When you walk into Artemano it’s like entering another world far away from the big box stores of Trainyards – where the Quebec based company has recently opened their Ottawa location. Open since November of last year, Artemano carries exotic wood furniture from across South and Southeast Asia, particularly India, Indonesia and Thailand.
When we visited the showroom just last week, we were greeted by beaming smiles from the staff and given a lengthy tour by store manager, Andrew. Everyone was extremely eager to chat and express their individual and genuine admiration for the company, it’s vision and the products they carry. A warm welcome from the usual sales approach that most furniture stores take when it comes to customer service.
The mood of the Ottawa showroom is calming, with subdued romantic lighting and a bohemian vibe. We were in awe with all of the beauty just upon entering the store. It resembles an art gallery of natural art more than it does a furniture store. Price tags are strategically hidden to take the sales aspect out of people’s experience when they enter the showroom. Rather, they hope to allow people to be taken away from the outside world and just enjoy the ambience and atmosphere that has been carefully curated within the space.
“We want our customers to come in here and find something special, something that they’ll love – not come in and feel pressured to buy. Didn’t find something this time? Come back again another time.”
What makes each piece of furniture so special? They’re all formed and crafted overseas by local producers and craftsmen, and for the most part each piece is unique in its own way. The styles of the furniture are mainly contemporary, with some embodying more of a rustic and antique feel, like pieces made from reclaimed Thai fishing boats and old railway ties and sleepers. The idea is to recycle and upcycle otherwise unusable or degrading wood to give it new life. Sustainability is also very important to the owners. All of the wood used to craft each individual piece is grown on sustainable farms unless it’s been recycled. You can expect to find every type of exotic wood, from mango tree and suar to teak, Indian rosewood and beautifully formed driftwood.
The owners of Artemano, Shimon and Eyal, personally pick out each piece during big buying trips to South and Southeast Asia a few times a year. The chosen ones are then imported by Artemano and finished right here in Canada before being distributed out to their different boutique locations.
Modern design is simple, and for the most part its allure is in how it functions without getting lost in over complicated and ornate design. Unfortunately though, sometimes you end up with a personality free environment when it comes to contemporary aesthetics. Introducing warm wood tones, dated metals and aged stone into the interior design of a space can be a great way to avoid the sometimes cold and sterile effects of modern spaces.
Take a browse through the gallery below at some of our favourite Artemano pieces. Many of which would make the perfect addition to a modern condo space.
Have you had a chance to visit them at 175 Trainyards Drive? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.11