By day, Brittany Shmyr is a Visual Manager for Anthropologie, overseeing “…all aspects of presentation, display and merchandising within the store.” By night, at their shop The Nested Owl, she and a close friend give new life to old furniture. So it comes as no surprise that Brittany’s home in Vancouver, British Columbia is a cozy and stylish retreat.
Built in 1912, her building’s one-bedroom rental wasn’t easy to snag. The competitive Vancouver housing market had Brittany resigned to the idea that a not-so-ideal studio was the only thing she would be able to afford. Not to mention her pup, Stella — while adorable and charming — wasn’t welcome in many of the city’s buildings. Three months into her search, and just when she was beginning to feel a bit desperate, Brittany’s coworker told her to check out this pet-friendly, vintage complex a few blocks from Anthropologie. The first time Brittany stepped inside the pretty brick building, she knew it was right. Unfortunately, many other potential renters did, too. Three times she showed up to viewings only to be beaten to the punch by a scurry of eager applicants. Her resolve, however, didn’t go unnoticed. One day, the landlord, determined to help Brittany move in, let her view this unit before the listing went public — just the advantage she needed to win this rent race.
Overlooking both ocean and mountains, the corner unit features original details such as a clawfoot tub, bay windows and hardwood floors. Since moving in, Brittany has decked out the rental in vintage finds as well as some of her own artwork; the latter being a clever way for her to save money on sprucing up the space. “I believe it takes time to allow your home to become you,” she says. “I don’t like to rush things, or buy items just to fill my home. I want to love each piece that comes through my door.” Whether that piece is Scandinavian-inspired, vintage or new, each one comes together in what Brittany calls her “no style” style. This decorating strategy is basically strategy-less. It’s more focused on crafting a cozy home that inspires, as opposed to working to achieve a specific look. The technique has proven to be a glowing success, as you’ll see when you virtually step inside the home that Brittany shares with pup Stella. Enjoy! —Garrett