Guest Blogger, Vicky Sanderson's Custom Furniture Experience

Back in June we held a contest called “Custom Creations” where four talented designers created their very own Urban Barn custom furniture piece. Voting took place on our Facebook page and the winning creation was Toronto Star Columnist/Home Style Expert, Vicky Sanderson’s custom Liberty Sectional. One lucky voter, Kim G. of Burlington, Ontario also won her choice of any Urban Barn custom chair.

After the contest ended, Vicky wanted to share her custom shopping experience. Here is what she had to say about designing her custom creation at Urban Barn.

Liberty Sectional 2

I’ll be the first to admit — when Urban Barn approached me with the idea of designing a piece of furniture using their custom program, I knew very little about made-to-order furniture. As I was eager to learn more, I readily agreed. This, despite the fact that there was to be a contest element involved: three highly talented designers with far more expertise than me — Leigh-Ann Allaire Perrault, Karl Lohnes and Amanda Forrest — were also participating. Urban Barn’s FB friends would vote for their favourite piece, and one randomly-drawn voter would win their own custom chair. Turns out, my design for a sectional was a favourite with shoppers. I’ll be writing more about that in an upcoming piece for the Toronto Star.

In the meantime, I was curious to find out what the contest winner, Kim G. of Burlington, thought about the custom experience in general, and my design in particular, so we caught up by phone. Kim, who had voted for my custom creation, explained what had attracted her. “It looked so comfortable,” she says. “And I loved the colour and the style,” adding that it was the kind of piece that would work in her own family room — a spacious 15 by 20 feet. Armed with room measurements, Kim was fully prepared when she made a store visit to finalize details of her chair. “We knew we wanted the Globe chair. The staff was very good and went through all the options so that we could really make it our own,” says Kim.

Globe chair renegade chocolate

The process made Kim aware of design aspects she’d simply never considered, such as feather wrapping (think “padding”), for cushions. “It turns out that choosing the right cushion is important, so that it’s not too hard or too soft.” The Globe Chair Kim chose seats two, and will form part of a cozy corner by the fireplace in her family room. In a rich brown called Renegade Chocolate (shown above), Kim hopes it will serve as inspiration during her upcoming search for a sectional. She’s more convinced than ever that custom might be an option.

Along with the great furniture, accessories and décor it offers, Kim appreciates the fact that Urban Barn is a Canadian company. “We want to support people who work in Canada. I’ve also learned that it matters, for example, if the wood used in your furniture is suitable for our Canadian climate.” The new chair, she says, is just the beginning of remodelling plans. “Now that I have been to an Urban Barn and seen everything they have, I’d like to do the whole house!”


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