Trend Talk With Christina Marzilli

October 9, 2013 Updated: October 16, 2013

Who she is:
Christina Marzilli, co-owner and COO of Decor-Rest Furniture Ltd. in Woodbridge, Ontario, Canada

Why she’s trendy:

She has spent 40 years successfully developing and manufacturing furniture and has gained recognition internationally for her furniture styles.

Decor-Rest has been around for more than four decades. How has furniture design changed over the years? Looking back, do you see a clear evolution in furniture design?

The biggest evolution I’ve seen since we started Decor-Rest in 1972 is that back then, customers wanted their furniture to last for a very long time.

Design and décor was very “proper” with firm seating, where everything had to be nice and neat and covered. Today, we are much more casual in our approach to design. We want to redecorate our homes every three to five years—we’re much more fashion-oriented with our homes. Today, we use furniture. It’s not just there as a display. So, naturally, we don’t expect furniture to last as long as we once expected. Nowadays we embrace design elements like distressed leather, natural markings, etc. We are more confident in our design approach. We want to live our lives at home, and give it a relaxed atmosphere.

What did you want to be when you grew up? What led you to running one of the most successful furniture manufacturing facilities in the country?

I always enjoyed styling and merchandising, and I took courses in college for that. For a while I worked in the retail merchandising industry. However, I didn’t always know that I wanted to run a business. That was my husband Angelo’s idea. He was already managing an upholstery company when we were planning to get married, and he was ready for his next challenge. So the next step for him was doing it on his own. Here we are 40 years later!

You’ve seen and manufactured every sofa style imaginable but I am curious to know which style you chose for your living room.

I love mixing old and new design elements. Currently I am mixing the old Tuscany traditional style with contemporary designs. I just love the old castles in Italy that are filled with beautiful modern furnishings. I love that look! You have to work hard to make two styles work together, but once you’ve mastered it, it really pays off.

Talk to us about the biggest trend in furniture design.

I would have to say it’s about not only mixing different styles and finishes, but also correlating different fabrics. It’s about finding different designs that complement each other, and achieving a harmonious balance between them. Today, you don’t want to have a sofa, loveseat and armchair all in the same fabric and finishes. You want to start with a sofa, then bring in accent chairs that are different, and introduce another piece that’s different. Matching is out. Complementary design is in.

What trendy fabric patterns and colours can we expect to see in the coming year?

One of the biggest trends in fabric is the mixing of various patterns and textures. Throw pillows on a sofa for example will feature a combination of the following patterns that all harmoniously work together under a common colour scheme: stripes, florals, geometric patterns, flame stitching and solids. Next year, this trend will continue, but with a playful combination of both patterns and various textured fabrics.

What country or area in the world did you pull the most inspiration from for your 2013 collection?

I would have to say Paris and Milan. They do a phenomenal job of combining fabrics and mixing styles. We’ve really picked up on the “curved” upholstery trend, alongside a focus on finishes—we’re showing many more light finishes this season.

What words of wisdom can you pass along to someone looking to redesign their living room?

I would tell them to ask themselves the following questions:
How do you use the living room, i.e. a place to relax, a place to entertain, a place to consume media?

On average, how many people will be sitting in the living room at any given time? (This question determines how much and what kind of seating you need.)

What are the measurements of your room? Accurately measure the furniture and upholstery that you want to buy beforehand, to make sure they will fit your space nicely.

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