You don’t have to be an expert in everything to pull together a beautiful home – you just have to know where to turn when you need some help. These local businesses from Waterloo, Kitchener, Cambridge and area make it easier to cross some projects off your to-do list.
Tell us about your business: Celebrating our gallery’s fifth anniversary, Paint By Munzy exclusively features a collection of original oil paintings and affordable, ready-to-hang canvas prints by my brother, artist Jonathan Munz. Art described by collectors as Group of Seven meets Tiffany stained glass, we proudly offer an extensive collection of truly northern canvas art that’s available both online and at our Waterloo-based art gallery.
What’s the difference between a canvas print and oil painting? Jonathan Munz’s original paintings are hand painted using oil paints on canvas. When a painting is finished, he photographs that piece using a professional camera. Our canvas or “giclée” prints are then made-to-order by printing those high-resolution painting photographs onto canvas. Each canvas print is then hand stretched over wooden bars creating a piece of affordable art that has the look of an original Munzy.
Any tips for selecting a canvas size? Once our clients have narrowed down a shape and size (landscape, portrait, square, etc.) they’re interested in, we recommend using green painters’ tape (that can be purchased at any hardware store) to tape that size option directly onto their wall. We also offer a free in-room mockup service where clients can send us a photo of their space for us to photoshop some art examples into their room.
What kinds of products will people find at Gifted? Gifted is a carefully curated shop brimming with fun finds! From baby items and children’s games to barware, kitchenware and home décor to fashion accessories and body care; I try to have a little something for everyone. I also love to carry handmade items from Canadian makers, which this community loves to support.
Your advice for picking fun and memorable gifts: Buying a gift can be challenging at times so I often encourage people to start with a theme, whether it’s a favourite animal, drink or even colour. Another great place to start is picking something that the recipient wouldn’t necessarily buy for themselves but would definitely use. This could be something as simple as a nice tea towel, cocktail picks or a water bottle.
What are some of your favourite items for stocking stuffers this year? I love purposeful gifts, even when it comes to stockings! For me this could mean: bottle openers, bath bombs, tea or cheeky napkins. These are fun, useful and come in a wide variety so you can tailor it to the recipient.
Tell us about the two locations of Cornerstone Home Interiors: Our family business is one of the few larger independent furniture stores in the province and we have been in business for 26 years. We started as an antique business in Toronto and grew from there. Our Toronto store has been open for 17 years and our Cambridge store, which is our larger flagship operation, has been open for 10 years. Now we’re currently seeking a third location!
What kinds of furniture and accessories will people find in store? We have hundreds of pieces of furniture, from sofas and bookcases to tables and chairs. We personally source unique furniture and accessories from India, China, Malaysia, Singapore and more to bring a variety of products and styles to our customers.
What are some of your favourite holiday traditions? Our house is where everyone comes to congregate during the holidays. That’s the great thing about Cambridge – we were able to buy a home that can accommodate lots of family. We have a big dinner and love to sit around the fire together.
Tell us about your craft: Being a glass artist for nearly 20 years, I enjoy drafting original works with fused or stained glass. I design stained-glass window screens, transoms, doorways, functional art with fused glass dinnerware, ornaments and so much more.
What are some of your most popular items for holiday gifts? Some of the more popular items during this time are the winter-themed ornaments and candle holders, however many customers know me for my custom work.
What kind of music do you listen to while you’re working? I enjoy listening to Faith FM throughout my work day. My faith and nature are my two largest inspirations.
THOMAS TODD, SARA MCTAVISH, MATT DIETRICH (STORE MANAGER), DARLENE GERTH, MICHELLE DRIER, ALICIA TRACEY, JASMIN WHITELAW, JULIE BIGNELL, RICK WEBER & STEPHANIE CLEMMER
Tell us about your store: We are located in the original Home Hardware store in beautiful downtown St. Jacobs, a 20,000 sq. ft. building with lots of character and history. With all the different levels and original floors, railings and tin roof we can certainly make our store look beautiful. Our qualified and friendly salespeople as well as an interior designer and an interior decorator are always happy to help. We love helping customers and have many customization options so you can find the right fit.
What kinds of products will people find in store? We pride ourselves on stocking Canadian and locally-made products, as well as paying tribute to our local Mennonite community. We also support American vendors and our import furniture lines. We offer a variety of price points and a whole floor of clearance furniture, opportunity buys and scratch and dents! We have everything from bedroom furniture, mattresses and leather and fabric upholstery in stationary or motion. We also have a large appliance gallery and we carry accessories and décor, wall art and lighting.
Your favourite ways to decorate for the holidays: Our favorite way to decorate for the holidays is to create a feeling of warmth and to include family traditions in our store to help you visualize your own home setting. Whether you are going for chic, rustic or traditional Christmas, Home Furniture has everything you need. The holidays are a time to cherish friends and family and we are here to help!
MARY PEPLOW & ANITA PEPLOW
Tell us about your business: Pepper Pot Place was born out of the love of fine furniture, design, architecture, fabulous food, wine, music and art. We have always been hunters and scouters for unique pieces, right back to before it was even cool or the thing to do to help Mother Earth. Our hunts have taken us through many barns, estate sales, auctions and antique markets throughout Ontario and beyond. We were a two-brother and two-sister team, each of us passionate and gifted in our own special ways, rescuing and reviving once-loved solid pieces that have lost their charm. We lost one of our hunters, but he is still with us in memory every day!
What are some of the most unique items that have passed through your shop? The massive chandelier in our store along with our store counter and our vintage clothing rack.
What are some of your favourite holiday traditions? Our annual trek out to the country to cut down our Christmas tree, along with the making of our stuffing: it brings me right back as a child helping my mother break the bread, cutting the onions and the great aroma coming from the kitchen.