After houses and cars, furniture is the third most expensive purchase people make. Be careful choosing your pieces: studies show that most people live over twenty years with the furniture they buy. These days, buying furniture can be very dangerous: some manufacturers often change quality levels as well as prices, and customers often pay a premium for lower-quality items. The first step towards buying high-quality furniture without overpaying is to choose an honest shop. Fortunately, Vancouver has an abundance of quality designer furniture shops. If you’re looking for high-quality and original pieces, the best way is to deal directly with the designer or the studio. At the high end, if the designer is local, you’re likely to be able to make the best arrangement with the actual furniture maker. Here’s a list of the best modern designer furniture stores in Vancouver.
Store: 3868 Main St
From the outside, this shop might appear pricey, but the reality is it's not that bad. They’re well known for their innovative, contemporary pieces and providing diverse options for arranging a living space. The owners of Novo Furniture enable style lovers and aim: “To provide you with the designs you need to complete your vision.“ Their selection encompasses unique, fine home furnishings, including sofas, sectionals, chairs, coffee tables, end tables, console tables, stools, lighting, and benches.
According to Novo Furniture’s customers, the shop has earned its reputation thanks to its exceptional services. David, the owner, is a very friendly and patient person who knows his stuff and is willing to help and consult with his customers. Sophia from Vancouver describes her shopping experience:
The store is nicely laid out with contemporary options. We settled on a beautiful grey sectional called Jacob. It arrived within three weeks, less than the estimated six weeks. Not only did we receive free shipping, we also got two bottles of wine, white for me and a red for my hubby, with the delivery!
Inform Interiors was established in 1963 when its owner, Niels Bendtsen, opened his first retail furniture store in West Vancouver, Danet Interiors. Since then, the business has expanded and is currently operating three stores. Most importantly, they still focus on the same merchandise: well-designed and well-crafted Danish modern furniture from companies such as Fritz Hansen.
The main Inform Interiors store features three floors of high-end furniture designed by such noteworthy names as Marcel Breuer, Campana brothers, Achille Castiglioni, Antonio Citterio, Charles and Ray Eames, Eileen Gray, Arne Jacobsen, Poul Kjaerholm, and many others. The showroom itself induces a feeling of visiting a museum, which might be considered too neutral and spare for some, but design heaven for others. Furthermore, their new Trade showroom displays a wide array of commercial pieces with designers, architects, and large-scale projects in mind.
As we’ve been told, Inform Interiors focuses on the best mid-century and modern, contemporary designs available. Their inventory comes from Europe, Canada, and the United States and is updated in line with European Standards. However, the selection of Inform Interiors includes locally designed and manufactured pieces as well. Their prices are a bit higher but well worth their quality products and services.
Moreover, Inform Interiors organizes a popular warehouse sale every summer, located on the roof, where you can find quality designer furniture and accessories for just a fraction of their original price. They also offer full turnkey service, including design consultations in several languages. If you don’t have enough time to visit their brick and mortar stores during their store hours, take a look at their online shop.
Shop: 27 E. Pender Street
Bombast is a fair-priced boutique manufacturer of contemporary furniture that has been producing quality furniture since 1990. Their furniture line is characterized by sensitivity, usefulness and unique taste. The items showcased in their showroom are locally made. Russel Baker, acclaimed designer and co-owner of Bombast, literally invites customers into his appealing store, where he discusses his customers’ ideas and requirements with them. He tries to consult with most customers individually, aiming to find pieces that would reflect their unique personalities and aesthetic tastes. David Eichorn, a former fashion designer and Bombast’s co-owner and production manager, is responsible for gathering a selection that emphasizes quality and design integrity as well as illustrates what they believe are lasting material cultural values.
Baker describes the specialty of Bombast furniture:
I think my customers are looking for an alternative to what is being offered as contemporary or modern in furnishings. They want some layers and they want some history – and they want some of the things that surround them to be about where they live.
From the very first moment you enter, it’s obvious that Bombast furniture is run by professionals who know what they’re doing. It’s one of the best places in town where you can find alternative, modern living room furniture — from luxuriously upholstered couches and chaise lounges, originally built desks, tables, and chairs to new-shag carpets.
Shop: 1738 West 2nd Avenue
Creative Home Furnishings is a contemporary furniture store with an extensive, 12,000-square-foot showroom. They’ve been supplying the local community with fairly priced, first-class, solid wood furniture since 1989. Their furniture is produced by local craftsmen, most of whom live within a 100-kilometre radius of the store. The shop is owned by Maria Lopez and Blair Ballard, who share the same passion for design and love of locally built products.
As Blair, one of the co-owners, informed us
Our focus is on condo sized furnishings that fit perfectly into the smaller spaces of apartments and condos and townhouses. Our own Boxwood and Tangent designs were specifically created with the modern home in mind, the focus is on clean & sleek lines. Some of our pieces also incorporate metal and wood or glass, for an edgier West Coast look. Our furniture is made-to-order, with the ability to personalize the pieces through stain colour, hardware, size and fabric etc.
Creative Home Furnishings has two locations, one near Granville Island in Vancouver and another larger showroom in Coquitlam. Furthermore, they provide in-house consultations and guidance with choosing colour palettes and appropriate size as well as designing custom pieces.
Shop: 115 Water Street
Parliament Interiors is a spacious home décor store located in the heart of Gastown. They offer a diverse selection of contemporary furniture and accessories. The store has been open since November 2009 and is run by Craig Parkes, Tina Lee and Colette Soros. The owners describe their selection:
We offer a blend of simple modern pieces mixed with mid-century modern style pieces. Our palette is primarily grey and white accented the seasons “it” fashion colours – this season it’s a deep, warm orange.
It’s natural that high-end furniture costs more than its inferior alternatives, but in the end you'll have a unique pad and a sense of fresh style in your home. The furniture at Parliament Interiors is crisp, clean, and simple, emphasizing functionality and comfort. Most of their selection comes from North America — especially the furniture items. The inventory is updated each day so it’s wise to visit often to see what’s new and exciting. Parliament’s most popular item? hand-made owl mugs from Japan.
Many of their pieces are modular and offer storage, so they’re fantastic for small spaces. They also provide home consultations, including everything from space planning to renovations, as well as offering special orders, allowing clients to choose the size, material, configuration, et cetera of their items
Shop: 102 – 1014 Homer Street
Calligaris is a successful family furniture business that started in 1923, when Antonio Calligaris produced the first “Marocca” chair. The business expanded rapidly throughout subsequent years and today represents one of the largest Italian furniture manufacturers in Canada. Calligaris entered the Canadian market in 2007 by opening its first store in Vancouver and is currently directed by Allesandro Calligaris.
The design and layout of Vancouver’s showroom is supposed to reflect Calligaris’ success as well as their aesthetic taste. It represents a unique combination of quality, technology, and style. The store is divided into three main themes (trendy, contemporary and traditional), all of which include items that “have been conceived to satisfy the needs and habits of today’s life, keeping in mind the importance of a personal touch and of practical solutions.”
Their vast but carefully curated selection is arranged in elegantly, creating a very pleasant and unique atmosphere. Of course, their furniture is not in everyone’s taste, but it’s undeniable that Calligaris have style. If you decide to buy your furniture at Calligaris, be prepared to open your wallet.