Check this out! West Coast Designer Kim Bartley has created a bucket list of unique boutiques and design stores across the country that have caught her fancy and inspired her over the past year.
BOUTIQUE SPOTLIGHT: FRONT PORCH INTERIORS AND DESIGN STORE Wawota, Saskatchewan
A small town gem of a store, this boutique offers a quirky combination of name brands and quality products. Customer service is their specialty according to owner and interior decorator Shannon Houff, and she is committed to bringing her clients a wide range of items from entry level furniture to investment pieces that will last forever. Not only a retail space, this one stop shop offers design services that will help you pull together the whole look of your space. With a strong online presence and a popular blog, Shannon offers a design vision that is unique to the area and worth a visit. With an unparalleled attention to detail and a knack for accurately assessing a client’s needs, Shannon’s “proudly Canadian” boutique caters to all styles and budgets.
LAMBERT ET FILS LUMINAIRES Montreal, Quebec
If you are looking for quality craftsmanship with a unique edge, this custom boutique offers a selection of lighting that will satisfy the designer in you. Home to an amazing collection of modern lamps, suspensions and unusual shades, this small studio offers unparalleled quality at a premium price. With a commitment to tradition, their fixtures often feature a contemporary twist on an iconic motif. These investment pieces will last a lifetime and illuminate the look of your space
F2 FURNISHINGS Calgary, Alberta
This concept store in Calgary has created a name for itself by selling its own Canadian designed and made furniture line, as well as other local and international furniture. A great place to shop for unique home décor items, their focus is on modern customizable furniture pieces. Their motto is sleek, chic and functional and they deliver the goods, making sure that their clients are as comfortable with the entire process as they are with the finished piece. Their in-house consultation service is designed to satisfy their customers’ needs and guide them through the process. With a sister store in Edmonton, this western design store is a shining star that caters to a bold and adventurous clientele.
BIRCH AND CO Toronto, Ontario
Though this home and gift emporium could easily be found in the heart of Rosedale or Leslieville, its location in Little India offers an airy space that is filled with a wide range of Canadian and North American designers. The answer to all your gift-giving needs, this store has something for everyone on your list. A thoughtfully curated shop full of furniture and décor pieces, Birch and Co. also delivers personalized service and gift giving advice. If you are looking for one-of-a-kind giftware, vintage bar accessories, beautiful paper goods, handmade jewelry, or ceramics, this is the perfect place to shop while away for a weekend afternoon.
DESIGN HOUSE Vancouver, British Columbia
With a belief that good design should be accessible to everyone, this is Canada’s down-to-earth version of Design Within Reach. Priding itself on keeping their prices stable and reasonable, you can purchase their exceptional products with confidence knowing they won’t be available at drastically reduced prices elsewhere. Their commitment to all things “high design” is obvious in their exceptionally focussed selection of products from amazing bent oak Buttercup armchairs, to oversized pots and pans from Tools or eye-catching Marimekko shower curtains. Interior design aficionados will enjoy browsing the store for cheeky accessories or delicious streamlined furniture that will stand the test of time. For those residing outside of Vancouver, Design House has an extensive website which offers the best of their in-store selection, in addition to an online outlet where you may discover that your favorite item has truly become affordable for everyone.
ANN SACKS Vancouver, British Columbia
Offering a world of craftsmanship and unsurpassed artistry under one roof, the new Anne Sacks showroom in the design-centric Armoury District boasts a 2,000 square foot mecca of design. With a vision to bring their customer the choice of the most current tile designs, materials and styles, Anne Sacks has sustained a belief that there is always room for more beauty. Working with local ceramicists, Anne creates an exquisite line of handmade tiles in over a hundred colors. Even if you are not currently looking for tiles, the showroom itself is a real treat and an inspiring ode to the power of design.
BISCUIT GENERAL STORE Halifax, Nova Scotia
Even if you are not tempted by the look of this hipster boutique’s retro-inspired, pastel-infused take on the department stores of yore, then their quirky inventory is sure to win you over. From party frocks and snappy menswear to candy and cool makeup, the Biscuit General Store on Argyle St. has an adorable selection of housewares and accessories. At affordable prices, their unique giftware includes pretty teapots, flirty printed aprons, ceramic tableware in unique shapes, stationery and novelty books.
THE COLLECTIVE GOOD Whitehorse, Yukon
Located in a historic Gold Rush era building on the banks of the Yukon River, The Collective Good is an independent design store that is home to some of the best small batch design offerings from Canada, the USA, Scandinavia and Japan. Official retailers for Canada’s EQ3 Furniture and Gus* Modern furniture, The Collective Good also retails clothing, accessories and housewares from independent artisans in a space once occupied by the great northern mercantile, Taylor & Drury.
MADISON MACKENZIE HOME St. Johns, Newfoundland
The picturesque city of St. Johns is home to Madison Mackenzie Home where the in-house team of design professionals have a strong commitment to the power of a beautifully styled room. Catering to both modern and traditional customers, this boutique offers a trendy mix of bedding, drapery, cushions, bath and décor to create a well-appointed space.
COTTAGE INDUSTRY Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
A truly unique store, the mood and merchandise at Cottage Industry reflect the owner Nancy Lopes’ decidedly unfussy take on family living. Working with designers to create pieces which range from a soft, industrial style to a more modern coastal design, Cottage Industry also offers a range of furniture, bedding, rugs and lighting to suit any budget. In addition to a few mid-century pieces which round out the carefully curated selection, there are one-of-a-kind blankets, cheerful toss cushions and classic white dinnerware.
Text by Kim Mancuso