When Trends Collide: TFM Breaks Boundaries

TFM panels with matching mouldings are used throughout this boutique hotel in Quebec. Photo by Kenn Busch

If there is a benchmark decorative product for furniture and interior design, it’s TFM. Just ask Johanne Courteau, director of the interior design department for Tremblay L’Écuyer Architects of Montreal.

TLA Associés specializes in, well, just about every kind of architecture in today’s market: Hotels, commercial projects, schools, municipal buildings, medical clinics, grocery stores, industrial buildings, restaurants and high-end residential. “Everything you can think of. We never say no!” says Courteau.

The firm prides itself on using the latest in technology and materials in its projects, and using them in harmony with their clients’ goals.

“When we do both the building and the interior  design we like to bring the outside inside, so we usually take one or more of the elements you see outside and we take it inside, so you can recognize the lines, shape, color scheme, sometimes even the same materials. For instance, in the Promutuel Insurance Building in Saint-Eustache, Quebec, the front counter has basically the same shape as the main entrance canopy.”

The materials themselves played an important role in delivering a cozy, classic interior with just a touch of modernity for the owners of the Hotel Le St-Martin in Bromont. Bromont is about an hour east of Montreal and is an outdoor recreational paradise for those wanting to escape its bustle and congestion, with downhill and cross-country skiing, horseback riding, hiking, golfing, mountain biking and other fresh-air pursuits. The Le St-Martin also caters to international business groups and meetings, so the décor must also balance its rustic setting with a certain amount of elegance.

“They wanted something conservative, but with a newer color scheme,” says Courteau. “The brown color of the TFM panels and mouldings is actually a modern trend, especially when mixed with white, but the panel layout and the shapes of the mouldings are more conservative, more traditional. So it’s a nice mix of classic and modern, right down to the other elements in the lobby, like the lighting and the plants.”

Tafisa was chosen as the TFM supplier, mainly because of the high quality, realism and richness of color of their woodgrain patterns. In this case the pattern used on wall panels throughout the lobby, conference room, breakfast/lounge area, as well as in the cabinetry in the rooms and on the fireplace mantles, is Tafisa’s L-444, “Chocolate Pear Tree,” a gentle pearwood in a luxurious warm brown.

Mated with mouldings profile-wrapped with matching decorative papers, the TFM panels create exactly the kind of elegant décor that fits the owner’s vision.

“We use Tafisa materials in each and every project, because the woodgrain is so real,” says Courteau. “Their surface finishes allow the woodgrain design to show through like a photograph; they look very good, very realistic. And the overall quality of the product is so good that the “They tell us, ‘If you can use Tafisa, please do, we never have problems with it.’  And for us, it’s always available – we can always get what we want from stock.

“In commercial projects, TFM is a stronger material than wood, easier to maintain and clean, so we’ve never had any clients ask why we don’t use ‘real wood.’ It’s also much cheaper, and the price makes the difference in commercial work.

“We use it everywhere, for cabinets, work tops, banquets. We love it! I’ve worked at other design firms, and many still don’t know what a durable great decorative product TFM is. I’m surprised, but there are still many designers specifying materials that cost more and don’t perform nearly as well in commercial projects.”

“The effect of the design using  Tafisa’s panels is fabulous,” says Jocelyne Desourdy, owner of the Le St-Martin Bromont. “The reaction from our guests is really great; they feel right at home, and they like the color and feel of all the wood. It’s really very homey and cozy, and they feel like they’re being treated special. Which, of course, they are!”