1840 Journal

Meet the artisans, discover their expertise, and share their passion.


Renewing Your Basics

12 Aug 2019

Series: Design in Moving Season

Moving season is here and we took this opportunity to ask Anthony and Valérie from Atelier Filz to look into the Fabrique 1840’s designer community. The result? Four thematic articles analyzing their products by relating them to global ethical and aesthetic trends.

This article is the fourth and last of the series.

Moving isn’t only about moving boxes and sofas, it’s also about discovering a new neighbourhood, new people, and a new daily routine. Once you’ve moved, you may feel the urge to switch up your furniture and decor to not only reflect this new environment, but also mark this new chapter in your life. If that sounds like you, and you want your new home to reflect your current values, it may be time to renew your basics (for the better).

After a few years of working with artisans from all walks of life, it’s clear that they generally all share a very specific desire. They all want to do well and do better. This idea of “changing for the better” was vigorously followed during the Mid-Century Modern period, an era when the global design community was looking to refresh and reshape its future. From everything that was said, written, and built during these years, German industrial designer Dieter Rams was able to introduce the idea of “good design” with the phrase “Less, but better.” This was in reaction to the famous expression by German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe: “Less is more.” Rams clearly illustrated his point using ten principles, including one that stated that good design is minimal, meaning that it avoids anything that’s superfluous in favour of simplicity, and another that said that good design has long-term value, as opposed to the ephemeral nature of fashion.


Kroft: Utterly Simple

Beyond being the ultimate criteria for product design, Rams’ different principles are above all a series of statements that fall under “good sense.” This quest for sense can be found throughout the work of the Kroft company. Kroft knows exactly how to combine simplicity with quality execution, and how to ensure that their products are affordable and accessible. We especially love their beautiful toilet paper holder that switches things up when we had almost lost all hope! And for our overloaded bookcases, their solid oak wood block bookends easily add to a minimalist decor. 

Mercury Bureau: Enhancing the Everyday

Craftspeople will think about and test an object that they want to see widely used for hours before producing it. Inspired by the role that objects play in our lives, Shane Krepakevich, from Mercury Bureau, is someone who looks for novelty in raw and communal materials. His work is in line with that of Carl Auböck, a great Viennese designer of the modern era, who enhanced everyday objects, as if they came from a world that was unique to creators. In turn—and following along with the same narrative feel—Mercury Bureau has produced its Somma dish, Mesa dish, Drift incense holder, and Apex vase, which are all magnificent small objects.

Objective: Timelessly Natural

This same love for everyday life also permeates the creations of Mariana Robledo from Objective. Her high-quality linen products, like tablecloths and aprons, effortlessly add a more natural touch to the home. These textiles are simultaneously traditional and contemporary and will easily take their place among your durable and utilitarian everyday objects.

In her quest for quality, Mariana Robledo positions herself as many of the craftspeople of her generation do: she adopts a global point of view. Instead of designing products with a short lifespan, designers are looking further ahead and offering you alternatives that will last, can be repaired, and that, indirectly, will keep you from buying products that are similar, but of lower quality (the ones that generally have the highest carbon footprint).


Atelier Bussière: New Recycled Basics

Located in Lac-Drolet, this small company acts in line with this global vision by using the scraps and surplus of natural stones from the region’s manufacturing companies. It’s a conscientious and creative way of producing everyday objects. The clean lines of their large and small Scandinavian-style Fogo containers will look completely natural in your kitchen. 

Renewing your basics for the better, in the sense of positive innovation, requires a general awareness about our planet's precarious situation and our personal relationship with consumption. And, quite honestly, despite the desire to put our shoulder to the wheel and do our part for a prosperous future, it's very hard to find good benchmarks, trustworthy sources, and even environmental leaders to guide us in this complex global challenge.

In spite of everything, every step counts. Moreover, the expression “buy local” has never made more sense than it does now. Have the desire to renew your basics? Do it the right way with great taste and consciousness by joining craftspeople in this communal quest for meaning. 

Written by Atelier Filz

Shop Anthony and Valérie's suggestions

Discover the other articles in this series

1. The Art of Revisiting Traditional Trades
2. Skills Serving Simplicity
3. The Geometry of Colour


Atelier Filz
Combining interior design with object design, this young company from Quebec City loves working with local craftspeople. For their team, the work of our creators is imbued with meaning and human depth, which elevates our homes' decor.