When first founded 10 years ago, hollis+morris was a one-man show operating out of a two-car garage. Today, the Toronto-based studio employs a team of 25 and works from a recently revamped 1,300-square-metre multifunctional space. Helmed by Halifax transplant Mischa Couvrette – who named his design studio after an intersection in his hometown – hollis+morris has grown from its humble beginnings to be one of Canada’s most well-regarded design brands, delivering sustainable hand-crafted lighting, furniture and accessories that are distinct, minimalist and timeless. 

hollis+morris studio and showroom in Toronto
hollis+morris studio and showroom in Toronto

Moving to its new space in late 2023 gave Couvrette and his team – which includes woodworkers, finishers, assemblers, shippers, inventory and sales – the opportunity to devise a tailor-made studio that suited and supported the needs of everyone. Starting with what was essentially a blank slate, Couvrette et al worked with architect Jonathan Mandeville of Halifax architecture and public art practice Passage Studio to create a full-process facility that incorporates seven distinct zones – wood shop, metal shop, prototyping, finishing room, assembly, showroom and offices. “It was important to us that we have a space to showcase the finished product but also to highlight, not hide, the behind-the-scenes aspects of our manufacturing processes,” says sales, marketing and operations director Adrianne Straatsma of the sleek new location.

Along with settling into the new digs, hollis+morris has kicked off its 10th year with the recent launching of two new lighting collections that speak to Couvrette’s love of the ocean – the Oyster sconce and the Berm sconce. First designed for his own family home (a nearby ground-up design/build that coincides with the completion of the new facilities), the two sconces share a common source of inspiration but express their own charming personalities.

The Oyster sconce by Toronto studio hollis+morris features a moulded steel ribbon.

Oyster sconce

Reflecting the delicate structure of pearl oysters, the Oyster sconce is composed of a moulded steel ribbon “shell,” which securely houses a substantial puck-shaped acrylic diffuser, like a pearl. In an intentional move, the looped fixture has no backplate in order to both wash the wall in light and to also feature rather than cover wall treatments.

The Oyster sconce from Toronto studio hollis+morris
The Oyster sconce from Toronto studio hollis+morris

“Whether it be wallpaper, wood or any type of plaster treatment, the fixture is able to integrate itself with the environment and quite literally shine a light on that element of the space,” notes Straatsma. 

The Berm sconce by Toronto studio hollis+morris showcases the wood bowl's unique grain

Berm Orb sconce

The Berm sconce, meanwhile, references the “horizontal underwater terrace found in streams and sheltered coastal areas” and includes two diffuser variants – a flat-faced frosted acrylic lens and a hand-blown glass orb.

The Berm Acrylic sconce by Toronto studio hollis+morris

Berm Acrylic sconce

The Berm Acrylic sconce by Toronto studio hollis+morris

With each, a solid wood bowl-like element elegantly presents the light source, which in turn casts a warm radiant glow that showcases the intricate and unique grain of the wood. (The flat diffuser version is also ADA compliant for commercial and hospitality applications.) 

The Berm Orb sconce by Toronto studio hollis+morris

Both available through the hollis+morris Toronto studio, the Oyster sconce comes powder-coated in Black or White or plated with Brass or Copper; and Berm is offered in White Oak Natural, White Oak White, White Oak Black and Walnut. 

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