Despite its namesake, Arcade in Vancouver's Gastown neighbourhood is not a dingy, neon-lit hole that smells like hot dogs and Sprite-soaked carpet. In fact, it's about as far from that as you can get.
The new furniture showroom was dreamed up by local solid wood furniture designers Lock and Mortice and lighting designer Matthew McCormick, who were looking for ways for interior designers—and the public—to experience their products in person. But a regular brick-and-mortar store wouldn't do. Especially not one that was packed with furniture.
Instead of piling all of their wares into one place, the designers thoughtfully curated a showroom that is all kinds of calm. Here's some snapshots from my visit last week:
Despite the very mindful placement of the furniture and lighting, Josiah Peters and Matthew McCormick let me know that the showroom is meant to be used. Case in point, they insisted that I try out the daybed—and when I tried to take off my shoes, they told me not to bother. As perfect as the space appears, they aren't being precious about it.
Every few months, Arcade will have a different guest designer showing in the space along with Lock and Mortice's furniture and McCormick's lighting. It's an opportunity for other local designers, many who don't have physical stores of their own, to get their products looked at, touched, and sat on.
Everything from the furniture to the music to the smell of the place has been selected with a calming energy in mind. And, most importantly to the founders, there's no pressure to buy—it's all about the experience. It's a refreshingly peaceful space we wouldn't mind taking a nap in.
#215, 332 Water St., Vancouver
Open by appointment only