Interiors Photo Credit: Janis Nicolay

Inside Designer Angela Robinson’s Cozy Vancouver Condo

Every piece in this interior designer’s home tells a story.

“Whether you’re renting or owning, you’re paying for every square foot,” says Vancouver interior designer Angela Robinson. “So don’t have anything in your home that you don’t believe to be useful or beautiful.”

It’s a mantra that Robinson has followed diligently in designing her own home, a 100-year-old rental apartment in Vancouver’s West End. She’s lived in the 750-square-foot space for eight years, slowly curating her space with beloved pieces and careful editing along the way to create a home full of beauty and character. “It’s a bit more eclectic because everything in the space has been collected and has meaning to me.”

Jade Linen curtains add a hit of colour. A Pottery Barn sofa provides a cozy seating spot.
An Eldvarm fireplace screen pulls the vignette together. Art from David Burdeny, Andy Dixon, Lauren Mycroft, Zoë Pawlak, Janis Nicolay and Ariane Fairlie line the walls.

The vintage architecture adds plenty of flair right from the get go, like the massive, sculptural radiator that acts as a focal point in the living room and the elegant moulding featured throughout. The tiled mantle, once home to a “gnarly electric fireplace,” now houses a rotating display of pretty objects. Right now, it’s a selection of candles but Robinson has been known to display stacks of books and bottle collections in the little nook as well. “It’s a little vignette I switch up,” she says. “Right now, I need that little glow to get us through the winter.”

A Vancouver-made Bocci lamp perches atop the mantle.
A cushion from Vancouver’s Haven Textile Company sits on the side chair.

An avid art collector, the walls of Robinson’s home are covered in paintings and photos from talented friends and local artists, and the tabletop is piled with the art and design books she’s been collecting since she was a teenager. “Books are something you can collect at any budget, even as a starving student. They really make my house feel like a home,” says the designer.

A CB2 chandelier hangs above a trio of tables that can be rearranged to suit sit-down dinner parties or buffet-style serving. Photos by David Burdeny are hung on the back wall.
Planters from Barter add a hit of colour.

In the dining room, three tables are pulled together to create one dining table lined by Master chairs, but when Robinson is hosting, she pulls them apart and lines the wall to create a long, thin buffet-style table. On the table sit terracotta planters by Barter, a touch of colour in the mostly neutral space.


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An Örling and Wu runner rug and Baba Tree woven planter from Inform add some organic texture to the kitchen.
Robinson painted the bottom cabinets black herself.

Though many renters would shy away from painting anything beyond a feature wall, Robinson tackled the kitchen cabinetry in her place with gusto, giving the bottom cabinets a fresh coat of black and adding a pinstripe detail to highlight the pantry moulding. (“It just took a jiffy marker and a couple of bottles of wine,” Robinsons laughs.) A mid-century chair with some Canadiana history sits in the corner—it was rescued by Robinson and her father from a demolition of former Prime Minister Diefenbaker’s emergency bunker on Vancouver Island.

Another treasure courtesy of her father’s work are the pretty vintage bottles that line the kitchen shelves. “Ever since he was a little boy he’s been digging up these bottles,” says Robinson. “They’re extremely important to me.”

A colourful photograph by Judy D. Shane—an extreme closeup of paint shavings—is hung in place of a headboard.

Robinson filled her bedroom with thoughtful touches too, to create a personalized oasis—a wall sculpture from Carol Prusa, a cozy alpaca through woven by Alicia Adams, luxe bedding from Libeco Linen—but ultimately, every inch of this 750-square-foot condo is a celebration of beauty.

Want more great small spaces to inspire? Check out more condo stories here!

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