All Under One Roof
From concept to completion, Carrocel Interiors works closely with designers
It can be tough on beginners who have yet to build a network; it can also be tough on experienced professionals who are having trouble finding just what they need. Understanding that challenge, the people at Carrocel Interiors give designers the tools and attention they need to complete their projects.
Until a year ago, the company was known as Carrocel Restorations. But the name was changed to better reflect the fact that it isn’t just about restoring vintage and antique furniture. Carrocel can craft entirely new pieces; in fact, producing custom-made furniture is a large part of the business, especially with designers as customers. “We like to work with designers. We like to be really approachable for designers on any education level, anyone from just starting out and getting to know the business to designers who are seasoned and have a really great clientele base,” says Carrocel’s Lindsay Hewitt, a designer with the company. “I wear a lot of hats; I’m using my eye a lot.”
Hewitt explains that Carrocel’s custom shop can take an idea, a concept, a drawing, or a cad rendering, build it, and then custom-finish it, all on the company’s premises. “Designers can work one-on-one with us and see the project all the way through,” she says. “We give designers flexibility. I like to look at it as inspiring them, because anything they can conceptualize, we’ll do. We’ll handle the entire project in-house too, so you don’t have to worry about sourcing from different people. We’ll handle it from start to finish: metal-work, glass-work, finishing, building, etc: everything is facilitated here at Carrocel.”
Cameron Cabral, son of founder Joe Cabral and now self-described general overseer (“This business has been my life.”), adds that the company also does modifications to vintage or antique pieces. This can range from simply changing the finish or colour to more extensive work such as adapting an armoire into a bar cabinet or a fridge. Often, this is done on request, but the company also purchases antiques, refurbishes them, and sells them in its 40,000-square-foot facility near Yorkdale Mall.
“We’re a one-stop shop for designers for anything related to furniture–antique, custom, or new,” he says. “And the showroom can inspire people. When they see all the wonderful and unique things, their ideas might head in a different direction. We are constantly bringing in unique and original inventory to help designers create spectacular projects.”
Jennifer Backstein is one designer who’s been benefiting from the Carrocel expertise. “I’ve been in business almost nine years, but I knew about them even 12 years ago,” she says. “Joe was always so gracious and easy to work with. Every time I went there, I was offered coffee, tips, talk. He educated me in the business. The company makes every effort to accommodate designers.”
Backstein’s first major experience with Carrocel service took place when she was designing a dining room for a young family. They had a Duncan Phyfe table that didn’t fit with the contemporary style they wanted, but it was a lovely piece of furniture that Backstein thought should be saved. She turned to Carrocel for inspiration. “They took it, something very traditional, and gave it a twist, made it contemporary with a high-gloss dark stain,” she says. “When it arrived–I can’t tell you how happy my client was. Carrocel also did a custom-made wooden buffet with a metal bottom, and the finishing was beautiful.”
Backstein has also benefitted from simply browsing the inventory. “Once, I was touring the aisles in a back room and saw a table on a top shelf in pieces,” she recounts. “Joe Cabral said ‘Let’s take it down.’ It had a marbleized top I was not happy with, and he said ‘We can transform it together.’ They even made an extra leaf for it. It turned out fabulous, a unique piece which you’d never see anywhere else.
“Every time I’ve brought Carrocel a client, the client walks away happy, and I’m happy to bring them the business,” Backstein adds. “They have unique pieces and are a pleasure to work with.”
Carrocel has recently added two elements to its concept that will make life even easier for designers. One is a custom chair gallery that displays approximately 50 chairs, each a different design, in raw wood and muslin. Designers can ask for anything they want in terms of wood type or finish, fabric, and upholstery. The second element is the Revival collection of furniture that incorporates vintage or antique pieces restored and displayed in the showroom. “We take signature pieces and give them a new life with a change of colour or new fabric or up-holstery,” Hewitt explains. “We give a modern spin to older things. Designers–and the public–can buy from the Revival furniture collection right off the floor.”
Cabral also hastens to mention that, although the company understandably works mostly with local designers in Toronto, “we can facilitate orders worldwide. Anywhere around the world we can fulfill custom orders,” he says. “We have a unique and wide range of products. If you can’t find it anywhere, we have it or can build it for you–anything your heart desires.”