Home is often a reflection of those who live in it — and for lifestyle photographer Gillian Stevens and her husband Mark, an electrical engineer, this is not only true of themselves, but of the friends and family whom they frequently entertain. When Mark and Gillian moved to Kitsilano three years ago, they knew right away that this Vancouver neighbourhood would be home for a while. Located across from Kits Beach in a friendly, family-oriented suburb, this 1930’s heritage building caught their eye and they waited months for a unit to become available. Their last space was just a block away, and whenever Gillian would pass the building on her daily runs, she would glance at it longingly. The moment a unit became available, they jumped — or, more appropriately, ran — at the chance, and this charming, 870-square-foot, 1-bedroom apartment became theirs.
It took a while (and lots of fiddling) to find the right pieces for the space, but as Gillian explains, “moving in was the final push we needed to get rid of the furniture that didn’t fit, and purchase those last couple of pieces that brought everything together.” Though not intentional, it wasn’t until the last rug and side table were positioned that Gillian realized her affinity for mid-century modern style. “It actually suited our apartment really well!” she says, but the process isn’t totally complete. As Gillian says, “We definitely [still] need a couple more storage pieces to host those few last things that don’t quite have a spot yet [as] our apartment [lacks] storage space in the main room.” But the lack of walls and nooks has its perks, too: The open-concept layout where the living and dining areas flow into each other makes dinner parties seamless and that much more enjoyable. “I am [so] thankful that others feel at home here,” Gillian says, “We have always loved the idea of our home being a safe and welcoming space for our community.”
Another benefit to the apartment’s layout is the room sizes and natural light that comes from the windows. Since Gillian works from home, the large rooms allow her to push all of the furniture against the wall as needed to make room for backdrops for various photo shoots. This triple-threat of function is one of the many things she loves most about their home, but not as much as she adores the view from their bedroom. The couple’s apartment is close to both the water and the mountains, and from her bedside as she wakes up and falls asleep, she can see both. “It’s quite beautiful!” Gillian says, “I am thankful for our view every day.” –Sabrina