The bottom level of Fairview’s Inspiration Furniture (1275 West 6th Avenue) has been recently transformed into a new shop-in-shop, and local home-décor enthusiasts will be happy to know it doesn’t offer nearly the same goods as IKEA (as much as we all love a Malm drawer).
German-based KARE Design is the latest furniture company to make its mark in Vancouver, characterized by brightly hued pieces and eccentric furnishings.
The 4,000-square-foot showroom features everything from an enormous black dog to a multicoloured horse statue, and from jewel-toned velvet sofas to a luggage trolley that replicates those found in luxury hotels.
“We compete with [other furniture shops] with the ability to give you the kick for inspiration,” Peter Schönhofen, co-founder of KARE Design, told the Straight in an interview at the new spot. “You don’t want to have the same shit that all your colleagues have from IKEA. Kids and young customers want to individualize their home and don’t want to have similar or identical [furniture] that everyone else has.”
KARE now operates more than 110 stores around the world, which include standalone shops and other shop-in-shops.
Schönhofen emphasized that he and his co-founder, Jürgen Reiter, are constantly inspired by places, objects, and their travels.
“If you’re curious about things, then you’re always open-eyed through the world,” explained Schönhofen. “We go to fashion fairs for trends regarding the colours and fabrics. Of course, we still go to museums and other places that treat the culture of furniture and living in a historical way.”
It’s no secret that Vancouverites love the simple, west-coast designs that reflects our surroundings: neutral tones and natural elements. But this German brand’s offerings are the complete opposite, which brings a breath of fresh air into the local urban-living sphere.
“[KARE] doesn’t fit into the regular, average Vancouver. It’s for those who want to define their individuality with it,” said Schönhofen. “We bring a lot of fun and a lot of energy back into this interior scene, which might otherwise be a little boring. I think we’re in the right place and right mix of other brands inside Inspiration furniture, to entertain and realize your own philosophy of living.”
Scroll through the photos below of a look inside the new and colourful showroom.