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New Year = New Furniture

(Photo from Decor-Rest)

 

Happy New Year! It’s another new year filled with promise. At Smitty’s, we know how much joy and excitement a new year can bring. If you’ve been thinking about making some interior decorating changes or upgrades, we can help. After all, new year = new furniture.

 

Time for a Change

 

If you’ve been sitting on the same worn out sofa, eating at the same scratched table, and sleeping on the same sagging mattress, then enough is enough. It’s time for a change.
 

“A house with old furniture has no need of ghosts to be haunted.”

― Hope Mirrlees, Lud-in-the-Mist

 

If you’re like most people, you probably have many areas in your home that you want to update and refresh. Maybe you’ve grown tired of your colour scheme, or your furniture doesn’t reflect your style, or perhaps you’ve been inspired by something you saw in a magazine and you want to get that look in your space.

 

Change can be re-decorating and re-furnishing an entire home, or it can be as simple as swapping out your bed. Whatever you are looking to achieve, here are a few ideas to inspire your interior decorating changes.

 

Matte Black is Where It’s At!


(Amisco Elgin bed)

 

Matte black furniture is not only on trend, but it’s the kind of colour that doesn’t really go out of style. Easily paired with existing furniture, matte black can blend in with your decor without looking out of place.

 

By contrast, matte black can also act as an accent and work to highlight a particular room, theme, or area — or it can stand out on its own and bring some drama to your space.

 

Black can be added to virtually any space, from bedrooms to kitchens.

 


(Amisco Dirk table)

 

Amisco has a wide variety of matte black furniture pieces including, bed frames, stools, chairs, dining tables, coffee tables, and more.


(Amisco Tacoma dining table)

  • Mix and match black with distressed wood for a contemporary look.
     
  • Trying pairing a black and chrome coffee table with a luxurious rug for a high-style look.
     
  • Add a leather chair and ottoman for an urban look.

    (Decor-Rest Romeo chair)

Bronze, Not Brass


(Decor-Rest)

 

Brass went out in the 80s and there’s no looking back. Bronze, on the other hand, is not only in style, but timeless in the same way as matte black. Bronze accents and decorative items, finishing details, and even table bases are a classic addition to any home.

 


(Artage Hop table)

  • Try adding a bronze lamp, bronze candle holders, or a bronze decorative bowl to your decor and you will be amazed by how much visual interest it brings to your space.
     
  • One of the easiest ways to incorporate bronze into your decor is by adding a mirror with a bronze frame. Try adding this to your hallway, bedroom, bathroom, or living room.
     
  • Wall art is another great way to add bronze into your decor without taking up additional floor space.

 

(Surya mirror)

 

Expert tip: Place your mirror in a location where it will reflect light coming into your home via a window. This kind of placement will carry the light into your room and help to brighten your space.

 

Drama, Drama, Drama

(Superstyle Furniture Bench 530)

 

Whatever your style, whatever room you are updating, whatever theme you are going for, be sure to add some drama to your space. Don’t be afraid of colours, patterns, or shapes.

 

Adding just one stand-out piece in any room can elevate the design and overall look of the space.


(Hooker Furniture Thicket Console)

 

Adding something bold doesn’t mean that it has to overtake your space, it can be something as small as an accent pillow or a lamp.

 

There are so many gorgeous ways to upgrade your home with new furniture this year. Come and visit us at Smitty’s for some inspiration and our interior decorating experts will guide you through the best options for your home.

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Furniture for Small Spaces

Not everyone lives in a spacious home with ample floor space and room for extra furniture. At Smitty’s, we understand the challenges that come with finding furniture for small spaces, and we have a great assortment of smaller-sized pieces that will look great in your home.

 

When you have a small space, you want to look for two things:

  1. Furniture that can serve more than one purpose.
  2. Furniture that fits and doesn’t overtake your space.

 

Multi-Purpose Furniture


(Decor-Rest Condo Sofa)

 

When you are furnishing a small space, you want to make the most of every inch. Adding pieces that offer dual functionality will help you to make the most of your room, while still fitting in the available floor space.

 

Depending on your lifestyle, you may have different needs and it’s important to consider your routine when selecting new furniture. For example, if you don’t host dinner parties and you don’t find yourself spending time at a table, you may wish to add comfortable stools alongside your kitchen island, instead of purchasing a table and chair set for your home.

  • If you host overnight guests, you want to ensure that your sofa folds out into a bed.
     
  • If you have lots of items to store, you want to ensure that you have enough storage capacity without filling your home with bookshelves or storage baskets. Consider storage ottomans and consoles — they are excellent at hiding clutter and look fantastic.
     
  • If you need workspace at home and you don’t have room for a home office, consider a lift-top coffee table. Their raising top makes for a very functional workspace.

 

Suitably-Sized Furniture


(Brentwood Alfie Sofa)

 

There’s nothing worse than finding the perfect sofa, ordering it, and then discovering that it won’t fit through your door or in your room. Take your time to measure your floor space before making any large purchases so you aren’t disappointed.

 

Watch Smitty's Expert Tip Video Here!

 

 

It used to be that you had only a few options when selecting smaller-sized sofas or coffee tables, but with the changes in how we live and work, there are many terrific options to choose from.

 

Superstyle offers a collection called Variables by Leather Brand. This line of leather furniture is highly customizable. You can select the size, configuration, features, and leather to make a one-of-a-kind piece of furniture for your home.

 

Durham Furniture offers a wide variety of tables and benches to suit any space. From storage benches to consoles and more.

 

For more small space inspiration, visit us at Smitty’s and get expert advice from our interior decorators today!

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Furniture for Large Spaces

(Brentwood Mensa Sectional)

 

A place for everything and everything in its place — a classic phrase that rings true for many homeowners. If you’re looking at ways to refresh your home and you have space to work with, then we have lots of great ideas for you. We carry many quality brands that offer a variety of beautiful and comfortable furniture for large spaces.

 

Statement Furniture


(Palliser’s The Bloom)

 

When you have room, there’s no excuse for going small. Choose statement furniture to bring your style to life.

 

Statement furniture is typically large-sized furnishings, like sectionals, oversized coffee tables, bed frames with show-stopping headboards, and entertainment units. The idea behind statement furniture is to add an element that stands out from the rest of your furniture and decor, features a bold design or colour, and is made from a material that isn’t used in the rest of that room.

 


(Hooker Furniture’s Arabella California King Mirrored Panel Bed)

 

Hooker Furniture’s Arabella California King Mirrored Panel Bed is a prime example of statement furniture. The oversized bedframe and headboard provide a glamourous and modern look, while helping to anchor the entire feel of the bedroom.

 


(Bermex Expression table)

 

Bermex’s Expression dining table is an elegant example of a table that makes a statement. Available in a variety of finishes, this dining set will impress your dinner guests — no matter the occasion.

 

Single Purpose Furniture


(Hooker Furniture True Vintage Bench)

 

When you have ample space in your home, then you do not need to ensure that your furniture serves more than one purpose. You likely won’t need to worry about storage or fit. In this case, you have the freedom to fill your home with beautiful furniture and accents to suit your style and your life.

 

Consider adding a bench to your bedroom, bathroom, guest room, or front entranceway. Benches will add comfort, style, and functionality — and they come in a wide variety of colours, sizes, and fabrics. From leather to wood, you can find something to work in any space.

 


(Palliser Chesapeake leather recliner)

 

When you’re not concerned about having space to fit your furniture, you can add everything you’ve ever wanted. For example, adding a reclining chair in your living room is a wonderful way to bring some extra comfort to your personal space. Just imagine stretching out to read or watch the game.

 

The possibilities are virtually endless when you have large spaces to work with. Visit Smitty’s today and get inspired by our selection of high-quality furniture.

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Must-Have Furniture

(Decor-Rest Galley Sideboard)

 

It doesn’t matter if you live in a spacious detached home or a small condo, there are certain pieces of furniture that are must-haves.

 

You might be able to make do without a hutch or an armoire, but the expert interior decorators at Smitty’s believe that the four items highlighted below are must-have pieces for any space:

 

Accent Chair: Must-Have #1


(Decor-Rest Accent Chair)

 

Every home needs a comfortable and attractive accent chair. Accent chairs can serve many useful purposes and can be moved from room to room to accommodate your changing style. Accent chairs can add a high-quality look and feel to your space and will help to make your room design look well-planned.

Available in a wide range of styles, fabrics, and colours, accent chairs can be customized to suit your needs. From wood legs to metal legs, bold colours to muted tones, nailhead finishes to leather, there is something for everyone.

 

Area Rug: Must-Have #2

(Kalora platinum area rug 3097_26)

 

An area rug, whether funky or classic, helps to ground your space and will make your room design look complete. Not only is it nice to have a bit of extra warmth on the floor, but adding an area rug helps to define the main area of a room.

 

Area rugs can be used in virtually any room of your home, from your dining room to your living room to your bedroom, and will help to elevate your interior decorating style.

 

Coffee Table: Must-Have #3


(Hooker Furniture accent cocktail table)

 

Every living room can benefit from having a coffee table. Whether you need a storage bench to tuck away your blankets, books, and remotes, or you have a glass, metal, or wood table, a coffee table will improve your space.

 

Coffee tables serve a seemingly endless array of purposes, including displaying decorative items, providing a serving space for entertaining, offering a place to put your feet up, allowing an area to play games, and much more.

 

Console Table/Sideboard: Must-Have #4


(Decor-Rest Firenze Console)

 

A console or sideboard can take your room from average to wow. A terrific way to add extra storage to your room, a console can house your media centre, your books, your decorative items, and so much more.

 

Available in a variety of styles and finishes, a sideboard can help to accent or complement the style or theme of your space.

 

If you’re looking for some help finding the perfect must-have furniture for your home, come and visit the experts at Smitty’s.

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Decorating Tip of the Month: Mixing Metallics

At Smitty’s, we want to help you furnish and decorate your home with beautiful, stylish, quality furniture and decor that works — whatever your lifestyle.

 

Each month we will feature a decorating tip to help you achieve your interior decorating dreams.

 

If you have questions or tips that you would like our Smitty’s interior decorators to answer, just let us know.

_______________________________________________________________________

One of the most popular interior decorating trends in recent years is to mix and match metallics in your decor.

 

Over the past year, we have seen entire rooms blend different kinds of metals together. Whether it’s on the wall or on a coffee table, mixing chrome and bronze or silver and gold is where it’s at.

 

How To Mix & Match Metallics

Making this look work in your home is easier than you might think. There really are no right or wrong ways to blend metallics, when it comes to accent pieces.

 

While you wouldn’t want to have all bronze dining chairs with a chrome table, you can certainly have a group of bronze vases on a chrome tray. Or champagne-coloured candle holders with rose gold decorative accents.

 

Expert Tip: Try incorporating this look on a smaller scale to start. Adding candle holders, vases, or wall decor in groupings will look great and won’t require a significant investment. Save the bronze accent chairs or chrome coffee table for another time, once you are confident that the style will work in your home.

 

Pair shiny metallics, like gold or chrome, with more muted tones like antique bronze. You can try this look on a dining table or coffee table, or you can create visual interest on a countertop in your kitchen or bathroom. Wherever you place your grouping, you will create an interesting focal point.

 

If you would rather attempt this look on a wall, you can incorporate a variety of different-sized mirrors and photos with metallic frames, or even chrome deer heads (which are very on-trend).


For accent and interior decorating advice and inspiration, visit the team at Smitty’s today!

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Get Holiday Ready!

It’s the time of year when many of us start preparing to host family and friends for holiday festivities. From Chanukah and Christmas to Kwanza and New Year’s, there’s lots to celebrate!

 

Sometimes we just don’t know where to begin — and that’s what makes the entryway the best place to start.

 

First impressions are made when people step into your home, so here are our top three ways to make your home welcoming:

 

Entryway Furniture

 

(Artage entryway table pictured above.)

 

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.

 

From having a functional place to hang your coat or place your purse, to a place where you can showcase seasonal decor, the entryway is an important space in your home. It’s an ideal space for form to meet function.

 

Depending on your space, we suggest adding:

 

(Bermex BE54-1201 bench pictured above.)

  • A stylish bench.
    • This will not only look fantastic, but will provide a place for guests to sit when 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 or 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

 

 

Mirrors are a great way to bring light and sparkle into a space, and an entryway is an ideal place for a mirror, as people tend to check their appearance when entering or leaving a 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 one another 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.

 

Try mixing and matching glass mirrors with chrome and brass mirrors. Combining these three elements will bring a sparkle to your entryway. There are no rules, so play around until you find the perfect arrangement.

 

Area Rugs

 

 

Area rugs are often forgotten, but they make up an integral part of your entryway’s aesthetic.

 

Stepping on the entryway rug is the first thing — and last thing — people will 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.If you’re concerned about stains, consider a patterned rug — patterns are a great way to conceal potential dirt or stains.

 

Come into Smitty’s today and find the perfect additions to make your entryway welcoming and spectacular!

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Should I Buy My Furniture Online?

Online shopping is ubiquitous. It seems that everyone, everywhere is doing it. We are constantly bombarded with emails telling us about the latest online promos, discounts, and limited-time offers. We can buy pretty much anything we want online — from pants and shoes to vitamins and lamps. The question is, should we buy furniture online?

 

At Smitty’s, we understand the convenience of online shopping when it comes to smaller items. However, when it comes to making larger purchases that you intend to keep for a long period of time and which can greatly impact your lifestyle and your home, you need to see those pieces in real life.

 

Here are some key reasons why it is still very important to shop in-store for furniture.

 

Reasons to Shop for Furniture In-Store, Not Online

  1. It is really important to feel the fabric of your furniture. You need to touch it, sit on it, and assess the level of comfort.
     
  2. You will want to see the colour of the fabric and the wood stain in person. It’s very difficult to get a sense of sheen and weave from an image online.
     
  3. Despite listing sizes online, it can be very tricky to accurately assess the size of your furniture without seeing it in person. An online photo of a sofa might make it look too small or too big for your space.
     
  4. You can ask questions and get answers. If you would like to know more about how the furniture is constructed, about the warranty, or the delivery process, you will be able to get answers in-store more easily.
     
  5. Getting professional advice is priceless. At Smitty’s, our in-store interior decorating team can provide you with expert advice and guide you through the process of customizing furniture to suit your home.

Shopping online doesn’t provide you with what you need to make an informed decision about purchasing new furniture for your home. Come and visit us at Smitty’s to see what a great experience shopping in-store can be!

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How To Decorate My Home For The Holidays

Everyone wants their home to look its best when entertaining family and friends over the holidays.

 

At Smitty’s, we often get asked for our top tips when it comes to decorating homes for the holidays. To help you with this annual preparation, our interior decorating experts have put together a few of their top decorating tips:

 

#1. Add A Focal Piece of Furniture

Adding a new focal piece of furniture to your living room or dining room can make a big impact. You can easily transform the look and feel of a room by updating your sofa, dining table, or coffee table. By adding something new to your home, you will also refresh your space and create a ‘wow’ experience for your guests — even if they’ve been to your home before.

 

Adding statement furniture like a hutch, a sectional, or an oversized coffee table can make a big impact. Adding a console table or coffee table with a bold design is also an effective way to update your space in time for the holidays.

 

#2. Add Some Sparkle and Shine

Adding decorative items in glass, chrome, and bronze will give your home some gorgeous sparkle — the perfect elements to make your home shine over the holidays and throughout the winter season.

 

Try placing wall art, mirrors, vases, candle holders, and other shiny decorations throughout your home. These items can be used on coffee tables, side tables, dining tables, in hutches, or even on bathroom counters.

 

#3. Add Some Warmth

This is the perfect time to bring some warmth and coziness into your home — and this doesn’t mean adding a fireplace. There are many effective ways create warmth in your space.

 

Try adding throw cushions, throw blankets, or a new area rug. These changes can make a huge difference in the look and feel of your living room, dining room, or bedroom. Choosing leather furniture is also a great way to bring warmth and luxury into your home.

 

Visit us at Smitty’s and we’ll help you make your home into the cozy, warm, and inviting place you want it to be this season.

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Our Favourite Holiday Recipes

It’s a wonderful time of year to share delicious treats with those we care about. Whether you’re treating your co-workers, your neighbours, your family, or your friends, we have some delicious recipes that we hope you will enjoy!

 

No-Fail Chocolate Devil’s Food Cake

 

 

If you are looking for an easy-to-make cake that tastes delicious and can be adjusted to suit gluten-free and dairy-free guests, then this is the cake for you!

 

INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 ¼ cups flour (white or gluten-free)
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ cup shortening (or sunflower oil/canola oil)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 ⅓ cup cold water
  • 3 egg whites
  • ¾ cup sugar
INSTRUCTIONS
  • Preheat your oven to 350℉.
  • Mix dry ingredients together.
  • In your mixer, beat shortening, 1 cup sugar, vanilla, and egg yolks.
  • Alternate adding dry ingredients and cold water to your mixer.
  • In a separate bowl, beat egg whites and add ¾ cup of sugar to whites as you beat to form stiff peaks.
  • Fold egg whites into batter.
  • Pour into greased cake pans. Bake for approximately 25-30 min, or until your cake tester comes out clean.
  • Once cooled, fill and top with your favourite buttercream icing. Or, add strawberry jam in the centre for extra flavour.

Basic Buttercream Icing

 

INGREDIENTS
  • ½  cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 ½  tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
INSTRUCTIONS
  • Cream room temperature butter with a hand mixer, until smooth and fluffy.
  • Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar until fully incorporated.
  • Beat in vanilla extract.
  • Pour in milk and beat for an additional 3-4 minutes.

 

Chocolate Cranberry Nuggets

 

You can’t have just one!

 

INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ¾ cup dried, sweetened cranberries
  • ¾ cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ cup of sunflower oil (or canola oil)
INSTRUCTIONS
  • Preheat your oven to 350℉.
  • Combine all dry ingredients in your mixer.
  • Gradually add vanilla, eggs, and oil. Mix until integrated.
  • Shape batter into 1.5” balls and roll in white, granulated sugar.
  • Place on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet and bake for approximately 10 minutes, or until lightly browned.

 

Bubbie’s Potato Latkes

 

A classic Chanukah favourite that will make everyone smile.

 

INGREDIENTS:
  • 6 medium Russet potatoes
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 small onion
INSTRUCTIONS:
  • Grate potatoes in two sizes of grating (thick and tiny).
  • Mix grated potatoes together in a bowl.
  • Let sit for an hour or so to let the water escape. You can squeeze additional water out by hand. You want the potatoes to be as dry as possible.
  • Add grated onion.
  • Mix together.
  • Scoop mixture into very hot pan filled with sunflower oil (or vegetable oil) to fry. Press down potato mixture into flat circles as best you can. Aim for 3” pancakes. Flip when they turn brown and start to crisp.
  • Once cooked, remove from pan and place on paper towels to cool.
  • Reheat in oven if not serving immediately.
  • Serve with applesauce and sour cream.

 

Happy baking, from the team at Smitty’s!

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Decorating Tip of the Month: Avoiding Holiday Oops

At Smitty’s, we want to help you furnish and decorate your home with beautiful, stylish, quality furniture and decor that works — whatever your lifestyle.

 

Each month we will feature a decorating tip to help you achieve your interior decorating dreams.

 

If you have questions or tips that you would like our Smitty’s interior decorators to answer, just let us know.

_______________________________________________________________________

 

Everyone wants to have a carefree holiday and enjoy some fun times while hosting family and friends. No one wants to spend their holidays cleaning up broken glass or trying to remove stains.

 

While we understand that no one can guarantee that accidents won’t happen, the team at Smitty’s has a few helpful tips to help you get through the holidays without any “oops!” moments.

 

Move or Replace Breakable Decorative Items

If you are hosting children, people with pets, or guests who use assistive devices like canes or walkers, you will want to move your breakable decorative items to safe locations. Moving items to different locations will also help to refresh your space and create new visual interest.

 

We recommend:

  • Moving breakables from your coffee table, side tables, bathroom counters, and kitchen counters to safer locations like hutches, bedrooms, display cabinets, and bookshelves.
     
  • Replacing delicate glass vases with heavier glass vases to keep your florals on display, but with less risk for damage.
     
  • Switching tall candle holders with shorter versions, to reduce the chances of them being knocked over.
     
  • Exchanging real candles with battery-operated, flickering candles for additional safety precautions.

Avoid Allergies

You can’t always be sure what people are allergic to — there are so many different kinds of allergies these days. To be safe, we recommend the following:

  • Do not have bowls of nuts on display for eating or decoration.
    • Replace nuts with dried fruits or other snackable options that can be left out.
       
  • Showcase flower arrangements that do not have strong scents.
    • Avoid lilies whenever possible, as they produce a very strong smell.
       
  • Replace scented candles with unscented beeswax or soy candles.
    • As with florals, scented candles can activate a guest’s allergies.

Reduce Staining Potential

They say that you know it’s a real party when something has been broken or spilled. At Smitty’s, we don’t necessarily agree.

 

However, if you do have a spill, we recommend reducing the damage caused by a spill by using Zucora to remove stains in an effective, natural way. Zucora’s plant-based products are safe to use in any part of your home, from your child’s bed to your dining room chair — it’s even safe to use on your dog bed!

 

We hope these tips will help you enjoy your celebrations this season. The team at Smitty’s wishes you  healthy and happy holidays and a joyous new year!

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