Every year it feels like a new challenge. What do I need to prepare in my home to host the best holiday gathering ever? How can I be the ‘host with the most’?
There are a million considerations when getting your home ready to host friends and family for a special occasion. Sometimes it’s hard to know how to prioritize everything that you want to do, and need to do, before your doorbell rings.
At Smitty’s, we get a lot of questions from customers about what they can do to spruce up their homes for the holidays. Styles and trends change, but we’ve done some digging and are happy to let you know the top decor trends for this holiday season. We hope this helps!
The coat tree has a long history and dates back to the Victorian era, when people would showcase their social position and exhibit their wealth by hanging the latest style of coats and hats in the front hallway.
The coat tree has come back into style — not so much to show off your style, but because it’s very practical and helpful.
The first thing people do when they enter your home is look for a place to hang their coats, scarves, and hats. Instead of taking coats and piling them all in a big heap on someone’s bed, a coat tree will keep coats hanging separately and organized. It will also make it easier for guests to retrieve their belongings as they leave.
This year, Smitty’s is excited to have coat trees in our showroom. Made from solid metal, this coat tree is stylish and sturdy and a great addition to your entryway.
Candles are making a big comeback. The natural glow that candles provide will add warmth to any room in your home.
This year’s trend is to mix and match candles and candle holders. While you may wish to keep the colour or metal the same when candle holders are grouped together, mixing different sizes and shapes will create dynamic focal points on your dining table, console tables/side tables, and mantles.
If you have draperies, children, or pets, you may wish to consider getting battery operated candles for your votives and candle holders. There are some battery operated candles that are very realistic and will safely shine in your home, without the worry of anything catching fire.
Adding pops of design and colour throughout your home is definitely on-trend this season. Throw cushions are an easy way to accomplish this trend.
Throw cushions will add comfort and a touch of fun to your living room, den, bedrooms, and even dining room — for added whimsy, you could have a different throw cushion for each guest at your table.
When hosting guests for an overnight, adorning the guest bedroom with colourful throw pillows is a detail that will surely make them smile.
Available in a variety of fabrics, you can mix and match colours, designs, and textures.
This year, living room design trends are focused on three main styles: modern, urban, and glam. Featuring fresh takes on classic styles, mixing of metal and wood, and furniture that is comfortable and functional — this is what 2017 living rooms are all about.
More than ever before, living rooms are multi-functional spaces. From watching movies, to hosting guests, to playing games, to cozying up with a good book, your living room should reflect your lifestyle.
At Smitty’s, we get lots of questions from customers about how best to update their living room and select furnishings to complement their daily routines. Here are some tips on how you can have a modern, urban, or glam living room in your home.
Modern Living Room
A modern living room doesn’t mean lots of odd shapes and harsh colours. In 2017, a modern living room is a space that is comfortable, accommodating, and features purposeful and attractive furniture and decor. It’s not too busy and it’s not too sparse. There’s space and air around the furniture to allow for flow and function — and the pieces generally offer clean lines, so that they all fit together well.
There are many ways to get the modern look in your living room. Here are some of Smitty’s favourite modern furniture additions:
Muted metal and glass coffee table and occasional tables
Brands like Artage and Amisco have great pieces to choose from
Low-profile and straight-line sofas and accent chairs
Brands like Trendline and Brentwood offer variety and some styles can be customized
Colourful and edgy area rugs
Brands like Kalora offer a huge selection of modern looks
Urban Living Room
An urban living room doesn’t mean heavy or bold statement pieces. In 2017, an urban living room is a space that is flexible, functional, and accommodating, and features furniture that can do double duty. It’s angular but not harsh. There’s lots of space in the design and function is key — this is definitely a look that works well in condos and smaller spaces.
There are many ways to achieve an urban look in your living room. Here are some of Smitty’s favourite urban furniture additions:
Wood and metal coffee tables and side tables
Brands like Hooker Furniture and Universal have attractive and functional pieces to choose from
Dual purpose island tables
The latest furniture concept on the market are Amisco’s unique island tables, which offer a sleek, urban design and flexibility
Brands like Palliser and Best Home Furnishings offer sofas, sofa beds, and reclining sofas with customizable fabric options to suit any style
Glam Living Room
A glam living room doesn’t mean everything is fancy and breakable. In 2017, a glam living room is a space that features different kinds of finishes and surfaces. It is fun and a bit showy. It’s full of shine and sparkle, but isn’t overwhelming. There’s a feeling of posh, but without the attitude — this is a look that comes to life with mix and match furniture and accent pieces.
There are many ways to get the glam look in your living room. Here are some of Smitty’s favourite glam furniture additions:
Glass, mirrored, and shiny metal coffee tables and side tables
Brands like Decor-Rest and Rustique have attractive and functional pieces to choose from
Cushy and ornate sofas
Brands like Brentwood and Superstyle have a wide assortment of luxurious sofas
Table lamps, mirrors, and accent pieces
Brands like Surya have an amazing selection of shiny, mirrored, and glass accent pieces
As we prepare ourselves for the cooler weather, we start to think about ways we can make our homes more comfortable because we will be spending more time indoors. For some people, it’s as simple as adding a throw blanket to a sofa. For others, it’s about staying on trend and updating their space so it feels fresh. Here are the top four trends for Fall 2017.
Oversized Furniture Is Out & Scaled Furniture Is In
Remember when it was all the rage to buy that extra deep and extra wide sofa? Your feet couldn’t touch the floor, but it was in style. Bigger was better.
Things have changed. Now designers are moving towards less bulky furniture pieces. Smartly and beautifully crafted sofas and accent chairs are replacing those enormous pieces that took up half your floorspace.
Brands like Palliser, Magnussen, and Brentwood (just to name a few) are designing and producing furniture that fits your space, and doesn’t overwhelm it. Thinner arms, shorter depths, and sleeker designs are the way to go this Fall.
Industrial Is Out & Wood and Gold Is In
Shiny and brushed metal, like steel, are now taking a back seat to wood and gold. Designers are moving towards warmer palettes — and just in time for Fall!
Now, the trend is to incorporate solid wood pieces that are finished in deep, rich tones. Carefully crafted furniture pieces, either classically designed or with a contemporary feel, are where it’s at.
Warmer metals are also en vogue. Bronze, gold, and champagne colours and accents achieve a subtle elegance unlike the sharp contrast of brushed steel.
Brands like Artage, Amisco, and Durham excel at designing beautifully crafted pieces that achieve this warm and elegant style with ease. They can also custom-create pieces and blend wood and gold together for a classy look.
Greige Is Out & Jewel Tones Are In
There was a time when everyone painted their walls in soft tones, purchased neutral colour rugs, and arranged beige furniture in every room in their home. For some people greige is just fine and will never go out of style — for others, it’s time to bring in some colour.
You don’t have to go crazy with colour to bring your room into Fall style. You can achieve a more colourful look by adding a fun accent chair, gold side table, or coloured throw pillow.
Many of the brands we carry at Smitty’s allow you to select your finishes and fabrics. This means you can do anything! Pair a neutral sofa with bright throw cushions or add neutral/solid coloured pillows to a patterned sofa. It’s all up to you.
Seamless Upholstery Is Out & Nailhead Details Are In
There was a trend towards seamless upholstery. This style of finishing makes for a more formal look for your sofas, chairs, and other accent pieces.
This Fall, nailhead detailing is in. Whether it’s a footstool, bed frame, or accent chair, finishing the seams with nails adds a fun bit of energy and style to your furniture. Nailheads can be simple and run only around the edge, or they can incorporate additional patterns and designs.
Brands like Durham, Magnussen, and Donald Choi (to name a few) are experts at finishing their unique furniture pieces with the hot nailhead trend.
Come and visit Smitty’s to check out the latest styles in furnishings for your home.
Canadians take great pride in making their homes comfortable, functional, and stylish. As the housing market shifts once again, and people choose to invest in their home rather than sell, picking the perfect pieces of furniture becomes paramount.
Fortunately, we don’t have to look far to find fashionable furnishings that are also made in Canada. Trends are constantly evolving and changing, but there are some very accessible trends en vogue for 2017. Here are some top decor trends for 2017:
Casual and Comfortable
The days of sitting upright on a firm chair, reading under matching table lamps, and positioning perfectly matching cushions on your sofa are gone. Canadians want to be cozy and comfortable in their homes. One of the big trends this year is to ditch the uncomfortable furniture and replace it with cushy, soft, and casual pieces. Brands like Decor-Rest, Palliser, and Brentwood have wonderful selections of sofas, accent chairs, and occasional tables that will make your home comfortable for any occasion.
Warm Colours and Metals: Bronze, Gold, Champagne
The industrial look of past years has been replaced with warm tones. Solid wood dining tables, hutches, and dressers in chestnut, walnut, and chocolate finishes will bring a depth and warmth to your space.
On that same note, silver and metallic finishes have been replaced with bronze, gold, and champagne colours. You can mix and match these colours and tones in the fabric, and with accent pieces like throw pillows, table lamps, and decor pieces.
Whether it’s an occasional table, accent chair, or dining table, these rich tones are 100% on trend — and we have these Canadian products in-store.
Mix and Match
Mixing and matching furniture is a trend that started a couple of years ago and is still going strong. This design concept is suitable in any room. From dining rooms with different head chairs or a mix of chairs and benches, to sofas with different colours of throw pillows, to bedrooms with bedside tables that don’t match the dresser — mixing and matching is hot.
The other benefit of mixing and matching your furniture and decor is that it gives your home a timeless appeal.
You will experience a great sense of freedom when placing furniture together in a room with different design styles and colours. Give it a try!
If you’re not sure where to start, come and visit Smitty’s — our decorators will help you get it right!
It’s true that soft, muted colours are warm and relaxing, but greige (grey/beige) is moving toward more of a foundational colour than a statement colour. Trends come and go. Styles constantly change. But, in 2017, colour is king.
You Don’t Have To Ditch Your Sofa
Just because the style gurus are suggesting that “colour is in” doesn’t mean that you need to get rid of your grey couch — unless it’s falling apart, or you no longer love it, in which case you should kick it to the curb.
You can enhance your current furniture with pops of colour.
One of the hottest trends this year is to add colourful accents to your home. You can do this quickly and easily without breaking the bank.
Cheery coloured throw pillows are a great, and inexpensive, way to bring colour into your space. You can add to, or replace, your existing cushions and give your furniture a whole different look and feel.
Don’t be afraid to mix and match sizes, colours, and patterns. It’s okay to pair stripes with polka dots, or green with blue. This is no longer considered clashing — it’s fun, funky, and totally en vogue.
At Smitty’s, we have a huge selection of gorgeous fabrics, in all the colours of the rainbow, for you to choose from to make your custom throw pillows.
Refreshing the lighting in your space will make a huge difference in your home.
Whether it’s side table lamps with colourful bases, or floor lamps with interesting shades — new lamps will not only light up your space but they will help to give your room new life.
Another consideration is to create layered lighting to enhance the atmosphere in your space. Mixing task lighting (like a reading lamp next to your sofa) with ambient lighting (like a corner floor lamp) is what designers call ‘layered lighting’.
Layered lighting will help to give your room a different feel and this is an easy way to make a big difference in your home.
Colourful vases, candle holders, and artwork are budget friendly, quick fixes to bring colour into your space.
Mixing colours, shapes, and items together on a side table, coffee table, or dining table is a simple way to give you a pop of colour.
These smaller items are also easy to move around from room to room, making it a quick way to change around your space.
The trend for 2017 is all about texture. Texture isn’t just about fabric, in the design world it also refers to depth and variety. Adding pieces of decor that are different heights, sizes, and colours will provide your space with texture.
A great way to bring some colour into a room is with accent furniture.
Accent furniture is a piece of furniture that stands out in a room, but complements the existing design, layout, and colour palate.
This can be anything from a comfy chair, a glass coffee table, or even a mirrored side table.
By placing a piece of accent furniture into a space, you can easily add definition, colour, and even drama. Sometimes, adding a new chair that has a bit of flair can enliven a space and make it feel totally different and refreshed.
Updating your existing furniture
Perhaps you love your sofa, or your side chair, and you don’t want to replace it. That’s perfectly alright.
A great way to freshen your space, and bring in some colour, is to recover your furniture. That way you get to keep the pieces you love and update them with a great new fabric.
At Smitty’s, we have hundreds of fabric swatches to choose from for all your recovering needs and desires. From genuine leather, to wool, to cotton, to microfibre — we have it all!
Our in-store decorators will work with you to find the perfect fabric and will guide you through the process and timing of the upholstery experience.
Spring is finally here! Now’s the time to switch around your wardrobe. Time to pack away those winter boots and dust off your sandals. It’s also a great time of year to refresh your living space.
Freshen your space
This doesn’t mean using scented room sprays that smell like countryside grasses, no, no — this is the time to update your space. This can be something as simple as adding a pop of colour with some throw pillows, moving furniture around, or adding pieces to lighten the look of your home.
For some people, this is the time of year when they bring the outside in. This means different things to different people, but there are some easy ways to celebrate the return of the sun.
Pops of colour
Just because it’s spring doesn’t mean that you have to get rid of your existing furniture or accent pieces. You can add new life to your space and acknowledge the season by adding in little splashes of colour.
Easy ways to add colour include:
Adding colourful throw pillows to your sofa, accent chair, or bed.
Hanging colourful artwork on your walls.
Adding new colourful accessories to your tables and shelves.
Bring in the light
Now that the grey, dull, and dark weather is behind us, it’s time to bring the light in. What does that mean and how can I do that?
Easy ways to lighten your space:
Add mirrors to reflect the light.
Add a colourful area rug to lighten the look of the floor.
Change your table lamps to those with cut out or clear bases to let the light move through.
If your budget allows for it, spring is a great time to refresh your accent furniture.
Upgrading your accent chair in the living, adding new end chairs onto your dining room set, and changing your coffee table to glass are great ways to freshen your space.
At Smitty’s Fine Furniture, we have a great selection of customizable furniture, accessories, rugs, lighting, and accents that will help you celebrate the spring without breaking your budget.
Shopping for the perfect dining room set? In addition to shape, price, size and material, one of the main considerations when choosing a dining room set is style. And with all of the options out there, it can be hard to narrow them down. But the most common types of dining room sets are contemporary, traditional and minimalist.
Contemporary dining room sets encompass a wide range of styles, but, for the most part, they consist of a sturdy, rectangular table, often made of wood, paired with fabric dining chairs. Contemporary dining room sets are actually very versatile and can fit into any style of room, whether your style is more traditional or more modern. Colours for this type of dining room set are often muted, with solid woods and neutral fabrics for the chairs. Check out one of our favourites here.
If you prefer to stick to a traditional dining room set, these styles are often less rigid than contemporary styles. While contemporary dining room sets are often composed of clean lines, traditional sets offer a little bit more variety in terms of shapes and often feature more elaborate chair designs. Some traditional dining room sets include farmhouse-inspired styles or vintage elements, and often the chairs are not padded (though they can be). Here is one of our favourite traditional dining room sets.
If you’ve noticed the trend toward glass tabletops and metal structures, you’re probably familiar with minimalist dining room sets. These tend to be very modern in design, pairing glass tabletops with modern bases, or metal elements and simple, modern chairs. Most minimalist dining sets are neutral, like contemporary dining room sets, but are much more stark in their designs. Check out one of our favourites here.
Pro Tip: Watch out for new two-tone tables combining grey with creamy hues. It’s no longer a country look, instead it has become increasingly contemporary — you’ll see it in all the decorating magazines!
You don’t want your TV over a tiny entertainment unit — it looks ridiculous! Pick an entertainment unit that fits your needs and matches the size of your TV.
Add awesome movie props
If you’re building a home theatre system, it’s probably because you love movies. Why not add some vintage posters and memorabilia from your favourites? Cool decor is sure to put you in the mood whenever you go to watch a film!
Make yourself an amazing snack
Feeling like something is off? Maybe it’s your stomach! That microwaveable popcorn may be tasty, but it doesn’t cut it all the time.
Why not try out Smitty’s own Bits & Bites recipe? Check it out below and leave a comment to let us know if you enjoyed it!
Cam's Bits & Bites Recipe (Nuts & Bolts)
1 cup butter or margarine
2 TBLS Celery Salt
2 TBLS Onion Powder
1 TBLS Garlic Powder
4 TBLS Worcestershire Sauce
In a small pan, melt butter and all seasonings together.
8 Cups of Cheerios (plain)
4 Cups of Shreddies (plain)
3 Cups of Nuts (honey roasted, beer nuts – your choice )
3 Cups of Pretzels (sticks or minis)
In the mother of all roasting pans, pour a bit of the melted butter mixture to lightly coat the bottom. Add all cereals etc. from above into pan. Mix well.
Pour butter mixture, stirring well so everything is coated. Cover with lid and put into the oven at 250 for 3 hours.
It's very important to stir this mixture every 20 minutes!
Cool completely before storing this delicious mixture in sealed containers, then enjoy with family and friends at your leisure!
5 Ways to Identify a Well-Built Piece of Furniture
Monday, January 2, 2017
At Smitty’s Fine Furniture, we are pretty vocal about our love of well-built, Canadian-made furniture. And while we know a lot about furniture construction, you don’t have to be an expert to be able to identify good quality furniture. So next time you’re out shopping for a couch, new dining set, bed frame or other new addition for your home, keep some of these tips in mind for identifying a well-built piece of furniture.
1) No wobbling, creaking or sagging
If you’re going to a furniture showroom, picking up a piece of furniture is a pretty easy and extremely useful test for quality. Any piece of furniture should not creak, sag or wobble when you pick it up, especially in the frame.
2) Check the quality of the padding & cushions
The frame of your furniture is not the only place you should check for quality. When it comes to fabric furniture like sofas, loveseats and armchairs, always test them out before buying. High quality pieces have dense foam and are well padded throughout - not just on the seat. You shouldn’t be able to feel any springs or hard pieces beneath the padding anywhere on the piece.
3) Check the upholstery
Once you’re satisfied with the basic construction of the furniture you’re looking at, move on to the upholstery. High quality upholstery uses thick and tightly woven fabric. The fabric will also be the same material all the way around. Also inspect any seams that are visible, and make sure the upholstery isn’t sagging or stretching with wear.
Pro Tip: ask about ‘rub count’ to gauge to fabric wear and durability — you should aim for around 10-15,000 for residential grade.
4) Identify the type of wood
Not all types of wood are created equal, and there are a number of woods that should never be used for furniture because of their softness. When shopping for wood furniture, or even furniture that has a wood frame, ask about the type. Most high quality furniture is made of deciduous trees like ash, birch, cherry, mahogany, oak, maple or walnut, as these resist cracking.
5) Check the wood construction
Whether you’re shopping for wood furniture or fabric furniture with a wood frame, checking out the construction of the wood elements is essential to ensuring your furniture is well built. If you can, check any seams to make sure all of the wood pieces fit well together. If your furniture squeaks, that’s usually a sign of poor construction. And always pull out drawers and open hinged doors to make sure they open and close smoothly.
At Smitty’s Fine Furniture in Kitchener and Hanover, our furniture experts are always on-hand to answer any questions you have about the quality of our selection. Visit us at one of our locations today!
Want something fun and different than your regular holiday string lights? Try your hand at this festive burlap garland, with lights included! The three colours of burlap will add festive cheer to your home while the lights will bring some ambience to your home. The best part is that it’s fully customizable, so you can choose the colours that fit with your holiday decor theme!
Beckon the snow for a white Christmas with this stunning woodland sign. It’s perfect for hanging on your front porch or atop your fireplace mantel, and will take you through the holidays and into the later winter months. You can hand write your own sign or use a stencil, and you can choose a different phrase to suit your style!
This simple and fun DIY is something you can do with the whole family! With a little bit of spray paint in the colours of your choice, you can easily turn simple popsicles into beautiful snowflakes to hang on your walls.
Wreaths are so quintessential for the holiday season, so try out this beautiful DIY Christmas wreath that is sure to stand out from the rest. This version is on the larger scale, so feel free to scale it down to fit on your front door!
Build yourself an extra Christmas tree out of a simple wooden pallet. Simply use a saw to cut the pallet into a triangular shape, then decorate with paint, ribbons or whatever other crafts you want to use! Check out what others have done by clicking the link above — or watch for these trees outside of Smitty's in Kitchener!
These candle holders are so cozy and elegant - they’re the perfect addition to any centerpiece or mantel! The evergreen pieces are on the outside of the candle holder, so you won’t have to worry about potential fire hazards.