Take a sneak peek inside one Vancouver photographer's stylish and sexy home.
Vancouver photographer Kim Christie spends her days capturing many of the city’s best-designed homes for magazines like Western Living and Style at Home. This time, she turns the lens on her own condo: a two-bedroom, light-filled space in Kitsilano.
Q: How did you find this space?
A: I was living in east Vancouver and I became addicted to Semperviva yoga; I was driving all the way across town every day. I’d drive past this building, and I just had to check it out. I wasn’t even looking for a place, but I walked in and it had 12-foot ceilings (even the showers are 12 feet high)—it’s just beautiful. I feel like a tiny slip of a girl in here.
Q: As a professional photographer, you see hundreds of houses every year. What ideas did you bring to this home?
A: When I moved in, I thought it would be a lark. I rented my old house out furnished, so I had no furniture to bring along. I thought I’d just come and live like an artist and do yoga every day. It’s so bright and light, and it had these huge white walls—I felt like I lived in a gallery. I didn’t put a thing on the walls, and didn’t buy any furniture—I was sort of urban camping. After a while, sitting on the floor, I thought, I’m not young enough for that! I need my ass to be on something cushy. So I had a sofa, and I had a bed, and a set of dishes—four plates, four spoons, four knives, four cups—and I loved it. No stuff, no crap, no nothing.
Q: So what made you decide it was time to work with a designer?
A: I’ve been shooting for Wendy Williams-Watt for 15 years, and I love her style. Her space, Grace, is just around the corner from this apartment. She’d drop over and say, “Kim, I cannot stand sitting cross-legged on the floor.” Wendy thought it would be fun if I moved out for three days—she’d do the whole place, I’d walk in and she’d do the big reveal. Who gets to do that, ever? Then I put it on the market, but after I had lived in it for a month, with everything so beautiful and gorgeous, I couldn’t let it go. I took it off the market, bought everything from her, and it still looks the way she left it.
Q: What was her vision for the space?
A: There’s a part of me that’s always working, always in business mode. But this place is warm and sexy and fun—more girlish. Every once in a while Wendy has a “Sugar Cube Sale,” where she’ll sell a bunch of things at her studio. I’d always think, I love these pieces, but I don’t know how to put them into my space—that mod graphic, modern, urban stuff. And now it’s all here. If I touched it, she spotted it. She had this fabric in her studio—the most gorgeous, caramel, sequined fabric, and she made special pillows out of it. It’s really the most fun I’ve ever had. And I’ve been to Disneyland!
Q: Speaking of fun, why is there a tutu on the bed?
A: That’s actually a bed sculpture—a piece of art that Wendy makes and sells. She’s put them in a number of hotels, including the Keefer. They’re enormous, giant pompoms, girly toys for adults. It just sits on the bed—and it’s perfect in the guest bedroom, since people aren’t sleeping there all the time.
Q: And that glittering wall by the fireplace?
A: That’s my one contribution! I put in a gas fireplace before I moved in, and I found this three-dimensional tile. The tiles are large and you can barely see the grout lines. If the light hits it at a 45-degree angle, it has the same effect as a sequin pillow. It doesn’t have to be strong light, as long as it’s coming at it from an angle. It looks like Liberace lives here.
Q: There are a number of unique art pieces here, too—particularly that large one over the dining table.
A: Wendy’s creation. That great big face was a small pen-and-ink drawing that her father did. She’s kept it all these years and she had it blown up—we needed a giant piece of artwork for that wall, since it’s 12 feet wide and 15 feet long. Now she uses that as a motif for her company. She calls it “The Survivor.”
Q: You’ve got a great outdoor space here, too.
A: I used to call this the jewel box apartment. It’s literally this big glass jewel in the middle of the building. But I wasn’t using it well. There was all this light coming in, and I was so afraid to glob it up with plants and things. I had bitsy stuff out on the balcony—because you think it’s a small space, and you don’t want anything too large. Wendy threw it all away and bought this large patio furniture and the new plants. The dogwood grew in thick and lush and I sit there and have breakfast all the time in the summer. Those sliding glass doors are open non-stop for three or four months. I just love it!
THE INSIDE SCOOP
Sunny rays from the patio spill indoors and glint off a chandelier sourced at Home Depot.
A wire-frame nude traipses by a pair of refurbished antique chairs and a simple grey sofa that’s been tricked out with faux-fur cushions.
The bathroom keeps things simple, save for a couple of dramatic punches: a vase that doesn’t know when to quit, plus a spiraling artwork that gets echoed by a throw cushion in the bedroom.
In the bedroom, a custom bed with oversized headboard gets decked out with a floral and blue hyacinth bed kimono by designer Wendy Williams Watt. wl
Designer, Wendy WIlliams-Watt, 604-761-7499, wendywilliamswatt.com.
LIVING ROOM | Oval coffee table, Moe’s Home Collection, 604-688-0633, moeshome.com. Silver drum side table, Home Sense, 604-683-4406, homesense.ca. Antique refurbished chairs, Designer’s own. Grey sofa, Moe’s Home Collection, 604-688-0633, moeshome.com. “Survivor” abstract painting, wendywilliamswatt.com. Chandelier, Home Depot, 604-675-1260, homedepot.ca. Square glass vase and hyacinth, Kits Market: Flowers By Laura, 604-731-1441. Vintage artwork in wooden frame, Filmgo, 604-456-0515, filmgo.ca. Wire bust sculpture, Designer’s own.
GUEST BEDROOM | Framed Madonna and Child print, wendywilliamswatt.com. Iron base table, Home Sense, 604-683-4406, homesense.ca. Vintage Japanese pottery, Designer’s own. Silver sequined cushion, Home Sense, 604-683-4406, homesense.ca. Silver floor lamp, Home Sense, 604-683-4406, homesense.ca. Keefer Tulle bed sculpture designed by Wendy Williams Watt, wendywilliamswatt.com. Chinoise ceramic stool, Home Sense, 604-683-4406, homesense.ca. Vintage clip lamp, Old Faithful, 778-327-9376, oldfaithfulshop.com. White cotton coverlet linens, Restoration Hardware, 604-731-3918, restorationhardware.com.
DINING ROOM | Herman Miller vintage dining room chairs, Metropolitan Home, 604-681-2313, metropolitanhome.ca. Pottery on dining room table, Designer’s own. Mondo cherry blossom vase, Home Sense, 604-683-4406, homesense.ca. Dining room table, Moe’s Home Collection, 604-688-0633, moeshome.com.
MASTER BEDROOM | Linen bed, Wendy Williams Watt, wendywilliamswatt.com. Side table, Wendy Williams Watt, wendywilliamswatt.com. White shaded lamp, EQ3, 604-681-5155, eq3.com. Floral and blue hyacinth bed kimono, Wendy Williams Watt, wendywilliamswatt.com. Clay vases,