DEMOGRAPHICS ON THE FLOOR: Right from the get go our show space was something of an anomaly when compared to other exhibitors. While the event was designated as a Home AND Garden show, much of what was on display heavily leaned towards internal and external household renovations. Another significant cohort was entirely dedicated to utilities and maintenance accessories, while a handful of other companies were hawking everything from trampolines to Singapore style Jerky.
Where the show clearly fell short was the absence of any real shout-out to apartment and condo living, a strange outcome as Vancouver’s explosive real-estate market is currently growing “UP” a lot quicker than it is growing “OUT”. Despite a sizeable percentage of those browsing coming from detached homes, it didn’t stop a consistent river of people from swelling in and out of EF’s space through the remainder of the weekend, all of whom expressed a look of amazement when they saw just how versatile our furniture can be.
If I heard it once that weekend, I heard it one hundred times, customers are looking to downsize! Homeowners are getting sick of the responsibility and costs associated with living on larger properties. Vancouver traffic is becoming a nightmare for commuters, and people are looking to live greener lives, relying more on their legs and pedals then they are their car keys.
Nearly everyone we chatted with expressed the desire to move into a more manageable space with centrality in mind, if they had not done so already. Only one concern seemed to linger on the minds of those considering a move from their large suburban home to a downsized condo, and that was the freedom of space they had become accustomed to over the years. It didn’t take long however for customers to discover that by utilizing Expand Furniture’s creative solutions to limited spaces, they would still have the opportunity to entertain as many guests as they had in the past, and still be able to maintain a comfortable second bedroom cleverly disguised as a den or cosy office.
THE HEAVY HITTERS: While the entire line on display managed to raise eyebrows, there were a few star attractions that consistently left jaws on the floor, and had customers returning for a second visit so they could show off their discovery to family and friends.
THE LUDOVICO OFFICE:
Always the attention grabber, and recently featured in an online publication by DWELL Media, the Ludovico managed to elicit some entertaining expressions from the faces of anyone witnessing it in action. As we revealed its cleverly hidden seat by removing it from the desk frame, there were often audible gasps that could be heard coming from the crowd. Going on to outline its assorted internal storage, seamless expanding wing table, and easy glide wheels for convenient mobility had many viewers inquiring about production time and shipping.
Due to such dramatic interest in the product, Expand Furniture is looking towards extending the line to include alternative finishes such as “Full White” and “Walnut” during the next production cycle. The Ludovico remains an innovative concept which allows for some customization at the productions stage. Customers are currently able to request which side they would like their collapsible table mounted, and will soon be able to select from a new assortment of finishes.
SMALL TABLE GLASS LIFT:
As our top selling product from the 2015 Vancouver Home and Garden Show, the modern black tempered glass lift table created quite a stir among visitors to the Expand Furniture showroom! Traditionalists can say what they like about glass not being as “warm” or “homey” as wooden furnishings, but you really can’t deny the sleek and modern vibe this piece lends to a room, and customers were keen to get their hands on it.
Like everything else in the EF catalogue, there is more to the inspired design of this black beauty than is immediately visible. With a central hidden leaf that rises into place when the table is pulled apart, and descends back to where it came from once pushed together again, the small table glass lift is able to assume different roles depending on an owner’s needs. The smooth and bowed chrome legs are strikingly elegant, and reveal their own secret as the piece collapses from dining height to a convenient coffee table. When expanded while at its lowest setting, it can easily accommodate everyone sitting on a three and even four seater sofa. With all that in mind, it’s not hard to see why these tables were some of the fastest moving items under the dome throughout the weekend.
THE JUNIOR GIANT:
The old adage that size really does matter was never truer than in the case of the Junior Giant expanding table. Another all-star of the Expand Furniture show booth, visitors were ecstatic to discover the extent to which such a small console could be lengthened. More than that, in an age where nearly everything seems to be made up of composite materials, most people we introduced to the unit were pleasantly surprised to discover that its base structure is composed entirely out of solid wood. Anyone who stopped by was welcome to try extending the table for themselves, and all who did were impressed by the lack of energy it took to expand the Junior Giant, and the smooth operation of the ball baring equipped sliders at the table’s core.
Once customers learned that this discrete console can comfortably seat up to 10 people with all its leafs in place, many shared with us that they had been looking for just such a piece that could allow them to entertain so many guests in their condos, but did not have the overall space for a permanent dining table of that size. After demonstrating how easily the table could be tucked away and the leafs hidden, there was simply no going back in many visitors’ minds.
BOX COFFEE TO DINING TABLE:
An Expand Furniture classic and instant crowd pleaser, the hidden features of EF’s Box Coffee to Dining Table showed customers that they wouldn’t need to give up precious storage space in order to accommodate the unit’s expanding hardware as everything is comfortably tucked away right at its core. Having recently caught the eye of BC Living’s Julia Dilworth, the unit was featured by the Magazine’s online publication in January of this year.
Visitors were eager to watch the solid looking unit as we modified the table from its lowered position, raising it to dining height, expanding it out to its full capacity, and lowering it once again with all its leafs in place. Many had a hard time believing that this compact unit could accommodate 10 dinner guests with such ease. They were equally impressed with the smooth mechanics over which the table has been built, and the overall speed at which it can be transformed. There were more than a few visitors to Expand Furniture’s showroom that exclaimed how the Box Coffee to Dining Table was the perfect solution to their smaller living space.
PENDULUM DESIGNER FOLDING CHAIRS:
It’s all about the Pendulums baby! A great pairing for any of the tables available through Expand Furniture, our designer Pendulum series offers a solution to the problem of an expanding table without enough actual seating. Let’s be clear, there isn’t really much point in having a dining table that can collapse to a fraction of its size if your living room is going to remain cluttered with 6 or 8 bulky chairs. So when customers raised this issue with us, we were excited to introduce them to our line of ultra thin folding Pendulums which can easily be hidden away throughout the apartment (SEE-5 places that you can hide away folding chairs when you are not using them).
Visitors to the show who popped in to see us were impressed with the quality in the construction of the chairs. They are produced in solid wood with a metal frame and scratch bar at the base, a framework which speaks volumes of an eye for design with equal attention to practical details. Anyone who tried the chairs were surprised to discover that the ergonomic curve to seat meant that they were perfectly comfortable without the need for cushioning, and their lightweight frame, in spite of its wood base, meant they could be moved around effortlessly. The chairs themselves have been making quite a stir and will be featured later this spring in an upcoming publication from Western Living Condo Magazine.