I recently was invited to visit the new Urban Barn store in the Byward Market, where Roche Bobois used to be. Coming from Montreal, I was not familiar with Urban Barn but some of my peers from out west were really excited to learn that the store was opening in town. They've done a great job with the space, which took them approximately 10 weeks to transform.
I was able to sit down and talk to Rick Bohonis (on the left), president of Urban Barn and Sébastien Duhaime Fauteux (on the right), general merchandise manager for the store (photo by Christopher King).
Rick started the company 20 years ago. A broken shoulder from an accident on a construction site while working as a materials supplier is what got him into the business. He started with one store in downtown Vancouver, which grew into several stores in Canada. The Byward location is their 38th store. When the space became available, they couldn't pass the opportunity, especially considering the fact that they've been looking into opening a store in Ottawa for a while. Eventually, there might be more Urban Barn stores with possible future locations in Kanata and Orleans.
Sébastien gets to travel all over the world to find unique items for the stores. He had many stories about the people he met and items he had found. For example, they carry a line of furniture from Vietnam made of recycled timber to custom rugs made in Montreal. Sébastien gets to pick trends and this year, it's all about birds. He got a little bird obsessed he said, so you'll see a lot of accessories inspired by birds, as shown below.
Clockwise (from top left) : Floral Bird Cutout Bowl, Reflect Mirror Wall Decor, Bird & Tree Tea Light Holder, Willow Candle Holder, Crunch Square Can, Baroque Regal Pheasant Statue, Finch Glass Bird Salt and Pepper Set, Bird Nest Vases
Photos: MOOT | Elevator Communications inc | Christopher King