A Design Lover’s Guide to Vancouver in a Day

UBC Museum of Anthropology | © Tim Gillin / Flickr
UBC Museum of Anthropology | © Tim Gillin / Flickr
Photo of Hayley Simpson
Writer23 November 2017

Vancouver is a melting pot when it comes to design. It is home to a variety of antique stores, high-end home goods shops, and unique buildings. Fortunately, this comprehensive guide will lead you to the best places every design lover needs to visit in the city.

The Antique Warehouse

The Antique Warehouse, established 28 years ago, is Canada’s largest importer of European antiques. Co-owner Larry Adams travels to Europe several times a year to source the best antique furniture to fill his 12,000-square-foot showroom. The Antique Warehouse is dedicated to providing the best service, selection, and price possible. “You’ll find antiques from a signed French art deco piece worth over ten thousand dollars to a small country French table for just a few hundred dollars. It’s all there for any budget and any taste.” The exquisite showroom is a gold mine for vintage lovers.

Antiquing | © Klimkin / Pixabay

Versace Home

Most people know the name Versace. Gianni Versace founded the luxurious Italian fashion company in 1978. In 1994, it became the first fashion brand to begin working in the home design business. The boutique in Vancouver is the only one of its kind in Canada. The home design products available at Versace Home include furniture (from armchairs to beds), chandeliers, table lamps, cushions, rugs, tableware, and even wallpaper. Your home will be the most luxurious one on the block after a visit to Versace Home—but your bank account may not look as good!

Stalk Arthur Erickson

All design lovers must visit an Arthur Erickson property when in Vancouver. Erickson was a famed Canadian architect who was well known for constructing modernist landmarks out of concrete. His work can be found in Canada, England, and the United States. In Vancouver, he designed the Museum of Anthropology on the University of British Columbia campus. His inspiration was the post-and-beam architecture of Northwest Coast First Nations, which is befitting as the museum holds one of the world’s finest First Nations art collections. Meanwhile, the Evergreen Building in downtown Vancouver has to be seen to be believed.

Museum of Anthropology | © Colin Knowles / Flickr

Parliament Interiors

Another must-visit store in Gastown, Parliament Interiors focuses on modern furniture and home goods. The store is stocked with sofas, dining chairs and tables, furniture for the bedroom or home office, rugs, and pillows. Parliament Interiors is also proud to stock uncommon accessories and furnishings, to help Vancouverites create unique spaces in their homes.

Örling & Wu

Örling & Wu’s philosophy is that “good design should always be relevant, simple, and reliable.” The company’s buying team sources products from across the world for the stylish people of Vancouver. Since beginning in 2009, Örling & Wu has featured in several magazine and newspaper spreads, in both Canada and the United States. They have two stores in Vancouver: the flagship in Gastown and a second storefront in Kitsilano. With many Canadian interior designers and architects sourcing contemporary products such as wallpaper, outdoor furniture, and lighting from Örling & Wu, you know it is a worthwhile stop on a Vancouver design tour.

All about the lighting | © Free-Photos / Pixabay


All of this shopping and perusing will definitely make you work up an appetite. While in Gastown, check out Wildebeest for dinner (or weekend brunch). With a menu focused on farm-to-table dishes, and an extensive cocktail and wine list, Wildebeest is one of Gastown’s best restaurants. It has won awards for both its food and its design, as the multi-level space is home to a cocktail bar and lounge, an open kitchen, a large dining room, and a private dining area. Standout meals include the pork belly and scallops, as well as roasted elk loin with dark chocolate jus.

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