Sandy Joe’s: Holding the Keys to Timeless Design
There was a time when beauty was so easily captured in the world. From the Sistine Chapel’s painted scenes of Genesis, to Versaille’s majestic chamber of mirror-covered arches, the soul yearned for heart-throbbing design. It was the type of style found in magnificent palaces and glorious cathedrals, making the human pysche ache in blissful ecstasy. Yet somewhere along the way, in a world consumed by fast-paced living and spiritual numbness, that romantically rich form of art became locked in history, until now. The news is spreading, and it whispers of Sandy Joe’s Interior Design – a premium brand of escapism to a world forgotten, but not lost.
The Yorkville boutique is one of the newest additions to Toronto’s au courant neighbourhood, and is the brainchild of founder and president Sandra Josephine Monardo. Emerging swiftly as a signature name on an international stage, Sandy Joe’s is reinventing the meaning of interior design. The company’s philosophy is rooted in its logo – a golden rustic keyhole – inspired by the idea of unlocking classical, traditional, and timeless styles, combined with versatile décor. “When people come into my showroom, their jaws drop. It reminds them of something you see in a storybook,” Monardo says, pointing to fabric-dressed walls, gilded with gold. “My concept is exclusive and magical, so that you’ll never know what to expect behind that locked door.” Her idea is the epitome of possibility, allowing clients to escape into whatever living space their hearts desire.
Encountering this youthful and vivaciously dazzling entrepreneur, there is a sense of positive energy coupled with a vibrant aura. “I’m a firm believer of The Secret, the law of attraction, and the idea that we all have our destinies,” Monardo reveals, explaining that Sandy Joe’s was born after an unplanned trip to Paris. “I booked a one-way ticket without knowing what I was going to do. But it was there that I soul-searched and got to know who I was.” Admitting she was “maybe French in another life,” Monardo resembles a sweet-tempered Marie Antoinette, her shell-carved cameo ring typical of the 16th century Renaissance framing her finger. Her overseas experience led to studies in various design styles, while visiting French landmarks and staying at an apartment near the city’s most prestigious avenue, the Champs-Élysées. The visit remains a priceless pilgrimage, making Sandy Joe’s what it is today.
Still in its infancy, the couture design firm has already gained spotlight attention in Toronto. Monardo’s cultured portfolio is expanding with stellar speed, particularly after designing one of the city’s prominent lounges. “It was very modern but I played with a lot of the gothic elements, taking my inspiration from the chapels and churches in Europe,” Monardo says with twinkling radiance. “I’ll take your favourite picture and explode it onto a wall or graph it onto a transparent door. My designs reflect who you are and who you were growing up.”
Monardo’s perfectionist creation techniques involve steps that are beyond thorough. “I go through an analysis of the customer’s life, their perspectives and family, and then I take them through history.” After an inventive consultation, she coordinates contractors, exotic purchasing, decorating, and overall supervision, followed by a personal review. It’s a process that reveals a passionately spellbinding artist, often self-described as an old soul trapped in a young person’s body. “When I design, I feel like it’s coming out of me, channelling through my vision,” she says, as her eyes emit a spiritual Cleopatra-like glow. Going the extra mile, Monardo offers to accompany her clientele on day-long excursions to New York City, visiting vendors with unique European pieces. Her enthusiastic zeal should come as no surprise to people who knew the aspiring designer as a child. “I remember sanding down a table in my room and painting my mirror a shade of green,” she says about her favourite colour – a symbol for knowledge, insight, and wisdom.
With plans to expand Sandy Joe’s internationally, Monardo is proving to be a highly motivated and emerging successful businesswoman. “I know that within five years I’ll be the top interior designer in the city, because my creations are unique.” Looking at the brand’s timeless styles, it seems the realm of masterpieces is still alive and well, captured in the essence of pure escapism. Sandy Joe’s can indeed unlock the door to a world of pure beauty, whether you’ve been to the Sistine Chapel and the Palace of Versaille or simply dreamed of their marvel.
Sandy Joe’s Design Showroom is located at 140 Yorkville Ave. Toronto, Ont.
(3rd Floor), T: 416.840.8038