The Collection

Inform Interiors is so much more than a showroom where you can purchase beautiful things. Throughout its 56 year history, Inform has evolved a lot. From its inception at Park Royal Mall in West Vancouver selling mid-century Modern Danish Teak furniture to our original Gastown location at 97 Water Street with its sleek 1970’s styles to our current locations at 50 + 97 Water Street showcasing a wide range of products from all over the world. Inform has morphed with the times.  

For over half a century we have focused on serving the design community and have continuously sought out ways to connect and inform our Vancouver audience at large. Some of the ways we have achieved this are through an architectural magazine and bookstore, which serves as a resource for anyone interested in Design, Art, or Architecture (plus there is an excellent section devoted to Kids books!) and we regularly host free lectures, panel talks, and book-signings with local and international speakers.

These talks, held almost weekly (pre-COVID), are a great opportunity for locals to connect and learn about something new, or something they are deeply passionate about.

Our team of sales professionals are a curious, and educated bunch, who come from a variety of backgrounds and bring their own unique flair and personality to the showroom. Each one of them has a unique point of view and a passion for design that means the showroom is constantly being re-imagined, and re-designed. With so many historically important pieces at our fingertips, as well as all the ‘News’ coming from the trade fairs each year, the sales team are always learning about the incredible pieces of design that we have access to and getting freshly inspired.

Sometimes, we come across objects that are too special or unique to let go of.  25 years ago, Nancy started squirrelling special pieces away (it started with a few choice objects by Zanotta), and this “habit” has since turned into a full-blown permanent collection. Now consisting of roughly 150 pieces, plus a couple of pallets of historical Domus Magazines and other ephemera, the Inform Permanent Collection is an incorporated non-profit organization (and a very well-kept secret).

The collection is loosely made up of design objects that would have, or could have been sold at Inform Interiors since its founding in 1963.  Visitors to Inform may have noticed a row of exciting looking chairs that are stanchioned off, these chairs are but a tiny fraction of the amazing objects that we have been storing and caring for over the years.

Some highlights of the collection include the Red Blue Lego Chair by Mario Minale for Droog, the Chiara Lamp by Mario Bellini for FLOS, the Phonosuper SK4 by Hans Gugelot and Dieter Rams for Braun, the Ribbon Chair by Niels Bendtsen for Kebe Mobler, and the Casper Candlestick by Tobias Wong.

Ultimately, the Inform Permanent Collection is meant to grow into (yet another) resource that would be available for study, reflection, and contemplation by the local community.  The dream is that one day we will have a location where viewing the pieces and learning about their historical positioning, and design ethos, will be available to everyone.  Canada does not have an official Design Museum, and perhaps one day the Inform Permanent Collection will morph once again to fulfil that role.

Jung Gestalter


Over the past two years, we have noticed a bright community of young designers working throughout Europe (see previous post on London-based Jakub Zak).  We are lucky enough to be showcasing some of their works here in our showroom…

The interdisciplinary pieces created by Berlin-based NEW TENDENCY are creative, new, and thoughtful.  They are produced in Germany using regional handcraft techniques and designed by the in-house design team, or in collaboration with their designer/architect friends and colleagues.

Continue reading “Jung Gestalter”

Nancy Bendtsen | The collector.

This article was originally published in Montecristo Magazine, Winter 2013 Issue.

Slender, elegant Nancy Bendtsen is ever-attentive to any client’s presence in her Inform Interiors retail space. There are two such spaces, actually, virtually across from each other on Water Street in Vancouver’s Gastown. What she doesn’t know about the items in the store, from furniture to lighting, tableware to carpets, is not worth the knowing. And she is always happy to discuss things with a curious couple or clients who are virtually certain they know what they need, but have a few little questions before purchase. Today, Bendtsen is upstairs, among some individual pieces of furniture, mainly chairs, that form the backbone of what has, over the years, come to be her personal, and amazing, collection.

It did not start out as a conscious effort to build a collection of this aesthetic and historical scope. “Oh, no, I didn’t think of it that way at all,” she says. “We were offered a piece, called the Henna Stool, by Marcel Wanders for Cappellini. I loved it so much, but we did not take that opportunity, and to this day we still don’t have one. After that eye-opener, I looked at a couple of pieces that had not sold, and decided to keep them.” She pauses, looks around the retail space, all clean lines with a lovely open feel, even though it is full of beautiful things. “As we saw the ad hoc collection grow, we realized early on the importance to Vancouver to have such pieces of design available for people to see. When we had the opportunity of acquiring special pieces which were offered to us, we understood the importance of keeping them in Vancouver. Vancouver has been our home, and we hope that this collection will grow into a museum of design in the future. But for now, we are happy to show some of the pieces at the Inform Interiors store.” She pauses again, and quietly adds, with a smile, “We are running a store, a business, after all. That has to be part of the program.”

Continue reading on »

A Copper Crown for Gastown

Inform is located in the oldest commercial district of Vancouver – Gastown. Circa 1900, Water Street (then called Front Street) was where Vancouver first started to become a city. Many of the building’s facades have been maintained and kept true to the spirit of old Gastown.

Gastown in the early 1900s.

Continue reading “A Copper Crown for Gastown”

Nest | Homes on Burnaby Mountain

One of the wonderful things about working at Inform is the diversity within the staff and our clients. We
have the opportunity to use our skills in different aspects and to work on projects of all sizes and

I was thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Sharron Bortolotto from BBA Design. Together we
furnished the presentation centre for the Nest development at SFU.

Sharron’s vision to use “real” furniture, “classic” furniture and furniture that was accessible to everyone,
drew me to the project. All of the items used in the Mosaic Homes presentation centre are standard size
and can be purchased through Inform Interiors. There were no custom made beds or sofas’ trying to
make the suite appear larger than it really was.

Continue reading “Nest | Homes on Burnaby Mountain”

IDSwest 2010

Last Wednesday through Sunday, at the new Vancouver Convention Centre, there was a thrill for the senses. The talented and very organized folks behind Interior Design Show West provided the interior design industry of the West Coast and beyond a chance to show off their latest and greatest. There were countless exhibits, insightful speakers and brilliant designs from well established and emerging creatives.

We exhibited some of what we have to offer in design excellence from around the world. Lines of fluorescent tape ran across our booth and over pieces that led to panels reading the names of those piece’s countries of origin.

Clockwise from top left: Bensen Format shelving prototype, Emeco 111 Navy chairs, Flos Superarchimoon lamp, Cappellini Proust chair, Zannota Sacco / Bocci 28 sercies / Bensen Brix / Vitra Vegetal chair and Flos Glo Balls / Shawn Place’s SP210

Some of the Inform team enjoying opening night with friends

Continue reading “IDSwest 2010”

Warehouse Sale | Still going strong with some new goods

Yesterday we had an amazing turn out even before we opened our doors! Thank you to all of you who stood in line both outside and in.

We’ve been keeping busy reorganizing goods that were a bit tucked away and a whole truck load of other new goods has arrived to fill in space.

Visit us today (Friday May 28th) until 5pm at 405 Railway St and come back tomorrow (Saturday May 29th) for some further mark downs.

There are lots of great finds left over, take a look at some stuff that we still have looking for a new home.

No guarantees that these pieces will still be here with all the traffic coming through.

Plenty of chairs for indoor and outdoor.

Continue reading “Warehouse Sale | Still going strong with some new goods”

Avenues of the World | Opens May 15th

Inform Interiors will be presenting two suites at the Millennium Water development in False Creek, Vancouver. The Avenues of the world project brings together top class designers with the LEED Platinum waterfront development by the Millennium Group.

Learn more about the project and who has been involved on their homepage.

Milan Salone de Mobile | Final Images

Here are the last grouping of images we received from our colleagues in Milan.

Above is a close up of the living crystal works by Tokujin Yoshioka. Some great images of this display in slideshow. I just can’t get enough of this light so I’ll post in more depth about in at a later date.

View new offering by Poltrona Frau, Cappellini and others

Stacking ALODIA stools by Todd Bracher for Cappellini