Whether you’re preparing to host family and friends, or just want to get into the holiday spirit, we are all looking for ways that we can make our homes welcoming and festive this season.
There are thousands of websites filled with ideas, and countless magazines showcasing incredible-looking themes — but sometimes it’s the little things that make all the difference.
If you’re not looking to break the bank, but want to make a festive impact, we suggest enhancing an often overlooked space: the entryway.
First impressions are made when people step into your home, and this makes the entryway the best place to start.
Here are our top three ways to make your home welcoming:
Entryways can be both welcoming and functional. They are also high traffic areas that are highly visible and set the tone for the rest of your home. Depending on your space, we suggest adding:
A stylish bench.
This will not only look fantastic but will help your guests with putting on and taking off their boots.
A sleek console table.
These slim tables are great for entryways, offering a place to drop your keys and display seasonal decor.
A helpful coat tree.
Coat trees are not only practical for holding coats and scarves, they are also an on-trend focal point in your entryway.
Mirrors are a great way to bring light and sparkle into a space, and an entryway is an ideal space for a mirror, as people tend to check their appearance before leaving the house.
Mirrors come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and colours. You can mix and match them on a wall, or even lean them up against each other on a shelf or on the floor. The options are virtually endless.
Depending on your space, you can add a single large mirror, or multiple smaller mirrors. Alternating design and shape is on-trend and will bring visual interest to your entryway. Mirrors can also be hung or placed on a shelf or table.
There are no rules, so play around until you find the perfect arrangement.
Area rugs are often forgotten about, but they are very important as they make up an integral aesthetic of an entryway.
Stepping on the entryway rug is the first thing, and last thing, people do when they come to your home.
It is important to have a rug that can handle some wear and tear, while still looking fabulous.
Kalora rugs offer a stunning array of area rugs to suit any home. From wool, to jute, to synthetic fibres, they have it all.
Today’s housing market has exploded and prices are through the roof. Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or are considering making a move the costs of purchasing a home are prohibitive.
So what are people doing?
Trends show that people aren’t buying homes as much as they once were. Instead, they are investing in their current home and making it a space they can continue to enjoy for years to come.
Homeowners have started to realize that any type of house — detached, semi, townhome, or condo — can be upgraded and updated. You can make your house a home.
At Smitty’s, our decorators love to help homeowners breathe new life into their homes by updating their spaces with new furniture and accessories. Here are some of our favourite ways to turn your house into a home.
The kitchen is the hub of every home. It’s the place where you spend many hours preparing meals for your family and friends — and the dining table is at the heart of every kitchen or dining room.
Your dining table is used as a surface for entertaining, working, playing games, and as a place to gather around for quality time. It is a multifunctional workhorse.
Selecting a new dining table is a great way to update your space and meet your current lifestyle needs.
How do you choose the right dining table?
There are several important considerations to think about when selecting a new table:
How big is your space?
How many people need to fit around the table?
Do you need a table with extensions, to fit more people?
Do you want a round, square, or rectangular table?
Will the table need to be versatile and used for more than just eating?
Sometimes all it takes is updating your dining table seating to give your space a whole new look and feel. There are more options and styles to choose from than ever before — and you can mix and match seating to suit your needs.
How do you choose the right dining chairs?
There are several important considerations to think about when selecting dining chairs:
How many people need to fit around the table?
This is important when deciding how wide each chair should be.
How tall is your dining table?
Most tables range between 28-31 inches and people typically prefer sitting with 10-12 inches of space between their lap and the tabletop.
Do you want arms or armless?
If you want arms, do you want the chair to slide underneath the tabletop?
Would a bench provide you with more flexibility?
Benches can slide under a table and save on floor space.
Our showrooms are filled with amazing chairs, from wood, to fabric, to leather, to metal — we’ve got it all.
For the biggest impact, the number one piece of furniture to update in your living room is your sofa. By replacing a sofa, sofa bed, or sectional, you can make a room feel completely different.
How do you choose the right sofa?
There are several important considerations to think about when selecting a sofa:
How much room do you have (both width and length)?
How many people are you looking to fit on your sofa?
Do you want your sofa to fit into a corner of a room or divide a room?
Do you need extra sleeping space for guests?
Do you have pets and need to consider cleaning or fabric options?
Smitty’s Pro Tip: Don’t forget to measure your front door. You don’t want to order a new sofa only to find out that it won’t make it into your home. As part of our service, Smitty’s can offer you a free check measure, to ensure your furniture will fit into your home.
We have a huge selection of sofa styles ranging from traditional to modern. We also offer brands that are customizable — allowing you the flexibility to select your fabric, legs, and throw cushions.
The expert decorating team at Smitty’s will work with you to find and customize unique pieces of furniture to suit your space. By ordering your furniture in October, you can have your new furniture (and your refreshed space) in time for the holidays!
While the kitchen may be the hub of your home, the bedroom is your personal sanctuary — it’s also where you will spend the most time over the course of your life, so you want it to be perfect.
It is important that a bedroom is comfortable so you can feel calm and get the rest you need. But bedrooms can offer a lot more than comfort, and they aren’t just a place for sleeping. More than ever before, bedrooms are incorporating style and character and are becoming a fashionable oasis in people’s homes.
What are the steps to creating your ‘wow’ bedroom?
Get To Know Your Style
First things first, you need to ask yourself what you like. You can sift through some home design magazines for inspiration, but it might be simpler and more fun to take the HGTV Bedroom Personality Quiz.
Styles include romantic, dreamer, rebel, creator, and more!
What Is Your Colour Palette?
Once you have a sense of your style, it will be important to examine the colour palette in your space, and in your home.
Are you looking to paint your bedroom, or keep it the same colour?
Do you want your bedroom to blend in with the rest of your home, or stand out?
Do you like bold colours, or are you more interested in neutral tones?
How much room do you have to work with?
Is there a theme for your room (e.g. black and white retro, or airy beach)?
Do you want your furniture to match, or mix and match?
After you’ve answered these questions, you will be better prepared to begin selecting bedroom furniture pieces.
What Style of Bedroom Furniture Should You Choose?
There are many options to consider when selecting your bedroom furniture, and you don’t have to limit yourself to just one.
Classic bedroom style traditionally incorporates a wooden bed frame with a wooden headboard, matching bedside tables, and a matching dresser with or without a mirror.
You can choose a sleigh bed, with its lovely curved headboard as the centrepiece to your room. Then, you can finish the look with solid wood tables, matching dressers finished in rich, deep coloured stains, and matching bedside lamps.
This classic style offers a warm look that will stand the test of time.
Contemporary bedroom style can incorporate a wide variety of furniture pieces, from wood to steel and upholstered to iron.
You can pair a bed frame and headboard with matching nightstands and offset the match with a different style of dresser.
You can also jazz up the centrepiece of your room (aka your bed) by selecting an extra large headboard.
Traditional headboards are typically 0-3” wider than the bedframe and extend upwards between 14-29” above the horizontal plane of the bed.
Contemporary headboards can extend along the wall, taking in the width of your nightstands, and they can be as tall as you like.
The Mix & Match
Mix and match bedroom style allows you to pair pieces from different sets without being limited to one particular look and feel for your room.
You can pair a new headboard with an antique style dresser, and then match it with a contemporary bedside table. There are no rules.
This carefree look is easily updated and can be altered to go with your ever-changing style.
You Can Do It!
There are a lot of ways to turn your bedroom into a ‘wow’ bedroom. Come and visit Smitty’s and our expert decorators will help you bring your desired look to life.
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!
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!
How Construction Makes a Difference in Your Furniture
Monday, January 2, 2017
At Smitty’s Fine Furniture in Kitchener and Hanover, we strongly believe in providing our customers with high quality, Canadian-made furniture. Our commitment to selling quality furniture is why we are passionate about well constructed furniture.
Pro Tip: A well-built piece of furniture makes all the difference. Well-built furniture is not just made to last, it’s also made to keep you and your family comfortable by employing the best construction techniques.
When it comes to the best furniture construction, it’s hard to beat Decor-Rest. Their furniture uses the following methods to create durable, long-lasting furniture of the highest comfort:
Hardwood frames are built using select North American maple or birch hardwood, corners are double-dowelled, corner blocked, glued and secured with screws. This method of construction will ensure you don’t have wobbly arms or backs on your furniture!
Reinforced webbing on the outside arm and outside back means greater value for you.
Stabilizer bars are used on the front and back rails for warp-free stability and exceptional durability.
Combine traditional hand-crafted expertise with advanced technology with only the best fabrics for quality and durability, and designs are above industry standard warranties.
Arms are padded for extra comfort and decks are fully covered and padded, demonstrating attention to detail.
All seating is sprung with 8-gauge no-sag sinuous spring construction, and all sofas and loveseats have sling spring for extra support — so when you sit in the corner of the sofa, you don’t fall in!
Environmental green soya foam is used in all Decor-Rest styles without chlorofluorocarbons and is highly resilient, abundant, domestically grown and sustainable.
These are just some of the ways that Decor-Rest produces high quality, incredibly comfortable and expertly built furniture that lasts.
By carrying these and other high quality, Canadian-made products, Smitty’s Fine Furniture ensures that our customers are only ever offered the best selection and can rest assured that their investment in great furniture will pay off for years to come.
Adjustable beds are the latest trend in home comfort. With modern advancements and increasingly affordable pricing, adjustable beds have become the obvious choice for people looking to add another level of comfort and flexibility to their home life.
This is not your grandma’s bed. This not a hospital bed. This is the bed of the future!
In the era of Netflix and on-demand television, adjustable beds are the go-to solution for anyone who enjoys watching TV before going to sleep — and they are great for other activities as well. Do you read before bed? Work on your laptop in the evenings? Help your kids with their homework
Your evening ritual: stacking pillows carefully behind your back, trying to get the positioning just right. Put this time-consuming practice behind you by investing in an adjustable bed. Get the comfort that you want, when you want it.
Reduced Snoring & Other Benefits of Adjustable Beds
Adjustable beds have been shown to help with a number of different conditions. They were first used to hospitals to improve circulation and oxygen flow in patients, by raising the heart above the rest of the body. Although commercial models are not validated by medical testing, these same benefits have been reported by other owners of adjustable beds.
Based on past reports & personal experience, we have found that adjustable beds can help with…
Easing neck, back and shoulder pain — Using an adjustable bed to reposition your body can relieve pressure on various areas, such as your lower back at the end of the work day. Improved circulation will allow muscles to heal faster as well!
Reducing snoring and providing a deeper sleep — Elevating the upper body by 8 inches can open the airways, reducing snoring and providing oxygen to your muscles, so you stop tossing and turning!
Recovery from injury — Adjustable beds can help with major and minor injuries, including everything from simple swelling to post-surgery recovery, by elevating affected areas and providing improved blood flow.
Offer relief from common conditions — An elevated position has been shown to relieve symptoms of acid reflux or nasal drip from allergies, which makes it great for people who suffer from these conditions.
How Adjustable Beds Work
Adjustable beds combine the ergonomic benefits of a good quality armchair with the added advantage of being able to go from relaxation to sleep, with the click of a button. Modern adjustable beds use simple remote controls or Bluetooth technology to allow you to easily manipulate your bed’s positioning — without having to move yourself.
The best adjustable beds today will allow you to raise and lower the head, the foot and the middle sections, fitting any arrangement that suits you. An adjustable bed can be used in the same way that you’d use a reclining chair or a sofa. Or in new, creative ways!
Pro Tip: Adjustable beds do require the use of a specially-made mattress to accommodate the raising and lowering of the base. Typically a memory foam mattress will work better than an innerspring model, as the springs are easily damaged by the bending motion.