Eight years ago, Vancouver designer Angela Robinson was apartment hunting in the city’s cool West End neighborhood. “I just happened to look through the window of this place between other apartment viewings — it’s like a fish bowl, on the ground floor — and noticed they were in the process of refinishing the beautiful original floors,” Angela recalls. “I contacted the building manager and the rest is history!” The 700 square foot space had been nicely maintained with many of its 100 year old features (like the wood ice box, ornate radiators, and tile floor mosaics) still intact. Angela tells us, “Over the years, the apartment has slowly filled up and evolved into my home.” The apartment is a beautiful mix of old and new, so it has a comforting and eclectic vibe. “I don’t believe in keeping anything around that isn’t either meaningful or beautiful,” the designer explains. “I’m more concerned with how I feel about each piece individually than I am how my space looks over all.” Today, Angela is giving us a virtual tour of the space:
Hi Angela! Could you “walk us” through your home and tell us a bit about what you did in each room?
When arriving, you walk into a foyer of doors, 8 doors to be exact! To the right are double doors to the living room / dining room, strait ahead is the galley-style kitchen, off to the left is my teeny-tiny bathroom and bedroom.
I’m lucky to live in a corner unit, so there’s window on two walls in the living/dining room, which I consider to be a luxury!
The living room walls are plastered with art pieces I’ve collect throughout the years, including works by my friends Lauren Mycroft, Zoe Pawlak, David Burdeny, Janis Nicolay and Vancouverite, Any Dixon. The most meaningful piece on this wall to me, is the little peacock-toned acrylic painting of waves, I bought on the Vancouver Culture Crawl with my good friend Niall, before his sudden passing. I choose to not have a TV in my living room, instead I pass time flipping through the many design/art books I’ve been collecting since I was a teenager and thought my travels.
My dining room seats 6-8 and doubles as a open entertaining space when I stack the chairs and push the three tables up along the wall, as a buffet table. The two oversized David Burdeny photographs almost read as windows and expand the space.
My kitchen is the perfect space for one cook and one spectator! This room is by far the brightest in my home, so it’s where most of the plants live and thrive. I’ve modernized the originally 100-year-old cabinetry by painting the uppers a bright white and the lowers black. I’ve also added a thin black pinstripe around the mouldings to give it a bit of definition (with a jiffy marker). The open shelves are used for both functional and decorative purposes, filled with my everyday dishes as well as plants and some sentimental decorative pieces like my dad’s vintage bottle collection from my hometown of Nanaimo BC, Vancouver Island.
My bedroom is fairly spacious considering the age of the building, which is perfect since I have a king sized bed. If you know me, you know I’m passionate about white crips linens! I swear sleeping in bright white bedding actually FEELS different! I’ve incorporated colour and personality through the jade green linen drapes and the beautiful oversized Judy D Shane print above my bed. My TV is located at the foot of my bed for those cozy movie watching evenings.
Which room or space is your favorite?
Even though the kitchen is the smallest room, because it’s so sunny, warm and bright, I find myself sitting on the little chair a lot, chatting on the phone or working on my computer (with my feet up on the side of the stove). When company is over, we sit in the living room with the sofa cushions moved to both ends of the sofa, facing each other and drinking coffee (or wine) and chatting.
Tell us a little bit about designing for yourself. How does it vary from working with clients?
Ever since I was little, I’ve been rearranging and redecorating my personal spaces. I don’t commit to things staying in one location, I’m constantly moving things around and rearranging. When we’re working on clients homes, we normally chose items that will live in the same location long term. I also pay more attention to details, such a proportion, colour, textures, etc when working on a client’s home. For my own space, if I love something, I bring it home and just figure out how to make it work over time.
Finally, what is a ‘dream day’ at home like for you?
After a brisk morning walk around Stanley Park and a brief stop at the florist & grocery store, I’d come back to my warm home (my radiators give off a lot of heat) and putter around my place (I love organizing) with the music cranked. I’d arrange flowers around my place and prepare for entertaining friends in the evening. There are few things I love doing more than hosting dinner parties or cocktails at my place! It feels really great to share my space with people I care about!