SO Original is a gallery boutique in Rockland Centre, founded by Marie-Claude Coulombe in 2013, that sells a mix of lifestyle objects &mdash like cushions from Senegal; Kokeshi dolls from Japan; colourful, painted hummingbirds from Mexico; and salad servers from the Philippines &mdash and fashion accessories from 35 different countries. “Our vision emphasizes sustainable ecology and high-end quality. I choose all of the products with this thought in mind. 


They have to be durable, beautiful and, most of all, they have to do good in the world,” said Coulombe, who recently returned from a trip to Africa where she met with many local artists in small villages. “We spent a lot of time with them, to understand their culture and way of life, appreciate their craftsmanship and ensure the quality of their work.” When it comes to displaying travel-inspired home accessories, Coulombe recommends grouping an uneven number of objects together and not being afraid of mixing and matching colours, patterns and even cultures.


“Go for accessories, have fun, and dare a little. They are usually not a huge investment and make a big statement. Regroup an odd number of objects together: marry textures to enhance their differences, match colours and patterns,” she said. “We live in a world that is getting smaller; we travel all over the globe. “We appreciate different styles and we have access to designs from all over the planet. “Why would we limit ourselves to one particular style when we are becoming citizens of the world? Our interior decor reflects our vision: a fair and beautiful one. Marie-Claude Coulombe, whose gallery boutique sells a mix of lifestyle objects, recommends having some fun with travel-inspired decor items such as the fishy-looking cushion on the couch and the woven basket next to the armchair in this cosy living room scene.