How often have you really thought about having nothing? I’m sure most of us are thankful for all that we have daily, wishing and working for more. But what would it be like to have absolutely nothing?. I mean, no chair, no stove, no bed or anything at all. In our rich western society we rarely have to face this possibility so its something that we truly can’t imagine.
Working as a designer in residences across Canada, I regularly see the items customers’ desire, from better kitchens, to upgraded floors and bigger sectionals. We work hard for these items and feel the reward of the comfort provided by these possessions spread around us, shared by friends and family. It’s these personal pieces, that not only provide a function but give us a sense of identity and personalize our spaces
But what happens if you are starting again; all those pieces no longer exist and you are beginning a new life whether in a new country or you have finally been able to find a way off the streets? How do you start again with nothing when all you want to do is create a home?
I must admit that I never really thought about what makes a home feel homey? Obviously in my business I talk a lot about comfort and function but it’s always based on the idea that clients are starting with something and exchanging it for a better, more useful version. And yet when I think about anyone’s home, it’s the furniture and possessions with which they interact daily that is considered. It’s the fabrics, the colours, and the shapes of furniture that we identify with and call “our own style”. Home is not just a building, it’s what inside that counts.
Thankfully, Sister Ann Schenck already understood this many years ago when she created the charity, The Furniture Bank. As a registered charity it works with 78 social service partner agencies across the city in identifying those who are transitioning out of homelessness, women and children escaping abusive situations and refugees and newcomers who need the few basic elements of home. Established in 1998, The Furniture Bank accepts donations of gently used furniture from anyone and provides a tax receipt for the items provided. This can be done year round simply by contacting them at (416) 934-1229 ext 2.
But you can also contribute to the Furniture Bank (while enjoying a fabulous party) by attending the 6th annual Chair Affair //www.furniturebank.org/chairaffair/. Hosted by comedian and author, Jessica Holmes, this fun-filled night also features food by various chefs including Chef Michael Smith and a special performance by Styx frontman, Gowan. There’s still time to buy a ticket to join top designers, #6dad and Councillor, Norm Kelly and furniture industry elite and help support a great local charity. It’s on Friday October 28th at casalife. Come out and bid on fabulously repurposed chairs by top designers across the GTA. This years participants include: Cori Halpern , Michelle Mawby, Karen Sealy and Evelyn Eshun.
When you’re there, look for the Twitter Canada/Norm Kelly chair, it’s available for you to bid on. I happen to know they had a little help from a friend transforming it! We are so fortunate, let’s share it with those who need some assistance by purchasing a ticket to The Chair Affair and invest in an amazing Canadian designed chair for a great cause. www.furniturebank.org/chairaffair/
About the author: Jane Lockhart is a celebrity designer