For Patti, falling in love with a collectible first and finding a home for it later is what comes naturally, but luckily that process has worked with her traditional-meets-modern aesthetic. She and her husband, Bill, moved back to their native Vancouver after 10 years in Toronto, their carefully packed bits and pieces in tow, and upon moving in, some of the couple's collections were immediately right at home. Patti's extensive green McCoy pottery collection, for example, was put on display as soon as the moving trucks left the driveway. "I was lucky—the built-in shelves in the living room were just ready and waiting, says Patti. Other pieces, however, had to be accomodated by retro-fitting cabinets, while still others adorn windowsills and tabletops.
Filling her home with stylish collections and antiques that work with modern decor may seem effortless, but Patti's best lesson for arranging her cosy space is surprisingly strict. For someone who loves the texture, shape and colour of a plethora of vintage pieces, every acquisition actually comes with restraint.
"Althought I love to collect when I travel, I've learned that it's really hard to carry everything home. So I've given up on that." her current collecting efforts remain confined to North American soil.
Keeping the look—and the collection—pared down goes hand in hand for Patti. Take the toy tin cars that sit neatly lined up in her upstairs office, for instance. The love affair with these tiny vehicles started with just one irresistible piece from a Vancouver antiques store. "It looked a little like a mobster car from the 1920s—I just had to have it," she says with a laugh. "And then I had to have more! But now I keep myself in check by only collecting cars in red, blue and white."