October 29, 2010

We managed to squeeze in a little bit of shopping time in Vancouver. Originally, we were just planning to hit up the usual suspects, but Jacqueline thought it might be fun to find some salvage and antique shops. Our first stop was Antique Market on Franklin Street.

What an incredible find. The warehouse looks quite unassuming from the outside, and you squeeze through a boldy coloured antique door to get in. But once inside there are thousands of incredible pieces to be found.

There were lots of asian furniture pieces, various antique pieces, and a great collection of industrial furniture. I have seen pieces like above for sale at specialty shops in Calgary for thousands of dollars. These were a fraction of the price.

Some shots from inside the architectural salvage area. Jacqueline insisted I find a place to use these pig heads.

The lighting selection was fantastic. Even more important is that many of these were reproductions, meaning they all had current certifications, and would be easy for designers to have installed.

If you are in Vancouver it is definitely worth checking out!

Antique Market
1324 Franklin Street

(please excuse the blurry cell phone shots, it's all I had at that point)

October 27, 2010

Our first day in Vancouver was spent on a Designer Day tour, that was organized by the lovely Sharon and Yvonne of Layers and Layers. While all the places we stopped at were fabulous, here are my three faves:

I have long been a fan of 18 Karat accessories, but it was really great to get to see their flagship store on Granville St. in Vancouver. This two level shop features the extensive 18 Karat range of accessories on the main floor, with their furniture collection showcased on the lower level. My top three picks at the store were:

These incredible 100% alpaca throws. Incredibly soft and finely woven, these throws will keep you cozy during the coldest winter days.

I think that the planters offered by 18 Karat are one of their strongest product lines, but these Cava vases were my favourite. Made of resin, these planters are lightweight, and make a great statement with the organic folded exterior.

The Oscuro line of cookware had many of us swooning. These lightweight clay pots are traditional cookware from Columbia. Despite their outward appearance, they are incredibly durable, and were very reasonably priced.

While we do have a Peridot store in Calgary, we all agreed that the Peridot location in Vancouver was much stronger. Peridot showcases a wonderful collection of unique furniture, accessories and lighting. The store also featured stunning paintings by Vancouver artist Patricia Larsen. Next time you stop in, check out the following:

This Sabine Desk Lamp is perfect in it's simplicity. I love the clean lines of the brass stand, with the organic drop of glass to create the shade. Divine.

No living room is complete without one quirky piece, and this Elephant Side Table is just the ticket to create a perfectly eclectic mix. The white gloss finish keeps this piece fresh in any style space.

I am a total sucker for gold lately. This Log Cocktail Table is formed out of resin, and would add a wonderful touch of sparkle to any seating area.

A fairly recent addition to the Vancouver design scene, this lovely shop features many beautiful kitchen wares and accessories for the home, and are the exclusive stockist for many of their lines. I really appreciate that point, as their products will be truly unique to them, and not found at other retailers. I hate buying things on vacation, only to discover them for sale back at home a few weeks later.
Here are my picks:

These Original BTC lights are quite stunning in person. Unlike so many similar fixtures you find today, these lights are impeccably detailed and beautifully finished.

The Fog Linen collection from Japan is stunning in it's simplicity. High quality linen napkins, table cloths, and aprons are the central pieces of the collection, which also included wood and resin table wares, and some clothing pieces.

This fabric from Cecil Beaton immediately caught my eye ;) How gorgeous is that?

October 26, 2010

Last winter was a pretty tough one for me. I was bored with my job, felt largely uninspired, and was questioning exactly where I saw myself going in the next few years. I was frustrated with my husband's increasingly demanding work schedule, our tiny condo, and my lack of friends and connections. I was in the doldrums, and something had to change. I had to change.

In an effort to reach out and start making a connection with my community, I joined twitter. I don't really know why I joined, but at the heart of it, I think I just wanted to make a connection. I thought it was lame at first, and I was shy. Why would anyone care what I was doing? Would anyone care what I thought about anything? And low and behold, they were.

I connected with a couple of local designers, and to make a long story short, 8 months after my twitter adventure first began, I have recently returned from a trip to Vancouver with these ladies. We spent a couple of days touring the city and it's design destinations, attending IDSwest, eating some great food, meeting more online friends, and most importantly, having a smashing time together. We had the most incredible connection in real life, it was like being with old friends. And I can't believe it all came from one little website. It has really inspired me to continue to reach out more, and continue to find more kindred spirits.

Until next time ladies! (from left, me, Nyla, LeAnne, & Siobhan)

(Image above stolen without permission from Nyla's blog)

(ed note. bigger posts on our Vancouver adventures are coming this week, but I just wanted to share a bit of sentiment first.)