today’s first city guide (stay tuned for columbus, ohio this afternoon!) is dedicated to calgary! i’ve been wanting to add more canadian content to d*s so i’m thrilled to post this guide, written by lindsay bowman of fine things and big dreams and style north, today. linsday’s guide is jam-packed with great shops, attractions and places to eat so i hope you’ll enjoy it! thanks, lindsay!
CLICK HERE for the full Calgary guide after the jump!
Welcome to Calgary! Best known for our Cowboys and The Calgary Stampede, Calgary also has a great Design scene. I moved to Calgary two years ago, and undertook a major renovation process on my home. Through the LONGGGGGG reno process, I discovered lots of great design resources, but it wasn’t without a lot of leg work! I started a blog to help other Calgarians discover these resources, and now, I’m so thrilled to share them with your readers!
11th Ave SW is home to Calgary’s Design District. Its a great cluster of the best home design stores in Calgary.
Kit Interior Objects (725 11th Ave SW)
Kit is the spot in Calgary for anyone looking to satisfy an Eames fix or a hankering for a Noguchi coffee table. Kit also carries Calgary’s largest selection of Marimekko accessories including fabric.
One of my favorite stores, it’s where you’ll find an eclectic mix of home furnishings, tablewear, bedding and bath linens. It’s my go-to place for classic comfortable furniture and unique and gorgeous home accessories.
Maria Tomas (1015 11th Street SW)
There is little you won’t find at Maria Tomas. Its Calgary’s destination for everything from Farrow and Ball paint, Sarah Richardson designed furniture, beautiful fabrics and custom design, lighting, wall paper, window coverings and lots and lots of accessories. They also have a designer on staff to help you pull it all together!
Chintz and Company (1238 11th Ave SW).
This store carries an abundance of affordable and eclectic home furnishings and accessories spread over three floors. The gorgeous selection of accessories included an impressive array of mercury glass, an absolutely beautiful selection of faux flowers (there’s a sentence I never thought I’d type), thousands of bolts of sumptuous drapery and upholstery fabric, chandeliers, and any accessory you could possibly think of from coral to vases to the largest selection of faux fruit this blogger has ever seen.
Soho + Nada (820 11th Ave SW)
This store’s claim to fame is that they ensure that anything you fall in love with today can be in your home tomorrow, should you live in Calgary! They carry a wonderful selection of high design furniture, kitchen acessories, fine china, and tablewear in addition to Frette and Revelle linens.
Domicile Interior (715 11th Ave)
In the spirit of full disclosure I have to admit that Domicile is the type of store my “fiscally prudent” husband gets nervous just walking by. Sadly, it’s not for the budget-conscious shopper. However, should I win the lotto next week (as planned) the first place I’m heading is Domicile. They have the most amazing modern and designer furniture in the city.
Robert Sweep (739 11th Ave)
Robert Sweep carries a great range of American and European designed home decor accessories and furniture pieces, as well as accents such as lamps, linens and more. Although not for the budget shopper, its also great for inspiration!
The Art of Hardware (730 10th Ave SW)
This is also one of my favorites for door and cabinet hardware, in addition to bathroom fixtures and accessories. They always carry the best new tubs and bathroom fixtures, and I love browsing through all the hardware options!
The French Connection (1222 11th Ave SW)
Gorgeous fine European antiques and French inspired accessories fill this store. Its one of my favorite stores to browse, if for nothing else, inspiration!
Chili Club Thai Restaurant (125-555 11th Ave SW)
My favourite Thai restaurant in town. You’re going to have to make reservations, but it will be worth it!
Brulee (722 11th Ave SW)
An amazing bakery. There’s not a lot of seating, but they’re more then happy to wrap your delicious dessert to go!
Kensington is known as Calgary’s urban village. Located where 10th Street NW and Kensington Road intersect, its a great community for shopping, dining and grabing a coffee and people watching.
Willow Studio (1437 Kensington Rd NW)
Opened 11 years ago as a small design consulting firm, Willow Studio has grown into a busy consulting business and retail shop. You’ll find just the right mix of knowledgeable design experts and a large selection of Canadian-made products to help with your decorating needs
Urban Barn (1117A Kensington Rd NW)
When you’re ready to step up from Ikea but don’t yet have the bank balance to support designer furniture, head to Urban Barn. With locations across Canada, Urban Barn offers a wonderful selection of affordable furniture (with many custom options available) ranging from $200 to $2000 and accessories in just about any and all price ranges, even the most budget conscience shopper will be thrilled. And as an added bonus, they deliver . . . and assemble!
In Gear (1115 Kensington Rd NW)
A shop that opened in 1991 with the vision of offering truly unique fashion, jewellery, furniture and home accessories. Today, they still offer a vast selection of products you won’t find anywhere else, and will allow you to reflect your unique style. I particularly enjoy their large selection of kitschy giftwear. Why am I such a sucker for vintage photos on napkins?
Kilian (1110 Kensington Rd)
A beautiful selection of sleek furniture spreads over Kilian’s three floors. Although not exactly budget friendly (think four to five figures), Kilian is certainly a must check when searching for a special addition for your home.
The Cushy Life (106A 10th Street NW)
This is Calgary’s destination for luxery linens and drapery. They also do amazing custom work, anything from bed linens to drapery, pillows and throws, and they offer the largest selection of fabrics in Western Canada!
Kensington Wine Bar (1131 Kensington Rd)
A new addition to the Kensington bar and lounge scene, this is a great spot where you can buy wine by the sip, glass or bottle, and enjoy a great selection of finger foods while you relax.
Molly Malone’s Irish Pub (1153 Kensington Cres)
Probably our favourite pub, if you prefer beer over wine this is your place. Also a great place to enjoy traditonal UK pub food and has a fantastic roof top patio should you be visiting in the sumemr.
Pulcinella (1147 Kensington Cres)
If you’re familiar with Vancouver’s Yaletown, this restaurant has a very similar feel. Its best known for its authentic napoletana pizza, but I think their pasta is even better!
Crave Cupcakes (1119 Kensington Rd)
Calgary’s first Cupcake shop and still the best! Get there early, they almost always sell out before close!
17th Ave SW
Better known for its bars and restaurants (and it’s close proximity to the Saddledome and Stampede Grounds), 17th Ave may not have the greatest selection of design stores, but it is a must see neighbourhood when visiting Calgary, especially if you’re fitting in some clothes shopping or nightlife!
4Living (1445 17th Ave SW)
Great Canadian design and sources. 4Living offers furniture, accessories and a in house designer should you need any help acheiving your vision!
The Social Page (858 16th Ave SW)
A great Calgarian source for stationary, custom invitations and other paper goods. A must visit if you’re looking for custom wedding stationary.
Rubaiyat (722 17th Ave SW)
Offers amazing hand made arts and crafts from around the world from the world’s finest craftspeople and artists. Rubaiyat is especially fun to visit at Christmas time, when the store is filled to the brim with Christmas trees exhibiting the most gorgeous Christmas ornaments from around the world!
Housebrand (202-2212 4th Street SW)
Just five blocks off 17th Ave sits Housebrand. Housebrand is not only a design store that features a fantastic selection of modern furniture but also offers free design seminars on “slow home design” and “Mid-century modern design”.
Farm (1006 17th Ave SW)
Imagine, the choice between succlent cheese platters or a menu of comfort food. Add to it a fantastic wine list. This is the definition of my kind of restaurant. Make sure you try the Mac & Cheese, it won the honor of being one of the 25 best things to eat in Calgary!
JaroBlue (1314 17th Ave SW)
This is my favorite tapas lounge in Calgary. It has a great low key atmosphere, with comfy couches, intimate lighting and great service. Throw onto that a great wine list, delicious tapas and cheese platters, and you have my perfect night.
Brava Bistro (723 17th Ave)
A great restaurant, serving modern mediteraian dishes and lots of wine. The food is simple, and delicious, and the price isn’t too bad either!
Inglewood (9th Ave SE)
This is my new favorite neighbourhood. Has a huge selection of antique and second hand shops, and great Italian restaruants, what more could you need!?!
Leo’s Second Hand Store (1225B 9th Ave SE)
One of my favourite second hand stores in Calgary. Make sure you check out the basement, but be prepared to dig! Great selection of art deco pieces for fabulous prices!
Serindipity Gifts and Cafe (1319 9th Ave SE)
Cute gift shop where you can get a coffee and pastry while you shop.
Montauk (1327 9th Ave SE)
Montauk makes the MOST AMAZING seating in the world. Stuffed with actual down, you will never be able to sit in another sofa or chair and deem it comfortable. After one visit, you will start saving for one of their amazing pieces.
Block (1401 9th Ave SE)
Offers quality design that is sleek, simple and modern.
Worth a visit just to admire the architecture of light fixtures. Light Form has some of the most amazing fixtures I’ve ever seen and always leaves me in total awe.
Cherry Four(1215A 9th Ave SE)
The best children’s decor store in Calgary. This store is so cute that even non-mothers like myself leave dreaming of the perfect nursary and playroom. A huge selection of custom children’s fabrics and furniture options.
Rustic Residence (1215 9th Ave SE)
A great boutique offering unique design from around the world. I love this shop for its great selection of “Canadiana” and “Western” inspired decor. This shop will make you want a Mountain Chalet in Banff to decorate.
Hinchcliff & Lee Collection (1217A 9th Ave SE)
A beatiful boutique offering Asian antiques. Not for the budget shopper, but shopping here is like walking through a museum of Asian artifacts!
Artful Living (1221 9th Ave SE)
An exclusive importer of designer furniture, this boutique also offers a gorgous selection of art and framing services.
Junktiques (1226 9th Ave SE)
A fabulous antique store, one of my favorites. Two stories of fabulous finds. Make sure you check the basement for an amazing selection of antique doors.
Modern Country Interiors (1227 9th Ave SE)
Exactly as the name says, a huge selection of furniture that has a great modern country feel.
Ellipses Design (1213 9th Ave SE)
A fantastic furniture boutique offering fantastic modern furniture with a great blend of European and Asian inspiration.
Nectar Desserts (1216 9th Ave SE):
You must stop at this fantastic dessert shop for one of their amazing desserts made with only the best ingredients. Their lemon dessert was recently voted one of the top 25 things to eat in Calgary!
Sugo Caffe Italia (1214 9th Ave SE)
Delicious Italian food and fantastic service. Sugo’s menu is carefully planned to use only local and fresh ingredients. Fantastic for lunch or dinner.
Capo Restaurant (1420 9th Ave SE)
Another AMAZING Italian restaurant. Their gnocchi also won one of the 25 best things to eat in Calgary. Its a must try.