Even though Mount Pleasant is one of Vancouver’s oldest areas, it’s also among the city’s most lively and desirable areas to live in. The pedestrian-friendly area includes shopping boutiques, eateries, along with also a higher concentration of heritage buildings, including the 100-year-old Lee Building that is home to apartment dwellers Sandra Zovko and Simon Woodcock. As the first”skyscraper” out of downtown Vancouver, the seven-story, Edwardian Commercial style building is considered one of Vancouver’s historic landmarks. While the building did not fulfill all of Sandra and Simon’s first housing conditions including a balcony, parking, or ample storage, its own character, prime location and magnificent opinion superseded their want list.
The Mt. Pleasant area is a testament to the town Boom decades, developed before the advent of automobiles. Its blocks are shorter than most, and its own businesses varied. With quick access to downtown via the Canada Line and SkyTrain rapid transit systems, every amenity Sandra and Simon could possibly need is within walking distance, assisting to keep a pleasant village-like feel.
Houzz at a Glance
Who Lives Here: Sandra Zovko and Simon Woodcock
Location: Mount Pleasant, Vancouver, B.C.
Size: 750 square feet, 1 bedroom, 1 bath apartment
Sandra says this is her favorite place in the home, where she likes to unwind on the couch chaise and watch the sunset. The”For Like Ever” print, in crimson and bright red inks, was purchased online at Super Rural. The artwork is from Brooklyn based Design Studio Village.
The living room area boasts magnificent views of the hills and the town’s downtown core.
You can see the couple’s love for fashion in their mixture of designs, fabrics, magazines and artwork. Sandra discovered the bookends at a thrift shop. They were originally black, but she made them her very own with red-orange paint.
Framed pictures from famous fashion photographer Helmut Newton via Vogue Paris hang at the entry. Terry Richardson and Steven Klein are also showcased.
Most of the other artwork comes from their friends. “This is exactly what makes it feel more homey and particular,” Sandra says.
Illustration: Rebecca Fin Simonetti
Sandra’s prized possessions comprise three hand-knit sweaters dangling front and centre to the living room wall. This is a tribute to her late mother, who knit them in the 1980s. When Sandra isn’t proudly wearing them, they’re displayed like works of art.
Avid cyclists, Simon and Sandra require bike storage, and what better a way to conserve space than to stack the bikes? Simon came across a bike rack that uses gravity to hold one or two bikes firmly, without any drilling or permanent wall-mounted attachments demanded. The rack fuses layout with storage, as it functions as a great showcase for their bikes.
Bike Rack: Delta Michelangelo Gravity Bike Storage Rack from MEC
The visible pipes on their 12-foot ceilings gives the space an edgy, industrial feel. To put in their own unique touch, the couple chose to paint the pipes teal. Sandra mentions the teal colour was a compromise to her first choice of fuchsia, but ultimately both were happy.
The teal colour is used also as an accent in the kitchen, supporting a set of prints with their friend Michael”Mikey” DePippo. The Toronto-based designer and Illustrator was inspired by classic cereal boxes and created four cereal layouts based around popular Michael Jackson tunes and testimonials, while also tapping into some of Jackson’s most legendary appearances. The teal coordinates using the bright colours of the art and looks great from the kitchen.
Table and seats: IKEA
Small rooms like the kitchen depart very little space for storage or dining. To combat this they use white floating shelves for their display-worthy items such as the Turkish coffee manufacturer collection and hand-painted cups by the artist Kyla Francis.
Whenever you enter the apartment, the couple’s personalities shine through their décor. Music is a strong influence: guitars, amps, records and relevant art are observed during their residence.
Simon purchased this Stereolab poster on eBay. The image is of an instrument called the Jenny Ondioline, a predecessor to the modern electronic synthesizer.
Simon maximized space from the living room space with modular cubed shelving components that help keep their records arranged.
A little pair of scissors (made by Rupalee from much&little downtown Vancouver) hangs on the living room wall.
On her blog, Superfora, Sandra writes,”Rupalee employs female artisans from villages in India and provides these girls with fair compensation in addition to education and training. The handmade apparel and accessories these talented women produce for Rupalee empower them to develop into financially-empowered, skilled artisans.”
Framed photographs Sandra and Simon took while vacationing in Istanbul, Turkey and Normandy, France hang over twin wooden dressers. Their bedroom is the perfect blend of”his-and-hers” décor. The timber furniture is accessorized with an eclectic mixture of masculine antiques such as the reclaimed wood candleholders and iron lamp rack, counterpoint to the delicate female accents.
The bedside lamp’s hand-painted colour and chain of pearls round the lamp’s base adds a feminine touch.
Bedside Lamp: Vintage
Lampshade: Hand-painted by Toronto based Illustration artist Gosia.
Fuchsia Clock & Bedframe: Nood
The couple decided bedding in a picture mosaic print which gives the space a 1960s pop-art edge.
Bedding: Diane von Fürstenberg
Pillows: from Marimekko of Finland
Artwork above Bed: from the artist Gosia
The Lee Building includes among the first elevators, unused today but visible from the main hallway. Inside are stunning aluminum walls and an antique chandelier. The building’s hallway, floors, walls and stairs are made from marble.
More Houzz Tours:
Killy and Oliver’s Hip Harlem Apartment
Kay Loves Vintage
Life at the Vintage Renewal Loft