Colin and Justin: The hand made tale

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In the market for a new kitchen, but scared of flat pack, or the oft’ prohibitive cost of custom cabinetry? Here’s a ‘middle ground’…  

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Meet Swede, a clever Canadian company whose network of cross country kitchen designers and manufacturers straddles the gap between off the shelf cabinetry and bespoke production. 

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For many, the prospect of a ‘tailor made’ food prep’ zone seems like an expensive pipe dream.  Flat pack however, whilst perhaps more affordable, comes with its own stress quotient, requiring, as it does, self assembly and the sourcing of plumbing and electrical services, not to mention countertops, tiling and hard wares. It’s a sequence for which, let’s face it, few of us have time. 

With large investments, such as kitchens, the pressure to ‘get it right’ is immense, and with that pressure comes procrastination, and often inertia: – barriers to creativity, time after time.

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A perfect kitchen adds value (on a daily basis, and in terms of real estate ROI) and is a reliable way to break free of cookie cutter mentality with a vibe that’s unique and totally you.  

Customization allows tailoring to suit you and your family’s needs – extra counter space to bake, for example, a double oven for roasting, or a barista style coffee station to satisfy the most ardent caffeine fanatic. 

In short, when home style matches lifestyle, you invite the best in everything and everyone.

 Swede ( founded in 2020, offers homeowners a faster and more effective shopping experience to upgrade kitchens, with an approach that’s ground breaking.

One glance at their website reveals a sleek moodboard of Scandi door styles, dreamy faucets and counters, and a host of inspired lighting.  The brand’s ‘one stop shop’ approach allows you to keep things simple, thereby tempting smart decision making.

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So how does it all ‘work’? Well, having familiarized yourself with the website, your first port of call isn’t a salesperson, rather an online hook up with one of the company’s independent interior designers who won’t only appraise your space, but also examine your home (and its mood) to enhance – rather than compete with – your existing style.  

Once you’ve decided on overall feel and layout, you’ll receive high-definition 3D renderings and virtual mood boards, as well as physical samples, so you can coordinate, plan and install your kitchen from the comfort of your own home, a much better – and eminently more convenient – place in which to make decisions.

To learn more about a service that, as we see it, bridges the gap between flat pack and traditional custom spec’, we caught up with Anthony Stubbs, CEO and co-founder of Swede, when he stopped by Toronto on business. 

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Over coffee, he explained: “While we’re predominantly set up to provide service in B.C., Alberta, and Ontario, we’ve worked on projects right cross Canada. There’s a growing appetite amongst Canadians for what we offer, and we’re proud to manufacture locally crafted millwork to a very high standard.”

He continues: “Typically, our clients are homeowners who value high quality, locally made cabinetry, but who don’t have time to plan the traditional process of hiring independent contractors to execute the project. At Swede, we’ve alleviated many complexities that prevent homeowners achieving their dream, by offering a holistic and transparent process.”

 Simplicity and co-ordination are key to the B.C. company’s approach. They demystify kitchen specification by having plans, products and pricing on display so clients can see where they’re investing, and where there’s room to play.

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When plans are finalized and approved, Swede co-ordinate the materials package which arrives (pre assembled) for installation, thereafter, by an approved contractor.

 It’s a seamless process, during which clients are kept apprised at every turn.  Stubbs adds: “Ultimately, our goal is to democratize high-end millwork and purchase, by making it simpler for homeowners to access a locally manufactured, dream kitchen scenario.”

 As we see it, anything that allows Canadians to create their ideal home is super exciting.  And come on: if you can create a perfectly tailored kitchen with minimal effort, and moderate outlay, isn’t that the stuff of which Swede dreams are made?  More from us next week…

For further kitchen inspiration, visit:

Watch for Colin and Justin on Cityline (Citytv). Find the Colin and
JustinCollection in stores across Canada. Visit

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