Things We Love at Custom Home Interiors

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To get into the spirit of Valentine’s Day, we asked some of the team at Custom Home Interiors to share some of the things they love about their work at Custom Home Interiors, and here is what they had to say:
 
David's desk
“My desk is one of my favourite things at CHI. I can see and talk to almost everyone in the office from where I sit, but it also gives me some privacy for when I need to focus on my work. I have a view of the window from my desk and I am nice and close to the coffee machine. I also enjoy having enough space on my desk to house my laptop and a second monitor, store all of my paperwork and still have plenty of room to work with.”

David Skinner
Operations Assistant
Custom Home Interiors by Obvious Advantage Inc. & Corporate Housing Interiors Ltd.

 
Diana's Colour Fan Deck
“One of my favourite things is the ambient lighting at my desk – lighting is such a necessary and crucial aspect of design. Oh, and I love my colour fan deck, of course!”

Diana Delaney
Design Coordinator
Custom Home Interiors by Obvious Advantage Inc.

 
Andrew's Pens
“I have come to love these pens as has the rest of the team, but it comes at a cost; I no longer like using any other pen in existence. When we run low on these pens, they become a very hot commodity in the office until the replenishment shipment comes in. Even the old worn out ones have a place when stock gets low.”

Andrew Emmans 
President
Custom Home Interiors, Obvious Advantage Inc. & Corporate Housing Interiors Ltd.

 

Sarah's Passion Planner
“I use my Passion Planner to keep track of appointments to a degree, but I predominantly use it to plan and strategize business actions. I’m able to plan blog posts, keep track of days that my junior is with me, keep focus on daily, weekly and monthly tasks and reflect on the past month at the end of each month. It’s been really helpful in keeping me more organized but also on track of steps I need to take to achieve business goals.”

Sarah Kidder
Certified Interior Decorator, Sarah Kidder Design
& Partner, Custom Home Interiors by Obvious Advantage Inc.

 
Tyler's Control Centre
“I love my 3 screen ‘control centre’ because I can be working on a logistics spreadsheet on one screen, an email response on the second and putting an invoice together on the 3rd.  It has made my job so much more efficient, plus I get to have my cute son staring at me from both screen savers.”

Tyler Dren
Director of Operations
Custom Home Interiors by Obvious Advantage Inc. & Corporate Housing Interiors Ltd.
 
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Custom Home Interiors works with industry professional to provide leading edge furniture, appliances, home automation, fireplaces, window treatments and fittings for commercial and residential projects.

We publish a quarterly newsletter containing links to bi-monthly blog posts & other relevant industry news. Subscribe to our quarterly newsletter.

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Sarah Kidder Takes on the Ultimate Upcycling Challenge for Charity

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Our colleague Sarah Kidder, the founder and principal of the award-winning Sarah Kidder Design was invited to participate in the Ultimate Upcycling Challenge and the Ottawa Home & Remodelling Show last weekend. The Challenge involved sourcing a pre-loved door from Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore and ‘upcycle’ it using Rust-Oleum Consumer Brands Canada products to present a brand new piece ready for a second chance at love.

Upcylcing Challenge

The Ultimate Upcycling Challenge was clearly a perfect fit for Sarah who strongly believes in donating her time and talents to worthy causes, and is no stranger to upcycling. In fact, she identified it as one of the top new trends in a previous blog post Sarah Kidder Talks Top Trends from Ottawa Fall Home Show 2015. In it, she discusses her approach to upcycling and where the you are most likely to see it.

Sarah chose to start with a pair of golden oak cabinet doors with similar grain and only a bit of moulding detail that she estimates would be worth $10-$15 if sold ‘as is’. For the upcycled piece, her vision was to create a vintage-inspired set of coat racks that would look great in a bedroom with a vintage or country feel, or in a bright bathroom or walk-in closet, and as soon as she saw the cabinet doors, she knew they were the ones.

Her first step was to select the hardware, which she wanted to be the focal point of the pieces. Sarah sourced all of the knobs and hooks from Yardley’s, a local antique store known for unique and authentic pieces. Yardley’s gave her a great deal on the hardware, which was originally $75, because it was for charity. However, Sarah faced a dilemma in using what she described as the perfect hardware for her vision. She realized the weight of coats would be an issue, and so rather than sacrifice style, she reclassified her piece as an accessory rack for jewellery, scarves, and the like.

Antique Jewellery RacksTo evoke a Victorian-esque feel, Sarah used traditional colours ─ smoky blue, soft sage green and buttery yellow ─ in matte Rustoleum chalk paint; and then distressed the edges slightly so that the wood peeked through. They have colour and character without being too much. A matte clear-coat was applied to protect the finish while maintaining the soft milky look that chalk paint is known for.

Sarah’s accessory racks sold for $100 at auction as part of the Ottawa Home & Remodelling Show’s Ultimate Upcycling Challenge with all proceeds going to support of Habitat for Humanity. Other causes that are dear to Sarah include children’s cancer, hospice care, and guinea pig rescue. She often donates consultations to charities like Project Jenga and Ottawa Fur Kids, and she is also happy to help out others in any way she can.

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Custom Home Interiors works with industry professional to provide leading edge furniture, appliances, home automation, fireplaces, window treatments and fittings for commercial and residential projects.

We publish a quarterly newsletter containing links to bi-monthly blog posts & other relevant industry news. Subscribe to our quarterly newsletter.

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Why Using a Professional to Design Common Areas is Just Common Sense

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A building’s lobby is a welcoming area for visitors, potentials buyers and renters. It often serves as an introduction to the interior esthetic of the property and should reflect the quality of the units. As such, a lobby and other common areas like party rooms or lounges can add value to a property or detract from it depending on its overall appearance and how well it is maintained.
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As the expression goes, you only get one chance to make a first impression. Think about the last time you checked into a hotel or visited a friend’s condo. It is likely that you formed your opinion of the suite and the service as soon as you walked in the front entrance. Businesses that take the opportunity to put their best foot forward on common space design are at a clear advantage over their competitors.

Common areas usually serve a specific purpose, whether it is to check in with concierge, wait for a friend or colleague, grab a coffee and read the paper, watch a movie, or host a family gathering. With a clear goal for the space in mind, identifying furnishing and décor elements that are functional and durable while also being modern and à la mode is key.

High traffic areas can pose unique challenges because elements like chair fabrics, wall paint and area rugs may wear long before a table, lamp or wall art go out of fashion. This is where the help of a professional interior designer can help you to make strategic decisions that will help extend the life of certain purchases and update others so that you can maximize your budget while always delivering a fresh and inviting feel to your common spaces.

Whether you are looking to completely redesign your hotel lobby or breakfast bar, or update a condo party room or retirement home respite suite, Custom Home Interiors has the people, the products, and the solutions to deliver a vision that will make a positive and lasting impression on guests and tenants.

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Custom Home Interiors works with industry professional to provide leading edge furniture, appliances, home automation, fireplaces, window treatments and fittings for commercial and residential projects.

We publish a quarterly newsletter containing links to bi-monthly blog posts & other relevant industry news. Subscribe to our quarterly newsletter.

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Advantages of Buying Smaller Euro-Style Appliances

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In Europe, where living spaces in major cities are smaller, generally, so too are appliances. They not only reflect a long tradition of shopping in the markets daily, cooking fresh food, an hanging laundry on a line, but also more recently a continent’s response to increasing energy prices and global temperatures.

North America is catching on, and although we may not all have the time to shop and cook fresh every day, there are still plenty of other reasons to go euro when it comes to appliances.

Save Money

Smaller appliances usually mean a smaller purchase price and less taxes, especially when compared to larger models of the same brand. The money you save on reducing the size of your appliances could be spent on upgrading to a better model, or on additional furnishings and offerings that increase the appeal of your home.
KitchenAid 24- Fridge

Conserve Energy

North Americans have the biggest refrigerators in the world. They became a status symbol of sorts in the 80’s and used to store a week’s worth of food for families of all sizes. The sad truth is that refrigerators consume more energy than any other household appliance because they run day and night.

Reducing the size of everyone’s fridge alone can impact global warming. Imagine what we could do by reducing the size of all of our household appliances.

Create Space

With the size of living spaces shrinking due to population growth in and around urban centres, it will become increasingly important to design homes with furnishing and appliances that maximize every inch of space so that comfort and functionality are not compromised in any way. Euro-style appliances are smaller and sleeker than traditional North American counterparts. They fit perfectly into a single or dual occupant space and lifestyle, which are now the two largest household segments in Canada.

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Custom Home Interiors works with industry professional to provide leading edge furniture, appliances, home automation, fireplaces, window treatments and fittings for commercial and residential projects.

We publish a quarterly newsletter containing links to bi-monthly blog posts & other relevant industry news. Subscribe to our quarterly newsletter.

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Six Energy Efficient Ways to Keep Your Home Warm This Winter

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The cost of heating a home can often be more frightful than the weather outside. Instead of letting rising energy costs send a shiver down your spine this winter, consider some of these energy efficient ways to keep your home warm this winter.

  1. Move Furniture Away from Vents

If your furniture is in front of or on top of heating vents, it is likely that your rooms are not getting the maximum heat potential. Take a tour of the house and rearrange any pieces of furniture that could be posing an issue and see if the flow of heat improves and the room feels warmer without having to turn up the thermostat.

  1. Snuggle Up in Quality Linens and Blankets

1498aaUsing the same sheets year round might not be the best approach for the climate you live in. Materials that breathe well might be perfect in the summer, but when the temperatures drop, you want to make sure your bedding traps enough of your body heat to keep your warm through the night without having to employ a hot water bottle. Working with our team to create fine custom linens and blankets for your home will ensure style is not sacrificed for comfort when designing any room in a house.

  1. Electric Fireplaces

Electric fireplaces can be installed in minutes, often on the same day as purchased. Installation and operating costs of an electric fireplace are a mere fraction of their wood burning and gas counterparts. At about $0.18 per hour at maximum output, you can heat a room for about $50-$80 a year. We choose Dimplex® for our projects. They carry a wide carry a wide array of top-quality designs with an unparalleled selection of styles, accents and finishes to suit any style and application.

  1. Cover Wood Floors and Tiles with Area Rugs

According to the National Energy Foundation, uninsulated wood floors can account for up to 10% of a home’s heat loss. Using area rugs not only prevents this loss of energy and keeps toes warm, it is also an easy way to pull together the look of a room, muffle the sound of heavy heels and talking.

  1. Reverse the Ceiling Fan Direction with Heat

If you have ceiling fans that your normally use to circulate cool air it the summer, try reversing the fan direction when you have the heat on in the winter. Since warm air rises, this will push the warm rising air back down to the floor where you still need it. You will waste less energy and require less of your heating system.

  1. Keep Heat in and Cold Out with Premium Window Coverings

hunter_douglas_shades_architellaWindows are known to let drafts in and heat out; and with it your money goes wafting through the cracks. Choosing the right window coverings can save a homeowner plenty of money by keeping heat inside and cold out. Hunter Douglas’ highly energy-efficient Duette® honeycomb shades can make a big energy savings at the window.

These energy-efficient tips will do more than save you money each winter, they are a great way to update a home with new technology and modern designs that give a home fresh appeal.  Ask one of our experts about custom solutions to warm up your home or project.

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Custom Home Interiors works with industry professional to provide leading edge furniture, appliances, home automation, fireplaces, window treatments and fittings for commercial and residential projects.

We publish a quarterly newsletter containing links to bi-monthly blog posts & other relevant industry news. Subscribe to our quarterly newsletter.

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The Benefits of High Quality Home Furnishings

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The home furnishing industry has started trending towards high-end, locally-made furnishings once again. Over the past several years, free trade agreements with low-wage markets and big-box stores have created a speedy shift towards fast furnishings at lower prices. Although these products and partners still have a role to play in the overall mix of interior design, Canadian businesses and customers have learned that the initial investment in high-quality furnishings really pays off in the long term.

skyline_wandcord_livingroom_3Custom Home Interiors has always purchased our core items from local manufacturers. High-quality upholstery, furniture, appliances, and accessories from great Canadian manufacturers like Trica, Huppé, JLM Furniture, and Superstyle help us to deliver the quality that our clients and partners have come to expect, all while offering competitive pricing.
 
Frankly, for us supporting other Canadian companies is just good business. We believe that offering superior, locally-made products gives our business and our clients’ a competitive advantage. We are able to maintain quality control that just isn’t possible with suppliers overseas, ensuring the best in modern design, materials, as well as adherence to national building requirements and standards.

Well-made products also last longer, which is more cost effective than replacing cheap ones every couple of years and sending the used ones to landfills. Purchasing locally-made, quality furnishings also has another environment benefit in that the distance the final product has to travel is dramatically reduced thereby decreasing its carbon footprint.

All of this enables our clients to deliver a consistently superior experience with furnishings that actually increase the appeal of the space, and clearly demonstrate that they value their customers, which is the key to turning them into repeat business and referral sources.

To find out more about our leading edge furniture, appliances, home automation and fittings for commercial and residential projects, contact our team. Whether you are working on a restaurant, a commercial lobby, a retirement home or building a neighbourhood of custom homes, we can provide innovative solutions and award-winning customer service that will exceed your expectations.
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Custom Home Interiors works with industry professional to provide leading edge furniture, appliances, home automation, fireplaces, window treatments and fittings for commercial and residential projects.

We publish a quarterly newsletter containing links to bi-monthly blog posts & other relevant industry news. Subscribe to our quarterly newsletter.

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Top Reasons to Choose an Electric Fireplace

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There is an electric solution for every fireplace

 
blfo_brickThe fireplace has long been a focal point for the home. A place to gather with family and friends on a cold winter’s night and enjoy the comforting glow of the fire, it provides ambience, as well as light and heat. Wood burning and gas fireplaces have fallen out of favour in recent years due to challenges like safety hazards and high costs. More and more home builders and home owners and turning to electric fireplaces, and with the development of newer and better electric models, there may never be a need to chop firewood again.

Electric fireplace design has come a long way since the early days of the dancing paper flame. Whether you are looking for a wall-mount, mantel, media console, firebox, insert or stove, there is a top-quality model in a traditional or contemporary, sophisticated style with accents and finishes to suit your space. The latest innovations produce the sights and sounds of a true burning fire for the ultimate virtual fireplace experience.

Electric fireplaces can be installed quickly and easily in almost any space. Since they do not require a gas line or chimney, there are few limitations on where you can put one. In fact, with a wall-mount, you could move it into a different room whenever you feel like redecorating, treating it more like wall art. Electric fireplaces can be installed in minutes, often on the same day as purchased. And, the installation and operating costs of an electric fireplace are a mere fraction of their wood burning and gas counterparts.

The technology works with or without heat and allows for control of the background lighting and speed of the flame. An electric fireplace can heat an entire room efficiently; and yet it remains cool to the touch and emits no smoke ‒ making it safe for children and pets, and in hotels and condominiums. Insusceptible to rust or erosion, home owners and guests will be able to enjoy an electric fireplace all year round for years on end.

We carry a wide array of top-quality designs by Dimplex with an unparalleled selection of styles, accents and finishes to suit any style and application. There is an electric solution for every fireplace. Contact us for a consultation on how to redefine your space with a beautiful electric fireplace.

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Custom Home Interiors works with industry professional to provide leading edge furniture, appliances, home automation, fireplaces, window treatments and fittings for commercial and residential projects.

We publish a quarterly newsletter containing links to bi-monthly blog posts & other relevant industry news. Subscribe to our quarterly newsletter.

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How a Multiple Model Home Design Strategy Increases its Market Potential

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Broaden the appeal of a home by targeting multiple buyer profiles

Model homes provide a walk-through experience that can sway a potential buyer toward or away from a purchase depending on how well they connect with the design, and how specifically the featured product fit the desired lifestyle of the buyer. With so many potential buyers walking through your model home door, that is a lot to bank on one design. That is why showing the same model home with multiple designs can increase the market potential by broadening its appeal to different buyer profiles.

2In the span of time a potential buyer will spend walking through a model home, the goal is to show them a vision of what their life will be like in that space and convince them to buy into that vision. An empty model home can never achieve this goal. We extolled the virtues of a furnished model home over an empty one in our blog post entitled, Why Furnished Model Homes Sell Faster Than Empty Ones.

By the same token, a furnished model home that does not speak to someone’s design preferences and lifestyle needs may have an unintended negative effect. For example, there are segments of the population that completely lack the ability to imagine a space any other way than as it is presented. This can pose a huge barrier to purchase decisions, if it is not to their taste or standards.

1By applying a multiple model home design strategy in a development, you can target each home more specifically to a buyer profile, choosing products that appeal to that market and they might purchase. For example, you could show one home with a nursery and a basement outfitted as a play room for a growing family, while in another version of that model you can make the nursery an office and the basement a home gym for empty nesters.

A model home is an effective tool that can generate home sales, made even more powerful by strategically maximizing its potential. Talk to us about putting together a multiple model home design strategy for your new development.
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Custom Home Interiors works with industry professional to provide leading edge furniture, appliances, home automation, fireplaces, window treatments and fittings for commercial and residential projects.

We publish a quarterly newsletter containing links to bi-monthly blog posts & other relevant industry news. Subscribe to our quarterly newsletter.

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Sarah Kidder Talks Top Trends from the Ottawa Fall Home Show 2015

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Our colleague Sarah Kidder, the founder and principal of the award-winning Sarah Kidder Design took part in the 2015 Ottawa Fall Home Show (OFHS) held September 24-27 at the EY Centre, as a celebrity guest presenter ‒ alongside other notables like Sarah Richardson and Leigh-Anne Allaire Perrault ‒ to talk about how to effectively start an interior design project.

Speaking on the main stage for the fifth time this year, and having a booth at the show definitely gives Sarah a lot of exposure to new people and ideas, helps her to build relationships with new trades and suppliers, find new leads and discover hot trends. That is why we asked the OFHS veteran to share some of the top trends she spotted at the Show, where she is seeing them, as well as her take on how they can be implemented effectively.

Here is what she told us:

Trend #1: Upcycling
upcycled chair
There are some fantastic items out there that are tired and in need of love, so painting them, new upholstery, etc. can take a boring piece of furniture and turn it into a one-of-a-kind work of art. Kijiji, Craig’s List, FreeOttawa are all great places to find treasures. I like to start with a fun fabric for chair upholstery and pull a colour out of it for the frame. Go big with the colour – it has so much more impact and really elevates the overall look and feel of a worn or antique piece.  We’re seeing this a lot in high-low spaces, where we’re mixing trendy, unique and funky items with higher end furnishings or classics for a truly personalized look.

Trend #2: The Industrial/Organic Look
organic or industrial look
Think mixed metals, vintage lighting, exposed brick, live edge tables and driftwood-coloured or high variance wood flooring.  The key here is not to over-do it.  The industrial design trend can be harsh if there are too many of the same elements throughout a space.  Be sure to mix in softer fabrics, pillows, full drapes and add touches of the industrial vibe throughout for interest.  The problem with trends is that they’re just that – trendy.  You have to be very careful not to create a room that screams ‘2015’ for the next 30 years.  We’ve all been in the ‘stuck in the ‘80s’ house. Always choose classic elements for the ‘permanent’ things like flooring, cabinetry, large and/or expensive furnishings and accents with the trendier items.

Trend #3: Renovating Instead of Selling
basement renovations
The real estate market is pretty soft right now, so I think people are just trying to reclaim space in their homes rather than buying a larger home.  Sometimes reorganizing your home’s interior is a more cost effective solution, rather than trying to solve your problem in another home that is full of other potential problems.  We were especially asked quite a bit about basement renos at the OFHS; adding additional living area, bathrooms and bedrooms.
 
Sarah Kidder Design is dedicated to providing you with practical, affordable and creative solutions to all your design and decorating problems.  They are a full service decorating and design firm with over 10 years of experience in residential, commercial, and corporate design in Ottawa and across Canada. Sarah Kidder has established herself as an Ottawa decorator that understands and listens to her customers. She has used her skills on many residential and small, commercial spaces in the Ottawa area, model homes for local builders, and corporate housing projects across Canada.

When Custom Home Interiors operated as a design resource centre a few years ago, Sarah Kidder was a regular in our warehouse. “I really appreciated what Custom Home Interiors could do for designers. Using them as a resource really helped grow my business,” says Kidder. Today, Sarah still partners with us on a variety of design projects. “I purchase as much product as I can through Custom Home Interiors for my own clients, as they have got a great price point, super-efficient service and excellent logistics teams.”
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Custom Home Interiors works with industry professional to provide leading edge furniture, appliances, home automation, fireplaces, window treatments and fittings for commercial and residential projects.

We publish a quarterly newsletter containing links to bi-monthly blog posts & other relevant industry news. Subscribe to our quarterly newsletter.

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Window Treatment Solutions Give Builders Competitive Advantage

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While buying a new home often comes down to size, location, and price, what matters most when choosing a builder is the experience and satisfaction of past buyers and the reputation that comes as a result. One way to enhance the buyer experience is to provide them with convenient and time-saving logistical solutions that will simplify the transition into their new home. Going above and beyond the traditional offerings can give you a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

window shuttersWindow treatments are more than a decorative tool to dress up a window or to coordinate the entire look of a room. They are also an essential functional tool providing privacy from neighbours; energy efficiency by keeping heat inside in the winter and outside in the summer; and in some cases, like condo corporations, ensuring adherence to contractual requirements.

It is no wonder that window coverings are at the top of the priority list for most home buyers and home sellers; and yet we have all witnessed, or even experienced the somewhat uncomfortable delay between new home possession and the installation of blinds or drapes. That is partly because choosing window coverings can be a daunting task for many. There are so many styles and suppliers to choose from that even figuring out where to start can be stressful.

Anticipating a client’s needs by providing a helpful and trusted referral to take care of all of their window covering needs under one roof is a simple, easy, and innovative solution that benefits the buyer and your business. Not only could it be the deciding factor in choosing a builder, but improving the customer experience leads to positive buzz that often drives business.

Custom Home Interiors provides builders and real estate agents with interior and exterior design solutions ‒ from leading edge furniture, appliances, home automation and fittings for commercial and residential projects ‒ for quicker sales and higher profits.

Builders and realtors who work with Custom Home Interiors reap the benefits of helping their home owners, home buyers and home sellers take care of all their outfitting needs with our team of professionals.

Contact us to find out how you can take advantage of these benefits and become an affiliate with Custom Home Interiors.
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Custom Home Interiors works with industry professional to provide leading edge furniture, appliances, home automation, fireplaces, window treatments and fittings for commercial and residential projects.

We publish a quarterly newsletter containing links to bi-monthly blog posts & other relevant industry news. Subscribe to our quarterly newsletter.

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