BC Home Decor Guide: Local Shops Focused on Tradition and Simplicity

From dusty old shops filled with treasures to an online community for laneway houses

Örling & Wu evokes the feeling of a dusty old shop filled with treasures

Traditional, with a Twist, at Örling & Wu

Fredrik Örling and Julie Wu’s vision for their Vancouver store was to evoke the look and feel of “Europe’s dusty old shops, filled with hidden treasures and whimsy.” Each item displayed in-store has been handpicked by the owners, and sourced from locales like Belgium and Japan.

Örling notes how every object is important and tells a “lingering” story. Take wallpaper from Sandberg (purveyors to the King of Sweden), for example: each roll is hand-finished and the edges are hand-painted. Or the ceramics from Royal Tichelaar Makkum, the Netherlands’ oldest ceramics company that’s still making its products by hand, using locally dug Frysian clay. Örling & Wu, 28 Water St., Vancouver, 604-568-6718.

Naturally Rustic Brooms

A new company on Granville Island is rekindling a lost art form while creating a useful tool for the home.

Artisans at the Granville Island Broom Co. design and handcraft over 20 different kinds of brooms, made from the seed tassel of the broomcorn plant. The plant is used in its raw, unprocessed state for maximum strength and for minimal environmental impact. Handles are made from natural materials such as rope, forged iron, dowel and branches, giving each item a delightfully rustic touch. Granville Island Broom Co., 1406 Old Bridge St., Vancouver, 604-629-1141.

Real Simple at the Old Faithful Shop

Find your way down to Old Faithful Shop in Gastown, where the sweet scent of cedar and the warm tones of brick and wood make for a sensory experience. The shop sells quality goods for everyday living, from imported ceramics, candles and linens to plants and leather goods.

Shop co-owner Walter Manning says he loves natural materials and well-made items that are somewhat utilitarian in design, noting that wooden carved mushroom boxes and balsam fir and red cedar incense are both big hits at the store. Old Faithful Shop, 320 W. Cordova St., Vancouver, 778-327-9376.

Laneway Housing at Smallworks Studios

They say good things come in small packages and Jake Fry would agree. He is one of the founders of Smallworks Studios/Laneway Housing Inc., which can now be found on Facebook.

In this online community, visitors can find laneway houses for rent and share their experiences about living large in small spaces. “Small homes are the wave of the future,” says Fry. “People are really going to want to start living in a more sustainable way without compromising their living standards or being a burden on the environment.” Smallworks Studios/Laneway Housing Inc., 7520 Balaclava St., Vancouver, 604-264-8837.

Stunning Stone at Dynasty Fireplaces

At Dynasty Fireplaces’s new Richmond showroom, peruse natural stone fireplaces that are hand finished using traditional techniques. A variety of models like Obama, Louvre, Springfield and Lyon Chateau can be made to fit any desired space and include sleek wall-mounted options as well as electric models.

Manager Helen Lu says designs range from classic to contemporary, using the highest quality natural stone sourced from around the world. Dynasty Fireplaces, 10 – 3071 No. 5 Road, Richmond, 604-821-1009.

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.