When Marnie Warman noticed there was furniture her store’s clients wanted that she couldn’t find, she decided there was only one thing to do: Design it herself.
“We found out there was a need in Canada for well-made, but also very well-priced designer furniture that has just the right look and just the right style but is also exceptional quality,” said the designer and owner of Burlington, Ont.’s Interior Design House, with more than 20 years design experience under her belt.
The other half of the “we” to whom she refers is Andrew Hood, an English expat designer Warman’s worked with for three years since meeting him through a mutual friend. Together, they form Warman Hood; The name of the new and first line of designer furniture manufactured by Weston, Ont.-based Future Fine Furniture.
The duo designed its line with a trio of tenets in mind — all pieces must be handmade, use Canadian products and be eco-friendly. “How furniture is constructed is just as important, if not moreso, than the style,” said Warman. “You want to buy a sofa that you know, in a year or two, is still going to have the same integrity, structurally, that it had the day you bought it. We mixed style with great quality with this line.”
Robert Infusino can attest to that quality. He’s the co-owner of Future Fine Furniture and said the materials used in a Warman Hood piece are of higher quality than most furniture.
“It’s bench-made, meaning one craftsman makes it on his own,” said Infusino. “The frames are all kiln-dried Canadian maple and everything is double-dowelled, glued, screwed and corner blocked.”
Once a frame is built, it’s filled with BioPlush foam; an environmentally friendly filling alternative Warman said ultimately lessens greenhouse emissions.
“It reduces our dependence on petrochemicals because it’s all soy-based,” she said. “It’s manufactured from a natural seed-based oil, like soybean, so it decreases our dependence on fossil fuels.”
Placing as much emphasis on a piece’s interior as its exterior is necessary, said Infusino, as he finds customers are inquiring more and more about the structure of the products they buy when they walk into furniture stores.
“Rather than buying blindly on price, they’re asking where it’s constructed and what it’s made of,” he said. “The consumer has probably become better educated because of the economic circumstances that the country is in, and feels returning back to Canadian-made goods would be a good idea for the future.”