Tag Archives: home decor

Celebrating past and present at CBD

The newest addition to Toronto’s King Street East Design District celebrated its official grand opening this week, and showed off its hefty collection of furniture and home decor items.

Creations By Design (CBD Co.), located at 81 King Street East, specializes in the concepts of reinvention, reusing and renovation.

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The shop’s owners travel extensively in Canada and abroad, in search of unique pieces that can be revamped into stylish new items that appeal to a variety of different tastes and budgets.

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Elements of both new and old are very evident in many of the items at CBD. For instance, drawer units made from rustic wood are refinished with rich new stains or repainted with modern patterns, and metallic finishes are used to add a contemporary feel to vintage items.

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The result is an eccentric collection of furniture that embraces the history of each item, with a fresh spin.

With similar elements of past and present in the boutique itself, including exposed brick alongside freshly painted walls and rich hardwood floors, CBD has created a very appropriate backdrop for its collection.

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In a market that’s largely dominated by major mass-producers of merchandise, it’s refreshing to see the emergence of new independent retailers promoting unique items that aren’t found on other stores’ shelves.

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Filed under Boutiques, Events

Fast fashion meets home décor

Canadians may know Zara best for its clothing, but the retail chain is showing off another one of its specialties: home furnishings.

Zara Home, a sister chain to the international fast-fashion retailer owned by Spain’s Inditex Group, has opened its first GTA store at Yorkdale Shopping Centre.Zara Home Bedding

The store carries such home décor items as rugs, throws, lighting, drapes and bedding, in bright colours, unique textures and trendy patterns designed to spruce up any space.

Similar to the brand’s clothing line, the home furnishing collections include a combination of neutral basics, such as white wooden picture frames and simple glass stemware, and bold statement pieces, along the lines of red patent leather throw cushions, mirrors embellished with third-dimensional silver snakes and skull-shaped candle holders.

Zara Home TableclothAnd, as Zara shoppers would expect, the prices are very reasonable.

Given how eagerly Canadian shoppers embraced the arrival of Zara several years ago, I suspect Zara Home will have no trouble attracting consumers in this country.

With residential construction showing few signs of slowing in Toronto, in particular, the home furnishing market is poised to continue benefitting from plenty of local demand. So, Zara picked a good city for the brand’s new home.

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Filed under Fashion, Shopping Hubs

Timothy Oulton brings British flare to King Street

A trendy new kid has arrived on Toronto’s home furnishing block.

British furniture brand Timothy Oulton recently launched its first three Canadian locations, including one in Toronto’s King Street East Design District. The other galleries are located in Victoria and Montreal.

The brand specializes in vintage-style handcrafted furniture with distinct British flare, such as curtains and cushions adorned with the Union Jack, historical-looking trunks, and classic chesterfields constructed with gently distressed leathers.

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Timothy Oulton’s “Beat Generation” room concept

Every item the company sells is handmade, and many incorporate old, repurposed materials. “Pieces are designed to celebrate the history of the materials,” the company explains, “and to give them a second life.”

This philosophy is certainly reflected in many of the items in Timothy Oulton’s collections. Encompassing rich colours and whimsical details, the furnishings are visually striking and full of character, but also practical.

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Timothy Oulton’s “Metro” room concept

The brand is named after its founder and creative director, who also runs the furniture company that owns the brand, Halo Group, alongside his brother Charlie. The pair learned about the furniture business from their father, Major Philip Oulton, who founded the company in 1976, when it was known as Halo Antiques.

Timothy Oulton's Loft Living Room Concept

Timothy Oulton’s “Loft Living Room” concept

Timothy Oulton’s expansion into Canada comes as the brand has expanded aggressively into international markets in recent years. In the past year, it has opened galleries in Sydney, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Singapore, among other global cities.

The brand now has 35 locations around the world.

The Toronto gallery is located at UpCountry – a large showroom that carries the collections from various designers, at 310 King Street East, near Parliament. The new Timothy Oulton space features various furniture collections spanning 2,700 square feet of space.

Even if you’re not in the market for a new table or ottoman, Timothy Oulton – and, for that matter, many stores in Toronto’s Design District – are worth visiting for simply a glimpse of the artistic creations and comprehensive decorative displays that are showcased within.

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Bed, bath and way, way beyond

When I heard that downtown Toronto was getting a Bed Bath & Beyond location, I imagined something considerably smaller than the giant big box stores in the suburbs of the GTA. Surely, I thought, there won’t be space for the dozens of aisles of duvet covers, kitchen utensils, vacuum cleaners, juicers and many, many other products spread out through the American home furnishing chain’s large stores.

The entrance to the store, inside the Aura tower.

But wow, was I wrong. It turns out the new store, located on Yonge Street near College, is actually 60% larger than most of the retailer’s stores.

The Bed Bath & Beyond store is located on the second floor of the new Aura condo tower at College Park, at 382 Yonge St. Even though the condo tower is still under construction – and will be for the foreseeable future – the base of the tower is complete, and so Bed Bath & Beyond has managed to open the new Canadian flagship store just in time for the holiday season.

Upon first glance, the store doesn’t seem too large, since only a small section is visible from the entranceway. But the vast scope of the store quickly becomes clear as you navigate the maze of sections, with no exit in sight.

The store carries essentially everything you could ever want for your home: cookware, kitchen tools, dinnerware, glassware, cleaning supplies, curtains, towels, bathroom accessories, light fixtures, wall décor, bedding, storage solutions, and much more. It’s also the first of the chain’s 33 Canadian locations to carry luggage – an item that’s generated strong sales in the company’s U.S. stores.

While the selection can be overwhemling, the store’s staff make it easy to navigate. During my first visit to the store, I must have been greeted by nearly a dozen friendly staff members scattered throughout the store to help customers find what they’re looking for.

Wedding and gift registries are big business for the retailer, and the new store makes it clear that the company is investing serious resources into this area. A large section of the store is devoted to this side of the business, and there are enough registry scanners for more than a dozen brides-to-be to simultaneously compile their registries. (Look out, The Bay – Bed Bath & Beyond looks poised to make major inroads in this area!)

The wedding and gift registry section in the new store.

With home furnishing retailers generally easier to find in the suburbs than the downtown core, I was thrilled to see one open its doors in an urban, subway-accessible location – and even more thrilled to see the exensive selection inside. It means condo-dwellers no longer have to venture outside of the city for a decent selection of household staples, and for the benefit of those of us without wheels, the store even offers same-day home delivery.

The store is now open, so next time you need a spatula, hand towel or blender, be sure to check it out!

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Filed under Department Stores & Big Boxes