Vintage Home Boutique

Articles tagged as Art Deco (view all)

It All Started with a Couch: The Inspiration Behind Vintage Home Boutique

05 September, 2014 0 comments Leave a comment

What motivated us to open a furniture store? There were a number of factors but it all really started with a couch; specifically, the couch we wanted but couldn’t find.

 

We were looking for something stylish, comfortable, environmentally-friendly, and locally made. It also had to be high-quality and built to last, which meant no big-box or assemble-it-yourself options.

 

We checked a wide range of retailers. The smaller stores we visited did not offer quality service or furnishings that matched our criteria. High-end shops had some beautiful furniture but were charging more than what it was worth. After a lot of searching we ended up settling for something less than what we wanted.

 

We were disappointed but also inspired. Surely other people had found themselves in a situation similar to ours: willing to pay for quality furniture but not willing to overpay.

 

Seeing a gap in the marketplace, we decided that we could fill it.

 

Vintage furniture was one answer, and one we had started to explore as we collected vintage pieces and refinished those in need of a little TLC. But we knew we could offer more.

 

We began researching local manufacturers who could complement our vintage and mid-century modern pieces. We found Brentwood Classics, who create couches like the Grant, Leonard and Midge, pictured here, that match all of our original criteria. We connected with a local carpenter who creates stunning live edge tables. We also started talking with local artists and craftspeople about showcasing their work in our store. The combined effect will be completely unique among furniture retailers: our store will evoke the elegance of a salvaged estate while also adding a touch of the whimsical with one-of-a-kind accessories and original art.

Unfortunately at the time we settled for less. Now you don’t have to. Our store offers the perfect balance of high quality and good value, unique pieces versatile enough to fit any décor, and exceptional service.

 

What You Will Find At Vintage Home Boutique

 

  • Vignettes that show how to mix pieces from different eras. We’ll surprise and inspire you with the combinations we choose for our in-store displays.
  • Custom, locally-made sofas and chairs.
  • Vintage teak furniture, mid-century modern pieces, and live edge tables.
  • Answers to your questions. If you see a piece you love but don’t think it will work in your space, talk to us. We can make suggestions and help you find exactly what you need. If we don’t have it, we can find it for you with our custom finding service.
  • A full eco-friendly refinishing shop. Whether a piece is in rough shape or just in need of a little updating, Maureen can help. We have a complete shop in the basement where she works her magic. We use only zero-VOC stains, paints, varnishes and strippers.
  • A gallery of local art. Many artists call our neighbourhood home. We want to help them promote their work by offering free display space. If you are interested in exhibiting your work in our store, contact us at customerservice@vintagehomeboutique.ca.
  • Exclusive, customizable, streetcar prints.
  • Hand blown glass sculptures by world renown Tsunami Glassworks. 

To keep current with the happenings at Vintage Home Boutique, subscribe to our newsletter or follow us on social media. We look forward to seeing you in-store later this month!

Used Vs Vintage Furniture, what's the difference?

12 February, 2014 0 comments Leave a comment

For those of you who have checked us out. Thanks for taking the time! The website and store have been taking quite a bit of our time, but we hope to sign the lease for the Toronto #stclairwest space this week and we are already scouting our second and third Toronto locations! Stay tuned for a full post when we do. I've been wanting to write this post for a while now, because I keep getting asked this question. The easy definition is: Generally vintage furniture is used furniture. But not all used furniture is necessarily vintage furniture! Ok you may be thinking slow down Plato, enough philosophy. What exactly does that mean? The way I see it is there are many, many used pieces which have no redeeming qualities: Mass produced with poor quality original materials. No craftsmanship and little design sense. These are items that may be found in the average University residence room.  They were built to fall apart, to keep you buying more every year. This way the cycle continues - indefinitely. 

 

 ugly couch - this is used furniture!

On the other hand, vintage furniture is made of fine quality materials. It has great lines and designer sensibility. Generally it is copied mercilessly. Don't they say that imitation is the best form of flattery? It's something your family, friends and acquaintances will ask about whenever they are over. It's something that you will (and can) invest in having refinished or reupholstered. It's the type of thing that you will hand down to your kids and they will actually want! Yes Spencer is already eying a desk To me that's the core differences between used and vintage furniture. What do you think?

 

Mixing wood styles and tones can add depth, character and sophistication to your home

 

Please note that the couch image was used from the ugly couch contest website and the dining table image is from Arcadianhome.com

Why buy vintage furniture?

03 February, 2014 0 comments Leave a comment

I’m sure that many of you are like Maureen and I when it comes to your home — so enamored with it, that you are constantly looking for just the right item. Then you find one and still you want more. Why wouldn’t it be this way? Your home is your castle. The place where many of your cherished memories are made.  So why not choose furniture that is allows you to bring your home to life in a way that you are getting quality at an incredible price point? We'll let you in on our secret: Vintage furniture. Vintage furniture is — for the most part — very well constructed, with quality wood constructions, and with exciting designs. An enticing combination of solid wood construction and bold designs and/ or colours. Vintage furniture was built to last, which means a lot of it — especially case goods (pieces made of wood like dressers, hutches, desks, shelving and dining chairs) — are desirable because they are still in like-new condition today after 50 or more years of daily use. Even upholstered pieces like easy chairs and couches — which may need reupholstering — are still in demand due to their solid wood frame and steel spring construction! Plus the bold lines can seamlessly fit in with today's fabric styles.  Vintage furniture also tends to be far more affordable, compared to buying new. Vintage dining room sets in particular, can be spectacular deals. Do a quick search and compare quality and price for an equivalent quality vintage and new dining set. I bet you will find there to be at least a 50% difference.  Given the price point, this savings could be the equivalent of a family vacation! Saving the planet. I'm not going to get all preachy, but most of us want to reduce our impact on the environment. Vintage furniture is a easy way to do that! Saving something from filling up a landfill, while not buying something which off-gasses or is made thousands of miles away in substandard working conditions, is an easy way to feel like you have consciously made a difference in the world. As much as I would like to rescue every piece I come across, Maureen has decided that we will not buy any more vintage furniture for our home unless we have a designated place for it — which at this point for me means one piece in, one piece out. The good news is I talked her into opening this store:) But it has made me try to concentrate on permanently acquiring only the pieces that I really love and letting the rest go live at some other vintage furniture nut… errr, connoisseur’s… house.

What are your reasons for buying vintage?

Why we started a vintage furniture store

24 November, 2013 0 comments Leave a comment

Her Side:

Working with your spouse can be a challenging and very rewarding experience all at the same time. But with the ever-growing dis-interest in the corporate world and realizing how far I’d come from that small rural farming community that I loved, and how my creative side had become completely stifled, it became blatantly evident, that my career had to change and it was worth the risks that might come my way. And what better way to embark on a new adventure, than to pair my skills with that of my husband. Despite the risks of opening your own vintage furniture store and all of the what-if’s, despite the fact that we’re both still juggling a full-time career while trying to get our business off the ground, despite being parents of an energetic 4 year old and being pregnant with our second child, it has been an exciting and energizing time to say the least. When trying to figure out how we’d be unique from all of the vintage furniture stores that dominate Queen Street, we started with what we were passionate about: Quality, Eco friendly Refinishing and Locally Sourced Products.

Local Sourcing: We love how our neighbourhood has grown. We love our friendly community. We knew that supporting our local economy and our local artists would be key to keeping the passion for our business alive. So, we decided that St. Clair West is the place for our business. And we fit a niche that is not currently available in our area. We hope our business continues to revitalize our community.

Eco Friendly Refinishing: Growing up on a farm, environmental sustainability is never far from my mind and an essential part of who I am. By finding pieces that may very well end up in landfills, repurposing and finding a new home for unique furniture that just doesn’t exist anymore is one way that I feel I can contribute in a positive way in a world where waste is unfortunately only growing. Being pregnant and wanting desperately to start refinishing furniture again, spawned Keith’s search for eco-friendly, low VOC refinishing and painting products. Mission accomplished.

Quality: Both in the products and services we want to offer. The current vintage stores that currently exist all have their benefits. We want to bring it all together and offer a wider variety of products and services to meet every client’s unique needs. We hope very much to be able to meet and exceed your expectations.

His Side:

I’ve always had this not so secret desire to own my own vintage furniture store. Maybe I’m crazy, maybe it’s genetic. My grandparents owned several businesses simultaneously before immigrating to Canada: bakeries, general stores, mines. Even when I graduated from university and started working as a Product Manager at Club Monaco, I loved the store. Helping people (customers) solve problems was something I loved to do. I would re-merchandise the store on breaks or come in early for a shift so I could walk the building, take notes and make things better for our customers. I loved showing people different looks and helping them find the perfect item. Quickly my career took off: Guess, Hbc & Lowe’s. All incredible companies where I learned a lot. But there was just something missing. As my career saw incredible success and progressed, I became aware that I was missing the energy, the passion and excitement of the store. I ran Stores & Districts; bought products; did visual nationwide; even human resources. But in these big companies it was all done separately. It was all about staying in your own “box” and not stepping on someone else’s toes. Working in a big company had me so focused on specific “accountability” that I stopped doing what I loved: Doing many different things to help customers solve problems. We are probably crazy embarking on this journey right now, when we both have great stable jobs, a “high energy” 4 year old and a new baby due in January. But we see a big gap in the market. Why should people in mid town Toronto have to go to the burbs or downtown to get quality furniture and accessories for their homes? Why can’t they go some place local, where they can find quality items at good prices? A place that also does refinishing in a eco-friendly way for their beloved treasures. A place that is warm and friendly; that you can bring your kids in and let them run around. A place that tries to get to know you and will stay in touch. A place that values the local community by showcasing Toronto based artists and manufacturers. We also feel strongly that furniture should last and not cost a fortune. So why?

Reason #1: My amazing wife. She is a passionate decorator who has an incredible eye for design. She can see beyond what something is into what something can truly be. She has a artistic talent with refinishing wood that is beyond description. She is creative, yet detailed and a perfectionist. She is a realist. She is methodical. She is the perfect balance for me.

Reason #2: I’m a bit of a dreamer who loves ideas and decor. I’m creative but definitely not detailed. I love to talk with customers and learn about them. I enjoy selling, as I see it as trying to help a customer find something they will love forever. I love marketing and design.

Reason #3: "disposable" furniture contributes a staggering amount of the total volume going into landfills every year. There is a place for this stuff. We even have some in our home. But imagine if you could get a quality, stylish product for a fraction of the price! I'll admit our stuff is not "cheap". But for the quality, it's incredible value! Long term disposable furniture is costing you about the same. The best part of vintage furniture, is it's generally the same price as a new "disposable" item and you will have it for a lifetime.

Reason #4: We see a gap in the market. You either have really great quality items, that you can’t let your kids and pets near - we aren’t big fans of the plastic covered living room. Or you have lower end items that you begrudgingly buy knowing that within a couple of  years you will be throwing it out. The environmental impacts of everyone doing this is staggering. So we thought what if: Furniture was able to last: update it with paint or upholstery over time. But it lasts. The style should be timeless. It should be such good quality that you can let your kids and pets on it. It shouldn’t cost a fortune. From these reasons, Vintage Home Boutique was born.

Our focus is Quality Furniture and Accessories, Eco –Friendly Refinishing Services, Local Sourcing.