Designer Files: three Vancouver vintage hotspots
The most common reason that potential clients reach out to me for design help is not because they have no idea what they like; nor is it because they don’t know what to buy. It’s because they don’t know how to put all the things they like together in a cohesive, but also personalized fashion. People want to work with me to help them write their own style story.
There is a wide variety of clients who are still looking for their story: from those who are moving into a new space, to those who have been there for years and never advanced past the ‘we just moved in’ look to a place that is reflective of their individuality. One of my first questions for clients is “are you comfortable with vintage pieces?”; some people are already in-the-know about the cool factor of vintage, while others are both surprised and hesitant with my ask.
From an environmental standpoint, opting for vintage items is awesome because it keeps pieces out of our landfills, while also reducing consumer demand for new production. From a design perspective, I find it important to bring in vintage for the variety it provides to the overall look and feel of a room. When you are looking to create a style story, what better place to start than with pieces that have a story of their own.
Vancouver is a hot-spot for vintage finds. There are so many fabulous hidden (or not-so-hidden) gems to scour for something unique for your home, whether it be large or small. I have a few favourites that I have worked with for years, and lean on when I’m in need of super cool items to pull a project together.
Located at 230 East Pender, Space Lab has a more industrial take on vintage; this incredible house of curiosities offers many found items, antique art and artifacts, as well as an in-house design studio for custom lighting, woodwork and furniture. Clint Moroz (owner) has recently partnered with Draft Dodger Designs and Bootleg Barbers to create The Longwalk Lodge at the East Pender shop; together with these allies, Space Lab is bringing a heavy dose of creativity and community to Chinatown.
A long-running Main Street staple for the mid-century market (4609 Main Street to be exact), ReFind brings high level nostalgia and charm to all that enter. Specializing in high quality decor from the 50’s and 60’s, Bart Taylor (owner) offers his clientele everything you can remember or even imagine from the mid-century period; from teak furniture to mod lamps to kitschy oddities, ReFind is a stellar source for whatever you’re on the hunt for. And so much more.
Lillian Reimer (owner) was bang-on when choosing her shop’s name - this Commercial Drive destination (944 Commercial) is a sure win for those on a vintage decor treasure hunt. Featuring designer pieces from the 30’s to 70’s, Attic Treasures is a fun spot to spend time perusing through mid-century housewares, jewellery, lighting and furniture. If you’re cruising the Drive, keep a lookout for the shop’s signature vibrant orange outdoor trim, beckoning locals and visitors since 1988.