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Design Stores


Posted by James Buttivant / Posted on November 28, 2010

Calligaris TorontoCalligaris has recently opened a location in Toronto. Found on King East, it's a bright but tight showroom stocked with their signature chic Italian furniture and design. Most items are quite attractive to look at and when complimented by a strong emphasis on functionality, they are elegant, usable and fashion-forward enough to suit most tastes and aesthetics.

Calligaris TorontoBilled as user-friendly Modernism, Calligaris tries very hard to illustrate how to incorporate elegant and imaginative designs into any home and space. Pretty much everything in the showroom goes together, which makes shopping and my own amateur designing much easier. Almost any of their dining chairs could go with any of their dining tables, and the selection is varied enough that a dining set could become really personalized.

Calligaris TorontoFor example, the hard plastic "Wien," a black, coffee and white mid-back chair ($483), designed by Lucidi Pevere Design studio would be a great fit with the dark "Omnia" dining table for $3,378 that is big enough to sit ten comfortably. Or, the chairs could add a sense of sophistication to the cherry "Baron" dining table with brushed metal legs for $1,851. Many of the tables also come in a variety of extendable options depending on space or how many people typically come over for dinner.

Calligaris TorontoEach piece is 100% Italian design and handpicked for the Canadian market. Similar single-brand Calligaris stores exist in Rome, Miami and Lyon, France. Clearly many of the items on display have been chosen with an eye towards the condo dweller, so I was pleased that I didn't see a single oversized couch or any heavy bedroom furniture. Of course, Italian design has long moved far beyond the more traditional and antique styles and Calligaris has embraced this drive towards sleek and contemporary with gusto.

Calligaris TorontoI was really drawn to their collection of console and hall tables as I have a certain neglected spot in my own apartment that is just dying to be filled. I wasn't disappointed either as I had a multitude of options and styles to chose from. In the end I narrowed it down between the "New Romance" storage unit that was deep chocolate colour for $2,616, the white lacquer "Option" console table with metal base for $1,314 or the "Zenith" console with heavily frosted glass top and white legs for $813. Now I just need to save my pennies.

Calligaris TorontoBased out of Manzano, Italy, Calligaris has been around since 1923 and it's clear they know their stuff. Still owned and operated by the Calligaris family, they have over 7,000 products and sell in over 90 countries and work hard to demonstrate their passion for design and manufacturing.

Calligaris TorontoWhile the showroom on King Street is housed in a heritage building originally built by the Sovereign Bank of Canada in 1907, it has been stripped down to its rawest elements to allow the furniture to really pop. It's a beautiful space, but I actually wish it was larger - much larger. The difficulty is that at 5,000 sq. ft, it still isn't really enough space to showcase that everything Calligaris has to offer.

Calligaris TorontoCalligaris TorontoPhotos by Dennis Marciniak



Susan Hayes / October 15, 2012 at 04:08 pm
SHOPPING AT CALLIGARIS IS NOT WORTH THE RISK. I recently purchased a dining room set that arrived from Italy damaged and I am still fighting to get the Hyper dining room table repaired such that it will function properly. The customer service at Calligaris is terrible and because everything has to come all the way from Italy, I've been waiting months for replacement parts that have now arrived damaged 3 times. I bought the dining room set in June and I'm now told the parts will not come until December. They won't give me my money back and I feel very stuck. Don't take the risk - the customer service is deplorable.
Patsy Telpner / January 23, 2013 at 09:41 pm
I have had a Hyper dining table bought at an independent store now closed 6 years ago and it has been broken for the past three. I finally got it properly repaired thanks to Yana at Calligaris and her brilliant tech repair man.
I would never buy anything by Calligaris again. It may look great but the quality of structure is poor. Not only did I have to wait for someone who knew what they were doing, I had to pay for it. It also took months to get the part and it was missing the screws. I didn't expect the store to cover it but I expected that the manufacturer would stand behind their product. The extensions that slide out are built with plastic, the wrong screws were used and the whole thing stopped working.It is fixed now and hopefully will continue to work properly. But like the other comment not worth the trouble.
Steve / February 16, 2013 at 06:34 pm
Terrible Customer Service and overpriced...the staff is rude and arrogant! I was looking for a replacement part for a chair I purchased at ROOMY and they refused to help me. Some type of eurotrash manager and sales ppl!

Also, a wide range of the product is made in CHINA and they try to sell them as Italian made!
Hal Koller / November 1, 2013 at 01:37 am
Waited many months for table from Italy. Was expensive and the worst quality fit and finish on any piece of furniture I've seen. Because of reporting after 30 days, they couldn't do anything. Looks good from a distance and in the dark. Calligaris has a lot to learn about fit, finish, and customer service.
Nik / November 6, 2013 at 09:46 pm
Basically my whole living room and dining room is furnished by Calligaris which I bought at the same time. Spent well over $15,000 for the whole lot. I have to say I will never buy another piece of Callagaris furniture again! I would rate their quality just slightly above Ikea and at 5 times the price. You might as well buy Ikea!

And for their store in Toronto: I walked in there and tried to buy replacement covers for my $1500 lounge chairs. The material is faux leather (thats right $1500 for faux leather people. Yes i'm an idiot) and it is completely disintegrated after a few years. They refused to SELL me the covers because I didn't buy the chairs from them! Whatttttt!? They said it's not worth it for them to order it in. I tried emailing the company to see what I could do to get replacement covers. No response. Callagaris has single handedly ruined the reputation for quality that Made in Italy stands for. Lesson learned and it only cost me $15,000!
Dale Ploung / November 27, 2013 at 08:19 pm
Also have a Calligaris Hyper table. One end works fine, and the other end sags 1/2 inch. A $2,000 glass table should align!

A dare to Calligaris... try emailing me to earn respect. If you have a dead ear, you will have lost a customer!
Patsy Telpner replying to a comment from Patsy Telpner / April 26, 2014 at 04:52 pm
Update on comments from January 23, 2013 I returned to Calligaris today a year after my experience with the intention of only looking. We are now in the market for a new kitchen table and chairs. I dealt with Lara Himsl who was very helpful and lo and behold we bought a table and 4 chairs. They had exactly what we were looking for.
No moveable parts. I did tell her about my past experience and she acknowledged that the Hyper table is sensitive and there was a time that due to assembly line issue there was a problem but no longer. Since my table was fixed I have had no more issues. No longer upset and understand that these thing happen. I did not remember this negative post and I cannot remove it. So here is the update.
I was assured that my order will arrive in perfect condition and hassle free.
SM / June 12, 2014 at 11:54 am
My experience at Calligari's mirrors the ones described above. I bought several items including a decorative dish, cushions, and a wall clock. The wall clock was broken so I requested a refund on the wall clock the very same day since it reflected a poor quality product and never worked at all. The sales person initially offered store credit but then agreed on email to my refund request. Unfortunately when I went to the store with the clock the same weekend (with plans to buy other furniture items as well), she reneged saying refund is not a store policy. I questioned if selling broken items was store policy to which there was no response. Nor was there a response to my assertion that the only requirement from a clock is that it be in working order without which it has zero value. The sales person and the manager Yana refused to issue a refund and would only consider sending a refurbished clock or issue a store credit and took the clock back without issuing a refund. There was not a single apology rendered for selling a broken item. Had they at least suggested an exchange if I were to buy some other items and a store refund if not, I would have agreed. But that was not offered. I pointed to them that other stores with no refund policies agree that they would issue a refund if a product they sold was defective. After weeks of back and forth, I received a refurbished clock. They have lost a customer who was planning on spending a few thousand dollars on their furniture over a wall clock. I have dissuaded friends from ever shopping there. In today's days of competitive marketing, I am appalled that a store can, but more importantly, would want to behave with such little professionalism and such shocking customer service. I wish I had read the other blogs earlier and have avoided myself the aggravation of ever visiting the store.
Carl / September 22, 2014 at 11:36 am
I had only read positive reviews on Google before deciding to get an in home consultation from Calligaris. I’m glad I didn’t see these ones as it may have prevented me from shopping there and having what turned out to be a wonderful experience. This is a small team of design professionals that assisted us through the whole process, selecting finishes, verifying measurements and providing a floor plan so we could see how their pieces would work in our home. Yes the sofa and table took a while, as everything is made and ships from Italy but it was well worth the wait. Super pleased. Can't say enough good things about my experience.

jason parkins replying to a comment from Carl / January 25, 2015 at 03:10 pm
we are thinking of purchasing extendable dining table (prince ) and Chicago dining chairs . am worried after reading negative comments in this blog, how are your pieces holding up
Darlene / February 28, 2015 at 01:49 pm
I have the Manhattan chairs and would like to replace the seat covers. Do you sell them?

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