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Reader Spaces: Visit the Chan Nursery

I have a few pretty spaces to show you today, the first is of a modern nursery in Vancouver, Canada. I rarely feature kid’s design but since these parents use many things that can be placed in an adult space, such as independent art and a fantastic tile rug, all can find inspiration from this colorful nursery. The space belongs to Tracy Harvey-Chan and her husband Francis Chan, Tracy proudly expressed that Francis was just as responsible for the design as she was. It’s great to see both parents having equal input on the design and I love that they teamed up to pull it together.

And if you wonder why there’s a sofa vs. a chair, well this first pregnancy is quite exciting for them as they’re expecting twin girls, hence the sofa for both parents to spend time with their little cuties. Let’s visit the Chan nursery, shall we? I asked Tracy a few questions…

decor8: Tell us about your inspiration…
Tracy: The walls were white and we weren’t allowed to paint, so we wanted to create a sense of nature and warmth. We started to do this through color – woodsy browns, mossy greens and sky blues, the reclaimed lumber shelf and the animal theme which runs throughout. We also liked the mix of modern, clean lines with the antique, ornate frames and shelf.

decor8: What was the first thing you picked up for this room?
Tracy: The first would be the squirrel painting which was given to us by a good friend, in fact all the art came before any of the necessities!

decor8: How did you decide on the colors?
Tracy: We started to decorate before we knew genders, so we wanted gender neutral colors that weren’t typical baby colors. We wanted muted colors that were drawn from nature rather than pink, blue or yellow.


decor8: Where did you find most items?
Tracy: The art came from several different artists on Etsy, the Numbers poster from Binth, antique stores, our friend Lara painted the squirrel, an old Richard Scarry book and our first Ultrasound. The baby furniture is from the Oeuf line and the carpet tiles are from Flor.

decor8: What are your 5 favorite pieces?
Tracy: The wooden plank shelf (from reclaimed lumber), ALL the art, especially the first ultrasound photo, 3. the throw (stag print) which covers the sofa is made by David Fussenegger, an Austrian designer, 4. The Jonathan Adler giraffe lamp, and 5. the stuffies above the crib (I believe this is a local artist, but unfortunately cannot remember the name).


decor8: Where do you like to shop online?
Tracy: Etsy!

decor8: Where do you click when you’re looking for design ideas and inspiration?
Tracy: Swiss Miss, Cookie magazine, Design Mom, and Fine Little Day. Most of these blogs have links to other baby type sites – an endless list to get lost in!

decor8: Any Vancouver stores you suggest for baby gear in your local hood?
Tracy: Crocodile Baby, Modern Kid, TJ’s Kids, Dandelion Kids and the Inhabit Shop.


Thank you Tracy and Francis for allowing us into this great nursery, lovely job pulling it together! Congratulations on your pregnancy, yay!

(images by tracy harvey-chan)

Posted in Home Tours, kids on January 14, 2008

decor8 Reader Spaces: Samantha + Grant (part two)

Just in! Samantha would now like to share photos of their previous apartment – total eye candy. Are you ready to pack everything and relocate to Sweden? Oh you will be. Get a load of this kitchen! The moment I saw it, I thought about Susan Serra, the amazing New York kitchen designer who loves Scandinavian design and how much she’d love cooking up something delicious in this space. I also thought about how much I love Europe and how I miss seeing apartments like this. :)


Things I love: The building architecture overall, the gothic pew seating, all the industrial furniture, white walls, the transoms to die for, and the gorgeous light in the space. This home gives me a very serene feeling – it’s a look I love but in reality I realize that my love of color and animal/girl art would eventually take over and I’d add lots of pillows, flowers, and throw rugs. :) So it would be much more girly girl. But Sam and Grant have this editor’s eye that I appreciate because I don’t think I could have such restraint. Could be a cultural thing as Thorsten’s family (my husband) in Germany and some of my Swedish friends live like this, it’s part of their upbringing to be more frugal and to purchase things you plan to keep for many years. Plus store return policies aren’t nearly as generous, so if you buy it you can’t easily return it if it doesn’t work. And Craigslist isn’t all the rage. Perhaps all the options we have here in America is both bad and good. It makes it much harder to live like this Swedish couple, that’s for sure.


Sam and Grant, thank you for all this sharing today on decor8, I’m basking in the glow of all this gorgeousness – oh la love!

(image from Samantha and Grant Nixon)

Posted in Home Tours on January 07, 2008

decor8 Reader Spaces: Samantha + Grant in Malm?

A series showcasing reader spaces was launched in ’06 here on decor8 and since last year I put that on pause, for 2008 I want to start up this series again. To kick things off I thought today you may like to see the home of readers Samantha and Grant (and 18 month old daughter Charlie) who live in beautiful Malm? Sweden. Sam loved this post featuring Liza Giles’ apartment and believes her style is quite similar so she wants to welcome us into their world. This apartment just so happens to be on the market, so if you’re interested in owning in Sweden, please contact Sam and Grant for more information sam_nixon{at}yahoo.com.


Sam says, “I didn’t know what our style was, but I think Boho Modern might describe it. We have collected our stuff over years and years and it’s not all the same style or era, but we love how it goes together.”

About the space, “It’s a not so good 80′s attic installation but we repainted everything white, including the so-so quality wood floors and it made a huge difference.” Ah white wood floors. So many dream of these beneath their feet. I asked Sam what inspired her to paint them white, “We loved the look (first spotted in Elle Decoration and Living Etc.) but at the time we had beautiful floors so we didn’t want to take the risk with the white paint. When we bought this apartment the light was not as good, we thought the white floors would help with that, which they did — They made quite a big difference to the light in the apartment and give the illusion that the apartment is bigger than it actually is.”

When I asked her about the actual task of painting them, she said that is was hard to find someone in Malm? to paint them, their painter did not want to do it! They asked a friend who did the job for them using a, “long armed paint roller and lucky for us he did an excellent job. They do take a lot of work to keep clean, more so than unpainted floorboards. You tend to notice dust and spills a lot sooner! But when they are clean they do look fabulous.”

Since Sam is such a sweetheart, she allowed me to ask a few more questions about her style that I was curious to know. Like where do they find such great furniture? “We found most of our furniture in the UK, and our favourite shops are metro retro in London and Castle Gibson, also in London. We really love metro retro and we have had excellent service from the owner Saxon.”

After looking at their style, I think this stylish couple would love to connect with my favorite shop in northern Germany for vintage modern furniture, ComingHome Interiors (shop tour here, they ship all over Europe and to America). In addition to brick and mortar stores, Sam and Grant are also keen on flea markets and find their favorite ones are in Copenhagen.

I asked if she had a favorite piece and of course it was hard to pick just one, “But if we have to, then it would probably be the big desk which you can see in the picture with the computer on it. We found it in Zurich and it was originally used in a Zurich hotel,” she adds, “And maybe also the 1930′s theatre light you can see by the sofa.”


How does she keep it so clean? Sam tells us, “The apartment as seen in the photos is a bit more tidy/sparse than usual as we are selling it, and the Swedes are not so into the Boho Modern look, so some of our collections and art (which includes more than a few etsy finds found via decor8!) are packed away for the minute.” That explains how amazingly tidy things are, which also makes me breathe a sigh of relief as I can’t imagine anyone with a toddler living in such absolute perfection! Thank you Samantha and Grant for allowing us to visit your home today, it’s both beautiful and filled with fun decorating ideas and inspiration. May you sell your home and find another amazing space to fill with your well curated selection of beautiful things. Lovely!

(images from samantha and grant nixon for decor8)

Posted in Home Tours on January 07, 2008

Apartment Therapy Chicago {Meet Meg + John}

Do you sometimes look with lust at beautiful homes and feel like a total loser because you don’t live like they do? Well hold my hand, take a deep breathe, and prepare yourself because we’re going in… Into a home that just may take you from confident decorator to depressed soul in 20 seconds flat. But strangely enough, in a good way.

The rocking horse really warms up this room and the
light fixture softens the modern lines in this area to relax things a bit.

I found this massive 2800 sq/ft city townhouse on Apartment Therapy Chicago (their new website is killer). It belongs to a couple of creative professionals, Meg and John, who live and work in Chicago and their home slideshow is incredible. I mean really Meg and John, how do you do it? In terms of size, this urban abode would be the equivalent of about 6 Boston proper 1-bedrooms.


It’s inspiring, I guess, I mean I can’t walk away from this feeling like Oh! Yeah! Great! because outside of beautiful decorating, it’s really the bones of this place and all that natural lighting and space and money to afford those things that creates the beauty you see and drool for. But looking at it is fun anyway, it’s a bit like Chubby Hubby ice cream, you eat the whole pint and yeah it was real good going down until your spoon hits the bottom and feelings of regret step in. You look in the mirror and see loser across your forehead. Sometimes that’s what looking at beautiful homes that I’ll never live in does for me. So here’s a spoon – dig in. But don’t say I didn’t warn you…


This (above) is the only room that felt more within reach, their elegant yet simple guest bedroom. This look is attainable. The average homeowner could do this with a few Dwell chinoiserie pillowcases and some natural tone bedding.

What an exquisite abode!

(images from apartment therapy chicago)

Posted in Home Tours, inspiration on December 07, 2007

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