Images: Kim Christie
A Vancouver couple transforms a cookie-cutter condo into a personal space with an eclectic vibe.
Chad Farquharson and Wayne McGill can't help but take their work home with them. But it's not their nine-to-five jobs (Chad works for the government and Wayne is in retail) -- it's their role as owners of We Live Like This, their interior design firm. The fun and unique philosophy behind this entrepreneurial enterprise encourages homeowners to go ahead and make bold decor choices. And nowhere is that doctrine more evident than in the couple's 700 sq. ft. downtown Vancouver condo.
Explore a potpourri of styles. A new sofa is perfectly at home with an Asian chest repurposed as a coffee table. The white chair is a reupholstered vintage store find, and the contemporary patterned chair is a gift from a friend.
This large velvet bench doesn't cramp the tiny dining area, and also functions as seating for the living room. The look is kept light with a transparent-glass-top table, Plexiglas chairs circa 1960, open glass shelves, and a mirror that visually expands the space.
Antique folding chairs make an easy art installation and can be taken down for guests. The horizotal painted bands elongate the hall to the bedroom and make the wall a cinch to accessorize.
Give a feature wall a few coats of chalkboard paint. Homeowners Chad Farquharson and Wayne McGill used a multimedia projector to superimpose and trace images. "It's an inexpensive way to add drama and can be changed on a whim," says Chad. A tufted headboard lends a touch of boudoir glamour.
Delegate a space solely for quiet time and relaxation. In a corner of the spare room, a vintage leather chaise provides the perfect spot for taking in the view of The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver's famous copper roof, catching up on reading or having a catnap.
Homeowners Wayne McGill (left) and Chad Farquharson (right) fill us in on how they made their space reflect their personalities.
1 Style specifics
Wayne: We wanted to challenge ourselves and not do what we had done in the past in terms of colour, while showing our personality at the same time. We wanted to be sure it expressed strong/soft, masculine/feminine, old/new.
2 Starting point
Chad: First, we had to address the angled wall in the dining nook. We designed the mirror and bench to open up the space.
3 Fave piece
Wayne: I don't have a favourite piece, but I do love all the textures. We wanted our home to be very tactile -- it makes you take small moments to enjoy the Mongolian throws, velvet, linens, suede and cashmere.
4 Custom touch
Chad: We added a shelf to the long hallway and then striped the wall. It's now functional and dramatic -- rare qualities for a hallway.
Wayne: Nobody else has a chalk wall in the bedroom, and we can personalize it any time.
5 Save & splurge
Chad: Cheap or expensive, new or old, local or worldly, everything plays off each other as long as you stick to the same colour tones.
Wayne: Because we buy items that evoke some kind of emotion, we end up with things that work together, no matter what they cost.