Furniture from Home with Jane Lockhart by Laurie Wallace-Lynch
“Oh Canada” is the trend in furniture, including a new collection by Toronto designer, Jane Lockhart
Renowned designer, Jane Lockhart, is singing the praises of Made in Canada when it comes to her new furniture collection by Canadian manufacturer Statum Designs, Jane by Jane Lockhart. It appears she’s not alone.
“There has been a noticeable shift and a trend toward buying Canadian furniture,” says Linda Kafka, director of marketing for Source of Furniture and Accessories (SOFA), Canada’s premiere design centre for industry professionals, located at the International Centre in Mississauga.
“Made in Canada signs are being proudly displayed by manufacturers. Two thirds of our showrooms feature Canadian-made furniture and customers are coming in asking for quality Canadian-made items.”
SOFA is a designer’s paradise with 200,000 square feet of display space including 36 permanent showrooms, where trade professionals can shop for the latest in furniture, appliances, lighting and décor elements from around the world.
“We are a one-stop design centre for stagers, interior designers, decorators and architects, with a database of 3,000 industry professionals,” says Linda. “We are open to the public Tuesday to Thursday and designers can bring in their clients to show them the world of possibilities. Consumers get a chance to see that rug, try out an appliance, or feel a fabric swatch before they decide to buy.”
It was at a SOFA event last January that Jane unveiled eight additional collections to her 2012 series, a collaboration with Statum Designs Inc. and distributor Korson Furniture. Aside from the fabric, the furniture is Canadian made.
“I’ve been designing furniture for almost 20 years for my own clients and I’ve learned what stands up and what doesn’t,” explains Jane. “I wanted a line of fun, yet functional furniture, but I couldn’t find suitable pieces in the market, so I started having them made. I want to offer my clients pieces that are Canadian made with an attention to detail and quality.”
Jane explains her inspiration behind the new collection; “I am a silver-screen movie buff and I love old comedy and jazz films. The Harlow sofa was inspired by the sexy interiors of the 30’s and 40’s. Its style is ideal for an open-concept family room where you want your sofa to be functional yet casual without looking sloppy. The Eastwood has clean, modern lines but is a transitional piece with a good all-around nature. I wanted each of my collections to have their own unique personality with each individual piece having its own unique details.”
Some of those details include tufting, the use of striking nail heads, lushly-textured fabrics, clean traditional lines and cushions filled with high-density foam for a fuller, firmer chair cushion. After selecting styles, customers can select fabrics from Jane’s signature mood boards, along with finishes and foam density. There are over 200 fabrics to choose from and customized pieces ship in four to six weeks.
“Although the trend is for retailers to show more colour in furniture, people still buy beige,” laughs Jane. “We chose a palette of neutrals including cream, gold, navy, grey and black, along with some jewel tones like forest green and garnet. I want to make the process simple. Customers can stick to just one colour palette or can incorporate fabrics from two or more palettes. Mixing two fabrics on dining room chairs is very popular right now. I use blends of natural and synthetic fibres, which stand up to a good amount of abuse, and like your favourite jeans that have a bit of stretch, they always look good and will stand the test of time.”
Jane tested several pieces of her furniture in her own home, including the Harlow ottoman and the Crawford sectional.
“I like a couch you can sink into, that’s super comfortable and will always look neat and tidy,” says Jane. “Furniture should be multifunctional. We’re seeing the slow demise of the living room and customers want their family rooms to look as attractive as their formal living room. It’s all about lifestyle. Furniture must look beautiful and the fabric and details should evoke luxury and timeless elegance but not be so formal that you and your guests are afraid to sit on it.”
Jane by Jane Lockhart furniture is available at several retailers in Toronto and the GTA including The Lifestyle Shop and Sears Home at The Eaton Centre. For a complete list of Canadian retailers, visit the website at janelockhart.com. For information on SOFA, visit sofa.com.