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Design Stores

Roomy Interiors

Posted by Craig / Posted on August 24, 2008

Roomy InteriorsWe're all living in condos, now. We're each doing the ecologically friendly and politically proper thing by single-handedly densifying the downtown core. "Home" ownership is rising as fast as builders can churn out concrete and install a gym. At this point, almost everyone under 40 has jumped into the condo pool, and the banks love it.

Now, we all have our own grand total of 595 square feet of prime A-1 downtown real estate.

And just how are we supposed to actually live in such a small space?

Roomy Interiors says they have the answer. And for a certain consideration, they'll manage the whole setting-up process for you from their tastefully hip little shop.

Roomy InteriorsO.K., so they basically sell furniture. But it's not just furniture. This furniture comes with ideas pre-installed. It's a Space Management philosophy complete with a slogan or three, like "Fall in love with your space", or "Comfort", or "Fresh, Free and Functional".

But behind the attentive salesmanship and slick presentation, there's definitely a demand for this sort of niche-market business. I do mean "niche": these people know how to maximize the use of every tiny little space in a condo, and they want to share this insight with you and make you happy.

They even have package deals. For a sweet $15,000, they'll sell you the Bachelor package: it's everything you need to deck out your pad plus you get 10 hours of design. Start trying to design for more space, though, and Mr. Wallet starts to lose weight awfully fast.

Roomy InteriorsTheir little storefront is a testament to their obsession with good space usage. It's hard to believe they could cram so much into such a small space and make it seem oh so much bigger than it actually is.

Fair warning, of course: This sort of top-drawer service doesn't come super cheap. In this case, the more space you save, the more cashola you spend. IBut it starts out just fine. A two-hour consultation at your place will cost you $250; it'll be $200 if you do it in the store.

It was crazy busy on a Tuesday morning when I went. Apparently, this is pretty normal. There was a successful consultation going on, and the phone rang more or less off the hook. They've been here for 3 years, and given how busy they are, they have to know what they're doing.

They do lighting plans, space plans, and storage plans. Did I mention they were also interior designers? They can help you pick just the right tone of taupe for the master bedroom when they're not busy making sure you can still fit into the bedroom with all that new furniture they've just sold you.

Roomy InteriorsAll of this furniture is for condos, so there's a lot of glass and steel to go along with the concrete walls these days. There's a good bit of plastic, too, like the plastic dining chairs. They were both cool and comfy, though I don't know how they'll hold up if dinner parties get exciting

The owners do seem to bag a few great ideas. Take the coffee table that lifts up and extends into a dining table, for instance. It's made in Italy, and for all that crazy space-making, it's only $1100.

They have collections of photos for you to peruse with pictures from projects past and of furniture not present any more.

Roomy InteriorsAbsolutely everything has storage. The beds all lifted up to reveal enough space to store small bodies or a heck of a lot of pillows. The benches naturally have all kinds of storage space. I was surprised that the mirrors didn't have storage hidden somewhere.

If you don't want to clean out Ikea, Roomy also has closet interior organizers, too, though not quite at Ikea prices. Their Anton unit was $4300, but it was made in Canada and looked a lot swishier than anything I've seen at Ikea.

There's very little gimmicky stuff, with one notable exception - the $160 "time table".

Roomy InteriorsMy keen eye spotted one reassuring detail that I'm pretty darned picky about - the sofas are properly made. They're made in Canada, and seem to be custom work, so the quality is impressive. The prices are relatively standard (a sectional sofa was going for $4300), and I couldn't sniff any deals on the wind, but at least you know the thing will fit in your condo.

Roomy InteriorsThe Jully wall bed is a good enough Murphy bed and seems pretty well-made. Passage on this bed goes for the standard fare of $2000 for a double, plus the mattress at $400-500. It's odd how this price doesn't fluctuate much around the city, even though every shop seems to carry a different manufacturer. In any case, Roomy's version of the hideaway bed was as good as most, and obviously fit pretty neatly into the whole "cool things to do with my tiny little den" space solution.

Roomy InteriorsThere's some interesting wall lighting, made in Canada, though there was a lot less than I was expecting. There was a good amount of mirror-space, which fits into the whole making-small-spaces-seem-bigger worldview. The Pop-style art on the walls is bright and colourful, which is good, given that most condos have bare white walls or concrete. Batman and Robin was selling for a cool $1200.

If you've got the cash, and you don't have any room, this is a better destination than most. Don't expect much in the way of variety. It's all modern in here. That said, if it's modern ultra-compact you're after, these people will help you out.

Roomy Interiors



Joanna replying to a comment from Gina / June 19, 2009 at 12:32 pm
I am the owner of Roomy Interiors, I apologize if you have received poor customer service on our end. We ensure we meet and greet every customer that walks through our door and ensure we give all our clients the attention they deserve. I'm sorry if you feel our product is not to your standards, I do not feel that this is a fair judgement or response to our product. Please feel free to contact me directly should you like to discuss this situation further. Thank you, Joanna Kakkavas
Corinne replying to a comment from VA / June 19, 2009 at 12:34 pm
We pride ourselves in providing excellent customer service and every attempt was made to resolve this clients concerns. The client was shown a sample of the stain and hardware at the time the order was placed. Every one of our pieces is covered by our warranties however they only apply to normal residential use and care without evidence of abuse. At our last meeting in person, this client clearly explained that she had turned on her hairdryer and held it to the desk to see if the finish would be affected by extreme temperatures. An assistant to the woodworker had been on site several weeks prior to the complaint about the desk finish and personally saw the piece unwrapped and in fine condition. As a result, the abnormal reaction of the stain cannot be covered by our warranty.
Jess / October 31, 2009 at 04:26 pm
Roomy Interior was frustrating!

Sofa Purchase I wanted to share a tale about a floor model couch purchase.

Let me first explain that I am not your typical "complainer". Now don't get me wrong, I do "complain" but I like to think that it's rooted in reason. And I expect good service. If I receive it, I am sure to compliment. And if I love my purchase, I will become one of the biggest champions of a store. I tell everyone. By the same token, if I receive poor service and am left dissatisfied, I like to share my stories with people as well, in the hopes that they can learn from them and avoid making the same mistakes I did.
This story began about 6 weeks ago. Gints and I had been in our new house for only a week and quickly realized that we weren't going to be able to live here long without a couch. That very first weekend, August 30, we headed over to King East to hunt down a sofa. We were desperate for something - anything - that we could get immediately, but still love. We saw a lovely grey sectional couch at Roomy Interiors (www.roomy.ca). It was multi-functional with a pull out bed on one couch and storage under the other. It actually inspired my new decorating philosophy - whatever we buy must serve at least two purposes. This was a couch, a bed and storage. But it was stunning, although a little pricier than we expected but it was a floor model (i.e. slightly used), so we could get it right away...or so we thought.
While paying for our purchase, they informed us that because it was a floor model we were required to pay the full amount ($4000 including taxes) that day, but that we couldn't have the couch delivered for 2-3 weeks. They were waiting for the new floor model to come in to replace the one we had bought. We shouldn't have paid, we should have agreed to 50% at the time of purchase and another 50% upon delivery. But we didn't and we've learned. We expressed a serious desire for the couch, i.e. "If there's any way we can get it sooner, we'd really appreciate it...we have no seating."
You see, this was the first of many pieces of furniture that Gints and I were buying. We still needed: bed, dining table & chairs, another couch, couple of living room chairs...We liked Roomy, and could have found some additional pieces there. But because of the process and lack of customer service, we won't.
About 2.5 weeks after purchase/payment (Tuesday September 16), I called Roomy to confirm that we were on track for a Saturday delivery. No one returned my call that day, so I sent an email as well. The following day someone called me back to explain that they were following up with the supplier/delivery truck and would have an update for me. They would call me back that day (Sept. 17) no matter what. No one called. September 18, I received a voicemail, explaining that they would be a few days late with delivery. So, it would be more like 3-4 weeks from purchase, rather than the 2-3 weeks that were promised. I called back explaining that I was disappointed to hear that and that I wasn't happy about it, especially since we'd paid 100% two and a half weeks earlier. Seriously, there was over $4000 sitting on my VISA, for a couch I couldn't sit on, with no very good reason. It's not my fault they needed something to put in the store window over the weekend. The only response I received was "It's store policy to pay for floor models in full". No explanation and really, no sense of sincerity.
Below following is the email exchange that transpired. I wanted to share this with you, because I feel that people should know what they are getting into when purchasing a floor model couch and it's important to know the right questions to ask and to decide whether or not you should pay in full for an item that you don't get to take with you or have delivered within a reasonable amount of time.
Hello Roomy Interiors,
I am writing regarding my purchase of a sectional couch (on August 30) and wanted to provide you with some unsolicited customer feedback about our overall experience. Let me give you a bit of background. My husband and I purchased our home back in February and began renovations which were pretty much completed in August. We moved in on August 24 and that weekend, we began the search for a couch. After only a week in our new home, we realized that we would not be able to live without a couch for long, our legs were exhausted at the end of every day and we were going to sleep at 9pm every night since we had no where to sit.
We purchased the couch on Saturday August 30, floor model (as is) - not to save money but to save time. We were told at the time of purchase that we would have to wait 2-3 weeks (a KEY FACTOR) in our decision making process. We were asked to pay in full over $4000, something that in hindsight we should never have agreed to. especially since we wouldn't be receiving it for few weeks. But we did. We shall not do this again. It's difficult to swallow paying 3 weeks in advance for a couch you are unable to use.
This week, September 16, about 2.5 weeks after ordering, I called Roomy Interiors to check the status and ensure we were on track for delivery for Friday/Saturday (3 weeks from the date of purchase). I then sent an email later that day. Both my call and email were not returned until the following day (September 17), at which time I was told that the couch would be delayed by a couple of days and we will not be receiving it until September 24. I expressed my disappointment, as my husband and I ware anxiously awaiting the arrival of our new ouch. We also have a family gathering planned on September 20th, for which we will now need to find another venue.
The most frustrating part of this entire experience is that we honoured our end of the bargain, paying in full on August 30. And I'm sorry to say that I don't feel Roomy has honoured theirs. I am sad to say it was not the experience we were hoping for.
Their response:

Hello Jessica,

thank you for expressing your concerns.
I am sorry you feel that you have not had the most positive experience with us. It is store policy to receive payment in full for all floor models. I think it was also made fairly clear to you that we would need approximately 2-3 weeks for the delivery seeing as we were waiting for our new floor model to arrive. The regular price for the sofa was $4300 and was sold to you at $3655 + tax, a considerable savings. We were in touch with you as quickly as possible with as much information as we could provide at the time and we continued to follow up with both yourself and the manufacturer to ensure timely deliveries. I understand the the delivery has been scheduled for Tuesday morning, only 3 days shy of our estimated delivery. We hope that you do enjoy your purchase upon its arrival and will follow upwith you on Tuesday to make sure that the delivery went smoothly.

You can see by the Roomy Response, they didn't really read my letter, nor did they care about my dissatisfaction. They referenced the "savings" I received but I mentioned that we weren't motivated by price when making this purchase.
They called to see "how the delivery went" and asked specifically about that. Read between the lines, "we don't want to hear any more complaints from you". I said the delivery guys were fabulous and they were. And that was that. I never responded to the email.
However, last week I had a friend over and she called on Monday to ask where I'd gotten the couch. She loved it and though it would fit in her place and not to worry, no one would know we had the same couch. I said I can tell you where I got it from, but I can't recommend them, although it is an awesome couch, I wasn't happy with the service.

But I can tell you where we ordered the other couch, chaise and rocking chair from and you'll definitely find something there. Everyone has their own bad experience with a store and it's often not the store's fault. It's how the staff deals with the situation and manages their customer relations that leaves the biggest impact.

lili / November 27, 2009 at 10:39 am
Jess: For someone who doesn't complain, you sure do sound like a complainer. It was 3 days late! Boo hoo! Be more prepared next time and thanks for the unnecessarily long comment in which you repeated yourself at least twice.
Atreya / February 16, 2010 at 03:34 pm
We're sort of in a similar situation. We ordered our couch 7 weeks ago but haven't heard a single peep from Roomy until I called them. They now say that the couch is late, but that they don't have any more details.

What is frustrating about this situation is that it took me calling them to find out that the couch is not coming on time. I believe that since I paid for half of the couch they would have some sort of an obligation to pass along such information to me. Especially considering the large sum of money (at least for me) involved, I would expect better customer service.

My plan is to give the company another week to either deliver the couch or convince me that the couch will arrive in a reasonable time.
Bina replying to a comment from Atreya / February 18, 2010 at 10:33 pm
I am also having the same delivery issue with this particular store. I ordered a piece of furniture at the beginning of December. I paid in full and was told that my item was to be reeeived in 8 weeks. On the 8th week I contacted the store to find out the status of my item, they told me it was going to be coming in next week. Next week came and I called them once again only to find out that it would be received the following week. Here I am at week 10 still waiting for my item.
It is clearly written on the receipt that if there is a delay customers will be notified in advance. They failed to maintain their end of the agreement by not delivering the item by 8 weeks and not contacting me in advance to inform me of the delay.
After reading the above posts it seems that customer service at this store is lacking.

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