Stepping into Anderson’s is akin to being welcomed into a friend’s home. Soothing music greets you as you open the door and you’ll immediately be captivated by the gorgeous displays around the 10,000 square-foot showroom. With displays that change weekly, the showroom is a study in inspiration, from the floors, to the walls, to the windows, and everything in between.
Let your feet sink into an inviting area rug, or relax into a cosy sofa or chair, with your feet resting on a stylish ottoman. It’s a no-pressure, easygoing environment. “Come see and sit and feel and experience your home before you buy it,” Jim Anderson says. Enjoy a beer or glass of wine around the consultation table, and you’ll know you’ve come to the right place. “We’ll spend some good quality time with you making sure your money is spent well.”
John Anderson opened his business, Auckland and Anderson Carpets, in 1964, selling strictly high-end carpets. His son, Jim, began his career at a young age, selling the high-end carpet remnants from the store and learning every aspect of the business from his dad.
When Jim took over the business in 1988, he began to bring in furniture and décor, much to the delight of clients who already trusted Jim to help them choose the perfect carpet. “We’ve really steered the company to a design showroom,” Jim says. Marguerite Harrison joined Jim in 2008, and together, the pair makes a formidable design team. 2014 marks Anderson’s 50th anniversary of being a trusted advisor to their clientele, and with the second and third generation of families finding their way to Anderson’s, there’s no sign of slowing down. John’s original vision for exceptional service and the best quality products lives on today.
Jim is proud of the quality and sophistication that Anderson’s offers their clientele. With names such as Lillian August, Theodore Alexander, Hickory White, Wesley Hall, Vanguard, and Farrow & Ball, you can be confident that the pieces in your home are designed to last. “If you’re going to buy it from Anderson’s,” Jim says, “you’re going to get quality and you’re going to get something that’s going to perform.”
Jim uses the analogy of the BMW to explain further. Anderson’s offers three levels of ‘BMW products’ – the 3 Series, the 5 Series, and the 7 Series. The 3 Series offers good quality that won’t break the bank, the 5 Series is a step up with products for a little longer term, and the 7 Series is the elite of the elite. “Whether you choose the 3, 5 or 7 Series, you’re going to get a beautiful look.”
It’s not every day that you’ll have the opportunity to work with the owner of a business, and this is truly what sets Anderson’s apart. “I’m invested,” Jim says. “I see every single job.” Dealing with the owner of the company allows the client to have complete confidence in the whole process, from the consultation, to the product selection, to the after-service. If you ever have a concern, you can rest assured that Jim will take care of it. It’s yet another reason Anderson’s has been in business for 50 years and why their reputation has stood the test of time.
Jim and Marguerite travel to High Point Market in High Point, North Carolina twice a year to discover unique and different products. They choose pieces from a variety of companies and manufacturers, only taking the items they love. Before decisions are finalized, Marguerite is already envisioning the possibilities for the piece, whether a different colour, a different finish, or a perhaps a different nail head in an ottoman. “It’s how we put things together that you won’t see other places,” Jim says, and this speaks to Marguerite’s skill and excellence as a designer. “If you put value in quality furniture and your home, we’re your store,” says Jim.
Your consultation with Jim and Marguerite actually begins in the comfort of your home. “We can have a great conversation with the client to see what their needs are and get a sense of the space,” says Jim. “One of the biggest mistakes people make is that they don’t have a plan.” This is where Jim and Marguerite’s relationship really comes into play. “We banter back and forth on a room,” Jim says. With two designers in your home, you’ll have two sets of eyes that will create a plan for you. They’ll take measurements in your home, really get to know you, then pull together a presentation for you that showcases a variety of options. They may present ten different fabrics for a sofa, giving you the chance to choose what best reflects you. They’ll guide you to find your look for your home, and then provide the full service you need to achieve that look.
At Anderson’s, you’ll soon discover that relationships are everything and they’re what the business has been built on. “My job is to become a trusted advisor,” Jim says, and it’s a motto that both Jim and Marguerite take seriously. They will quickly feel like a trusted friend as they strive to help you make your home a beautiful reflection of you. Often, this relationship extends beyond interior design. “We had a client call us recently and ask where they should go for dinner in Burlington,” says Jim. This is the kind of trust that Jim and Marguerite build, one client, one relationship at a time.
Often, clients know what sort of pulse they want to create in their home, but don’t know how to achieve it, and they certainly don’t want to shop at multiple places. Jim and Marguerite are skilled at creating good tension in a room, thanks to their many years of experience. “We’ll take out some of the traditional and put in some of the modern, and we’ll have a kind of tension between the two,” Jim suggests. “Let’s take your sofa and your grandmother’s chair, repaint it and do a more modern fabric on it. Let’s take your traditional cabinet and put it with a modern cocktail table.” Jim calls this look ‘something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue,’ and it’s an eclectic look that allows you to create a room that is neither too dated nor too trendy. Today, many clients appreciate a more minimalist look, with big art or mirrors.
Refurbishing, redoing, and reupholstering is a trend that Jim currently sees and he is happy to offer this service to you. Whether you want to repaint an old cabinet or add modern fabric to a chair, pairing a weathered piece with something more glam will give you a well-appointed space and will allow some favourite old pieces to continue to tell their story. High-end workrooms around the GTA will make sure your pieces are finished to perfection.
Customization is one of the pinnacles of the services that Anderson’s offers. Perhaps you fall in love with a table that you see in the showroom; Anderson’s can make this table in any size, shape, thickness, grain, or finish, thanks to a solid relationship with Mennonite craftsmen in Elmira. No two pieces will be identical, so the custom look you create will be entirely your own. “I can make it exactly what you want,” Jim promises.
Your home, more than anything else, is a reflection of your personality and your life experience. Whether you want to update the space, or are deciding on a complete redo, it is essential that you work with someone who can be your trusted advisor. Jim and Marguerite’s passion as interior design partners will help turn your vision for your home into a beautiful reality that you’ll love.