Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Provide was very excited at the store today when three huge boxes from Italy arrived. We rushed to open them up to see the fabulous creations of ceramic artist Rina Menardi in various shapes and colours. We have some pieces that are new to Provide, but have also ordered classic ones that have proven to be very popular in the past. We are just in the process of photographing them individually to upload to our website – in the meantime have a look at the picture above to wet your appetite.

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Robert and I have been reviewing the shots that we took in Paris at Maison et Object and have picked out some highlights. Pictured above is Robert next to the map (daunting huh?), Rina Menardi, Teixidoors and Ernst Gamperl.


Picture above are some great shots from the show of some of our current suppliers (Daff and True Grace) as well a some very interesting installations.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


While we were in Paris, on our "free" day from attending the show, we had to check out the latest at our favourite concept store - Merci. Merci, located on the edge of the Marais on Boulevard Beaumarchais seems to draw Parisians in droves from all Arrondissements (not to mention tourists). The store is a large space with different areas, levels and at least 3 cafes. I always like to see what installation they have done in the main entrance, this year they had these incredible flower like lights suspended from a grid in the skylight. The shop is a mixture of home wares, fashion, flowers and lifestyle, all with a presentation that elevates the most utilitarian of objects (like construction lanterns). Although, Merci does have a different concept than Provide, It does share a love of design and the desire to create a new retail experience. Thank you once again for the inspiration Merci!

Saturday, September 18, 2010


Spanish artist-designer Jaime Hayon was chosen as designer of the year at Maison et Object 2010. A special exhibition entitled "Moving Ideas", showcased his work and gave insight into Hayon's playful world. The exhibit displayed different phases of his creative process, from sketches to prototypes with a selection of essential pieces that ranged from Hayon's first installations to a preview of his latest unveiled work. Hayon's highly original designs include furniture, lighting and objects that have been produced by such leading brands as Established and Sons, Moooi, Swarovski and Bisazza. The highlight were pieces from Hayon's 'Fantasy' collection for Spanish porcelain manufacturer Lladro, that when viewed awake a sense of magic and wonder.

Thursday, September 16, 2010


Leaving the beautiful city of Venice was difficult, but even our short time there has enriched us mind, body and spirit. We walked the small streets, getting lost most times (all part of the fun), crossed bridges over the canals, viewed centuries old architecture and dreamt what it must be like to live there. It was magic sitting on the banks of the Dorsoduro sipping crisp white wine, eating rustic pizza – all with the warm glow of the Italian sun us.

On our way back to Vancouver, we made a quick stop in Dusseldorf to meet with one of our most imporant suppliers, DAFF – makers our our fabulous merino wool felt tableware and home collection. Owner, Carin Benter graciously made time to show us around their very efficient and modern facility. It was great to see all of the products in all of the colours available. We also discussed some possible opportunities for future growth between Provide and DAFF, we hope to share details on that with you soon. Pictured above are some new additions to the product line (that we first saw last week at Maison et Object in Paris): A huge range of colour felt i-phone and Blackberry cases and boxes that now come in a 2-ply colour combination with a side handle. Provide will be placing an order for these and expect them to be in the store soon.

We are back in Vancouver now and want to give a huge thanks to Pierre and Lauren for taking such great care of Provide – we know that they worked hard to make everyone's experience at the store a great one. Robert and I are filled with inspiration and ideas from our trip and can't wait to get started with this new fall season. We look forward to seeing all of you soon to get caught up and swap stories – see you at Provide!

Monday, September 13, 2010


We arrived in Venice yesterday and our first full day was spent in the company of world class modern art. First on our list was the Palazzo Grassi where we viewed the incredible collection of Francois Pinault with architecture by Tadao Ando. The standout pieces were by Richard Prince (in the style of William de Kooning), Cy Twombly and Takashi Murakami. The mix of modern art and the historic environment was thrilling.

We then crossed over to the Dorsoduro where the Peggy Guggenheim collection is housed in an historic complex where she once lived. On view were some of the greatest works of the 20th century by artists such as Picasso, Brancusi, Duchamp, Braque and Dali. The temporary exhibit was a retrospective of the work of Adolph Gottlieb – it was great to see the evolution of his artistic career. We were much inspired by the beautiful colour, texture and shapes in his works.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


Robert and I took a side trip from Paris, to the fashion and design capital Milan and our timing was perfect for Vogue Fashion Night Out Milano. The event first started in New York as a way to stimulate interest in fashion after the economic downturn and now has spread to other cities. This past Thursday evening, Milan's fashionable set took to the streets in droves. It was incredible to see and we luckily had access to one of the best parties at the DSQUARED2 flagship store.

Milan is truly an inspiring city and our experience was greatly enriched thanks to our friends Dean and Dan (Designers of DSQUARED2) who exposed us to some fabulous restaurants and bars including the very chic Giacomo, 10 Corso Como and the Bulgari hotel. We LOVE Milan for the people, the food, the design and we will surely be back.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


We took a day in Paris to walk (and walk) the streets, checking out the retail scene. We saw some great stuff, but when we came across the windows of Colette, we stopped in our tracks. The windows are covered with maple leaves and the words "We love Canada". At first we thought it was a tribute to two of our favourite designers, Dean and Dan, but on closer inspection it was their take on Canadian winter style. They are featuring Sorel boots, Canada Goose jackets and Douglas Coupland's collection for Roots. The store was packed with people – I guess they will be having a Canadian winter in Paris this year?

Sunday, September 5, 2010


Our third day at the Maison et Objet show in Paris was a very interesting one. We discovered some new suppliers in the "Ethnic" section and met with French company Best Before that utilize artisans in various countries for their contemporary product line. Pictured above are vessels from their macrame collection made in Korea from recycled paper. This ancestral technique is one of Korea's most emblematic crafts and is carried out only by a select few that are skilled in the techniques required to produce these unique pieces.

The Asian connection continued as we viewed the work of artists grouped by the Korean Craft Design Foundation – the highlight was very special creations by Chung Hae Cho in lacquer. We then retraced our steps from the first day where we saw more crafts and design from Taiwan with some beautiful animal figures carved from stone and more truly inspiring artistic creations.

If there is something we came away with today, it is an immense appreciation for artisans and crafts people – to be so focused and disciplined with one's work is something truly to be admired.

Saturday, September 4, 2010


Today was another busy day of walking the aisles of Maison et Object in Paris. We covered a lot of ground and with the hundreds of companies on display, we worked hard to find the few that fit into the refined Provide aesthetic. Teixidors from Spain, is one such brand that produces luxurious blankets and throws – we ordered a variety in Marino wool and a collection with a strong ecological component (shown above). Look for that to arrive at the store soon.

More interesting things were found in the candles and scents section where we met with True Grace Candles and have our sights on some beautiful room diffusers and others styles that will be new to Provide. We found a French company, named Mad et Len that is doing something highly original, we hope to offer their product soon.

We dropped by the very impressive Nespresso "booth" to see some new finishes in the Citiz machine, refuel and continue on our way. It is hard to express just how big the show is and how one must keep alert, to edit down and discover those hidden gems. The Nespresso helped! More tomorrow...

Friday, September 3, 2010


Provide has arrived in Paris and has finished our first day of walking the halls of one of the world's premier design and decoration shows – Maison et object. It was a great day of meeting with some of our favourite artists and design companies including Rina Menardi and Daff. It was also a chance to reconnect with artists whose work we really believe in and would love to have shown in our environment. Ernst Gamperl's work (pictured above) is absolutely stunning and is sure to find a place in Provide soon. Each of Ernst's creations is a work of art made with a deep understanding of wood and its possibilities.

Tomorrow we hit the show again on the hunt for the best in global design and the intention to offer you something beautiful and unique for your spaces. Look for our posts over the next few days with more from this beautiful city and a very inspiring design fair.