Plant pots, from $13;
square pots, $6 each;
pillows, from $19 each.
McBlooms candles, $24 each;
platters: rectangular, $23,
square, $25; tea set, $75.
A HISTORIC BARN
SERVES AS THE
TULIPTREE & SAGA,
A SHOP RICH IN
FIND IT: 309 Main St. North, Markham
Village, Ont. (905) 201-9921 or
THE HISTORY: What began as a creative
sideline for Rita Ahola-Khan turned into
a full-time business after she and husband
Saleem Khan moved to the Village of
Markham in 2006. Their new house
boasted a small heritage barn in the back,
in which Ahola-Khan opened a light-filled
shop offering the distinctive gift sets she
had been designing for friends, as well as
beautiful French, Italian, American and
Finnish imports. The store’s moniker was
inspired by her Finnish mother, whose
first name was Saga and whose favourite
flower was the tulip.
THE STYLE: Charming country barn
meets serene Scandinavian showroom.
Khan helped transform the 1876 building
— once a blacksmith shop — from a dingy
cement-floored garage into an ivory oasis.
Tidy rows of glass apothecary jars filled
with luxurious triple-milled French soaps
and estate teas share the modest space
with stacks of plates, linens, bowls and
bath products, their cheerful labels and
patterns providing the only pop of colour
in the all-white shop. Ahola-Khan, an
expert seamstress, makes most of the
Owners Rita Ahola-Khan and Saleem Khan.
Marseille liquid soap, $24; lotion, $34;
square Marseille soaps, $5 to $7 each;
lemon soaps, $6 each; unscented
yogurt-based soaps, $4 each.
pillows and table linens herself.
HOTTEST ITEMS: Acca Kappa’s natural-bristle, biodegradable toothbrushes ($5)
and eucalyptus toothpaste ($7) from Italy
appeal to eco-minded clients. The Miracle
Bar ($5), from Ahola-Khan’s own line of
all-natural cleaning products, makes short
work of stains on fabric.
BEST BUYS: Packaged gift sets (from $16)
are put together with the same clean
aesthetic that defines the shop. They make
perfect last-minute host presents, as do
classic white French ceramics (from $13)
and lovely handmade sachets of lavender
called Lull ($9), a natural substitute for
WHAT TO WATCH FOR: Marimekko’s
new line of white eco-cotton towels (from
$15) and woven wheat shopping and beach
baskets ($14 to $20) that stylishly bridge
summer and winter-resort season.
— JENNIFER DAVID
TOP LEFT: Picnic gift
set (includes cotton
throw, wine sack, table
linens, porcelain plates,
flatware and Rootham
edibles), $260. On
shelves: Mugs, $7 each;
ceramic jars, $20 each;
cups, $8 to $10 each;
jugs, $5 to $21; bowls,
$5 each; milk bottle, $13;
utensil holders, $13 each.
BELOW: Tub, $39;
striped pillow, $24; star
pillow, $29; linen tea
towels, from $12 each;
oil lanterns, $18 each.