A dining room is a special place. It’s more than just a place to eat. A dining room is where celebrations are held, friends and family share stories and laughter, and memories are made.
Your Dining Room, Your Space
Your dining room is a reflection of your style and can be anything you want it to be — from formal and fancy to eclectic and casual. There are no rules anymore.
Renowned designer, Nate Berkus, once said, “I hate sets. I’ve always hated sets. I think that if you have a dining room, break it up!”
Gone are the days of matching table and chairs. No more concerns about contrasting colours or patterns. Tables don’t just come in one shape, colour, or size. Chairs don’t all have to look the same. Everything can be customized to suit your needs, wants, and desires.
Custom-Made Dining Tables
(The Table Factory Reclaimed Hemlock table pictured above.)
Our customers always tell us how much they love being able to customize their furniture, and this is especially true of dining room furniture. The ability to create your own table means that you can have a unique-to-you piece in your home, which will work perfectly in your space and for your lifestyle.
Custom dining tables generally allow you to select the following:
Size: This includes square, round, and rectangular-shaped tables. It can also include selecting the number of table leaves to extend your table for guests.
Tabletop material: This typically includes wood and glass.
Table base: This includes wood, metal, and steel.
Tabletop Thickness: For wood tables, this allows you to select how thick your tabletop will be.
Finish: For wood tables, this allows you to select the colour of your finishing stain and gloss.
The Table Factory offers an enormous range of options when customizing your table. Their selection of wood ranges from cherry to reclaimed hemlock barn flooring and their custom bases are offered in a variety of designs. This level of flexibility allows you to fully customize your table.
Bermex offers an absolutely staggering selection of table sizes to choose from. Their website provides customers with an online Design It tool to assist you in building your custom table online. You can select the height, shape, dimensions, legs, profile, finish, and ring with ease.
Live Edge Dining Tables
(The Table Factory Live Edge Steel T-Base table pictured above.)
An increasingly popular choice for custom-made tables is to have a tabletop with a live edge.
What is a live edge table?
A live edge table is a table where the craftsperson has incorporated the natural edge of the wood into the design of the table. In some cases, this will illuminate the wood grain (as shown in The Table Factory image above), while still providing a perfectly straight edge. In other cases, you may have a table with an organically-shaped edge that follows the natural line of the wood.
Live edge tables are available in a variety of sizes and shapes, as each piece will vary depending on the type of wood from which it was cut. These tables are unique pieces of furniture that are more than just conversation pieces — they are works of art in your dining room.
Custom-Made Dining Seating
(Hooker dining set pictured above.)
In the same way that you can customize your dining table, you can also customize your dining chairs. Remember, there are no rules. You don’t need matching chairs, you don’t need arms, you don’t even need seat cushions — you can do anything.
Some of our favourite dining seating options include:
Captain’s Chairs: Sometimes called Guest Chairs, these large, ornate chairs have arms and can be placed at the head and foot of your table to frame your dining table space and add some drama. Pairing captains chairs with more simple chairs along the sides of your table adds nice contrast to your dining area.
Dining Benches: Typically made from wood, either straight edge or live edge, these benches pair nicely with dining chairs. You can choose to have one bench on a single side of your table, or go for a symmetrical look and have a bench on either side. Benches are great, flexible seating options.
Bermex offers a wide selection of benches featuring wood and cushioned options. They also have the latest brass and bronze-coloured options.
Mix and Match: Your dining chairs do not have to match. You can have some with arms and some without, some with cushions and some without, or even chairs in different fabrics, patterns, and colours. This fun look will bring character to your dining space and a more casual feel.
Hooker Fine Furniture makes gorgeous dining chairs in all shapes and sizes that are perfect for mixing and matching.
Let’s start with some inspiration from well-known designer Candice Olson:
“A common mistake people make regarding dining rooms is to buy a matching set of table and chairs, which can be monotonous. I like to mix guest chairs in one style and head chairs in another for a more interesting, dynamic look.”
At Smitty’s, we tend to agree. Variety is the spice of life and having even different styles of chairs as a part of your dining room set can really create a wow factor for your guests.
On the other hand, if symmetry and coordination are more your speed, never fear — there are plenty of table and chair sets that still offer variation, but within the same style and colour palate.
Our showrooms are filled with gorgeous chairs from Bermex, Future Fine Furniture, Amisco, and many other Canadian manufacturers —but before we get too excited, let’s start with the basics.
Start with the Basics
(Bermex Chair C-1450 pictured above.)
First things first, how do you know what sort of dining chairs to purchase?
Here are a few expert tips to help you decide on the perfect dining chairs for your home:
1. Decide how many chairs you will need.
Ensure that you take into account whether you are looking for chairs for your existing dining table, or if you will be purchasing a new table. You don’t want to purchase only four chairs if you are upgrading to a larger dining room table, where six chairs would be more appropriate, or if you regularly require additional chairs for entertaining.
Expert Tip: If you’re unsure about how many chairs will fit comfortably around your table, aim to have a minimum of six inches between each chair, so that your guests will have some personal space while seated.
2. Decide if you are looking for wooden, steel, or cushioned chairs.
Consider who will be regularly sitting in your new chairs. If you have children, you may want to have a surface that can easily be wiped clean. If you appreciate comfort while dining, you may be more interested in getting upholstered seating.
3. Decide if you want your chairs to match your table, or stand on their own.
You aren’t committed to purchasing the chairs that match your dining table. All the rules that once applied have been broken. You are free to select any style that suits your taste, your budget, and your home. Feel free to mix and match fabrics, materials, and colours.
4. Decide if you will want to use your dining chairs in other rooms of your home.
If you would like to be able to use your dining chairs as additional seating in your living room, home office, or other area of your home, then make sure that you consider whether you will be able to easily move them from one space to another.
As we approach the holiday season, our thoughts turn to hosting, entertaining, and offering guests a lovely experience when dining at our homes.
Aside from providing delicious food and drink, the number one thing we all need is a dining room that can accommodate our needs and showcase our style — an elegant dining room never goes out of style.
While it’s true that elegance, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder, there are many components that will help you achieve an elegant result.
Here are a few key elements to achieve an elegant dining room:
Dining Room Sideboard
A sideboard, sometimes called a buffet, is an extremely useful piece of furniture. Available in a broad range of styles, a sideboard is a key addition to an elegant dining room.
Sideboards serve many helpful purposes, including:
Offering additional food serving space.
Acting as a bar cart.
Providing a display area for flowers, decor, and photos.
Storing items such as candles, serving utensils, extra plates, and more.
Hooker Furniture crafts gorgeous sideboards ranging from classic elegance in wood to more modern styles featuring chrome and brass, as with the Curata Wine Server (pictured above).
Dining Room Hutch
A hutch is certain to bring elements of formality and elegance into your dining room.
Typically a larger item, a hutch will consist of an upper section offering several shelves for storage or display, with either glass doors or open shelving. It may also provide additional shelving behind closed doors on the bottom section.
Hutches, like the gorgeous Bermex hutch pictured above, can be used to showcase any number of items, including:
While not every room is large enough to incorporate a hutch, if your dining room has the space, then adding a hutch can make for a gorgeous focal point.
Whether you’ve decided to update your entire dining room, or just a single piece of furniture, the one thing every elegant dining room needs is a finishing touch. A finishing touch is any decorative item, functional or not, that adds style and interest to your space.
We recommend the following types of elegant touches to finish your dining room:
Variety is the spice of life, so remember to change up your finishing touches from time to time — this will help to freshen up your space.
There are many ways to take your dining room from blah to wow. You can update your dining room table, add a hutch, or change-up your dining chairs — but one of the most overlooked ways to spruce up your dining room is to add an area rug.
A dining room area rug not only helps to define your dining space, it also adds colour, dimension, and comfort to your room.
(Surya Allegro rug pictured above.)
Here’s how you can determine the perfect size dining room area rug for your home in three easy steps:
Step #1 — Organize Your Furniture
Make sure that all of your furniture is set-up as you like it to be in your dining area. This should include your dining table and chairs, hutches, sideboards, wine carts, cabinets, shelves, floor lamps, etc.
Expert Tip: Don’t tuck away any items or redesign your space at this point in the process. You want to be sure that every element that you need and use in your dining room is accounted for with its own floor space.
Step #2 — Mark Your Floor Space
Pull your dining room chairs out from your table as though you were about to sit down. Then, leaving the chairs pulled out, mark the floor with painter’s tape approximately 6” beyond the back foot of each of the chairs.
This process will provide you with a measure of the space that would allow a person to comfortably get up from their chair and still remain on the carpeted area.
(Kalora Alaska rug pictured above.)
Step #3 — Measure Marked Space
Measure the length and width of your tape marks to establish the approximate size of the area rug for your dining room. If your measurements are an odd number (e.g. not 5’ x 8’, or 8’ x 10’), don’t panic, just ensure that you round up in size. It’s always better to have a slightly larger rug than one that’s too small.
Once you know the size of rug that you are looking for, you can decide on material, colour, and pattern — the fun has just begun!
For expert help choosing the right rug, come and visit us at Smitty’s we have a wide variety of Surya and Kalora rugs to choose from. We’ll help you put some wow in your dining room.
The holidays are just a few weeks away. Do you have beds to accommodate your guests? Is your dining room table large enough? Has your sofa seen been around the block one too many times? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, never fear — you still have time to order new furniture before the holidays!
At Smitty’s, we understand the planning and considerations that go into making your holiday celebrations a success. We can appreciate the effort that goes into making your home sparkle at this time of year, so we’re here to help you find the perfect updates to make your guests ohhh and ahhh — and to make sure you’re comfortable this winter.
We know there are a lot of factors to take into account when trying to decide which pieces of furniture to replace, so our interior decorating experts have put together some helpful tips:
Who is coming to your home, and are they staying for an extended visit?
If you are putting guests up for an overnight stay, or multiple nights, then you will want to ensure that you have clean and comfortable bed options available. Depending on your layout, you will need to decide if that means adding or replacing a bedroom set and mattress or getting a pull-out sofa.
If you have elderly relatives, they may prefer a proper mattress set. If you just need space for your grandchildren or other kids, then a sofa bed ottoman might do the trick.
Do you need extra seating to accommodate all your guests?
If you have lots of people coming to visit over the holidays, then you will want to make them feel comfortable in your home. If there’s one, single upgrade that you need to make to ensure your home looks extra special for the holidays (and beyond), it would be to replace your sofa with a sectional.
Sectionals allow you to have seating for everyone and come in a variety of configurations and fabrics.
Are you looking for smaller ways to make your home sparkle?
It’s officially the fall, a time when we spend more time indoors in our homes. A time when we really start to notice our furniture, room layout, and interior decorating — and a time when we realize that we want to make some changes.
It can be tricky to know where to start when you want to redo your living room. Perhaps you’ve been putting off getting a new sofa until you decide on what colour to paint the walls. Maybe you’ve been playing with the idea of trying out a new decor theme. Or, maybe you just want to update your entire living room — out with the old and in with the new!
The experts at Smitty’s understand that the options can seem overwhelming, so this month we hope to inspire you with three stunning looks that will take your living room from blah to wow!
Urban Bohemian Living Room
(Artage coffee table pictured above.)
The urban bohemian look is a stylish blend of comfort and chic. It’s a look that invites you to sit, relax, and have a good time -- while also expressing a feeling of luxury. It’s a hint of your inner hippie, mixed with a dash of youth, and finished with a splash of attitude.
You can achieve this trending, yet timeless, look in many ways, including:
Mixing a neutral coloured sofa with oversized, colourful, and luxurious throw pillows.
Placing a sleek rectangular coffee table by your sofa and topping it with an oversized vase or decorative item.
Adding wood or metal side tables to contrast the look.
Palliser makes gorgeous leather sofas in a wide variety of styles and colours that work really well with the urban bohemian style. Their Barrett Sectional Sofa is a transitional sofa with a modern look that exudes flair and will look fabulous in any living room -- particularly in an open concept living room where you can enjoy the accent stitching from all sides.
Hooker Furniture’s Citizen Stationary Sofa mixes hardwood elements and leather for an elegant, yet comfortable, look. The presence of this stylish sofa cannot be ignored and its timeless appeal allows it to be used both against a wall or in an open concept layout.
Artage’s Gavan Coffee Table (as pictured above) is the perfect finishing touch to an urban bohemian living room. Its blend of 100-year-old barn wood with a sleek, chrome frame makes for a functional and fabulous cocktail or coffee table.
Have some fun with this style and complete the look by adding some decorative items to help reflect your personality. Personalize your new room with vases, souvenirs, and other decor pieces with sculptural elements.
Earthy Farmhouse Living Room
(Craftmaster sofa pictured above and available on our showroom floor.)
The earthy farmhouse look is a mix of inside meets outside. Its warm, inviting, and relaxing style makes you feel right at home. It creates a place where you can curl up with a good book, relax by the fire, or enjoy a casual get together with friends. It’s like the cottage, but without the lake.
You can achieve this never-out-of-style look by incorporating furniture pieces with neutral tones and natural fabrics. Consider including:
An oversized sofa or sectional with a high back and large, plush toss cushions as the focal point.
Mix and match accent chairs that offer comfortable arms and are finished in rich fabrics with warm patterns and colours.
Add wood elements to bring an element of the outdoors inside. A wood coffee table or side lamps can complete this look.
Craftmaster has an entire line of Farmhouse furniture pieces, all crafted to bring warmth and character into your home. Their accent chairs are beautifully crafted, made with the highest quality fabrics, and look good in any space. They offer quality construction and a comfortable design, and their chairs, ottomans, and sofas will create a perfect farmhouse look.
Brentwood is known for their meticulous construction and timeless designs. Their Balthazar chair offers stylized comfort, ideal for achieving a farmhouse look. The solid construction is paired with a plush, feather-blend back pillow for a cozy look and feel. Available in gorgeous, warm leathers, this chair complements a farmhouse theme.
For a finishing touch, add some playful elements to your living room with decorative items including clocks, driftwood, and coloured vases.
Contemporary Sophisticated Living Room
(Decor-Rest sofa, loveseat and armchair pictured above.)
The contemporary sophisticated look is an unabashed mix of elegance and style. It’s cool and sleek, crisp and strong. It’s a style that invites you to stare and welcomes your adoration. It’s chic and classy, and doesn’t sacrifice form for function. This is a look that works extremely well in open concepts, townhomes, and condos.
You can achieve this stylish look by going for bold pieces and strong tones. Consider including:
A straight-back sofa with strong arms and clean lines — no throw cushions here.
Lounging benches and ottomans, instead of accent chairs, will provide spectacular seating options.
A glass and chrome or glass and bronze coffee table, side tables, or sofa table.
Cool toned and metallic accent pieces that exhibit shine, sparkle, and mood.
Brentwood’s Maude sofa is a sleek sofa with tufted arms that is striking yet comfortable. Its strong design elements and high-quality construction cannot be missed. This sofa owns the space, providing the perfect focal point for a contemporary sophisticated living room.
Future Fine Furniture’s Lily Bench has crisp, clean lines. Its design is stylish and urban, and suitably sized to fit any space. Adding this bench allows you to provide additional seating options without compromising your stunning look.
Artage provides a wide range of inspired glass and chrome tables, consoles, and carts. Their Neptune Wine Server is the perfect finishing touch to a complete your sophisticated look. This side cart is constructed with bright chrome and polished glass to provide both form and function for your living room.
To complete this look, add some glass side lamps, vases, and mirrors for that extra shine.
At Smitty’s, we regularly have customers ask us for our professional advice on how to purchase the best sofa for their home. We understand that there are many considerations to take into account, in order to find the right piece to fit your space and your lifestyle. So we asked our interior decorating experts to put together their best pointers on how to buy a sofa.
Measure Your Space
Before you begin looking at styles and colours, it’s vital that you measure your available space. You will want to measure the length, height, and depth of your ideal sofa location to ensure that your sofa will fit.
Some sofas have a lower back design, which is handy if you are considering placing a sofa table behind for easy access to snacks, books, remotes, etc. Other sofas can be quite deep and that must be taken into consideration, so that you don’t risk blocking walking space, doorways, or room flow.
Expert Tip: Once you have your ideal sofa measured out, cut painter’s tape into strips to match your measurements and tape them on the floor in the location you are considering. Taping your sofa outline to the floor will help to give you a visual sense of its placement in your room.
Discuss Wants, Needs & Lifestyle
Make sure that you consider how the sofa will be used. Ask yourself the following questions:
Do you need a pull-out sofa to accommodate guests?
Do you want to be able to fit several people on the sofa at one time?
Will you want to curl up and watch movies, or stretch your legs straight out and nap?
Do you have pets or children? (This can impact your choice of fabric.)
Do you want the sofa to blend in with your existing decor, or stand out from it?
If you live with someone, ensure that you are both on the same page before heading to the showroom!
Determine Your Budget
Before you begin shopping, make sure that you have figured out how much you can afford to spend on your sofa. As a central piece of furniture in your room, your sofa will likely be a focal point for your interior design and should be considered as an investment in your home — you want your sofa to look good and feel comfortable for many years.
Different fabrics and styles can have a large impact on the price of a sofa, so be sure to consider all your options when you’re in the showroom. There are lots of gorgeous options to choose from!
Once you have your measurements, wish list, and budget prepared, come and visit us at Smitty’s. Our inhouse interior decorating professionals will help you find the perfect sofa.
Do you find yourself spending time saying ‘Hey Siri’ or ‘Okay Google’, where is the best place to buy a sofa? Do you spend hours online searching for the best deals or the latest styles? Do you waste time meandering from store to store, wondering which pieces of furniture or decor to purchase? Well, you can stop wasting your time and effort because Smitty’s has it all!
Sure, we hear you. We are certainly biased in this regard — but it’s for good reason.
Here’s a little breakdown of the ways that Smitty’s differentiates itself from our competitors:
The Smitty’s Difference #1
Competitors: Stock a variety of furniture from somewhere overseas that is made from a variety of inferior quality materials offering questionable longevity.
Smitty’s: Our furniture is almost entirely made in Canada. We are proud to carry 85% Canadian-made furniture in our stores. Our furniture is made from the highest-quality components and are made to last.
The Smitty’s Difference #2
Competitors: You can either purchase it off the floor or order it online. They cannot guarantee stock or availability, and they most certainly aren’t able to offer customization.
Smitty’s: Our furniture is made to order. While we certainly do offer pieces for sale from our floor to your door, we specialize in taking the time to get to know what you want and need so that we can craft a custom piece for your home.
The Smitty’s Difference #3
Competitors: You can wander the showroom floor for what seems like an eternity without so much as a glance from someone working there. Then, if you are given attention, there is no guarantee that the person will actually know anything about interior decorating.
Smitty’s: Our showroom is filled with options and our professionally-trained team of interior decorating experts are there to help you. We will take the time to answer all your questions and make sure that you are making the best choices for your lifestyle.
We won’t sell you something that you don’t want, don’t need, can’t afford, and won’t work in your space. At Smitty’s we care about our customers. We are proud to offer high-quality products and excellent, personable service.
There are many questions to ask yourself when you are redecorating or are in process of updating your furniture. From deciding which room to refresh to which pieces to purchase, you will want to take the time to make the best choices for your lifestyle and budget.
At Smitty’s, one of the questions that we often get asked is, “Do I need an ottoman?”
While there are no hard and fast rules about furniture, there are some key considerations when deciding how best to furnish your space. Here are some helpful questions to ask yourself when it comes to ottomans:
#1. Do you want a place to put your feet up?
If you like to recline and place your feet up on something, then a coffee table just won’t do. A fabric or leather-covered ottoman is the perfect place to rest your feet at the end of the day, and you won’t have to worry about cracking glass or staining wood.
(Superstyle leather ottoman pictured above.)
#2. Do you need extra seating?
If you often find yourself wishing that you had additional seating options in your space, then an ottoman is an ideal solution to this problem.
Depending on the size of your space, you can select a single size ottoman, or a larger square version that can accommodate several people. When not being used as a seat, the larger ottoman can double as a coffee table or even as a place to play a board game.
#3. Do you require additional storage space?
Ottomans come in all shapes and sizes, and some feature a hinged top that can open to provide you with extra storage space. This is the perfect location to keep extra blankets, games, books, remotes, and more.
#4. Do you require a functional surface that is child-friendly?
Although you may love to have a glass coffee table with square chrome edges, it may not be the best choice if you have young children in your home. Hard, sharp corners are not a small person’s friend — and you don’t want to spend time worrying that your child may get hurt or that the table might get scratched.
Leather or microfibre-covered ottomans are an excellent choice and won’t create any ouchies for kids.
#5. Do you need something to tie your space together?
Sometimes adding an ottoman to your room can be the perfect finishing touch that ties everything together. Placing a bright-coloured ottoman in the centre of your room can act as a focal point, or a neutral-coloured ottoman can complete a balanced look. It all depends on your space.
Did you know that deciding which living room furniture to buy is just the first step? Now it’s time to accessorize!
Whether you’ve purchased a sofa, a sectional, or a mix of accent chairs, now you need to integrate your new furniture into your space. One of the best ways to achieve an integrated look is by adding accessories.
The experts at Smitty’s put their heads together and came up with these top three ways to accessorize your living room:
#1. Add Some Throw Pillows
Add some throw pillows, custom or otherwise, into your space -- and not just one or two. You can place throw pillows on your sofa and your accent chairs.
Try using different sizes, shapes, or colours to give your space some personality. These pillows will not only look great, but they’ll also help connect all your furniture.
#2. Add a Blanket
Do not add your grandma's lace to the back and arms! Instead, select a contemporary design that can add visual interest to your space. Place a blanket across your ottoman, or off to one side of your sofa. Consider a blanket in a contrasting colour for some drama.
#3. Change It Up
Change around your pillows and blankets throughout the year. This will help to keep your room refreshed. You can choose to have seasonally-themed pieces, or simply adjust the colour palate — try pastels and lighter shades in the spring and deep, rich tones in the fall.