Industry expert: Interior designer Karin Bohn dishes on local faves

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      You may not know Karin Bohn by name, but if you’ve dined at the infinitely Instagrammable Anh and Chi, hopped on a bike at North Vancouver’s locker-room-chic Spin Society, or grabbed a smoothie to go from the industrial, green-filled Melu Juice Bar, you definitely know her work.

      Owner and creative director of local firm House of Bohn—and soon-to-be speaker at this year’s IDS Vancouver—the interior designer has over a decade of experience in the realm of great spaces under her belt. Spearheading both residential and commercial projects, she’s known for her “modern eclectic” designs that blend the contemporary with the retro and the bold and unexpected, all while staying true to a structure and its surrounding area’s roots.

      In other words, Bohn—who’s also quite the fashionista and online figure in her own right—knows how to make a room pop. “I try to take as much inspiration as possible from different cultures and time periods,” she tells the Straight by phone.

      Here, Bohn shares some of her favourite designers and design-centric places in the city, including the best Ikea alternative, her picks for Vancouver’s most visually stunning restaurant space, and where she goes to find inspiration for her own work.

      Best local furniture designer

      Kate Duncan

      “Her stuff is really beautiful, really West Coast, and very Vancouver.”

      Brent Comber

      “He’s very creative when it comes to his woodworks and very artistic, which I love.”

      Best independent design shop

      Once a Tree Furniture
      750 Southwest Marine Drive

      “They have a really good mix of modern pieces with West Coast flair and lots of different venders. You can find everything from lighting to bedframes to chairs.”

      Best local lighting designer

      Matthew McCormick

      “His designs are very minimal, but it’s got a little bit more of an industrial edge.”

      Best on-a-budget home-and-furnishings store besides Ikea

      Moe’s Home Collection
      Various locations

      “You’re guaranteed to walk through Moe’s and find something.”

      Flüff Design and Decor
      1121 William Street

      “Flüff is really good for condos and smaller spaces. They actually do a lot of staging, but they sell a lot of their furniture. So if you need some cute modern chairs for cheap—and not from Ikea—Flüff is a good place to go.”

      Best local interior designer other than you

      Patricia Gray, owner of Patricia Gray Inc.

      “She does very beautiful residential spaces—very clean and luxurious, but also very contemporary and West Coast. She really focuses on quality and that translates well in her work.”

      Craig Stanghetta, founder and principal at Ste Marie Art + Design

      “His hospitality work is pretty amazing. He has a really diverse portfolio, and he’s really great at styling.”

      Best unexpected spot for décor

      giovane cafe + eatery + market
      1038 Canada Place

      “They rotate their products a lot, so they do have cool things to buy that you don’t really think of right away. They’ll do everything from candles to barware to…summer floaties, cool ice-cube trays, and recipe books. I’ve actually bought stuff there before because I had coffee and thought, ‘Oh, I’ll just meander around here.’ ”

      Best local architect

      Gair Williamson, principal at Gair Williamson Architects

      “He’s done a ton of buildings around town, and he’s just got a really cool, authentic West Coast aesthetic. He doesn’t like to overly dress his spaces, and he’s very good at keeping the integrity of a space.”

      Best antique shopping

      Scott Landon Antiques
      105–2567 192 Street, Surrey

      “He has a ton of cool stuff—everything from vintage lights to old doors to old furniture pieces, quirky signs, and dishware. And even random décor objects.”

      Best restaurant design

      1017 West Hastings Street

      “I love how it has a light and airy feel, but it’s dark and cozy at the same time.”

      Kissa Tanto
      263 East Pender Street

      “It has a really retro vibe and it’s deliberately not symmetrical. I love how there are two lights on one wall, three lights on another wall; things are kind of off-centre a little bit. It almost looks as if there wasn’t a designer who did it, but it was totally designed.”

      Mott 32
      1161 West Georgia Street

      “It’s a very layered space. As soon as you walk in, you can tell that it’s Chinese [cuisine], but it’s not kitschy.”

      Best place for interior-design inspo

      “Vancouver is so awesome because there are so many outdoor spaces. For me, I love anything that’s along the ocean; I love the trails in Lynn Valley. I just love Vancouver’s scenery—getting outside is really inspiring.”

      Best retail or boutique design

      Saje Wellness
      Various locations

      “The stores obviously smell amazing as soon as you walk into them, and then there’s the design and the layout. They’re just really thought-out and well-put-together shops.”

      Best underrated design store

      Country Furniture
      3097 Granville Street

      “I was in there the other day and I thought, ‘I don’t usually shop here because of the name.’ But they actually have really, really cool stuff.”

      Follow Lucy Lau on Twitter @lucylau.