Vintage Home Boutique

Articles tagged as eco friendly refinishing (view all)

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.

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.

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.




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
  • 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!

Vintage Furniture: Affordable Luxury

20 August, 2014 0 comments Leave a comment


Looking for quality and originality in furniture design? Don’t limit your search to traditional high-end home décor shops. Consider vintage, which has shed its “shabby chic” label to become the choice of savvy shoppers seeking longevity and a distinctive look in their home furnishings.

What is Vintage?
General consensus is that vintage furniture refers to items over 50 years old but less than 100. Quality vintage furniture is extremely well-made with acute attention to style and detail. It is a smart furniture alternative for those looking for the elusive combination of style and good value for the money spent: unlike most mass-produced furniture, vintage offers a unique design aesthetic and is an investment that lasts.

Investment Value:
Timeless design and quality construction mean that a piece that is 50 years old can still look and function as if it is new. Unlike much of today’s disposable furniture, vintage holds its value and doesn’t require replacement every few years.
Vintage pieces can be sold or passed on after several years of use. Some styles can be repurposed for other areas within your home. Due to their ‘good bones,’ well-worn sofas and chairs can be reupholstered for an entirely new look…over and over again. With environmentally-friendly furniture refinishing options, even pieces that have seen more than their fair share of bumps and scratches can claim a spot of honour in your home.
An investment in quality vintage can reach well beyond its utility. Vintage furniture is in demand and stock is disappearing. Select pieces created by iconic designers like Finn Juhl are climbing into triple-digit territory, although high-quality pieces can be found in all price ranges.

Why Buy Vintage Furniture?
Quality vintage furniture offers unpretentious sophistication. It’s an investment in your future, wrapped up in the solid construction and timeless styling of an era gone by. It’s affordable luxury. For more reasons to buy vintage furniture please see our Why Buy Vintage Furniture post

Earth Day: Don't throw it out - Repurpose or Refinish it

22 April, 2014 0 comments Leave a comment

Every spring it seems to increase in volume - people put their less-loved furniture pieces to the curb, banished to the garbage dump. The finish has lost it's luster, a leg is broken, a handle lost, the upholstery torn and out of date. And yet if it's solid wood, I'm bound to snatch it up and give it new life, either by refinishing or repurposing - or both, as I did with our bathroom sink base. When we moved into our home 8 years ago, like many older Toronto homes, there was no bathroom on the main floor. We did a little redesign, and found a little space - but there was only room for something small.  Not wanting to resort to a pedestal sink (I wanted storage) I found a vintage cabinet that had been used to store vinyl records. After a little love and refinishing, we ended up with something unique and beautiful. Something that was destined for the landfill found a new home.



Many items can find new life by being re-purposed - an old door turned into a desk top; old picture frames clustered together to create visual art; old crib railings turned into a towel rack in your bathroom.  The possibilities are endless - all you have to do is look online, on sites such as Curbly to get a few ideas. But of course, many of us don't have the time to be crafty or simply do not have the space.  So instead of throwing your items to the curb, try taking them to the Habitat for Humanity ReStores where someone else can find a new use for it. Or better yet, contact us to get a quote on eco-friendly refinishing in Toronto. In honour of Earth Day - before tossing it in the trash - consider refinishing, re-purposing or donating your furniture.            

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.