Friday, March 30, 2012

How it's Made

For todays post I thought I would do a little designer take on How It's Made.  All the steps that go into the making of a custom sofa ordered from Moving Designz.  Ever wonder where your custom sofa comes from?  I bet you haven't.  I didn't either until I became a shop owner.  

We've all seen the show or flicked by it on the Discovery Channel seeing how numerous things are  made. If or should I say when I actually have the tv time I'll usually stop at that channel and watch because I'm curious.  I want to know.  I want to share how Canadian made sofas and chairs are constructed and all the steps in between. 

In early March I was in Toronto for The Heart and Stroke Foundation's Heart Truth Fashion Show.

 It was an amazing evening full of gorgeous "famous" people and beautiful red dresses bringing awareness to a very important health concern that will affect us or our families. 

I did the logical thing and combined personal time with business.

While I was in Toronto I visited one of our sofa manufacturers to find out first hand how our custom sofas are made and to order new styles for the shop.  Our sofa manufacturer is Statum Designs.  Visit them at
   Are you curious like me?  How does your sofa get built? 

The first step is the designers vision and artist's rendering of the sofas and chairs. 

I took these photos directly from the walls surrounding the area where sofa patterns are made.  This is the starting point on how each and every sofa and chair frame will be constructed.

Once the building process is figured out,  a pattern of stiff cardboard outlining the wood pieces and how they will fit together is made, numbered and named for each piece. 
It's just like a jigsaw puzzle  waiting to be put together.  These pieces will form the frames that our manufacturer will use to produce into sofas and chairs that we sell.

Based on the above patterns the chairs and sofa frames are constructed out of select hardwood for lasting durability.  May I just say this facility is huge with endless frames just waiting to be finished.

No sag springs will be added to the frames creating sturdy long lasting sofas and/or chairs.

An assembly line of chairs just waiting to be finished in beautiful custom fabrics.

Fabrics custom options chosen by us and other dealers are allocated to the sofas and chairs.  We have hundreds of samples on hand at the shop to coordinate with any room, taste or budget.

The instock fabric wall.  Bolts and bolts of fabric just waiting for the next step.

Directly beyond all the fabrics is the cutting table.  This is where the fabric is cut out for the individual sofas and chairs.

Next up the sewing table.  They sew every piece that will make the cushion covers.

After visiting the sewing department I enter upholstering area with it's mountains of foam and filler.  This is where the fabrics and finishing details get applied.

Each and every piece is hand finished by professionals who know their craft.

A little further along and I get to see some of the finished sofas.

At this point the sofas and chairs are inspected for quality control.

They have a sign for the area where all the sofas and chairs end up after the quality control check.

Once all the sofas and chairs are approved they get wrapped in cardboard first and then thick plastic packaging to protect them during shipping. 
The end... well almost. 
Are you curious about what I bought for the shop?



Style 2114


Style 2122

Style 2105

Style 2801
  A most beautiful collection for the shop.  I can't wait until they all come arrive in April!

Thanks for reading.  Have a great weekend!

Monday, March 12, 2012

A Quick Makeover

Recently I had the opportunity to work with a client who brought back the most amazing wood furniture from her travels living in Indonesia.  After moving back to Canada and into a new house she wanted some help with her guest bedroom which was located in the basement.  We completed the project last week.

The room was sitting empty except for this beautiful king size four poster bed and the accompanying furniture which is all baliese in style. 
Her request was simply to make this a room that my guests will love to sleep in.
"I would really like them to feel like they are in a luxurious hotel suite".

For a little inspiration I looked to this luxury hotel in Bali.  The resort is The Matahari Beach Resort and Spa.  The hotel rate starts at $312 USD for a garden suite, breakfast not included.

As a jumping off point for the colour scheme I choose to work with the green tones in her area rug at the foot of the bed.   The rug is a gorgeous silk and worthy of inspiration.  Primarily a deep forest green I chose to go with it and use softer tones of green  Afterall forest green is so yesterday... way yesterday.  Except for green gemstones, they are always in style.
 And the kitty cat is a lovely snowfooted siamese, adorable.

Design Challenge 1.  A single window with a view of a basement water well catcher aka No View.  And then I noted an electric heat radiator below the window.  This meant no floor length draperies due to the fire hazard risk. 
If I can not do drapes to floor length I do not do them.  Period.  No exceptions.

I decided that a hobbled style roman shade would work as a window treatment.  This would add texture, colour and hide the view.
  And then I thought... what if I had two of them made for either side of the bed faking a second window and creating symmetry. I had to double check the spelling of symmetry and while I was at it thought I would share the definition;
Symmetry; balanced proportions; also: beauty of form arising from balanced proportions

Design Challenge 2. Situated in the basement I had to make this room feel chic and cozy.

The finished room. 
A beautiful sheer treatment on the head of the bed, over the bed and then draping softly to the sides adds softness and a feeling of luxury.  As you can see with the window treatments mirroring each other on both sides of the bed we tricked the eye into thinking there are 2 windows.  This is something you can do if faced with a similar situation.

We topped the bed with a cream duvet cover set, added new side lamps and a coordinated toss cushion.

I hope her guests enjoy staying in this new bedroom suite.  On my personal bucket list a 3 week or more vacay to Bali.  I am inspired.

Thanks for reading.  Have a great week.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Where pretty stuff comes from

For todays post I am inspired to post on all the new arrivals at Moving Designz Home & Cottage. 

 Myself and Anita recently attended our spring buying show in January.  The goods are coming in on a daily basis.  It's very exciting as you tend to forget what you have bought and then cross your fingers that your orders will be filled.  It takes major planning to bring a store together and alot of hard work to lay out a new merchandising plan but we love every minute of it.
  Pretty colourful things always inspire us.... spring is on the way!

When new merchandise arrives it is like Christmas except there are no pretty boxes or decorative ribbons to unwrap.  This is a typical shot of one corner of the storeroom.  Plain brown cardboard boxes and boxes and more boxes just waiting to be opened, unpacked, checked off the shipping list, priced and then displayed.

The best part of this task (and there is alot of work and time involved) is being pleasantly surprised at what comes out of the boxes.  Typically theres alot of ohhhh look, "how pretty" "oh love it" "come see" going on.  The worst part is shipping damages which inevidentably occur.  Not only does it mean you're not going to get what you paid for but you have already paid freight and... it means more paperwork.  Luckily so far we have only had minimal issues.

As it turned out our first shipment included items for our personal accessory section aka the "girlie section".  Scarves and pashimas in springs prettiest colours and patterns.  Polka dot heaven :)

Bling-a-licious. Expandable bracelets to add sparkle to any outfit.  A steal at
only $5.99, a great BFF or gift to self gift! 
And this just in as I look more carefully at the price card ... Anita's internal spell check is broken again - see wrong spelling above.  Note to self:  correct tomorrow, have chuckle :)

Next up, these pretty hand towels embroidered in fresh spring colours.  

This year we decided to bring in these brightly coloured indoor/ourdoor designer graphic fabrics to purchase by the yardage.  What can you do with a yard of fabric?  If you sew yourself or want custom made, think table runners, placemats, napkins, or toss cushions in the colour and pattern of your choice. 

Speaking of toss cushions...

The colour of the year is tangerine according to Pantones colour experts.  I couldn't resist it either, I've always loved orange.  I also think coral is a big trend.  See artwork, whiteware  and coral motif on fabric in image.  Pun intended.

More coral motifs.  Is navy the new black?  Perhaps...
In my world I still absolutely love the classic combination of navy and yellow.  Cushion covers $28.99 and feather down inserts $17.50.

I recently received my copy of this months Canadian House and Home Magazine... hmmm this picture looks vaguely familiar.

Moving Designz shop version.  Spring 2012 room vignette.
It actually makes me feel pretty good when we've already put together a look and then open a magazine and see we're right on trend, with subtle changes.  It's funny how design works sometimes.  However, I don't feel there is anything old about this look. 

Still very much in love with white.  We have lots of lovely white accessories and whiteware to mix up with colourful accents.

Soft chenille throws to add accent colour.

Our shop display window.  A lovely white laquered console table, pretty turquoise gourd shaped ceramic accent lamps paired with orange and silver polar bear figurines.  Love it all! 

We're still very much in love with turquoise.  We hope you are too
... and birds.  We love birds!

A lovely little flock of mercury glass robins.  We have them in blue, sea green and gold.

 "Song Birds"

Liking the whimsy of silver owls.  What a hoot!

The bedding section.  Pairing lots of colour together.  Why not dress you bed with lots of colour, texture and pattern?

Frames for those special memories and moments in soft colours.  White, blue and yellow
laquered frames to fit 4 X 4 and 4 X 6 photos.

For our customers who want a more muted up-country look this sofa with it's classic lines is currently on sale.  In this vignette old is the new "new" with this contemporary rustic cocktail table.  Solid wood top on a distressed iron base.

On the other side of this room vignette we paired up a classic armchair with a colourful embroidered toss cushion. 

Close up of this gorgeous toss cushion.  Orange, green, yellow, cream, purple and teal blue.  It's a great accent cushion.

Since I showed a close up of the pillow I thought it appropriate to show the ceramic inspirational spheres.  The wording on them carries lovely messages "smile" "cherish" "give"

We're close to the end of unpacking, just a few more things to share.

A new fabic book from Kravet.

Orange and silver cubes.    

Cream ceramic flower power platters.

A couple of artwork canvases still to open.

And inside the wrapping this very pretty extra large picture.  Window box with fuschia pink petunias.
Since there are two I think one must come home with me :)

At the end of the week, the leftovers.  This is a small portion of the empty and broken down cardboard boxes waiting for pick up and recycling.

This is my first post of 2012.  I hope you enjoyed a glimpse of the shop. 

Over the past 12 months I've been super busy getting the shop established running here in Charlottetown after moving from Summerside.  I have found writing and posting to the blog hard to find the time for on top of everything else.  I love writing and sharing and will be posting much more often. 

Besides running the shop I had many projects on the go over the past year.  I've been taking pictures and have lots of inspiration to share.  Recently we relaunched the Moving Designz website.

I have been posting more regularly to our facebook site you can visit and like us at our facebook site
Moving Designz Home and Cottage

I've love to hear from you!

Thanks for reading.  Have a great week!