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Design Stores

Forever Interiors

Posted by Sarah Kelsey / Posted on April 7, 2009

Store InteriorTrash is a subjective kind of thing. There are some people who think a broken, overused table is garbage. ("Some people" being me, a girl that nearly flunked shop class and couldn't transform a slab of wood into a teddy bear napkin holder.) And then there are those who see a discarded lamp and think "new cabinet." One person's trash can be another person's treasure (no matter how cliche that may sound).

Forever InteriorsThis becomes immediately apparent when I walk into Forever Interiors, a three-year-old furniture store in The Junction. Specializing in creative recycling, Martin Scott has made a recent living out of transforming salvaged furniture, reclaimed wood, discarded doors and floorboards into gorgeous pieces of art (it just so happens they also double as furniture).

FramesThere are ornate custom-designed cabinets (perfect as a chic booze storage option). One-of-a-kind tables, cut, sized and varnished specifically to your liking. Gorgeous vintage coat hooks made from wooden roof boards (a nice alternative to stale bathroom fixtures). And cool antique lamps and gothic-looking mirrors decorate the walls. Pricing varies depending on the level of customization you're looking for.

Hanging ChairsThe store's vibe is more art gallery than stuffy old furniture shop. Everything is well organized (even though, at first glance, the space can be a tad overwhelming; it's packed from floor to ceiling with soon-to-be-transformed finds). And walking through the store with Martin (as he points out his favourite pieces, explaining the story behind each as he goes), is more about exploring the store's treasures, than him giving you a sales pitch.

FishLike the kitchen table made exclusively out of discarded wood and metal from a now torn-down bowling alley. Or the light-mahogany coloured bench made from discarded side tables (brought to the store by one of several garbage collectors who regularly drop stuff off for Martin). Then there are the brightly coloured neon fish, piled on a table near the store's front door (they're made out of scrap pieces of wood and aluminum siding).

Stacked TablesMy favourite find? The amazing kitchen table built entirely from church pews that used to sit in the neighbouring Victorian Presbyterian Church (a building that is being revamped into artsy lofts). It's the kind of table you dream about serving a gourmet dinner on (and the kind you envision your friends exuding envy over). Now. If only I had an apartment space big enough to showcase all of these fabulous finds. Then, I'd be in business.

Bookcase and Dresser

Chandelier

Boards

Silver Duck

Bugs.jpg

Store Exterior

Writing and photos by Sarah Kelsey

Discussion

10 Comments

Christopher / April 10, 2009 at 09:33 am
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It's certainly a place I can see my mother, who's a big fan of woodworking and myself, the artsy farty type, spending hours in.
Katie / April 11, 2009 at 03:50 pm
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Prices? No? This piece, like most on this site, isn't thorough enough to let readers decide whether to visit the place being reviewed.
Jights replying to a comment from Katie / June 10, 2009 at 06:25 pm
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I agree Katie. It's so frustrating...
Mas / April 21, 2011 at 06:43 pm
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Forgive the length ... but this story is worth retelling.

I found this store on the internet. Was really impressed with the concept, the creativity and the actual pieces. I particularly liked two cabinets, called the store, spoke to Martin and told him what I was after, but they were already sold. We talked about him creating a similar piece for me, which he seemed open to.

I then made the trek downtown the next day, with my measurements and specs as agreed, to get an estimate for the cabinets. I just have one word to describe this encounter. WEIRD. The entire exchange was unprofessional, off-putting and strange. I was down-right baffled.

He proceeded to show me another piece. More than once I had to politely say that I wasn't interested, that I just needed an estimate for the cabinets we talked about. He hemmed and hawed, hesitated, answered text messages in the middle of our discussion and carried on conversations with his assistant. I just sat there. I felt like I was invisible. Seriously? I was looking around for a hidden "candid camera" crew.

I then insisted that he go to his own website/blog, so that we could look at the the pieces I had called about. After I told him my measurements, he said they wouldn't work because he made these out of doors, and that the doors were typically taller than what I was after. OK. So then I came right out and asked, "how much did those cabinets cost?" He said, $1800. I asked (to clarify), "for both"? He disapprovingly replied, "No, just for one".

Then I said I was a little surprised by the price and asked what was making it that costly -- considering this was built using reclaimed / used wood. He then explained that he had used these old ceiling tiles at the back of the cabinet. So then I asked for the cost without the tiles. He then said "Oh no, they are $200 extra, so the cabinets would actually be $2000 per unit with the tiles". At this point the soundtrack for the Twilight Zone TV series started playing in my head.

I pushed back ... "but you just said $1800" .... no use. Then I asked what if i just bought the doors (which was the only place on the cabinet that really has the treatment I liked anyway). I could get the actual cabinet pieces made separately (of interest, he had other doors on sale in his show room). He scoffed at the idea saying he made whole furniture, not pieces. I said thank you and walked out ... in a daze, wondering what class of drug he was using.

In short -- in addition to ignoring me and avoiding answering questions directly -- I felt he was just feeling me out to see how much I would pay. But Ieven if I liked his price, I probably would not have worked with him.

My threshold for idiots is super low.
Shawn replying to a comment from Katie / October 7, 2011 at 11:17 pm
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The prices are high. A small table (picture a coffee table on a diet) was $500 bucks... it was beautiful though. I thought it was going to be $175
t.dot replying to a comment from Mas / January 28, 2012 at 09:53 pm
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TOTALLY agree with Mas, this guy may be a master carpenter but is also a master of communication disorders and as such the worst salesman of the products that he should have the most intimate knowledge of.
Jacqueline / March 5, 2013 at 03:38 pm
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I agree with Mars. The price is ridiculous. I just bought a cabinet and hutch from Naked Furniture for the same price that guy wanted for used stuff. Naked furniture will give you the finish you want and it's solid wood.
Shabby Stores Chic Furniture / September 5, 2013 at 05:55 pm
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The combination of an amazing antique white dining desk with matching chairs is a fantastic
centrepiece for any French inspired property. Apply it around
your light fixtures, on plain rugs and pillows to coordinate the actual design of
the room. You don't want to put time in on decorating a fixture only to hang
it and find that you didn't get enough light from it.
With a range of intricate design and antique look one can
go for the one drawer louis style cabinet or a pair of white
bedside table so that, the room may seem to be welcoming and functional.
Accompanied by shabby chic mirrors, people were able to
give the desired classy look to their bedrooms.
Those that are in the middle are not best suited for this type of treatment and do not quite pop as much as the far ends of the spectrum once the process is done.
Next paint picture frames white or use coordinated accent colors, use some candles,
flowers, and pillows. Hardwood floors provide the perfect background for adding a rug
that blends in with the rest of the room.
A clever floor design could be used to emphasise a special feature such as an old couch, a favourite rocking horse or
a freestanding butcher's block. These subtle tones add style and
graciousness to the antique white that is the normal
color of shabby chic furniture.
Shabby Stores Chic Furniture / September 6, 2013 at 08:03 pm
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You might want to go so far as to transform your entire home into a cozy shabby chic cottage.
No doubt there are collectors of antique chandeliers who
will spend time and money sourcing them.
If you are amongst those perceptive furniture shoppers,
you are perhaps looking for the a few great stores that can satisfy your need fully with wide array of furniture
to suit any environment and life style. Also use an emulsion paint rather than gloss, the matt surface of emulsion paint
acts as a better "key" for following treatments.
Accompanied by shabby chic mirrors, people were able to give the
desired classy look to their bedrooms. If you do not happen to have a bar counter top, then dress up your kitchen table.
The Swedes are very much into recycling whatever they
have on hand. So don't be afraid to get creative,
and of course, have fun. To get the desired look think floral fabrics and combinations of stripes and checks in soft delicate colours.
Only certain segments of the furniture are sanded down to this level.
jumpingclouds / April 21, 2014 at 10:15 pm
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I am tired of hearing people say " but they are using reclaimed wood and materials therefore the cost of buying the piece should be low!" Seriously? what planet are you people on? The fact that the materials are antique and restored MEANS THE PRICE OF A BEAUTIFULLY MADE PIECE IS 100% JUSTIFIED! Perhaps if you can not understand that concept you should just go shop at Walmart or Ikea. Instead of paying $100 for a Chinese plastic table 8 times due to the fact that it is of such poor quality- you could have just supported a local Canadian made product and brand once AND IT WILL LAST.

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