Vancouver - HOME & DECOR
April 17th, 2012
It takes one hell of a cleaning accessory to get us excited about handwashing dishes and pots, but these Iris Hantverk handmade Swedish brushes are so beautiful, pot scrubbing almost becomes pleasurable. Almost.
Their dish and pot brushes are made from natural Swedish wood, and use goat or horse hair which cuts through grease and won’t scratch surfaces. And Iris Hantverk is a non-profit organization that employs the visually impaired in Sweden to make these gorgeous utensils. So if the natural materials didn’t sell you, this last fact certainly did.
Get your rubber gloves on. —Alexandra Suhner Isenberg
Starting from $18 from Orling & Wu online, or at 28 Water St., Vancouver, 604-568-6718, www.orlingandwu.com
March 21st, 2012
Technology has come a long way, but until someone figures out a way we can go wireless forever, we won’t be impressed.
Sorry, printer, scanner, speakers, and all the other things attached to my desk, but your power cords are a giant pain in the…you know what I mean. The genius designer behind CableDrop must have been equally annoyed when they thought of this adorable little cable pod that sticks to just about anything, holding those pesky cords in place. From simple black and white to bright neons, with these little pods we are one step closer to office serenity (just let me dream, okay?). —Anya Georgijevic
$9.95/pack of 3 at www.bluelounge.com
March 20th, 2012
Clean up your act.
Easier said than done, right? Not any more. Main Street’s quaint Soap Dispensary is home to everything you need to clean your house — and yourself — in a Mother Earth-approved manner. Its shelves are filled with reusable bottles of all shapes and sizes and the back wall is lined with a selection of environmentally sound soaps to match. We discovered some handy little household staples like moth-repelling cedar balls and might just uncover a hidden talent for making soap at their next workshop.
Now your dirty mind… can't help you with that! —Kelsey Dundon
The Soap Dispensary, 3623 Main St. Vancouver, 604-568-3141, www.thesoapdispensary.com
March 13th, 2012
We have measured out our lives with coffee spoons.
And not just any coffee spoons, but those engraved with custom messages by the Vancouver-based artisan behind the Loving Spoon. Stamped with personalized sweet nothings like “Good morning, sugar” or “Stir it up, little darlin” these antique pieces would make beautiful gifts for new moms, newlyweds or your new love.
Now that’s our kind of poetry. – Kelsey Dundon
From $22.50 at The Loving Spoon, www.thelovingspoon.net
February 16th, 2012
We can give ourselves a little break from weekly trips across the border to the happy place known as Trader Joe’s.
Transylvania Trading is sure to satisfy a quick Trader Joe’s fix with its stock, almost entirely merchandised with the US brand’s shelved goods. There is such a thing as healthy junk food: try the boxed gluten-free Organic Shells and White Cheddar Macaroni & Cheese ($3.49), or Dark Chocolate Edamame ($4.99). Hooked on Trader’s Joe’s beauty products? Transylvania Trading carries a small selection of cult favourites like the refreshing Citrus Body Wash ($4.49). While shopping there, a customer joked and affectionately called the store owner a “Pirate Joe.” Although completely legit, this is one pirate we can get behind. —Anya Georgijevic
Transylvania Trading , 3474 W. Broadway, Vancouver, www.transilvaniatrading.ca
January 20th, 2012
In the land of coffee known as Yaletown, a teashop emerges.
Teaja, the neighborhood’s littlest gem, is a slick, contemporary tea boutique, carrying its own loose-leaf tea infusions. Options are plentiful and so eloquently presented on the “tasting wall” encased in elegant glass jars. Among the flavours are the irresistibly aromatic Genmaicha Grace, the luxurious Double Cream Earl Grey, and the heavenly peony concoction Bai Mu Dan. This teashop does have a small sitting counter, ideal for people watching. Too busy? Take a cup of tea ($3.00) to go. — Anya Georgijevic
Teaja, 1072 Mainland St., Vancouver, 604-558-3252, www.teaja.com
January 5th, 2012
A visit to any department store in Sweden is frustrating: Unless you are traveling with 18 suitcases, there is never enough room to properly stock up on their gorgeous homewares.
But now you won’t have to go to Sweden to stock up on beautiful Scandinavian kitchen accessories. Lu Prints is a Pemberton-based print company whose soft textiles and serving platters are inspired by the founder’s Swedish heritage and her Canadian surroundings. We love the Napanee print. It looks very Scandinavian, but features moose, snowshoes, and bears. We suggest you serve Swedish meatballs and a side of poutine. —Alexandra Suhner Isenberg
Napanee napkins ($36 for four), coasters ($22 for four), placemats ($36 for four) and teatowels ($16) are made in Canada and available on the Lu Prints webstore, www.luprints.bigcartel.com
December 8th, 2011
‘Tis the party season, and planning a good one is a lot of work, so let’s make sure our hosts’ efforts are well acknowledged.
Emily Post would, of course, agree that one should never show up at a party empty handed. Whether it’s something salty or something sweet, we found the perfect one-stop shop for all our host gifting needs, Grenadine & Co. For the epicurean, a set of 14 essential Indian spices by Epices de Cru ($36); for the mixologist, Fee Brothers’ selection of classic cocktail bitters ($8.49 each); and for the sweet tooth, a pack of three delicious Mrs. Bridges Preserves ($15.29). Yummy gifts will undoubtedly guarantee a future invite. —Anya Georgijevic
Grenadine & Co, 3028 W. Broadway, Vancouver, 604-737-8010, www.facebook.com/grenadineandco
December 7th, 2011
Normally we hate folding. Laundry, napkins, poker—you name it, we’d rather not.
But these folded ceramic platters from Vancouver company Butter & Fly caught our eye. Available in two sizes (medium, $89 and large, $109), they’re modern and so very delicate-looking. We’re envisioning them on our coffee table as we entertain our guests pre-dinner party or on our dinner table as we serve dessert. In other words, they’re beautiful and versatile.
So we have a reason to get bent out of shape. —Kelsey Dundon
December 2nd, 2011
Our recent trip to Whistler's Cornucopia was a perfect time to draw up our holiday shopping lists. While the wise women of House Wine counsel never to save bubbly for special occasions, we've paired some of their top picks with the perfect excuses to open them:
Date Night: We chose Blue Mountain Brut ($30) for our wedding, and seven years later still pop a bottle regularly. Made using the Methode Traditionelle of real Champagne and the classic mix of pinot noir and chardonnay, it tastes like the real thing.
Lunch with the Ladies: Mionetto Posecco ($20) was our favourite discovery of the seminar. Crisp, fresh, and frothy, the Procecco grape is known to stimulate your appetite. Bon Apetito.
Sushi Night: The perfectly pick Oyster Bay Cuvée Rosé ($23), made with sauvignon blanc, has a herbaceous finish that pairs well with raw fish.
Christmas Morning: Newly available in Canada, the Henriot Blanc Souverain French Champagne ($77.75) has a toasty brioche characteristic that would compliment your breakfast pastries.
Boxing Day Brunch: Fresita sparkling wine ($14.49) from Chile is finished with the wild strawberries from the Patagonia region and almost qualifies as a breakfast smoothie. Almost.