Nitty Gritty Furniture Design and Restoration


© Nitty Gritty Furniture Design and Restoration

2222216 Ontario Inc.

After 38 wonderful years, we are winding down Nitty Gritty and the studio will close the end of March!  Stay tuned.  If you are not on our email list click here!  More news coming soon!



Nitty Gritty is winding down and we will be turning off the lights in our showroom studio for the last time.  After almost 38 years of designing, building, restoring, and refinishing stunning furniture and selling wonderful antiques, rugs, lighting and accessories, we are looking to retire. 

Our clients throughout the years have told us we were the best in the business at what we did, and we took great pride in that acknowledgement.  In fact, we’ve received such wonderful endorsements over the years, it’s a pity we only started to post them on our web-site and Facebook pages recently. 

The media has loved our work, and we have been profiled in, and recognized with awards by over 18 publications and broadcast venues.

Our desire to work with those who appreciated hand crafted furniture, and fine restoration put us clearly at the higher end of the market.  As such, we felt each client’s project deserved both our intense focus and extra attention designing or researching to ensure complete success.  We also preferred to handcraft with only first class materials, and spent the extra time to make sure each piece was the best it could be. 

Throughout this time, we created thousands of amazing hand rubbed, wood finishes. as well as painted character finishes for client’s furniture; probably more that any other studio in Canada. 

Our custom furniture resides in every province, at least one territory, 15 US states and seven other countries, to our knowledge!

We have worked on amazing projects, including designing and building 2300 pieces of furniture for Chapters cross-Canada expansion over 13 years ago.  Interestingly, our contract required us in part to engineer large display tables with minimal structure, yet guarantee them to last for 5 years in high traffic.  We were told the tables only needed to support the weight of 100 lbs. of books and that they would be replaced after 5 years as the stores were “redone”.  However, when we saw them in use, the tables were shockingly piled high with 500 lbs. of books and being dragged around the stores. 

It gives us untold satisfaction today to walk through Chapters stores and see our furniture still working hard and surprisingly, even looking great 13 years and lots of abuse later.  Chapters isn’t alone in that regard; furniture we built or restored 10, 20, and even over 30 years ago continues to look great and enjoys prominent placement in many of our client’s homes.

Every project over the years has had it’s own charm, challenge or appeal whether we were furnishing a Tim’s Horton’s Camp, building and installing a spectacular kitchen for a Canadian Bank Chairman, or just repairing a loose spindle on your chair.  We took the same care for each one.

About 8-9 years ago we noticed market conditions starting to change.  We responded by expanding the breadth of our business to include restoration as a large focus (as it was when Nitty Gritty started in 1974) and moved our showroom to Leaside where we could more easily handle the restoration activities as well as our custom furniture clients.

That was an excellent move initially, however, the market for handcrafted furniture has continued to deteriorate, and we don’t see a recovery soon.  If we chose to build inferior product, there could be a huge opportunity to grow the business, however, that is a market segment we just can’t appreciate and enjoy.

So as all good things, the Nitty Gritty studio is coming to an end. 

We will close the showroom this coming winter, which will allow us time to take on a few more final projects, as well as finish off others.  It will also allow us to have a huge, “Everything Must Go” sale.  That sale will start soon, and we’ll advise you of all the details shortly.

For those of you who have always wanted something from Nitty Gritty, this is your last chance.  We will continue to build and finish, and restore right to the end.

Neither Pauline nor I have planned our next move yet, but it’s much on our minds.  If you have thoughts on what we might do, would like our help in what you do, know someone you could refer us too, or even just want to provide encouragement, please let us know.  We value your friendship and support.

We will miss the carousel animals and restorations we worked on, the Milk Paint we brought back to the forefront in Canada in 1980, our Capel Rugs and Hubbarton Forge light fixtures; both companies producing amazing designs and quality items.  We will miss building those stunning dining room tables and gorgeous sleigh beds with huge cedar lined drawers!

We’ll miss managing those huge projects and installations on one hand, and just  sharing our knowledge and expertise to help you on your own projects on the other.

But most of all we’ll miss you.  You’re the ones who have given us so much: great challenges, novel experiences, great fun, and most especially, great friendships.

It’s been a great run.  Many thanks for sharing in it with us.

Dave & Liz Ross and Pauline Crespillo

October 2013

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