While the concept and commitment to sustainable practices are increasing in today's collective conciousness since 2005, Forever Interiors - a home furnishings retailer in Toronto - has embraced the ethos to recycle, reuse, and refurbish in their retail business. Located in Toronto's historic Junction neighbourhood of west Toronto, Martin Scott's Forever Interiors is an independent furniture design store that uses reclaimed materials to create unique custom pieces that have a rustic or modern aesthetic.
Forever Interiors works predominantly with locally sourced wood collected from century buildings such as vintage houses, former factories and historic churches that are being demolished, renovated or converted into new uses. The items salvaged that provide the base of Scott's refurbished products range from ceiling tiles, floorboards, antique hardware, and discarded doors.
A lot of these items - which can date as far back as the 1880s - are made of Canadian wood. Products such as millwork, doors, flooring, furniture, and cabinets have long been made from Douglas Fir, which is native to British Columbia. It is one of the most popular wood species because of its strength, its workability, and its good machining qualities. And aesthetically speaking, this practical material is also gorgeous, having a fine to medium texture, a straight grain, and a range of colouring from yellowish to reddish-brown.
The wide range of products available by this creative retailer's handiwork speaks wonders of the small independent shop's admirable mission to minimize waste. Products include kitchen islands, tables, cabinets and shelving, benches, vanities, and accessories like mirrors, headboards, and wineracks. The care and creativity brought on by Scott and his team successfully blend the lines between old and new, by recycling obsolete items into stunning one of a kind pieces!
My favourite product from Forever Interiors' collection is their refurbished mirrors which vary in colour and patterns. "As everything in the store is custom made, clients can choose from existing designs and add their own specification regarding style, size and finishing stain". As seen below, each mirror uses reclaimed wood, but all range in sizes, paint color and richness.
It was a visual adventure exploring Forever Interiors' collection of sustainable products. How fantastic to see innovative reinventions of items that may have otherwise ended up in landfills become interesting useful home furnishings brimming with personality. Not only is this company's creative capacity to upcycle materials into unique one-of-a-kind products a joy to explore, but the fact their commitment to sustainable practices has remained the core value of their business for 15 years is a testament to the beauty and benefits of shopping local.
To learn more about the brand and shop their products, visit Forever Interiors.
Interested in learning more about upcycling? Check out these houseporn.ca articles:
Photos Courtesy of Forever Interiors.
Researched and written by Guhar Ullah, Specializing in Architecture at the University of Toronto's John H Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design.