A Handwoven Basket From Ghana Is the Focal Point of This Montreal Living Room

What makes a purchase “worth it”? The answer is different for everybody, so we’re asking some of the coolest, most shopping-savvy people we know—from small-business owners to designers, artists, and actors—to tell us the story behind one of their most prized possessions.


“Design items that have character or tell a story, in my estimation, can move around, like beings inside a physical space,” Byron says. “You just have to find the right spot for them.”

When Byron Peart and his brother, Dexter, founded Goodee in 2019, they did so wanting to unite “good design with the value of good purpose,” as Byron says. The duo sought to focus on well-crafted items whose makers encouraged significant social or environmental impact on the world—like using traditional techniques in their work, something the brothers admired for being environmentally sustainable and culturally significant. “We wanted to ensure that these time-honored skills remain relevant and are passed along through generations,” Byron explains of their mission. “What we believe in is simple: We believe in good design, good people, and good impact.”

Bryon and Dexter’s other design venture, Want Les Essentiels, a clothing brand they created together in 2007, is all about clean lines and uniform dressing, but when it comes to home design, Bryon favors individualism. “What we tend to say is that the most unfortunate error is when one’s interior is stripped of their own personality,” the Montreal-based designer and curator says. “Because the person tries to make a space or setting that is obviously too trendy or derivative of what they see of others.”

What and When?

In 2022, when Bryon moved into his new three-bedroom apartment in the Westmount neighborhood of Montreal, he was looking to add a focal point to the living room. The item needed to center and ground the space, as his new apartment resided in a 100-year-old Victorian building filled with details that, while beautiful, didn’t match his collection of furniture. Soaring ceilings with original moldings on top of the walls in addition to ornate sconces from the turn of the century didn’t quite mesh with his worldly collection of items that hailed from all over the globe, including places like South America, West and South Africa, and different parts of Asia.

“I used to live in Habitat 67, which was made from a series of cubes stacked on top of each other,” he esays. “The concrete cubes came from the World’s Fair in 1967. So to move from that into what might be considered an equivalent of a New York brownstone is a totally different feel.” His eclectic mix of items from around the world made sense in the prior building, but now it all needed to help tell a different story, and thus the ornate fireplace needed a piece that could help blend and balance the different looks. He thought of a special basket. “I had long admired the Yoomelingah basket in our shop and had often wished to incorporate it in my personal home interior,” he adds.

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