Shopping for furniture can be an arduous endeavor. It can sometimes take weeks or months to finally find that perfect piece you’ve been searching for. Beyond the time that it takes to search for the right pieces, furniture shopping is a constant act of juggling desires, expectations, and budget. After spending most weekends of my first three months in Toronto searching for pieces to fill my empty apartment, I finally understood the draw of Ikea. On top of unbeatable prices, the convenience of having everything you need in one place is truly a Godsend. The drawback however, is that Ikea doesn’t offer a huge range in variety, nor are they known for having exceptional quality.
For shoppers who wish to find pieces that speak more to their individualistic design needs, here are my top 5 home décor haunts in Toronto:
Located in the heart of the Queen West Design District, Design Republic is a regular destination for discerning furniture shoppers. Design Republic designs a large portion of their furniture, allowing customers to personally customize pieces to fit their needs based on size, colour, and style. Many of their designs are clean and modern, with a few vintage pieces thrown in. Their solid wood live edge tables are some of the highest quality pieces on the market. Prices are moderate to high, but these investment pieces will last forever.
Elte Market is a family-owned store that boasts a 40,000 sq. ft. warehouse in the Castlefield Design District close to the Junction. At Elte you’ll find everything you need to furnish your home, from couches, beds and rugs, to smaller accents like lamps and pillows. Pieces are geared towards the younger demographic, with product design focused on the urban homeowner and condo crowd. You’ll find a plethora of economically-designed space solutions such as mattresses with storage underneath or a scaled-down but proper size sofa. Prices are moderately priced with extensive variety for the pickiest of shoppers.
CB2 though not specific to Toronto, is a great stop nonetheless for furniture hunters. With a variety of modern pieces for every home style, CB2 caters to both the high-end and low-end shopper. New pieces are added each season for a delightfully eclectic mix of design options. CB2 is conveniently located next to Design Republic on Queen St. West.
Similar to CB2, EQ3 offers an eclectic mix of furniture and design pieces for a variety of home styles. Priced moderate to high, pieces from EQ3 are investment pieces that will add character to any room in your home. EQ3 has two locations in Toronto, one on King St. East in the Art & Design District, and the other in up and coming Liberty Village on Hanna Avenue.
I stumbled across this quaint boutique home décor store during a walk through the Junction. It is one of many boutique furniture stores in the neighbourhood but the only store that offered to make us coffee when we walked in! Made by Madrigal specializes in refurbished vintage antiques as well as made-to-order furnishings – many of the pieces are one of a kind. All of the pieces are lovingly refurbished to maintain its timeless charm but updated for contemporary culture.