If someone isn’t listening carefully as you’re describing a visit to the new Kare showroom, they might assume you’ve been on safari. Exploring the 4,000-square-foot space last week—a shop-within-a-shop at Fairview’s Inspiration Furniture—we encountered a giant golden tortoise, a paint-splattered life-sized horse statue, a gaggle of iridescent tabletop fibreglass llamas and a stag head (faux, of course; repurposed as a candelabra, of course).
But when you run a furniture and accessories business with the tagline “The Joy of Living,” it’s only natural that the décor is going to run a little kooky. The German brand, led by founder Peter Schoenhofen, gleefully produces a menagerie of quirky animal statues, oversized art pieces and velvet-draped sofas in extroverted palettes. In short, Kare is a maximalist’s dream—and a sharp departure from the modernist BoConcept and Inspiration Furniture offerings on the other floors of the shop—but that’s the way Inspiration Furniture’s Steen Skaaning likes it. “We thought we’d see it all, and then we walked into Kare,” he says, recalling stumbling by chance into one of Kare’s flagship shops on a trip to Europe. “Everything in the store was a conversation piece. We walked through it three times and didn’t see it all.”
The over-the-top aesthetic is a far cry from the typical soothing West Coast modernism of Vancouver, but while homeowners and designers might not be quite ready for a full-room commitment to Kare’s candy pink sofas and green-and-gold pony-hair rugs, there are hundreds of statement pieces—say, a mirrored armoire or a tasteful golden beetle sculpture—that could make a bold addition to an otherwise neutral space. “It may not fit into an average Vancouver home now, but we’re excited to bring that fun and energy back to the scene," says Skaaning.
Kare at Inspiration Furniture
1275 W 6th Ave, Vancouver