Colorful Minimalism in a Canadian Townhouse

Just six months ago, Jag Nagra and Agata Matyszczuk moved into this brand new townhouse in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, just outside of Vancouver. They both love color so they decided to leave the walls bright white and add pops of color through several second hand pieces they have collected over the years. Most of their finds come from Craigslist. Jag says it’s like winning the lottery every time they find a cool piece – especially if its free! In addition to Craigslist, they love building things from scratch and and are always thinking about their next project. They believe it’s the handmade touches that make their house feel like a home. Jag is a graphic designer turned illustrator. She describes her work as colorful minimalism and it’s obvious that their home reflects that aesthetic. Thank you Jag and Agata! –Shannon

Image above: The giant pull-down school map from 1967 is the star of the living room. We wanted a map that showed both India and Poland (I’m of Indian origin, and Agata is Polish)…this worked out perfectly. We found it at Stepback in Vancouver.



See more of this Canadian home after the jump…

Image above: My office desk was a free Craiglist find. It’s a solid-wood desk from the 1960s that belonged to a doctor, and we swooped it up before it ended up in the landfill. The donkey canvas is one of my own illustrations from my 365-day illustration project.

Image above: Agata found this school chair from a movie set sale, and the fan was a house-warming gift from my aunt.

Image above: Just off the living room and dining room, we have this shelf — another free Craigslist score. The wooden ampersand is made by the talented Jeff Sheldon of Ugmonk.

Image above: I’ve wanted a large marquee arrow for years now, but never quite found a large one that fit my budget. So I decided to make my own out of a piece of plywood that had been collecting dust in the garage. With the help of my dad, we managed to create, and wire, this 4-foot marquee that creates a bold pop of color when you walk in through the front door.


Image above: The red bed-side table was found on Craigslist and houses a collection of garage sale and Craigslist finds.

Image above: This South Bend croquet set is another recent Craigslist find and is at least 50 years old. We can’t wait to break it out next summer.

Image above: The X-Ray vision glasses are courtesy of Vancouver-based designer Cade Cran and I found the Varathane thinner and oil tin amongst the tools in my parents’ garage.

Image above: These kitchen shelves are my favorite piece in the house. We made them, again, with the help of my handyman dad. The shelves were made from a combination of wood found in my parents garden, and from a pile of wood from someone’s backyard (free on Craigslist). We sanded and stained the wood, and spray-painted the brackets to his beautiful bright green color. Agata is a bus driver, so I found this Vancouver destination bus roll from the 1980’s for her. She has driven each of those routes, so it has a personal connection.


Image above: This shelf was another free Craigslist score. Since I don’t have a record collection, the bottom of the shelf now houses a collection of my photography and design books.

Image above: The two dinosaurs have belonged to my brother and I since we were kids.

Image above: My friend Ellen brought back this colorful string of lights from a street vendor in Bangkok.


  1. gina says:

    Ok….love the vintage flatwear! …and the school desk….and the map….and the shelves in the kitchen….and the dinosaurs are a cute touch…..etc etc etc!!!!

  2. Sara L. says:

    I love the idea of colorful minimalism! This house is gorgeous. Only wish I could do it in my own home, but with three kids, I’m afraid minimalism will have to wait.

    And please tell me where that yellow faceted lamp came from? Wonderful!

  3. firehorse jane says:

    Really cute place albeit a teensy bit stagey. ;) I love that yellow chair in the kitchen and the brick-look wallpaper. Oh, and agree with you two 100% – craigslist is a dream!

  4. This home is fabulous! I’m dying to know where the yellow sofa came from? That is my dream couch!

  5. Inga says:

    Incredible!!! I love it

  6. Attygreen13 says:

    Love it all! Details on the yellow upholstered chair at the dining table, please … (Sorry if I missed it somewhere)

  7. Carlyn says:

    What a gorgeous home. It looks like a fun place to live in as the furniture and decorations are so playful. I love all pieces in the house, I can imagine that they are fun people and would be great parents.

  8. This apartment is so lovely. I love the bright colours! Sophie xx

  9. Great use of color!! I’m so impressed with the homemade marquee arrow! I keep looking for a DIY version and haven’t been successful.

  10. Love all the pops of color. Great place to be!

  11. Rana says:


  12. Dianne Harwood says:

    Wonderful! I have been there and it is even more colorful than when I saw it!! I am pleased to have been able to watch Aga cook up a great meal and to have shared it with Aga and Jag and others present!! A warm friendly colorful home!

  13. Dianne Harwood says:

    Even more colorful than I remember it!! A lovely, warm, friendly home!

  14. Jag Nagra says:

    Hey guys, thanks for the kind words…we’re very excited to share our home with you!

    I see there were a few questions on some of the items here. The yellow lamp is from HomeSense (it’s a Justin and Colin design). The sofa is from EQ3 (Reverie Sofa), and the yellow dining chair is called the Clarinda Chair…unfortunately I don’t remember the name of the store where we bought it in Vancouver, but it’s a discontinued line, so I’m not sure how many are out there.

  15. Kelsey says:

    would love to hear more about the 365 day illustration project, so cool!

  16. preeti says:

    Such a lovely space, with beautiful pops of colours! Love the concept of map. And the bollywood poster of Ankhe in your instagram feed is so cool ! :)

  17. Stepha says:

    Is the sofa the Tyler Sofa from I have it in turquoise and LOVE the pop of color and clean lines!

  18. @ You’re Welcome Savannah, I may be incorrect, but I believe the sofa is from EQ3, and is called the Reverie.

  19. Victoria says:

    So many beautiful objects in this home – but it would be nice to actually get a sense of the space, as opposed to so many staged and styled vignettes (albeit, well-curated vignettes).

  20. Oh, I love everything about this house. Just love it!
    It has exactly the right mix of vintage and modern. The use of colour is fabulous. Its a real ‘stand out’ sneak peek. Thanks for sharing.

  21. Sue Petersen says:

    Jag, your talents are endless. Now you can add Interior Designer to the list. Your creative mind has always amazed me from your design, your photography and now your beautiful home. Congratulations to you and Agata on your gorgeous new home.

  22. Tina W. says:

    Gorgeous, colorful place! I especially love the airmail pillow and the (sailor?) pillow next to it. Where did they come from?

  23. Jag Nagra says:

    Tina W, the airmail pillow is by John Lewis, and the Sailor is from my own collection available at

    Kelsey, my 365 project can be seen here:

  24. Thanks for getting back to me. I had a dream about that sofa last night. I’m in love.

  25. Jessica says:

    I love all of this! I’m getting ready to decorate my barren cubicle and this is providing the perfect inspiration.

  26. A wonderful home that oozes happiness and cheer. I also love the school desk. I’m such a fan of crisp white rooms but colour is always essential in some shape or form and this home has heaps of character by introducing pops of colour through furniture and accessories. The yellow chair is great, such a feature :O)

  27. Robb Sedano says:

    Incredible space, it feels like it’s my home. Perfect dose of color. Beautiful !!!

  28. Kate says:

    All these colors! I love it all.

  29. Amira says:

    Sweet and gorgeous home


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