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Design Stores


Posted by Craig / Posted on August 19, 2008

Style GarageO.K., so Stylegarage looks like it was once a garage. At 1500 square feet, it's a pretty damned big garage, but you could imagine some sort of car collector parking a beemer or two in here. Instead, someone who loves steel moved in, and they decided to make a furniture headspace.

I got the feeling that the target market is the urban 30-something condo-set who like to go up north once in a while, and are looking to reconnect with nature. Not that I've seen a lot of brushed or rolled steel in Algonquin, but you get the idea.

The cottagey feeling is assisted by the moose head on the wall. The eyes seem to follow you as you walk around. It's not a real moose head; it's carved out of wood. But it's freakishly lifelike. The other side sports a deer head. It's only vaguely reassuring that they're not actual heads. But I guess I'm just somewhat squeamish.

Style GarageThere isn't a lot of knickknackery going on in Stylegarage. You won't find wall after wall of easy-sale trinkets. In fact, it's pretty darned sparse when it comes to the after sale. The owners focus almost entirely on furniture design, and ignore anything that isn't on this agenda. It means you don't have to wade through a ton of stuff to imagine what your room would look like with this chair or that table.

One of the only design add-ons is a series of Canada pillows. They've got a cute off-centre map of Canada. Actually, they're pretty damned tasteful, perhaps the only time I can get away with saying this for errant bits of Canadiana. The hockey stick on the wall might have gone over the top just a bit, though.

I was a bit disappointed to learn that the moose head is actually made in California, and not in, say, Timmins. But at least it's a moose. It could be Canadian, eh?

They really don't like "frivolous over-design". The guy in the store told me that the 4 partners like "honest materials".

It's hard not to see this as soon as you walk in. But the difference in here is that they like to mix materials in a serious way. There's a good amount of wood in here, most of it bound into some sort of steel frame. But unlike what's found in most design shops, the mix is carried off pretty well, with a sense for what nature might have done if she had a tool shop and a metal press.

Throw in some leather and a few tough fabrics, and you've got the making of a modern Canadian resort-lounge.

Style GarageThis is by and large a custom design outfit. They design everything in-house, and they want to do custom work. They like doing custom work. But custom work has to fall in to one of their preset design templates. The designs can be tweaked, nipped and tucked, but in general they don't like it when customers stray too far off the mark. Asking seriously tough questions drives the price up pretty fast.

A standard sofa will cost about $1950. But a customized sofa with a few options starts to set you back about $2700, give or take a bit, and that's before tax.

Sizes are pretty much adjustable, but the basic design sensibility is not. If you like something, and you've got some weirdly configured or really small space, you can be sure what they make for you will at least get into the elevator. Custom pieces take anywhere from 8-12 weeks to deliver, depending on how busy they are. Their sofas are made by Gus, and they seem to be the only Toronto dealer for this line of upholstery.

The good news is that you don't have to worry about their suppliers for most of the tables that they sell. They are the suppliers. They have a workshop.

Stop in if you've got an interest in steel and wood. If nothing appeals, you can at least take home a pillow. We can all use a little piece of Canada, eh?

Style Garage



friendofmoderndesign / August 26, 2008 at 12:00 pm
Does anyone know how StyleGarage is related to Gus* Design (

I first assumed that StyleGarage was simply a reseller of Gus* products, but Gus* is also based in Toronto, so is SG perhaps owned by Gus* who also offers it's items to other stores in the city and south of the border?
/ August 26, 2008 at 02:43 pm
You're right! THanks for the prompting. I've updated my profile!

/ November 13, 2008 at 05:41 pm
Hey friendofmoderndesign - good question. Stylegarage opened in 2000 and a few years later the same designer and owners decided to start up a wholesale furniture line, which they called Gus* Design Group. Stylegarage carries the Gus* line of ready-made furniture, along with their own custom-made pieces, and there is still some overlap in the designs of the two lines. By the way, Stylegarage just this month opened a second showroom right next door at #940, showing the Gus* collection exclusively, so they'll be re-dedicating the original space to their custom design roots. Hope that answers your question!
Anon / May 14, 2009 at 12:43 pm
Please do keep in mind that their upholstery is all made in south China. It's decent quality but decide if it's really worth the price. Local custom-made is about the same price.
Cynthia / November 3, 2010 at 11:06 am
GUS/STYLE GARAGE=same company=really over priced chinese furniture-they are charging way too much for imported sofas
DR / August 31, 2011 at 03:14 pm
Really poor customer service. One clerk actually walked away when we said we wanted to purchase a sectional. In the first week we had the Jane sectional, 3 of the buttons fell off the cushions. Of course we had to return the cushion to the store, where we were told "That's never happened before", no apologies offered. Then we had to pick up the cushion a couple days later when it was repaired. It was pouring rain when we picked it up, so we asked if they could wrap it, the clerk told us they don't do that, then finally relented when we insisted.
Shannon / April 10, 2012 at 02:05 pm
Jeez, I bought some of the same product from Equilibrium furniture on Dundas street . They charged so much less!
Andy / August 24, 2012 at 04:57 pm
Thanks for the comment DR! The 'that's never happened before' response is the stupidest a clerk could ever give. If one of my employees said something like that to one of our clients s/he would be out in less than five minutes. So many people know nothing about customer service! For sure, I'll never go to this store!
EV replying to a comment from Shannon / February 16, 2013 at 06:24 pm
Its not the same product...don't fool yourself and others! However, the sofas are all made in CHINA and they claim its Canadian made and charge crazy prices. A chinese made sofa probably cost $250-$300 you are getting seriously ripped off!
Cliff / September 21, 2014 at 12:00 am
Overpriced? Maybe. But that's why you go when they have warehouse/sample sales. I only buy their stuff at heavily discounted prices. I have a few pieces that have held up well. I will say that for the price of some pieces, the finish could be better. There's a little too much veneer IMO. A $1K+ table that's made out of veneer is outrageous. I like the design though. Again, wait til they have their warehouse/sample sales and the prices will feel reasonable.

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