His fair looks have made Callum Keith Rennie Canada’s answer to Brad Pitt, but it’s the actor’s dark quality that attracts his ardent fans. Known for playing broody characters, he is best known for his role as a tormented music producer on
Californication and as the lead character in Shattered, a police drama about a detective with multiple personalities. His downtown Vancouver loft, like his roles, is layered and full of character. The cement floors are battered, the enamel is chipped, the leather is cracked, and there’s an animal skull here and there. This home is a perfect launching pad for an actor who needs to slip easily between light and dark. Go inside the 900-square-foot space by designer Jamie Hamilton and Greer Nelson of Oliver Simon Design.
The art wall is the focal point in the open living room, and includes some of homeowner Callum Keith Rennie’s own paintings (large red and black works). An industrial shelving unit from RH Restoration Hardware and a concrete floor suit the artist-loft vibe: the paint-splattered floor was reground and polished during the renovation.
The warm wood grain of the walnut-backed leather Eames chair was the jumping-off point for everything, says designer Jamie Hamilton. The leather sofa, wood beams, stair treads and furniture all complement the chair’s honey-toned wood frame. Blackout blinds on the large windows (not visible) make it easier to accommodate an actor’s off-hours schedule, and a wool-jute rug softens the concrete floor.
The kitchen felt dark and cramped until new white cabinets and counters were introduced, and the footprint was opened up. The barstools and pendants have more presence against the white finishes, and the loft’s wood flooring keeps it cozy.
“Every man needs a desk,” asserts Callum, who keeps paperwork in a mid-century modern version he found years ago.
A basket of battered golf balls is a testament to Callum’s affection for putting — he frequently practises in the living room. “Black grout makes the white subway tile really pop; it’s an inexpensive way to create a lot of impact,” says designer Jamie.
Jamie had shelves built behind the raised bed for extra storage that keeps books close at hand, and the platform doubles as a side table. Neutral linens, a cowhide rug and reclaimed wood floors create a more rustic aura.
The tub exterior was sprayed black to mimic the other vintage finds and add contrast, while the chrome feet match the cool metal fixtures. “It’s important to get things up off the floor in a small bathroom,” Jamie explains. “It makes the space feel bigger.” An antique glass-front cabinet provides lots of storage for towels.
The all-in-one vintage metal vanity has storage above and below, and a built-in backsplash to strike the perfect industrial note. Found in a factory in India, it has a one-of-a-kind quality that was worth the serious refurbishing. “I have never seen anything like it,” says Hamilton.
“We weren’t sure what we were going to put in it when we built this niche in the bathroom,” says Jamie, but it allows for interesting display without gobbling up valuable floor space or storage. Currently, it’s a mini stage for a crocodile skull, a collection of vintage bottles and Callum’s WC sign.
House & Home September 2013