Spending four months out of the year selecting furnishings for design superstore ELTE inspired fourth generation family owners Jamie and Andrew Metrick to open a store for youthful consumers. The 50,000 square foot store is the newest concept store by the Metrick family. The best part? Take your purchases home the same day.
DAB: What destinations inspired you to open Elte Market?
JM: Visiting India three times per year, specifically Jaipur, has definitely played a role. Colour, innovation and creativity in this part of the world are tremendous. Deconstructing silk saris and using those bold colours to reweave area carpets are just some of the things I get to do. There are many items we come across throughout our travels that reflect an edgier look, which doesn’t fit within the Elte aesthetic.
DAB: As rug buyer for Elte MKT, can you provide a couple of tips for someone looking to purchase a good quality carpet?
JM: First, knowing that the rug is handmade is enormously important—both in the look and quality of the fibre.Handmade rugs will not only last longer but, if damaged, can be repaired. They also have a look and soul to them that one cannot achieve using a machine. Second, you can never go wrong in terms of fiber by choosing wool or silk. There are other great options like bamboo and banana silk that get better and better in quality.
DAB: How do you know when you’ve found a gem?
AM: I know I’ve found a gem when I can’t stop thinking about it. I’m working on or looking at hundreds of designs every day so for something to stick with me, it needs to be pretty special. Sometimes this lasts a week, sometimes a month and there are even the select few that have stuck with me for years now. For whatever the reason, like a catchy song, I just can’t shake them. The thing about gems however is they’re only special if you’re one of the few people that know about them. For this reason, I’m constantly pushing myself to create or collect the next best thing.
DAB: Is your personal style reflected through the items you buy for the store?
AM: I only buy things that I’d feel proud to have in my home. To that point, my style is definitely reflected in everything I’ve sourced or designed. Defining that style is a challenge for me only because I don’t tend to look at what I source as falling within specific design buckets such as “contemporary” or “traditional”. My style is an amalgamation of very subtle design preferences. Of course I have certain colour palettes or materials that I gravitate towards but it goes so much deeper than that.
DAB: Is there a country you haven’t stamped on your passport but would like to?
JM: One of the places I’ve always wanted to visit is Japan. The simplicity of its lifestyle and their design philosophy is truly inspiring. I’m also a tremendous food fan and always wanted to experience what the country has to offer.
DAB: What makes Elte Market a unique shopping experience?
JM: It’s a one stop shop for affordable, edgy pieces that are available right away with no wait time. I’m a rug guy and we have over 2,000 unique pieces available compared to other stores in Toronto with far fewer.
DAB: When you’re not travelling the world, what do you Dabble in?
AM: There’s not a lot of room to dabble. My weekends are spent in the store or working at a coffee shop. The books I read look a lot more like home magazines than anything else and our family dinners sound closer to office meetings than perhaps they should. That being said, I happen to love what I do so at the risk of sounding cliché, it’s not really work in that sense. I get to the gym almost every day and I love trying out new restaurants or bars. In a city like Toronto, I don’t think I’ll be running out of them any time soon. Apart from that, going out with friends and relaxing at home sounds pretty good to me.