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Perfectly imperfect design trends

Imperfection in design has become a sought-after feature for designers and homeowners, alike. Reclaimed barn board, vintage finds and a celebration of all things organic and singular remain at the forefront of popularity. It can be a tricky balance to strike between the individual craftsmen, offering made-to-order custom pieces, and the mass-market reproductions; two-dimensional facsimiles with forced distressing, mock character and for me, often lacking the very soul on which the movement was started.

There are products for those of us in need of available retail options while still appeasing our thirst for the uniquely ours. I look for collections where the imperfections in the wood are embraced and celebrated, exposing and highlighting the unique qualities of each piece. After all, no two pieces are identical, made different by virtue of the shape, grain and measurements of the wood.

For me the way to strike a balance in my design plan, I opt for minimalistic, straight-forward furniture designs allowing an easy application in almost any home or style.
Here are some of my selections to easily incorporate a little more character in your home, today!

Coffee tableDINING ROOM
The Basant Dining Table, with its quality detailing and craftsmanship, is a solid wood table with stunning beauty. Available in eight sizes, this classic dining table is constructed with quality exotic suar wood. Each has its own unique cracks, knots and markings, making each one different from the other. Elegant, unique and exotic, the Basant table is a great conversation piece. (

With off-the-shelf cabinetry more accessible, affordable and practical than ever my clients are increasingly looking for products and materials that individualize their kitchen design. I look for quality hardware, like jewelry on a simply black dress of designer tie on a classic suit, the hardware implies a customization and reinforces the overall design style. Opting for a hand forged iron pull, or hammered nickel selection, layers in an element that adds interest and elevates the cookie cutter cabinet. My favourite source for the unique and organic is Lee Valley Tools. A Canadian owed supplier with affinity for quality and craftsmanship has become our designer secret to success.

The tabletop and shelf are meticulously hand assembled with pieces of durable wood once used in the construction of old fishing boats that worked the Strait of Malacca. Having endured the natural elements for decades, each coffee table has unique plaint flecks, cracks and holes that were carefully preserved. (

With its clean lines and contemporary design, the handmade Tan Tan bookcase from Artemano is a piece of functional art that can work in multiple spaces: a loft, a child’s playroom, a den or a home office. Crafted out of resilient Indian rosewood, it exposes the natural colour and beautiful variants of the wood. Its multiple shelves are stacked in a playful, modern pattern and are ideal for storing and showcasing books, collectibles and accessories. (

The quintessential reclaimed material choice du jour, reclaimed barn board offers an instant hit of character. With it’s popularity comes scarcity in resources. This is where a little can go a long way when used with purpose. Opt for custom barn board doors in key areas. Great resource in Toronto is 1925 Workbench Ltd they produce doors, sliding door hardware and furniture handcrafted for each project.


About the Author: Melissa Davis is a celebrity designer well-known for her appearances and creative work on several HGTV programs.

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