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!


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!


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 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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Holiday Style

The lights are strung, mistletoe is hung and the background music consists of familar Christmas tunes. Hopefully your shopping is complete thanks to a little help from our Area3 2017 Christmas Gift Guide.  With a bit of luck all those presents are wrapped and safely under the tree! Without a doubt the season festivities have already begun! From staff Christmas parties to gatherings with family and friends, the nightly events are endless. For those of us who have completely forgotten about the amount dinners we will need to attend (and possibly host), or simply don’t want pictures wearing the same outfit twice – read on! Time to give your go-to little black dress a rest and amp up your holiday style!

If there’s one time of year where a little glitz and glam is acceptable, it is definitely the holidays. Before you go out and find a number that covers you from head to toe, remember that a little goes a long way! Some people might argue that jumpsuits are a bit too casual, but we think that they are a perfect alternative to a dress. They are so easy to wear and a favorite here. We like the simple cut and nice texture of this belted velvet jumpsuit from COS which can be dressed up or down. Dynamite also has an affordably priced belted jumpsuit in burgundy with slit sleeves that would pair nicely a statement bag. For a dress that has some shine, but isn’t glittery, this printed silk slip dress from Little Moon, available at Aritza is a great way to go. No outfit is complete without a great pair of heels! Whether you want a classic pump or something a little more daring, the options are endless. We love the simplicity and gold detail of this Acedda pump from Aldo . If you have decided to go with a simple dress or jumpsuit, turn heads with this lace-up chunky heel from RAYE . Finally, top off your outfit with a bag or clutch that holds all your evening essentials! Your phone and lipstick need to go somewhere, right? The box clutch is hot this season and a few stores like Zara and Nine West have some great options. Ever New also has a chic box clutch in a timeless black faux leather with gold hardware. Do you have many holiday parties to attend? Transform any outfit with a quick switch of footwear, jewelry and a bag. You’re good to go!

What is your holiday style? Let us know with the hashtag #Area3holidaystyle

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You say coffee, I say design

What’s a lively conversation, and a rich cup of coffee without the perfect ambiance? Nothing worthwhile for the time of a busy designer! Rain or shine, Vancouver has no shortage of hip and charming coffee shops for that caffeine fix with friends. Here we round up a few of our favorite places to grab a cup of joe!


Practically the wizards of coffee. Everything is measured to precision and served by the definition of fresh. Specialty pour over coffee goes well with the snug seating that lines the walls for some serious one on one convo. The aesthetic matches the central Gastown location; Warm woods, industrial lighting, and brick walls. All in all making it an essential coffee time favorite.


What’s better than getting your morning started with coffee? Not much! However, feeling relaxed while doing it measures pretty close. The brand is home to a few locations, but each one never fails to pair gorgeous blonde woods with in house roasted coffee. The minimal aesthetic goes well with a light and genuine conversation. Every coffee is just as simple and honest of each of their café’s.

JJ Bean

It is a tested fact that JJ Bean makes one of the best chai lattes and chocolate zucchini muffins around town. Not only appetizing but, each location has an amazing layout and unique feature. The dynamic skylight at Cambie and 18th, the herringbone stone wall at the Dunsmuir location, and the large decorative cedar columns throughout the Lonsdale location are just a few of the fun design elements.

49th Parallel

This coffee shop deserves all the hype surrounding it! Lucky’s doughnuts and their in house coffee roasting is done to a whole new level of professional quality. There is something very charming about their vintage light blue branding, and industrial decor. There various locations always offer a friendly vibe. We especially love the large fresh patio space on w.4th that can be enjoyed year round.


Another great example of a slow bar café, this location starts from the bottom up with one of a kind coffee, espresso, and more. They pick their beans, they roast in house, and they do their pour overs right there for you to watch. Their passion for coffee rivals that of their design aesthetic. Surrounded by red brick walls, and warm hardwoods, it’s as if you were sitting in a train station on a quiet night, seeking true comfort and a delicious coffee.

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Contemporary Florals

Remember that floral printed sofa from your childhood? Just the memory of it makes me cringe. If you have been avoiding floral prints like the plague, this might be the season you give it a chance. Lately we have seen a lot of geometric prints such as hexagons, chevron… you name it. We think it is time to try something different for a change! Gone are the days when florals reminded you of the Victorian Era. Taking an entirely new direction, they have moved away from the traditional look and feel – projecting a cool and modern vibe that can be incorporated into schemes that are urban and contemporary. There are no rules as to how you can add floral patterns into your space, although we would advise you to do so sparingly. Keep reading to find out how we would incorporate florals into a space!


Why not try something daring and layer bold florals over bold geometric patterns? You can give this look a try in almost any room! From wallpaper and fabrics to décor and stationary, you can give this bold look a chance in a small or big way. Finnish design house Marimekko offer a range of floral prints like you have never seen before. Large scale, somewhat abstract and combined with eye catching colors, Marimekko is not for the faint of heart. If you love Scandinavian design (like we do), these prints are sure to add that extra jolt of iconic Scandinavian flare to your space. Pair them with a black and white grid or abstract geometric pattern and you can’t go wrong! This is also a great line for that tween or teen room makeover. Head over to EQ3 who carry a large quantity of this product line and check out some of their home décor pieces. We love the teapot!

Art Inspired

Paintings of flowers have taken a huge turn from the literal depictions we have seen absolutely everywhere… what a relief! Although they can be hard to find, with a little searching on the internet, we have unearthed a couple artists that have put a modern spin on these. Their interpretations of florals are simply beautiful. We have recently used this artist – Vivian Caits in a model home at Zetter Place. Her artwork has a watercolor effect that creates a soft abstract floral-like design. Looking for a piece with neutral tones? Lori Popadiuk, a local Vancouver artist is one to check out. She has mixed media pieces in her wide open collection. Her free movement and subtle brush strokes just hint at the silhouette of a flower.

Fashion Forward

Spring or fall we are still seeing a strong floral influence in fashion. By any chance did you purchase a floral lace number over the holidays? Perhaps like this one at Nordstrom by BB Dakota? We appreciate the subtlety of lace embroidery, flocking and laser cut outs for our floral fashion fix. The new delicate direction is one we might even embrace here at Area3. This floral pouch by ZAC Zac Posen from Shopbop is sure to add some fun to you wardrobe. Looking for something more romantic? Consider this silk button-up shirt from Equipment or how about this revealing lace number. Sure to be a contender for that date night. For the faint of heart, try adding a simple accessory like this scarf from Indigo (also easy on your wallet). Keep it simple with just a hint of floral in your wardrobe or your home decor taking cues from the latest in fashion!



How will you embrace the floral trend? Let us know with the hashtag #area3floral

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Happy 3rd Birthday Area3!


Well three years ago today, we did it! I mean we really did it! According to some it was the best idea we ever had, others questioned our judgement. What did we do? We quit our long term employment to start my own business. Crazy right? Well I had been reading articles on Inc. Entrepreneur and Success magazine for years…. I mean all these other successful entrepreneurs before us had done it. Sure we had read about the first few years and some of the challenges, but that didn’t apply to us. We had it all figured out! We wrote a business plan, researched and had lots of experience. Well turns out there was some truth to those articles – the first year is a grind! Say goodbye to your personal life. My one business partner saw me more than her own husband. The second year is like the terrible two’s those growing pains, more expenses and new challenges. Come the third year we are starting to grow!!!! More staff, learning to hire out for those tasks that aren’t our specific background. We are finally starting to understand cash flow (kinda) and those crazy financial documents our account keeps trying to explain. Quickbooks and I are on a first name basis now! We are all wearing extra hats – payables, IT, HR, law, marketing, etc. but the really cool thing is every year we are getting a lil smarter, grasping a little more and having a lot of fun! Did I mention the best part of owning your own business? You get to work with people you love being around. You go to an office every day you helped design! You get to create the type of company culture you always wished you had, and you get to celebrate every milestone with your team. We do work hard, but we also know how to appreciate every new client, new project, new hire and especially every Area3 Birthday. We are so excited to see what this year brings. If you ever dreamed of owning your own business we say go for it! It has been one of the most rewarding things we have done!


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Frantic Festive Finishes

Well we all know how busy the holidays get! Lots of party invites, family obligations and don’t forget all that Christmas shopping. Have you run out of time yet? One last – but critical element is the scene. Are you still scrambling for some last minute holiday decorating ideas? Don’t worry we have a few quick and modern ideas that will help to ensure your space looks festive while you have a holly jolly good time!

1) Quick fix vase ideas:

Fill a glass vase full of ornaments or flocked sugar pine cones or how about cranberries or mini birch tree cuttings and a single candle?


2) How about a no fuss Christmas tree?

Fill a floor vase with tall branches or twigs and leave au natural or hang a few ornaments of the ends? We love the simple minimalist birch LED trees like those found at Crate and Barrel or Restoration Hardware. You could cluster mini pine trees wrapped in burlap on a table or purchase a cute Charlie brown tree from your local florist. If you a modernist at heart, then why not go for a whimsical zig zag indoor or out “chrimsy warm light” tree.


3) Modern spin on that old wreath:

Go glam with the silver glitter wreath from crate & barrel. It makes a statement to any space and will create a sparkly focal for your winter wonderland. Or be a softy with the plush snowball wreath from CB2. Accessorize yours with twinkle lights or small pops of coloured ornaments to complete the look.


4) Going Geometric:

CB2 offers this modern spin on ornaments. These copper and silver framed Christmas trees will add some shine to any mantle display. Or dazzle your company with these out of this world galactic copper ornaments. These kinetic sculptures will hypnotize you as they spin and twirl in suspension, hanging from the tree or simply provide a focal on any surface.

5) Mantle Pieces:

Ever home needs a place to hang your stockings with care. Why not hang them with some style too? These metal weighted stocking hangers are one part functional and one part décor. Choose from a pair of antlers or a quaint little home which can be fitted with a candle to make your mantle merry. You can also choose to create a small village across your mantle with these porcelain cityscapes all from West elm. Want to add some life to the town? Complement your scene with silver reindeer from Crate & Barrel or acrylic polar bears from CB2. There’s nothing like a winter scene to make the season bright.

6) A Tree Topper:

You may be wondering how to top your tree after seeing the same old thing all the time.  Dont worry we’ve got you covered – how about a starburst of light at the top? Sure to bring a unique look to any tree. Or how about a dance party around the tree?Why not try the  disco ball tree topper for a little more fun? Too flashy? How about a simple silver rattan tree topper which adds a rustic yet classic look to your tree top.

7) DIY 3D snowflakes:

Why not try these DIY simple 3D paper snowflakes? We even made them in our own office which were a big hit. Might make a fun family activity.

1. Fold a square piece of paper in half diagonally, then again into a quarter. Cut three straight lines into the folded piece of paper. (The space between each cut and how many cuts you need will depend on the size of your star).

  1. Open the piece of paper and cut in half, this will become your cutting template.
  2. Fold another square piece of paper in half diagonally and place your cutting template over the top of this. Cut along the cut lines.
  3. Open the square piece of paper you have just cut and flatten. Take the inner triangle cuts and bind the ends together with glue or a stapler.
  4. Take the next triangle cut and fix those ends together but this time in the opposite direction.6. Repeat this process until all ends have been fixed together to create the first point of your star.
  5. Repeat this process with the remaining 5 pieces of paper, creating 6 points to your star.
  6. Take 3 of your completed points and stick the top of the points together creating a semi-circle. Make sure that the star points are glued together facing the same direction.
  7. Repeat step 8 for the remaining 3 points of your star and staple both half’s together to secure. Your paper star is now complete!
  8. Suspend from your ceiling with a pushpin and a strand of fishing line. Add some variety by using different scales for a more dynamic look or for a more festive look, choose a coloured paper such as red, green or a frosty blue.6) Paint Swatch Christmas Trees:If you’re like most designers you should have a bunch of these lying around the house or office. If not, pop down to your local Paint or Hardware store for some colour charts. This is where you can have fun looking for some gradients or colour combos that speak to your Christmas spirit. Once you have made your choices, cut these into Christmas tree shapes and using a glue stick apply them to cards or even a wintery backdrop. You can complete the look by accessorizing your trees with paper ornaments and sticky stars. They also make great gift tags. Just don’t forget some brown swatches for trunks!


8) Wood Veneer Ornaments:

This one requires a strong hand and skills with a blade. Depending on your belief of skill level you can choose from a group of materials but cardstock, balsa wood or even a thin veneer sample will do wonders for these Scandinavian/rustic ornaments.

1. Begin by making a Christmas tree template out of paper.

2. Using this paper as your template, cut two Christmas tree shapes out of your material (balsa wood, veneer, cardstock). You have the option here to lay strips of craft paper tape across your tree to give it a snowy look, or using a glue stick coat your tree in glitter.

3. Cut a thin notch through the bottom of one tree (A) and through the top line of the other tree (B). Make sure these notches match each other in length.

4. Insert tree A into tree B and voila – your tree is complete!

Secure the pieces together with a glue gun or accessorize with a string to the top for a hanging ornament. No Time? No problem – merely display on your mantle as a small wooden forest. You can do this with any shape you wish, such as a minimal triangle to save time or any traditional Christmas shape (snowman, stars, angels) it’s up to you!


9) Warm/White Fairy lights:

Restoration hardware has a great choice of coloured lights, starry and globe LED versions that you can add into simple or frosted vase. Try an assortment of vases with these lights which are sure to add a little Christmas magic to any space. Place them on end tables, lower ones on coffee tables, or a variety across your mantle.

10)Paint Swatch Christmas Trees:

If you’re like most designers you should have a bunch of these lying around the house or office. If not, pop down to your local Paint or Hardware store for some colour charts. This is where you can have fun looking for some gradients or colour combos that speak to your Christmas spirit. Once you have made your choices, cut these into Christmas tree shapes and using a glue stick apply them to cards or even a wintery backdrop. You can complete the look by accessorizing your trees with paper ornaments and sticky stars. They also make great gift tags. Just don’t forget some brown swatches for trunks!

colour-swatch-diyWishing you all a very Merry Christmas!





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12 Days to Christmas Gift Guide

In case you don’t have it in with Santa’s elves and are still scrambling for that perfect gift idea….. look no further. From all of us at Area3, we hope you’ll find one or two of these ideas helpful so you can spend a little less time shopping and a bit more time wrapping. We have rounded up 12 of the most difficult people to buy for and sourced original ideas from local stores like Walrus, MEC, Provide, Litchfield and many more to help you out this holiday season.

For her: Every women I know loves these things – beautiful toiletries, decadent candles and of course a nice bottle of wine. Best of all we can enjoy all three at the exact same time. So if all else fails we are confident you can’t go wrong with one of these options. Orling and Wu carries a line of bath and body products called L:A Bruket which come in various scents. How about the luxurious candles that last 45 hours (my personal favorite is Lime Basil and Mandarin) from Jo Malone?  Best for last, drum roll………. the wine. Upon a recent trip to Europe I fell in love with the French Sancerre (unfortunately not as common or readily available here). Everything wine carries a few options like Domaine Foussier ‘Les Romains’ Sancerre Sauvingnon Blanc – this would be sure to put you on my “nice list”.



For him: Who wants a standard gym bag? The Red Flag Duffle bag made of a neoprene rubber is not only durable, chemical and water resistant but pretty darn stylish too! Located on 5th Ave. in Vancouver wings + horns brings a sleek industrial space to life in both its production and retail home. Their cabin fleece available in three colors (back only for the holidays) is boxing inspired and sure to be a hit. Or how about a little pampering for him? At JD’s Barbershop in Gastown along with a cut or shave, every client gets a single malt scotch as soon as they walk in. This was recently one of the top five barbershops by Vancitybuzz.



For the techie: The Apple watch series 2 complete with built in GPS, water resistant up to 50 meters and with multiple bands and faces to choose from  is sure to appeal to many on your Christmas list this year. For the techie and outdoor enthusiast on your list how about the Chip 2.0 Bluetooth compatible in-helmet speakers with simple, glove-friendly controls for audio, phone, voice command and push to talk walkie-talkie functions. This last suggestions is a bit of a tease as it’s not available yet – but too cool not to share! The Kobi is one machine with three different functions: one to mow your lawn, one to remove leaves and one to blow away snow. Check out more on the website, watch the video and stay in the loop for the next release.


For the child on your list: Osmo blocks and games are like Lego for coding. The iPad compatible game and magnetic pieces are designed to teach kids how to program. Little passports offer monthly subscriptions based on age and selection. How about the world explorer which is geared for ages 6-10. They get to discover a new country each month with souvenirs and hands on activities. The first month includes a blue suitcase along with world map, passport and online access to games and more. The classic draw-and-guess game Pictionary lets teenagers explore their drawing and sketching skills.


For the chef: Want to cook the most tender and flavorful meat ever? Be sure to add the Sous Vide to the foodie on your gift list this year. Maybe you will even get a dinner invitation? Edible Canada has a lot of great ideas like – original rubs, infused salts or gift baskets. Available at several locations you are sure to find something for the chef on your list. Getting back to basics, as we are much more consumed with what we are putting in our bodies these days; why not bake your own wholesome bread? Check out the Breville Custom loaf bread maker this model mixes dough for pizza, focaccia and pasta, as well as offers gluten free settings.


For the sports fan: Tickets to the Blue Jays game vs the Mariners. Take a trip down to Seattle and support Canada’s only baseball team. As the American League Division Champions two years in a row, the Toronto Blue Jays are sure to provide quality entertainment for your sports fan. The crowd and atmosphere in the station is electric. With 80% Blue Jays fans attending, everyone is thrilled to be there and cheer on Canada’s team. It’s an experience they won’t forget. The HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series is stopping in Vancouver again this year! Last year the Sevens made its debut in Vancouver to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics and proved to be quite the spectacle. The series includes 10 tournaments held around the world where teams compete for World Series points. Known for its action packed plays and fandom, this would be a unique opportunity for your sports fan.


For the camper on your list: Talk about fun? How about the Yalabs soft shell ice cream ball. Encourage your kids to play with their food. Simple ingredients plus 20–30 minutes of shaking and rolling equals a pint of delicious home-made ice cream. They get an outlet for their energy, you get to know exactly what they’re eating. Just the thing to put a new spin on a camping trip, barbeque or birthday. You know what tent everyone will be hanging around! Having a clean shower facility at campsites may not always be the case. Or any shower facility as a matter of fact.But if you have the Texsport Portable delux shower shelter with solar camp shower and battery powered handheld portable shower, you don’t have to wait your turn or look for coins. This is compact and mobile and great for long or short trips


For the artist: Do you know a romantic? Poet? How about the Cinema Lightbox with interchangeable letters that allow you to show off your creative side. Calm and patient? Appreciate the subtlety of color? How about the Gradient Puzzle. For the one on your list who loves to sketch – up their game with the Wacom Intuous Tablet. This sleek tablet gives you the chance to apply your hand directly to the computer. Choose from a wide array of artistic styles that are just as unique as the artist. Drawing, comic art, painting, photography and 3D character modelling are all included with free download and plug ins pack that comes with your Intuous.Bringing your creations to life is as easy as pie with free tutorials to get you started today. Have fun!


For the health nut: Do you have that friend that’s all about Zen? Why not look at this sleek, modern matte black or white aromatherapy diffuser. The benefits include reduce stress, anxiety, induce sleep and a lot more. Are you more about the experience? Then we highly recommend something like the float experience at The Float House which has many locations. Known to help you build focus, strength and expand your mind. Once you’ve completed the float why not head into the infrared sauna (my personal favorite) available at Halsa. With benefits known to improve your physical health, burn calories and release toxins, best of all you will sleep like a baby afterwards.


For the traveler:  Perfect for the avid traveler. You can power through those emails or edit a presentation on the fly with the Microsoft folding keyboard which can be simultaneously paired to any two mobile devices – an IPad, IPhone, Android device, etc. For your next flight might we suggest the Bose QuietComfort® 25 headphones. Even air travel becomes enjoyable, as engine roar gently fades away. No matter how noisy the world is, it’s just you and your music—or simply peace and quiet!


For the home: Honest simple materials make the Concrete Lamp a thing of beauty. It looks great on a desk, bookstand or end table. Perfect for any home. Need something cozy – the luxurious eco-friendly alpca wool throw is a must on any sofa, available in multiple colors (we happen to love the charcoal). Thinking of getting your hostess the tried and true Christmas poinsettia? Why not shake it up this year and get a beautiful succulent that lasts all year long? Kermodi creates a wide variety of sizes and styles.


For the Architect/ Designer on your list: The Chisel and Mouse Architectural Plaster sculptures (designed and made in England) are available locally at Goodge Place. These scenes of beauty can be mounted vertically or placed on a table top – ensured to spark conversations. Change your scale with these miniature concrete houses and various other architectural elements from the Materiallmmaterial Etsy shop. Inspired by modern styles and displaying the raw beauty of concrete, these affordable minute architectural masterpieces are sure to captivate any 3d minded individual. Build your own community as you choose from a wide selection that can be integrated to form a united courtyard.


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10 Best Instagram Accounts to Follow For Design

There are plenty of design accounts out there on Instagram, some good, some bad, but who has the hours to go through all of them nowadays. So we have done the work for you and broken down the 10 best design influencers we think you should follow. Do you have a favorite you think we should include? #area3instagram


Oracle Fox

Fashion, Interior Design

Amanda Shadforth is well known in the fashion industry as an influential stylist, photographer, and creator. When it comes to all things minimal and black and white, be prepared to drool over her gram account for hours! Oraclefox will not disappoint a single woman out there, take our word for it.




The Aviary

Design, Local

Love feeding off the creativity of other designers and architects alike? This feed features current undertakings happening in the coworking studio space available. The Aviary keeps you connected to independent and local BC designers, as well as upcoming events and showroom exhibits.




Design Milk Everyday

Home Décor

You’re probably already following @designmilk, but have you checked out Design Milk Everyday? Everyday they showcase one single beautiful object. Find accessories and furniture with the same modern aesthetic as their sister account.





If you’re like us and you love wearing anything but colour that comes in a soft and flowing fabric, then this is just the feed for you. Figtny will have your credit card in its clutches so scroll with caution!




ADDRESS Assembly 

Design, Local

Check in with ADDRESS Assembly for showroom details and works by various contemporary creators of all realms. Founder of ADDRESS, Kate Duncan, has put together a team of exceptional local designers who go above and beyond, including Fabulous Furnishings, Cloth Studio, Pot Inc., MaK Interiors and many more.




Whiting Architects 

Interior Design, Architecture

Just Down Under, this Australia based team is definitely worth checking out for appreciators of holistic design. Whiting Architects focuses on commercial and residential projects that take on an overall simple and functional aesthetic. Their next award should be for beautiful material layering and contrast





Lighting Design, Local

Annnnnnd…let there be light! And Light is a company based out of Vancouver “with a strong belief in forward thinking, and environmentally conscious design through innovative production methods”. We’re currently loving their pipline CM2 pendant fixture, what about you?

blog photo

Home Décor, Interior Design

The Scandinavians are paving way for simplicity and minimalistic home design. Don’t believe us? Simple Form proves it all.






Not all inspiration comes from a feed of beautiful interiors, some of it needs to come from one guy capturing all things white, our favorite colour here at Area3. Wk.Ai will be your new muse. With his fragments of white frames, you’ll be itching to fill in the rest!






You finally made it through the work week and your home is looking top notch because your Instagram feed is as inspiring as ever. So let’s unwind and celebrate at yours with a beverage just as creative and chic as you are with Ashley and her refreshing cocktail recipes.


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