Being a designer doesn’t kill the common curiosity to see how designers really live. In fact, it might even amp up the insatiable desire to peek into the homes of other industry people and see how they are living, loving and applying all the trends and options available within décor.
This month we check in with local talent Alexis LaBonte of Design LaB. Alexis keeps things chic in her Yaletown condo, a pad she’s called home for the last eight years. The space has seen many transformations (we designers can’t help but continuously redecorate) – but I’m all over what she currently has going on.
This condo plays up West Coast warmth in a minimalistic setting, but has been styled with details to fashion a glamourous overall appeal. Clean lines in a monochromatic warm grey palette mixed with a strong art collection establish a creative yet polished space; Alexis has adorned her walls with her own art (both paintings and photography), pieces that her (artist) mother created and an eclectic mix of Etsy prints. My favourite part of this pad? The dining chairs – a Craigslist find that found new glory with a soft emerald velvet reupholstery facelift. *swoon*
What is it: A one-bed-plus-den Yaletown condo. Occupant: Alexis LaBonte, I am the owner of DesignLaB Interiors; design geek; lover of photography, tennis and a good glass of chardonnay.
Major selling feature: After hunting through every one-bedroom in Vancouver at the time, I walked into perfection. Office space with large windows, a west facing balcony that you could put a barbecue and two chairs on, floor plan that has entertainment on one side, privacy for bed/bath on the other, they do exist! Being steps from the seawall and a couple blocks from Yaletown’s core is very convenient.
First thing I changed: I attacked the "builder’s beige" with more accent walls and added new lighting. The colours have changed a few times since I moved in, wallpapers gone up, come down…you get where I’m going. I love a good house project.
Feature I brag about: My view and balcony are worthy of bragging rights. I can see the trusses under the Granville Bridge, False Creek and the sunset. Get your camera ready.
That one conversation piece: My dining room chairs, my best craigslist find to date. They were Canadian-made, likely from the '40s/'50s, which I re-upholstered. They ended up being a bit of a splurge, but I love them. They are the punch of colour in the space.
The décor: The revolving door that is an interior designer's décor, of course! I have pretty contemporary neutral pieces that create a fresh yet comfortable vibe. I love a soft palette with accessory pieces that give it a bit of personality.
The story behind the art/antiques/collectibles: I have surrounded myself with accessories pieces from my grandparents and artwork from my Mom, most things I have come with a story. Other art pieces I’ve painted myself as well as photographs I’ve taken in my travels. I’m constantly moving, adding and subtracting things; it’s become sort of a joke amongst my friends.
Downsides: It’s rare to find a Car2Go in my area, otherwise I really have no complaints!
Neighbourhood haunts:Tartine Bread & Pies is a neighborhood favorite, I go home just to get lunch there. I’m really looking forward to the Vancouver House development to bring in more food and beverage options. It's still the quiet end of False Creek where I am.
Compared to your last place: I was living in a rental building in Toronto… I’ll leave it at that. Favourite apartment/house/condo activity: Hanging out having a glass of wine or cooking/baking, but doing both is preferred.