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January 20, 2005

Fine Furnishings

Form and function combine in your condo’s dining room

Sherry Hume

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Furnishing your new home can be a very enjoyable and rewarding endeavour. Many new homeowners already have a general idea of what they want their living space to look like, however, if it’s a condo that’s being furnished there may be some other considerations. Sometimes size and room dimensions factor in a little more when choosing furniture for a condo. Although this may be the case, there are numerous choices available when it comes to home furnishings. When deciding what furniture would be perfect for each room, the dining room can often provide the toughest challenge. Huge awe-inspiring tables and massive hutches, although quite attractive, are not likely to fit or be as visually appealing in a smaller space. But not to worry, there are beautiful options available just the same.

Al Sajan, Sales Representative with the Seven Sevens Corporation, knows all about furnishing condos. He says that when choosing furnishings for condo show suites he works with his interior designers. The designers go around town trying to find furniture that fits with the theme, and then they come back to Al with their ideas. They then all sit down together and decide what will work. “It’s a matter of targeting your audience,” says Sajan.

“If you’re looking to impress a younger consumer then you’d use trendier furnishings, more stainless steel and brushed chrome and such.” Not only will dining room furniture be needed, but accessories as well, and Al says that they like to shop at places like Pier 1 or Caban in Chinook Centre. Both companies have a wide assortment of dining room paraphernalia that is either functional or aesthetic, or in some cases both. These types of stores are great places to get ideas when it comes to deciding what your dining area will look like. After all, a dining room is more that just its furniture.

When asked if they take size into consideration when choosing dining room furniture, Al says not really. “Condo furniture is not necessarily smaller but usually there is nothing bulky. Contemporary and traditional dining room furniture are both available in very streamline styles nowadays.” Says Sajan. When looking for furniture, Al says that they like 4 Living Interiors, Ikea and Penthouse Fine Home Furnishings. Many people have heard of Ikea and Penthouse and know the type of furniture that they have to offer. 4 Living offers contemporary, clean-lined products that are multi-functional and Canadian-made. This company also offers consulting services, which allow much of their furniture to be reconfigured to fit in smaller spaces, while still maintaining the same styles and lines. Located at 1445 – 17th Avenue SW, 4 Living may be another store to check out if this is the type of furniture you think might compliment your living space.

Sometimes it’s not the size of a dining room that can be harder to work around, but the dimensions. Features like fireplaces or windows can greatly influence where and what type of furniture you choose. Not to worry however, even if you have some really unusual spaces to work with there are places that specifically offer pieces designed especially for these areas.

One such place is Modern Country Interiors. Located in Inglewood, this family-owned shop creates custom furniture to fit any floor plan. Nicky Suruk, a designer with the company says that they can work with customers to design and build furniture that will complement and even enhance any room. Furniture is made right at the family factory on Vancouver Island and then delivered to the customer. So no matter what space you’re dealing with you can bring the measurements in and their designers will work with you. As well as custom-made furniture, Modern Country offers a showroom with some of their more popular pieces such as drop-leaf tables, or the 42-inch round single pedestal table. Also available is their 36 x36  square inch dining room table or the 38 x 48 inch version. Even their 40-inch buffet and hutch is a little smaller than the traditional farmhouse style furnishings used in larger homes. Keep in mind, these quality wood furnishings can not only be customized but are available in a wide range of materials. Whether it’s pine, maple, walnut or alder that you find attractive, there’s something for almost everyone here. As well, there’s a huge selection of colours to choose from. This makes designing and decorating your dining room a lot more fun. If you’re not up to braving the elements right away, this company has a great website you can check out at http://www.moderncountryinteriors.com .

If you do plan to venture out in the cold, remember, no matter which company you choose to browse through, make sure you check out their store hours beforehand so you aren’t caught off guard. Furniture companies that are located in shopping malls have longer hours, but some of the boutiques or downtown stores have unusual hours of business and with Calgary’s latest weather trends you wouldn’t want to get left out in the cold. Keeping that in mind, our city has an abundance of home-furnishing stores and in some cases it’s best to see the furniture first-hand. However, if you aren’t sure what you want your dining room to look like you could always check out some condo showsuites to get some good ideas. After all, a lot of leg-work and brainstorming went in to creating visually pleasing living-spaces that would appeal to consumers. 

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