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Head down the Armoury District for some of the best home design stores in the city.
Here’s fuel for a humble brag: just last year, Architectural Digest named the Armoury District one of the top 12 design districts in the world (hey NYC, jealous much?). Named after the Seaforth Armoury at 1st and Burrard, it’s home to Arthur Erickson’s masterful Waterfall Building and several top furniture and decor stores, as well as many local architect and design offices—and it’s just steps from Granville Island for a post-shop cocktail or two.
The building that houses Livingspace’s 30,000-square-foot showroom is a destination in and of itself, namely to experience the architectural marvel that is the concrete-and glass staircase that clings to its exterior. Designed by Bocci’s Omer Arbel, it’s flooded with light even on the grayest days—and serves as a proper entry to experience the showroom’s luxe European design brands (like Molteni&C, Paola Lenti, Poltrona Frau and Minotti).
1706 W 1st Ave.
2. East India Carpets
The Armoury owes its curated, design-forward nature to East India Carpets’ Ravi Sidhoo, who personally recruited many of the tenants to the ’hood. EIC itself has been going strong as a family business since 1948: its current collections run from classic Persian designs to the strikingly modern (like Matteo Cibic’s stunning Wunderkammer collection, which celebrates the Pink City of Jaipur).
1606 W 2nd Ave.
Coveting the perfect mid-century sideboard? Fullhouse brings together a thoughtful blend of vintage MCM furniture with new contemporary pieces from design-forward brands like Menu, Loll Designs and Toronto-based Gus Modern.
1545 W 4th Ave.
The perfect accessory awaits in this light-filled shop. Provide’s curated collection of unique, high-end textiles, ceramics, lighting and furniture pieces are gathered from leading brands and artisans around the world—including Teixidors, Seth Christou, Guaxs and dozens more, alongside celebrated local makers like Brent Comber and Quake Studio. Around the corner from the original store, Provide Design Gallery offers full-scale furniture, lighting, textiles, rugs and art collections in a space inspired by artful venues in Paris and Milan.
1805 Fir St. & 1636 W 2nd Ave.
Treana Peake’s welcoming salon almost defies description: is it a store, a museum or a charity? It’s all three, as the founder and her team seek to raise the lives of makers from around the world, each exquisite and authentic design done in partnership with the artisan—truly making it one of the most unique spots in the country.
1638 W 3rd Ave.
You may not realize how much you can covet a backsplash until you browse Ann Sacks’s tile collection. The Portland-based company chose this spot for their first entree into Canada a few years ago, and lucky us: wandering the collections here feels akin to immersing yourself in a grown-up candy shop.
1616 W 2nd Ave.
Expect a little local celeb-spotting in the Armoury outpost of Vancouver’s excellent mini-chain—many architects and interior designers have their offices nearby, and Prado buzzes with design-oriented caffeine-seekers all day. (Fun fact: design legend Alda Pereira crafted the original space when it was under its previous ownership—and the room looks as fresh today as when she designed it nearly a decade ago.)
1809 Fir St.
There’s likely no more coveted spot on Granville Island than the patio of Alimentaria Mexicana on a sunny summer day, and for good reason. Yes, it’s an excellent spot for people watching. But if there’s a better way to wrap up a successful Armoury shopping day—one of AM’s perfectly balanced margaritas in hand, a side of happy hour guacamole (sprinkled with the inspired update of feta and pepitas)—well, facts are facts: there isn’t.
1596 Johnson St.
This story was originally published in the July/August 2023 print issue of Vancouver Magazine—find the digital issue here.