FROM EMPTY TO INVITING: My guide to Vancouver’s best décor, designers and more.

Wednesday, May 01, 2019

Furnishing a new space from top to bottom is a wild ride, and one that I embarked on this past January. It’s taken four long (and sometimes agonizing) months to transform an empty West End condo into a warm and inviting home. I did it, but I DID NOT do it alone.

Early in my DIY design journey I had the good fortune of connecting with a group of incredibly creative local vendors. These designers, makers, movers and shakers guided me through this overwhelming process sourcing or creating pieces to make my space sing. No offence to the big box guys - but local is definitely where it’s at.

Over the next month, I am excited to introduce you to my trusted collaborators; including Propellor Design, W/R/F LAB, Lunazen Sleep, SynLawn and Pacific Rug Gallery.


The consensus in the design world is that area rugs should be one of your first purchases. So… it’s only fitting that we begin this adventure at the Pacific Rug Gallery in North Vancouver. This family run operation was recommended by a stylish friend (thanks again Erin from Sparkle!), and as you will read, our time together was eventful.

Here a little BG from Business Manager Shahab Pezeshk. ( the handsome one on the left :)

Erin: What sets PRG and your rugs apart from other rug companies?

Shahab: Firstly, we are a family business that has grown and developed over 3 generations and we put a lot of effort and emphasis on keeping our standards high, quality amazing, and workmanship unrivaled. Secondly, we hand pick and literally choose and often design every single rug in our showroom. Through our years of building connections and relationships, we have been able to gather an amazing team of expert weavers and rug artisans to help us in our path. Furthermore, it is very important to us that all our rugs are hand-made, hand knotted, and quality controlled from start to finish all the time. Our rugs are ALL hand-made and hand knotted, often by expert master weavers who put their signature on the rugs that they weave. The rugs are usually made with wool, silk, or a combination of these natural materials. Often, vegetable dyes and natural colors are used for dying these materials. We have rugs from all over the world including Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Nepal, and other places in the world as well.

Erin: What kind of feedback do you typically get from your customers?

Shahab: Our customers love the time, expertise and knowledge that we have about rugs and all the information that we can provide for them. Furthermore, our amazing selection of area rugs ranging from modern and contemporary, to tribal, traditional, classic and our own line of vintage design rugs are a big part of what our customers enjoy. We also provide expert rug cleaning and repairs, all done by hand with the best possible results.

Erin: Price Points?
Shahab: Price points are based on size, style, and quality of course. However, our amazing variety means that we always have something to fit every and any budget.

As you can see, the rugs are gorgeous – like artwork for the floor. But what impressed me most about PRG was the customer service I received from Shahab and owners Mina Yaghoobi and Hossain Daliri. Espresso and smiles were served up for all of my many visits, and they truly took their time guiding me through the process. Sifting through hundreds of rugs is daunting, but the PRG gang made it fun. Best of all, they allowed me to take my favourites for a “test run” before committing. I borrowed (and returned) an embarrassing number of rugs and was never made to feel as if I was an indecisive disaster. In fact, I felt like we were all in this together. And when my naughty puppy decided to christen one of the new pieces… PRG stepped in and handled that too.
In the end, I chose this stunning distressed Persian piece for the living room:

And a super soft silk/wool blend for the bedroom:

What I learned:

- Don’t be afraid to try colours and styles that are outside your comfort zone.
- Play around with scale. Sometimes bigger is better!
- Think about your lifestyle. If you have children (or naughty pets), a white, high-pile rug probably isn’t the best choice.
- Go for a natural fabric like wool or silk over synthetic. They’re more expensive, but they’ll last longer and feel waaaaay better on the tootsies.


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photos by: Mike Cockburn