April 6, 2018
A season of brightness and light
By Nikki Renshaw
After a long, cold winter it’s finally safe to pack away the heavy throws and sheepskin rugs. Local designers and retailers are celebrating the advent of the new season with spring-infused designs that are guaranteed to brighten up your home.
“Spring is my favourite time of the year,” says Bonnie Wilson, owner of Gild and Co., one of Vancouver’s favourite go-to décor stores. “It’s fresh and optimistic and is reflected in home décor.”
Wilson’s shelves are stacked with an array of cushions in pastel shades and contemporary floral designs. “There is nothing old-fashioned about these florals,” she says. “These are bold, modern statement pieces and one of the quickest ways to update your home.” She also carries Dash and Albert carpet runners in an array of grey, pink and green designs that Wilson describes as “throw pillows for the floor.” Cheap, cheerful and easy to clean, they can go almost anywhere to add a pop of colour and texture to a room.
If you’d like a more permanent floral display, local wall mural company Anewall Décor has huge, oversized floral murals that you can order in custom sizes. “They are a wonderful statement piece,” says Sydney Penner, who owns the company with her sister-in-law Richele Penner. If florals aren’t your thing, their marble mural is a wonderful alternative. “Marble is a design classic,” says Sydney. “This design is very popular this season.”
Find your marbles
Marble-topped brass tables by local brand Quake are a West Coast spin on a design classic. Available at local décor store Provide Home, they are designed by Vancouver Island artist Lisa Turner, and are made from locally sourced Vancouver Island marble. “She is inspired by shells she finds on Qualicum Beach,” explains Robert Quinnell, who has co-owned Provide Home for over a decade with his partner, David Keeler. “The combination of local marble and brass—which is still such a popular metal—has resulted in truly original design.”
Cambie Street mainstay Walrus owners Caroline Boquist and Daniel Kozlowski have always championed local designers and are delighted to see mug designer Cathy Terepocki’s whimsical Mayfair collection flying off the shelves. Another design favourite is local company Woodlot’s essential oil candles. It has now launched a skincare line, which comes in soft pink-and-green packaging that looks good enough to be left out on display.
Replacing winter’s velvets and wools with lighter textures is a quick and easy way to embrace the new season, says local interior designer Sophie Burke of Sophie Burke Design.
“Put away thick wool blankets and dark-coloured pillows and add accents in fresh colours and textures,” she recommends. “Linen always feels like spring to me. You can get linen in beautiful soft pastel colours that feel really fresh. Adding a pillow in a soft pastel colour onto a bed or sofa is a great way of achieving this.” For those on a tight budget, she recommends IKEA: “They often have great options.”
Crisp cotton is another fabric favourite of Burke’s, and local luxury bedding company St. Genève Fine Linens has just launched Elise, a contemporary watercolour floral in aqua hues. “Blues and greens are so fresh,” says owner Michael Delaplace. “They add a lightness to a room that is perfect for spring.”
“I love green,” says Port Moody-based interior designer Jamie Banfield. “It brings the outdoors in.” He likes to fill small planters with an array of herbs in kitchens. “Small indoor herb gardens are practical, beautiful and make a room feel alive,” he says.
Sophie Burke recommends bringing spring bulbs indoors. “Replant potted bulbs in Mason jars. I like seeing the bulb through the glass,” she says. “I also like to bring in branches that are just coming into bloom. Place single branches in bud vases and put them in unexpected places where you’ll be happy to find a burst of spring.”
Interior designer Angela Robinson centres her residential design on art that she commissions local artists to execute. One of her firm favourites is Lauren Mycroft. “We have so much great talent here on the West Coast and I want to help promote it,” she says.
Terracotta and earthy pink tones are Robinson’s go-to colours for vases and pots, including local company Barter’s Oya pots, which are meant to be buried in the ground with plants in them. “I use them as table centrepieces, but you can use them in the garden ,” she says.
Whatever your design esthetic or budget, one thing these designers and retailers promote is shopping local. “We have so much talent here and we need to support it,” says Robinson. It’s more sustainable and will give your home a distinctly West Coast style.”
If budget is a concern, Walrus carries an array of locally sourced home accessories that won’t break the bank. “Blush pink is still very popular and evokes spring with its association with cherry blossoms that are so prevalent at this time of the year,” says Caroline Boquist, who has co-owned the store with business partner Daniel Kozlowski for the past nine years. “But here on the West Coast we like to mix blush tones in with more conservative colours like black and grey. We aren’t really a pastel province.”