Smack dab in the middle of the Rock Bay industrial area – surrounded by nondescript commercial buildings – sits a century-old wooden home.
It’s inside this house, plus the massive warehouse built onto the back of the residence in the ‘60s, where Design Source Warehouse has been selling some of the most original home furnishings in Greater Victoria for 13 years. (Think 50 per cent antique shop, 50 per cent modern furniture store, and 100 per cent unique.)
In among some trendy patio, living room and bedroom furniture are vintage pieces that catch my eye – a bronze mermaid fountain, a stone Buddha head, vintage water skis, an antique ship’s wheel.
“We’ve had a water buffalo trough come in; we had a big rice mill that you would take the chaff out of rice with, that was all decoratively painted; we had a 14-foot Yangtze riverboat in here one time,” says owner Bruce Alexander.
If you were to walk through the store tomorrow or next Tuesday, the selection will be completely different.
“That’s what keeps people coming. We’re not in the shopping district, so we’re a destination for most. We have to keep our inventory fresh. So people get really fired up when they come in and see all the one-of-a-kind things,” says Alexander, who came to DSW from an auction house. “Because of my background in appraisals, I’m a stickler for things that are out of the ordinary, but maintaining quality. I want things to last.”
Alexander started working at DSW in 2007. He and wife Robyn purchased the store from the original owners in 2009.
“We have the opportunity to go and source things that are completely unique, and provide quality product that is not in the norm – anything that’s fun and eclectic,” he says.
Design Source Warehouse is open Tuesday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm. The store can be found at 553 Hillside.