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Design Stores

Klaus by Nienkamper

Posted by James Buttivant / Posted on December 10, 2010

Klaus by NienkamperKlaus by Nienkamper, on the east end of the design corridor along King East, is a chic, sophisticated showroom of modern furniture and hip design elements. The store feels like the kind of place where all the Dwell subscribers and decorators shop. Even if it's not in the budget to buy a high-end designer sofa, it sure is fun to look at them and dream.

Klaus by NienkamperTaking up multiple, but sometimes small levels, the store itself has kind of a fun history. According to the Klaus website, the showroom used to be a former grocery store constructed in 1845. Klaus Nienkamper, the founder, purchased the space in the 1960s, and a decade later the showroom was already a happening place for designers, architects and style mavens to shop, party and mingle.

Klaus by NienkamperMany of the pieces at Klaus are that solid mix of stylish and practical. I spent quite a bit of time admiring the Patricia Urquiola "Field" sofa ($18,850). The sofa is soft, modular, incredibly comfortable and sophisticated.

Klaus by NienkamperDownstairs at Klaus, I also had a lot of fun sitting on all the different benches, stools and side chairs. I get a kick out of the fact that so many different styles and designs can be created out of four (or three) legs. My favourite was the Tom Dixon off cut stool, created from irregular parts of discarded wood, available in natural ($355) or "fluoro" ($375).

Klaus by NienkamperKlaus boasts that they are Toronto's exclusive retailer for European manufacturers such as Artifort, e15, Moooi, Moroso, Tom Dixon and Daniel Libeskind - yes, the guy who designed the ROM extension. The showroom mixes and matches many of these pieces in a way that emphasizes how complimentary everything is to each other. I liked that the space felt comfortable, lived-in even, and I could see why designers have been coming here for decades.

Klaus by NienkamperIt's not very often that modern, contemporary furniture can be called warm, but in some ways that exactly what Klaus represents. With the kind of history and experience behind Klaus by Nienkamper, it's easy to get caught up in the passion and love for contemporary design. During my recent visit, the sales staff were very friendly, happy and eager to show off their collection and the store itself was a breeze to walk through and admire.

Klaus by NienkamperKlaus by NienkamperKlaus by NienkamperKlaus by NienkamperPhotos by Dennis Marciniak

Discussion

15 Comments

Moneesha / November 9, 2008 at 05:09 am
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Staff are very unfriendly and cold. They never bothered to acknowledge me with either or "hello" or a smile, despite being the only customer there. I will never step foot in this store again.
Jeff / December 6, 2008 at 07:07 pm
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I have experienced that as well, however I was in there today and the reception was much different. The two employees were welcoming and attentive, even though I wasn't buying anything, they were still friendly and chatty. Guess it all depends when you go and who's working.
Jimi / May 15, 2009 at 03:49 am
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Every time I've gone in to that store I've had a great experience. I raid the publication section for any and all new catalogues - I ask questions about furniture I can't afford and the employees take time to answer my questions - I'm always treated well - I've never bought a thing there and I go once every 6 weeks if Im in the city.... I love the store, the products, and the employees have always been real cool to me.
Sara / December 12, 2010 at 09:12 am
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Why are there comments that pre-date the date of the review?
Derek replying to a comment from Sara / December 12, 2010 at 12:17 pm
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There was a "stub" review prior to the publication of a full length version.
John / December 12, 2010 at 06:30 pm
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Horse lamp is amazing.

Sadly I also found the staff to be pretty snobby and cold. The furniture is beautiful.
Shabby Dandy / December 13, 2010 at 02:03 pm
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Meh. Everyone knows that if you don't spend at least $25K on a sofa your just wasting your money. One shouldn't shop where the readers of Dwell shop but instead one should send their servants to the places that have furniture from Architectural Digest. Blogto.com get in the loop.
Rohan / December 13, 2010 at 11:05 pm
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Can we please refer to this neighbourhood as "Lower King East" or at least "Low-K"?

Thanks...
Klaus Nienkamper / January 5, 2011 at 10:25 pm
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thanks James for the nice comments and pictures.
i'm glad that you got the attention from the staff and that they were helpful.
unfortunately some visitors fall through the cracks and don't receive the attention they require or are looking for. shit happens.
take care and thanks for visiting.
K
Harry Potter / February 4, 2011 at 12:22 am
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Whenever I come into the store, everyone is very friendly. They acknowledge the fact that I am there, greet me, and some more jazz. I mean if I wanted assistance, I would ask for it. I don't know about you guys, but I don't like it when stores bombard me with questions. Nienkamper genuinely has the kindest staff ever, and I don't have one thing against any of them. The furniture is amazing. Like who even comes up with those designs? It's genius. The space is so open and well decorated, I never want to leave there. All of the staircases were slightly confusing at first, but now I think that they are really cool, maximizing options for going room to room and allowing you to really see the entire store. Overall, Nienkamper is truly such a great company overall. I love it. AND YES, THE HORSE LAMP IS AMAZING.
Johnny / August 8, 2012 at 12:00 am
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I've found that's the case with me high end furniture stores. About a year ago, I went to a high end antique furniture store out of curiosity and the guy actually told me that I did not belong there. I was speechless. Then I felt sorry for him.
Liv Grewal / August 23, 2012 at 03:49 am
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To respond to Klaus' comment above, "shit happens?" What sort of comment is that?! I'm glad you are so willing to defend your minions. But then, they aren't the ones you rely upon to keep you business afloat? This is one store that this Osgoode Hall law student won't be frequenting soon again.
J / September 18, 2012 at 01:45 pm
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Liv, It means sometimes things can't be absolutely perfect to cater to all your little insecurities. ...let's remember when they don't jump to attention you complain, when they jump they are being pushy...

On another note this nacho eating guy is happy you like the school you're going to and it contributes to your self-worth.
eric lindros / September 21, 2012 at 09:32 pm
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mmm...nachos!
J Wong / September 28, 2012 at 11:19 am
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Has anyone met Iona at KN ? Wow, totally up on her products, warm & beyond attentive ! She makes your visit worthwhile...and oh yeah, look at the amazing products too !

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