Vancouver’s Best New Home Stores

July 1, 2011

Anthropologie 101 It can make women swoon and young girls weep. And when the doors first open, it often causes a neo-hippie stampede. If you guessed a Robert Pattinson convention, try again: it’s cult-status retailer Anthropologie (2912 Granville St., 604-734-2529. Anthropologie.com) opening up shop—this time in the swish shopping mecca of South Granville. Record numbers turned out for the much-hyped early May debut making the company’s Vancouver launch the highest-grossing ever in North America. The chain retailer’s signature boho chic may be a global institution, but it still manages to channel an independent vibe (to wit: its one-of-a-kind vintage wool and felt patchwork blankets, $700). The always-replenished sale section yields great finds like the Glasswing Collection queen-size duvet for 75 percent off retail.

 

Singular Success Modern design is great right up until the time you walk into your friend’s house and spy the exact same Italian lamp you just missed a mortgage payment for. To avoid this, Blue Owl Home Boutique (2308 W. Broadway, 604-568-3610. Blueowlhomeboutique.com) owner Amanda Michas revels in the uniqueness of the carefully edited selection of antiques at her new Kitsilano shop. With finds like the rough-hewn Swiss officer’s wool blanket ($78) and fey bird-shaped candles ($6), the store has the pedigree of a white-glove antiques gallery (many pieces have been collected by her family over the years) mixed with the cool vibe of a hipster vintage shop.

 

Stage Coach When Rien Sharma and Michael McNamara started their home staging business, they brought an imaginative eye and a dose of rare individuality to the Lower Mainland homes they were styling. Soon their clients wanted to know where they could get their hands on the duo’s accessories and furnishings—and so Mint Interiors (1805 Fir St. 604-568-3430. Mintinteriors.ca) was born. The cavernous, sleek white space showcases some of the most irreverent, bespoke, and contemporary homewares in town. Exclusive to Mint, find Tracy Kendall wallpaper, which gives surfaces a dramatic, three-dimensional effect with giant hand-sewn sequins ($46.11 per square foot). Other lines are just as stylish, if a bit cheeky, like the French serving trays depicting birds in various Victorian garb.

 

Time in a Bottle Be forewarned: when leaving the Old Faithful Shop (320 W. Cordova St., 778-327-9376. Oldfaithfulshop.com), you might start pining for a larder or, at the very least, glass-bottle milk delivery service. This bricks-and-mortar general store harks back to a time when packages were wrapped in twine and most things were crafted by hand—but still manages to evoke an au courant vibe (imagine if Terence Conran lived on Little House on the Prairie). From jam jars (starting at $8) to iPad attachés (by Makr, $240), all goods look like they belong in an old trading post. Summer workshops like Container Garden 101, aka Grow Food in Small Places ($25), teach you how to grow herbs and greens with no backyard in sight.

Treasure Island Orling & Wu (28 Water St., 604-568-6718. Orlingandwu.com) could have been just another thoughtfully curated (read: sparsely inventoried) Gastown store. Though this little homewares shop may look and feel gallery-like with its rare finds and elegant pieces, it runs more friendly in vibe. The owners met in England while attending design school, so the fresh mix of contemporary, vintage, and classic pieces for sale reflect a European sensibility: whether it’s the Nosey Parker greeting cards handmade in the U.K. with Liberty House fabric ($7.60) or the Service tea set designed by Jurgen Bey for Royal Tichelaar Makkum, appointed by the Dutch Royal Family (teapot $705)—each piece is a tiny treasure.

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