Walking through the doors of Parliament Interiors, you can expect to be greeted by ornate items and oddities — referred to as “uncommons.” Housed by an expansive heritage building, the home décor and modern furniture store has an uncanny way of blending one-of-a-kind vintage pieces with a contemporary and timeless aesthetic.
After years of pioneering the design scene in Gastown, the retail and design enterprise recently relocated to Mount Pleasant. Co-owner and in-house designer, Colette Soros, describes the new space as “bright with high ceilings and gorgeous large windows.”
Similar to how they approach their interior design projects, “the palette is neutral and timeless,” she tells us. “We played up the heritage by installing gorgeous wrought iron railings, painted the interior windows a glossy black, and built gorgeous millwork to showcase our goods.”
As native Vancouverites, Soros and her team are on the pulse of emerging home décor trends. Always striving to keep things super-cool and super-fresh, their distinct aesthetic has become recognizable across the Lower Mainland.
For the Parliament team, who have branded themselves as “Ministers” of their very own “House of Uncommons,” change is always a good thing — with the move to relocate themselves in the city’s most eccentric neighbourhood a strategic one.
Sitting at the corner of Main and 11th, Soros is teeming with excitement at the prospect of inviting visitors into the “warm and welcoming” new space where locals can find lighting, art, contemporary and mid-century modern furnishings, and other quality goods that won’t break the bank.
Within Parliament is also a plant department, Kermodi, specializing in modern minimalist indoor potted plants. Referred to as “living art,” the concept behind this emporium of greenery is high design coupled with low maintenance — so those who are pressed for time (or space) can still make great plant parents.
Meet the Ministers
So, how exactly did Parliament Interiors come to be? It all began when three friends came together over their love of beautiful things and fondness for natural, West Coast living. Coupling their zeal for design with their deep appreciation of the city where they were born and bred, they combined their unique talents and opened up shop.
The long-time friends and triple threat — Tina Lee, the finance whiz, Craig Parkes, the resident curator and design consultant, alongside Soros, who is also the DJ behind the sweet beats you hear at the store — launched Parliament back in 2009 and never looked back.
Having worked together at another high-end furniture store, “we decided to branch out and do something different,” Lee tells us. “Being in the business for so long taught us a lot about retail and the furniture industry. We realized we could offer great style and quality at reasonable prices — something the three of us could relate to.”
Their concept remains deeply rooted in the notion that collecting pieces and creating the home of your dreams is a deeply personal experience. Guiding their clients through that process is what continues to stoke the flames of their passion for design. Today, they’re proud to be a Vancouver-based furniture store with a roster of locally sourced offerings.
Small space solutions
Among the things they specialize in is space-saving furniture curated for compact urban spaces — because, hey, — just because your home is small doesn’t mean it can’t be awe-inspiring. Whether it’s a condo or home office you’re looking to transform, they have an array of modular and multi-functional spaces that can make a little go a long way.
In-store, you’ll find everything from small space furniture, like sectionals and sofas, dining chairs and tables, bedroom and office furniture, to decorative home décor items that come together to create a unique home with a modern feel.
Design isn’t always about furnishings, sometimes it’s just about finding those unique, eclectic pieces that will complete your space and allow your own personal flair to shine through. When it comes to allowing those finishing touches to come to life, the store is a treasure chest of inspiration.
If your home is in need of a fresh new look or a bit of texture, their decorative items, like rugs, wall décor, pillows and throws, and other unique and uncommon home accessories can help you create a space that’s distinctly you.
When designing spaces for clients, the co-owners revel in telling people’s design stories and articulating them with their unique approach. At the forefront of this process are form and function as they work with clients to achieve an aesthetic that best represents them. For them, good design is about straddling the line of old and new, classic and modern, functionality and aesthetics.
Infusing mid-century modern elements with nature-inspired materials, the team enjoys working with a warm palette, and natural, neutral shades. But as design fashions continue to change, so do they. “The most rewarding part of owning our own business is creating something that continues to evolve,” says Parkes.
To accommodate the design needs of their clients, Parliament offers a spectrum of services, including space planning, furniture and décor selection, finishes selection, and residential renovations. Since their team is nimble, they also have the ability to be agile when it comes to servicing.
They can “pivot and adjust quickly,” according to Parkes. “We don’t have a head office to have to go through — we can react immediately based on our client’s needs.”
If you’re interested in transforming your home into a beautiful House of Uncommons, you can book an appointment with the Parliament Interiors team at parliamentinteriors.com, or just pop in their store.