While Toronto has no shortage of world-class design firms, boutiques and galleries, when looking to add some of the small touches and treasures that make your home unique, one of the best investments you can make is to take the time to drive to some of the smaller towns outside of the city.
“Small towns have more than just charm,” says Chuck Thibeault, executive director, industry development for Central Counties Tourism, which covers the regions of Headwaters, York and Durham. “They have the products to make your place shine.”
Thibeault says he recently set out over a five-weekend stretch as part of a home renovation project, exploring gift shops, markets, galleries and antique hubs in such places as Williams Mill, Uxbridge, Port Perry, Stouffville, Erin, Alton Mill and Newmarket. He and his wife had earlier redone the kitchen cabinets, put down hardwood throughout the entire main level, updated the family room fireplace and mantle, finished the basement and refinished two bathrooms. Now they were looking to update the furniture and decorations.
“When you talk to the owner-operators of these studios and specialty stores, you are no longer looking at ‘things’,” he says.
“And that is because they take the time to tell you the story behind them: what inspired them to make it; why they sell this type of chair; how they get this decoration from the artist down the street.”
That’s when a home starts to become more of a narrative that is unique to a homeowner and less a spot just to park products and things.
“What I learned from these amazing proprietors is what they need most is more people like us to come and make a connection with them and what they have to offer,” Thibeault says. “If you aren’t in the market today, you may be one day and will have that memory to fall back on. And if you are like us, you will also spend some time exploring the attractions in the area, dining at many of the incredible restaurants and picking up your new favourite craft beers, ciders, wines and spirits.”
Advertising feature produced by Globe Content Studio. The Globe’s editorial department was not involved.