Reviews and recommendations are unbiased and products are independently selected. Postmedia may earn an affiliate commission from purchases made through links on this page.
Canadians have a great sense of humour but are serious about patio and barbecue season. Once nice weather strikes, we immediately head to backyards, balconies and other outdoor spaces. Luckily, Cozey, the maker of Canada’s favourite modular sofa-in-a-box, launched patio furniture, the Mistral Collection.
I just finished assembling the Mistral on my patio and am so excited about the results. Not only is the furniture simple, sleek and high-quality, but it’s also solving a patio problem.
I live in downtown Toronto, fortunately, I have a large patio, but I don’t have a car. So I’m unable to drive around from store to store trying to find patio furniture, only to determine whether or not I can Tetris it into my space. The Mistral allows you to pick your configuration — ordering only what fits. It also comes in easy-to-assemble boxes. It was almost a seamless experience, but of course, like most of my reviews, please read below to learn from my mistakes.
Note on it being perfect: The Mistral Collection’s “corner piece” is sold out for the season. If you’re looking to get this specific piece for your configuration, consider adding it on next year. If you’re in the market for a regular (cornerless) sofa or chair combination, please proceed.
Seat depth: 52 cm (20.5″)
Seat width: 71 cm (28″)
Seat height: 44 cm (17.3″)
Backrest height: 35 cm (13.8″)
Leg height: 23 cm (9.1″)
Arm height: 63 cm (24.8″)
Materials: UV-resistant and sturdy aluminum frame, water-resistant acrylic fabric covers, waterproof internal cushion bag
Assembly: No tools required (just large easy-to-use screws that come in the box)
Warranty: Five-year limited warranty on all Cozey products
Trial period: 30-day risk-free trial
Cost: $1,495 (for a three-seater — price varies based on configuration)
Where to buy: Cozey
The good news is a sofa or chair without a corner is slightly more straightforward to assemble – unfortunately, I did order an L configuration of the set, adding to the sold-out problem. Overall, the Mistral is so simple to assemble, but it’s not a completely sweatless endeavour (especially because it’s done outside and I waited for the hottest of days).
Delivery: “Randi, there are endless boxes being delivered for you, I’m sending them directly to your unit,” passionately exclaimed my concierge who had no interest in storing the 10 large boxes for me. Half the boxes contain the sofa frames and the other half the cushions – but neither are very heavy – just large. I’d suggest getting the delivery team to place the boxes as close to the assembly area as possible (if you plan to assemble soon after).
Assembly: There is an easy-to-follow hard copy of the instructions in one of the boxes but you can access the guide through a QR code on the flap of each box (also available online, here). Each seat is made from three or four pieces, depending on where they’re located in the set. All you need to do is lie out all the pieces and then connect them with the large screws (with easy-to-twist knobs at the end) provided in the boxes. It is straightforward, but it does take time.
Learn from my mistakes: My main mistake was underestimating the amount of time it would take to assemble. I approximated an hour and the entire process took around three. This includes the (sweaty and not-social-media-worthy) unboxing, assembly, box breakdown and recycling. I received a four-seater sofa and an ottoman, so the timing may vary. Also, I pretty much did it solo, but did have a few helping hands from neighbours passing by.
Aside from grossly underestimating assembly time, the only other major learning is the unboxing strategy. The boxes adorably self-identify (like, “I’m the arms,” “I’m a regular seat,” “I’m a regular seat cushion”) and I tried to keep everything separate. I probably spent more time trying to keep everything unnecessarily separate – I could have just unpacked all the boxes and easily distinguished where everything needed to go.
My favourite features: The assembly is simple and the results are beautiful. Move aside Jenny, I’m the new popular kid on the block. My neighbours are rightfully obsessed with the new setup and invited themselves over to have a sit and slice (from my cute little Ooni Karu 12 Multi-Fuel Pizza Oven). I really like the look and convenience of the Mistral and look forward to taking good care of it so I can enjoy it for many seasons to come.
My least favourite feature: The availability. It’s clearly filling a hole in the Canadian market and the demand is outweighing supply. Also, I don’t have any place to store this sofa during the winter and Cozey doesn’t currently offer a cover.
Recommendation: If the Mistral was readily available, I’d recommend openly and freely – it’s high-quality, great-looking, easy-to-assemble and adapt patio furniture from a wonderful Canadian company.
I still recommend the Mistral to anyone who wants a setup without the corner. I originally wanted a sofa and two single chairs to make up a set, but ordered the L shape because I live on a busy street and don’t want people to steal my lovely patio furniture (and figured it’s more difficult to pick up a large L sofa and make a quick getaway). That said, I prefer the look of cornerless sets.
For assembly, if you’re not ready to unbox and sweat a bit, then I’d ask a neighbour, family member or Task Rabbit-like service for assistance. It’s easy but does take some physical excursion.
Where to buy: Cozey
Shopping Essentials is a new category that features highly researched products, new and exciting launches or behind-the-scenes info — learn more.