The challenge of finding furnishings that are affordable, functional, and stylish could be difficult but not in Vancouver. Creating a liveable space that reflects who you are does not need to break the bank nor cause much anxiety. With a bit of online research, a good friend with a truck, or even a taxi van, budding decorators have the power to create spaces that are not only somewhere to live but are comfortable to bring friends and that special place where you want to lay your head down and dream.
With four locations in the Lower Mainland, JYSK is the place for affordable bedroom furniture. Seemingly, every item, whether it is a bed frame, mattress or wardrobe, is under $300 and if you are under 5’5 and desperately require a live, work, sleep unit (roughly the size of a new downtown mini-suite), it will set you back a mere $800. While waiting to fill in your delivery slip, take the time to check out the impulse-buy section of colourful kitschy knick-knacks that make for great gift bags filler for the upcoming housewarming party.
Image via @jyskbedbathhome
Once it was almost impossible to get home $100 worth of IKEA homewares. Who doesn’t remember backing up to the loading area, after stuffing yourself on the poached salmon special, Swedish meatballs and ligonberry soft ice cream, and stuffing purchases into too small hatchbacks? Flash forward to the 2000’s and it is still affordable and enduring new student tradition. So load-up on Hobbit inspired cutlery, frosted drinking glasses, paper floor lamps, those too cool black square plates, tea candles (in flats of 100s) and don’t forget to enjoy the ride home with a giant corn stalk plant pot in your lap.
Image via @ikeacanada
A re-vamped ‘VV Boutique’ emerged years ago with a slick website and higher prices on clothing (insert complaining here) but if you are looking for retro kitchen wares, there are 150 VV’s in Canada and the USA providing that perfectly good but used rice-cooker, bread maker, giant hand-painted Guatemalan plate, wooden salad bowl, and rows upon rows of amazing vessels to drink from – champagne flutes that say ‘Happy Birthday Courtney’, ceramic beer steins, new in the box sake sets, beakers, mismatched tea cups, shooter glasses, medieval goblets and too cute kitten coffee cups.
Image via @valuevillage_thrift
Located at the foot of the Granville Street bridge, the Wildlife Thrift Store is ‘The Big Green’ and a treasure hunters dream. Since 1997, this legendary space has been family-owned and operated, and firm believers in recycling and giving back to local charities like The Gathering Place, Coast Mental Health and Positive Living BC. The front area is dedicated to furniture and decorative elements with small rooms sorted to make it easy to find pillows, baskets, stereo sets and thigh-high speakers, small counter appliances and linens.
Image via @wildlifethriftstore
HomeSense is the perfect chain store for affordably priced lush towels, expensive looking (and feeling) linen sets, giant clocks and everything needed to make even the most boring bathroom look spectacular. Hint: Before getting all googly-eyed in the over-sized sparkly glass vase section, ask a sales associate for directions to the ‘damaged goods’ section and pick-up a bedroom mirror (the size of a Car2Go) with a dinged corner that can be fixed easily with a coloured marker.
Image via @homesensecanada
Trying to define the word ‘affordable’ in a city as affluent as Vancouver is futile. Opened in 2003 by the uber-stylish Darci Ilich and Stephanie Vogler, entering into the ‘The Cross’ is akin to stepping into a Pinterest explosion of meringue. Frothy white, matte silver, and a touch of soft pastels dabbed about, are accented with organic elements, which serve to add a touch of reality in this dreamscape. It is a gorgeous store to experience and the service impeccable.
Image via @thecrossdesign
With all items $3 or less, Dollarama is the place to stock up on all your organizing items such as screw-top jars with chalk labels, decorative bins for the living room, closet organizers, velvet covered hangers, quirky plant pots for herb gardens, batteries (for that giant clock purchased from HomeSense) and all the brand name cleaning supplies needed to keep your home guest worthy and smelling fresh.
Image via Pinterest
Fill your pockets with toonies and jump the Canada Line to Aberdeen station. Every item is $2 and this is where decorative elements could literally inspire the theme of a whole room. How cute are these squishy black and fuchsia rubber piggies? These two are screaming bathroom make-over!
Image via @Daiso_KSA
Whether there is $10 or $10K on the credit card, your living space can be a great mix of new and old items gathered from all corners of Vancouver. Remember, the hunt is more than half the fun!