Guide to Modern Furniture For Your Living Room

Set aside the $10 interior design magazine you picked up near the grocery store checkout. The articles might provide some valuable insight into decorating a home, but they are often redundant and lengthy to read.

We will cover everything you need to know about modern furniture in one compact blog for those of you who have been considering sprucing up your living space.

Modern vs contemporary furniture

Before we do a deep dive into why modern furniture may be ideal for your living space, let’s first start by distinguishing between contemporary and modern furniture. These terms are often used interchangeably; however, when it comes to interior design there is a difference.

Modern design focuses on simplicity and function. Natural wood, curved lines, and neutral colours are currently some prominent components of this style. Contrary to this, contemporary design refers to what is trendy “right now”, such as neutral tones, polished woods, and sleek metals (like steel and chrome).

Why choose modern furniture? 

Stylish options – Armless chairs and leather sectionals might not have caught your eye a decade ago, but today these stylish pieces are trending (and won’t be going out of style for a long time). If you want to keep your living space more minimalist, then modern furniture can elevate a space without going overboard.

Saves space – From loveseats to small sectionals to compact lounge chairs, these modern pieces meet the demand of smaller spaces with limited square footage. Whether the primary function of your living room is to relax alone or entertain a small group, these compact pieces are the way to go.

Easy to customize– As modern furniture sticks to neutral colours and natural wood finishes, customization is less overwhelming of a process. Choose the dimensions, select an upholstery material and colour, and pick from finishing options to add some character. Presto, you are done!

Modern furniture features

Now that you have a better idea of how modern furniture differentiates itself from a contemporary furniture style (plus a few added benefits), let’s examine some of the specific features to look for. Get your furniture mood boards ready.

Natural materials– Accents derived from natural materials such as stone and metal are the epitome of mid-century modern style. These materials provide a level of sophistication while still emitting a simplistic look. If you are looking for a vintage and modern combination, reclaimed wood is a natural material that shows subtle signs of distress bringing balance into the space.

Asymmetrical shapes– Instead of traditional square and rectangular shapes, asymmetrical shapes can be considered where you want to draw attention to a specific part of a room. With an asymmetrical coffee or side table, a living room can feel more intriguing because it isn’t completely balanced.

Neutral colours- Neutral colors tend to lean toward greys and off-whites, but that doesn’t mean you can’t incorporate bright colors into your living space. Neutral coloured furniture provides a plain and timeless base for you to build upon. Stained-glass vases, geometric rugs, and canvas wall art are good ways to add colour.

Modern furniture will bring balance to your living room, not to mention it is offered in simple designs and exudes a clean look— all characteristics you need in your home. Play around with this versatile furniture style that reinvents a classic luxurious feel!

Markham Furniture’s Best Selling Made-To-Order Sectionals

It doesn’t matter whether you are entertaining a large crowd or if you just want enough space to lie down and watch Netflix all day, a Markham Furniture Made-to-order sectional in your choice of premium quality fabrics, or leather, is a great addition to any living space. 

As opposed to the traditional sofa and chair setup, sectionals are typically offered in U-shaped or L-shaped configuration for additional seating and comfort. In the blog, we round up a few of Markham Furniture’s best-selling sectionals that will maximize space and versatility in any home.


2054 Double Chaise Sectional

Style: Formal yet inviting describe this best-selling sectional due to its conversational layout. The functional design of this sectional serves a variety of uses, such as one-on-one conversations and intimate gatherings.

Prominent Features: The 2054 sectional comfortably seats four people. It features two standard seats in the middle and two chaise lounges on the left and right sides. The 2054 Double Chaise Sectional has cushioning made with high-density sponge to provide full-body support.

How it’s built: Starting with Canadian kiln-dried hardwood frames constructed of locally sourced Canadian wood, the base of this sectional is built for maximum durability. Unlike pine or plywood frames, this frame will not warp or crack!

Why we recommend this style: If you are hosting a dinner party or book club gathering, a U-shaped sectional will be the optimal solution if you don’t want to pull over kitchen chairs while trying to accommodate all of your guests.

Design Tip: To draw attention to a single focal point in a room, place the double chaise sectional in the middle of the room. If you want to make the room feel even more balanced, surround each side of the sectional with decorative items such as matching nightstands, vases, or succulents.


2035 Chaise Lounge Sectional

Style- L-shaped sectionals are a popular choice for casual seating arrangements, typically intended for one or two individuals to enjoy. The 2035 Chaise Lounge Sectional has a slimmer profile than most of its competitors, adding a sleek look to your living space.

Prominent Features- Scaling it down a bit in terms of size, this three-seater sectional is ideal for any room with limited dimensions. Among the highlights of this L-shaped sectional are its track arms, contemporary dark wooden square legs, and firm backrest that improves posture.

How it’s built- This L-shaped sectional, along with all other pieces at Markham Furniture, are constructed with eight-way hand-tied web and coil springs ensuring remarkable strength.

Why we recommend this style- With a compact design, this sectional will fit in almost any small space while still offering ample room to kick back and relax. Additionally, the sectional is lightweight enough to move around easily in case your tastes change.

Design Tip- Rectangular coffee tables pair perfectly with L-shaped sectionals. These shaped coffee tables offer a lot of surface area and fill the empty space of a room nicely. 


2056 Wide Track Arm Sectional

Style- This transitional style mixes in elements of classic and contemporary features for a harmonious blend. The wide arm tracks and low wooden square legs lean on the contemporary side. However, the deep-seated foam cushions skew toward the classic side of a sectional.

Prominent Features- This wide track arm sectional is what you need if you prefer a sectional with a lower arm height that you can rest your head on. In addition to accommodating up to seven people, the deep-seated cushions offer a comfortable environment for activities such as talking, eating, and drinking.

How it’s built- Particularly noteworthy about the 2056 Wide Track Arm Sectional is the premium cushioning inside each seat that makes it incredibly comfortable for seating or lying down. Markham Furniture uses premium cushioning on all sectionals in a range of densities for custom comfort. 

Why we recommend this style- Aside from being the perfect couch for movie nights, this sectional is best if you prefer a piece of furniture where you’re able to lie down almost 100% of the time.

Design tip- As this sectional is quite large, break out your interior design mindset and decorate each side of the sectional with throw pillows. Find throw pillows with bright colours and playful textures.


These best-selling sectionals and a wide range of others are offered in many sizes, shapes, and styles at Markham Furniture’s two convenient and well-appointed Greater Toronto Area showrooms.  Give some thought to your preferred customized configuration and let our furniture design experts will help you choose the perfect option based on your spatial requirements, upholstering style, and level of comfort. 


Time to hop on the sectional train and see what it is all about!  


5 Reasons Custom-Made Furniture Is the Perfect Fit for Any Living Space

Everyone has a little interior design inspiration that comes from within. We envision our living spaces as a place to entertain, relax, converse, and enjoy. Trying to keep up with the latest design and lifestyle trends while choosing furniture that complements our existing wall colour, décor, and room size can often be taxing. Custom-made furniture provides seamless service from beginning to end thanks to its personalized, made-to-order options.


Match your custom-made furniture to interiors

Some of us can admit that we have bought a whole new outfit to match our favourite pair of shoes or a handbag. This notion can apply to the customization process of a room— maybe more often than we think. Do you have a one-of-a-kind glass vase that was passed down several generations in your family? Or an abstract oil canvas painting with a hefty price tag attached? Custom-made furniture experts will help you choose a pattern, texture, and colour for your furniture upholstery that will be sure to match your cherished home décor.


Choose your level of comfort

Custom sectionals, sofas, or accent chairs don’t have to be confined to the living room of a house or apartment. A spare room, bedroom, or hallway can more often than not incorporate these types of furniture. As each room serves a different purpose, so should the furniture. This is where the concept of cushioning comes into play. If you envision lying down on your couch often, choose a down-filled cushion that provides a little less support. For custom-made furniture that is used as an accent piece, foam of high density is recommended.


Accentuate with accent pieces

Sofas and sectionals don’t classify as the only types of furniture you can add to a room. If you require extra storage but can’t find the space elsewhere, then consider purchasing a storage ottoman. An ottoman doubles as a unique accent piece while providing an additional place to store a few extra miscellaneous items. With tufted ottomans or custom Victorian benches, you can bring a whole new level of flair to a previously dull room.


Size up a small space

Living in a small apartment or condo with limited space is not a problem. Custom-made furniture can be manufactured to meet any sizing requirement in terms of width, depth, and height. Try customizing a loveseat or three-seat sofa instead of going for a larger sectional that could likely take up the majority of your living space. Not sure which size to order? A custom furniture expert will recommend a suitable sized sofa or loveseat that will give you ample space on either side of the sofa, but still long enough for you to stretch out.


Prime positioning

Consider opening up your living space by showcasing a funky geometric area rug, contemporary coffee table, or oakwood fireplace mantle. How can one master this layout, you may ask? Place your furniture along the side of a window or a wall to create a wide-open space in the middle—highlighting the best features of your room. In addition to creating a more appealing space, you will also create functional connections between various rooms, thereby expanding your living space.


Regardless of the square footage or the type of room you are working with, custom-made furniture ties in nicely to the pre-existing features of any room. You can make an outdated room look as good as new by freshening it up with some new furnishings. With the personalized touches that go into the process of custom-designed furniture, your home, apartment or condominium will be furnished to match your individual tastes and style.


By Danielle Stringer | June 18, 2021

5 Unique Reasons to Buy Custom Made Furniture

Choosing furniture to decorate a new living space or enhance an existing room can be time-consuming and challenging without proper consultation. How do we know which type of fabric is the most durable for pets? Or which material will be able to withstand heavy use and a few spills? In this blog, we will provide you with five reasons why choosing custom-made furniture is the best long-term solution.


Reason #1: Expert knowledge

Traditional furniture retailers are beneficial if you are looking for a quick and cost-effective way to buy furniture. However, quick solutions may not always provide the best return on your investment. Furniture can be a costly expense that requires a lot of time and research to find you the best options. Expert custom-upholstery professionals can save you plenty of time, money, and energy by finding just the right style, fit, and fabric for you.

At custom-furniture stores, knowledgeable staff will be able to provide you with the most suitable option based on your unique needs and type of living space. No need to worry about which colour of leather is the most natural-looking or what type of cushioning is best for back pain! Save your Google searches and speak with a custom-furniture expert instead.

Reason #2: Personalize your style

We often have a specific vision in mind for what we want our furniture to look like. Do you dream of a blue and grey pinstriped couch? Or are you in awe over a certain grain of leather that you just can’t seem to find anywhere else? Custom-furniture stores offer a greater variety of options in size, seating depth, and back height; moreover, there are countless beautiful fabrics and cushion densities to choose from when finding your perfect fit.

Reason #3: Durability

Custom-made furniture is manufactured by artisans. These are highly skilled craftspeople who dedicate their careers to making each piece of unique furniture a work of art. Only premium-quality materials are used, and each piece of furniture is put through an extensive quality-control check. You can be confident that when you invest in custom furniture, it will serve you for many years longer than the mass-produced furniture available at conventional and big-box sofa and sectional retailers.

Reason #4: Environmentally Friendly

Going green is becoming increasingly important as consumers are shifting to plant-based diets and driving electric cars. Why not “go green” with your furniture as well? Custom-made furniture is made-to-order. You can rest assured that no unsold items are disposed of like traditional retailers, and most importantly, fewer materials and waste go into the production of custom furniture.

Reason #5: Timeless

Custom-made furniture is classic and sophisticated. It is offered in a beautiful assortment of traditional, transitional, and modern styles, and it is constructed to stand the test of time. Whether you choose a formal, casual, rustic, or mid-century style, your custom furniture will be crafted in consultation with an expert to bring your vision to life in a manner that is best tailored to your needs.

Given these reasons, deciding to buy from a custom-furniture store may be the best path to follow. Remember, you will be investing in a long-lasting piece of furniture that has been handcrafted for you to enjoy for many years to come.

Guide to Selecting Artwork For Your Home

When it comes to putting the finishing touches on a room, a few details that first come to an interior designer’s mind may be area rugs, curtains, or coffee tables. What can sometimes be overlooked, however, is artwork. This doesn’t have to come in the form of hanging a drab, monochrome painting on the wall. A variety of intricate possibilities exist to customize your clients’ living spaces with a fun twist and give their custom furniture even more flair. This blog post will examine a few handy tips and tricks to help you match artwork to furniture.

Tip #1: Narrow the field

Art is very subjective; therefore, choosing the perfect piece for a room takes some time. First, determine your clients’ preferences: Do they value modern or contemporary art? Do they prefer colour or black and white? Abstract or non-objective? This information will help you narrow down specific artistic concepts to work with.

Tip #2: Find inspiration

When you visit an art gallery, what one factor tends to draw you towards a particular painting? Colour. Therefore, this concept should be applied when choosing the proper artwork for a room.

A good rule of thumb is to choose artwork in a colour that appears somewhere on the furniture. Find hints and subtle shades that the client enjoys most, whether it is in the colour of the frame, or a fine detail in the art itself.

In some cases, a client will want to design an entire room around a piece of artwork. It might have been a family heirloom or a piece of art created by a friend that has become a prized possession. Custom-made furniture is the most effective solution in this case, as it will allow you to extract the client’s favourite colours from the piece and arrange them in the furniture itself.

Tip #3: Opposites attract

Next on the matching checklist are lines and patterns. Remember, the find details of the artwork don’t have to be specifically matched to the furniture.

Let’s assume that you are working with stained-glass artwork. In a piece of this nature, there are a variety of curved lines, which draw the eye in a multitude of directions. As this type of artwork is compound, it is best to choose a solid base colour, as there won’t be any pattern clashes or mismatches. On the other hand, if the artwork is of a simpler landscape, then it would be suitable for the furniture’s fabric to have a bolder pattern.

Tip #4: Balance and perspective

Once the artwork is matched to the furniture by colour and pattern, it’s time to focus on the positioning of the art.

In the case of a living room or family room, the artwork should be about two-thirds the width of the sofa or sectional you are working with, as you don’t want the piece to overpower the room. If you are working with smaller artwork, then try hanging it in the middle of the furniture to keep the room balanced.

Another possibility would be to choose a few small paintings or pictures and hang them in a unique configuration, thereby adding some feng shui to the room. The collage doesn’t have to be completely symmetrical. Hanging artwork at different height levels will create a more distinctive visual effect.

Remember to have fun and play around with versatility, while sticking to the overarching theme of the room. These newly decorated spaces will generate a great focal point and centerpiece of discussion among guests. You never know— this just might encourage your client to want to throw their next holiday party or Saturday evening gathering to show off their new space!

Guide to Choosing the Best Fabric for your Custom Upholstery

With all the interior design trends out there, it’s difficult to choose furniture that meets your specific needs and won’t go out of style. How do you choose a couch or chair that offers a distinctive design and premium comfort, and is constructed of the utmost quality components?

Custom furniture is a great solution to fulfill all these desired traits. You get to think outside the box, and more specifically, you can choose custom upholstery for a sectional or accent chair that will complement any living space in your home.

Let’s face it, no matter how lovely furniture may look from afar, or how well it’s made, its essence comes down to one important factor— the fabric. While all fabrics have pros and cons, based on wearability and price, it’s important to focus on customizing furniture with premium fabric or leather in a suitable pattern, colour, and texture that will remain aesthetically pleasing and something you’ll enjoy for years to come.

Consider the texture

Texture plays an important role, as it appeals to two important human senses: touch and sight.

Natural fibers, such as cotton and silk, have a smoother composition and bring a more reserved tone to the room. Not to mention, they are also great to just sit down and relax on (but you might never want to get up again!). On the other hand, linen and tweed have a bold, ruffled texture, which adds an extra level of depth to the room. If you envision a cozy and grounded room, then go for fabrics with a tighter knit weave.

For a more rustic look and feel, top-grain Italian leather is a great choice, as its grainy texture ages well with time. Full-grain leather will give any room richness and character because of its naturally thick material. Custom-upholstery manufacturers like Markham Furniture offer a wide supply of leathers to choose from, which will help you attain the exact level of shag, gloss, or ripple you are seeking.

Contemplate the colour

Shades of black or brown tend to be the most common when customizing upholstery, but why go with the norm? When deciding on colour, there are a great number of external factors, such as wall colour, room size, and natural lighting to consider. Light gray or off-white would look best when maximizing a small living space, but if the room’s colour is already white or beige, then make the room pop with a bright and eccentric shade. You can choose from any colour imaginable at the best custom-furniture stores. Turquoise, burgundy, light beige, or emerald green— the possibilities are plentiful!

Ponder the Pattern

Arguably, the most enjoyable component when choosing a unique fabric for your custom-furniture is the pattern. This is where creativity and imagination come into play to enhance the aura of a room. When chosen appropriately, the proper pattern will bring activity to any space because of its unique outline. Floral, striped, or geometric patterns will be sure to draw anyone’s attention the moment they walk into the room. Choose your specific pattern according to the width of stripes, the colour of the flowers, or the direction in which the geometric shapes flow.

Bringing it all Together

Fabric colour, texture, and pattern all work together to contribute to the overarching theme of a room. What makes the experience more enjoyable, is choosing a theme for a room and building from the ground up. Do you want a 90’s throwback, a cozy cottage theme, or a bohemian vibe? When you customize furniture, anything is possible!

Whatever your pleasure, a custom-furniture store will have the materials ready in hand and the knowledge to help make your dreams become a reality. Remember, sometimes the best rooms come from when you break the rules and dare to be different!

Area Rug or Upholstery? Which Element Should You Commit to First?

The enduring question of whether to begin with an area rug or fine upholstery as the primary focal point of a room is an age old home décor conundrum that cognisant home owners and decorators find themselves evaluating when it’s time to update the living space.

As far as we see it, the most important elements to start with are the pieces and/or fabrics you love.  Whether it’s a particular sofa or sectional style you have in mind, or a brilliant area rug that’s captivated your senses, or simply a specific colour or range of colours you find yourself in pursuit of, you can never go wrong starting there.

The important thing is that the pieces you choose flow together well and represent your tastes, while providing the comfort and style you require of your updated space.  That said, it’s important to appreciate that a rug will anchor a room and serve as a primary focal point, even if only as the secondary focal point.

If you’ve decided to start with a chosen rug, a single-toned rug will best suit complementing multi-tone upholstery, whereas a colourful, or patterned rug, is best served by a solid-coloured upholstery fabric.

To refineyour space, choose quality accents such as window coverings, throw cushions, and wall colours to complement the secondary and tertiary tones of the more colourful of the two chief elements in question.

If you wish to discuss your custom upholstery possibilities with an experienced room planner, or interior decorator, feel free to stop by Markham Furniture (2 Locations in the Greater Toronto Area) and let our dedicated staff assist you in evaluating the plethora of options before you in designing the living room suite of your dreams.

Markham Furniture lovingly crafts custom sofas, loveseats, chairs, sectionals, and related upholstery accents in the custom upholstery fabric or leather of your choice.  Our showrooms offer thousands of luxurious fabrics – and hundreds of 100% Top Grain Italian Leather options – which our experts are keen to help you narrow and decide upon.  Fabric samples are available upon request to help ensure that you take your time to make selections you’ll be thrilled with for years to come!

Affordable Luxury Furniture in Toronto

At Markham Furniture, our Team relishes the opportunity to provide perceptive clients across Canada with a distinguished, premium offering in one of life’s true luxury categories: Custom Upholstery.

It wasn’t long ago that luxury custom upholstery was incredibly cost-exorbitant; attainable by only the most affluent of society, living in grand palaces and large aristocratic homes.

Every era of antiquity has had an impact on modern trends in interior design and furniture. Distinctive design and the creation of upholstery of impressive character and beauty was the concern of rare and highly-skilled upholstery artisans who sought to satisfy the inventive and discriminating tastes of the wealthiest citizens.

Today, modern luxury furniture has adapted with the times, but has not lost the indelible characteristics that true luxury upholstery encompasses: Robust construction, premium fabrication, refined style, and superior craftsmanship. Read more

Finding a Premium Quality Sofa in Toronto

The phrase “They don’t build ‘em like they used to…” doesn’t apply to us!


It’s come time to find a new sofa for the living room, or family room – and you know from past experience that a quality sofa makes all the difference.  Some shoppers look for luxury, others for value, many more for a specific style (traditional, contemporary or otherwise).  Whatever your penchant, it’s wise to buy the best quality sofa you can afford.  The sofa is one of the biggest furniture expenditures in the room and a well-built sofa will easily realize a decade or more in it’s intended space before being relegated to another room, the basement or the den.

So, how do you know you’re choosing a quality sofa?