Guest post by Keely Morandin, Furniture Bank’s Fundraising Associate & Muskoka native
I have learnt that there is something powerful about the way nature’s beauty can make you feel — looking out into a lakeside sunset can bring a sense of ease and clarity like no other, and in my opinion that sense of place extends into our homes and cottages. Whether it be a cottage or your urban patio, it’s crucial to make your “happy summer spot” a place that you truly love and are proud to call your own.
So, when it comes to scoping out furnishings for your cottage or patio try to keep it simple; buy pieces that make you feel relaxed and happy, and whenever possible try to support local businesses and help keep old gems out of the landfill.
Here are some of my favourite local stores, both from my neighbourhood in Toronto and in my hometown of Muskoka Lakes:
Forever Interiors is a Junction-based shop and a heaven for anyone who likes rustic and unique furnishings made from reclaimed wood. From one-of-a-kind wine racks to ladders, bookcases and hand-crafted benches made from church pews, you’re bound to find a piece that speaks to you. While this store is found on busy Dundas Street West, the furniture items and kind service you find inside will make you feel like you’ve been transported to cottage country.
When you first enter Simply Cottage store located in what used to be a factory in Bracebridge Ontario, you know you’ve landed in cottage paradise. Warm colours, layered textures and housewares that are hard to differentiate from art – I could spend hours in this place. Last time I was there hit the jackpot and found an abundance of old, quirky drawer handles which I have since used to personalized my ikea dresser – proving that small touches can go a long way.
Muskoka Habitat for Humanity Restore
If you’re more of a frugal do-it-yourself type, one fun thing to do is to refurbish old furniture and give it a new life. If you’re in cottage country for the season and want a project for rainy days, one option is to visit the Muskoka Habitat for Humanity Restore. There you can find some amazing old pieces in need of some love and creativity. It is also conveniently located next to the Muskoka Brewery.
If you have any more recommendations on stores to check out to purchase awesome cottage furniture, please share them with us in the comment section. And don’t forget, when it comes time for remodelling, if you’re in the GTA call Furniture Bank. We will help make sure your unwanted gently used items find a deserving and appreciative home.