About

About

Design is our soul.

It starts with design and ends with design. And for us, that means designing intelligent functions in appealing forms. We bring thought and creativity to everyday items through original design.

Our Story.

We are a Toronto-based homeware design company born over 30 years ago when graphic designer, Paul Rowan, couldn’t find a nice window shade to hang in his apartment window. So, he made one and people liked it. He soon teamed up with childhood friend, Les Mandelbaum, and Umbra (in Latin, “shade”) was born. Les and Paul began reimagining everyday items into modern ware.

Today, Umbra is recognized all over the world for bringing intelligent design to everyday items. An in-house tem of international designers allows us to come up with original design that speaks universally and personally to a broad customer base. The journey that started in Toronto continues—our designs can be found in over 120 countries.

Flagship Store

Located in the trendy Queen West District, the Umbra Store was launched in June 2007. With its iconic pink glowing façade and clean modern interior, the store was quickly named “Project of the Year” by the Association of Registered Interior Designers (ARIDO).

Umbra Shift

Umbra Shift is an extension of Umbra that focuses on contemporary influences in the design community. For more than 30 years, Umbra has broken the mold by creating entirely new categories that apply thoughtful design to everyday items. Umbra Shift revisits these roots with a roster of established, emerging, and in–house designers who share Umbra’s passion to re-think things, designing personal objects they themselves would want to give or use at home. The result is a collection that expresses diverse points of view, yet sits together with a shared belief in ideas that are functional, familiar and forward thinking.

Join Us!

We share a vision of creating original, modern, and casual design for every room in the home. Curiosity, creativity and a passion for design are common characteristics of Umbra people around the world. We work out of more than 15 different countries, collaborating and pulling the best out of each other and ourselves. We are a private company with more than 30 years of experience in our industry—still led by our original founders.