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Dorothy's Therapy - Retail Therapy that is!

Take a home decor journey with Dorothy on a sublime day, sunlight streaming, a perfect day for..... SHOPPING!! One of Dorothy's favourite things to do is shopping for the home! There is nothing like retail therapy.

First stop following a leisurely bistro brunch in the beautiful Bank Street South area was Found Design. A shop that sells mid century modern furniture and accessories with an art gallery ambience. Found Design showcases both classic and charmingly kitschy 20th century pieces handpicked from Canada and beyond.  Here, colourful pop art complements dignified cherry wood; think Andy Warhol meets Mary Tyler Moore circa 1970.  Chrome lighting and Lucite clocks, steel frame sofas and Barwa loungers.  In fact, it was an emerald Folke Oloffson armchair displayed jauntily alongside a sideboard that initially drew us in. With such an astounding array of whimsical antiques, it’s little wonder that Found Designs is an established theatre, film, and photo shoot supplier; their impressive inventory rivals any professional’s prop room.

From there, we travelled north up Bank Street just a short drive to The White Monkey on Gladstone Avenue just west of Bank. A quaint retro haunt, this spacious studio specializes in funky mod furnishings accentuated by a striking black and white striped wall that reminded me of an old artist friend’s Toronto loft.  Stark glass tables are flanked by plush settees and flaming jewel colours in a vibrant throwback to 1960s urban chic; eclecticism abounds.  Boasting a cache of unique finds, The White Monkey has undeniable style, think New York urban. Take note, the store is open Thursday to Sunday.

Next we head over to the Byward Market to Oleander for Home.  Often cited as Ottawa’s premier designer home accessory destination, Oleander’s upscale bed and bath items evoke style, comfort, and opulence with a capital “O”; we’re talking plush Turkish towels, 425 thread count cashmere duvets, hemp pillows, and organic cotton robes.  They carry the world's finest bath products like Italy's Acca Kappa and collections of fine European spa style and sumptuous traditional bath linens. Imported Italian soaps smelling of juniper and vanilla, lemongrass, and rose line the powder room displays.  Alpaca throws, sea-salt shampoos—I could continue, but suffice it to say that one indulgent, aroma-therapeutic trip to Oleander for Home is as relaxing and reminiscent of a spa resort stay as it comes. Oh and you've got to check out the 'Bedhead' pajamas, need I say more? Open every day at the corner of Sussex and Clarence Streets.

Spontaneously we opted to take a drive out to Mobilia on Merivale Street in the west endSelling contemporary furniture, Mobilia is the largest independent retailer in eastern Canada of Italian leather upholstery, and also offers a large selection of contemporary home furnishings. I being a sucker for all things minimalist and modern was immediately enchanted by a stark microfiber sectional.  Pristine yet practical, this white, sleeper sofa, with washable fabric was one of several other drool-worthy furnishings on sale at Mobilia: buttery leather beanbags, sleek cosmopolitan coffee tables, and stunning artisan carved headboards all made for a thoroughly modern yet timeless ambiance.  Think Bette and Tina’s remodeled abode; it’s Ottawa charm meets Los Angeles sophisticate via “The L Word”!

Well it's been quite a day, filled with visions of comfort and joy! Thank you for travelling down the retail path with Dorothy.

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