Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Configuration, configuration, configuration.

When designing small-scale interiors there is no room for compromise. In order to maximize the potential of available square footage, configurability in furniture selection is the key to achieving the functionality and comfort we associate with larger spaces.
For years, condo dwellers in Toronto have been stuck choosing pieces that are less than a perfect fit. Now, casalife is solving this problem with innovative and ultimately flexible designs. New products on the market are multi-functional and adaptable for unique and individual spaces, allowing the consumer to customize, not compromise. 

To demonstrate this concept, casalife has incorporated a wide variety of products in the Liberty Village showroom that flaunt the latest trends in configurability, a term that is becoming the ‘new black’ in small space design. casalife’s goal is to educate visitors, and showcase that key pieces can allow small spaces to live up to their full potential.

Key ‘configurable’ pieces that can been seen at this years show include:  Savvy, Semblance, Iso, and Fusion. Each piece has a different function that will educate visitors on how to shop smart for furniture that makes the most of every inch.

Savvy, a stunning white lacquer dresser with a built in desk, is designed so it can easily be extended from 49 inches to 76 inches. The design is an example of ‘instant configurability’. It can be used as a dresser, desk or both, and allows the user to double up on space. Savvy can be made bigger or smaller depending on daily needs or the physical restrictions of your space.

Semblance, a modular system that quadruples as an office, storage solution, dining table and media unit, is perfect example of ‘endless configurability’. It will fit in a room of any size by selecting the components that best fit the space. Drawers, desktop surfaces and shelving are just some of the pieces that can be re-organized and configured as necessary. Semblance’s vertical storage saves valuable floor space.

Iso, a swivel chair, has been artfully designed so that it can be folded out into a lounger or fully extended into a single bed.

Fusion, a fresh take on a traditional dining table, easily transforms into a billiards table, essentially allowing two rooms to exist in one space. Fusion’s ingenious design is sleek and sophisticated, perfect for condo dwellers that love to entertain but may be short on space.
Configurability does not need to be complicated. The goal is smarter design and even smarter spending. The research behind product development is the key factor in what makes the configurability trend different. casalife’s Robert Whitfield says, “Quite often, the dialogue that starts with visitors at the show results in products that end up on our showroom floor. We start to see trends in what the public is looking for. When we get enough requests, we take the steps to find or build the product in order to respond to that demand.”

Configurable furniture does more than just save space, it adds value, and that is smart design. By selecting pieces with multiple functions that maximize space, the urban dweller can achieve everything they want in minimal square feet, and that is design without compromise.

In addition to offering lessons on maximizing space and making smart design choices, the interior design team at casalife showcase current industry trends. For example, ‘Organic Neutrals’ explores integrating organic elements and textures with crisp whites and neutrals to bring warmth into the space, while,  ‘Boutique Chic’, is a trend that features tailored details, tufting, mirrored accents and contrasting colours to give the home interior a look that was inspired from a chic boutique hotel.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


2009 has been busy and I want to thank everyone who came out to see us at IDS and the National Home Show. Planning and designing for these shows takes months of work and involves our entire team. We’re very hands on and both design and build the booth ourselves.

Designing is a part of my job that I really enjoy and you can expect to see more designs from me showing up at casalife this year.

The Bokara Wall System I most recently designed was featured at IDS and the National Home Show. Below are the details about the Bokara and a rendering of it. Tell me what you think.

Deeper than a typical wall unit at 20 inches the Bokara system is totally customizable and includes a desk with built in filing drawers and closed storage.

Some day people may need to transition from high loft ceilings and condo space to homes with more space and less height and I wanted a piece of furniture that could work for both and move with them. I researched the market and there didn't appear to be anything else like Bokara. Tastes and needs are unique and I wanted to offer our customers something that would be flexible enough to reflect their individual lifestyle.

casalife blog

Rob Whitfield here from casalife

So we're started an interactive blog to keep everyone informed on what's happening... in our store, out at events and behind the scenes.

We'd appreciate your feedback on new products we're developing and events we're planning so I'll try to get some of this up as soon as I can.

Also, some people have started to ask us about how-to create some of the design elements we develop for shows. So from time to time we'll post those pics and instructions here. And periodically the media ask us to comment on small space design and multi-functional furniture and if you're interested we can keep you in the loop about what we say and where it is being said.

I'm also constantly travelling and searching for new pieces of furniture that will maximize space and look great. When I find something new I think you might want to see I'll post it here and I'd appreciate if you told me what you think. Same goes for furniture I design available exclusively at casalife. I'm constantly developing new concepts and have renderings that I'd like to share for feedback.

I'd like to hear from you... as you are the people we design and shop for.