In the corner of Stanley Avenue and Begbie Street near the Fernwood/Oak Bay border you may have noticed an inviting design shop, painted an elegant matte black, beckoning you in. Owner Carey Salvador took a chance on a rundown space three and a half years ago, fulfilling a long standing dream of opening a home design store and bringing to life what now is Pigeonhole.

“My husband saw that this space was for rent, so we went to look at it and it was just in shambles. I walked in and said ‘no.’”

Luckily Carey, with encouragement from friends, had second thoughts and so, with what I assume must have been a lot of hard work, “just made it happen.”

Originally from a small farming town in Alberta, Carey left at 19, came to Victoria and went to school for interior design. With varying jobs, travel and life experience, she has come full-circle back to Victoria from where she was living in Vancouver with her family, and to interior design, bringing a beautiful curation of old and new items alike to a now gorgeous space that has been given a new lease on life.

“I don’t know if I can label it,” Carey says when I ask how she would describe the aesthetic of the store. “It’s constantly evolving from the day we opened to today. Maybe it could be described as country modern rustic. However, I think the next evolution will be cleaner lines, more simplicity. Where you can incorporate antiques but still look minimal.”

As we sit chatting in the shop — which is filled with ceramics in a minimal colour palette, lush sheepskins, gorgeous scents and a feast for the eyes ofbeautiful things — Carey greets the people who wander in and out.

“I just love creating a nice space for people.”

Outside of work, Carey has a love for horseback riding, photography and family, but says, ”Even outside of work I’m passionate about design. I’m constantly looking; it’s impossible for me to stop looking. To keep the shop fresh and new it takes a lot of time.”

Proving that when you do what you love it isn’t just work, she adds,

“When I open that door in the morning it just makes me happy.”

Owner Carey Salvador at Pigeonhole Home Store. (Lia Crowe photograph)

Fashion:

Uniform

Denim and mid- to high-rise trousers. All-time favourite piece: Floral dress by GANNI (“thank you Still Life xoxo”) and a pair of fabulous trousers I bought at Anthropologie.” Currently Coveting: Leather bag by Kara Rosenlund. Favourite pair of shoes: Oxfords. “I have an obsession.” Favourite Day bag: Tanner Goods. Favourite jewellery piece or designer: I was obsessed with this (large) opal ring … of course … surrounded by diamonds. I don’t know how many years I made my family stand at the window and gaze at it with me, but I finally bought it for myself. I still love it to this day.” Fashion Obsession: “Currently…cashmere turtle neck (“where can I find one?”) with high-waisted trousers. That would be my ultimate winter uniform.” Accessory you spend the most money on: Watches. New and vintage. “I love men’s vintage Omega watches. So sexy.”

Style Inspirations:

Style Icon

“Jamie Beck … I can’t even handle her!”

Favourite Artist:

Henri Cartier Bresson and Annie Leibovitz. “I have always loved photography, and have a passion for it. It’s my favourite interest outside of design.” Piece of art: “I LOVE antique oil portraits and my favourite piece is Kara Rosenlund’s Wild Horses photograph. Favourite Fashion Designer: “I don’t know if I have a favourite, but Ralph Lauren is the epitome of classic fashion and interior design.” Favourite Musician: “Joni Mitchell and my 7-year-old daughter, Lucia.” Era of Time that inspires your style: “Think Jackie Onassis Kennedy — late ‘60s, ‘70s. She was often clad in trousers, an elegant blouse and large sunnies.”

Life:

Favourite local restaurant: “It’s safe to say I am a regular at Zambris. (The best.)” Favourite Cocktail/Wine: Devil’s Lair from the Margaret River region. Album on current rotation: Banks. Favourite Flower: “I could never just love one: ‘I must have flowers, always, and always.’ Claude Monet.” Favourite city to visit: Montreal and Singapore. Favourite Hotel: Pali House Society (Santa Monica specifically). Favourite place in the whole world: “Home. Or wherever my family is. Honestly, there’s nothing better.”

Beauty:

Necessary indulgence

Massage (Atlas Health Therapy) and pedicures. Moisturizer: Eminence Organic Skincare. Must have hair product: Big Sexy Spray Volumizer. Beauty secret: “I definitely don’t hold any secrets, but finding time for me, being quiet, hot baths and working out.”

Reading Material:

What do you read Online for style: “I’m almost always online reading up on design. You could say I get… focussed. I can spend hours and hours and …..” FavE Print magazine: Country Living Modern Rustic (AU) and Elle Decor EU. FavE style Blog: theglamourai.com. “Kelly Framel is not limited. She is strong, bold and damn amazing!” Coffee table Book: Anything by Sibella Court. Last great read: A Stolen Life: A Memoir by Jaycee Lee Dugard. Book currently reading: All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr. Favourite book of all time: The Guests of the Sheik by Elizabeth Warnock Fernea.

– Story and photograph by Lia Crowe

Story courtesy of Boulevard Magazine, a Black Press Media publication

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