The team at this family-owned furniture store want you to stop and smell the sofas.
They say it takes one day to pick out a new car, one week to pick out a new house, and 16 weeks to pick out a new sofa—and according to the team at CF Interiors, there’s a good reason for that: “We help you focus on the areas of your home that bring you comfort—like your sofa,” says Kathryn Lees, Marketing Director. “At the end of the day, it’s where you’re going to relax. Having the right piece in your home helps you fully enjoy your space.”
CF Interiors has a long history of matching people with the perfect piece of furniture. “We are locally owned and operated, and we’ve been family-run for 40 years,” says Allison Andrew, who runs the company with siblings, Mike and Brock. Originally called Country Furniture, the company was founded by their father, John Andrew, who restored and sold pine furniture out of his storefront on South Granville. As the business grew, they saw opportunities to grow and started to introduce different collections in the mix. “We’re a little bit different than other furniture stores because we have a very wide range of product, from modern to traditional to contemporary,” explains Lees.
As other design trends overtook pine, the store began to transform into what it is today. “We still have three local manufacturers that will make custom wood furniture for us, so we still have that homage to our roots. But now, we carry more than 25,000 different products.” In 2016, the company took on a new name to reflect the diversity of their products—from furniture to decor to lighting. Today, they have four locations across BC and Alberta.
While the business has expanded and transformed, one thing hasn’t changed—their unparalleled in-store experience. For the Andrew siblings, the atmosphere is one of the most important aspects of the store. They’ve focused a lot of their attention on creating the right ambiance for people who visit the showroom.
And what they’ve learned is that a lot of customers want to come in, sit down, and touch the furniture. “What happens with a lot of people is that they’ve ordered something from a big box retailer and it doesn’t look like they expected or it doesn’t fit. Often it actually smells bad because its been made with noxious materials and people don’t want it in their house,” says Lees. “So we literally tell people to come in and smell the furniture.”
For the team, there are also other benefits to brick and mortar—like the opportunity to be part of a living, breathing community. The Andrew siblings were born and raised in Vancouver, and Brock is a longtime resident of Strathcona, where CF Interiors recently relocated their showroom. “There is an incredible sense of community and entrepreneurship here. Everyone from the neighbourhood has welcomed us with open arms and so much support. It’s amazing to have customers walk in the door who’ve been referred by a fellow Strathcona resident,” explains Brock.
“We want to support local—because, without that, we’re nothing. We support local brands, artists, and vendors because that sense of community is so important to us,” says Lees.
And CF Interiors has big plans for their new space in Strathcona. They’re carrying local brands like Pillow Fight, and donating a portion of the profits to support Downtown Eastside charities. In the winter, they’re planning on serving up hot meals to the hungry in front of their showroom and collecting warm clothes for shelters in the area. Eventually, the CF Interiors team wants to use their new space to host events for the community as well. Lees says next year is just going to be exciting. “We’re looking forward to doing more events to showcase what we’re about.”