I have a confession to make…I am a huge sucker for home décor. Now don’t get me wrong, I adore fashion and beauty know-how, dedicating much of my professional career to uncovering the best in fashion in our city (which I still very much love doing), but late at night when I’m scouring Pinterest before bed, it’s “brass and glass” or “Hollywood regency” or “marble countertops” that seem to go into my search box more often. Decorating my home and injecting my personal taste throughout it these last few years have become real passion projects of mine, and after having lovely opportunities to share my home in Framework Magazine and on my friend Randa’s blog The Unprecedented (in addition to my own), many readers have emailed me asking where I source my items.
I take pride in the fact that many of my treasures are thrift. Although this gives new life to previously discarded items, it unfortunately doesn’t allow for many duplicates. So instead of going through where I sourced each and every item, I’ve complied a list of my top 5 favourite shops in Vancouver for you to check out (both new and thrift) so that you too can find you own special treasures.
1. Lofty Living – 610 Columbia Street, New Westminster
This gem in the heart of New West’s heritage downtown district is full of wonderfully chic and carefully curated accessories and furniture for the home. The aesthetic is glam but with touches of modern, seen in such items as mirrored bedside tables to ceramic stag heads. Lofty Living also has a great selection of customizable, made-to-order furniture pieces from headboards to couches. Did I mention it’s only a short minute walk from the skytrain? BONUS.
2. The Main Sellution – 3206 Main Street, Vancouver
The Main Sellution is a second-hand consignment furniture shop that specializes in antique, vintage or highly unique pieces. They have a really good selection, and often add to their inventory every few days, if not everyday. I find that for the most part, their prices are reasonable, and they do offer affordable delivery for larger items. They also recently started offering painting workshops, so you can now learn how to refurbish your antique find from them as well.
3. L’Atelier Home – 452 West Cordova, Vancouver
I first came across the new and upcycled furniture and accessories shop L’Atelier Home on a walk in Gastown when they were just opening. The paint was still drying, but owner Linda still made sure to introduce herself and chat about her passion for home décor and design. Since then, the shop has really made its mark in the neighbourhood, even expanding into a larger retail space next door. Moroccan poufs, French provincial settees, Voluspa candles and frame-worthy prints (including a selection from Randa’s I See Noise Prints) line the walls of L’Atelier Home. But it doesn’t end there. Linda also provides more selection to her customers through their online site.
4. Value Village- ALL LOCATIONS
I have been going to Value Village since my teenage years, but more recently I’ve stocked up on home goods just as much as funky belts and purses. The key with shopping for home décor at a thrift shop is to be open-minded. Going there with a specific shopping list will leave you disappointed, as it’s almost impossible to find exactly what you’re looking for since items are so varied and diverse. So it’s best just to be patient and allow yourself a lot of time to discover new treasures. A lot of people ask me which Lower Mainland location is my favourite, and that I can’t answer as I’ve found great things at all of them. Just don’t go on a weekend!
5. Homesense- ALL LOCATIONS
Homesense to me is like drugs to an addict (I don’t mean to be crude, I mean that in the most honest and sincere way!). I crave, obsess and fantasize about my visits, and when they do happen, it’s like a sick high when I find a Lucite tray for $29 rather than the $100 it costs at other retailers. Not joking. If there were Homesense Anonymous I would be their honourary member. “Hi, I’m Mana and I’m a Homesenseoholic”, here’s why: great deals, new stuff every week in all home departments (furniture, lighting, bed, bath, home accessories, kitchen, and garden), and it takes care of my need for treasure hunting. Because that’s what is key, Homesense, just like thrift shops, needs patience, time and a good eye. Don’t expect to find the perfect item each visit, but when you do BUY IT, because it won’t be there tomorrow…or in an hour. Did I mention I was at Homesense too? 😉