Discover 30 Beautiful Boutiques You Will Want To Live In
Brick and mortar stores may be buffeted by the winds of digital disruption, but savvy retailers know that creating an environment where customers want to spend time translates into heftier sales. A beautiful store creates a visual shorthand for the brand’s aesthetics, inspiring customers to “step into their world,” and hopefully, take a piece of it home. Here are some home decor stores that are so seductively chic, we’d gladly take up residence inside.
Advice From A Caterpillar
“We like that gallery feeling,” says Emily Dyer de Tobar of her family-run store in Toronto, Advice from a Caterpillar Home. Partnered with her sister Elizabeth Dyer and mother Susan Dyer, this homewares outpost opened in late 2018 in an airy, light-filled space located just around the corner from their original children’s store, Advice from a Caterpillar. The duo of Lloyd Ralphs Design created the industrial-chic store, using their trademark white palette, which makes the merch on display look rich and eye-catching.
Within the shop’s Georgian-inspired whitewashed walls are curated mix of handblown wineglasses, crocheted poufs, French cotton bed linens and locally crafted ceramics by Made by Marble. The store’s artful lighting is also for sale, but this picture-perfect bed tucked away in a quiet corner looks nap-ready and too comfy to bypass.
A rustic ladder is a pretty way to display textiles, whether it’s in a commercial setting or at home in a bathroom. Made of natural wood branches, this display ladder from Indaba is routinely slung with towels, linens or blankets.
Anything associated with Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle brand is A-list (right down to the Yorkville location), so it’s no surprise she tapped premier Canuck design duo George Yabu and and Glenn Pushelberg to craft Goop’s first Canadian pop-up shop. The 1,300-square-foot space located in the Hazelton Hotel in Toronto winks at Gwyneth’s movie star status, with inspiration from the here-today-gone-tomorrow nature of film sets.
The full-blown drama of grand, theatrical floor-to-ceiling drapes in Goop’s signature pink hue grabs the spotlight. Vintage-looking pitchers and cake stands by Mosser Glass, handspun cashmere pillows by Aiayu and chunky woven baskets and accessories offer quick pick-me-ups for tired rooms.
Sculptural racks capture the vibe of a movie-set wardrobe department and elevate La Double J dresses to artwork status. What better way to show off the brand’s trademark prints?
June Home Supply
Joël Cyr and his wife, Danielle, grew their design webshop from clicks to bricks with the opening of June Home Supply in downtown Winnipeg. Mediterranean-inspired stucco walls with geometric cutouts add architecture and interest. Geometric cutouts display a curated selection of home essentials, like Hasami porcelain mugs and Kaico enamel pasta pots. Recently, Joël and Danielle also added vintage pieces, including terracotta jugs and wooden picnic baskets. “I like the mix of old and new; pieces that have a story add warmth and uniqueness,” says Danielle.
Attached to a coffee shop, the store’s modern minimalist interior was designed in collaboration with Renee Struthers of Studio Hiraeth and features a room-within-a-room layout that makes the space feel like a well-edited home. “We wanted it to feel like an experience,” says Danielle. Thom Bargen Coffee is connected to the store through chic steel-frame dividers.
Peru holds a special place in Camille Byrne’s heart. The owner of Toronto’s Cambie Design launched her textiles business after visiting the country for a family wedding in 2011. Camille returned to Toronto with a pile of blankets she began selling at flea markets before opening a permanent shop just west of the city’s Trinity Bellwoods neighborhood. Peruvian blankets and pillows pop against the white walls while a charming wood stove makes us want to grab a floor pillow and just chill.
Handmade tassels are a staple of the store, “the bright colors are so cheery,” Camille says. Even the design of the store showcases local makers, with Akai Ceramic Studio pendant lights illuminating a counter clad with custom tiles by Xenia Taler Design.
“What has been most satisfying is the community I’ve built around Cambie,” says Camille. Shown, ceramic cup and incense holder by Toronto-based Akai Ceramic Studio.
The works of landscape designer Meredyth and Brad Hilton of Artistic Gardens have been chronicled for years on H&H pages. Meredyth opened Design Department in Toronto as a shop full of vintage finds and plants, but also as a resource for customers who wanted to learn how to DIY their own garden using garden plans and nursery suggestions taught by Meredyth. The store’s gutsy cerulean floor is proof positive of Meredyth’s love of color.
A huge rabbit mural is a backdrop for a communal work table where customers attend workshops. Vintage pottery, like these examples in a mid-century teal hue on the floating shelves (right) are having a major resurgence. “You just can’t get that kind of detail from something mass produced. I sourced some vases from an old pottery place in Medicine Hat. I have a lot of McCoy and Shawnee pieces, but I had never heard of this place,” explains Meredyth.
Plants are interspersed with delicate pieces of jewelry, framed botanical prints and other curiosities. “Raw elements are not always that easy to find, which is why people are so drawn to plants and wood. They strike a nice balance in a contemporary setting,” Meredyth says.
When Vancouver jeweler Melanie Auld sommersaulted from dot.com to bricks and mortar, she asked designer Kelly Deck to give her Melanie Auld flagship a sophisticated vacation vibe. “We wanted the style of a Melrose Avenue boutique with the comfort of a beachside resort,” says Kelly. Arched doorways and natural oak surfaces strike a balance between casual and chic.
Shaggy stools are just the spot to perch on when trying on items, while overhead, a warm metal globe light fixture is as pretty as a piece of jewelry when contrasted by a moss-green painted ceiling.
A cantilevered vanity and floating shelf gives fixtures the impression that they are lightly levitating in the space. Elements such as the terrazzo floor and graceful arched mirror both nod to major design trends.
Sculptural bubblegum-pink chairs by Kelly Wearstler don’t skimp on comfort. The 805-square-foot haven also marries the brand’s rings, pendants and jewels with an exclusive line of new and vintage Murano glassware and ceramics from Italy. “We love creating jewelry, but we’re more than that,” says Melanie. “I love objects with soul and a story.”
Lock + Quay
Designer Christopher Spraggett’s maritime-themed Muskoka shop is filled with covetable furniture, lighting and accessories, but most people notice the floor first. “It looks like a hand-painted floor, but it’s actually covered in eight-by-10-foot printed vinyl oilcloth floor mats,” says Christopher. “I bought a bunch and arranged them together; it’s more practical for people coming in with wet shoes.” His creative approach makes Lock + Quay a rich source for cottage style that’s anything but cliché. In 2018, Christopher moved the shop to its current location to a 100-year-old building on the water.
The wide, double doors and chain pulleys hearken back to the building’s previous life as the celebrated wooden boatbuilder Dukes, enhancing the store’s authentic cottage vibe. The armchairs are carved from solid oak.
The 900-square-foot store’s diverse collection includes rustic teak chairs, mod lamps and chunky woven baskets, all in organic hues reminiscent of sand, stone and water. “I lean toward texture and tone before color,” says Christopher.
A few years ago, interior designer Karyne Beauregard found herself dining Spain and felt inspired by the restaurant’s hyperminimalist Scandi style. The resulting brainchild is her Montreal store, La Dépendance, where you can enjoy a warm bevvie and browse design books, as well as soak up the clean modernist design that Karyne fell in love with.
A channeled banquette and fluted walls creates inviting texture in the café, which serves Scandinavian fare. “I wanted a space where you could appreciate design while sipping tea,” says Karyn. A conference space is available for various workshops, so customers can learn how to built a shelf or embroider.
31 Westgate Seaside
The latest outpost from Halifax designers Colin Blanchard and Ken McRobbie is 31 Westgate Seaside, a spin off of 31 Westgate — the address of their first design project together. The boutique is set up as if it were a vacation home with a relaxed English country vibe. To set off the building’s heritage features like Georgian-style windows and original beadboard, they chose a cool white palette.
The Halifax store captures classic maritime style with the nautical blue and white motifs, durable canvas fabrics reminiscent of sails, and hand-rubbed brass and bronze lighting and finishes that recall boat fittings. Natural fibres such as sea grass, hemp, canvas and wood are contrasted by crisp white. Rattan furniture and seagrass rugs conjures up a coastal feel.
Global offerings from France, Denmark, Australia, Tunisia, Mexico and Canada populate the shelves of Coeur D’Artichaut (a whimsical French expression which means to fall in love easily or frequently) in Montreal. Owner Elisheva San Nicolas mixes up artisanal baskets, light fixtures, tableware and textiles to a warm effect, but it’s the whimsical metal grate on the fireplace that really strikes a personal, inviting note in this store.
In this vignette, a perfectly set table offers inspiration, while the shelves are stacked with woven items and handmade ceramics.
Owners Patrick and Lysanne Pepin highlight the work of artists and artisans in their Montreal shop Maison Pepin. There’s a definite residential feel to this store, it’s like walking into the living room of a very chic friend and instantly coveting their collection of Christian Lacroix plates.
Maison Pepin embraces a pared down, industrial flavor, seen in the metal stools, pendants and painted brick textures.
Rugged stone walls and beams contrast the sleek beauty of a blond wood niche and warm wood floors.