On caviar and luxury
June 8, 2012 | Jewish Tribune
Kaley M. Ames
Walking up the stairs to the Caviar20 loft, I feel like I’m walking through the closet doors to Narnia: intrigued, excited, with no idea what to expect.
Caviar20 is the brainchild of the dashing Troy Seidman. Born and raised in Toronto, Seidman has studied and worked in Montreal and New York, cultural Meccas that helped him hone his craft. Sotheby’s, Todd Merrill Antiques, and Le Musée D’Art Contemporain de Montreal have been home to Seidman. An art buyer, distributor, and certified in appraisals, this handsome gentleman specializes in mid-twentieth century antique furniture, art, and home décor. Caviar20–delicacies for your home. Delicacies indeed.
A single glance at Troy’s website, www.caviar20.com, and you see his influences. “I work with six contemporary designers that are all relatively young…but their aesthetic is really inspired by previous generations of designers. I think the 50s and 60s, in the post-war period, designers figured out the right proportions, the scale of things, and established really successful examples of forms, colours, and patterns.”
Yet with all the celebration of vintage in its glory, Caviar20 celebrates modernity and leads the market with some of the most cutting edge and contemporary designs. One of Troy’s favourite pieces is a Group-Two Design Inc. LED Chandelier. “The form references a traditional chandelier, but the LED in the form is a super contemporary practice…there is something very minimal about it, but the design is also very strong.” Only ten of these incredible chandeliers were created, and Caviar20 is the first to distribute them to the public.
“I think if an item is mass consumed and super popular and easy to get, it isn’t luxury. The most luxurious things are not necessarily the most expensive. For contemporary design there is an increasing reference to things that are bespoke or custom. I think there is a lot of tension between those two ideas, and I don’t know if they will be resolved.” Luxury lies in exclusivity.
And yet, while affordability is a relative term, if you’re just getting started in your first home, there is no reason why Caviar20 can’t be the place for you to shop and cultivate your style. Troy is a big fan of lighting; it is his top recommendation to someone looking for a first time investment. “Lighting is the easiest way to give any room in your house personality and is one of the best pieces to invest in. Even if everything is Ikea or a hand-me-down, if you buy a good chandelier or sconce, you’re going to keep it forever. It’s also above everything so it isn’t vulnerable to being knocked over.” If you still want a one-of-a-kind home but you’re decorating on a budget, Troy says Toronto is a great place to be. “Toronto has great vintage furniture that’s very affordable compared to other places. Go to a few shops and just ask questions…I [also] encourage people to take pieces that have been in their family and breathe new life into them.”
Caviar20 is a celebration of craftsmanship and history. “Every piece has its own story.” Passing along these treasures is Troy’s responsibility. Sharing them with the world ensures that, like any truly great story, they are enjoyed and preserved.
Kaley M. Ames is a culture and design writer and lover living in Toronto.