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Tour an Artsy 400-Square-Foot Vancouver Apartment

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Lana Brach has been renting this one-bedroom apartment for three years: When I moved into this space three years ago it was me, my fish, and the IKEA furniture I had bought when I first moved to Vancouver in 2016. I brought the same furniture to about three apartments around the West End and each time I managed to make it look new and fresh. When it came to this apartment, it was the first place I’d ever lived in alone, I always had someone else I needed to check in with.

Almost immediately after everything was set up, I knew I wanted this apartment to feel different, more intentional, and closer to the person I am now. I was eager and would be looking on Facebook Marketplace daily to see what was out there. I would watch old reruns of Seinfeld to pick up on a ’90s style I liked, my Pinterest boards were filling up too. Decorating my place felt like my creative outlet and it really took me a while to bring everything together. I’ve moved furniture countless times until I landed on the right set up.

With this place I really wanted to challenge myself to fill the place with more unique pieces and bring in some character of thrifted furniture. I’ve definitely achieved that with the majority of pieces having been sourced through Marketplace and driving around Vancouver to do pick ups. One thing I love is how I’ve brought in a lot of artwork I’ve created through paintings or photography. They all have a story behind them from moments in my life.

The prints around my apartment took me a really long time to find, I didn’t want to buy something online; I felt it needed to feel more intentional or have a story to it. On a trip to LA I found the prints I’d been waiting for at the Fairfax flea market and brought them back as souvenirs. They were certainly worth the wait. Eventually I want to create wall art with skateboards and have them up in the living room — there’s always something else to add or change out!

Describe your home’s style in 5 words or less: Artsy, vibey, full of life.

What is your favorite room and why? The living room/main room for sure! I placed my couch to look out to the apartment and it absolutely has the best view. The space is brought to life when the lights are dim, candles are burning, and I’ve put on one of my favorite playlists. It’s got a really calming and creative vibe to it.

Hosting is also fantastic in this space; it’s perfect for small get-togethers or dinner parties. One of my favorite finds is my dining table — it was $10 and came with a leaf to extend the size of the table. I’ve had so much fun with friends and family in this room over food and board games.

What’s the last thing you bought (or found!) for your home? The last big item was my IVAR cabinet from IKEA. I’d been searching for a long time to find something that was low profile to not take up too much space and could hold my board games, blankets, books, and other little pieces. I was super hesitant to purchase it because I was nervous to get the infamous Ivar gap and in the end I did slightly but they look so great I don’t notice it any more.

The latest small item I bought was this super cute milk bead place mat. I thrifted it for less then $5 and it just brings my table setting together perfectly.

Any advice for creating a home you love? Get to know your space and what you need from it. It’s a fun journey to learn about what you really like and to be excited about putting it together. I truly looked and listened to everything for inspiration. It was a lot of trial and redirecting, and Facebook Marketplace was a handy tool to have through the process to resell furniture when it no longer worked.



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