Fiber Living is a new downtown boutique offering casual and sleek indoor and outdoor furniture. The 3,000-square-foot space on Berkeley Street was once home to an auto-body repair shop and still keeps much of that structural charm--only now it's juxtaposed with Fiber Living's trendy, chic furniture.
Owner Ion Nicolae (who also runs Black Line Studio ) and Michael Guerra hand pick each item in the store, looking for good quality, great design, and mid-level pricing. This shop follows the opening of the original location in Haliburton.
"Mike and I saw a gap between really low end and very high end outdoor furniture," Ion says as he walks me around the shop. "We want to supply everyone's needs, and bring that indoor lifestyle outdoors."
That indoor/outdoor lifestyle includes lots of deep seating, loungers, plants, rugs, fireplaces and more. I'm drawn to the outdoor fireplaces by Montreal-based Magnifico Innovation ($2600-$6000), which are impeccably designed; modern, but still elegant.
Fiber Living's house line, Viva Designs, uses UV-proof, weather-resistant Viro wicker, which Ion tells me is incredibly durable and guaranteed not to crack. Prices range, though he says a typical one-seater is around $1000, with a complete set hovering around $4500.
I gravitate toward the hammocks (naturally) and test out an indoor beanbag chair ($300) and look longingly at the hammock ($850). I ask Ion about Fatboy, the manufacturer, though he has become increasingly occupied with his Blackberry. So I check out the Slide Design lighting from Italy, the EcoSmart Fire outdoor fireplaces from Australia, and some of the rugs by Capel Rugs.
Then I try again, asking Ion about how often the collections will change. This time he fully doesn't hear me, popping up his head after hitting the 'enter' key and tossing out a nonchalant, "What?" Michael, thankfully, jumps in at that moment, and says the collections will change twice a year. He's much more helpful and tells me they're still working out kinks, but hope to adapt to what customers want to see.
I leave with a last glance at a room of great-looking furniture, as well as a bit of a throbbing head. It's times like these I sort of wish I had a hammock to go home to.