Casalife 170-171 East Liberty, 416-922-2785, www.casalife.com Rating: NNNNN
Casalife's collection of chic condo-scaled furniture stole the design spotlight from the mega-jacuzzi displays and stacks of Persian rugs filling the Convention Centre for January's Metro Home Show. The Liberty Village decor store specializes in small furnishings with big style. Young loft buyers and empty-nesters flood into the shop from the neighbourhood's new high-rises and condo sales centres, craving its wares' combo of form and function.
A gallery of handsome wall clocks has hung behind the cash since Casalife took over the space, once a second world war gun factory, three years ago, but owner Rob Whitfield 's current furniture fetish is anything modular and multifunctional. Microsuede ottomans that open to reveal ample magazine-stashing space, and comfy sofas that break down to fit through the tightest front doors are must-haves for tiny flats where every square inch counts.
Whitfield's picks: Condo coffee table/ ottoman set that converts into a space-saving entertainment centre, $685; oak veneer Avion stereo unit with interchangeable door panels, $1,600; extendable Madison counter-height dining table, perfect for maximizing seating in a small eating nook, $607.
Look for: The Infiniti sofa from Winnipeg's Pulse (www.pulsestyle.com), whose cushy components create endless couch configurations, arrives in March.
Store Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday 10 am to 6 pm, Wednesday and Thursday 10 am to 9 pm, Sunday noon to 6 pm.