Thursday, April 24, 2014

Belgian Linen Slipcovered Furniture (Restoration Hardware style)

{our living room sofa}

Buying grown-up furniture has been on the "once we're in the new house..." list for about seven years.  We moved into our new (empty) house in July 2013 and by November it was time.  We needed a sectional for the den as well as sofas, chairs and ottomans to dampen the echo.

For years, I've been carrying around tear sheets of Restoration Hardware Style / Belgian linen slipcovered sofas.  And since our den (photo above) was literally designed and built to have a sectional placed under the window, that was the piece I started with.

I visited the lovely furniture shops in our town and surrounding area.  I showed them my inspiration photos and looked at catalogue after catalogue.   Many of them offered set modules to build with but didn't offer customization of sizing and details like pillows, skirting and filling.

So I decided to stop beating around the bush and go to the source:  Restoration Hardware.  Excited to make the day trip to midtown Toronto (a rare occurrence), I was ready to see row upon row of favourites from my dogeared RH catalogue.  I was ready to find the perfect sectional.

Boy, was I disappointed.  The showroom had a minimum of pieces on display in dim lighting (for effect?).  Since there weren't any sectionals on the floor, the salesperson showed me my options on their website using an iPad...  Long story short, RH was not our answer in the sofa department:  we couldn't get the width/length we needed and their furniture prices in Canada are higher than I was willing to spend.  (I will, however, continue to buy certain items from RH such as shower curtains that I've been very happy with.)

{fabric samples from our supplier}

From there, Josh started digging around.  He has the Midas touch when it comes to working a deal so it wasn't long before he found a custom furniture manufacturer in California that was interested in selling directly, as long as we placed a wholesale size order.  Their pieces are 'bench made', meaning each piece is made by one person.  They specialize in custom orders so we were able to look at their basic pieces and design from there.  We chose 40 fabric samples (from their selection of 300+) to have couriered to us (photo above).  There were loads of Belgian linens to chose from!

The design/fabrication/shipping process took about four months, with the shipping container stuck in customs for a large portion of that time.  It was a fun day with the truck finally arrived:

{Receiving the truck load} 

We loaded it all into our living room:

And then started to move it around the house.  The living room sofa:

Living room chairs (old furniture in background - nowhere to put it until basement is finished!:

Had to get one of these leather club chairs:

For the girls' room:

We also had our photographer friend take some photos of the new furniture just in case we need some clean photos in the future.  I've shared some of them below.  Just what we need, another business.  Right?