When you're new to a city, finding the right places to shop for furniture and home furnishings can be difficult. Sure, you can Google furniture stores, if you know the names. But what about local shops, independent shops, or Canadian chains that, if you're new to Canada as well as Vancouver, you may not know?
High-End Interior Design
The destination for high-end, contemporary interior design in Vancouver is Gastown, the historic neighborhood just east of downtown Vancouver. The most famous interior design store in the city is Inform Interiors, owned by Niels Bendtsen. Bendtsen designed the Ribbon chair, which was accepted into the permanent collection of the New York Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).
Gastown is also home to many other contemporary home decor and furniture shops, including Orling & Wu, Parliament Interiors, and Montauk Sofa. Not all are as expensive as Inform Interiors; they're worth a visit even if you're on a budget (browsing for ideas is free, after all).
Best Mix of Styles & Furniture
The South Granville shopping district stretches along Granville Street from the Granville Street Bridge to 16th Ave, just south of downtown Vancouver. South Granville is the perfect place to shop for the home, since it has the best mix of styles (contemporary to antique), and the best mix of major chains (including Pottery Barn Kids and Restoration Hardware) and unique, independent boutique shops (18 Karat is a favorite).
At South Granville, you'll find contemporary furniture that runs the gamut from high-end to middle-budget (for mid-range, check out the furniture stores north of Broadway to the Granville Street Bridge). There's also some antiques, lots of art--South Granville is known as "Gallery Row" for all the commercial art galleries here--and home decor shops for every budget.
Contemporary Asian & Chinese Antiques
Vancouver's historic Chinatown has a good mix of imported Chinese antiques and home decor (which range from low-end to high; for high-end Chinese antiques), as well as contemporary/modern furniture shops, including Bombast.
Where to Shop on a Budget
For furniture on a budget, East Vancouver and Richmond (located just south of Vancouver) are ideal for large chain stores, including Ikea and The Brick for furniture. For budget home decor (and basics like cooking utensils), try Vancouver Discount Stores like Welk's Mart, Wonderbucks, Real Canadian Superstore, and Walmart.