The Custom Home Interiors Fabric Line has arrived!

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Spring is in the air!

With the snow melting and the days getting longer, we are getting the incredible urge to change things up! Those projects that you were dreaming about all winter long finally start taking shape.  Whether it’s changing the draperies, new toss cushions or even getting that chair re-upholstered, exciting new fabrics is what your space is craving!

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Here at Custom Home Interiors, we have just the solution to help. Not only do we carry hundreds of different fabrics from companies like Robert Allen, Joanne Fabrics, Avant Garde, Duralee and more, but we now also have our very own line of Custom Home Interiors fabric! From stripes to solids, plaid to pattern, blue to purple, red to orange and everything in between!

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Next time you are in the area of our Thurston Drive location, stop by and see what we have to offer.  Feel free to spend some time browsing through the samples – you might be here for a while!  If you find it helpful, bring along some inspiration pictures, wall colours or something that represents the colours that already exist in the space and you will be able to find that perfect fabric to help tie everything together.

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Mandalyn Goodall
Sales and Design Representative
Mandalyn@customhomeinteriors.ca

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Happy Holidays from Custom Home Interiors

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A few of the Custom Home Interiors team members (+ 1 furry friend) got together to show our festive spirit this holiday season. We practiced really really hard and we hope that you will enjoy this short video. Just sit back and enjoy.

From everyone at Custom Home Interiors, we would like to wish our friends and partners a joyous holiday season and best wishes for 2011.

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Custom Home Interiors is proud to announce the “Next Stage” of Home Staging!

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Just imagine…. you have to stage a condo, quickly.

Do you rent a moving truck, hire movers and move a bunch of bulky furniture into the space?  Do you pile it all in the back of your own vehicle?

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Or, do you place an entire living room set neatly into the trunk of your car?

With Next Stage Furniture, you can carry an entire living room set in your car, bring it into the house and set it up yourself all in 15-20 minutes! This innovative furniture is designed to simplify your life by dramatically reducing the time and cost it takes to stage homes, apartments and condos on the real estate market!

Custom Home Interiors is pleased to be an authorized distributer of Next Stage Furniture! These products utilize corrugated fibreboard materials and upholstery grade slip covers, which allows the furniture to be extremely light weight and store flat. The furniture is lab tested to hold up to 1000 lbs, making it safe for an average person to sit on it.

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Tried, tested and true, this product gives potential home buyers a very good idea of how fantastic a space can be with little effort and cost on your part. The slip covers can be custom made so it fits into your style of staging and looks quite realistic. Add some throw pillows and make it your own style.

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Next Stage furniture put to good use – Accent chairs by the table and the love seat

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Complete Next Stage Living Room – Sofa, Oversized chair and Ottoman

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All the furniture in both the living and dining room is Next Stage furniture.  Spruce it up and look at how good it looks!

Here at Custom Home Interiors, we have several pieces of Next Stage furniture in our showroom. Come in for a demonstration as to how easy it is to set it up, take it down and pack it up for transportation. Purchase your very own set of Next Stage furniture from us and get started using this amazing innovative furniture!

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Mandalyn Goodall
Custom Home Interiors Sales & Design Representative – Member Division
mandalyn@customhomeinteriors.ca

Custom Home Interiors Ignites It’s Imagination with Charity!

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Giving back to our community is something that is very important to Custom Home Interiors.  A few months back, we began our search for a charitable organization that would compliment what CHI does.  It was clear almost immediately that all signs pointed to Habitat for Humanity National Capital Region.

I actually met Habitat NCR CEO Donna Hicks in the summer at one of the Mayor’s Breakfast events held at the beautifully renovated and restored Museum of Nature.  Donna spoke about Habitat’s fall winter gala “Steel Toes & Stilettos” and I knew immediately it was something I wanted to be involved with.

I joined the “Steel Toes & Stilettos” Gala team as a Table Captain, responsible for promoting and selling a table of tickets for the event.  It was an amazing evening and I was so happy to be involved.

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Habitat for Humanity “Steel Toes & Stilettos” Gala @ The Westin, Ottawa
October 15, 2010

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CHI Commercial Sales Representative Suzy Kendrick
Proud “Table Captain”

We knew right away that Custom Home Interiors wasn’t stopping there.  We had a big event coming up and wanted Habitat for Humanity to be involved.

I set up a meeting with Myrna Beattie, Director of Retail Operations at the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store.  Myrna excitedly agreed to join CHI as our Official Charitable Partner.  After our discussions, we decided the best way to raise money for HFH NCR would be a Silent Auction at the Custom Home Interiors Grand Re-Opening Industry Night.

We had an overwhelming response from our industry peers and the Ottawa business community as a whole with donations for the silent auction and need to give a shout out to them all!

GE Mabe
Hot 89.9/Newcap Radio
Homestars.com
Randall’s
Luc Crawford Design Planning
Artfrik Home
Leeza Distribution
Kiwi Choice
Miele
Renu Spa
Strokes of Genius Painting
Hilton Garden Inn Ottawa Airport
Jody Lavoie

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Custom Home Interiors Grand Re-Opening Industry Cocktail Party Silent Auction
October 28, 2010

When the evening concluded, bids were tallied and money collected, we were thrilled to see we had raised over $2300 for the Habitat for Humanity National Capital Region Re-Store!

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Custom Home Interiors Directors Andrew Emmans & Tyler Dren along with Commercial Sales Representative Suzy Kendrick present Habitat for Humanity’s CEO Donna Hicks and Director of Retail Operations Myrna Beattie with the cheque.

-Suzy Kendrick
Commercial Sales Representative
suzy@customhomeinteriors.ca

… and now the whole CHI team was getting the charity itch.

WELCOME TO “MO”VEMBER!

Happy November… I mean Movember!!

We’re coming to the end of Movember people! The month where men of all ages, decided to grow their ‘staches’ for 30 days in hopes and dreams of achieving mustache glory.  Actually… no.  This is a cause to raise awareness for prostate cancer.

We’re pleased to see CHI Director of Sales & Marketing Andrew Emmans taking the lead in supporting to the cause for Custom Home Interiors!

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In joining the 60,000 odd men that have signed up for the cause, Andrew says

I’m doing this because 4,400 men die of prostate cancer in Canada each year and one in six men will be diagnosed during his lifetime. This is a cause that I feel passionately about and I’m asking you to support my efforts by making a donation to Prostate Cancer Canada.”

It’s been a long month for Andrew as he has endured the comments, looks, stares from people and jokes around the office that we make, which he doesn’t know about (I guess he knows now).  But it’s all for a good cause and I’m pretty sure he has enjoyed his time of crumb catchers and soup strainers.

Here are some quick facts on prostate cancer in Canada (Courtesy of prostatecancer.ca):

  • The most common cancer among Canadian men – it will afflict 1 in 6 men and is a greater threat for those with a family history of the disease
  • Turning up in men in their 40s
  • Going to be diagnosed in about 24,600 men this year, not including cases that go undiagnosed due to men’s unwillingness to go for annual check-ups
  • Develops as a result of dietary, environmental and heredity factors (more research is needed to identify its causes and prevent the disease)
  • New, preliminary research suggests pharmaceuticals may help prevent prostate cancer in men at high risk of the disease
  • Often without symptoms in its earliest, most curable stage – making annual testing ever more important
  • Treated by surgery, radiation and hormone therapy (among other treatments)
  • Thought to be a potentially preventable cancer in many cases, but more research is needed

If you are still looking to donate, you can help Andrew out by clicking this link: http://ca.movember.com/mospace/1129288/

For more details on how the funds raised from previous campaigns have been used and the impact Movember is having please visit: http://ca.movemberfoundation.com/research-and-programs.

– Timothy Das
Sales & Marketing Coordinator
timothy@customhomeinteriors.ca

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Custom Home Interiors Wins 2010 Ottawa Citizen Peoples Choice Award for Housing Design!

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The Greater Ottawa Home Builders Association Housing Design Awards are essentially the Oscars for the Home & Design industry in Ottawa. This is the event where Home Builders, Architects, Designers and Industry Partners get to showcase their best work and wow the who’s who of Ottawa.

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Custom Home Interiors was eligible for one of the most coveted and prestigious awards of the evening, the Ottawa Citizen Peoples Choice Award.  This is where the people of Ottawa have a chance to voice their opinion on who they think had the best design project, and while according to the judges, it was a close call, CHI won!

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Custom Home Interiors Team Members (From left to right) Sean Howard, Tyler Dren, Michaela Shirley, Andrew Emmans, Suzy Kendrick & Tim Das

“Winning the Ottawa Citizen Peoples Choice Award is an absolute honour for CHI.  We are very proud of our team and our work and will ensure that our clients and potential clients will continue to see this from us. We will always strive to be the best we can be for the people.”  – Andrew Emmans, Director of Sales & Marketing

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Custom Home Interiors Directors Tyler Dren (left) & Andrew Emmans at 2010 GOHBA Housing Design Awards

The Housing and Design Awards features 41 categories that range from custom kitchens & bathrooms, builder homes, condos, green initiatives, renovator of the year and more.

Custom Home Interiors submission fell under the Open Category as well as the Ottawa Citizen Peoples Choice Award. The Open Category allows GOHBA members to showcase a housing project, custom home or renovations anywhere in North America.  Our submission was for a home that we had renovated and outfitted in Caledon, Ontario with furniture and décor that defined the home owners personality.  Our presentation board featured all the designs and inspirations that went toward bringing this home from concept to reality which beat out some tough competition to land itself a place in the finals amongst 3 other companies.

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CHI Director of Sales & Marketing Andrew Emmans presents an award at 2010 Housing Design Awards

On behalf of the entire Custom Home Interiors team, we’d like to thank the people of Ottawa for selecting CHI as your premiere choice for home outfitting and design in the nations capital.

By Suzy Kendrick & Tim Das

suzy@customhomeinteriors.ca
timothy@customhomeinteriors.ca

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GOHBA Recognizes CHI for Exceptional Customer Service & Marketing!

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Outstanding customer service is what Custom Home Interiors is all about.  So, being recognized for this by our industry peers is one of the best compliments we could get!

Every year the Greater Ottawa Home Builders Association holds awards ceremonies to acknowledge their industry partners who stand out in terms of sales, marketing and customer service.  This year, CHI was at the forefront of award recipients.
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At the GOHBA Sammy Awards on Wednesday, September 8th at the Centurion Conference & Event Centre, CHI took away 3 trophies.

CHI Director of Sales & Marketing Andrew Emmans was the first to receive his award from the judging panel for Best Industry Partner Representative.

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Andrew Emmans, CHI Director of Sales & Marketing

“We’ve been members of GOHBA for the past 3 years and have been trying to get as involved as possible, so to win an award like this is an absolute honour.  CHI will strive to go above and beyond this expectation for years to come,” says Emmans.

Andrew barely had a chance to sit down before he was called up to the stage twice more.  CHI was presented the awards for Best Industry Partner Print Ad and Best Industry Partner Brochure.

“These achievements are a team effort,” he says.  “Everyone at CHI is involved with our marketing and certainly we need to point out Timothy Das for his work with our marketing initiatives.  These materials reflect exactly what CHI is providing to our customers.  We look at our marketing  materials as our CV  so it’s important that it sets a bar for what our clients can expect when they walk into Custom Home Interiors.”

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Timothy Das, CHI Sales & Marketing Co-Ordinator

The GOHBA Customer Service Awards were the next night at the Sala San Marco Banquet Hall and we we’re ready to recognize our customer service superstars!

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Our 2010 Customer Service Superstars! (Left to right) Andrew Emmans, Amy Carter, CHI Sales & Design Representative and Kiersten Lowden, CHI Sales & Corporate Services Representative

Three CHI family members were in the running for the GOHBA Customer Service Awards and it was Amy Carter who placed as the 2nd runner up in the Trade/Supplier category.

“I feel honoured and appreciated,” Carter says.  “I’m so pleased that my customers are happy and that I was acknowledged for it.  To me, customer service is about building relationships.  It’s not just about selling.  Being friendly and taking time to get to know my clients so that I can meet their needs and wants is key.”

Congratulations team!

By Suzy Kendrick

Commercial Sales Representative

Custom Commercial Interiors

suzy@customhomeinteriors.ca

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How Sunshine Can Improve Your Bottom Line

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A post by Custom Commercial Interiors

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When most people think of a roof, it’s mainly seen as that space above their heads that protects them from the elements.  It’s protective and essential, yet other than that, does it really serve any other purpose?

Well it can.

It can even make you money.

Intrigued?

With the passing of the Green Energy Act in May of 2009, solar energy has been prioritized by the Ontario Government and programs to support a wide range of projects are in high gear.  Custom Commercial Interiors (CCI) has teamed up with solar developer Advanced Solar Investments (ASI) to offer this great opportunity to building owners in the Ottawa and surrounding areas.

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ASI is interested in leasing unusable roof space for the purpose of installing their patented solar PV panels.  Lease rates are based on a per square foot per year term of 20 years.  Any person or business can install a solar array system and participate in the program.
Requirements
  • A solar system requires about 100 square feet of area per kilowatt
  • Systems can be installed on any rooftop or unused piece of land
  • Contracts can be applied through direct ownership or leasing options

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The best part about working with ASI is their patented racking design enhances product performance in Canada like no other.  The Solion SunMount eliminates many installation concerns of commercial buildings and has a proven record for reliability and safety.   The system has over 5 years of engineering and design testing behind it and has already been installed across Britain and Europe.

-Suzy Kendrick

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Birds of a Feather Flock Together @ Custom Home Interiors Tweet-Up

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Wow!  What a turnout at Custom Home Interiors‘ 1st Tweet-Up!  With the delicious food, fantastic company and wine flowing, we’re still trying to figure out what the best part of the event was.  So, for now, we’ll just say the whole thing!

Image and video hosting by TinyPicKimberley Seldon withThe Moggit Girls, Mary Taggart, Jane Daly & Heather Burke

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Custom Home Interiors’ Suzy Kendrick (far left) helps one event attendee with their first tweet

Behind the scenes, a lot went into getting the CHI Showroom ready for the Tweet-Up.  We are in the final stages of a total showroom renovation, so all the staff pulled together and worked really hard to make CHI shine.  We cleaned!  We organized!  We “made pretty”!

For some of the “pretty”, we’d like to sincerely thank @MVPetals (Florist Michelle VandenBosch).  Michelle prepared 3 amazing floral arrangements for us and WOW did they ever add to the beauty of the new diggs.

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Floral arrangement by @MVPetals a.k.a Michelle Vanden Bosch

A BIG special thanks to Kimberley Seldon, and her daughter, Raleigh, for coming up from Toronto to see us again.  We were thrilled to have her back.  Since Kimberley’s seminar at the CHI Showroom in March was such a huge hit, we knew a reunion would have to be arranged.  However, this one would have a little twist to it.  We wanted to put a face to all the names we “tweet” with so frequently.

Tweet-Up n. A real world meeting between two or more people who know each other through the online Twitter service.

Image and video hosting by TinyPicNames tags were worn by all showing their Twitter handle at the top and “real world” name underneath (ex. CHIOttawa/Tim or CCIOttawa/Suzy).  One person even did their very first “tweet” at the event.  Once everyone had arrived, we were treated to some insider tips from Mary Taggart from Ottawa at Home magazine on how to get yourself published.  Then Kimberley Seldon gave some tips on how to use Twitter effectively. (Credit to Design Ties for writing down these great points!)

  • 30% of your tweets should be about you and give some insight into who you are. Let people get to know the real you.
  • 30% of your tweets should be about your business (assuming you have a business you want to promote).
  • 30% of your tweets should be thanking people who mention you in their tweets. Share the love!!

For all you mathematicians out there, yes, that still leaves 10%.  So, we decided that the last section should be bumped up to 40%.  Make the extra 10% about recognizing your followers.  Keep sharing the love and give props!

Image and video hosting by TinyPicKimberley Seldon explaining the benefits & best practices of Twitter

On that note, we really wants to show Twitter some love.  Twitter has given CHI such a tremendous amount of brand exposure as well as introduced us to many designers in the Ottawa community.  Through these connections we’ve been given fresh & cool design ideas and found a great way to spread the news about different events.  As I’m sure you all know, news on Twitter travels fast!

So why should your business develop and maintain a social media strategy?  Here’s what we think:

“Twitter has enabled me to create and nuture meaningful business relationships as I am able to share and collaborate with my peers.  It’s critical that you manage your brand effectively on Twitter and especially pay attention to what people are saying about you.” – Tim Das, Custom Home Interiors

“Being new to Ottawa and the design industry, Twitter has been a fantastic way to meet people and find out what’s going on in the world of design and decorating in the nation’s captial.  Building and maintaining a reliable network of contacts is so important in business development and as I move forward with the development Custom Commercial Interiors, I know that Twitter will continue to be a powerful tool.”  – Suzy Kendrick, Custom Commercial Interiors

We’re not the only ones who think Twitter is great!  Take a look at this video from our Tweet-Up:

Thanks again to those who attended.  Until next time!

– Tim Das & Suzy Kendrick

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CHI Partners Nominated for Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award!

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Did you know that the idea for Custom Home Interiors came from a Carleton University business plan competition just over 4 years ago?

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From left to right (Andrew Emmans, Tyler Dren and Dylan MacNamara)

Passion, perseverance and the drive to succeed.  Three very important characteristics that were instrumental in getting Andrew Emmans, Tyler Dren and Dylan MacNamara where they are today.  These are also traits that Ernst & Young recognizes in the best and brightest entrepreneurial minds in Canadian business and, for the past 2 years, the directors of Custom Home Interiors have been on their radar.

Entrepreneurs are the engineers of Canada’s economy. Their hard work and commitment, despite the natural pitfalls on the road to success, are not only admirable, they’re somewhat rare. These are the men and women who have the energy and enthusiasm to change our economy for the better. They are the trailblazers who lead the way in challenging times.” – Ernst & Young

THEN & NOW

The Beginning – 2006

  • 1 Builder
  • 2 Model Homes
  • 3 Catalogues (Suppliers)
  • 3 Staff (Andrew, Tyler & Dylan)
  • E-commerce website

Present Day – 2010

  • Servicing a number of builders in Ottawa
  • Model homes all over the city
  • 350 Suppliers
  • 150 Services
  • 8000 sq. ft. Showroom & Design Resource Centre
  • Small fleet of delivery and service vehicles
  • 10 Staff (Andrew, Tyler, Dylan, Dawn, Tim, Michaela, Peter, Amy, Kiersten &  Suzy)

Director of Sales and Marketing Andrew Emmans says the key to CHI’s success so far has been commitment to always taking something away from every business experience, whether positive or negative.  “When faced with adversity, it is important to maintain a positive frame of mind.  Failure is not a word often used in my vocabulary.  I feel a better alternative to failure is LEARN,” he says.  Emmans expresses this opinion to all of the CHI team members and strives to motivate them on a daily basis.

Full Speed Ahead

CHI currently owns 7 other businesses under the Custom Home Interiors and Obvious Advantage Inc. umbrella; Custom Commercial, Bar, Restaurant, Office, Condo and Cottage Interiors.  All are separate businesses and have their individual URLs.  The company plans on developing the other brands over the next few years starting with Custom Commercial Interiors which will be launching in the Fall.

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Good Luck Gentlemen!

– Suzy Kendrick

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Learning About Quality: Dutch Quality Stone @ CHI

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As the newest member of the CHI team, I’ve had the pleasure of getting to learn about all the fantastic products CHI features in the showroom.  One really great thing I love about the items we carry are the interesting back stories or company histories that accompany many of them.  Dutch Quality Stone is one of those products.
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Started as a family company in Ohio 20 years ago, Dutch Quality Stone prides itself on the fact that 85% of the people they employ to manufacture the product are Amish.  (Interesting Fact:  The world’s largest Amish Community lives in Wayne County, Ohio.)  Company Representative Bill Archibald says this is because the Amish are extremely fussy about their work; quality and consistency being their primary concerns.

“In our corner of the world, people believe in doing things right.”  www.dutchqualitystone.com

Curiosity got the better of me and I wanted to know about the Amish way of life.  I discovered that Amish children start learning trades as early as Grade 8.  No wonder they have a reputation for hard work and fine craftsmanship!  For your own education, check this video out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D1ALGtEpbfU

Wondering how these manufactured stone veneers are made?  Basically, it goes a little something like this.  The stones come from a quarry where, I like to think, they are selected based on their individuality and “specialness”.  They’re brought in and a latex mould is made.  Then, the veneer is made using a combination of concrete and fired shale.  (Shale means broken down pieces of stone.)  From there, they are painted and have many different colour combinations depending on the layout you select.

“Dutch Quality Stone has been at the forefront of advanced stone replication for over a decade, perfecting the process of recreating incredibly vivid stone products.”  www.dutchqualitystone.com

At CHI, we specifically showcase “The Trillium Collection” which represents the best of what the company has to offer.  These stone styles and colours have been specifically selected for the discerning Canadian Homeowner.  Sample boards are available for designers to use as well.  These are my two favourite styles:

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Prestige Weather Ledge

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Natural Blend Ledgestone

Whether for the exterior or interior of your home, stone feature walls or store fronts, this products adds such beautiful character.  At significantly less than the cost of natural stone, accompanied by its 50 year warranty, it’s a great product to consider for your home or commercial space.  Come visit us in the showroom and check it out for yourself!  And make sure you say hi to me as well when you’re here, I’m looking forward to meeting you all!

-Suzy Kendrick

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