The second home featured in our new series is Oana Papuc's East Vancouver duplex. Oana, her husband Mike, and their two children moved into the space in the summer of 2015 after having viewed an inordinate amount of properties up for sale that summer. The minute they walked through the door, they knew this was home and had to move quickly to seal the deal in the red-hot Vancouver real estate market. Three days (and six over-asking bids later!), they were the proud owners of this gem of a duplex, and truly feel like they live on the best street in the best neighborhood. Here's a peek inside….
Levon put up this sign about a year ago, while we were waiting for Mike to return from work at the end of one long day. It was completely unprompted and was the sweetest gesture, so we've left it up ever since (and have had to re-tape it a number of times). It's a lovely reminder when you come home that someone inside loves you. I may never take it down.
This picture in our front entryway was actually a present from me to Mike a few years back, which I managed to find after much digging through the Vancouver Archives. This is the iconic Sylvia Hotel in Vancouver's West End, as it was in 1932. The neighbourhood has changed drastically since then, but the Sylvia is very much the same (with perhaps the addition of more ivy to the façade). The Sylvia was, and remains to some degree, a famed haunt of artists and writers whose imagination was captured by this wonderful spot (and is partially responsible for the creation of this book of poems by George Featherling which Mike gifted me a while back), and also happens to be one of our very favourite spots from the early days of our relationships. The bar at the Sylvia holds many memories for both of us, and we occasionally head back to enjoy a glass of wine and the best view in the city.
I also keep a Woodlot candle and a diffuser on the front hall console, and alternate between Woodlot's Original and Flora essential oils, making the entryway pleasant for guests.
Our living room is small, but cozy. Since the space is somewhat limited, we had these floor-to-ceiling bookcases custom built with the help of a wonderful local craftsman (complete with custom shelves for Mike's vinyl collection, which is expanding by the minute). The ceramics are from Sunshine-Coast based Barter Design Co. The typewriter you see up there is an Olivetti Lettera 32, and it was a present from Mike on my 32nd birthday. It is the same kind of typewriter that Cormac McCarthy used to write The Road and Blood Meridian. I wish I could say we use it to actually write, but sadly it has mostly served a decorative purpose to date.
Our "art collection" is relatively limited, so we chose to display almost everything on this gallery wall (big thanks to Jenn Scott @agoodchicktoknow and her incredible eye, for helping us design, style and generally pull all of this living room together).
The one piece which is we hung by itself on a separate wall is this picture of The Band from the cover of Big Pink. I have always loved this picture, and a number of years back managed to track down the original photographer and ordered a signed copy for Mike's birthday. Mike's own love of The Band runs deep, and Levon enjoys seeing his namesake, Levon Helm, up on the wall. The indigo pillows are hand made by me with the benefit of one of Anna Heyd's famous indigo workshops. I am so proud of how they turned out.
Much like the other two ladies of Flax Sleep, I am too am obsessed with sourdough baking. My technique has improved significantly over the last couple of years, and I now produce two loaves most Sunday mornings. I try not to eat a whole sourdough loaf by myself within the first thirty minutes of them coming out of the oven and some days I am successful, others not so much.
Arts and Crafts
My sister and I both got into weaving a couple of years ago, but her skills quickly outgrew mine. This large wall hanging was done by her in her spare time – i.e. when's she's not building crazy, self-righting, badass looking boats like this one or this one (don't feel bad – my sister is ridiculously talented at many things, there's no sense in trying to keep up with her if you don't want to end up feeling bad about yourself).
This painting above my dresser is by local artist Tori Swanson and I am in love with it (and frankly also with Tori, and her incredible talent). It is called "Women Supporting Women" which is one of the principles to which we try hard to adhere at Flax Sleep by supporting, promoting, and engaging with other female-led enterprises. Also, as the mother of a daughter, I think it is vitally important to provide positive, self-actualized models of female success in many different forms. I hope to provide some of that for my daughter by surrounding her with amazing, unapologetically badass, female role models (see Violet's bestie, my sister Andra, and her honorary aunties, Viv and Anna, for prime examples).
The stack of books on my bedside table keeps growing, as I fall farther and farther behind in my ability to keep up with them. These are the ones I am currently determined to finish. The Hate U Give is an incredible, timely, heart-breaking read. The Remains of the Day is David McCormick's (Viv's husband) latest recommendation, and I take his book recommendations VERY seriously. The Cloudspotter's Guide was a gift from my lovely friend Claire, and I intend to eventually keep it in the car for impromptu cloud spotting on road trips with the kids.
Obviously, our bed is always made up with beautiful linen bedding. It's not just me that's a fan though – my husband Mike loves them as well. We have very different sleep temperatures (i.e. I am cold ALL the time, and he overheats easily), so the linen bedding has finally helped us with temperature regulation at night so everyone can be happy.