Gautier is the latest addition to Toronto's fancy furniture row, otherwise known as King East . The new shop hosts the designs of a 50-year-old French brand that, despite the going rate at Chinese factories these days, still believes in producing all their goods at home in France. Everything, that is, except the Belgium-made couches--but those really aren't all that great. So everything worth buying here is made in France, and that's what counts.
The store is laid out as most furniture stores are, in a maze of this-could-be-your-room setups. Their furniture has strong, clean lines, and a light quality to it. They're masters of unique asymmetrical pieces that can be customized to fit into any nook or cranny of a pressed-for-space condo.
Grow up, get married, and skip town to the 905? No problem, Gautier furniture can expand with their clients' wallets. Like building blocks, most pieces easily connect to add-ons like mirrors and extra shelving. Adjustable, multipurpose, and stackable is the mot du jour. At just over $3,500 for a bed and almost $8,000 for some of their signature customizable storage systems, this could be the most expensive Lego set ever.
One of Gautier's big pieces is their "open wardrobe." It's best described as an open-faced closet that lines the wall of a room, with no doors or anything to hide behind. Potential owners of this sort of storage space would have to be much braver and neater creatures than I.
Where Gautier really shines is their kids' collections, which makes sense, because they were originally just a children's furniture company. Their pieces are simple and customizable (seems to be the reoccurring selling point here) based on how many children need to be accommodated and their age. No rocket ship or Cinderella's pumpkin beds here, and thank God for that, because the world can't take another generation of millennial-esque entitlement issues. The closest this place comes in with is an old-school playhouse bed that's more secret treehouse than personal themepark.
One of the best things I saw? A bunk bed set with a LED-lit staircase to prevent little ones from taking a nasty tumble in the dark. For the older set, there's furniture with transparent panels, in which kids can display their own artwork, photos, awkward love letters, whatever.
Gautier is ideal for those with kids, some money to spend, and/or pressing storage problems. They're open seven days a week, hours vary.
Photos by Morris Lum