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Espresso Cup
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New Yorkers, Californians, Miami champions, Illadelph warriors, Chi Town reps… All of us living in bustling American cities think we're so friggin' great. We think we've got fashion, architecture and home décor on lock. But, really, one of the most exciting conceptual stores in the North American landscape is located across the Canadian border, in the lovely Toronto.

Up To You Toronto offers everything from jewelry, handbags and apparel to lamps, flatware, candle holders, vases, pillows and more — all boasting very unique, streamlines, tongue-in-cheek designs. Fresh new talents are scouted out by co-owner and buyer Dimitra Doufekas, who has managed to secure exclusive designs from artists hailing from France, Czechoslovakia, Japan, Italy, the Netherlands, and many other countries. Says Doufekas of her inventory, "As a buyer, my goal is to carefully choose designers from around the world, talk to them about their ideas and purchase pieces that promote individuality amidst a world of cookie-cutter imagery and products." Aside from individuality, Doufekas seeks items that have a clear-cut purpose,"Each object we sell has a distinct objective — not only to enhance aesthetically but also to solve those everyday problems that we face."

So what exactly does this all mean? Well, it means you can find such refreshingly innovative products as a set of white porcelain espresso cuts and saucers (pictured at top) designed to look like they're made out of corrugated cardboard — notice the ridges along the cup, the handle, and the matching saucer, and marvel at the phenomenal attention to detail (like how the edge of the saucer lifts up, like cardboard does once it gets wet and starts to separate). Or, you can better organize yourself with an origami-shaped bowl like the one pictured above (not sure I'd put a figure of a deer in one of the compartments but, hey, that's just me!) while also adding a sleek and modern look to your entryway table. You can even pass on the boring ol' coat hooks and opt for a rack that interprets the peaks and valleys of a cardiogram (talk about a conversation piece!).

You can choose to play it safe or add a dose of fresh to your living space. And if you're considering the latter, well, the choice is Up To You Toronto.

Up To You Toronto Products Pictured: Set of Four Espresso Cups/Saucers, $12 CAD; Origami Bowl, $32 CAD; Cardio Coat Rack, $75 CAD. Visit UpToYouToronto.com

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