A Quirky Vancouver Rental Filled With Vintage Finds
After stints in Toronto and Los Angeles, actress Kristen Lehman returned to her native Vancouver when she landed the starring role of Detective Angie Flynn on CTV’s Motive. Needing a place to call home with her husband, filmmaker Adam Reid, and their five-year-old son, Sam, they settled on a two-level rental in a heritage Victorian in one of the city’s up-and-coming East Side neighborhoods. Designer Nancy Riesco helped transform the rented space into a home that feels personal. “Now, the house just expresses Kristin and her family really well,” says Riesco. “It’s interesting, a bit quirky and sincere.” Click through to see inside the eclectic space.
For Kristin, there’s a sense of completeness that was a long time coming. “My home is very important to me,” she says. “It’s where I want to spend my time on the weekends; it’s where I want to celebrate and feel loved and nurtured. It’s an amazing feeling to come home and go, ‘I am satisfied.’”
Kristin built the living room around pieces she already owned, shipping the art and vintage daybed from her Toronto home. The daybed’s backrest was re-covered in an exotic fabric to balance the mid-century hits: Kristalia tables used in lieu of a coffee table, a Poul Kjærholm chair that Riesco brought in to break up matching vintage armchairs, and a Saarinen side table.
A staircase to the lower level delineates the living and dining zones. Kristin felt the decor wasn’t cohesive, so designer Nancy Riesco introduced a similar palette to tie the two spaces together.
The corner fireplace was originally stained dark burgundy and dominated the dining room — in a bad way. But it was a main heat source, so Riesco suggested painting it white, and the result is stunning. The rug, a surprisingly inexpensive eBay find, is a bright, warm addition to the room. Its vibrant tones are echoed by the industrial pendant light and the chairs, which were reupholstered in a cheery purple to wash the room in color.
The front door leads right into the dining room, so a sleek floating shelf is used to establish it as an entryway. It’s also a handy place to stow keys and mail, and the glossy finish contrasts nicely with the rustic dining table. The painting, by Haida artist Don Yeomans, is part of Kristin and Adam’s extensive collection.
The rental kitchen came with great appliances (a Wolf range and Sub-Zero fridge) and built-in shelving that nicely defines the space, but aside from those elements it was bland. A custom-made window treatment in a fun pattern ties into the tilework and adds color and personality. Even though it won’t necessarily work in future homes, it was worth the money. “You can’t live your life waiting for the next step,” says Riesco.
The built-in shelving is too shallow for books, so Kristin uses it for display. She made a faux-seagrass wallpaper backing by cutting kraft paper to fit and covering it with burlap, creating a warm background for her keepsakes.
In the bedroom, the headboard is upholstered in a colorful suzani and centered below the high window to give the bed more presence. The wallpaper on the feature wall picks up on the bedding, which was made from Israeli linen that served as tablecloths at Kristin and Adam’s wedding.
A chevron wall distracts the eye from the less stylish parts of the bathroom, and it was an easy DIY project. Kristin and her dad mapped out the stripes with painter’s tape, and she tackled the painting. A striped rug hides a multitude of sins — or, at least, boring floors.
Sam’s room was inspired by his love of all things British. The Union Jack was a lucky eBay find that fits into an awkward nook, while the spool bed keeps things charming.