A person’s home is their sanctuary, so it makes sense to pepper your homes look with some fantastic finds that really speak to your personal style and balance out the standard staples. Thankfully Toronto has some fantastic designer furniture options that carefully curate wonderful pieces for virtually any look and budget.
Back by popular demand here are some choice local furniture design stores, along with their favourite pieces, thoughts on what’s trending for 2017 and beyond. Check out what’s available right now for anyone who wants that perfect housewarming gift or to give their place a spring makeover.
Location: 28 Tank House Lane, The Distillery District
Bergo Designs is one of many reasons why it’s worth the trek to Toronto’s Historic Distillery District. Not only is it a unique lifestyle store, it also is a fantastic place to find gifts or that perfect accent piece. The store carries distinctive home décor, unusual watches and jewellery, as well as a vast selection of children’s items. Bergo prides itself on having the perfect item for every age and taste imaginable.
Design Ideas Cache Boxes by Bergo Designs
Robyn Berman, Owner of Bergo Designs and Corktown Designs is seeing some exciting design trends emerging.
I definitely am seeing a more positive attitude towards contemporary furniture design, retro, and a little of Mid-Century modern.
To keep the selection fresh Robyn travels to international and local shows. She uses platforms like Pinterest and Fancy to find unique items and only sells items that she personally loves.
Ovelle Vases by Bergo Designs
Robyn recommends that budget conscious consumers who want to add a little pop to their place start small with a centrepiece item.
If in a condo, a nice little fruit bowl on the counter can add a quick point of interest to the space. In a larger space with some walls to cover I’d suggest a large interesting clock, such as the qlocktwo or a cuckoo clock from Italian clock designers, Progetti. A focal piece for any room with good light would have to be one of Cec LePage's unique one-of-a-kind vases. For an important centrepiece on the dining table, I love Georg Jensen's Oyster Tray/Bowl or Alessi's Resonance Bowl.
Goat Head Ring Holder by Bergo Designs
Robyn notes that when curating items for the Toronto market she thinks of the practicality of local consumers who purchase items that are fun and quirky, but with a real purpose.
One of my most popular items is still The Ex knife block. I have been selling it for years and it is always requested when sold out.
Other popular picks include qclocktwo clocks and vases from Jeff Goodman Studio. Robyn’s current favourite line in store right now is from Italian design company Seletti since it has a uniqueness and obscurity unmatched in other lines.
Address: 200B-225 Stirling Road, Junction Triangle (By Appointment Only)
Owner Peter Coolican is seeing a big shift in consumer needs towards quality, long-lasting goods. Coolican & Company does not make fast furniture. Instead their focus is on small batches with quality control in the hands of local master craftspeople.
Each board is carefully selected for strength and aesthetics, with every part precisely joined to take a beating - This is furniture that is built to last. Built to be used, loved and shared.
Edwin Chairs by Coolican & Company
Peter sees a trend towards practicality and function in Toronto customers; and the company sells a lot of Adelaide Benches that can be used as both a coffee table and extra seating for a dinner party.
People are tired of cheap and trendy furniture that inevitably ends up on the curb in a year or two. They want products that will physically outlive their original owner, and aesthetically outlast fast fashions. The design world is responding with a lot of Shaker-inspired furniture. The Shakers were devoted to quality, and their minimalist approach really resonates today.
The most popular item is the counter height Palmerston stool since the kitchen island has become a staple and the heart of many modern homes, particularly in smaller spaces where a traditional dining table won’t fit. As for his own personal favourite piece Peter says he's obsessed with their Madison Chair:
It's a Shaker-inspired dining chair with a Danish Cord seat. The seat uses about 600 feet of cord and required over 10 hours to hand weave. It's a real labour of love.
Emerson Candlesticks by Coolican & Company
When looking for a signature piece Peter recommends keeping longevity in mind.
A signature piece is going to be living with you for a good long time, so you've got to love it. It should put a smile on your face when you see it for the first time, and every time you use it after that. A signature piece is also likely to be an investment, so you want to make sure you do your research. Ask some simple questions and if they can't be answered, it's probably not going to wear well. Can they tell you who made it? Where was it made? How do you maintain the finish? Where did the materials come from?
Address: 429 Richmond St. East
Suite 22 Interiors offers quality products from Italian artisans. It opened its doors in 2006, and have become a leading local provider of modern furniture for commercial and residential customers. There are two showrooms, one in Toronto and one in Markham and offer solutions for larger spaces as well as an efficient modern look for condo living.
Tables by Suite 22 Interiors
The sales team at Suite 22 Interiors, Zoe Maurice, Anjelika Matniyazova, Colleen Lee and Jacqueline Colorado, are seeing diversity in materials used for furniture.
Finishes like wood, glass and chrome will always be appealing, newer materials are starting to take the design world by storm. For instance, we can’t get enough of Fenix NTM – it’s a solid or laminate material made from hyper-compressed paper and resin with a nanotechnology surface that is self-healing.
Boookshelves by Suite 22 Interiors
To keep on top of trends, Suite 22 Interiors’ owner travels to Milan for the world renowned iSaloni Furniture Festival where all the designer Italian brands debut their newest collections. The best pieces are handpicked for the Suite 22 Interior showrooms. Recently introduced lines include: Desalto, La Cividina, and Gamma.
Since in-home entertainment is such a big focus today anyone who wants to keep organized, or has limited space will easily fall in love with the Spectral Scala TV unit.
This is a modular entertainment unit that’s beautifully streamlined. The technical fabric front hides a state of the art Bluetooth speaker system that packs a huge amount of power in a slim package. The glass frame can shine in a range of glossy colours or stun in a range of smooth matte shades. You can choose the size and style you like: from freestanding to wall mounted, with or without the numerous storage add-ons. There’s also a whole range of accessories to pack in, like the swivel TV stand and the apple dock. You can even get the unit without the speaker system if you already have your own (though we really, really recommend this one!)
An added bonus of shopping with Suite 22 Interiors is their designer services, where an experienced staff member will visit your home to get an idea of space restrictions and style to make recommendations customized for your own tastes and needs.
Address: 165 John Street (Queen West)
Umbra is a longstanding design company that was founded locally in 1979. Since that time Umbra has been widely recognized for bringing intelligent, functional houseware products to customers in over 120 countries. The company was created when co-founder and graphic designer Paul Rowan was unable to find a window shade for his apartment that would fit his budget and suit his tastes. Paul teamed up with his childhood friend, Les Mandelbaum and together they began transforming common items into Umbra designs.
Counter Stool by Umbra
Umbra’s flagship store is a creative centrepiece in Toronto’s Queen West, and an engaging and inspiring place to shop. All of Umbra’s designs are original, with a large design studio in Toronto where most of the products you see in the store and online are created. The Umbra Shift is a new product line that focuses on modern influences within the design community.
For winter 2017 Umbra focused on experimentation in finishes, bringing more colour into the kitchen, soft décor lines, and a company staple: designs for real life.
Megan Snider, Global Marketing Manager, Umbra says Canadians love the Umbra Postino Mailbox. If you’re curious about how popular it is, take a look the next time you’re out for a walk to see how many of your neighbours have this design.
Megan recommends for those looking for a theme or central piece for their home:
Surround yourself with the things you love. It will all come together in the end.
Address: 310 King Street West
Upcountry has three stores in and around the GTA to better serve its customers including, Downtown Toronto, West Toronto (Castlefield and Caledonia), and Burlington. UpCountry staff love city life and want what they offer in the showrooms and online to reflect that feeling. Their passion for interior design and their customers keeps them putting unique furniture on display so there’s something new every time you visit.
Bolton Multi-Sectional by UpCountry
UpCountry staff continues to see Torontonians crush on large sectionals and boasts a Canadian made design that they’re really excited about! The Canadian made Stratas Modular Sectional has three components that can be arranged in a number of layouts, with multiple fabric choices to meet your style and décor needs.
Spanner Lounge Chair by UpCountry
UpCountry loves the sense of adventure their Toronto customers exhibit and stock their store accordingly. The most popular offered item is made to order upholstery.
Quality Canadian made furniture has always been our strength. We tend to not follow trends that we see locally but look globally at what stores in international markets who are selling from the same suppliers we source from for inspiration.
Dalia collection by UpCountry
This season UpCountry is excited to announce that after 10 years patio furniture is making a triumphant return to its stores with special offers for delivery and discounts for early bird shoppers.