Great Canadian Suppliers

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I am always thrilled when a client wants to support our Great Canadian Suppliers. We in the furniture industry are very fortunate to have so many wonderful Canadian products available to us. But first be very specific, if you are out furniture shopping on what you are asking for, a Canadian supplier of furniture does not always mean made in Canada. If it is important to you to have it made in Canada then tell your sales associate exactly that, if all you ask for is a Canadian supplier, then it says something completely different. In my 28 years of selling furniture I will say this, any of the Canadian suppliers I have dealt with have been fantastic. The sofa in this photo is from Decor-Rest, a well known, excellent quality manufacturer since 1972, and their upholstery is made in North America. Decor-Rest has a wide selection of products and styles to choose from, with a fashion forward selection of fabrics. The chair is from Brentwood, again an excellent Canadian supplier, and also made in Canada. Comfort, style, durability all part of the selections available from Brentwood. The bedroom set and dining room set are again Canadian suppliers, Canadian made and both offer solid wood products. The dining room is Bermex, with so many options it is impossible to list, the bedroom is Durham Furniture, a name you can trust. The rug and ottoman are both from Surya, a company with a Canadian office, with absolutely fabulous product with amazing customer service, but not made in Canada, so this is why I say be specific in what you are asking for. My experience has given me the opportunity to meet many of the owners, sales reps and factory workers for numerous Canadian suppliers, be confident in the fact that you are supporting some very hard working, talented and proud people.

To buy or not to buy fabric protection?

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OK so anyone who knows me will tell you I have no problem sharing my opinions. So after a lengthy career in home furnishing retail I have no doubt formed an opinion on purchasing fabric protection plans. You’ve made some choices and have bought the furniture, now your sales person throws the “would you like to buy fabric protection” at you. Most people are inclined to say no to after market warranties, so here is my thoughts please say yes to fabric protection. Why? think about it for a minute, it doesn’t cost much and it does give a stain protection on that gorgeous furniture you just paid a good buck for. Your family may know the rules about no food or drinks on the new furniture but do your guests, do you like to entertain, enjoy a glass of red wine, maybe you have children, let’s face accidents happen, why risk it. So now you want to know do these plans really work, so again in my opinion, absolutely yes. I have had the opportunity to work in different retail environments, some stores who spray the furniture before delivery and some offering a dry warranty. What is the difference, well when your furniture is sprayed the fabric is lightly misted with the fabric protection, at this point please ask if the manufacturer will still warranty the fabric against normal wear and tear, usually if there is an after market product sprayed the answer is no. However typically warranty on fabric from the manufacturer is only one year, and in 28 years of furniture retail I have never had a complaint on the fabric wearing out in just one year. To add to that, typically fabric stain protection is 5 years against stains, so weigh it out are you more likely to wear out the fabric in a year, or more likely to get a stain on it in 5 years. Now lets discuss dry warranty, usually it has the same coverage, there is just no spaying of the furniture, ask your sales person about this option every store has their own services they provide. Let me tell you why I am a fan, I have seen a one year old get sauce on a brand new ottoman, it was 100% replaced when the stain did not come out, I have had a client with that infamous red wine stain on the arm of a one day old white tufted sofa, completely replaced, I have even seen a corner piece to sectional stained 3 years after purchase, the fabric was no longer available and the whole sectional was replaced. To sum it all up, please say yes to the fabric stain protection when it is offered to you, you will not regret it. Oh and just in case you are wondering where this fabulous room scene is from, it is made by Robin Bruce.

Shades of grey

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It has been a grey world for a while now in the home furnishing industry, and for very good reason. There is so much selection to choose from, grey really is a delight to work with. This design board plays a lot with pattern and shape, while keeping a monochromatic color scheme. The clean lines of the sofa from Sam Moore fits neatly into almost any modern family living space. Comfortable and perfectly proportioned, not too small, not too big and easy to mix in to a variety of design styles. As always when I am on the hunt for that perfect accent piece to pull a room together I turn to Hooker Furniture. The Melange cabinet was exactly what I needed to provide extra storage in this small sitting room. Once I started with the zig zag on the cabinet, it felt right to just keep it going, swirls on the lamp from Currey & Co and a geometric pattern on the rug from Loloi Rugs. So the basics are done , now here is the joy of grey, add some whimsy and color in extra toss pillows, or a textured throw for the sofa, or just drop in a large ottoman in perhaps a tufted turquoise leather. When a man sports a classic grey suit, the tie can be any color right?, then home decor should be the same. Sofas, rugs, lamps, accents, paint , there really is an abundance of shades of grey to choose from. If you want more design tips on how to incorporate this not so boring color  into your home, contact me I’ll be happy to help out.

How to buy a sofa


cr-1122_0411Sounds simple enough right? We need a sofa, so just go buy one, not as easy as one might think. I would have to say, the majority of my projects start with purchasing a sofa. But honestly I tell everyone, choosing a great sofa is more about you than it is about the sofa. There are so so many styles, sizes and suppliers to choose from, there is no doubt we can find what you are looking first I like to know a bit about you, and how your daily life will affect the space you are buying the sofa for. Is there going to be a television in the room, do you have kids, or pets, or both. Do you entertain often, with large crowds gathering or maybe just intimate family gatherings. cr-2480_0413Is there someone in your family extremely tall, or maybe very petite. Sounds ridiculous to have all these questions but it does make a huge difference. Most clients are drawn to the look of an oversized sofa but keep in mind it’s not too easy for those of us under 5’4″ to sit in these extra deep sofas. That being said if you want to create a great space for game night or teenagers to just hang, go for the big uber comfy frame. Always, and I mean always I tell my clients comfort is first, sitting up straight, flopping, lying down or cuddling, comfort , comfort, comfort!cr-1480_1014The space itself is very important. Cottage, condo, family room or the “no sit” sit room.   You may decide on an oversize sofa for your family room, but keep in mind just because you know it fits in the space, can you actually get it in the space, is there is easy access to the room. Like wise with condos, think of elevators and hallways. The cottage needs durable fabrics, that clean easily.

Now all of this is just how I start the project, the fun begins after we find the right sofa frame, now we choose colors, and play with textures, add area rugs and lamps, find the right chairs, like I said the fun part.

FYI all of the above sofas are from CRLaine, a truly great supplier of upholstery, made in the U.S.A. , with amazing fabric choices. Leather or fabric, skirted or not, nail trim or none…so many decisions. If you are looking for assistance with making the right choices for your next sofa purchase do not hesitate to contact me,, your free personal shopper for furniture.