This 1907 bungalow in Vancouver, Canada was in dire need of a gut renovation when creatives Collis and Rafaella bought it to make it their home. Rafaella, the Senior Project Manager for the handbag company Herschel Supply, is a Brazilian-native that moved to Canada four years ago and met her husband Collis who is both a construction head for many tv and film productions, as well as the co-owner of the company Sumaq Alpaca Rugs. The two creatives that use creativity and craft in their professional lives, felt ready to take on as big of a project as this one for their own home.
“The space was owned by a hoarder and had not seen any sort of upgrade in decades,” Collis told us, “it is pretty safe to say that it was hard to imagine a house in worst condition. We basically kept the structure and stripped the rest.” As two young professionals, Collis and Rafaella had a tight budget which meant that much of the renovation had to be done themselves. “We took two months off work and spent every day working on the project: gutting walls, patching original hardwood floors, removing the chimney, tiling, drywalling, getting rid of popcorn ceilings, and coordinating electrical and roof upgrades. The list was endless and every single day a surprise arose, making things even more challenging,” he said of the experience.
Collis even used his construction skills to build furniture. The TV stand, side tables, coffee table, bar stools, dining bench, and most notably the dining table were all hand-crafted by the couple, bringing in meaning and quality to their collection of furniture. The rugs, of course, came from Collis’ company Sumaq and brought a bit of color and worldliness to their space. But the true stylish touches came from Rafaella: “She brings pops of color into every room she decorates, letting the furniture and paintings do the talking,” Collis said of his wife, “she collects a lot of cool knick-knacks from her trips all over the world, which makes each room very unique.”