Words by Kate Snyder,
“In recent months, I have had the privilege of renovating my own home: a 700-square-foot 1980s apartment in Vancouver’s Hastings Sunrise neighbourhood. This presented an interesting (and challenging) opportunity to practice our studio’s design approach in my own personal space.
Over the years, our (my husband and I) homes have always been growing collections of things we love and that hold value to us: my grandmother’s watercolors; Aunt Connie and Uncle David’s paintings; James’ mom’s old textiles; his guitar collection; contemporary and local ceramics. The common thread through all these items is that they are meaningful to James and I—nostalgic, as they say. Armed with this, I started designing our home not with the intent to create a masterful interior, but to create a meaningful background to house our things (and us, of course).
Beyond what I would call nostalgically-influenced design decisions, the most powerful part of our renovation journey has been the people behind it. My mom and dad uprooted themselves from our farm in rural Manitoba to come to the big city for three months and help with the project alongside myself and James. My dad is a talented carpenter, among many other things (teacher, horse rancher, and all around amazing human), and my mom is a real-deal Renaissance woman. Being able to complete this renovation with our family (my brothers Ben and Trent also took turns flying to Vancouver to help—an electrician and carpenter, respectfully), was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Putting physical labor and love into our home has made the byproduct of living here so special.
Nostalgic references in the design of our home were influenced by the existing 80’s architecture of the building: salmon-pink elevators and flagstone fireplaces. These were inspirational jumping-off points for me. The kitchen has a bold granite countertop and backsplash with sage-green lower cabinets and birch plywood uppers, while vintage-inspired brown grasscloth-and-wheat-patterned wallpapers and mirrored walls are balanced with contemporary furniture pieces, such as our sofa. The result is an artful home—highly eclectic, but most importantly, personal to James and I. It’s filled with our objects of virtue that bring about that oh-so-warm-and-tingly nostalgic feeling.”
- Guy Ferguson