She divides her time mostly between her studio in Los Angeles and Toronto. That is interspersed with, on average, “three or four flights a week.” But no matter where she is, designer Janette Ewen invigorates a room, livens every conversation she takes part in, and generally raises the happy energy quotient of each space she occupies. That recently included Vancouver, where she was celebrating the launch of her new line of products for the design and interior decorating company Mobilia.
It is called The Roaring Twenties collection. “It was a time of upheaval, but of fun, and Art Deco, modernism, high style,” says Ewen. “So I had that spirit in mind as I did these pieces. They are made for the life you lead.” She states that working with Mobilia was a natural step. “They gave me a lot of freedom, and actually I had a pretty good understanding of who the Mobilia customer is; they are in many ways similar to my own customers. They entertain a lot, they don’t tend to be overly earnest about things. So for this collection, it was an easy call, to make something like a table designed specifically for cards and cocktails.” There is that table, but the collection also includes dining tables, chairs, sofas, stools, lighting done in collaboration with Jean-Pascal Gauthier, a vanity, a bar, and assorted small pieces to put just the right individual accents on your private spaces. The collection overall has a strong sense of play, while being completely functional and comfortable.
Ewen has worked in the past with Yabu Pushelberg, she acknowledges the influence of the iconic Dorothy Draper (who lived and worked through the Art Deco era), and proffers a special nod to Don Watt, “who taught me that it’s harder to make a good line than a bad one.” The collaboration with Mobilia means she can create a collection for everyday living—pieces which elicit a response of, “Oh, another person like me!” Ewen plunges headlong into her next thought: “Hey, I just want to share the love. Friendly and approachable, made in Canada as much as is possible, get lost in the past.” It will be interesting to see what this creative, irrepressible ball of fire will come up with next. But for now, The Roaring Twenties collection from Mobilia has a lot to offer.
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