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apartment tour: the girl’s got style

When I was in Vancouver the other week, I was apartment-hopping among my girlfriends’ places. Actually, you’ll remember one of them from this apartment tour I did a few years ago (last time I was in Vancouver). This time around, I got to peak into my pal Emily’s apartment and was totally wowed. Emily is a designer – she has a super awesome job of designing the stores for Lululemon (Canadian-based yoga clothing company). So if you’ve ever been into a cool Lulu store, she might have had something to do with it!

Anyway, let’s take a tour of her sweet 1-bedroom pad, shall we?

Upon entering the apartment, you quickly find yourself in Em’s living room. It’s a great example of a mostly neutral base (taupe walls, neutral furniture, etc) with pops of colour and pattern dotted around.


The accent colours in here are mostly orange and mint – such a great combo, right? Fresh, fun, and cozy.


Did you spot the mint lamp in the photo above? I was totally.obsessed. Wanted to somehow sneak it under my jacket and run. It’s got a fab extra-long goose neck and the shade of mint is perfection. Mint lamp + taupe/grey walls + yellow and grey pillow = sooooo my jam.


The bookshelves have been colour-blocked (ie. arranged by spine colour), adding to the colour in the space. Oh and can you spot that miniature chair in the top right square? Miniatures of iconic chairs were dotted around the bookshelf – super fun and a little nod to Em’s design background.
DSC_0360The Eames chair is obviously a fave (pretty similar to my dining room chairs), and that orange desk was punchy and fun.



Did you notice those bikes in the photo above? Well check out how they are hung right on the wall. Such a great idea if you don’t have much in the way of storage space. And they totally weren’t dominating or overwhelming in the room. I hardly even noticed they were there.

The kitchen and dining room are right off the living room, making it feel like one large open space. The same colour and window treatments are carried through into this space, making it flow well and feel connected.


Hanging your own light fixture, curtains, kitchen accessories (knife rack, tea towel holders, etc), and other little touches are things you can do to really personalize a rental.


Another space-saver? Neatly fold your extra blankets and cushions for when friends and family come to stay, and pile them under a side table, like Em has done.



All of the little touches in the apartment are what really did it for me. Thought had clearly been given to every corner of the space. Light switch covers had been swapped out for artistic ones, with little plate arrangements hanging ontop…

… and sweet, fun artwork was hanging everywhere, including this awesome Pantone toothbrush shadowbox in the bathroom (funny story – I had bought the same set of Pantone toothbrushes at West Elm the day before seeing Em’s apartment… aren’t we two peas in a pod?). DSC_0376

All in all – a bright, comfortable, stylish pad to come home to. Thanks for showing us around, Em! (and for hosting one hella Bachelor watching partaay while I was there in Vancouver!).


Have you guys seen any pads that you have loved lately? Got any great tips for how to personalize a rental space? Any space-saving ideas? See an idea in Em’s apartment that you totally want to steal? 

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  • jackie

    Maybe I read too many apartment therapy posts and I’m a bit of a critic, but is this a rental? Cuz the bare walls in the living room seemed “off” to me, but if it’s a rental, I totally get it. For someone with such cool taste, I was looking for more inspiration on the walls (my own bare walls seem…TOO bare!). Also, do you have sources for your cool pouf? (poof?) on the floor, and the blankets and light switches? LOVE! One last comment is more for parents. I just learned that falling flat screens are MAJOR issue for toddlers now since everyone has them. I haven’t done it myself yet as our stand is high, but in a couple months we must get it attached to the wall or it won’t be safe for our 2 yr old. Just a note as a parent looking at other people’s houses and fantasizing about living there!

    • gemma

      Yep it’s a rental! Actually I found the walls in this place added a nice element of serenity — nothing too cluttered, too busy. Allowed for the pattern of the rug and pops of colour to take center stage. Not sure where the pouf came from, maybe Anthropologie?

      Thanks for the tip about the TV! We will definitely be looking into that… good to hear about that kind of thing from other parents.


  • Megan @ Monroe Makeshift

    I love the color-blocked books. Just this weekend I was trying to think of ways to make my office shelves look less messy. I think I’ll try this!

    • gemma

      Yeah it’s such a fun little trick! Good luck!


  • kim

    very interested in where the rug, lamp, and desk are from.


    • Em

      Hi all –
      Thanks for your comments!
      The rug is wool from IKEA. Having a white wool rug is a commitment, and I am very clean, don’t know if I’d do it again!
      Lamp – the mint green one (winter lake) I ordered from France because I was trying to get a deal. I would buy from a local shop if I could do it again, because it uses a converter and a Euro light bulb. It’s by Jielde, and is for sale here in Vancouver at MINT in Kits. There are sooo many color choices, you’ll die.
      Desk – was a move gift from a former neighbor here in m building. Still love it, even if the orange paint is rubbing on my keyboard and mouse!
      Poufs – from a shop here in Kits that has since closed, Paboom. They are still operating in Victoria. Fact – I was a on a waiting list for them!
      Satin square cushions – Urban Outfitters 8 years ago.
      Switch plates – made by an incredible Canadian Artist I met 4 years ago at the local Portabello craft market, Adrian Kulling. http://www.vintagelove.ca/ I commissioned her to make the bathroom switch near the toothbrushes. I like that the screw is like Cindy Crawford’s beauty mole. I intentionally made sure the plate fit the use of the room/area.