A 1911 Edwardian Home Filled With Collaboration and Community

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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 Clothlab 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. —x, Sabrina

Photographs by Michelle Fattore

  1. Ellen Anderman says:

    Hello Design*Sponge – For the second day in a row, despite repeated attempts, at different times of the day, I cannot open the photo sequence in your “Interiors” articles, either yesterdays about the leather worker’s home nor today’s Edwardian. So frustrating. It may be some newly introduced quirk of my computer, but could you check on your end.

    Thank you

    1. Grace Bonney says:

      hi ellen

      i’m so sorry- could you tell me what browser and version you’re using? we’ll troubleshoot asap and get this fixed for you ;)


  2. Sally says:

    Hi. To add to the comment above, the photo sequence also doesn’t work for me for these 2 posts. I just have one image of the bathroom in this post and no arrows to advance to other photos. I am using safari on a mac.

    1. Grace Bonney says:

      hi sally

      are you on 8.0.3 too?


      1. Grace Bonney says:

        hi guys!

        i just downloaded safari 8.0.3 and it’s working fine for me- are you viewing on a mobile device?


  3. Ellen Anderman says:

    Safari Version 8.0.3
    Thank you!

  4. Ellen Anderman says:

    Safari Version 8.0.3
    Thank you!

    Wait – it just worked. Who knows? Thanks for your quick response.

    1. Grace Bonney says:


      oh odd! it’s working now?


  5. Lily says:

    Same problem for me. Can’t get the pic’s. I’m using Safari on a Mac-pro.

  6. franceti says:

    Same here! Older version of Safari on a Mac Air. Frustrating that the ads are all there, but not the pics. I also tried a few times yesterday and no luck so far!

    1. Grace Bonney says:

      hi guys

      i’m not having any problems on the current version- have you tried upgrading? i did a quick search and the old version of safari was updated because of browser bugs, so this could be something effecting that. i can’t replicate the error on my end using the current safari on my macbook.


  7. Jo says:

    I have recently been trying to work out how to put a dado rail up my stairs and intercept it with the window at the top. Now I know! Some great artwork in the home.

    P.S. I am also on Safari 8.0.3 and I usually have to reload the page for the photo sequence to appear. First time no pictures. Second time they always appear.

  8. rp says:

    Can’t either, I’m on Chrome

  9. Lily says:

    I’m using Safari 8.0.3 and it’s still not loading the pic’s of the Edwardian house in Canada. Other pages on your site are fine.

  10. Lily says:

    Now it’s working. Go figure…

  11. MadebyMeg says:

    Love that they included a floor plan – one of my favorite things about seeing a home! Great place, too :)

  12. Hi
    I’m using Firefox on an old Windows XP and can’t get the images, which is really frustrating as I live in East Vancouver and want to see the house and whether I recognise it, (and the people):)

    1. Grace Bonney says:

      hi guys

      can you all tell me if it’s JUST THIS TOUR or all the home tours since yesterday? can you go back and view other home tours ok?


  13. LJMpls says:

    Same for me on my iPad. I have 8.1.3. I’ve tried within FB and also using Safari. In fact, it hangs my iPad and I have to reboot.

  14. shahnnen says:

    also can’t see. using all Big 3 [PC] chrome, ff, ie. all using latest releases.

  15. pd says:

    Oh…I see I am not the only one unable to see the pics…I’ve never had that problem before the 19th and did not make any changes on my Mac…odd…hope it gets resolved soon so that I can get my daily eye-candy fix :) thanks for a lovely site guys!

  16. Kristine says:

    I’m also having issues with this one…. but I’m on Google Chrome running off my MacBook

    1. Grace Bonney says:


      can you tell me which version of chrome? i’ll check on my macbook.

      are other home tours working for you?


  17. Zunni says:

    I can’t see the photos either – I’m on safari on my ipad, with all the latest updates.

  18. Kristyn says:

    I am in awe of anyone who tackles this level of renovation. This home is perfection! I love every single thing about this – the colors, the clean, minimal design, the artwork, the quilts and the way it all works in an older building.

  19. Alison Taylor says:

    I also cannot view the photos, Windows 7 with Chrome.

  20. Evelyn says:

    I suggest the problem with the photos loading may be 25 photos of up to a MB each (after scaling). It seems that all photos need to be downloaded before the first one shows up. It may take a while if the internet connection is slow.

  21. laura says:

    I can rarely see the photos since you have changed the format of your webpage. Seems like sometimes it works, but usually it doesn’t.

  22. Barbara says:

    I thought I was the only one having this problem,! I can’t open the Edwardian tour on (updated) iPad or Macbook Pro. The closest I came was seeing the stairwell photo and the floor plan and then got a message that there “a problem occurred with this webpage so it was reloaded”, except it never would reload. I have been able to see other home tours, but have not rechecked today.

  23. Barbara says:

    Well, it must be magic; as soon as I posted my comment, the Edwardian home tour opened on my Macbook Pro, but still won’t on my iPad.

  24. Sappu says:

    Hi Grace

    I’m on a mobile device (Android). They take a very, very long time to load.

  25. Melissa Parks says:

    All the house tours. None of them are coming up for me.


  26. Ariane K says:

    Hey Grace –

    Thought I’d reply since I saw nobody had – I’m having the same issue, the images in the slideshow are just taking forever to load (I think that’s why it seems like they’re not there). After a few page refreshes and a long wait they seem to eventually show up.

    It’s on *all* of the tours that I checked, and I’m on MB Air using Chrome (most recent), so I don’t think it’s browser dependent. Possibly the image hosting servers are slow for some reason…? Thx!

    1. Grace Bonney says:

      hi guys

      we’re looking into this. we honestly can’t replicate these errors over here, so we’re stumped. i have our tech guy looking into it now to see if we can replicate it to find any error.


  27. Philippa says:

    Hi Grace, it’s just the past two entries that the images don’t load for. I’m using an older version of Safari on a Macbook Pro. I can still see the images on earlier posts.

  28. liza says:

    doesn’t work for any of the home tours. please bring back the old layout.

    1. Grace Bonney says:


      The old layout doesn’t have anything to do with this issue. We haven’t had any errors until this home tour, but we can’t seem to find any problem with this tour and coding. We’re looking into Safari, but we’ve spot checked every browser and version and can’t replicate this error.


  29. Suzy says:

    Hello, just to confirm previous comments, it did take a very looong time to open this interior and the previous. Yesterday they wouldn’t open at all. Now that I have seen the post I’m just gonna say swoon!!

  30. Sarah says:

    I love the everything about the geometric quilt in the bedroom – does anyone know where it is from or if it is handmade?

  31. Hi Sarah,

    So glad that you like the quilt in our bedroom! It is one that I made. I am about to launch a small collection of quilts on my website in the next week.

  32. Quelcy says:

    This may be a vestige of my architecture academic days, but I love the inclusion of the floor plan in this tour. I’ve been wishing more tours had one because it really helps tie the photos together. I’m also loving that doughboy! :)

    1. Grace Bonney says:

      hi quelcy

      we ask for them in almost every case, they’re just not always provided. but i promise we make the request :)


  33. Kenz says:

    Is there anyway to find out the ceiling height in the bedroom? It looks similiar to ours not too tall :) But it looks so light and airy!!

  34. Sally says:

    Thanks Grace. It’s all working now. It was only this and one other post but whatever you’ve done, it’s worked. By the way, I am really enjoying the new Design Sponge layout with more interiors.

  35. Hi Kenz,

    It’s standard- 8′ high.

  36. madlyn easley says:

    I love your home! So clean and crisp. Really beautiful! And I love your quilt designs. I have long been wanting to ” paint” a “quilt” on the side of my barn and you are inspiring me! I think the juxtaposition of a contemporary design on a barn that was built in 1777 would be really interesting.

  37. Thanks so much, Madlyn. That’s so funny because the quilt design came from a wall mural! Check out the interior foyer of BC Binning’s (West Vancouver) home. I fell hard for it when seeing it in person and painstakingly made it into a pattern + quilt. http://coastmodernfilm.com/2009/06/24/get-inside-the-binning-house-july-1-2009/

    1. Dani P says:

      Do you sell the pattern? And/or can you post a photo of the whole quilt?

  38. LT says:

    The home is gorgeous! It’s inspiring to see such a magical result after so much elbow grease. And I can’t wait to get my hands on one of those quilts from your website!

  39. Kohl says:

    Love this home. I’m am both inspired and envious as I am a renter of an Edwardian in sanfrancisco! Thank you for sharing<3

  40. David says:

    Really beautiful! I see lots of comments about display issues, but I am having no problems at all on chrome. I want to see more of clothlab’s work up here!

  41. Julie strub says:

    Loads fine for me! Beautiful home, love white and orange in the bathroom

  42. Caris says:

    Adorable! The white plus the pop of strong colors make the interiors fun and youthful! Loving it.

  43. Linda Chin says:

    I would Love to know more about he quit on the bed. It is beautiful..modern but still very “homey!”

  44. Dani P says:

    Would like to know more about the quilt pictured! A shame nothing was mentioned about it, it is so beautiful!! I love that design! Is there a pattern? Where can I find that?


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