When you renovate a home by yourself, everything is a challenge and invariably takes far more time than planned for. I know firsthand there’s almost always more involved than you initially anticipated — meaning an extra 20 trips or so to the hardware store! Add converting spaces into rental units, and it’s cause for a headache, albeit one that pays off in the end! This was most definitely the case for Diane Thompson and her partner (and owner of the home for over 20 years) Blair Gardner, who live in this gorgeous 1911 Edwardian three-story home in East Vancouver, BC. Diane is a modern quilter and the founder of and Blair is a freelance interior and industrial designer, so they both spend a lot of time at home, which is also their respective workspace. And though today their household looks seamless from the outside, they had a heck of a time fixing up the home while keeping the original features intact. “It didn’t help that the house is as crooked as a fun house,” laughs Diane, “None of the floors, doorways, window frames and walls are straight or square. Not even close!”
Diane and Blair share their home with five other people (who live on the first and second floor) and Diane and Blair inhabit the third floor, with just over 600 square feet for the both of them, but they don’t mind in the least; rather, they feel incredibly fortunate to be part of a small community that all share in the home and outdoor space. Their home reflects their collaborative lifestyle and careers, and on most days, you’ll find Diane designing and producing her wares from their 100-year-old converted garage in the backyard. When they aren’t working and running around, you’ll find the couple making and fixing things, cooking, eating, drinking craft beer, and wrestling on their sofa — “And pretty much in that order,” says Diane.