Fabulous design is the sum of its details. While there are many areas in which to save on budget and score a deal, there are a few key elements that are worth a splurge.
From a designer’s perspective, textiles and upholstered goods (especially the sofa) are usually the items to put a little extra into. The quality, feel and longevity are worth investing in.
The design community’s go-to resource for top-notch upholstery – alongside custom-built furniture and stellar window coverings – is Fabulous Furnishings. This week we’re chatting to owner Celina Dalrymple about the history of this family business and how her love of creation keeps her at the top of her game.
Tell us a little about yourself.
I am a furniture freak obsessed with perfection, proportion and textiles. For nearly 18 years I have run a unique custom furniture and drapery manufacturing company carefully named Fabulous Furnishings with a talented crew by my side.
Why did you start your company and what led you to where you are now?
As a second-generation upholsterer and the child to entrepreneurs, running this business is what I was meant to do. Over the years, Fabulous has evolved into a very custom shop that works with some of Vancouver's top designers and architects. As things have shifted over the last few years, working more and more with the trade, we have been putting together a new program geared toward simplify things for everyone. Stay tuned!
What colour best describes your personality?
Oh, I love the perfect emerald green. It speaks to my glamorous side and maybe to my envious side. But hey, I'm a Scorpio, what can you expect?
When it comes to style/design, what is the one thing you covet the most?
Furniture or objects with personality. I love to think of the furniture I am working with as having a personality or character that I am helping to bring out and let shine.
Do you have any predictions for the future of your industry?
Folks going back to the roots of what is good and right. People are definitely more conscious of sustainable furniture built locally, with local, healthy materials, that will last generations. Thinking of our interiors in the way our parents’ generations did. Investing in something of quality that will be passed down through generations and is worthwhile just recovering when you want to. Recently I read a post by local designer Kyla Ray about wanting to start a movement called #savetheantiques. I’m in!
How would you describe Vancouver’s artistic/creative community?
I feel us coming together to build a more prosperous community for everyone. Shows like the Address Assembly are proof of that. Less competition, more alliance and everyone becomes better at what they are doing. I remember when I first started out, I needed guidance and had so much to learn. I knocked on the doors of my "competitors" and as the new kid on the block basically forced some of the older generation of upholsterers into friendships and mentorship! It has been a beautiful thing through the years and has taught me how important it is to have a community.
Some people collect old cameras and typewriters. Do you collect anything?
Good humans. I like to think of there being this invisible umbrella over me and everyone being under the "Fabulous umbrella". My crew/clients/delivery crew/suppliers etc. just collecting the good humans together with good vibes. And great earrings!
What do you wish more people knew about artists?
That we bleed for our craft.
Do you have a favourite creative space?
My big warehouse/studio. I have a full carpentry shop, a studio loft with room to do whatever I want, an upholstery workroom with every tool you can think of, all the sewing machines and bits and bobs to put together anything together that tickles my fancy.
If you could speak to a room of youth who were considering careers in the arts, what would your advice be?
Expect to work harder than you could ever imagine you could, then start to work smarter. Just keep your head down, put the blinders up and keep going. Eventually you'll have been doing what you are doing for so long that: (a) you will be good at it; and (b) everyone will know you for doing it. The rewards are great if you stick it out because you are able to sculpt your own future.
Artistically, what is your favourite part of the city?
I am most inspired by the sculpture of nature which is why I worked my ass off to move my business and life to North Vancouver. I am so grateful to have the forest in my back yard.