Flower Arranging
Apr 30, 2013

Decorating with plants and flowers

By: Kathleen Dore

Decorating with plants and flowers Author: Style At Home

Flower Arranging
Apr 30, 2013

Decorating with plants and flowers

By: Kathleen Dore

Thomas Hobbs knows what he likes and always has. The B.C.-based garden designer, author, owner of Southlands Nursery and all-around tastemaker has always had a passion for plants. “My first memory plantwise is from when I was four. I rummaged through the neighbour’s garbage looking for cast-off cut flowers and tried to root them,” he says. It didn’t work, but he wasn’t deterred, and by grade 6 he had created his first very own greenhouse.

It’s not surprising, then, that the Vancouver condo he purchased with his partner, Brent Beattie, backs onto one of the city’s brightest horticultural jewels, VanDusen Botanical Garden. “That’s why we bought it,” says Thomas – that and, after buying a farm near the U.S. border, the couple needed a pied-à-terre closer to work. The 1,825-square-foot condo is convenient, but its setting is remarkable in such an urban environment. “It feels completely private, like we’re living in a park or a forest,” says Thomas.
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Modern kitchen

“It was move-in-ready,” says homeowner Thomas Hobbs of the modern kitchen. Avocado-coloured bar stools provide a vibrant punch to the sleek stainless steel-fronted kitchen island. The paintings were picked up for a song at a student sale at Emily Carr University of Art + Design. plant-decor-indoors-countertop.jpg
Countertop vignette

Thomas is an avid gardener so his home is never without fresh flowers. Here, a kitchen countertop vignette displays organic forms and a unique potted plant. plant-decor-indoors-living-room.jpg
Living room

Art Deco copper plates from a power station in Chicago were the first things Thomas bought for the condo. “I thought, what a colour palette to build a room around,” he says. The toss cushions were made with Fortuny fabric that the couple brought back from a trip to Venice, Italy. plant-decor-indoors-glass-walls.jpg
Walls of glass

Two walls of glass open onto the terrace, which Thomas and his partner, Brent Beattie, use as a space for entertaining. “People spill out here from the living room and dining room to ogle the view,” says Thomas.

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Favourite finds

The credenza is one of Thomas’s favourite finds. “It was in gorgeous condition,” he says, and a bargain from one of his favourite haunts.

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Outdoor terrace

“After work, it’s gin and tonic time out here,” says Thomas. “The terrace faces south and stays sunny until sundown.” Spiky foliage adds russet to the outdoor palette, and the brown resin wicker chairs echo the living room’s upholstery. plant-decor-indoors-arrangements.jpg
Plant arrangements

Thomas arranged plantings using a repetition of shape and colour for a strong design statement in the terrace’s stainless steel planters. plant-decor-indoors-containers.jpg
Planted containers

Planted containers add textural interest to the outdoor living space. “I love that these are all weathered, like they’ve been in the ocean,” says Thomas. plant-decor-indoors-onterrace.jpg
Plants on the terrace

The terrace is alive with unique plantings, all arranged by Thomas.
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Flower Arranging

Decorating with plants and flowers