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.
Fall is here, and it’s the perfect time to update your furniture as you plan to spend more time indoors in the cooler months ahead.
One of the biggest changes in home furniture that we’ve seen over the last few years is the addition of statement furniture because it’s both functional and stylish.
If you want to update a room in your home, adding statement furniture is a great way to go.
What is statement furniture?
Statement furniture is large-sized furnishings, like a sectional, oversized coffee table, extended dining table, bed frame with headboard, or hutch/sideboard that exhibits the following characteristics:
It offers a style or design that stands out from the rest of your furniture and decor.
It has a bold or strong colour.
It is made from a material that doesn’t exist elsewhere in the room.
Best places to use statement furniture in your home
Statement furniture can live in every room of your home. The first thing you need to decide is, which room are you wanting to update?
The top rooms to add statement furniture are:
Your dining room
Add an extended dining table or oversized sideboard or buffet.
Your living room
Add a sectional or oversized coffee table.
Add an oversized headboard and matching bed frame.
The Helix table and chairs (pictured above) by Legacy Classic Furniture can take your dining room from blah to wow. Its contemporary design and clean lines offer a strong presence, while still offering a high degree of functionality.
The gorgeous, mirrored console (pictured above) by Hooker Furniture would be a stunning addition to any dining room. Offering a beautiful and stylish design, this sideboard is highly functional and makes a statement in your dining room.
If you feel a bit nervous about adding a significant piece of statement furniture in your home, then you can tip-toe into the idea by adding a unique accent chair. The contemporary chrome and leather accent chair (pictured above) by Superstyle Furniture would be a great way to add a statement piece to your living room or guest room.
If you are looking for additional storage space, don’t just opt for the traditional bench or bookcase, try adding a statement wall unit. The Albany wall unit (pictured above) by Artage offers modern sophistication and elegant design, and it comes in a wide variety of finish options to suit any home.
Don’t be afraid of statement furniture
Some people are intimidated by the idea of adding large pieces into their living space, but there’s no need. Using larger and bolder furniture will add dimension to your room and help you maximize your space.
If you are still unsure of where to start, consider these expert tips:
You don’t have to pick an extreme colour.
You can certainly add a bright red chair to your cream-themed living room, but you don’t have to go this extreme. Adding a neutral-coloured chair that has a bold style or a unique design is all you need.
You don’t have to choose a style that doesn’t go with anything else in your room.
You can make a statement without fighting the flow of your space or the design of your room. Adding a uniquely-designed chair or sofa is great, but it shouldn’t prevent you from moving through your space or living your life comfortably.
You don’t want to have two statement pieces in one space.
It is best to have a single statement piece in your room. Adding two or more statement pieces will shrink your space and visually compete with each other. One piece is effective, but if you add more than that, you will begin to feel uncomfortable in your space.
Interior design and interior decorating experts understand the importance of the visual impression and functionality of your living space. Making sure that your furniture works for your life, while, at the same time, offering visual interest and style is the key to high contrast design — chalk it up to yet another good reason to work with an expert.
What is high contrast room design?
High contrast room design is an interior design technique that aims to design a room with contrasting elements to help highlight a focal piece of furniture, create a striking visual impact, or accent a particular architectural element.
For example, you can pair the elegant sectional (pictured above) by Palliser with a lighter and more neutral coloured area rug to showcase the furniture.
Easy ways to create contrast in your room
There are many ways to achieve a beautiful, contrasting design in your home — it all depends on your style and your space. Here are a few easy ways to get this look:
Pair a darker coloured sofa with a lighter coloured area rug, or try the reverse. A dark rug with a neutral-coloured sectional looks amazing.
Add contrasting decorative elements to your space. Try adding colourful throw pillows to your accent chair or sofa, or add a grouping of colourful vases to your side table or coffee table.
If you are going for a more urban look, try adding black and white artwork and mirrors to your walls.
Mix and match your furniture and decor
Another excellent way to bring high contrast design into your space is by mixing and matching furniture pieces with decorative elements.
The metal base and wood-topped dining table (pictured above) by The Table Factory is a perfect example of a high contrast design. The natural element of the wood is contrasted by the urban look of the metal base. This example also helps to illustrate how a darker table can contrast nicely with a lighter coloured floor.
Forge Design can help you achieve this look with their sleek, chrome coffee tables with glass tops. If smaller, decorative items are more your speed, then consider adding some contrasting decor from Surya’s amazing collection.
One of the hottest trends in interior decorating is creating a vignette in a room of your home. Vignettes are a lot of fun to create and can help to bring out your creativity and showcase your unique style.
What is a vignette?
A vignette is a grouping of objects that, when combined, creates a mood, a theme, and a decorative focal point in a space. Vignettes can include large pieces, like artwork, or small decor items like vases.
While you can create a vignette in any room of your home, they work especially well on flat surfaces in living rooms, bedrooms, and guest rooms.
Types of vignettes
A vignette can be anything you want. It can reflect your personality, it can showcase a particular theme, or it can be styled to embody a time period.
Popular vignette groupings include:
The beach: shells, wood, sand, plants, etc.
Cities: Paris, New York City, London, etc.
Family: photos, mementos, antique toys, etc.
The arts: movies, books, artwork, etc.
Colour & Texture
Colour combinations that either accent the main colour in your space or add contrasting tones
Different materials and types of objects to create depth
Historical elements and vintage pieces that reflect particular time periods
Collectible pieces and memorabilia
Personal items or inherited pieces that reflect family history
How to create a vignette in your home
A vignette can be created with any item that fits your theme and your style.
Here are a few expert tips to keep in mind:
1. You can mix new items with objects and furniture you already have in your home.
If you have a dresser that you love, and it would make an excellent horizontal space for a vignette, then use it!
You can purchase decorative items like vases, lamps, and artwork to bring your vignette to life.
2. Place objects of different heights and sizes together.
Using odd numbers of objects is key to bringing a vignette to life. Group pieces in threes, fives, etc. This will be pleasing to the eye without looking too organized.
Try to mix your objects around a key element to create your vignette’s focal point.
3. Keep scale, balance, and variety in mind.
While you do want to ensure visual interest, you don’t want your vignette to take over your entire space or look forced. Keep your objects appropriately sized for your space.
Try to make sure that the variety of pieces is not overwhelming and fits on your horizontal surface comfortably — you don’t want anything hanging off as it will look odd and could get bumped or damaged.
It’s that time of year again — school is back in session, summer vacation is over, and everyone is returning to work. Getting back to work doesn’t mean you are stuck sitting at an uncomfortable desk, with furniture from a different era and old school filing cabinets.
Today, home offices are liveable, comfortable, and functional spaces that look amazing and help you to be productive. They are also spaces that can be designed and decorated to fit your existing decor.
Here are some dos and don’ts on how best to update or create an office that fits with your home and your lifestyle:
DO: Choose an appropriate room for your home office.
You want to make sure that your home office has enough space and light to be workable. You don’t want to work in your bedroom or in a dark corner of your basement.
DON’T: Give up style for function.
No one looks forward to working in a space that they find unpleasant. You don’t have to put up with traditional, boring, worn bookshelves and cabinets. There are many gorgeous and functional shelving units and cabinets on the market, made by brands like Magnussen Home, Hooker Furniture, and Amisco.
DO: Go for versatility in your furnishings.
You don’t have to choose a traditional-looking bookcase or shelf. You can opt for something with the flexibility to house the materials that you need for work and still have room to showcase some interesting decor.
DON’T: Shop for home office furniture only in the ‘office’ area of a store.
Don’t limit yourself to selecting from only pieces that are labelled as ‘office furniture’. You may find a lovely console table, nightstand, or media cabinet that could function well for storage, housing a printer or other electronics, or work well as a workspace in your home office.
Having a dream bathroom that’s relaxing, comfortable, functional, and beautiful is something that never goes out of style.
Getting your dream bathroom isn’t as hard to achieve as you might think. You don’t have to install a new tub or shower, and you don’t need to redo your plumbing and electrical — the most efficient way to get your dream bathroom is to upgrade your vanity, seating, mirrors, and accessories.
Smitty’s may not be the first place you think of when it comes to updating your bathroom, but we carry all of the components that you need to take your bathroom from blah to dreamy.
Installing a new vanity in your bathroom is the fastest way to update your room and make an impact. Hooker Furniture designs and builds a wide range of stunning vanities with styles ranging from contemporary to traditional.
Vanities are not just an integral part of your bathroom, but they are also highly functional. Here are a few key questions to ask yourself when purchasing a new vanity:
Do you want solid wood, veneer, or a mix of wood and stainless steel/chrome?
How much storage do you need?
Do you prefer drawers or shelves?
Are you looking for a marble or engineered stone countertop?
What colour of wood or stain do you prefer?
How large do you want your vanity to be?
Once you have answers to these questions, you will be a better position to select the perfect vanity.
Seating is an important element in your bathroom, and your type of seating will add to both the functionality and style of your space.
There so many types of seating to choose from that it can be tricky to make a decision. There are no rules when it comes to selecting seating, it’s all about you, your needs, and your style.
Depending on the size and layout of your bathroom, you can opt for a stool, a bench, a traditional chair, or even a chaise — there’s definitely a wow factor in selecting a luxurious chaise for your bathroom.
People have long argued about whether white is a colour or the absence of colour. Let’s set the record straight, in design and decor — white is a colour!
Always on trend, always in style, and always flexible, white is a perennial favourite because it can work in almost any space.
White Furniture Tips
1. It doesn’t have to be a “true” white.
People often worry that having white furniture in their home will make their room look too stark or too modern, but this doesn’t have to be the case. There are many shades of white, from bright white to warm vanilla, so you can choose the best kind of white for your room.
Smitty’s Pro Tip: While you don’t want to position a bright white sofa next to a cream coloured chair — because it will make the chair look dirty — you can have white accent tones to carry the colour scheme throughout the room, using throw pillows or decorative accent pieces.
2. There are solutions to stains.
Some people worry that having white furniture will be hard to maintain, and they are fearful of getting stains on the fabric. Fabrics can be treated with coatings to resist stains, and other fabrics like microfibre and leather can be easily wiped down. We also recommend using eco-friendly spot removers, like Zucora, to keep your furniture looking brand new.
3. White will go with anything.
It’s true what they say, “white goes with everything”. Having white furniture will create a foundational tone for your room and help you accent a particular focal point, colour, or theme.
A white sectional can be accented with colourful throw pillows, a blanket, and other decorative items. A white sofa and accent chairs can direct the focus of the room towards your fireplace or a piece of art on the wall.
Working with an interior decorator means that you will save yourself from making expensive mistakes. You won’t spend money on furniture and decor that doesn’t look good in your home.
2. You will have expert help to plan out your space.
A professional interior decorator will have the tools and the skills to expertly plan out your rooms. They will understand spatial design and proportion to help your home look great.
3. You will save time.
Your interior decorator will conduct all of the necessary research and product sourcing, so you can save your time and energy for more fun things — like selecting your favourite accent chair!
If you find yourselves sitting on the floor of your room (like the couple in the photo) eye-balling and imagining your room by holding your hand in the air to “frame the space”, then you need to hire an interior decorator.
It doesn’t matter whether you are a millennial or a boomer, the boho chic look is warm, inviting, and full of life. Boho chic is definitely on trend, but it doesn’t really go out of style — comfortable furnishings and lively interiors are welcome in any home, always.
Here are Smitty’s expert tips on how to get a boho chic look in your home:
1. Hang something large on your wall.
Don’t be afraid of hanging a big piece of art, a large mirror, a weave, or even a handmade vintage piece as a focal point for your room. Having a room with a statement wall is the way to go for boho chic.
2. Mix and match colours and patterns.
Boho chic is all about overlaying different colours and patterns. You can place vintage items with new items, pink with yellow, rattan with metal — there are no rules!
3. Go for texture.
To help you achieve a warm and welcoming look, you want to pair different kinds of textures together. You can add a colourful throw on the arm of your accent chair, you can layer fluffy and woven toss cushions on your sofa, or you can even overlap rugs on your floor.
4. Bring nature into your space.
A key element of the boho chic look is the natural element. Adding colourful vases with flowers or assorted pots with succulents will help to achieve this look.
5. Mix and match mirrors.
Whether you choose to design a feature wall of different styles of mirrors, or you place uniquely-crafted mirrors throughout your space, adding mirrors will help complete your boho chic style .