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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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5 Things to look for when buying a home

 

Looking for a new home is both extremely exciting and daunting. You have done your research and have found a few that you would like to see. Before you take the leap and make the big purchase there are a few things that you should check for. It’s always important to go into your home search with a clear objective and a list that you can refer back to. You might find something that is a deal breaker! Keep reading for 5 things you should look for in a new home.

Don’t Judge a Home by its Cover

The same way you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, you shouldn’t judge a house by its cover – or paint. Look beyond the fresh coat of color and focus on the structural stuff. A house with good bones is important and so are appliances, plumbing, electrical, heating and cooling systems. Also look for big cracks – especially where extensions are joined and bay windows which can bow away from the rest of the house. Décor is pretty, but it won’t last. Don’t be fooled by staging! There are many tricks that make a home more appealing to buyers such as cleverly placed mirrors, lighting, yummy smells (candles and freshly baked cookies), and a strategically placed electric fireplace. Will these items stay? It may make the home warm, inviting and look move-in ready, but can hide and distract you from the important things to check for.

Cause You’re Hot and You’re Cold

Like the Katy Perry song, you should check if you are hot or cold because that can determine your yes or no to a house. Heating and cooling systems are expensive to fix and replace, and inefficiency can add up and cost you in the long run. No one likes a big utility bill right? Check that the furnace is up to date and does not need to be replaced. If you live in a climate that can become very hot in the summer or cold in the winter (possibly both), good heating and cooling systems are important. No one wants to feel like they are being roasted in their home or sitting in a freezer. If you absolutely cannot stand the heat, find a home that has central air conditioning in place as it is quite costly to put it in and the work is fairly disruptive.

Beneath the Surface

Look beneath the countertops, open the cupboards and look under the sink at the pipes and check for leaks, water damage and mold. Not only is mold foul smelling and unsightly, but can cause health problems. It is especially important to check for it if you have asthma, a baby, or live with an elderly person. Also, check for watermarked walls or ceilings – signs that there are some leaky pipes that could be covered up by paint.

Get Your Hands on it

Get your hands on everything – be careful of course! You should definitely test every light switch, power outlet, and faucet. You can assume that they should all work, but you don’t want to be taken by surprise. Open all the windows and doors, flush the toilets, run the bath and taste the water. Make sure everything works and is up to par. This way you can address the problems if there are any and see if there is a cost-effective solution.

Get an Inspection

You’ve done your initial check, now get a professional to do one. They will check that the foundation and structure is solid and everything is up to code. They can even check for things such as lead paint and pests that you won’t see. This is absolutely something you shouldn’t skimp on and is well worth the money. Houses have defects and some are obvious while others are not. Many of these are fixable, but you should know what they are before you buy so you can negotiate a lower price and you are aware and prepared for any necessary repairs. Small renovations can be fun, but big overhauls to your new home are probably not. Happy house hunting!

What have you looked for in a new home? Let us know with the hashtag #Area3designnewhome

 

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Top 3 Interior Design Myths

If we were to survey the general population and ask them what they think Interior Design is, what we Interior Designers do, and why they should hire us, we are sure a handful of myths would be brought up. We can thank the media, tv shows and networks for perpetuating that! Many people think that interior design is simply playing with a color wheel, choosing paints and fabrics and choosing pretty pieces of furniture and décor. We think that it is time to raise the curtains and debunk some myths about interior design and give you a glimpse of the multifaceted realm of our profession!

Myth #1: Interior Design is Only for Aesthetics

It’s definitely true that we can create your dream space, but there is so much more than aesthetics! A huge part of our job is to understand our clients, their needs and wants and create solutions that are functional, safe and of course stunning! There are some parts of our job that are perhaps a little less glamorous such as determining space requirements, creating layouts, permit and construction drawings, and coordinating with consultants and reps at our desks – which is probably why the media never shows it! However, without these aspects, a project would never come together. Interior design definitely isn’t only about picking out finishes from our library and creating mood boards (although it can be fun)!

Myth #2: Interior Design is Unaffordable

This is a huge misconception and we will stop it right in its tracks because this is what prevents many people from reaching out to an Interior Designer for help. What truly is unaffordable for most people is the cost of fixing a big mistake. Sure, if you didn’t like the purple paint you used in your living room last year and you wanted it redone, it won’t cost you a fortune. If your kitchen and bathroom renovation went south, however, it will likely cost you more than hiring an Interior Designer to remedy it. Large projects that require demolition, plumbing and electrical are probably best left to professionals. If you want to invest in renovating your home, don’t be afraid to look for an Interior Designer – we will work within your budget and ensure you are happy with the result! It will save a lot of headache in the long run.

Myth #3: Interior Design is Mainly a Female Profession

There is a stereotype that interior designers are mainly female and Architects are mainly male – which is both untrue. Both professions require spatial reasoning, critical thinking, and problem-solving inwhich both men and women can do! For all the guys who are considering Interior Design as a profession, you definitely will not be the odd one out. We will warn you though, earning a degree in Interior Design is not easy!

What other Interior Design Myths have you heard of? Let us know with the hashtag #area3designmyths

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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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Four years and counting…….

Today marks the 4th anniversary of Area3 and we are going to have a celebration! Every year we say to each other if you could go back in time and do it all over, would you? Without hesitation, we all say a resounding yes! We must be nuts….. Funny thing about this crazy club (being an entrepreneur) is it is like no other challenge. Before you take the plunge you think how many years will it take you to figure it all out? One? Two? Three? Hmmm, Five years seems to be a milestone. I think we have realized we will never have it all figured out and that’s ok. That is part of the drive and the challenge. When you pour your heart, sweat, and tears into something you so passionately love the rewards are like no other. I often tell friends that owning your own business is like a crazy roller coaster ride. The highs are intoxicating, exhilarating and the lows, well they can leave a pit in your stomach. But, how do you appreciate hot, if you have never experienced cold? The thing about challenges and failures is that they are all just opportunities to learn and grow. It means we are not stagnant. Now that Area3 has learned to walk, maybe we will try jogging into our fifth year. We are very appreciative of all the support we have received from our friends, family, suppliers and especially clients. We are excited about all the great opportunities that are around the corner. But today is about making a toast and acknowledging our achievements to date and of course enjoying that big fat slice of cake (Kulpreet you better save a piece for me). Lisa, Brenda, Kulpreet, and Marion.

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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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Area3 2017 Christmas Gift Guide

The lights are up and the halls are decked – the holiday season is upon us! With less than a month before Christmas, we are sure there are many things on your radar – including finding gifts for everyone on your list. We know that this time of year can be quite stressful, so we have compiled a gift guide that will help you spend less time scrambling through the busy shopping malls and more time doing fun festive things and spending quality time with friends and family. From the Homebody to the Outdoor Adventurer, we have covered many of the personalities that are sure to be on your list. Read on for our picks!

Food & Drink Connoisseur

We all have the one person on our list who is a complete foodie. They simply have the best taste in all things food and drink and let’s face it – are very hard to please when choosing a restaurant. If this person likes to not only eat, but also prepare meals, why not gift them a class? Ai and Om Knives’  has a sake and sushi workshop that will introduce them to Japanese cuisine and knife work – from knife selection to butchery – while getting to do tastings! A gift that is sure to keep giving. Got a coffee lover on your list too? There’s no going wrong with a Nespresso Maker. The Nespresso Pixie is the perfect size for any countertop – at home or at work! For that sweet and spicy tea lover on your list be sure to head over to Food 52 and check out their Chai Tea & Turmeric Concentrate. For a unique gift we love The Raw Spice Bar which ships you directly 6 freshly ground, seasonal spices & blends, quarterly, along with global recipe ideas for all diets. Butterscotch Cinnamon Pie, Tandori Chicken or Chikpea Veggie Burger anyone? Lastly for the baker on your list how about one of the retro and colorful Smeg Stand Mixers?

Health Guru

The health guru in your life probably totes around a bottle of water or kombucha (or both) with them every day. Kombucha can be expensive, so you can help your health guru brew their own with this Kombucha Home Brew Kit. It contains everything they will need to brew quality kombucha in their own kitchen packed with probiotics and health benefits. Why not bottle it in something beautiful as well? S’well has fun and functional bottles that will keep their essential drinks cold for 24 hours and hot for 12. The Soma Water Filtration Pitcher is so beautiful you will have no problem consuming the recommended eight glasses a day. FastCompany called it “The world’s most beautiful water filter”. They also give back and believe clean drinking is a basic human right. Every time you make a purchase they donate to a charity which supports this belief. Limited editions offer even larger incentives. Tired of that boring old lunch bag?  How about adding a little bit of fun? Part bento box, part TV tray The Planetbox is an all in one solution to packing a healthy portion controlled meal.

The Techie

This person seems to always be on top of the latest and greatest piece of tech on the market. The Amazon Echo Spot is perfect for everyday use as it uses the widely popular Alexa platform, but also features a screen. The display transforms between a clock, news story or video calls and is sure to become a nightstand staple. Got a gamer in your life? They will love the Oculus Rift and Touch Virtual Reality System. It is the best VR headset on the market and the included hand controllers makes interacting with the virtual world feel close to real. It also includes 6 free games! For the person who just can’t put down their phone, even on a cold winter day – how about the Touch Gloves available in multiple lengths and styles.

Outdoor Adventurer

Their weekends are usually packed with hikes, camping or even some extreme sports. Help them capture those moments on mountains with the GoPro HERO5 Black . It captures 4K video and bursts of 12MP images. Not only is it sleek, compact and easy to control, but it can also go up to 33 feet underwater without a housing. Are they more of a practical person? A Swiss Army knife is always handy to have when you have an unexpected problem to solve outdoors. This Swiss Army MiniChamp Alox has 15 tools packed into its classic design inan elegant silver. They will never leave home without it! For the camper on your list we recommend the Tradional Shake and Pop Popcorn Maker. What’s better than making popcorn the old school way over a campfire?

Travel Junkie

Always on the go, the travel junkie is constantly looking for a new place to explore. Make sure they look stylish with the Away Carry-On which comes in a variety of colors. It’s hard shell is unbreakable and 4-wheel design make zipping through the airport a breeze. Our favorite feature is the built-in battery that can charge any USB device, so their phones will always have juice to check maps, emails and Airbnb! For the days the travel junkie is at home, they will enjoy documenting their last destination on this Scratch Map from Luckies.  It’s affordable and thoughtful and will keep them dreaming of their next adventure! The Ostrich Pillow Go is a MoMA exclusive .Thanks to hidden magnetic buttons and three choices of position, this travel pillow fits easily around the neck and adapts to every one’s proportions

Homebody

Home is where the heart is and the Homebody probably has that quote framed on their wall. Make sure they curl up with one of these Super Chunky Knit Blankets (available in many great neutral colors). Once under the cover and the fire is set all you need is a great book. How about Amazon Kindle Paperwhite E-Reader? It has a sharp display with adjustable lighting, lightweight body, Wi-Fi connectivity and a battery that can last for weeks on a single charge. Don’t forget your cozy wool slippers from Glerups.  To set the final touch why not add a great luxury scented candle from Jo Malone. So many amazing scents and the luxury size burns for 230 hours.

The Fashionista

Even grocery shopping girl needs to look good – right? How about The Unstructured Shopper Bag from one of our favorite stores COS! While you are there might as well pick up the Chunky Necklace too? Please be sure to ask Santa to drop both off at my house……………… Last on our gift guide this year is the Fleece Hooded Scarf by Design House Stockholm which doubles as a hat and scarf. Keeping you both warm and stylish. What did you get the people on your gift list? Let us know with the hashtag #area3giftguide

 

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10 Vancouver Artists to Keep an Eye On

Vancouver has no shortage of talent in the realm of arts. With graduates from renowned Emily Carr University of Art + Design as well as many studio spaces spread across the city, Vancouver is a hotspot for emerging artists. Fortunately, Vancouverites are able to get a glimpse into the work and studios of these talented individuals with festivals such as the Eastside Culture Crawl shining a light on local visual arts, design and crafts. Out of the 519 artists that were featured in the latest Eastside Culture Crawl, we have picked out a few that really stood out to us to share with you. If you are looking for a new art piece for your home, make sure to check out the work from these local Vancouver artists!

Arleigh Wood

Through a combination of photography, painting and drawing on watercolor paper, Wood is able to depict the moody quality of the West Coast of BC in her work. Primarily monochromatic with subtle hints of color, each piece in her latest collection is unique with an understated whimsical quality.

arleigh-wood

Carole Sinclair

Informed by her background as a fashion designer, Sinclair’s work juxtaposes a diversity of media and found objects on the given plane. She allows each piece to evolve and find its own form by creating a transition between the natural and industrial through spontaneous expression.

carole-sinclair

Christine Breakell-Lee

The intuitive relationship Breakell-Lee has with colour and space is very obvious in her work. Her paintings have an ethereal perspective that is captivating – drawing your eye to it as soon as you walk into a room. In all her pieces, you can feel the energy captured in the brush strokes on canvas.

christine-breakell-lee

Jill Pilon

Snapshots of memories portrayed through her paintings, Pilon has a unique approach to her work which makes it stand out from the crowd. Through contemporary mixed media, she is able to tell stories of objects and events that otherwise wouldn’t have a voice.

jill-pilon

Lisa Ochowycz

Intertwining and manifesting in wildly colored abstractions or soft and subtly layered atmospheric landscape paintings, Ochowycz’s paintings revolve around three primary concepts – translations, the imprint of social and geographical experience on memory and beauty. Her work allows viewers to navigate alternative translations and interpreted landscapes.

lisa-ochowycz

Lori Popadiuk

Having studied both art and design, Popadiuk’s work has a conceptual quality. Her most recent works are evocative – presenting complex dichotomies such as calm vs. violence and balance vs. imbalance. Even with a limited palette, she is able to create movement, texture and depth in all her pieces.

lori-popadiuk

Miriam Aroeste

Conceptual and abstract, Aroeste’s work depicts authentic, spontaneous emotion and experience. There is no doubt that the visual appeal in her work causes viewers to look at it over and over again, yet experience something different every time. Provoking and evocative, her pieces have a timelessness to them that keep them alive and relevant.

miriam-aroeste

Ronan Boyle

Inspired by the Pop movement of the 1960s and the Do-It-Yourself movement in New York’s punk scene in the late 1970s to early 1980s, Boyle’s work has an inherently edgy street aesthetic that is met with a clean sophistication.

ronan-boyle

Siobhan Humston

A truly interdisciplinary artist, Humston is practiced in drawing, painting, photography, fiber arts and sculptural installation. In her work, she creates narratives that intersect environmental concern and ecological awe by combining abstracted aspects of nature with man-made elements.

siobhan-humston

Tanis Saxby

With just under 20 years of experience as a sculptor, Saxby works primarily in porcelain and black marble. Her sculptures introduce concepts of stillness, simplicity and sensuality – a contrast to our time-driven and complex culture.

tanis-saxby

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Top 10 Smart Home Technologies

It’s hard to believe that it has been almost 10 years since the first smart phone came out. Remember how we all coveted that sleek iPhone 3G? Since then smart technology has expanded to the home and much of it can be controlled by the smart phone you have attached to you at all times. Smart home technology is all about what your home can do for you and how it can improve or enhance your everyday life. We have done some research and created a list of our top 10 smart home technologies. From saving you time, money, or just giving you peace of mind. These technologies are sure to impress you and your house guests!

1.   August Smart Lock

Privacy and security is always a top priority for your home. Never worry about losing your keys again with the August Smart Lock. Your smartphone becomes your new key and you are also able to create virtual keys for guests. You can also keep track of who comes and goes and give guest access for a few weeks, a few hours or even a few minutes. No more worrying about forgetting to lock your door when you are in a hurry or when you are on vacation!

August Smart Lock

2.   Nest Thermostat

Saving energy in the home is no easy task. How can you constantly monitor and control everything? The Nest Learning Thermostat helps you save energy by learning about what temperature you like throughout the day and builds a schedule around it. After using it for a week, it programs itself! With the app, you can see how much energy you use every day in Energy History or get a full report every month in Home Report. We love that it is simple to install, has a customizable ring to fit the style of your home and it will eventually pay for itself with the amount of money you save on your electrical bill!

nest-thermostat

3.   Nest Protect Smoke Detector

No one really thinks about their smoke detector until it goes off and you’re left scrambling around to see if there really is a fire or if it is just another piece of burnt toast. We like the Nest Protect smoke detector because it is able to detect the problem – whether it is smoke or carbon monoxide – tells you what’s wrong and alerts your phone. You can also tell it to hush from the app on your phone, which means that we can say goodbye to the prolonged beeping sounds! Other features include automatic testing, so you don’t have to do it monthly and it lights up as you walk underneath it, so it doubles as a night light in your hallway.

nest-protect

4.   Philips Hue

Most people tend to give lighting much thought, but it really helps to create the atmosphere you desire in your home! Can you really transform your space with a touch of a button? With the new lighting technology from Philips called Hue you certainly can, and all from your mobile device. Not only can you control your lights from anywhere, you can also customize it to create specific scenes such as ‘dinner party’ or ‘movie night.’ Want to have some fun? Why not try changing the ambiance or mood with various colors of light! Personalizing your lighting is as easy as screwing in a lightbulb, connecting the bridge to your router and downloading the app.

philips-hue-2

5.   Belkin Wemo Switch

Not sure if you left the iron on this morning as you rushed to work? You can now check from your smart device using Belkin’s Wemo switch. Simply plug the Wemo switch into an outlet, then plug in your appliances or electronics into the Wemo and you are able turn it off or on from your smart phone. The Wemo uses your home’s Wi-Fi network so you can control electronics such as TVs, heaters, fans and lamps from the palm of your hand.

belkin-wemo

6.   Hunter Douglas PowerView Motorization

If you live in a large home with lots of windows (lucky you!), then you know the struggle of adjusting your window treatments throughout the day. The new PowerView Mortorization from Hunter Douglas is able to automatically adjust your shades throughout the day using the PowerView App on your smart device or their PowerView Pebble Control. Now you maximize daylight and create the perfect ambiance in your space without the hassle of manually adjusting each shade. Most of the PowerView window treatments are also battery-powered so it is very easy to install, use and maintain. We love that you can create pre-programmed room scenes – different combinations of shades and shade positions – so you can have the amount of light, privacy and ambiance you desire in a jiffy!

hunter-douglas-powerview

7.   Kohler Numi Toilet

Some may argue that the toilet is the centerpiece of a bathroom; perhaps why it is dubbed ‘the throne?’ Needless to say, it is a key component so why not make it luxurious? The Japanese have embraced toilet technology for quite some time now, so it’s about time that we do too. The Kohler Numi Toilet offers top-tier toilet technology with a motion activated cover and seat, three bidet water spray patterns (pulsate, oscillate and wave), and multiple heating options (seat and feet). If that doesn’t already sound over the top, there is an audio system and you can cycle through seven different programmable color options for the illuminated panels. Did we mention that it is incredibly sleek and aesthetically pleasing? This toilet demands to take center stage.

kohler-numi-toilet

8.   Kohler DTV+ Digital Shower Interface

Ever dreamt of having that amazing multi-sensory shower from the last 5-star hotel you stayed at in your own home? It can be achieved! Kohler has a new digital shower interface called the DTV+ that combines elements – water temperature and pressure, steam levels, lighting and music – to give you the ultimate sensory experience in the shower. The waterproof touchscreen display allows you to have control over your personalized showerhead and steam systems. You can also preset up to six modes so everyone in the family can save their favorite combination. Take your shower to the next level by amping up your morning shower or help you relax and wind down after a long day.

kohler-dtv

9.    Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator

What is the first thing you check when you walk into your kitchen? It is very likely the refrigerator! The Samsung Family Hub smart fridge has a Wifi enabled touchscreen that helps you manage your groceries, connect with your family and entertain. With three built-in cameras, The Family Hub takes a photo every time the doors close so you can always know what you have and what is missing from your phone. On the touch screen you can keep track of schedules, leave notes and reminders, display photos, stream music and even mirror what you are watching from your smart TV! Amongst all these features you can be sure that your food will be kept fresh and organized. You can it in Canada at Home Depot for about $5,000!

samsung-family-hub-fridge

10.    Google Home

Everyone wants a personal assistant and the Google Home is your answer! This small voice-activated speaker is powered by Google Assistant. You can tell it to do things such as rescheduling your meeting, play music from Spotify or even ask it questions and get real-time answers including the latest weather and traffic. It acts as a hub to help you voice-control other smart devices in your home such as Nest, Philips Hue and Chromecast. Now you can shut off your music, turn on your latest Netflix show, bring down shades and dim the lights without touching a thing!

google-home

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Current Obsessions

Obsessions come and go and control a big chunk of our daydreams. I remember the days of high school math class when all I could think about was the tall handsome German exchange student, who sat beside me. Want to know a secret? I failed the semester because I spent more time calculating the odds of Mr. Schneider taking me back to Germany as his girlfriend than calculating the answers to my assignments…whoops! Currently, I don’t have a German boyfriend, I was able to graduate high school, and I am now obsessing and daydreaming over the following:

Textile Cables

Obsessed with new ways to show off lighting cables and electronic wires. No longer is there a need to hide that typical white or black plastic cord! From pops of colour to two toned weaves, cables are trailing behind small appliances, lighting fixtures, and anything more that could use a cord with style. Ikea has made an example of this with their desk lamps and Apple has just released new iPhone chargers with braided cables. Plus, there are thousands of lamps that hang from simple textile cables or even cables like the ones hanging around the Aim Light Pendant by Bouroullec Brothers. Don’t fret if most of your chic lights already came with a boring cord, “cable lovers” is an online store that has everything you need to make your lamps better.

Main Street

Obsessed with how you can get a tan, beer, and a great hanging wall piece all in one afternoon. With an array of never ending diverse stores, main street should always be your go to zone for anything that includes the words, “local, craft, or hip food. A day on main could include a stop at La Marche St. George for crepes, followed by a browse through stores like Nineteen Ten, and Vancouver Special. Eventually making a stop at Anh and Chi for pho, then moving onwards to some antique furniture stores. Finally ending the afternoon off at Brassneck Brewery or Cartem’s Donuterie for a treat. Sounds like fun right?

Water bottles

Obsessed with how hydrating is not only healthy, but with the right bottle, stylish as well. Invest in a well designed water bottle and you’ll want to show it off everywhere you go! Hitting that recommended daily intake of 2L will be as easy as 1-2-3 with a Soma water bottle. They don’t ship to Canada…yet…but if you have a PO Box, send your goods there and go for a drive, it’ll be well worth it. The bamboo wooden lid and silicon wrap base of their shatter resistant glass bottles makes for an Instagram worthy pic. For something more conveniently closer to home, try a bkr bottle. These beauties are made up of a small mouthed glass bottle, and a silicon sleeve that comes in a never ending variety of fashionable colours. Cheers!

Let us know some of your current obsessions #area3obsessions.

Current Obsessions

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