When you own a home, the shopping will never end. Trust me.
You might consider it a fun experience or, you might rather clean the toilet with your toothbrush. 🙂
Now on home #3, my wife and I have had done a lot of research and shopping and have found some of the best places and best finds for everything that you need for your home.
Many clients ask me after closing where to find great furniture, contractors, finishins, supplies etc…so now I’m going to share our shopping secrets with you. Don’t forget to say Mark sent you!
(most of the suppliers have a live link to their websites – just click on the name if it’s green!)
Give me a call directly if you are looking for a contractor. I have a few good guys but it depends on what you need. I also have other trades but again, it depends on what you are looking for.
Selba Kitchens – Paula Murphy 416-967-3600
For a full range of kitchen styles and budgets, Paula is the one to go to.
ecoEnergy Government Retro Fit Grants
To get rebates and grants for your home improvements, be sure to check this out and have an energy audit done before you start any work!
Home Improvement Materials & Supplies
Flea Market Tiles at 1345 Morningside Rd. (416-822-1201)
A cozy little store with an extensive array of ceramic, glass, marble, granite and porcelain tiles that are surplus from home builders. Owner Tony DiMarco claims his prices are about half of those in tonier stores. But make sure you measure carefully, and pick up a few extra tiles, because there’s no guarantee you’ll ever find more of the same tile.
They sell good-quality used and surplus building materials and end of stock or trade show items at deeply discounted prices. Proceeds from the sales support the construction of Habitat houses in the community. It’s a bit of a mish-mash of stock, but if you’re planning any kind of renovation, check them out often. My wife just found an incredible chandelier from a tradeshow display – retails for $1500, got it for $225!!
Lee Valley Tools
So much more than tools! They offer an incredible selection of great quality cabinet hardware and things you never expected. Plus they are a tool junkie’s dream.
The usual suspects, Home Depot & Rona. My preference is Home Depot where the staff tend to be former trades people and know their stuff. From my experience I’m guessing Rona’s hiring base is the local high school. If you know what you need and just want to get in and out, don’t go crazy going to specialty stores. Just hit the big box.
Caplan’s Appliance Store
Check out their clearance centre!! We found a high-end dishwasher and got $400 off and there was a barely visible scratch on the side of the door. They also give decent discounts if you are buying an appliance package – i.e. everything for your kitchen – and they don’t have to be the same brands.
Sunrise Landscaping Building Supply
More personal service and assistance than the big-box places. The only plant matter they sell is sod but great for stonework, lumber etc.
Roman Bath Centre
Great and unique bath products, good prices. We went there first to make our fixture and porecelain selection for our reno then checked out TUBS.
They have a huge showroom just off the Queensway at their Etobicoke location. The other great thing is that they have at least 20 model suites set up so if you’re trying to get ideas first, check them out. They also have selections of tile and more product range than most places so you should be able to find everything you need.
Audio, Video & Sound
I have a a couple of guys but it’s by referral only so give me a call if you’re looking for a great deal on plasmas, lcd’s etc.
European Cleaners 905.686.2379
If you can, it’s well worth it to have them come in a clean your old place post-move and make sure your new place is spotless before you move in. Moving is stressful and busy enough without having to worry about mopping and cleaning two places (this is assuming that you were brought up right and taught to leave your home in the condition you would want it in for yourself!)
Healthy Home Carpet Care – Garvin 416.783.3434
Nicest guy and he can get stains out that you’d never think possible!
Paneless Perfection Window & Eaves Cleaning 416.779.7263
Junk Removal – John 416.792.8748
There are so many frachises but John is my guy. He’s reasonable and fast.
Staging & Decor
(this is all in the family 🙂
Decor – Heather Richards Interiors – (416) 706-0813
Staging & Home Organization – Kelly Richards Design – (416) 301-2862
Great for buying items that would not be ideal for shipping or that you want to see first as they organize by what’s available with your city.
Great for smaller items – just be careful about getting stung with delivery or duty if you are shopping from sellers in the U.S.
GH Johnston – 950 Dupont StToronto, 416-532-6700
Great, decent quality and a great art section at the back.
My wife loves EQ3 as they have innovative furniture with style but very affordable prices.
Au Lit Fine Linens Outlet at 2045 Yonge St. – 416-489-5245
Owned by mother/daughter duo Peggy Byron and Joanna Goodman. Tucked above and just south of Au Lit’s main storefront, the outlet is a great place to get high-end linens at up to 50 per cent off regular prices. It’s a good spot even just to get inspired about trends in colours and textures.
Somtimes you can luck out and get some great finds. We’ve bought great contemporary lamps for $99 that retail for $299. Other great buys include dishware, towels, mirrors and even area rugs.
A note on Ikea…
Ikea can be great for some things, not so great for others. Vanities, organizational solutions, accessories etc. Just try not to buy the truly recognizable things like lamps, billy bookcases etc. if you are doing quality finishes everywhere else. Also, be careful about supplies like faucets. We bought one for our condo and ended up having to spend more money on our plumber because it did not fit regular North American standards.
A lot of the time you spend on your home is involved in research and figuring out what you want. Here are our favorite places and things to browse for inspiration, product reviews and info.
Great for when you’re watching the channel and see something you like – they have shopping guides for most things shown on their programs.
Check out their extensive database of video clips for home tours. They are a great source for inspiration.
Home Builder Canada
This is an industry site but a great source of information for product reviews and manufacturers of all types of materials and supplies.
This is a UK publication…the brits may have a strange sense of humour but they have our favorite decor magazine. They brialliantly show how you can mix elements of traditional and contemporary and for a unique but lasting look – and they showcase a great mix of homes…grand and compact.
A higher-end view of the world of decor but with usability and comfort considered.
Whether you are in your dream home or just starting out, buy a photo album and cut out any pictures in magazines of rooms, furniture, elements or ideas that you really like. Put them in the album. Not only is this a great way to get to know your own style but when you are ready to buy or renovate, it’s a great reference point and guide to help in the decision making process.
If you are in a relationship then draw a line in the sand and decide who gets executive decision making powers. i.e. I get the final call on anything structural, anything in the basement and electrical. My wife gets the final call on decor, finishes and kitchen. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t play nice and consider what your partner wants. It just means you can ignore it afterwards if you choose and not argue about it 🙂
Everyone has their great place and finds. I’d love to hear yours and keep sharing so please comment below!
Who do you know who would enjoy this blog? Please forward it on or send me their email address and I’ll add them on.