Where to shop for home design in Vancouver: The Armoury District

The Armoury District near Granville Island has some of Vancouver's coolest interior design and home furnishing stores. Sophisticated and interesting, this neighborhood is made up of industrial buildings transformed into retail space. It's full of surprises and a great place to spend an afternoon wandering through stores or people watching from the Bica Cafe in what locals are calling "Vancouver's new Yaletown".

Kelly Deck Design

Contemporary and organic, restrained but not austere. That's how HGTV personality Kelly Deck describes her firm’s approach to design. 

Deck and her team tend to work on luxurious private residences in Coal Harbour, West Van and Shaughnessy, but lately they’ve extended their reach eastwards, creating a light and contemporary interior for a townhome development at Grant and Commercial. Luxury, says Deck, has more to do with your values than what neighbourhood you live in.

Casa

 

Perhaps best known for being an art publisher, Casa’s art bank houses over 800 works by Canadian artists and photographers, which they publish as archival prints on canvas or paper. Located right next door to Kelly Deck, Casa’s storefront is punctuated by bright Daff feltwork from Germany – everything from placemats and coasters to storage boxes and bags.

Fine woodworker Bjarne Holt, husband of proprietor Nadine Miller, creates custom furniture from re-purposed wood like spalted blonde maple, white oak, walnut and African Wenge. Trained in Copenhagen, Holt’s approach balances warmth and elegance.

Mint Interiors  

With two stores in the Armoury district – one focused on furniture, art and lighting, the other on accessories – Mint is an immediately recognizable feature of the Armoury District.Founded by Michael McNamara and Rien Sharma of Revamp Home Staging, Mint houses a unique blend of pieces from Canada, Italy, France and across the globe. 

From a houndstooth-patterned dresser with red drawer-pulls to animal-inspired shelving units, and Jonathan Adler’s quirky, mid-century modern sculptures, Mint’s approach to interiors is quirky and bright, with a well-developed sense of humour.

Sublime Interior Design

Sublime Interior Design creates elegant, open contemporary spaces featuring a blend of rich textures and modern, urban lines. From leather and satin to glass and backlit onyx, principal designer Geele Soroka and her team engage in an responsive relationship with their clients, producing simultaneously contemporary and sumptuous residential and commercial design.

From the Woodwards to Kerrisdale, South Granville to Caulfield Ridge, Sublime’s design projects are featured across the city.


Cafe Bica


After you've developed an appetite walking around the neighbourhood and mulling your next reno, Cafe Bica is the neighbourhoood hot spot for lunch. 

Designed and owned by Alda Pereira, Western Living's 2010 Designer of the Year, Cafe Bica has an updated Pacific Northwest ambience, perfectly summed up by the cafe's motto: Festina Lente (make haste slowly). 

I recommend their always-delicious daily salad and freshly made summer juices. If you're a bit hungrier, you can't go wrong with their baked BC salmon sandwich, featuring shaved fennel and housemade mayo.

Here's a map of the Armoury District: between Granville and Burrard, just north of 4th Avenue.  Check out The Armoury District website for a full range of what do do and where to go in the neighbourhood.

 

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