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Let’s face it, whether you have kids of your own, you look after your grandchildren, or you like to indulge your inner child once in a while, you want furniture that can handle the wear and tear.

 

“There's no reason to keep a piece of furniture in your house that is so sacred and rare 

that you can't put your feet up on it and a dog can't jump up on it.” 

—Elizabeth Gilbert, ‘Author Eat, Pray, Love’

 

It doesn’t have to be March break or summer vacation, sometimes your sofa or bed might have to handle a bit of rough-housing from children or pets. 

 

In this blog, our interior decorating experts have put together their recommendations on the best kid-proof furniture for your home.

 

Performance Fabric

 

 

One of the most important features of kid-proof furniture is that it can be cleaned. Spills and accidents happen to the best of us, but when they do, we want to feel confident that the stain can be removed.

 

Performance fabrics, like leather and microfibre, are some of the best options for removing stains.

  1. Microfibre is a densely-constructed material made from synthetic materials that are generally very durable and tend to repel liquids. This makes it a very stain-resistant fabric.
     
  2. Leather is a natural material and very durable. Simply wipe it down with a damp cloth or use a mild soap and water mixture to remove stains. Avoid abrasive materials or cleaning solutions with ammonia.

If you are concerned about getting the stain out before it sets, we recommend using Zucora. Zucora is an eco-friendly line of cleaning solutions, including the Everyday Spot Remover. This concentrated stain remover is ideal for removing stains from your carpets, sofas, pillows, and more — it’s able to penetrate deep into fibres to lift and remove the toughest spills.


Leather Furniture

 

(Palliser Miami Sectional)

 

If you want a material that stands the test of time, then there is no better choice than leather.

  • Leather improves with age. It will not wear down, but instead will develop a unique character.
  • Leather breathes and is comfortable in both winter and summer.
  • Pigmented and Semi Aniline leathers undergo careful processing to make them resistant to fading.
  • Leather is easy to keep clean. No lengthy or expensive procedure is required.

There are also a variety of types of leather to choose from. Palliser offers three distinct types of leather for their custom furniture: 

  1. Natural Leather
    Natural leather retains character marks including scars, scratches, stretch marks, and subtle shade variations. Over time, these leathers will soften and develop a beautiful patina, taking on a unique final finish.
     
  2. Corrected Leather
    These leathers offer performance, consistency, and durability. Corrected leather has been buffed or sanded to remove imperfections, creating a finish that enhances appearance and makes for easy cleaning.
     
  3. Dazzle Accents Leather
    Dazzle leathers are offered in a wide variety of eye-catching colours to suit any style. The same dependability and durability you've come to expect meets the personality your sofa needs to make a statement, whether that’s pale mint or burnt orange.

No matter the type of sofa, sectional, or side chair, our decorating team will help you select the perfect type of leather for your furniture.

 

Solid Wood Furniture

 

(Bermex Expression Dining Set)

 

At the end of the day, if you want furniture that will function well, look beautiful, and last for generations, there is nothing better than solid wood.

 

Solid wood furniture is an investment that pays off. If it gets scratched or dented, it can be refinished. If you want to change the look, it can be painted or stained to match your new decor.

 

Whatever the style, solid wood furniture will hold up over the years and the wear and tear it endures will give it character and remind you of occasions worth re-telling. 

 

We recommend adding a solid wood dining table, coffee table, and console to your home. These integral furniture pieces will look amazing now and for decades to come.

 

At Smitty’s, we carry a wide range of Palliser, Hooker, Bermex, and countless other Canadian brands with quality products to accommodate kids of all ages.

 

Visit us in-store or online and we’ll help get you kid-proof furniture!

 

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(Bermex Prestige)

 

Every homeowner wants to have a dining room where they can enjoy meals with their family and friends, entertain guests, and showcase their stylish decor. This spring, Smitty’s is here to help you get inspired to refresh your dining room with some of our favourite dining rooms to copy!

 

Special acknowledgement to Architectural Digest for the images of celebrity homes.

 

Colourful Dining Rooms

 

(Burton table and Phoebe chairs)

 

Colourful dining rooms don’t have to be filled with a variety of colours, and adding colour to your dining room is something that you can do without painting the walls. This is not an exercise in overhauling your space — rather it’s about adding colourful elements.

 

You can keep your current dining table and update it with colourful (and comfortable) dining chairs. These powder blue Phoebe dining chairs by Amisco are gorgeous!

 

Bringing some colour into your space will help to refresh and update the look, and highlight particular elements, like your seating.

 

While some dining room furniture manufacturers will provide you with the opportunity to customize the style and finish of your table, it is often easier to add touches of colour with your chairs and decorative items.

 

Consider adding colour in the following ways:

  • Dining chairs
    • This can include different types of fabric and even different patterns.
  • Accent cushions
    • Adding small cushions to each chair is a great way to add a pop of colour.
  • Decorative items
    • Placing a variety of coloured vases, candle holders, bowls, sculptures, or other pieces on the centre area of your table is a fun way to add some colour — and it’s easy to change up to reflect a season, a mood, or a celebration.
  • Area rug
    • Adding a dining room area rug under your table and chairs is not only on trend, but will add a very stylish element to your space.
       
Inspiration Photo

 

George Clooney's dining room at his home on Mexico’s Baja peninsula (above) is our blue dining chair inspiration (above).

 

Regal Dining Rooms

 

(Bermex Expression Table)

 

There’s something to be said for having a dining room that looks classic, dignified, and elegant. A regal dining room will feature elements with formal touches and ornate finishes to bring a sense of majesty to the space.

 

Classically designed tables are a must-have when trying to achieve a formal look. Look for:

  • Simple table lines, in rectangular or oval shapes
  • Deep, rich tones
  • Solid wood
  • Wood or marble table tops, not glass
  • Strong table legs, not spindles
  • Larger table sizes, not built to incorporate a leaf
     
Inspiration Photo

 

Jessica Chastain achieves a classic look in her New York apartment with her solid wood, oval dining table and custom-covered dining chairs (above).

 

Glam Dining Rooms

 

(Bermex Glass Top Table)

 

While not every homeowner is a movie star or celebrity, you can achieve that same glamourous look in your dining room.

 

Glam dining rooms can be classic or modern and they can be colourful or simple. The idea behind a glam arrangement is that it exudes high-style. This doesn’t mean that your furniture is uncomfortable or should only be used for special occasions — having furniture in your home that you cannot use every day is a thing of the past!

 

Consider dining room furniture that:

  • Shines or sparkles, including high-gloss wood or a glass top
  • Luxurious padded and covered seating
  • Added ornamentation in the seating, including nailheads or stitching
  • Plush area carpeting
  • Metal or glass decor in the centre
Inspiration Photo

 

Elizabeth Taylor’s Bel Air, California dining room contains a glass top table (above).

 

If you’ve been inspired to update the look of your dining room, contact the experts at Smitty’s. We’ll help you get the dining room of your dreams.

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This month, the team at Smitty’s is excited to feature the Palliser brand of furniture. Palliser is known for its high-quality leather seating, but, like many brands, they have reinvented themselves over the years and expanded their line of furniture offerings to include a wide range of gorgeous sofas, sectionals, home theatre seating, accent chairs, zero gravity chairs, and more.

 

 

Modern and stylish designs paired with a gigantic range of leather and fabric finishes means that you can customize your furniture to suit any room in your home.

 

Home Theatre Seating

 

(Flicks by Palliser)

 

More and more people prefer to enjoy a night in and take advantage of private viewing experiences with high-definition televisions, surround sound, and comfortable seating. No more driving to theatres, standing in lines, and squirming in your uncomfortable seat.

 

When you settle down to enjoy a movie or binge-watch your favourite TV series, you want to relax and be comfortable. You want to stretch out and feel supported by quality construction and ergonomic design. This is where Palliser distinguishes itself from other brands.

 

Flicks is a contemporary home theatre collection that will take your TV watching to the next level. Flicks seating features:

  • Personalized comfort settings
  • Power reclining options
  • Adjustable ground lighting
  • LED cup holders
  • USB ports
  • And more

Flicks offers quality construction with engineered wood, single top stitching for a modern look, a resilient foam core, and heavy gauge springs and suspension for the utmost comfort.

 

You can also supplement your seating with optional table inserts, table trays, tablet holders, and more. Available in single, double, loveseat, armless, and wedge arm styles, you can choose the seating arrangement best suited for your lifestyle.

 

Zero Gravity Recliners

 

(Zero Gravity Chair by Palliser)

 

While you may have heard of a ‘recliner’, you have probably not heard of a Zero Gravity Recliner — and it’s features are pretty impressive.

 

Palliser’s ZG5 allows you to achieve comfort at the touch of a button. Now you can go from upright to reclined without the bending, reaching, and tugging of a manual lever.

Zero gravity recliners will help to reduce stress on your back and increase your circulation, and the chair’s adjustable lumbar back pillow and head pillow will help you find the perfect position for reading, sleeping, or relaxing.

 


 

Another advantage to Palliser’s ZG line is its footprint. Say goodbye to the chunky, oversized recliners of the past. The ZG5 features a slimmer profile with modern chrome legs, so it looks great in any space.

 

Sectionals

 

 

A sectional will take your living room from ‘nice’ to ‘wow’. Palliser’s sectionals provide ample seating, a range of customizable options, and complete comfort. 

 

Available in styles that range from modern to traditional, you can find the style and seating arrangement that suits your life. Take advantage of the extra legroom and stretch out to read, or pile your entire family on and enjoy watching a movie together — there’s enough space for everyone!

 

The Barrett sectional (featured below) embodies modern luxury and is sure to make a statement in your home. A transitional piece, it’s available with tufted fabric or leather, layered foam seats, and impressive detailing.

 


 

Every piece is made with a focus on quality. Handcrafted sectionals are constructed with quality materials and technologically advanced production methods, and are signed-off for sale following a thorough review to ensure excellence. This means that you can rest assured that your investment will look great, wear well, and last.

 

If you’re looking for quality, long-lasting, and gorgeous furniture, we recommend upgrading to Palliser. Visit us at Smitty’s and our team will help you find the perfect pieces for your home.

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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 Sofabed)

 

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


(Artage Condo Cocktail Table)

 

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.

 

At Smitty’s, we offer 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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It’s no secret that February can be one of the most challenging months of the year. The holidays are over, the afterglow has worn off, and winter is still in full force. We have no control over mother nature, so short of getting out of Dodge, we are stuck with a couple more months of cold days and long nights. 

 

The good news is: You have control over your living environment, and there are some concrete steps you can take to improve your home and boost your mood. Even small changes in home decor can have a big impact on how we feel — and when we feel good we can face the world with resilience and motivation.

 

The first step is to assess your home. 

  1. Stand at your front entrance, close your eyes, count to 10.
  2. Open your eyes and take a walk around your house. Notice how you feel as you walk around. 
  3. Ask yourself: Do you feel calm? Happy? Do you want to spend time in these rooms?

If you answer no to any of these questions, your home might need a little help. 

 

Here are some tips for brightening your home, and mood, this winter.

 

Aim for light and bright

 

 

Light and mood are directly linked. Brighter spaces, especially those flooded with natural light, tend to positively affect our mood. 

 

Take a cue from the residents of this Norwegian town who use large mountainside mirrors to increase the sun’s winter offering. You can do the same in your home. Place a mirror adjacent to a window to increase the amount of light coming in. It will brighten your room and create the illusion of a larger space. 

 

The simple and classic design of Ruffsawn’s Adirondack mirror will complement almost any space. The mirror’s frame, handcrafted from solid wormy maple, features beautiful variations in colour and grain, adding warmth and texture to any room. This mirror is Canadian made and comes in your choice of stain.

 

Or try this mirrored console from Jofran. Available in 50” and 70” units, this console will brighten your home and open up your room while hiding unsightly clutter — it’s a win, win, win!

 

Texture is home decor’s best kept secret

 

 

Texture is the interior designer’s secret weapon. It’s the lesser known element of home decorating that will take the look and feel of your home to the next level.

 

Texture creates a sense of movement in the room, it stimulates the eye, gives the space a more interesting look, and promotes feelings of comfort. When introducing texture to a room, consider materials, fabrics, and patterns. Faux fur and velvet will create a luxurious feel, a combination of leather and wood will make a room feel homey, and adding an element of metal will feel sleek and chic. 

 

Hooker Furniture’s Melange collection features one-of-a-kind pieces that will add interest and texture to any room. There is no better way to introduce both colour and texture than the Melange Two-Door Chest. Mid-century modern meets art deco in this piece that boasts flowing lines, beautiful shades of blue, and hints of gold. It’s definitely a showstopper. Come into one of our stores in Hanover or Kitchener to check out more amazing pieces from the Melange collection.

 

For more advice on how you can incorporate texture and light into your home, consult with one of Smitty’s certified interior decorators.

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There are so many amazing, quality, Canadian brands to choose from that it is hard to just pick 10!

 

Here’s what is making our top 10 list at Smitty’s right now:

 

Durham Furniture

Solid Wood. Timeless Style. Since 1899. Durham Furniture builds solid wood furniture distinguished by exceptional quality, award-winning design, and enduring value. Durham's furniture is handcrafted from sustainably harvested maple, cherry, and ash — no veneers, no particle board — just nature’s own uniquely beautiful creation.

 

Durham’s furniture pieces are timeless and considered heirloom quality. Add their furniture to your collection knowing you can choose your stain colour to create any look you desire.

 

Palliser

Since their founding in 1944, Palliser has focused on creating exceptional products for the entire home and delivering meaningful value to their customers. With a vision to provide high-quality furnishings that allow people the opportunity to express themselves, Palliser is recognized as a design leader and style authority.

 

Palliser’s furniture ranges from living to bedroom and beyond. A broad product line, you can customize recliners, home theatre seating, ottomans, benches, stools, and more.

 

Superstyle Furniture

Superstyle was founded in 1967 as a Canadian manufacturer of fine upholstered furniture, with a philosophy of offering impeccable quality, exceptional value, and excellent service. With superior craftsmanship inside and the finest fabrics outside, you can be certain the Superstyle line of products stand the test of time.

 

Superstyle’s furniture includes a large variety of sofas, occasional chairs, sectionals, and home accents.

 

Artage International

Artage International Inc. is one of the few metal fabricators left in North America producing occasional tables. Since 1967, they have worked with the design industry to create unique and innovative products.

 

Artage’s range of products includes occasional tables, consoles, drink tables, wine storage cabinets, and more. They are also able to customize orders to suit any taste.

 

Bermex

Founded in 1983 in Maskinongé, Québec, Bermex is the leader among manufacturers of customizable dining room furniture, pub tables, and bar stools made of select grade birch. Purchasing a piece of furniture from Bermex is a wise choice when you are looking to acquire unique, quality Canadian wood furniture.

 

Bermex specializes in high-quality wood casual and formal dining furniture, pub tables, and bar stools with over 300 models to choose from.

 

Brentwood

Brentwood Classics has been designing and manufacturing made-to-order sofas for Canadians for over 40 years. From transitional to contemporary design, their renowned fabric library includes over 1,000 patterns in a multitude of colourways, sourced from all corners of the globe.  

 

Designed and manufactured in Canada, Brentwood’s award-winning sofas will provide you with comfort, style, and eco-friendly seating — and their luxurious beds won’t disappoint.

 

Kingsdown

For over 100 years, Kingsdown has been handcrafting mattresses using only the finest materials. Their old world traditions are complemented with new technological and sleep science advancements, ensuring the best night’s sleep possible.

 

Building products that last, Kingsdown mattresses don’t waste any material in their production process and most of their fabrics are recycled into other industries.

 

Future Fine Furniture

A family-run company that focuses on customer service, with over 130 years of combined experience in bench-made craftsmanship. Future Fine Furniture will customize their products to meet your needs and ensure that you are satisfied with the quality, style, and price.

 

Part of Future Fine Furniture’s mission is to reduce the environmental impact of the industry by employing eco-friendly materials, including organic cotton fabrics and sustainable wood products. From sofas and sectionals to benches and chairs, their furniture is solidly built to your specifications.

 

Amisco

A Quebec-based Canadian company, Amisco takes great pride in designing and producing residential furniture that satisfies the tastes and needs of all ages. Their top-quality furniture reflects the latest North American design trends, and every item they make is exceptionally comfortable, superbly finished, and durable.  

 

Amisco designs a wide range of stools, chairs, tables, dinette sets, and one-of-a-kind furniture that you can personalize to suit your lifestyle, whether you are furnishing an apartment, condo, home, or cottage.

 

Hooker Furniture

Since 1925, Hooker Furniture has been making stylish, beautiful, high-quality furniture. Now a third-generation company, Hooker is focused on crafting the same exceptional and inspired furniture that meets the needs of today’s homeowners.

 

Hooker Furniture designs gorgeous furniture pieces in a variety of collections that will stand the test of time. From bedroom sets, to sofas, to entertainment units, and more.

 

Decor-Rest

Decor-Rest, a leading Canadian manufacturer of fine upholstered furniture, and has been building quality furniture since 1972. They are proud to have received more of the home furnishing industry's coveted national Trillium awards than any other upholstery company and are committed to designing furniture with the latest technologies and methods.


Decor-Rest only sources the finest tested materials from around the world including select, air-dried Canadian maple or birch for its custom frames.

 

Come and visit Smitty’s to take a look at these top 10 brands in person!

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(Magnussen Tinley Park bedroom set)

 

At the start of every year, we get excited about changes in interior decorating and we’ll look online to learn about trends, colours, and styles. 

 

We know you’re curious about what’s happening (or predicted to happen) this year, so the team at Smitty’s has put together a blog outlining the key interior decorating trends for 2020. 

 

It’s a new year and a new decade! What does that mean? It’s time for a new look! 

 

Make Your Home Welcoming with a Fireplace

 

 

Your home should be a place where you, your family, and your friends feel welcome. Doesn’t this room look welcoming?! It looks like the perfect place to relax, read a book, or entertain guests. Aside from the comfortable sofas and chairs, the main reason why this room looks like a place you’d want to spend time is the fireplace. 

 

Adding a fireplace to your living room doesn’t just make the room feel cozy, it makes the room more welcoming.

 

A fireplace is the perfect way to create a focal point, and you don’t need a hearth to do it. You can install an electric fireplace with or without a mantel, on a wall, or even include it as part of a media console!

 

Dimplex electric fireplaces are the perfect way to instantly make your room more welcoming. Available in a wide range of styles and options, you can transform the feeling of your room without worrying about a large renovation, like installing a wood or gas fireplace with a chimney stack and mantle.

 

Add Wood & Natural Elements

 

(Hooker Furniture Skinny Console Table)

 

Adding wood and natural elements into your decor is a trend that continues in 2020. Let’s face it — quality wood furniture never goes out of style. Wood looks beautiful as it ages. Every scratch or mark adds character and tells a story — and if you want to change its look, you can refinish it with paint or stain.

 

Hooker Furniture’s Skinny Console Table is gorgeous and functional, and definitely fulfills the trend of adding wood into your interior decor. You can place it in your living room behind your sofa, along a wall in your dining room or office, or add it to your front entryway.

 

(Kalora area rug)

 

If you’re looking for a natural element other than furniture, consider adding a jute carpet. Jute is a vegetable fibre that is spun into threads that are very strong, resulting in a coarse weave that has a natural look and a warm appeal. Kalora offers a range of jute area rugs in various sizes to suit any space. 

 

"Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful,
or believe to be beautiful". 

— Sarah Richardson, Designer


(Magnussen Tinley Park Door Chest)

 

If you’re looking for usefulness and beauty, and you want to refresh your interior bedroom decor, then have a look at Magnussen’s Tinley Park bedroom set

 

Select one piece or purchase the entire set. This gorgeous, DoveTail Grey coloured series is sure to create a welcoming, relaxing, and inviting bedroom. 

 

Blue Is Back

 

(Decor-Rest sofa style 3179)

 

2020 marks the triumphant return of deeper blue colours! No more pastels or wishy washy tones — dark blue is where it’s at. In fact, Pantone’s colour of the year is Classic Blue.

 

“Instilling calm, confidence, and connection, this enduring blue hue highlights our desire for a dependable and stable foundation on which to build as we cross the threshold into a new era.” — Pantone

 

If you’re looking for an elegant way to update your interior decor, consider adding deep blue. Decor-Rest makes a beautiful sofa, available in deep blue, that is flexible enough to accommodate virtually any space or need.

 

This 3179 style sofa comes in condo size, full size sofa, queen bed pull-out, or even as a chair or loveseat. Customizable, you can select from a wide range of fabrics, leathers, and finishes to get the perfect look for your home.

 

The team at Smitty’s is looking forward to 2020 and to helping you with your interior decorating questions. Visit us in-store and meet with one of our certified interior decorators — they’ll help you find the perfect updates for your home.

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2020! It’s not just a new year, but a new decade — and it’s a great time to reflect and consider what the next year (or 10) might have in store. What would you like to change? What goals would you like to achieve?

 

Many of us set goals around work and career, whether it's broadening a skill set, finding new approaches, or transitioning from working at the office to working at home — maybe it’s time to start your own business. 

 

Whatever the case, the key to achieving your goals is giving yourself the necessary time and space. For work and career goals, a dedicated and well-appointed workspace will make all the difference. 

 

To maximize your productivity, create a working environment that you will enjoy, that you will look forward to returning to, and that will make you want to roll up your sleeves and get to it. 

 

Hard work requires intense thought, so aim for an environment that feels spacious, clean, and free of distraction. It doesn’t take much. If you have a good desk and the right kind of storage unit you can easily create a space that will inspire you to take this new decade to new heights.

 

Our Smitty’s decorators have come up with two looks for a new office:

 

Keep It Traditional

Crafted in Canada from the finest North American maple, Durham Furniture’s Palladian Writing Table is a charming take on its antique counterpart. With turned legs and beveled edges, this piece is elegant and sophisticated. Two drawers at the front and an upper section of compartments accommodate your daily small storage needs. Customize this piece by choosing your favourite wood finish from Durham’s broad selection of colours and finishes.

 

Complement your writing table perfectly with Durham’s Palladian Bachelor’s Chest. Dating as far back as the 17th century, the bachelor’s chest was traditionally a multi-purpose piece of furniture — and we’re bringing it back! This gorgeous piece has reeded edges and is built from solid maple, providing plenty of space for additional storage. It will keep your desk organized, clutter-free, and ready for the magic to happen.

 

Go For A Rustic Look

If your preference is rustic, we recommend Durham’s Distillery Writing Table. Built from solid maple by top Canadian craftsmen, this desk will get your year started right. Its simple design, tapered legs, and two soft-close drawers are perfection in a desk. Choose your favourite of three finishes for this handsome piece.

 

A clean desk means a clear mind. 

 

Keep the surface of your writing table immaculate with the Madison County Barn Door Accent Cabinet by Jofran. Jofran’s barnwood finish will match Durham’s whiskey finish beautifully and provide space for all of your office storage needs. To complete a rustic and natural look, accent your office with an earthy palette of dark greens, taupes, beiges, and browns. For a contemporary look, add touches of white, cream, and even an occasional pop of colour.

 

Whatever your style may be, Smitty’s decorators are here to help you achieve the look you want. Come visit us at one of our two locations in Hanover or Kitchener.

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It’s December — prime hosting time! Are you ready? Do you have your decorations? Your tableware polished? Do you have enough seating? Do you have a nice table or, if you’re not happy with your dining table, at least a nice tablecloth to cover your it? 

 

There are so many considerations to take into account when hosting an elegant dinner party. At Smitty’s, we completely understand how important it is to make your guests feel comfortable in your home — and we know how tricky it can be to create an atmosphere of elegance. 

 

To help navigate you this busy season, our team has put together some tips to get started with your party-planning, including decor suggestions, some elegant recipes, and a list of some of our favourite furniture pieces for your holiday wish list:

 

Decor Tips for An Elegant Dinner Party

 

 

Elegance is not as difficult to achieve as it may seem, and it doesn’t have to break the bank. Here are a few tips that will help you get the perfect holiday look:

 

Use nature to decorate your table, mantle, countertop, and bathroom.

Clip (or purchase) cedar or pine branches and mix them with cut flowers, strands of berries, or decorative snowflakes. Place them as a centrepiece on your dining table, across your mantle or kitchen counter, and in a large vase in your bathroom. 

 

Don’t be afraid to go big on the natural decor — it will make an elegant statement. You can also add sprigs and cranberry strands to your napkins or along the centre of each guest’s place setting (see image above).

 
Place votives along the centre of your dining table.

Nothing says elegance like candlelight. Adding shiny gold and silver votives with tea lights along the centre of your dining table, or around your centrepiece, will make your dining area look beautiful. 

 

Make sure you don’t skimp out on the number of votives — we recommend 6-10 for a typical dining table. Ensure that people won’t have to reach over them and that they are placed a safe distance away from napkins, decorations, or other flammable materials.

 

Enhance your place setting.

If you want your table to look elegant and welcoming, make sure you place all the required flatware and dishes at each place setting. 

 

Lay out your cutlery appropriately on each side of the plate setiings and across the top, and include salad forks, dessert forks, and dessert spoons. Ensure you place both water glasses and wine glasses at each setting — and include a champagne glass if you are toasting with some bubbly. 

 

For an added touch of elegance, consider adding a charger plate under all your plates. A charger plate is essentially an oversized plate that isn’t used for plating food, but acts as a decorative item. Available in a wide range of colours, you can find a charger that will match your decor.

 

Elegant Recipes for Your Dinner Party

 

 

While not everyone is a Michelin-starred chef, we know that you want your dishes to look spectacular for your guests.

 

Here are a couple of recipes that look incredible and aren’t too tricky to pull off:

 
Seared Scallops with Brown Butter and Lemon Pan Sauce

(Recipe Credit: Epicurious.com)

 

 

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 lemons
  • Small handful of chives
  • 12 large dry sea scallops
  • Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
  • Extra-virgin olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 teaspoons drained capers

STEP 1

Cut 2 lemons in half and squeeze juice into a measuring glass or small bowl. You should have 1/4 cup juice. Set aside. Using a paring knife, cut ends off remaining lemon to expose flesh. Upend lemon on a cut end and remove peel and white pith from lemons, then discard. Cut between membranes to release segments into bowl with juice, squeeze membranes to get any last drops of juice. Fish out any seeds and set aside. Thinly slice chives and place in a small bowl, then set aside.

 

STEP 2

Pull side muscle off scallops, if needed pat dry. Season lightly on both sides with salt and pepper. Heat a large skillet, preferably stainless steel, over medium-high. Pour in oil to lightly coat surface (2–3 Tbsp), heat until it shimmers and you see first wisps of smoke. Swiftly place scallops into skillet, flat side down, and cook without touching, tossing, or fussing until underside is a deep golden brown (3-4 minutes). Use a thin spatula or tongs to gently turn over. If they resist, cook another 30 seconds and try again. Cook on second side until flesh at top and bottom looks opaque, but there is still a faintly translucent strip in the middle (1–2 minutes, depending on size). Transfer scallops to a plate.

 

STEP 3 

Pour off any oil in skillet and set over medium heat. Add butter and cook, swirling, until butter foams, then browns, about 2 minutes. Add reserved lemon juice and segments; energetically stir and swirl pan to emulsify sauce. Mix in capers and reserved chives and spoon pan sauce around and over scallops.

 

Riesling Gelée with Strawberry Conserve

(Recipe Credit: Foodandwine.com)

 

 

INGREDIENTS

 

GELÉE

  • 1 1/2 cups off-dry Riesling
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons unflavored powdered gelatin

STRAWBERRY CONSERVE

  • 1 pint strawberries, cut into 1/4-inch dice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon off-dry Riesling

STEP 1

Make the gelée in a small saucepan. Combine the Riesling and sugar and bring to a low simmer over moderate heat, swirling gently until the sugar is dissolved, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.

 

STEP 2  

Sprinkle the gelatin over the cooled syrup and let soften for 5 minutes. Warm the syrup over moderate heat and stir to dissolve the gelatin, about 1 minute. Let cool slightly. Pour the gelée into 4 wine glasses. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

 

STEP 3 

In a small bowl, gently stir the strawberries with the honey, sugar, lemon zest, and Riesling. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes.

 

STEP 4    

Spoon the strawberry conserve over the gelée and serve.

 

Holiday Wish List

 

 

If you’ve been coveting new furniture for your home, then we have the perfect items for your wish list this year:

 

  1. Bermex Side Chairs
    These gorgeous wood and fabric chairs look stunning in any room.
     
  2. Amisco Upholstered Bed
    This contemporary bed frame and upholstered headboard will keep you cozy and look fabulous in your bedroom.
     
  3. Table Factory Coffee Table
    This live edge table is a showstopper and its solid wood design will last for decades.
     
  4. Ruffsawn Dresser
    Handcrafted with premium wood, this dresser is absolutely stunning — and practical!
     
  5. Durham Night Stands
    Designed with sustainably harvested wood, these night stands will bring elegance to your bedroom.
     

For more inspiration, decoration advice, and help getting your home ready to host, come and visit Smitty’s. We’ll help you get ready and scratch gifts off your wish list!

 

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Sometimes it’s hard to know how best to update your home. There are so many options to choose from, so many decisions to be made, and so many places to look for inspiration. 

 

At Smitty’s, we understand that it can feel overwhelming, so our interior decorators have gathered together some amazing photos of celebrity homes to help inspire you for your next interior decorating project.

 

Check out these amazing rooms and see how you can achieve a similar look:

 

Jamie Oliver’s Bedroom

 

(Thanks to J.O.’s Instagram account.)

 

This renowned celebrity chef (and his family) love relaxing in this luxurious bedroom. His enormous bed looks fit for a king and is adorned with rich fabric and gold finishes, for a stylish finish.

 

Get Jamie’s Look

 

You can achieve a similar look with the following pieces:

 

While it’s not quite as ornate, Durham Furniture’s King Grand Upholstered bed Prominence Collection is certainly regal and elegant. Expertly-crafted with solid maple and finished with the highest-quality fabric, this bed will make you feel like a king.

Durham Furniture’s Glen Terrace night stand is a beautifully crafted two-drawer nightstand is handcrafted with sustainably harvested maple, cherry, and ash wood. Solid construction and timeless appeal will make these night stands look great for years to come.
 

Kylie Jenner’s Dining Room

 

 

Regardless of whether you love or hate the Kardashians, you will love this dining room! 

 

Kylie Jenner’s contemporary dining room is simple yet elegant. Featuring an oversized, dark-stained wood table, contrasting white dining chairs, and finished with a dramatic area rug, this dining room is the perfect room for entertaining.

 
Get Kylie’s Look

You can achieve a similar look with the following pieces:

 

 

Magnussen’s Proximity Heights dining table is a sophisticated and tailored dining option, featuring a lush smoke Anthracite finish. Available with a removable leaf for added functionality.

 

 

Bermex’s dining chairs are finished with on-trend nailhead trim and are available in a range of finishes to suit any dining room.

 

 

​Surya has a huge assortment of area rugs in dark tones and different types of fabric to complete your look to be just like Kylie’s.

 

Steph Curry’s Living Room

 

(Photo by Getty Images and OpenHomesPhotography.com)

 

Our team got pretty excited during the playoffs and, when we saw the inside of Steph Curry’s home, we got equally enthused! 

 

Featuring a neutral colour palette and comfortable furnishings, his living room furniture is expertly mixed and matched. A cosy and neutral sofa is paired with grey accent chairs and a striking leather reading chair. 

 

The space is finished with some very on-trend wood-topped and metal base coffee tables to create a  living room that is welcoming, comfortable, and functional.

 

Get Curry’s Look

You can achieve a similar look with the following pieces:

 


 

  • Brentwood’s Darwyn Chair is the perfect barrel-back wing chair, featuring a regal silhouette. This chair is made with eco-friendly construction and certified sustainable, kiln-dried wood frame. 
     


 

  • Artage crafts a variety of metal nesting tables in a wide range of sizes that can be customized with different tops, including wood and marble.

 

Jennifer Lawrence’s Bedroom

 

(Photo from Hello magazine)

 

Classically simple, yet stylish and tranquil, Jennifer’s bedroom looks like the perfect space to curl up and read your favourite book. Featuring an upholstered headboard as a focal point, the bed and ottoman are definitely the highlights of this room.

 
Get Jennifer’s Look

 

You can achieve a similar look with the following pieces:

 

 

Brentwood’s stunning, upholstered, custom beds are a thing of beauty. Available in full, queen, or king sizes with customizable fabric, this bed creates timeless beauty in the bedroom.

 

 

Brentwood’s Adam ottoman is constructed with eco-friendly, certified sustainable, kiln-dried wood, and features nailhead finishes. Available in a range of leathers and fabrics (you don’t have to like pink!), this ottoman can be customized to suit your style.

 

For more inspiration and expert advice, come and visit our showroom and chat with our interior decorators. We can help you get the look you want for your home.

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March 13, 2020
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