Thursday, 11 February 2016

2016 Home Furnishing Trends

Designer, Kelli Ellis, recently attended the High Point Market -- the largest industry-only home furnishings trade show in the world. We asked Kelli to report back to us what she saw, and luckily, she graciously agreed to do so. From our 2016 Design Trends Issue of Beautiful Design Made Simple, Kelli speaks about the wide reaching trends that were highlighted during the market.
"... it appeared trends were all over the place for 2016. For me, that is a great thing because as designers and consumers we want what we like in our homes, not just trends. When we can hit on both though, it's a plus. Here's what I saw..."
1.Deep blue cabinetry via HGTV  2.Gold accents via RenewRedo  3.Mixed media acrylic chairs via Horchow  4.Dark accent wall, Lisa Petrole Photography via Houzz  5.Large-scale floral throw pillow via Etsy


Blue was a hit this market. I'm obsessed with dark teal blue, navy and any variation there of. From high gloss cabinetry to walls, I was in heaven with all the blue. Using it in several of my current projects, I was drawn to it, of course.


Of course, gold is still going strong. My rule of thumb is to not use one metallic exclusively, but mix within the room, so you have flexibility in your look. Showcased here in the Emporium home and Noir showroom. Copper and rose gold are popular too, but since they are more difficult to match, they will be less of a trend. Even some manufacturers that are notoriously colorful and bright, moved to some modern metallics.


As always acrylic is popular and always a show stopper (under the best lighting it is breathtaking!) The pairing of eye-popping velvet with acrylic traditional, was a stunner. Rustic woods, fur and subtle shine blend beautifully in the Bernhardt Showroom.


Seen in many of the showrooms like Noir, Berhardt, Emporium Home and Koket, black, navy and plum walls, set off the furnishings and lighting beautifully.


Not Granny's florals, but larger, over-scale beautiful florals with birds, keeps the perfect season in sight all-year-round.

 In closing, a message from Kelli to the readers of Beautiful Design Made Simple magazine:

kelliellis"Remember, trends come and go, so design with your heart in mind. Choose what you love first then find a unifying color to build upon. Designing your ultimate home can be less daunting when you do some homework and identify what styles make you smile. Happy Designing in 2016!"

Kelli Ellis, interior designer and lifelong traveler, represents the epitome of livable luxury and casual international style. Her celebrity and discerning clientele benefit from her extensive world travels, which bring pieces of exquisite furniture, dramatic artwork and unique accessories used to create thoughtful havens. Learn more about Kelli and her interior design work by visiting her website at

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Urban Collection Furniture By Trendline

Urban Living by Trend-Line

The new Urban Living consumer choice program by Trend-Line brings urban living to a whole new, attainable level.

We know that many consumers are constantly inspired by the latest trends as seen on HGTV, interior design magazines, Pinterest, favourite bloggers, and more. Many of those inspirations arise from the major markets like Toronto and New York. So much to the point that often the everyday consumer, no matter how much they love what they see, will often dismiss the inspiration as a far-reaching dream. With that in mind Trendline has addressed, in a meaningful way, home furnishings that adhere to those trends with their contemporary Urban Living program. The styles are fresh and on point for those of us looking to dress up our homes with a new style and feel.

They have selected contemporary frames that fit into a wide selection of modern styles. They have also included collections that come with multiple layout options to help maximize your square footage.

Design choices are great with arm selection options, leg options and a multitude of fabrics to choose from.

Crafted in Canada the program is built on quality along with selection. From the frame construction to the quality of the foam and springs built into the furniture.  The tailoring is impeccable and the fabric is made with advanced computer technology that achieves the best results in design and maintains a great pattern consistency.

View a sample of the Urban Collection by Trend-Line on Pinterest.

Tuesday, 29 December 2015

An Electric Fireplace for your Home?

When I go away to our cottage I am always amazed at how long I can sit by a fire and just stare endlessly at it, sometimes it's aided by a good beverage and the sound of an acoustic guitar but sometimes it's just the dark sky and the crackling of the fire. It's definitely a feeling we tried to duplicate in our home but with our busy schedules there wasn't going to be any wood chopping or the expense of installing a permanent gas fireplace so we turned to the electric fireplace. Granted it's imitated and not duplicated but nevertheless I still find it very enjoyable.

So what options do you have when it comes to electric fireplaces for your home?  Dimplex has solved many issues from space saving solutions to realistic flames and smoke effects.  They have created a variety of designs around the electric inserts to help incorporate the fireplace into a variety of room settings.

Show me visuals? Pinterest-Electric Fireplaces

Wall-mounted Fireplaces

A wall-mounted fireplace can add depth and can be a focal point in any sized room. The wall-mount will keep your room warm while at the same time, not take up any floor space in a cramped room. The benefit of an electric fireplace, especially in rentals and apartments, is the ease of installation – simply plug it in and you’ll be feeling the wall-mount’s warmth in no time!  Hung like a picture or with a little more planning it can be installed flush into the wall.

Mantel Fireplaces

A free standing mantel fireplace can provide the beauty of a built in fireplace and not take up as much floor space. The best part, without the need for vents or gas hook ups, it can be moved easily so you can make it the focal point of the room or create an ambiance off to the side. The great thing it’ll sure provide just as much heat! They’ll blend seamlessly into a rooms décor as they are offered in a variety of shapes, sizes and finishes, even corner options. 


Media Console Fireplaces

Another space saving option is to have the fireplace built right into the media console.  When the TV is on/off the fireplace adds a great coziness to the family room area.  Many options are available to fit all sizes of TVs and with cord management systems you can create a clean design for all your electronics.

Electric Stoves

For those with a more traditional desire there are some options in electric stoves. More suited for a small space these electric stoves are convenient in design with their size and you can easily move from room-to-room where the heat is needed most – all you need is a wall socket!  

Creating the realistic fire....

The manufacturers of electric fireplaces are always working on mimicking the real features of a fire. One of the latest technologies is called 'Opti-myst' by Dimplex. This is the most realistic technology I have seen. As the mist rises up through the plate, the light reflects against the water molecules creating a convincing illusion of flames and smoke. The Opti-Myst feature is available on free-standing pieces, an insert, or a wall-mount.  It's 100% safe with no emissions and cool flames.
DFI400R_CC_150dpi   BOF4068L_Front_150dpi

Friday, 18 September 2015

How to shop quality when buying leather furniture? A Retailers Perspective.

Truth? This article has a little bit of a hidden agenda in the fact we have just brought on the Natuzzi line of leather furniture in our showroom, maybe not so hidden now :)  However, it takes you through, in a simplified way, the process we use when researching what manufacturers we decide to carry in our showroom. We believe that quality needs to be synonymous with look and feel so when we research a line we go through the rigours of determining what a manufacturers offers to us and thus our customers.

Our latest objective was to bring another quality leather offering to our showroom with distinctive styles.
When shopping leather the language in it's simplest form is about 4 things: Top Grain Leather, Split Leather, Full Grain Leather and Corrected Grain Leather.  So right away we could eliminate any manufacturer offering 'Split Leather' in their line up. This leather is sometimes used on sides and backs of many manufacturers leather furniture, it serves a relevant purpose to bring cost down on such items but for our purposes it doesn't offer the quality product we are looking for.   

Probably the most confusing term thrown around by many sales associates is Top Grain leather, this simply means that the leather comes from the top portion of the hide, and does not mean it's the 'top' quality of leather. Having said that we definitely want the leather to be from the top portion of the hide so that's a good step one being Top Grain leather.

This is where the last two terms come in, 'Top Grain Leather' is further divided into Full Grain or Corrected Grain depending upon the quality of hides. To us it's important that a manufacturer offers both as this now plays into the lifestyle the furniture is going to live in.  Does it have lots of traffic with kids, grand kids, or even lots of entertaining, a corrected grain leather situation.  Or does your furniture call for beauty, comfort to be enjoyed by few, a full grain leather environment.

Although many manufacturers will offer both full grain and corrected grain this is where we found Natuzzi set itself a part from many of the other manufacturers.  They hand select their hides and put them through 23 different stages in the tannery process which results in two lines of leather.  A 'Natural' line which is soft, velvety and keeps the original characteristics of the hide such as grain, veining, and colour shades which makes each piece distinctive and the quality is very recognizable to the touch and sight.  The second line is called 'Protecta' which is the corrected grain, they use an invisible protective layer to preserve the beauty of the hide but the coating allows for a more daily use of the leather.  The looks are great like with the Natural line but the feel is quite different.

But remember do not stop at the hide when shopping leather be sure to ask about the frame construction and more importantly that they use a polyurethane foam padding in their seating areas.  You can often determine those things by asking about the warranty, manufacturers will only warranty what they believe will last and when we shop a manufacturer we research with others retailers their experience of the manufacturer holding true to their warranties.

So if you are in planning phase of a new furniture purchase, even if it's not leather that you are looking for, utilize Natuzzi for inspiration and enjoy their team of 120 designers, colour specialists and interior designers, the looks are certainly appealing.

Get a look at some of the selected styles we added to our Natuzzi showroom.