Vancouver - HOME & DECOR
September 14th, 2012
After venturing north, West Elm has landed in the south.
South Granville, that is. The Brooklyn-based retailer, which is akin to a more modern and affordable Pottery Barn, is the latest addition to Vancouver’s home décor epicentre. This season brings 15 collaborations with artisans from as far away as South Africa and as close as Vancouver – they’ve partnered with Etsy to offer locally made works like ceramics from Dahlhouse. Throw in some dip-dyed textiles and reclaimed wood headboards and your home is looking fresh and fancy-free.
“This is not a gallery,” said Vanessa Holden, creative director of West Elm. “It’s a place to come and play.” —Kelsey Dundon
West Elm, 2947 Granville St., Vancouver, www.westelm.com
September 7th, 2012
What does your coffee mug say about you?
You heart NY? You survived the road to Hana? You attended the Communicators of the Year Conference in 2007? That’s all well and good, but what if you want your coffee cup to make a subtle, more sophisticated statement? Le Creuset, best known for their enameled cast iron cookware, has just launched a coffee collection complete with a French press, cream and sugar set, and – you guessed it – cups. Like everything Le Creuset, they’re available in a variety of bold colours.
So you can pick the one that looks best with your World’s Best Boss mug. —Kelsey Dundon
Available at Gourmet Warehouse, from $11.99, 1340 E. Hastings St., Vancouver, 604-253-3022, www.lecreuset.ca
September 5th, 2012
Good design, and its increased accessibility, has meant that everyday household products like dishracks, toilet roll holders, and door handles are all available in stylish or modern versions. But we’d never seen a cool smoke detector, until now.
Instead of a flat, circular device on the ceilings of your hallways, the Chick-a-Dee smoke detector is a little bird that perches on a branch, and tweets gently if there is a small detection of smoke. In more serious circumstances, the bird will shout, "Dee-dee-dee."
At $80, it’s more expensive than a normal smoke alarm, but we also know that good design rarely comes cheap, and this one is more forgiving if it’s just the usual case of burnt steaks. We are chirping with joy. —Alexandra Suhner Isenberg
Chick-a-Dee smoke detector, $80 at Kanvass.ca
August 16th, 2012
Even though our back-to-school days are (long) behind us, we still love splurging on new office gear to put us into work mode.
Staple away with this slick, modern Buro stapler from Lexon. Even the most paper-free office will appreciate this stylish desk topper. $35 at Orling & Wu, 28 Water St., Vancouver, 604-568-671, www.orlingandwu.com
Recharge with this ProLine Universal Portable Power Bank, which works for all cell phones, and can charge an iPhone 4 three and a half times, or an iPad up to 70 per cent. This is far chicer than a lumpy power cable, and works on several of our devices. From $39.99 at Future Shop.
Light up your workspace with these stylish Anglepoise table lamps. Great for brightening up a workspace late into the night, or (even better) lighting the pages of the great book you’d rather be curling up with. From $340 at Provide, 529 Beatty St., Vancouver, 604-632-0095, http://providehome.com
Keep track with this paper mouse pad from Knock Knock, which doubles as work week calendar and to-do list. Despite our handy digital calendars and reminders, there’s something very satisfying about putting pen to paper. 5 Days a Week Paper Mousepad, $12.99 at Room in Order, 1055 Davie St., Vancouver, 604-684-8884, www.roominorder.com
Store it all in these Ikea PS 2012 multicoloured storage boxes, which can be wall-mounted or stand on a flat surface. We’ll be stacking them to make pretty colour combinations and filling them with lovely office supplies, not only useful but a great procrastination activity. Organizing is work though, isn’t it? Set of 4, $49.99 at Ikea, 3320 Jacombs Rd. , Richmond, 1-866-866-4532, www.ikea.ca
—Alexandra Suhner Isenberg
July 25th, 2012
Funny that an online store can make us so nostalgic for a time long before our own.
The virtual shelves of North Vancouver-based Delish General Store are stocked with all sorts of handy summer items like brightly coloured paper straws that long for fresh-pressed lemonade ($4.50 a pack) and ingenious Cuppow lids that transform a glass mason jar into a charming to-go cup ($8). We fell for kitchen-ready prints emblazoned with the sentiment Make Everything with Love ($18).
Which is, we suspect, how Delish General Store was made.—Kelsey Dundon
July 20th, 2012
A long road trip towards the Midwest to shop for old homewares sounds like a great holiday to us. But for the girls behind The Found and The Freed, it is a business model. And lucky for us, it's popped up again.
They scour Canada and the US for industrial, vintage, antique, and sometimes weird or creepy homewares and sell them in pop up stores in Vancouver. Right now, they’ve got one open on Water Street, and we are impressed. The selection, which is all authentic with no reproductions, features small knick knacks like old railroad nails with numbers representing the year it was used ($7 each) or great furniture, like antique drafting and medical stools (starting from $85.)
Our favourite was the old Vancouver bus rolls used by the trolley buses ($575, pictured). Bus travel must have been much cooler back then. —Alexandra Suhner Isenberg
The Found and The Freed pop-up store, open 7 days a week until August 17, 110 Water St., Vancouver, www.thefoundandthefreed.com
June 25th, 2012
But it’s packed to the ceiling with shabby chic finds. Gastown’s newest décor store L’Atelier Home takes its cue from Paris with a mix of new and upcycled furniture in soft greys and whites. Apartment-sized armoires rub shoulders with writing desks and tufted leather couches, and you’ll find plenty of gift-worthy pieces like woven throws and aromatherapeutic candles. Don’t see what you’re looking for in the postage stamp-sized store? They even have a finding service.
Proof that good things come in petite packages.
L’Atelier Home, 452 W. Cordova St., Vancouver, 604-684-9933, www.latelierhome.com
June 19th, 2012
Ah, Mother Nature.
She sure knows a thing or two about regeneration. While nurse logs are typically found in the forest (in case you’ve forgotten everything you learned in kindergarten, nurse logs are fallen trees that house new growth), we’d happily put one in our home. Vancouver’s own Hinterland Design has crafted side tables out of tree stumps that do double duty as planters. An homage to the nurse logs of our beautiful rain forest.
Mother knows best. —Kelsey Dundon
May 9th, 2012
Between the Swedish furniture, French linens and Italian cookware, our homes are having a bit of an identity crisis.
Remind them of their roots with a dash of Canadiana. Vancouver-based Identity Tee and Home creates limited edition pillows (from $108) made from recycled blankets (like the trapper ones pictured) and printed with a cheeky nod to the Great White North – a flock of geese or the Queen’s silhouette. Toss one on your couch and show your home some true patriot love. —Kelsey Dundon
Identity Tee and Home, 604-836-4877, www.identitytees.ca
May 3rd, 2012
If architecture turns you on, then Coast Modern is house porn.
The documentary, which will have its world premier at DOXA, explores the art and science, the philosophy and history of West Coast Modernism. Directed by Vancouverites Michael Bernard and Gavin Froome, it takes us beyond Frank Lloyd Wright and Arthur Erickson to the kids-and-crayons lives of the families who inhabit their homes. While some enthusiasts liken it (fondly) to a washing machine, others compare it to a spaceship, and still others call it a “beautiful failure,” one thing is for certain: modern architecture – with its propensity for fusing indoor and outdoor space – is especially beautiful amidst the rain and evergreens of the Pacific Northwest. —Kelsey Dundon