SD: The 8 Best Affordable Homewares Stores in Vancouver

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The challenge of finding homewares that are affordable, functional, and stylish could be difficult but not in Vancouver.  Creating a livable space that reflects who you are does not need to break the bank nor cause much anxiety. With a bit of online research, a good friend with a truck, or even a taxi van, budding decorators have the power to create spaces that are not only somewhere to live, but are comfortable to bring friends and that special place where you want to lay your head down and dream.

Bring on the Homewares!

JYSK

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Sleeptime | @JYSKBEDBATHHOME

With four locations in the Lower Mainland, JYSK is the place for affordable bedroom furniture. Seemingly, every item, whether it is a bed frame, mattress or wardrobe, is under $300 and if you are under 5’5 and desperately require a live, work, sleep unit (roughly the size of a new downtown micro-suite), it will set you back a mere $800. While waiting to fill in your delivery slip, take the time to check out the impulse-buy section of colourful kitschy knick-knacks that make for great gift bags filler for the upcoming housewarming party.

IKEA

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Spicy! | @IKEACANADA

Once it was almost impossible to get home $100 worth of IKEA homewares. Who doesn’t remember backing up to the loading area, after stuffing yourself on the poached salmon special, Swedish meatballs and ligonberry soft ice cream, and forcing purchases into too small hatchbacks? Flash forward to the 2000’s and it is still affordable and enduring new student tradition. So load-up on Hobbit inspired cutlery, frosted drinking glasses, paper floor lamps, those too cool black square plates, tea candles (in flats of 100s) and don’t forget to enjoy the ride home with a giant corn stalk plant pot in your lap.

Value Village

best affordable home furnishings vancouver
Not just clothing and Halloween wear |@VALUEVILLAGE_THRIFT

A re-vamped ‘VV Boutique’ emerged years ago with a slick website and higher prices on clothing (insert complaining here) but if you are looking for retro kitchen wares, there are 150 Value Village’s in Canada and the USA providing that perfectly good but used rice-cooker, bread maker, giant hand-painted Guatemalan plate, wooden salad bowl, and rows upon rows of amazing vessels to drink from – champagne flutes that say ‘Happy Birthday Courtney’, ceramic beer steins, new in the box sake sets, beakers, mismatched tea cups, shooter glasses, medieval goblets and too cute kitten coffee cups.

Wildlife Thrift Store

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Vintage to New | @WILDLIFETHRIFTSTORE

Located at the foot of the Granville Street bridge, the Wildlife Thrift Store is ‘The Big Green’ and a homewares treasure hunters dream. Since 1997, this legendary space has been family-owned and operated, and firm believers in recycling and giving back to local charities like The Gathering Place, Coast Mental Health and Positive Living BC. The front area is dedicated to furniture and decorative elements with small rooms sorted to make it easy to find pillows, baskets, stereo sets and thigh-high speakers, small counter appliances and linens.

HomeSense Canada

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Stacking them high! |@HOMESENSECANADA

HomeSense is the perfect chain store for affordably priced lush towels, expensive looking (and feeling) linen sets, giant clocks and everything needed to make even the most boring bathroom look spectacular. Hint: Before getting all googly-eyed in the over-sized sparkly glass vase section, ask a sales associate for directions to the ‘damaged goods’ section and pick-up a bedroom mirror (the size of a Car2Go) with a dinged corner that can be fixed easily with a coloured marker.

The Cross Decor and Design

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Like jumping into a cloud | @THECROSSDESIGN

Trying to define the word ‘affordable’ in a city as affluent as Vancouver is futile. Opened in 2003 by the uber-stylish Darci Ilich and Stephanie Vogler, entering into the ‘The Cross’ is akin to stepping into a Pinterest explosion of meringue. Frothy white, matte silver, and a touch of soft pastels dabbed about, are accented with organic elements, which serve to add a touch of reality in this dreamscape. It is a gorgeous store to experience and the service impeccable.

Dollarama

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Just cannot stay away | @DOLLARAMA

With all items $3 or less, Dollarama is the place to stock up on all your organizing homewares such as screw-top jars with chalk labels, decorative bins for the living room, closet organizers, velvet covered hangers, quirky plant pots for herb gardens, batteries (for that giant clock purchased from HomeSense) and all the brand name cleaning supplies needed to keep your home guest worthy and smelling fresh.

DAISO

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So squeezable | @DAISO_KSA

Fill your pockets with toonies and jump the Canada Line to Aberdeen station. Every item is $2 and this is where decorative elements could literally inspire the theme of a whole room. How cute are these squishy black and fuchsia rubber piggies? These two are screaming bathroom make-over!

Whether there is $10 or $10K on the credit card, buying homewares for your living space can be a great mix of new and old items gathered from all corners of Vancouver. Remember, the hunt is more than half the fun!

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(Article by Helen Siwak and originally published at StyleDemocracy.com)

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SD: 9 New Shops + 1 Pop-Up to Check Out this Spring

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It is Spring but every time the sun pokes its head through the grey west coast skies, everyone naturally thinks of Summer and being outside, enjoying patios, craft beers and thin crust pizza, all the while dressed in their stylish best.

StyleDemocracy knows what is happening in Vancouver in the SummerHerschel Canada will finally be infiltrating Vancouver’s booming shopping economy; Rolex will be replacing the XiShi Lounge in the Shangri-La Hotel on West Georgia; Tiffany & Co’s second floor expansion will be completed and legendary design house Chanel will expand their presence right through Holt Renfrew into SportChek’s former location by adding a French cafe and another entrance. BUT…it’s not Summer yet.

Spring in Vancouver

Here is what is happening this Spring in Vancouver because we at SD honour and accept that there really are four seasons in Canada!

IndigoSpirit on Granville Street – Open

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Indigospirit now open on Granville Street | Helen Siwak

Indigospirit opened just south of the busiest corner downtown and kitty corner high traffic shopping superstar Nordstrom. The city mourned when the colossal Chapters closed in 2015 and has been waiting patiently for a new bookstore to open. Although Indigospirit is nowhere near the size of Chapters, the new store is enjoying a flurry of page-turning by devotees.

Eddie Bauer on Robson Street

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Eddie Bauer interiors | EddieBauer.com

American retailer Eddie Bauer will open where French Connection closed. Eddie Bauer is a household name in Canada and offers quality clothing, accessories and gear for men, women and kids that complement the west coast outdoor lifestyle. Their affordable product line is for everyone in the family and a great place for casual wear that is quality made.

Saje Natural Wellness on Robson Street

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Saje Natural Wellness under construction | Helen Siwak

Vancouverites love products that aren’t tested on animals and ones that have all-natural base ingredients free of parabens, SLS, SLES, PEGS, glycols, petrochemicals, synthetic colours and synthetic fragrances. Shoppers will know when Saje opens, as the nebulizer will be plugged in and purifying its little electronic heart out, on the curbside.

Zumiez on Granville Street

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zumiez papered up and under construction | Helen Siwak

This streetwear store debuted in Seattle and grew across Canada quickly but only now are they venturing onto Granville. Currently an empty doorway for homeless youth with skater dogs to sleep in, the space will soon provide cutting edge clothing, footwear, accessories, DVDs, and hard skate and snow goods for people who enjoy active lifestyles.

Laduree on Robson Street

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The perfect tableau? Mais oui! | Laduree.com

Probably the most anticipated opening ever on Robson. This boutique and 16 seat tea salon will present a collection of delicious and beautifully boxed macarons, viennoiseries, teas, jams and a selection of perfumed candles and home fragrances. We can guarantee the well-heeled line-ups will be long and the LVs will either be flying or stuffed with take-away bags within moments of the doors sweetly swinging open.

SportChek on Robson Street

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SportChek on Robson under construction | Helen Siwak

SportChek is the largest retailer of sporting goods, footwear, and apparel in Canada with over 163 stores spanning coast to coast. The retail space is hefty 52,000 square feet over three levels with floor to ceiling windows. Many of the larger SportChek stores provide in-store boutiques such as Nevada Bob’s Golf, Hockey Experts, and S3, but we are not sure what the configuration of this behemoth will be.

Prada on Alberni Street

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Classic interiors at international Prada stores | Prada.com

The venerated design house of Prada is jumping into one of the last retail spots in the ‘Luxury Zone’ with two floors designed by architect Roberto Baciocchi. Men and women’s apparel and accessories will be conjoined by an imposing black Marquinia marble staircase and shoppers will selfie themselves into heaven on the Verner Panton’s legendary ‘Clover Leaf’ couches. Sure to be a divine house of worship seven days a week. Opening day is Friday, March 11th.

Massimo Dutti in CF Pacific Centre Mall

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Massimo Dutti interiors | MassimoDutti.com

Sounds Italian, but Massimo Dutti is a fashion retailer originating in Spain and which is about to open adjacent to Hugo Boss, Kate Spade and Ted Baker London. Take the escalator down from the corner of Granville and Robson and enjoy browsing the newest wing of the PC Mall.

Stefano Ricci next to Trump Tower on West Georgia

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Stefano Ricci classic interiors | StefanoRicci.com

With humble beginnings as a tie manufacturing firm in Florence in 1972, this family-run business strives for quality to the point of almost unattainable perfection, with prices to match. Peruse their website and a simple set of cufflinks (with 394 diamonds) will set the well-heeled back a little over $22,000. Our advice – shine up those big boy shoes before taking a step inside.

KOKKO + mastermindJAPAN in Gastown

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Launch night event at KOKKO in Gastown | Helen Siwak

KOKKO, a luxury retailer based in the Aberdeen Mall in Richmond (they sell Yeezy), launched a 45 day collaborative pop-up with the elusive mastermindJAPAN in an underground space in Gastown in February. The space is hot and the hoodie’s are priced at a cool $800+.

There you have it, Spring is here and there is nothing that can be done about it besides hitting the pavement and looking great while doing it.

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(Article by Helen Siwak and originally published at StyleDemocracy.com)

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SD: 10 Best Places to Brunch in Vancouver

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Sunday morning. Yawn. Is there anything that gets you up and out of bed quicker on a rainy morning, than the thought of brunch? Just the name of that in between meal conjures up a mash up of sweet, savoury, crunchy, crispy, spicy and greasy. Pull on those rubber boots, grab an umbrella and know that a delicious brunch will always cure what ails you, especially if you were hanging in Gastown last night!

Even in the line-ups you can hear impatient patrons arguing over the best brunch spots to visit – the top rated locations are numerous, scattered all over the city and all vying for the attention of your appetites and wallets.

Brunch be happening now!

10. Medina Cafe

Best-Brunch-Medina-Cafe
Medina Cafe | @MEDINACAFE

Located in the downtown Library District, the cuisine is Mediterranean inspired and the crowd eclectic. The line-ups are not reserved for weekends and are more like attending a ‘happening’ outside the L’Hermitage Hotel. The concierge will politely nod as you helplessly stare through the window at the dwindling display of Belgium waffles made daily by Chef Deniz Tarakcioglu.

9. Nuba

BestBrunch-Nuba
Nuba | @NUBATOWN

Founded in 2003 by Victor Bouzide, Nuba is synonymous with the exotic cuisine of Lebanon. Organic and local when available, the meat is clean, with food and juices made to order. Hearty fare for the most hungover with a large vegan selection.

8. Edible Canada

Best-Brunch-Edible-Canada
Edible Canada on Granville Island | @EDIBLECANADA

A full service bistro that focuses on Canadian cuisine, this Granville Island eatery is elegant, chic and accessible. Start with a maple bacon Caesar and the popular duck fat frites, while you peruse the menu, then hit the retail store and pick-up a box of truffle flavoured sea salt before catching the Aquabus.

7. The Tasting Room @ Secret Location

Best-Brunch-Secret-Location
Secret Location Tasting Room | SECRETLOCATION.CA

Executive Chef Montgomery Lau makes mini-plates of deliciousness that can only be described within your mind. Do not come expecting to gorge on grease but to have your soul satiated.

6. Belgard Kitchen

Best-Brunch-Belgard-Kitchen
Belgard Kitchen in The Settlement Building | @BELGARDKITCHEN

Venture into Railtown and be prepared to be awed by 90 year old The Settlement Building. Once alive with manufacturing, the building now houses a craft brewery and boutique winery. Whether your craving is simple radicchio salad with a gravlax add-on and a glass of Blasted Church or a simple customizable Health Nut Breakfast Bowl with avocado and goat cheese, you can always lay-down on the giant couch and nap.

5. Heirloom Restaurant

best brunch spots in vancouver
Heirloom Veg off Granville Street | @HEIRLOOMVEG

Follow the avocado Eggs Benedict with a raw dark chocolate brownie and an extra side of fresh strawberries and heaven is only a sin away! Heirloom is vegetarian and unapologetically so. The owners went meatless but they are far from kale pushers.

4. Acorn

best brunch spots in vancouver
Acorn on Main Street | @ACORNVANCOUVER

Award-winning veggie cuisine in the heart of Main Street is a destination for those who seek freshness, locally sourced ingredient and the ability to craft their dishes as vegan or gluten free.

3. Tuc Craft Kitchen

best brunch spots in vancouver
Tuc Craft Kitchen | @TUCCRAFTKITCHEN

If you want your dishes to be rustic, to hear the tearing of bread, feel the comfort of a noisy but cozy room, and then travel to Gastown to Tuc. Curious flavoured coffees and the crispiest chicken and waffles live here.

2. La Mezcaleria

best brunch spots in vancouver
La Mezcaleria on Commercial Drive | @LAMEZCALERIAYVR

Over on Commercial Drive, this little taste of Mexico will assist  in pairing your savoury brunch choice, made with locally sourced ingredients, ocean-friendly seafood, and gluten-free dishes with their infamous selection of mescal and tequila.

1. Yolks on East Hastings

best brunch spots in vancouver
Yolks on East Hastings Street | @YOLKSBREAKFAST

When the Brave Bull House of Steak closed in East Vancouver, the carnivores lament could be heard across the land. Yolks has 2 locations and a popular food truck, no reservations and a limited time frame for fans to indulge in eggs done to perfection accompanied by locally sourced ingredients.

Are you still thinking about rolling over and grabbing some cold pizza later from the kitchen? Why oh why? Jump up, pull on your cleanest dirty jeans and head to the transit stop – deliciousness awaits you just around the corner.

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(Article by Helen Siwak and originally published at StyleDemocracy.com)

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