Toronto-based Matt Carr oversees Umbra’s global design division as their Director of Design, a company he’s worked at since 2001. Carr was the key factor in reinventing the brand with the launch of Umbra Shift, a capsule offshoot of Umbra featuring functional and visionary designs from various established and up-and-coming designers. Over his Umbra career, he’s contributed over 150 designs to their product line, which often gets featured in the likes of The New York Times, The Daily Telegraph, I.D Magazine, and Met Home. During the final phase of development of Umbra Shift, Carr traveled to a multitude of countries that left him inspired. Take a look at five places he appreciated in this week’s Friday Five.
1. A Palazzo Gallery, Brescia
A short drive from Milan gets you to Brescia — a beautiful small town with a passion for the arts. I was really captivated by the creative way featured artists Oliver Mosset, Servane Mary and Virginia Overton made use of A Palazzo Gallery’s grand space. They were also working on a furniture auction in their adjacent space – a completely unique mid-century collection.
2. Stilleben, Copenhagen
Just off the city’s main shopping square, Stilleben curates a wonderful collection of things for the home. Upstairs is the real find where you can get great prints and originals from artists like ALTWTP and handmade Moroccan blankets. I always enjoy buying art when travelling as it’s easy to transport or ship back to Toronto.
3. Speceriet, Stockholm
Small space with a very relaxed neighborhood feel, just east of the city center. It’s an easy ride with the Stockholm’s City Bike system, which I used as the main means of transportation throughout my trip. Food and service were amazing, with lots of local flavors. Try as many small dishes as you can. The deep-fried broccoli with chili and garlic is addictive.
4. Town Hall Hotel, London
Built in 1910, the refurbished Edwardian meets Art Deco meets modern interior is done in very good taste. Rooms are spacious and a brass-detailed pool is hard to stay out of. My first stay, but not the last, as it’s super close to Shoreditch shops and eateries.
5. The Broken Arm, Paris
Just far enough from a more chaotic part of the Marais, The Broken Arm sits on a relaxed street across from a beautiful park. Great for coffee and a bite, or checking out the very curated collection of goods from Nike to Etudes Studio. Loved the super comfortable lower level lounge-like showroom.