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:
(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 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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.