Here at Design*Sponge, we’re big fans of Bookhou, the multidisciplinary studio that makes everything from gorgeous furniture, to watercolor prints, to lighting fixtures, to ceramics and soft goods. Arounna Khounnoraj was kind enough to give us a tour of the Toronto-based studio and storefront that she shares with her husband and business partner, John Booth — and the place where they produce all of these items while raising their young family.
“We were looking for a combination of storefront, studio, and residence,” Arounna says. “It was a tall order, but this building had the potential for everything. It has an internal staircase which links all floors. This space was ideal for us and our kids Lliam (9) and Piper (6), since we work in the space while the kids play upstairs. Everything is connected.”
Since the family bought the building in 2008, they have turned it into the space that they need by way of renovations on every floor and additions to the top and back of the building. Their home sits on the top floor, with the studio split between the second and first floors, and the shop opening to the street on the first floor. “When we purchased our place, it was a few months before a huge craft show and the main priority was to get the studio up and running fast. But we also had to live here through the renovation: camping in different rooms until they were ready. We were lucky that the previous owners just covered up all the nice old floors and molding, so we knew that if we removed enough surfaces that we’d find a beautiful, old building underneath,” Arounna says. “A few years later we did part two by extending our building to include more room for the kids and giving us more studio space for both creative and production work.”
Divisions of space in the studio help Arounna and John move from one product to another without having to completely reset. The natural light, white walls and tidy work spaces lend the studio an environment perfectly fit for inspiration. Arounna and John have created such a beautiful, functional and creative space to make and produce just steps from home. We are loving Bookhou’s studio as much as we love their work. –Lauren