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Articles tagged as eco-friendly furniture (view all)

A Tale of Two Vintages: How Wine and Vintage Furniture Are Alike

23 September, 2014 0 comments Leave a comment

Seeing a glass of wine sitting on a vintage table recently brought to mind thoughts of what those two different “vintages” have in common.

Like fine wines, quality vintage furniture is distinctive and has a unique appeal to an individual’s senses. While it challenges the sameness of today’s mass produced consumer goods, like a versatile wine, vintage furniture can be as unpretentious and as comfortable with take-out pizza as it is in a formal dining room. How else are vintage furniture and wine alike? Read on to find out.

Harmony and Balance

A wine is described as ‘elegant’ when it reaches a perfect harmony or balance of flavors and ingredients; in other words, when all things come together. The same sense of balance can describe vintage mid-century modern furniture. Often referred to as functional pieces of art, mid-century modern designs removed the complexities and weight prevalent in previous furniture.

Simple clean lines complemented by long lasting, quality construction equals timeless pieces that are as readily transported from decade to decade as they are from room to room. By incorporating vintage pieces into your home you could unconsciously be adding harmony and balance to the lives of generations of future furniture guardians.

Rich Colour

The deep colour of wine is a sign of its character and age. Similarly, the colours in vintage furniture show the unique character of each piece while offering hints of its age. The patina that develops in various woods—and especially teak—gives each piece its own distinct look and a richness of colour that simply doesn’t exist in “younger” furniture.

In Demand

Vintage furniture and wine are both experiencing a surge of popularity. The growing number of local wineries attests to Canadians’ increasing interest in wine, as does our wine consumption which has grown to around triple that of the global average.

The vintage furniture trend may not be as obvious to detect. Vintage furniture’s multi-functionality and simple design allow it to blend seamlessly into homes across the country. But the trend is growing. As our living spaces shrink, the demand for quality furniture that is more streamlined and multi-functional is rising. Vintage furniture not only finds itself at home in today’s smaller spaces, but it is equally comfortable within most budgets. Vintage furniture can cost much less than contemporary furniture of similar quality.

It is worth noting however, like a limited quality Bordeaux, limited availability will eventually be reflected in its cost. If you want a unique piece, the time for shopping is now.

Locally Sourced

For the sake of our environment and for reasons of economy, more and more attention is being paid to where products are purchased and produced, from home décor to food and wine. We can no longer ignore the environmental impact that unnecessary global sourcing and its related transportation related consequences have on our world. Supporting our fellow citizens and businesses is important, for us and for our children’s’ children.

Buying at local vintage furniture shops like Vintage Home Boutique means you are saving quality used furniture from landfill sites. This circumvents the entire sourcing, manufacturing, transportation, and landfill cycle of today’s mass produced, disposable furniture.

And shopping local is fun! It gives you the freedom to return frequently to your favourite stores to compare products and to wait for just the right piece. Shopping locally for wine can be equally rewarding, giving you the chance to visit the actual vineyard where the grapes were grown and meet the people whose expertise went into each bottle.

Making ‘Simple’ a Statement

Trying to find ‘simple’ can be hard these days. The ‘wood’ used to manufacture most contemporary furniture is closer to compressed sawdust than the natural substance that has kept trees standing for centuries. Most of today’s consumer beverages are full of ingredients no one can pronounce. This is not the case with vintage wood furniture or traditionally crafted wine.

Wine and vintage furniture are both the result of crafting that sees minimal manipulations in production. With fewer adjustments and additions, products remain closer to nature. Our senses can appreciate a product’s natural personality and life when we get closer its source.

Telling a Story

Just as each bottle of wine is a reflection of the terroir where the grapes were grown, each piece of vintage furniture tells a story of its origins, from an artisan’s workshop to a home where it was cared for and passed on to future generations.

The next time you are gathered making memories with friends or family as swirling legs of wine cascade down your glass, consider another set of legs: the ones supporting your table. What history do they hold? How long will your table be the bedrock of family tales, encouraging extended family feasts and the stories that emerge from them? If history is any indicator, when the legs are holding up a piece of vintage furniture, your family has a solid foundation to build on.

 

This post was written by our guest blogger and friend of VHB, Brenda Coonan. You can find out more about Brenda and her company at http://bit.ly/1mD8Rqd We hope that Brenda will be a regular contributor here at VHB.

4 Questions You Need to Ask Before You Buy Furniture

19 September, 2014 0 comments Leave a comment

What are your primary considerations when buying furniture? You probably look at size, colour, style—all the things that are readily visible. But what about what’s inside that couch or table you’ve been eyeing? You’d be surprised at all you might be overlooking. In fact, it’s the stuff you can’t see that might be the most important.

Those hidden “ingredients” are volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Some occur naturally in our environment but are used at much higher levels in manufacturing. They are commonly used in mass-market furniture and can affect the air quality inside your home. To reduce your exposure to these chemicals, here are four questions you might want to ask during your next furniture shopping trip.

Mid-Century Modern: Maxing Out Style in Small Spaces

16 September, 2014 0 comments Leave a comment

Whether it is a lifestyle choice or for reasons of economy, making a smaller space your own doesn’t have to mean a reduction in comfort or style. Sleek, multi-tasking, mid-century modern furniture maximizes style in small spaces.

Simple Aesthetic Design

Clean lines and simple designs are hallmarks of mid-century furniture design. Stripped of ornate detail, furniture created post WWII—up to and including the mid-sixties—has a sleek aesthetic that is more suited to people living in smaller spaces.

 

Clare Pascoe of Britain’s Pascoe Interiors explains that “Mid century furniture was created to combine aesthetics and practicality in order to bring beautifully designed pieces to the man on the street.”

Furniture That Floats

Lifting furniture off the floor makes a room appear larger. The fine, tapered legs that complement many slimmer mid-century pieces provide the illusion of more available floor space, and suggest an airier feel.

Wall-fixing systems that actually attach furniture directly to the wall, avoiding any floor contact at all, are the ultimate examples of mid-century furniture that floats. When shelves or cabinets hover above the floor as integral pieces of the wall itself, this seeming extension of the floor area expands the illusion of space in compact areas.

Multi-Tasking Practicality

When space is limited, furniture has to be flexible in both design and utility. Mid-century modern is both.

The teak wardrobe pictured below was designed to hang suits and blouses in a bedroom. It can easily be transported to an entry where it can serve double duty: hanging coats in the rear hanging area, and storing everyday necessities like keys, dog leashes, and secret decoder rings in the front drawers.

http://vintagehomeboutique.ca/products/mid-century-modern-teak-wardrobe

Sideboards with spacious storage solutions are perfect for the multipurpose rooms in today’s smaller condos. Their unique cubbies with removal, adjustable shelves are perfect for storing extra blankets or for hiding that script you’ve been working on. Side tables with additional storage shelving sit as comfortably beside a bed as they do beside a Bertram custom made sofa. Display cabinets with interchangeable glass or wood fronts that hide or display valuables are other examples of space expanding design flexibility.

http://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0273/2589/products/Dark-Teak-Mid-Century-Vintage-Display-Cabinet-Front_1_1024x1024.jpg?v=1404876522

The credenza pictured above is a testament to mid-century versatility. At home in any décor, this long, low piece features easy sliding doors, four drawers and a fully finished interior.  The adjustable/removable interior shelves make this piece perfect for storing your media components or your fine dinnerware.  It would be an exceptional addition to any dining room or could be put it in a living area to house a flat screen T.V.  Its four solid teak legs give it the “floating” look that interior designers find so desirable. And its functionality is not the only highlight of this piece: solid teak furniture, like this credenza, is sought after for its look, style and durability.

An Investment That Grows With You

What better way for furniture to prove its versatility than to also double as an investment? Quality mid-century modern furniture pieces are investments that grow in value. Mid-century furniture stock is finite. As it becomes more limited, its value will continue to increase.

It’s important to remember that mid-century modern also has the flexibility to adjust to changes in your lifestyle. Unlike contemporary furniture, mid-century’s quality construction allows the option to refinish in an eco-friendly manner, or to redesign to best suit a décor or need. Aside from producing a truly unique and personal result, this is often the most economical use of resources.

A Piece of the Past

Like other limited-edition fine art, quality crafted mid-century modern furniture often becomes the object of conversation within a home. It is little wonder with the history that it brings with it. A reminder of simpler times is not bad to have in any space.

Let us help you find yours.

 

References:

http://midcenturymagazine.com/interiors/maximising-minimal-living-space-mid-century-furniture/

 

Brentwood Classics Custom Sofas and Chairs

15 September, 2014 0 comments Leave a comment

Quality, design, local and eco-friendly construction are among the key qualifiers we look for in a business partnership. It can be challenging to locate likeminded suppliers, but we found one of the best in Brentwood Classics, a Toronto-based manufacturer of stylish, eco-friendly custom sofas and chairs.

It’s been over 35 years since Toronto’s Brentwood Classics manufactured their first custom-designed sofas for Canadians. The company is unique in looking back for its aesthetic, but forward in its eco-friendly approach to furniture manufacturing.  

Their award-winning handcrafted sofas have garnered attention in magazines, home improvement television programs, and at better hotels. They also remain perennial favourites of interior designers and homeowners alike. No matter the lifestyle, those looking for inspired styling, comfort, and eco-friendly, quality construction will find both their mind and body put at ease at Brentwood.

Among the many reasons for their continued success is an understanding of consumer demand and market trends. The ‘ur-style’ line, available at Vintage Home Boutique, is a testament to this. Inspired by simpler times, ur-style answers a current demand for affordable, quality furniture paired with unique vintage styling.

Vintage furniture is currently experiencing a surge in popularity. The compact designs, timeless elegance, and quality construction of times gone by appeal to today’s savvy consumers.

Brentwood Classic’s ‘ur-style’ collection is designed to reflect the clean, tailored, uncluttered lines of mid-century modern sofas and chairs. Described as “a collection that embraces tradition infused with modern life,” the furniture appeals to a wide audience.

Mid-century inspired examples like the Jane accent chair or the Bertram sofa are representative of the “unique balance of beauty, comfort, luxury and utility” of the design period.

Whether seen as investment pieces that grow with young urban professionals or nostalgic, quality pieces for those downsizing the family home, the timeless aesthetic of the designs fit.

Upholstery from Around the World

Accenting pieces with choice upholstery helps to personalize and ingrain stylistic harmony within any home. Through Brentwood Classics we carry a selection of over 500 patterns in our fabric library. If that is not enough, they also invite you to bring in your own selection. With the made-to-order flexibility that Brentwood offers, it is easy to see how vintage styling can accent any décor.

Breathe Easy Furniture

Brentwood is a member of the Sustainable Furnishings Council, “a non-profit industry association committed to promoting sustainable practices within the home furnishings industry.”  

With Brentwood you can breathe easy, knowing that you are not inhaling the harmful chemicals or additives traditionally used in furniture manufacturing. Sofas and chairs manufactured at Brentwood Classics are made with natural soy-based poly foam. The soy-based product creates luxurious seating that is flexible enough to accommodate a host of designs. The kiln-dried hardwood used to frame Brentwood’s fine furniture is FSC certified and sustainably sourced.

Being manufactured in Toronto, adds an additional element of eco-friendly credibility. Rest easy in the knowledge that your furniture has NOT been manufactured under questionable conditions and shipped thousands of miles!

Manufacturing:

Custom made for you, once you have placed your order, we begin cutting the fabric that you have selected. Your fabric will then go to the sewing department and then to one of our seasoned, professional upholsterers who on average have 12-15 years of experience. Only one upholsterer works on your item. This way we can ensure that the highest standards of quality production are met: seams have the same tension level and the piece will have perfect symmetry.

Simple Modernist Designs

As it becomes more difficult to achieve harmony in a world that changes by leaps and bounds, it’s easy to understand the desire to create a safe haven filled with sustainable, timeless designs. Vintage Home Boutique is proud to partner with Brentwood Classics to help you create a truly unique oasis of comfort.