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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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Simple DIY Holiday Décor

It’s safe to say that the holiday season has begun now that it is past Remembrance Day. You have probably been bombarded with Black Friday deals at this point and are trying not to give in the consumer culture around Christmas. Instead of going out and purchasing some new holiday décor that is probably very over-priced. Why not try and create a unique DIY décor piece? Not only is it rewarding, but it’ll be a great conversation starter at your holiday party. Never tried to DIY something before? Here are a couple simple DIY Holiday Décor pieces we found that you can tackle this weekend!

Enchanting Table Decoration

Centerpieces can make a table stunning, but that doesn’t mean that you need to put in a ton of effort. With just a handful of materials which you can gather or probably already have at home and about 20 minutes, you can create this beautiful centerpiece that is sure to create an enchanting mood to your space. All you need is a recycled can in any size you want, wet sand, foliage cuttings, pine cones, some liquid glue, and salt.

Step 1: Make your branches and pine cones snowy by coating the edges of the leaves and pine cones with glue or Mod Podge. After doing so, take a handful of salt and sprinkle it onto the fresh coat of glue. Once the glue has been coated with salt, set it aside for 10 minutes to dry. Gently brush off the excess salt once the glue has dried.

Step 2: Put some sand into the can and add water so that the sand is wet and compact it. The key is to have more sand than water.

Step 3: Arrange your snowy branches and pine cones in the can. You may need to glue some of the pine cones to the branches in order for them to stay in place. As you arrange, make sure to step back and look at your piece from various sides to ensure that the composition is right.

Step 4: If you want to add a bit more oomph to the can, you can wrap some ribbon or twine around it and maybe add a tag. Then you’re done!

*Original DIY found here 

Evergreen Stars

Another simple décor piece are these evergreen stars. They really consist of three main materials and depending on the size, you can probably don’t need to go out and purchase any supplies. You will need 10 popsicle sticks, coffee stir sticks or basswood strips (12 inch), a craft knife, wood glue, cut greens and a hot glue gun with glue sticks.

Step 1: If you are using popsicle or coffee stir sticks, cut off the rounded tips.

Step 2: Create 8 spoke base by finding the center point of two sticks lay one over the other to create an X shape. Glue the two together using wood glue and repeat with another pair of sticks. Then arrange the two pairs to create 8 spoke base and them together. Let the wood glue dry before moving on to the next step.

Step 3: To create the star points, make a V shape with a pair of sticks and glue the point together with wood glue. Then glue the top of the V shape to two points on the 8 spoke base. Repeat until you have 8-star points.

Step 4: Cut your greenery to the lengths of each stick on your 8 point start and hot glue them down. And Voila! You are done!

*Original DIY found here

What DIY holiday décor will you be making this year? Let us know with the hashtag #area3DIYdecor

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How Does Fashion Influence The Home?

When you think about fashion what comes to mind? Probably one of your favorite fast fashion retailers such as H&M or maybe Paris Fashion Week. Perhaps your own closet just popped into your mind. You likely wouldn’t think that today’s fashion also influences the home. Don’t believe us? Think back to the Baroque era when classical music would float down enormous hallways lined with gold ornamentation, rosettes, enormous chandeliers, oil paintings, and intricate rugs. What were people wearing then? Dresses and outfits that were just as elaborate as their homes. We could use the 80s as an example, but we can spare us all those details! Keep reading for our take on the influence fashion has on home trends today!

Color & Texture

Have you ever stepped foot into an entirely pink bathroom? Then you would know the power of color trends of an era – the 1950s in this case. There is a source that all designers look to for the forecast on color trends and that would be Pantone. There is a Pantone Color of The Year which ends up becoming the color you see in trendy clothing, home décor, stationary… we could go on! Did you see a lot of purples this year? It’s because Ultra Violet was the 2018 Color of The Year! Keep a lookout for the 2019 Color of The Year if you want to stay on trend. Fabrics and knits are also influenced by the fashion industry. Wool with natural tones have been trending in fashion and have also become a staple in home furnishings. We love the heathered greys seen on fall and winter coats right now like this Cocoon Coat from Arizta. Camira’s Blazer line of upholstery fabrics echoes that trend perfectly. The creamy chunky sweaters and scarves that are making their way into your closet? Best believe that there will be a similar throw blanket on your sofa!

The Details

Detailing can make or break any piece whether it be an article of clothing, handbag, shoe, furniture or décor. Little things such as revealing or hiding the stitching or buttons can completely change the look. For a very clean and sophisticated look, we suggest looking for hidden stitching that matches the fabric and doing without extra ornament such as buttons. Are you a bit more brave and fun? Go for something more unexpected like a contrasting stitch in a bold color paired with a neutral fabric. We love that you can completely change up the look of the Yoom Soft sofa from Stylex by choosing one of their decorative stitches such as Blanket, Zig Zag or Bowtie in a matching or contrasting thread color. Are you like us and loving the simple forms and lines that are very on trend right now? Fashion-wise, we see these trends exemplified in pieces found at stores like COS and Oak+Fort. We also see these trends translated in home décor pieces also found at retailers such as Litchfield and Parliament.

What trends do you see in fashion and the home? Let us know with the hashtag #area3designfashionhome

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Renovation Checklist

Renovations are exciting yet daunting. Chances are, you have been waiting for ages to start a renovation and more and more items are getting added to the list. Some people choose to completely remodel their home in one go while others prefer to do it in small phases. There is no right or wrong as long as you have direction! If you don’t even know where to begin when planning a renovation, keep reading. We have outlined a renovation checklist for you to help you get started.

Have A Plan

Step one is to always have a plan. The three key components of this plan is a wish list, budget, and a timeline. Sit down and create a wish list – one column for what you want and another for what you need and number them according to priority. If you do not live alone, we highly suggest you do this with your partner as you will discover that your priorities may differ. The next step is to determine your budget. This is really important to do before you meet with a designer or contractor and be sure to build in some padding – at least 10% for anything unexpected. You will find that if your budget is tight, then you might only be able to knock off a couple items on that wish list or maybe it will mean that you will have to settle with a more affordable laminate instead of engineered wood floors. And of course, you need to figure out your timeline. If you only have one month before Christmas, then maybe tearing down the walls from your dining room to the kitchen isn’t the right item to tackle on your list.

Do Your Research

If you are not doing the renovation yourself, you will need to find a contractor and/or an interior designer. When looking for an interior designer, make sure they are reputable. We suggest hiring a firm or individual who is a Registered Interior Designer (RID) with experience. This important as they are not only trained and passed examinations, but also carry practicing insurance. We have two RIDs on our team here at Area 3 – Brenda and Kulpreet – who bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to every project. Experienced interior designers will also have relationships with reputable contractors that they have worked with and can recommend. This can save you a lot of time. Do a walkthrough or consultation with the interior designer and contractor of your space before a contract is drawn up. There may be an initial consultation fee for this, however, their knowledge and expertise will indicate any red flags, and help you identify what needs to be taken care of. It’s also a great opportunity to see if the designer or contractor are a great fit for you and your project (after all you will be working closely together). Finally, read through and understand your contract before you sign on the dotted line! Contracts can be based on a fixed fee, a fee plus mark up, hourly or even design-build.  If you have a family member or friend who has had a successful renovation ask for a referral.

Be Prepared

Before your renovation can start there are always a few things to take care of. If you are doing a large renovation in your home you may need to move out for a duration of time. A building permit, or simple electrical or plumbing permit may be required. Be prepared this can add weeks to your project while you await approval. What will be your living arrangement? Maybe you can handle living in only half of your home, but where will the existing furniture go?  You may need to rent a storage space to house those pieces until the renovations are complete. Can you function without your kitchen and if so for how long? If you live in a Strata, be sure to clear your renovations with them. There may only be a certain time that construction is permissible due to noise and waste might need to be stored in a location. Some food for thought before you get going!

What is on your renovation wish list? Let us know with the hashtag #area3designrenovation

 

 

 

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Vancouver Treasures – Best Vintage Stores in the City

Let’s face it, vintage shopping is like treasure hunting. You have to go in determined and ready to unearth the most beautiful and one-of-a-kind item – sometimes to no avail. It takes patience to hop from one store to the next and it often takes hours to go through each of them! It seems that in fashion and interior decorating the key to getting that effortlessly cool, but the lived-in look is with a couple quality vintage pieces. Why settle for cheap knock-offs, like those infamous Eames chairs when you can have an authentic piece? They have a story to tell and add so much character. Before you go and tackle all the vintage stores in the city (there are tons), read on for our top picks!

Vintage Furniture

For those who don’t know, it’s no secret that we love Scandinavian design. The timeless and functional design combined with detailed craftsmanship make these pieces highly coveted. If you want to find an original here in Vancouver, your first stop should be Fullhouse Vintage + Modern in the Armoury District. Their large vintage collection focuses mainly on pieces from the 1930’s to the 1960’s and includes designers such as Finn Juhl, Hans Wegner, Arne Jacobsen, Hans Olsen and many more. A great place to find Mid Century Modern pieces from the 1950’s to the 1980’s is Attic Treasures. From chairs and tables to beds and lighting, there are some great furniture pieces to be found here – especially if you’re looking for teak! Relatively new to Vancouver is Gild & Co. which has a mix of vintage and new. Take a look here if you want something a little more glamorous – such as tufted sofas and gilded mirrors – alongside some modern Danish designs and rustic Canadiana antiques.

Vintage Clothing

The search for vintage clothing can be vast and for those of us who have a very particular taste that doesn’t involve wild colors or patterns, the hunt can be tedious. One of our absolute favorite stores to find vintage clothes is Hey Jude in Gastown. The small boutique is perfectly edited with 100% silk tops, tailored knits and worn-in denim which speak to a modern working girl aesthetic. Although the prices are in the mid to high range, you will have a headache-free shopping experience! Not too far away is Community Thrift & Vintage which offers more retro dresses, heels, and jewelry. What we love most about Community is that proceeds go towards underserved residents of the DTES. Hunter & Hare is another small boutique with fantastic finds. It has a curated selection of consigned items that include everyday basics to special-occasion attire that is gently worn. While you’re there you can also pick up a greeting card or a small crafted good such as a candle from local makers!

Which vintage store will you visit first? Let us know with the hashtag #area3designvintage!

 

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You are losing money if you don’t hire an Interior Designer

Everyone loves binge-watching HGTV in their free time and get inspired to take on a big renovation project. The designers on these shows make it look so easy! Just demolish a wall here, add a light fixture there and maybe even a window. Then pick a few finishes, paint colors and some new furniture, art, and décor. Voila! Is it really that easy? Unfortunately, they don’t call it “movie magic” for nothing. Before you get too excited about ripping out portions of your home, please consider hiring a professional interior designer. No, our services are not free, but we will help you in areas you didn’t even think about. Trust us, you will lose a lot less money and sleep with our help!

What a lot of people don’t know about the role of an interior designer is that we do a lot of project management. Depending on the size of a project there are a lot of people that will need to come on board such as a contractor, plumber, electrician, and millworker. It takes a lot of work to make sure everything is coordinated properly, and the result of the design is exactly as planned. Want to demolish a few walls? You are going to need a building permit and someone to put together that permit set – which is usually done by the interior designer. These things take time and it can take weeks before approval. If these things aren’t done right, you will need them redone, which will end up costing you quite a bit of money. It’s always better to have things done right the first time around! We work with the client’s team and trades. We can save you countless hours of running around from showroom to showroom, only to end up more overwhelmed than when you started. We can determine what products and materials best fit your aesthetic, budget and timeline.

Budgeting is always a factor in a design – time and money. If you are tight on time, then your budget will need to grow. However, even if you have money to spend, there is still a certain amount of time needed for certain things to get done. As we were saying earlier, some things such as building permits can take weeks and if one part of the process falls behind schedule, a few other things will subsequently follow. Time needs to be allotted for custom millwork pieces, tiles from Italy and a table from Finland – a term we call ‘lead time’ in our lingo. These items don’t just show up in a few days! Time needs to be given to the substrates to get certain things done and in the right order. Interior designers will put together a project timeline that is realistic and keeps the project team in the loop to make sure the project is done in a timely fashion. Who doesn’t like things that come in on time and on a budget? We will make sure your project is done right with great design, thoughtful choices in materials, and attention to detail. We take the time to understand each client and their specific needs. Below you will find a few photos of a past private residential project. This client had a young family and wanted to live here indefinitely. This was a home her children would grow up in. The open kitchen, dining and family room design encouraged more family time. The mudroom allowed for the kids to throw their backpack down and find a space for their shoes. The den was part mom’s space to manage the household bills, watch over the children doing their homework and showcase the family vintage encyclopedia collection. These are just a few ways an Interior Designer can help you with your dream project.

 

Have you hired an Interior Designer? We would love to hear about your experience #area3designhireadesigner

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12 Best Websites for Design Inspiration

As designers, we are always keeping our eye out for inspiration. Some days we get a great idea on a walk, sketching or simply making coffee. Other days we may get designer’s block (similar to writer’s block) and need something to help prompt some ideas. Images are great for that! There are so many great websites out there that provide us with inspiration. Many beyond Pinterest, but where should you look? Here are 12 of our favorite websites for design inspiration that will leave you scrolling, clicking and very inspired for hours.

  1. Designspiration 

If you have never used Designspiration before, you are missing out! It is similar to Pinterest but is focused only on design. It’s perfect for some interior design, graphic design, typography and architecture inspiration. Create an account and you can save them all just like Pinterest!

 

  1. Design Milk 

Design Milk is a fun site for all kinds of design related inspiration. From architecture and interiors to style, tech and travel, you will come across quite a variety of interesting images and articles. Their Instagram accounts also make it very easy to follow along!

  1. Houzz 

Houzz is a great site for discovering design ideas for your home as well as a great tool to find design professionals (like us!). You can even shop for a variety of design products from their curated collection. You will find us there. We have been fortunate enough to win “Best of Houzz” for the last few years.

  1. Gray Magazine 

For those looking for some local Pacific Northwest inspiration, Gray magazine features some of the best. You’ll always find interiors, architecture, fashion, art and design that will keep you dreaming. It might also inspire your next design filled trip to Seattle or Portland!

  1. Western Living Magazine

For a little more lifestyle inspiration, Western Living is the place to look. Among the great images of homes and design is food, wine and travel. A fantastic mix we must say!

  1. Interior Design Magazine 

If you want to be inspired by some of the best interiors worldwide – whether it be the home, office or hospitality – definitely start at Interior Design Magazine’s website.

  1. Azure Magazine 

Azure has some great features such as their product guide that can help you find anything from residential furniture to flooring and appliances. The Field Trip category also has some great shots of spaces around the world that you’ve never seen before!

  1. Dwell

Need some modern home inspiration for your residence? Dwell is dedicated to that and features some very unique homes that are sure to spark some ideas. With that midcentury vibe and some stunning prefab homes, this is sure to be found on many a coffee table.

  1. Dezeen 

For architecture and interior design enthusiasts in all aspects, Dezeen has a plethora of posts that you will delve into. From forward-thinking buildings to sculptural cakes [https://www.dezeen.com/2017/09/07/dinara-kasko-sculptural-cakes-carved-from-sheets-chocolate-food-design/?li_source=LI&li_medium=recommended_movies_block], you are sure to stumble upon something drool worthy.

  1. ArchDaily 

As the name suggests, Arch Daily is your go-to site for architecture. Explore buildings from around the world – small and large! Each project has its own page along with some great images, drawings, and details.

  1. Yellowtrace

Design inspiration and resources for creative and curious minds is the tagline here, and they do not disappoint. Started in 2010 by an Interior Designer they have become an influential and award-winning online design publication (one of my favorites).

  1. Behance

Whether it is architecture, interior design, graphics, photography or renderings be prepared to lose a few hours. Launched in 2005 Behance has become the leading online platform to showcase and discover creative work. The creative world updates their work in one place to broadcast it widely and efficiently. Some amazing talent in the world. A great source of inspiration.

What are your favorite websites for design inspiration? Let us know with the hashtag #area3designinspiration

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2018 Design Forecast

There’s nothing more fun than forecasting for the year ahead. Like the weather, things are always changing with new trends and new products on the horizon that push innovation. In design, there are a few things we can always count on – one of them being Pantone’s Color of the Year, which is Ultra Violet for 2018 – and IKEA (we are only half joking). IKEA did in fact debut the new YPPERLIG collection designed with Danish design company HAY in the Fall, which we are more than over the moon about, but that is old news. We’ve looked into the crystal ball and rounded up a few new and noteworthy products to keep your eyes peeled for and lust after this year. Keep reading to find out

Modular Seating

The way we live and work has dramatically changed in the last few years. No longer are we confined to stationary screens and computers to do our work or enjoy entertainment. We almost demand flexibility and adaptability with our smartphones, tablets, and laptops – shouldn’t our furniture also change with us? With our ever-changing needs, modular furniture appears to be our best solution and it doesn’t have to be boxy and uncomfortable. Francesco Rota designed the PLUS system for Lapalma which is a collection of curvy, soft components, including rectangular, square and round-ended seat shapes, two sizes of backrests, an armrest and a table. Minimalist and quite fun, these pieces can be rearranged to your preference whether that be a classic sofa or floating seats in a large living room. You can even have the side tables outfitted with a power supply so your gadgets are never out of juice.

Surface Charging

Speaking of the power supply, have you noticed that power outlets are in hot demand? They are hotspots when you go to the airport or the mall – we constantly need to recharge our smartphones. The day when you can wirelessly charge your phone from almost any surface is not too distant. The Blend Into Space everyday objects by design studio PESI is sure to be on your radar for 2018. It is a conceptual collection of furnishings and homewares with wireless-charging technology integrated below every surface designed as a part of Samsung’s startup incubation program, Creative Square. There is no doubt that these products will fly off the shelves.

Smart and Wearables

While we are still on the topic of smart technology, we cannot forget about the smartwatch. Although it has not been adopted into our everyday lives as readily as our smartphones, they are still evolving to meet our needs – and more importantly our design tastes. Skagen Denmark just released their new Falster Smartwatch and it is the perfect cross between your classic watch with the technology of a smartwatch. It looks classy with a minimalist LCD touchscreen face and runs Android Wear so you can tap and swipe your way through messages, music, and activity tracking data. Watch out Apple!

Minimalist Gadgets

For something a little more low-tech and practical, we have this beautifully designed PlusMinus [http://selek.design/11-plusminus.html] minimalist screwdriver from  Selek Design. Can we take a moment to admire how sleek it is? We would probably try to find reasons to take it out for a spin as often as possible. It is also so compact that you can do without the bulky toolbox and just stash it in a drawer. Now if only there was tape measure on the market that is just as gorgeous to match!

Grids

A trend we’ve been starting to see is the use of grids – simple lines intersecting and joined together. It’s a great pattern and is fairly timeless in our opinion. Kallista has taken this idea even further by creating their new faucet named Grid. Using cutting-edge technology, innovation, and design, the faucet is 3D printed. The faucet celebrates the beauty of geometrical minimalism and coupled with a matte black finish, it is simply stunning. We are amazed by its outline form which hides discrete interior waterways. It is sure to be a show stopper once installed in a bathroom!

What are you forecasting for design in 2018? Let us know with the hashtag #area3forecast2018

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5 Must-Visit Vancouver Restaurants

Happy new year! We hope you had a wonderful holiday season filled with quality time with friends and family. Now that it is January and you have had your fair share of turkey, it’s time to create a new list – one filled with restaurants you must visit this year (sans turkey)! Vancouver is filled to the brim with many unique places to dine out at. No matter what your preferred cuisine is, there is something out there for you and your budget. Of course, we like to consider design alongside a fantastic food and drink menu, so we have put together a list of our top picks for you! If a scrumptious meal in a one-of-a-kind atmosphere sounds delightful, read on!

 

Hawksworth Restaurant

Hawksworth restaurant is hands-down one of the best restaurants in Vancouver and is on the top of our list for a very good reason. Situated in the historic Rosewood Hotel Georgia, it is definitely one of the higher-end restaurants in the city. The restaurant opened in 2011 and was designed by the highly acclaimed Alessandro Munge. The design is sophisticated and elegant without being over the top and is the perfect backdrop for the carefully created menu by chef David Hawksworth. If dinner at Hawksworth restaurant is out of your budget, we suggest splurging on their brunch! It is equally as delicious and the service is always top notch. We highly recommend trying the steak and eggs!

Botanist

One of the newest additions to the Vancouver food scene is the Botanist. It is tucked away on the second floor of the Fairmont Pacific Rim and is a hidden gem you must discover. The restaurant is divided into different areas, each with its own cocktail menu, so if you come back more than once you will have a unique experience each time. The atmosphere is chic and inspired by the principles of botany with jewel-toned velvets on a backdrop of white and hints of wood designed by Ste Marie Design and Glasfurd & Walker. The plating of the food makes it look like a piece of art – almost to perfect to eat! The house-made fougasse bread with European whipped butter is absolutely delectable. You can also order some to take home with you!

The Victor

If you haven’t visited the new Parq, going for dinner at The Victor is your perfect excuse! This restaurant not even open a month yet – is sure to become one of the city’s favorites.  It’s hard to miss the U-shaped copper façade of this brand-new building when driving into Vancouver on the Cambie Street bridge. Go up to the 6th floor through the tranquil rooftop urban park and there you will find The Victor. Moody with a hint of eclecticism, The Victor has an upbeat vibe that hints at the beginning of an eventful night at the Parq. The restaurant is a steakhouse with an offering of Japanese cuisine – we would suggest sticking with the steaks though. Choose the cut of your choice and pair it with a couple sides! We can’t wait for the nice weather, so we can enjoy a cocktail outside on the well-landscaped rooftop. Since you are already at the Parq, hop over to the D/6 Lounge afterward for a nightcap next to their steam fireplace!

Mott 32

Vancouver has no shortage of Chinese restaurants, but Mott 32 is not your typical one. Nested in the iconic Trump Tower designed by the late Arthur Erickson, Mott 32 takes Chinese food to the next level in a contemporary setting. It is a celebrates the culture and cuisine of Hong Kong with a menu of principally Cantonese dishes. You have to try their made-to-order Hot & Sour Iberico Pork Shanghainese Soup Dumplings and Hong Kong Iced Tea! The retro-meets modern design and presentation of not only the interiors but also each dish are what makes Mott 32 truly unique. Peek into the private dining rooms to see how each one has its own character!

Minami

Minami is a Yaletown favorite and top player in Vancouver’s thriving sushi scene. The trendy restaurant is designed with a welcoming, bright and modern Japanese palette. It is the sister restaurant to Miku in Coal Harbour and also offers the flame seared Aburi style sushi. It is very easy to enjoy an entire night filled with good conversation in this lively restaurant. The cuisine is as fresh as the interiors with Ocean Wise seafood options and regional ingredients. Make sure to try the Aburi Beef Carpaccio, Salmon Oshi Sushi and Sashimi Platter with sake!

 

Which restaurant will you visit first? Let us know if the hashtag #area3restaurants

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