Forage – A responsible restaurant

“it’s not the world of futurists anymore, its the world of NOW” ~ Jim Mockford, Regional general Manager, Listel Hotels

As I and others went through school learning about carbon footprints, upcycling, sustainable design, clean energy, biomass, life cycles, cradle to cradle and cradle to grave. We all looked at each other wide eyed at how much we didn’t know about environmental responsibilities. We take for granted running water, heat, electric, gas, cars, the ease of everything, until we learn about all the words I stated above and why they are so important in our daily lives. The way we travel, how we spend money, what we need, what we want, what we throw away and what we use, we realize that things need to happen now and not just in the future. Which brings me to an amazing concept in the restaurant industry that takes on a new meaning to being environmentally conscious and sustainably aware.

Forage, a restaurant that is locally sourced and well on their way to setting the standards and leading the path to sustainable dining here in Vancouver, British Columbia.

“Forage stands for everything I care about. It represents what I was taught about food preparation both when I was growing up and over the course of my career in the kitchen. To me forage means that we no longer seek out excess and indulgence, but instead revisit a time when we respected the land an oceans and took only what we needed to survive. It is about being stewards of our land and true conversationists, as we conduct our business and live our lives. It is about goodness, about taking care of each other ad bringing together our community over good food” ~Chris Whittaker, Head Chef – Forage

The more I looked and investigated into this new gem the more I wondered about who knows, who’s interested and who really cares. I know for a fact the most of my fellow alumni would be so impressed and enthused at the
idea of further developing our great city.

This new look on food chooses to take on the responsibility of making sure the food they are preparing and serving is all locally grown, hunted, harvested and/or caught. I always find it great when you sit down at a restaurant and you see the words “pacific westcoast salmon”, but where and when? At Forage every item is infused with locale, creating a story to the diners palette. Their philosophy is a business and a lifestyle. It’s not just about the food but what surrounds it. It’s about conserving water, saving energy, using products that are out there now to help cost savings in the space.

Energy efficiency, through BC Hydro Power Smart, technology and innovation through the Green Table Network. Solar panels were placed on the roof to heat domestic hot water and they looked and took into concideration kitchen equipment, ventilation control, temperature and lighting. They took the time to look at induction burners and how far it’s come and the varieties in efficiency. When it came to “food” they used the space on their roof to create herb gardens and vegetable gardens, reducing carbon footprints, growing organic, cost saving food and neighboring buildings have a bit of green amongst a concrete jungle.

Materials were sourced locally for the design aesthetics, reclaimed wood and FSC wood PRODUCTS were used throughout the space. local stone suppliers, and LED lighting sources were used to ensure productivity and maintaining a better understanding of “green” design. David Nicolay, project manager of Evoke International Design brought his teams vision together and offered their expertise on a concept that showcases initiative in a greener approach. Wood Millwork is consistent through the space, using wood on the ceilings, on the bar and around the perimeter of the space, using FSC wood that ensures a healthy future for our local forests. It’s modern and a space of learning to the rest of vancouver’s culinary life.

One look at the menu and you are taken on a journey through the lower mainland. How about starting off with “pacific provider salmon, Pemberton potatoes, “bread n butter” sea asparagus, pickled huckleberries” then on to “Fraser Valley beets, candied hazelnut black pepper praline, goat cheese purée, wild watercress” then end the meal with “pain perdu – autumn spice brioche, hazelnut caramel, brie Anglaise” and don’t forget a drink of two or three! All local spirits or BC craft beer!

Just the words alone create a fresh intoxicating palette of local food and pairing amazing flavors together. Take a chance and head downtown to 1300 Robson st. here in Vancouver and try the new and improved “O’Douls” now “Forage” you will be impressed, I promise!

Forage Vancouver




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Ikea ?


As a designer and fresh graduate to the interior design field. I have been taught that IKEA was more of a last resort. Designers go more towards sturdy, quality, expensive and longevity when it comes to finding pieces for a space. Unfortunately, being a student, grad or a person making a living in retail minimum wage, i don’t have the luxury to pay $2000 for a chair or table. Although i would love to have the beautiful Barcelona chair by Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe. (MY ultimate dream chair)


IKEA to me is a great place if you take your time and look through as much of it as possible! Bringing different pieces together can ultimately result in an amazing and space changing statement.

I would love the chance to entertain friends and family. But, after a year of living in a 575 sq. ft. apartment i have yet to have anyone over. The use of space and the fact that storage is a huge issue makes clutter and stacks and piles endless! Its a constant struggle of moving and placing things. So ultimately i needed a way to store all the dvds and books i owned and also be able to have storage and a surface for a “bar” type area.

Here is my solution:

I went with the “Expedit” series that comes in so many colours and sizes! I chose to keep it simple and easy to change it up if eventually we were to move into a bigger place!

First peice was the “Expedit” 1×5 book case in black:


This piece works as a book case on one side and on the other a great shelving display for all my nice glass ware for the bar

Next, i got the “Expedit” 2×2 cubbies in black:


This became the bar storage and of course the bar top! I didn’t want to have open storage below and i really HATE having the cube pullouts that you can get for the cubbies at ikea. So IKEA came out with an amazing alternative! You can now get drawer inserts that literally fit the openings in the cubbies! BRILLIANT!


Once these were put in my bar/storage/bookcase was complete! Its amazing the amount of storage it has and the fact that i have a place to put all my “bar” accessories is even better.

Here is the finished product:





Cant wait to finally have some people over!

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Rustic Luxe

Rustic Luxe – Mixing personal pieces with modern, vintage, tone and texture

colour in simplicity

One of the latest design trends is “Rustic Luxe”, it truly brings out the essence and charm of a space with all the modern luxury comforts to enjoy. The blending of rustic vintage pieces such as thick wooden tables paired with glamorous white tufted chairs, chrome finishes and a modern chandelier produces such a stylish authentic appeal. A mixture of scale, pairing over the top pieces with small under scaled pieces. take modern clean lines and mix in the curves and ornate drama of vintage and past eras.

Object Scale against textures

Natural materials such as stonewalls and brick with plaster visible and exposed wood beams provide substance and depth to a room while softly contrasting with the other elements in the room such as soft neutral walls, white silk linens with black graphics and fabrics, or signature furniture pieces. Mix in some amazing framed pieces, ornate and sleak, ovals mixed with rectangular and square frames. Pops of your favorite colour help draw the eye and bring out items that may have been lost in the space. Shiney surfaces such as glass, mirror and polished stone will bounce the light and illuminate at the same time. Collectively blending together in a harmonious path that diffuses a warm and cozy ambiance without being cluttered or over the top.

Modern against Vintage

This simplistic design style allows one to take full advantage of all the wonderful pieces that one can find at local antique fairs and shops. Take a chance, do some DIY, make something that is second hand a conversation piece. Go check out the flea markets and second hand shops! have fun and mix texture and colour, warm with cold, metal with wood, soft with hard, linear lines with curved lines and modern with vintage peices.

Taxidermy on a neutral wall with amazing texture

The result is a comfortable living space with unique and edgy style that is uncomplicated, fresh and truly personalized.


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