Area3 Design

Designer Collaborations

Not a new trend, but definitely one worth mentioning is the number of interesting collaborations between big brands and big designers. With manufacturers and retailers joining forces with various designers, craftsmen and artists come some pretty amazing products. You may already own items that have been designed by influential designers that you may not have otherwise been able to afford.

Back in 2003 Target created quite the stir when they contracted Isaac Mizrahi to design an affordable line of fashion. Since then they have worked with the likes of Alexander McQueen, Anna Sui, Jean Paul Gautier, and Jason Wu to mention only a few. For more than a decade renown architect Michael Graves designed everyday objects like his pop art toaster, spinning whistle teakettle, and cleaning products for Target, and today they continue to evolve with fresh brands.

Next month Ikea will release the much-anticipated bookshelf speaker and table lamp-speaker Symfonisk which was a close collaboration with the audio experts Sonos. Another recent collaboration for this big box was the modular seating Delaktig that can be turned into a bed, which was designed by Tom Dixon. If you get a chance to watch the Ikea documentary, it is quite interesting as they spend a fair amount of time revealing what is involved in creating a new line and how they work with outside designers like Tom. I believe Ikea is leading the way with their past, present and future collaborations. For example, joining forces with the likes of Adidas, Lego and Hay allows Ikea to create affordable and design worthy products for the home. I look forward to seeing what companies they work with next.

Paint companies are also getting in on the action. Recently Sherwin Williams has joined forces with West Elm and Pottery Barn Kids to develop complimentary suggested color palettes for each retailer.

There are so many great collaborations we will continue this topic in our next blog. Do you have any favorites? Share with us using #area3designcollaborations

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Color Stories

Dare we say it, but color is for the brave. If we compared it to music, it is the sharp staccatos that add a certain pop and accent to the piece. As designers, we tell stories through space or allow the spaces we design to be the perfect backdrop for users. Sometimes we create the space so that it tells a story – one that transcends trends and time.

Every year, companies such as Pantone, Sherwin Williams, and Benjamin Moore select and publish their predicted color trend along with the highly anticipated “color of the year.” A long and arduous process we imagine! Often with these colors come a narrative and even a tale providing a name that eludes to emotions or feelings. Keep reading for our take on these color stories and how you might want to incorporate them into your life to elicit a certain je ne sais quoi!

Living Coral – Pantone

In the design world, the Pantone Colour of the Year is a big deal – it is the forecast for many things to come. This year’s color is cheerful and breathes life – the peachy hue adeptly dubbed “Living Coral.” While most people will usually avoid the orange spectrum, Living Coral has a gentle energy that is not overly intrusive. We’re finding that it makes a great statement, but not one that you will regret in a matter of months. If you want to start off small and personal, a little nail polish is an easy first step. Pantone partnered with Butter London to create a set of 3 nail lacquers in Living Coral. If you are someone who likes to express themselves with their phone case, this inexpensive one from Amazon won’t break the bank! These coral sunglasses by Kaleos have a great shape in addition to adding a pop of color. Why not wear them riding your stylish XDS Nadine 7sp Hybrid City Commuter Bike in Pink Coral. Heading to the beach? Lululemon has a great Beach Break Paddlesuit perfect for a day of snorkeling or paddleboarding in a refreshing poppy Coral. Urban Outfitters has headphones inspired by the Pantone color of the year, although sadly now sold out. Nike’s Women’s Quest running shoe in coral round out our athletic inspirations. Looking for that statement piece? Why not add the Kitchenaid mixer in one of their latest colors Bird of Paradise, sure to stand proud on your counter.

Cavern Clay – Sherwin Williams

Elemental and down to earth describes Sherwin William’s Color of the Year – Cavern Clay SW 7701.  Reminiscent of sturdy ancient monuments, this color brings an artisanal, yet refined quality. It reminds us of places like Machu Pichu and Antelope Canyon. Sherwin Williams suggests that you pair it with wood furniture, furnishings with patina and greenery – and we couldn’t agree more! Bringing in natural textiles and fibers such some linen brings some softness to it as well. We think it would be a great color to use on a piece of furniture that needs an update such as a buffet without going too over the top!  You could add a collection of the Boniface vessels from EQ3. For a more substantial piece might we recommend this seriously comfy Sedona Leather Sofa from West Elm?  For the fashionista how about trying the Smashbox Be Legendary Lipstick in color Chai or the beautiful Perry Leather Laptop Tote by Tory Burch available at Nordstrom.

Metropolitan – Benjamin Moore

Much less bold than Pantone and Sherwin Williams is Benjamin Moore’s Colour of the Year 2019, Metropolitan AF-690.  We would consider this color as a perfect neutral – a soft backdrop to pretty much anything. Metropolitan is a light grey – one that is neither too warm or too cold. It reminds us of the stone masonry buildings you find in Europe – the ones that only become more beautiful with age. With this color, we wouldn’t hesitate to take it the whole mile and use it on all four walls of a room. For a stylish and classic look, pair it with black or white accents. For a more bold approach, you could add a pop of color. Not ready to paint the walls yet? Try incorporating these small kitchen accessories River Stone Mortar and Pestle or Matte Grey Spice Grinder from CB2. Over at Crate and Barrel, you will find outdoor pillows or these slouchy woven Mohave Heather Embroidered Baskets which can double as planters. Oak and Fort offer a beach-worthy Romper in grey. If you follow our blog on a regular basis you will already know we are big fans of the Muuto furniture line. They have multiple options in grey from accessories, soft seating like the Oslo lounge chair to their Ambit wall lamp to name only a few items. So many its hard to choose just one.

 

Which Color of the Year do you like most? Let us know with the hashtag #area3designcolor2019

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The European Kitchen

Sleek, chic and streamlined – words that describe the European kitchen. What differentiates a European kitchen from a North American one you might ask? One can argue lifestyle and taste, which we cannot disagree with. Who needs to cook or stock-up on a week’s worth of groceries in an enormous fridge when the market, bakery and a plethora of cafes and restaurants just steps away? Ultimately, the European Kitchen boils down to functionality. It also screams style. The European kitchen often looks more like a beautiful piece of furniture rather than utilitarian cabinetry. Real estate is precious in large European cities and dedicating a chunk of square footage to the kitchen just does not make sense. This sounds almost familiar to the real estate market in Vancouver where living space is paid for at a premium. What can we learn from and borrow from European kitchens? Keep reading to find out!

Functionality

If you have ever stayed in a studio apartment in Paris, you will know just how tiny they can be?  The kitchen here might be compared to the size of a mini-bar in North America. I had the pleasure of staying in a hotel in Italy and the galley style kitchen had a folding screen door which conceals the cabinets. Only to be exposed when necessary. Don’t judge the sleek band of cabinetry by its cover though – all the essentials are expertly tucked away, but still easily accessible. The key to making these micro-kitchens work? Great organization. There is a spot for everything and not an inch is unused. Drawers and shelves have organizers so there is little mess. Perhaps it’s the European adoption of “less is more,” but there is nothing frivolous to be found. Are you downsizing and a smaller kitchen is on the horizon? Take inventory of what you have and pair it down to what you frequently use!

Details

The character of a Euro kitchen is definitely in the details. We have all seen those Pinterest photos of kitchens that completely disappear – the perfectly streamlined and minimalist ones. You can just imagine opening up one of the cabinets to see what’s behind! The answer? Everything of course! What we appreciate the most about European kitchens is the craft and detail that goes into the millwork. From integral channels, gently eased cabinet corners and soft-close hardware, metal drawer boxes to sinks that are molded into the countertops – every detail is well integrated. We are inspired by companies such as Valcucine which use innovative, pure and eco-compatible materials. Grab a friend and head down to Gastown for a little lunch and then pay a visit to Inform. Here you will find the dreamy Poliform line (as pictured below) which is designed for Contemporary living and open spaces. For our Vancouverite friends here is a list of a few amazing showrooms with various European lines sure to inspire you! Bulthaup, Room8, and Habitat by Aeon to name just a few.

Appliances

It is impossible to discuss the kitchen without mentioning appliances! Before we completely geek out on you about the latest and greatest, do remember that it is not necessary to splurge on every appliance for your kitchen. We would suggest spending a bit more on the ones you use the most such as the fridge and cooking elements. Some appliance brands we really like and tend to specify are Miele. Blomberg, Bosch, Liebherr, Sub-zero Wolf and Gaggenau. We love that these brands incorporate options for Integral panels and can be built-in to create the seamless look! They are also compatible with most European kitchen brands which often have a taller kick (baseboard).

What do you love about European kitchens? Let us know with the hashtag #area3designeurokitchen

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The New Vancouver Skyline

Talk to anyone who has lived in Vancouver for a few years and they will most likely tell you about how much it has changed. Where there once had panoramic views, is likely now blocked by another skyscraper. The sparse neighborhoods with huge lots and lush green front yards are now replaced with townhomes and apartments. Even alleyways are neighborhoods in themselves dotted with laneway homes. If you look at photos from even a couple of decades ago, many of the iconic buildings you recognize did not exist. Livable neighborhoods such as Olympic Village, Yaletown, and Mount Pleasant were more or less industrial. Notorious for being a city of towering glass and critiqued for looking monotonous, Vancouver is stepping up their architectural game. Daily Hive wrote an article last year noting that Vancouver is undergoing the largest architectural renaissance in its history. “Cookie Cutter Condos” be gone. Keep reading about a few of the projects that are changing Vancouver’s skyline in the near future!

Oakridge

Known for hiring world-renowned architects such as Bjarke Ingels and Kengo Kuma to design their iconic projects, developer Westbank does it again with Oakridge. This massive development in the namesake Oakridge neighborhood is sure to re-define how Vancouverites choose to live. The proposed development with its first phase now for sale, boasts interesting curved glass towers and a plethora of amenities. When it is complete there will be 2,600 homes and workspace for 3,000 creative professionals. For those of you wondering where Oakridge mall will go, the answer is nowhere! It remains with more than 300 stores along with a unique culinary experience featuring local and global chefs. In addition, a large community center, Vancouver’s second-largest library and a nearly 10-acre park composed of six integrated smaller parks will be located on the site. If you have not checked out their Unwritten exhibition/ sales center at Oakridge mall, you must do so!

Canada Earth Tower

The world’s tallest wood tower will be coming to Vancouver! In case you are wondering, it will not burn. A project by Delta Land Development and designed by Perkins+Will  this tower will be 35-40 stories tall and constructed out of cross-laminated timber (CLT). CLT is fire-resistant and the tower will have large quantities of wood for floor plates, structural columns, and exteriors – very different from the concrete and glass we are used to! Located on West 8th Avenue and Pine Street, the tower will include 200 homes – market housing units with at least 20% being non-market housing such as co-op or rental housing. A unique feature is an outdoor garden at every three-story section of the tower’s south façade which is accessible to residents of that section. At the podium of the complex, office space and retail will be available and wrapping an expansive horseshoe-shaped courtyard. Landscaping will be designed by the world-famous landscape architect, Cornelia Oberlander. We can’t wait to see how this project re-defines tower architecture and sustainable building for Vancouver!

Akimbo

Designed to blur the lines between sculpture and structure. Akimbo meaning “to stand with hands on the hips and elbows turned outward” is sure to stand apart in Brentwood. Designed by award-winning IBI Group this 40 storey building provides a bold and distinctive street and skyline presence. The impressive amenities boast a lounge, gym, boardroom, concierge, guest suite and outdoor podium courtyard. Close to transit and entertainment this building is sure to be a sought after residence.

 

What are you looking forward to seeing in Vancouver’s changing skyline? Let us know with the hashtag #area3designskyline

 

 

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Freshen Up – Why You Need Biophilia

There’s a new buzzword in town and it’s Biophilia. For those of you who have never heard the term before, you’re probably wondering what it is and why we’re talking about it. For some of us, it’s been a term that comes up all the time especially when we are designing spaces for clients. So what is it and why does it matter? Let us fill you in about biophilia and why you need it in your life!

It’s finally spring and every time you look out the window you catch a glimpse of something growing – something alive. As the cold slowly disappear and new life in the flora and fauna re-emerge, we cannot help but take notice. Perhaps it the color or even the gradual change, but there must be a reason as to why we are so attracted to it. Biophilia is the concept that people have an innate tendency to seek connections with nature and other forms of life. It might explain why people become depressed when they are isolated from the outside world. Today, we spend almost 90% of our days indoors. How do we create spaces in which people can still have a connection with nature when most of our surroundings are built?

Research shows that biophilia improves productivity, well-being, and engagement. Some of the core features of biophilia include vegetation, sightlines to open landscapes such as mountains and bodies of water, daylight, use of local and natural materials, creating shelter and privacy as well as blurring the lines between the interior environment and the outdoors. Most research shows that the addition of these features and elements in the workplace has a great impact. Some benefits include improved health, a better mood, the feeling of well-being, reduced stress levels, increased engagement, and productivity, reduce fatigue and even reduced employee absenteeism. There is a reason why standards and certifications such as WELL and LEED have emerged and are being adopted. Who knew that biophilia could make such a difference in our everyday life?

There are so many benefits to biophilia, so how can you inject some into your life? It can be as simple as opening your blinds. Let daylight fill your space and in the rooms where you spend most of your time, try to have sightlines to the outdoors. Lacking views and windows? There are many other options such as the addition of a few living plants or perhaps a green wall in an office. If you have never seen one, they are stunning and provide great visual relief! looking for some inspiration? Greenery NYC has some amazing projects to illustrate the powers of plants. From Presentation Centers, Retail spaces, and Offices to name a few applications, which are sure to impress you. Warm up a space by choosing some natural materials such as wool for upholstery and wood instead of man-made materials. And if all else fails, never underestimate the power of a nice photograph of a nature scene!

 

How will you freshen up with biophilia this spring? Let us know with the hashtag #area3designbiophilia

 

 

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Spring Influence

What can we say, spring has definitely sprung! The frigid days seem to be a distant memory as we start to soak up the sun on dare we say it… a patio. With brighter days and warmer weather, a refresh should be in order. Time to swap out some of those dark tones for something a bit more fresh and less reminiscent of the gloomy winter days. Keep reading for what we’re eyeing this season!

Ceramics

Move over porcelain! We’re seeing a push for a little more warmth with a touch of texture and ceramics is the new way to go. There is something about it that makes it so personable and inviting. Picture this – your favorite tea steeping in the palm of your hands within a handmade ceramic mug. We’re loving these generously sized hand-made mugs from local Vancouver retailer Nineteen Ten. Why not pair it with a beautiful ceramic French press as well? This matte sand colored one from Old Faithful Shop has a cute copper pull detail. For those who appreciate a beautifully plated meal, the ceramic tableware from Kinto is a must. They are made entirely by hand in a traditional pottery village in Nagasaki, Japan! Level up your packed lunch or leftovers with a Porter Bowl. The light blue ceramic is fun and your food is protected by a silicone wrap, rigid plastic lid, and snap-tight silicone strap!

A Touch of Nature

What better way to inject some life back into your home than with a nod to nature. If you are in the market for some new furniture pieces, might we suggest considering some with a touch of wood? There is something fun about these old-school looking Soft Edge 10 chairs from Hay that are reminiscent of childhood. Prefer something a bit more grown-up? The Soft Edge 12 chairs offer a more neutral and sophisticated look that is sure to pair well with a simple white dining table. Looking for something that is a little less typical? The Form Rocking Chair from Normann Copenhagen would be perfect for those who have little ones, but can still stick around even after they have grown. Ikea celebrates their iconic bookcase “Billy” turning 40 years old with a new name, bright new colors (like sunshine yellow), and accessories.  Of course, we can’t forget about the addition of some real foliage. We love these crafted solid oak plant stands from Old Faithful Shop that quite literally elevates your plants. Add a few of these to your home in various sizes with some large-leafed tropical plants and watch your space come alive! For those of you who have the budget, splurge on a bundle of fresh flowers and keep them in a simple glass vase to add some oomph into any room. Living in a concrete jungle? Ikea offers some options on bringing greenery indoors in their inspiration board. Why not try hanging plants with their Bittergurka if you lack floor space?

Fashion

Simons dares us to shock our wardrobe with electrifying colors like ochre, yellow and sienna. Woven bags are one of the biggest spring trends from  Club Monaco,  Shopbop and Aldo just to name a few, and at every price range. You are sure to find one the bag that best fits your personality. Nordstrom offers us a world alive in color – especially that inspired by sunshine.

Paint

Sherwin Williams and West Elm have paired up to recommend a dozen Spring 2019 colors. Ranging from Banna Cream, Rosemary to Ravishing Coral to name a few.  Cloverdale Paint included Yellow Umbrella, Elk Skies, and Perennial Garden among others in the 2019 Trend guide. Broken down into four color palettes read about the inspiration behind each one.

 

What are your spring influences? Let us know with the hashtag #area3springinfluence

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It’s Blooming Blue – Spring Colour Trend

Well if you are lucky enough to be a Vancouverite, then you realize we have welcomed spring with a bang. This last month has felt more like summer weather and we are loving it!  Along with the blue skies and bike rides along the seawall, we are noticing a lot of blue in the design industry. In this blog post, we are going to elaborate on just one very popular colour trend at the moment. From dinnerware, furniture, fashion, and cars, you can’t help but find the palest of blue to the deepest indigo in any showroom. We have captured a few ideas on how you can incorporate this trend in your own home.

For the timid may we suggest experimenting with smaller pieces like dinnerware? Available online at March is the beautiful Italian stoneware collection by Rina Menardi’s in deep blue. Over at Crate and Barrel, you will find multiple lines in shades like navy and denim. Even Ikea is getting in on the action with their everyday value sets like Dinera for $34.99 in gray-blue. Or how about layering the bed or adding some toss cushions? Who doesn’t love linen? Check out the Belgian flax linen melange bedding set at West Elm.

Feeling a little braver? You could always paint a single accent wall in your home. Benjamin Moore included 4 blue versions out of 15 shades in their 2019 Color Trend Forecast. We particularly like the more muted versions like Black Pepper 2130-40 or Hale Navy HC-154.  For a statement furniture piece, you need to look no further than one of our favourite lines Blu Dot. Founded by two Architects and a Sculptor who make beautiful, affordable and functional pieces. The Clutch Lounge Chair in Edwards Navy and Ash is sure to be the most popular seat in the room. Or another navy option is their Strut coffee and end table collection. Perfect for the minimalist home.

Fashion-wise we suggest a few pieces from Club Monaco like the Robetta Skirt in Marfa Blue or the Yolande Pant in Canyon Blue. Forbes tells us how to shop denim in Spring 2019 top trends. Who What Wear names midnight blue as one of the hot colours for spring/summer 2019.

Be sure to tell us how will you incorporate this colour in your space? #Area3blue

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2019 Home Design Trends

If you are scouring the internet for the hottest design trends for 2019, we have found what you are looking for! Contrary to popular belief, we don’t think that bold colors everywhere will be all the rage for your home and definitely not the maximalist renaissance paintings – let’s leave those in the museums. What’s hot in 2019 then? We will boil it down to three trends and we hope that they don’t just trend, but hold a steady pace as key home design strategies!

Timelessness

Timelessness really shouldn’t be a trend, but something everyone should strive for in a designed space. In a time where sustainability and being environmentally conscious is becoming increasingly important, we should create and live in spaces that can withstand the test of time. There’s nothing worse than spending thousands of dollars on your home and having to replace it all in a few short years because it looks outdated, or even worse, did not hold up. We work on projects a few years before they are even occupied, so we are always cognizant that the home should look great the day someone moves in. Long past (or so we hope) are the colored bathtubs, appliances, and shag rugs! If anyone has lived in one of our older walk- up/ lowrise buildings in Vancouver you know what we are talking about. Looking past aesthetics and really considering the materiality of finishes and furniture should be the new trend. We believe that the key to a great space is the design of an impeccable foundation – one that evokes emotion and is simply timeless.

White with a Hint of Color

There is a critique going around that says minimalism and Scandinavian design are too stark and lacks personality – we disagree. It is known that we here at A3  love our neutrals, especially white! If you need a quick way to bring life into a space, never underestimate the power of a white wall and good lighting. While living in an entirely white box of a space – taking minimalism to the extreme – white should not equate to sterile. Use white as a backdrop to really let what you want to feature truly shine such as exposed wood beams and columns, brick and stone to name a few. Want some more color? Go with the 90/10 rule and balance the 10% of color with 90% white. It’s like cooking – you add a little spice for flavor, not the other way around!

Biophilia & Natural Tones

Punchy color does not need to be in your wall color or your cushions. Pause and read that sentence again. Statement walls were once the rage, but having to repaint that wall year after year to stay on top of trends is probably getting exhausting. Instead, introduce natural colors into your home through biophilia – the fancy word for plants. There are countless studies that show how views of nature and elements of biophilia in a space have benefits to human health and provide a sense of respite. Some large plants we are loving right now include cactuses, succulents, air plants, the rubber tree and split-leaf philodendron. The dark leaves enliven a space without being too vibrant! Don’t have a green thumb? Introduce natural tones into your home instead of through warm-toned woods such as white oak. They key here is not to over-do it!

What do you think will be a home design trend in 2019? Let us know with the hashtag #area3designtrending2019

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Dine Out Vancouver Hot List

From all of us at Area3, we wish you a very Happy New Year! If you haven’t already recovered from your holiday food coma, we have something that will keep it going. Every year, many Vancouverites look forward to Dine Out Vancouver Festival – a 17 day event in which many Metro Van17-day’s finest restaurants participate in. For many, this is an opportunity to have a meal at a restaurant that would usually be out of their price range. With Dine Out, guests can select to have a 3 course meal at a set price – either $15, $25, $35 or $45 depending on the restaurant. Some restaurants offer a lunch and dinner menu and a few select ones have brunch. Many places get booked completely fairly fast, so you will need to reserve your table quickly on the Dine Out website! There are 305 restaurants participating, so how do you choose? Here is our hot list that will satisfy any design and food lover!

Acorn

If you are vegetarian or vegan, the Acorn is definitely worth a visit! Their primarily vegetable-based menu is sourced locally and is artfully created by their chefs. The plates look too beautiful to eat! Did we mention that the restaurant atmosphere is also very cozy? The Acorn’s $45 dinner menu for Dine Out offers 3 to 4 options for each of the appetizers, entrees, and desserts – which is more than most Dine Out restaurants. They all sound mouth watering and if one visit is not enough, they will be switching up their menu halfway through the festival, so you can have a whole different experience if you decide to visit a second time.

Black & Blue

Renowned for their prime cuts of steak, Black & Blue is perfect for any meat lover. Located on Alberni Street downtown – Vancouver’s emerging restaurant row – Black & Blue is expansive, spanning a stunning three-level space. The restaurant offers a New York vibe and is anchored by Tom Dixon’s ‘cloud of gold’ light fixture in the center of the space. The Dine Out lunch and dinner menu is identical and is offered at $45. Each menu item also has a suggested BC VQA Wine/ Beverage pairing if you wish to get a full experience. For those who really want to splurge on their night out, you can add $80 to have the 6 oz Japanese Wagyu Steak as your entrée!

Notch8

Take a step into Canadian history and have dinner at Notch8 in the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. Embodying the timelessness of the hotel, Notch8 is the perfect blend of new and old world charm. The warm woods, brass details and rich colors used in the space is a nod to the bygone era of luxurious railway hotels of the early 1900s. The food is as classic as the space and the $45 Dine Out dinner menu sounds absolutely mouth-watering and exquisite. It is without a doubt West Coast in cuisine with Qualicum Scallop, Golden Ocean and Roasted Chestnut Dark Chocolate Mousse being the menu items we are eyeing!

 

Which restaurants will you visit for Dine Out Vancouver this year? Let us know with the hashtag #area3designdineout

 

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A3 Christmas Gift Guide 2018

It’s that time of year again when the gift buying madness ensues. The hours on end at the mall or the millions of tabs open on your web browser filling your physical or digital basket. For those of you who haven’t even started or need some help with those difficult people – we have you covered. We suggest you make yourself some eggnog or apple cider, get comfortable and read on for Area3’s 2018 Christmas Gift Guide!

Hostess

She’s always the first person to send out an invite to a party – it’s something you can rely on! The hostess loves to entertain and open up her home. Whether it be tea with just one close friend, brunch with the girls or a big holiday party, she knows how to host them all and with ease. Get her something that she will love and use often like these double-walled glass mugs and carafe from Oak+Fort. Pair them with this metal mesh tray and a cozy wool blanket also from Oak+Fort. We also love these beautifully raw Vessels and locally made sharing bowls from Barter Design that are made from terracotta or earthenware. They would be great for serving water, a signature salad dressing or decanting a bottle of wine. For a memorable gift and great cocktail be sure to bring a bottle of this one of a kind Empress 1908 Gin from Victoria Distillers made in collaboration with the Fairmont Empress Hotel. Just add tonic and lime and enjoy. You will be sure to be a hit at any party!

Minimalist Fashionista

The effortlessly cool girl on the block is definitely the minimalist fashionista. Her chic sense of style probably revolves around her staple wardrobe of mainly neutral tones with just the perfect amount of detail and polish. You probably think that finding something for her would be impossible. We suggest getting her something that’s a little out of the box like this Versus bag from Finnell Co. It’s something that’s very unique and sure to turn heads. Looking for a smaller gift? The Min Card Holder is also a great gift for the gal that only uses cards. Looking to gift something a bit personal? This engravable bar necklace from Mejuri is made of sterling silver and will be a piece that she will never take off! Another great jewelry line is Tink. Anyone who knows us at Area3 will often catch us in one of these great necklaces. The perfect softly structured knit tunic could be your staple weekend sweater from Free People available at Nordstrom. All to be cherished by that fashionista on your list.

Man with Taste

Yes, it is true, you can tell if a man has taste by his socks. If you have never heard that before, look down and you will understand what we mean! No detail goes unnoticed and he knows how to coordinate or add a hint of fun without being overboard. We’re not saying that you should get him socks for Christmas, but if you do, take a look at Maik! Not only are the prints fun, but they are made out of eco-friendly yarn spun from Portugal in a family-run factory in France. Thinking about a getting him a piece of clothing instead? Go check out Emil on Homer St. in Yaletown for a selection of exclusive European brands. We’re fairly certain that some of the best-dressed men in Vancouver shop at this boutique. For men’s accessories, we love Litchfield’s in Gastown. How about this sleek Sternglas Naos Watch or stylish Want Les Essentiels – Trudeau 17 Computer bag? Looking for something more casual? This Arcteryx lightweight, versatile down hoody jacket provides warmth and keep you dry in the rain filled months here in Vancouver.

Experience Seeker

The experience seeker is always making plans. Whether that be a weekend getaway, night skiing, the latest exhibit or a trip abroad – this person is always up to something new and exciting! It simply makes sense to gift them a new experience. The snowmobile tour by the Adventure Group in Whistler is sure to be something they have never tried or maybe a white water rafting experience (saved for the summer months of course). A smaller and group friendly gift is an Escape room experience like the ones offered by EXIT. Not only are they challenging, but each escape room theme is also very different! Looking for a little more relaxing gift? On our wish list, this year is a gift certificate to the Miraj Hamman Spa for the Hamman (steam) and Gommage (body exfoliation) treatment (think Turkish bath).

Workaholic / Techie

No one will admit that they are, but you definitely have a workaholic in your life. They are always answering emails, ducking out to take a call or eating at their desk every day. You won’t be able to pry them away from their work, so why not get them something that will help them? Do they complain about pain in their wrists? Why not gift them an ergonomic mouse like this MX Vertical from Logitech that will help ease some of the discomforts? Are they always on their phone and always looking for a place to charge? Get them a portable power bank like this rose gold one from Mophie and they will never be scouring the walls for a receptacle again. For the pet lover and techie how about the Furbo Dog Camera? You can see, talk and toss treats to your dog even when your not home. I know a few pampered pooches who could use this! Find your keys without the swearing! Use your smartphone to make your Tile Mate ring when it’s nearby, but out of site. Great for everyone – workaholic, artist, and student. You can mark up that email, draw, sketch, take notes all with the Apple pencil. Makes a great companion to the IPAD. Sure to be on my list this year.

The Organizer

You know the type, boxes, files, and clear labels are the name of their game – they know where everything is all the time! Nothing ever seems to go missing in their sight. Before we all assume that organizing has to be just boring boxes why not give Muji a browse? This Japenese store is a welcome treat to Vancouver. They have everything an Organizer personality could ever want, regardless of which room they are sorting. We love their Acrylic Storage line for items that you want to easily identify such as pens, paper clips or toiletries like makeup sponges, cotton balls, and Q-tips. Does your organizer travel often as well? Well, Herschel Supply Co. offers everything from laundry, shoe bags, and travel pouches to name only a few. Why not throw in a toiletries bag as well? Looking to make a design statement as well as get organized? The Vitra Uten.Silo has been used in many of our display homes (you will even find one in our own home). Like a piece of art with all its various shapes and size containers, metal hooks and clips this piece brings order to offices, kitchens, workshops, bathrooms and children’s rooms. Available in two sizes and a handful of colors. Makes a great gift and or investment!

For the Home

Well call us crazy – but, we have put a vacuum on this years wish list. Yes, more than one person in our office aspires to own the Dyson Stick Vacuum. Maybe Santa will deliver?  After all, this vacuum offers you the convenience of cord-free. hassle-free. powerful suction and easily converts into a handheld device. What is it they say “Happy Wife, Happy Life”? Hope all those spouses out there are listening. Named one of the 6 best Air Fryers 2018 by Forbes Magazine we are eyeing up the Phillips HD9641/96 Airfryer.  Easy to use thanks to its so-called  “QuickControl” dial, and relatively small footprint it averages 4.4/5 stars on Amazon. If you are still using a drip coffee maker – William Sonoma’s own Signature Touch 10-cup Coffeemaker is about as pretty as they come. Available with a glass or thermal cafe, it will enhance any countertop.  With its small size, trendy colors, and ease of use The Hurom slow juicer made our list. It’s patented Slow Squeeze Technology uses an auger to squeeze out the juice instead of shredding fruits and vegetables with high-speed blades like other juicers and blenders. This natural motion minimizing damage to ingredients, keeping natural taste and nutrition intact. A lot of us here at Area3 are into the cold press juice craze and would love this addition to our own kitchens.

For the Active and Fitness Friend

RYU has some beautiful bags we covet – like the modern and streamlined daily duffle. Great for the gym or overnight. How about the Quick Luick Pack LUX 18L available in a variety of colors. Why not look at either a day or seasons pass for one of our local mountains like Grouse? She to be enjoyed long after the holidays are over. The Stay Hot Keep Cold double walled stainless steel bottle, with a twist-off lid, keeps your water cold for 24 hours and hot for 9 hours, available at LuLuLemon. Using premium Italian-made fabric Karma Luxe, the Claudia tight is smooth and cool to the touch! It features mesh panels for zoned breathability and extra mobility. perfect for your fitness activities. The Nike Air Force 1 ’07 XX knows how to make a statement while honoring the details of the original in an unexpected way. For the Cyclist on your list be sure to check out The Garmin Edge 130, is a GPS-equipped bike computer perfect for the road cyclists looking to track his progress, structure training and brag to their mates.

What are you gifting your loved ones this holiday season? Let us know with the hashtag #Area3giftguide2018

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