are the work of Ryan Marsh Fairweather, Tim Belliveau and Phillip Bandura, who all graduated from the Alberta College of Art and Design in 2005. They wanted to pursue an artistic lifestyle and careers, and built a hot glass studio in their backyard garage in Calgary.
Why Bee Kingdom?
The name describes the three artists' non-stop pace and it's a nod to hot glass, which can best be described as flowing honey.