Spending her days creating beautiful content for lifestyle brands, it’s no surprise that Amanda Haines’ new digs are ultra drool-worthy. Making the shift to the North Shore from Mount Pleasant, Amanda and her husband have curated a space to call home that still satisfies their inner “city” spirit, yet offers a personal oasis to decompress. Check out how a mix of carefully selected decorative pieces, vintage family heirlooms and travel treasures have become the heart of their home in this weeks My Digs.
What is it:
1.5 year old, 1008 square-foot, two bedroom/two-bathroom, two-level craftsman-style townhouse in Maplewood, North Vancouver.
Amanda Haines, founder + head of creative at Reformation - a modern public relations agency for lifestyle brands - her fiancé Joel Lazeski, territory manager at Carlsberg Group, and their puggle (pug/beagle cross), Dexter.
Major selling feature:
The nine-foot ceilings and the oversized windows. The natural light and ceiling height both lend such a spacious feel to our space - we fell in love with it the minute we walked through the door. It was bright, airy, and felt just like home. We made an offer two hours later.
First thing I changed:
The closets. I'm borderline minimalist and hate clutter, so I knew I wanted to keep things simple, especially when it came to furnishing the master bedroom. Instead of filling the space with dressers and other storage furniture, we hired Arbutus Furniture & Closets to install designer closets with built-in drawers, hampers, clothes-rails, and plenty of shelving so we could keep all our clothing, shoes, and personal items literally behind closed doors.
Feature I brag about:
We're only 20 minutes from downtown Vancouver on a good traffic day, but we live next door to a farm. There is something magical about working in the city all day, and coming home to total peace, quiet, and the sound of horses and cows next door. I'm definitely a city girl, but I've come to appreciate the balance that our location offers, especially when I'm constantly on the go running a business.
That one conversation piece:
I'm notoriously picky, so we went without artwork on our walls for more than a year. One day, I came across an image on Pinterest of typeset artwork in simple black frames and I knew it was the perfect look for our living room. I stole the wording, "Steady my soul/Ease my worry," from my favourite Ryan Adams song, laid it out in Adobe InDesign, and had it printed for $30 at a local print shop. The words are a good reminder to slow down and unwind - exactly what our home is all about. We get a ton of comments about it from friends and family alike.
Modern bohemian farmhouse. We really wanted to stay true to the design of the space, without going too rustic or kitschy. At the same time, since our lifestyle is so hectic, it was important to us to have a home that feels lived-in and comfortable. I worked with Kathleen Lin at The Cross Design & Decor to curate pieces that lend a breezy, laidback feel, with lots of white, texture, and greenery. It feels like a breath of fresh air every time we walk through the door.
The story behind the art/antiques/collectibles:
Joel and I love to travel (this year alone, we've been to four European countries and Mexico), so we try to bring pieces home from our favourite places around the world, like glass fish floats from Hawaii and ceramics from Amsterdam. We also like to incorporate vintage items from our families. The old Crown Cork & Seal Company crate in our living room was rescued from Joel's parents' backyard in Summerland, and the stacks of vintage books in both bedrooms came from my grandmother's collection. Some of them have names and notes written inside. I find it fascinating.
The commute downtown is challenging. We live and die by traffic reports to know when to drive and when not to drive. We also have a confused owl that has taken up residence in the trees behind us - he hoots all day and sleeps all night! That's taken some getting used to.
Deep Cove Brewers & Distillers has become our regular Friday night date spot. We love walking over, Dexter in tow, and grabbing a table on the patio to snack on fresh-baked pretzels, beer, and cocktails made with their house-made vodka or gin. I often spend afternoons working from Buddha-Full at Northwoods - their Avo Smash is to die for!
Compared to your last place:
We rented our last home, a 750-square-foot penthouse in Mount Pleasant. It was a great spot, but it never truly felt like home. We love having more space, especially with a dog. The one thing we miss the most is our old patio - we had a 200-square-foot deck overlooking the False Creek Flats and North Shore mountains. It was incredible.
Favourite apartment/house/condo activity:
Sharing our space with family and friends. We love entertaining and hosting dinner parties with our nearest dearest. When we furnished our home, we made sure to choose a larger dining table and set up our second bedroom as a guest room so that we could have loved ones over as much as possible. It means the world to us to share it with them.