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Since we moved into our flat we’ve been on a mission to decorate it with nice, homey bits and pieces. Our places in London were a mis-match of things from both our family homes and cheap Ikea bits. This time around we tried to avoid Ikea (although we found and splurged on this chair that always gets compliments) in favour of more local, unique pieces.
Most of our furniture was bargain Craigslist finds plus a rug bought in the sale from Canadian store EQ3 which we love. When it comes to finding bowls, mugs, and knick knacks I wanted to try and keep things local. This led to me spending a Friday night googling for independent shops (mainly homeware stores) in Vancouver and then a Sunday going round them.
The shops I visited were fairly averagely priced. Obviously they’re more expensive than Ikea or HM Home, but they’re also nicer to shop in and have friendlier staff. There’s also a few clothes shops listed below that offer something a bit different. Plus by shopping at these independent shops, you know you’re supporting a small local business and since both I and my parents run small businesses I’m a big fan of that!
If you’re coming to Vancouver and want to do your own shopping in our local shops here’s your guide to Vancouver’s best independent shops and where to find them.
Vancouver’s best independent shops
Old Faithful in Vancouver’s Gastown is absolutely gorgeous. It’s full of homewares from plant pots to kitchen goods. It’s one of those shops you just can’t help but take pictures of because it looks so nice. They believe in only selling goods that are built to last, hence the name “Old Faithful”. I’ve currently got my eye on a few of these plant pots to replace the plastic garden centre pot our house plants are still sitting in…
Room in Order
Room In Order was created to help solve the issue of living in a small apartment. There are clever kitchen solutions and smart looking storage for your bathroom. Oh and it’s pretty much all white which gives it that Scandi/minimal feel that’s just perfect for instagram 😉
Paper-Ya is on Granville Island which is a hub of artsy, creative shops and small businesses. It’s full of beautiful paper and stationary that you won’t find elsewhere. It’s every stationary lovers dream!
Orling & Wu
Orling and Wu isn’t just a great shop to find things for your own home, but it’s also full of items that’ll make great gifts for friends and family. Shop here for neutral coloured homewares from teapots to towels and also pleasantly scented fragrances.
There are a couple of locations in Vancouver: Gastown and West 4th. Only the Gastown location stocks wallpaper if that’s what you’re in the market for!
Hey Jude is a design-inspired vintage clothing shop. All the pieces in the store are hand-picked and curated into seasonal collections. The owners’ goal is to showcase thoughtful, well edited collections of sustainable products all while in a bright, airy store.
If you love colourful, modern classics then head to Parliament in Gastown. Everything in here is beautifully laid out and prices are way more reasonable than you’d think on first glance! Even if you walk away empty handed you’re sure to find plenty of inspiration. I’ve currently got my eye on a few prints from here…
The Modern Bartender
I love this idea for a store and haven’t come across this before. The Modern Bartender is a boutique retail store dedicated to all manner of bartenders’ needs. If you love whipping up a cocktail or three at home on a Saturday night then you’ll want to head here! They sell both the alcohol and glassware to create some very impressive drinks. Oh, and they ship all over the place too!
8th & Main
I love browsing 8th & Main. The original store is at 8th & Main but there’s also one on Granville Street which is closer to my apartment. It’s full of men’s and women’s fashion which you won’t find in other stores. I think a lot are based on the designers ASOS stocks but if you shop at 8th & Main you won’t have to pay the import tax that stings when you order from ASOS in Canada!
Much & Little
Much & Little source all their products from independent designers, local gems, heritage brands, and fair trade artisans. All items share the ideals of thoughtful craftsmanship and timeless appeal. If you’re looking for something unique to put in your suitcase when you return back home, or something to add to your Vancouver apartment then you’re bound to find that something here!
The Found & The Freed
Over in east Vancouver is The Found and The Freed a shop full of second hand and vintage items. The owners, Lindsay and Ainsley, travel across the USA and BC to find the unique items sold in their store. You’ll find everything from candles and honey to maps and old books and you could easily spend ages browsing this store.
This is probably the most expensive shop on this list but it’s still worth browsing even if you don’t end up buying! Litchfield is another Gastown gem and is full beautiful ceramics, scents and textiles. You’ll find so much in here you want to take home!
…and where to find them
Find Vancouver’s best independent shops on this handy map below!