Archive for December, 2012

Decorate Gastown 2012

The holiday season is in full swing and we’ve just completed installing our second year of Decorate Gastown – helping some of our favourite neighbourhood shops and restaurants with their holiday decorating.

Here’s a bit about each installation:

Shooting Star Garland for Roden Gray
Beech trees, minilights, wire & zapstraps, handmade cedar boxes by Vince Cook, rocks and rubber mulch

The minimalist Japanese interior of the shop really calls for something simple, natural, soft and something that both men and women can appreciate. Garlands are a holiday staple, but making them out of beech trees and suspending the overhead added that bit of whimsy that seemed so fitting for the luxury mens clothing sold in the shop. For all our installations we wanted them to be inviting from the street so it seemed natural to bring the garland outside the front door so the entire installation reveals itself slowly as people walk down the sidewalk.

Beer Can Wreath for Sea Monstr Sushi
42″ diamtre wire wreath frame, 100 cans of Saporro, wire, minilights

Sea Monstr is the place we go to when we want a quality, healthy meal in a super casual, friendly environment so we looked for an idea that related as much to the Japanese twenty-something guys who work there as the amazing food. The idea of it being something like a mascot for a frat-house made sense so beer cans were a natural fit, especially since Sapporo is on the menu.

Dogwood tree for Lynn Steven Boutique
Dogwood branches, manila rope, wire, rebar to keep the branches bent in the arch of the cylinder of books

As with all the shops, space was super tight and we didn’t want to use up any valuable real estate – we started with searching for something that could easily hang from the award winning, Michael Green designed change room made from paperback books. We saw a photo of a similar tree made from driftwood and thought the impression-of-a-tree had the light-hearted feeling we were after. We wanted a natural material that would contrast against the books so our go-to landscaper, Ryan Levy, suggested the red dogwood branches which we arced to the contour of the books.

Multi-bulb Wreath for Six Acres
Multiple wire wreaths wired together, minilights, mediums and large sized bulbs, dimmer cords for adjusting the light throughout the evening

When you step inside Six Acres it’s almost like stepping back in time – the history of Vancouver just oozes from the brick walls and wood floorboards and it probably helps that the statue of Gassy Jack is right outside. A simple wreath in the window was the starting point and then we added three different sizes of white and gold coloured lightbulbs to give it a feeling of nostalgia and compliment the soft lighting inside. The food and drink list are reflective of modern Gastown – and a well travelled, casual clientele – so we wanted the wreath to be a welcome sign to Six Acres and the essence of Gastown.

XXO Wreath for 1181
Red and white minilights, large old-school bulbs on a dimmer cord, three sizes of wire wreath forms for the O, heavy gauged garden wire mesh to make the X’s

The modern design of the bar by Battersby Howatt really needed something simple and bold to call people in from the street. Set in the heart of the Davie Village we also wanted something a bit tongue-in-cheek and that yells out “the party’s in here.” The red and white make it festive so it’s fun to hear how different people interpret it – whatever the answer, we’re happy as long as it makes them smile.

It takes a small army to bring these installations together and we want to recognize and thank everyone who helped us out this year: our three interns, Rodrigo Lopez Orozco, Vanssa Papadas and Rosa Ta; landscaping gurus Ryan & Blair from Trust Property Services and craftsman / designer Vince Cook who made the cedar boxes for Roden Gray.

Roden Gray – 8 Water Street –
Sea Monstr Sushi – 55 Powell Stree –
Lynn Steven Boutique – 225 Carrall Street –
Six Acres – 203 Carrall Street –
1181 – 1181 Davie Street –





Video – Holiday Decorating tips on CTV