BC Home Decor Guide: Blue Owl Boutique, Designhouse Digs, Homewerx Online

A look at three home decor destinations you don't want to miss

Credit: Terry Guscott

The historic facade of Blue Owl Boutique adds to its vintage charm

Blue Owl Offers Personally Selected, One-of-a-kind Pieces

Walking into Blue Owl Boutique in Vancouver is a bit of wistful reverie – from the lovely exterior of the 1911 Connaught building to the soft sounds of Danke Schoen playing inside.

Here, you’ll find vintage wrapping paper and wooden fruit baskets, old books and Life magazines, and retro marbles. Everything seems to have a story, patina, and is infused with love.

The care so evident in procuring and displaying the largely vintage stock comes from storeowner Amanda Michas. The boutique is named after her grandfather’s drive-in diner, Blue Owl, which once stood at West 2nd and Burrard. John Michas Senior bought the Connaught building in 1958 and the family has owned it since. 

The eclectic style on display comes from a deep appreciation for reclaiming things. “It’s so lovely to take old things and make them worth keeping and caring about,” says Michas. And, as a collector, “It’s totally who I am. There’s no formula to anything except that I have to like it.” The stock changes constantly – so if you see something you like, snap it up!

Here’s what’s been in-store recently:

  • Swiss Army blankets “sell like crazy.” And “people love the teacups.” The delicate and different designs mean no two are alike.

  • A wood-frame sofa that’s been reinvented – from “a cheesy red mahogany colour with bad orange velvet” – by Amanda and her talented family crew.
  • An old armchair recovered in blue-and-white ticking and vintage tablecloths.

  • A vintage hand-painted pub sign from England. “Hard to find now,” says Michas.

Designhouse’s New Digs

Designhouse (851 Homer St), the arbiter of all things contemporary and cool – from Finnish-glass Aalto vases to bold Blu Dot furniture – has new digs on Homer’s style strip.

In South Vancouver’s warehouse district of expansive showrooms, find the new home of 30-year-old local furniture maker Once A Tree (think: old-school techniques meet Canadian-made craftsmanship) [750 Southwest Marine Dr].
Image: Terry Guscott

Shop Homewerx Online

The West End’s design destination, Homewerx (1053 Davie St), has opened its virtual doors. If you can’t browse the bricks-and-mortar store tucked away on Davie Street, go to the online shop. Some picks to add to your cart: the cute-and-quirky Hidden Fox teacup, fragrant Mor candles (try tasty-smelling Basil & Grape) or a must-have Moroccan pouf.

Originally published in BC Home magazine. For monthly updates, subscribe to the free BC Home e-newsletter, or purchase a subscription to the bi-monthly magazine.