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How this painter brings a Provençal feel to her living room Add to ...

Vancouver painter Bobbie Burgers creates lush, large-scale botanicals on canvas that have been showcased in 60 solo shows worldwide. But her favourite place to display and enjoy her work is in the living room of her West Vancouver home, where her colour-rich paintings blend well with her modern furniture, some of which she collected during her travels in Europe. She loves the light of the south of France in particular, making it the subject of her recently published book, Arriving at a Landscape , about painting en plein air in Provence, which she researched during a family trip. When helping design the home she shares with her furniture-maker husband, Billy Wishloff, and their four children, the 40-year-old daughter of Dutch immigrants wanted to bring Provence into her living room and so insisted on a wall of southeast-facing windows to draw in as much sunlight as possible. The resulting room is bright and joyful, a perfect place to relax and smell the roses. “I love this room because it’s comfortable and communal,” Burgers says. “This is where everyone flops to read a book.”

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The blue chairs

“My girlfriend and I found the two side chairs in the garbage at the side of the road on the Sunshine Coast. We threw them in the back of my car and knew we would be able to fix them up. My husband sanded them down and I stained them navy and re-covered them – great old Danish design and extremely comfortable.”

The trolley cart

“The little side trolley is by Antonio Citterio for Kartell. It was a gift for my 21st birthday – my first piece of adult furniture. It’s such a weird colour, but it seems to go with everything. Strange how that works.”

The table lamp

“I love buying things when travelling. I know it’s not fair to my husband, who has to deal with logistics, but it’s worth it. We lugged back this Nesso lamp on the train on the way back from Milan a few years ago. It’s an old design from the sixties, and my parents’ friends had one in their home when I was growing up. I always liked the whiteness.”

The painting

“I usually hang a newer work of mine in the living room so I can live with it for a while and sort of feel out a new direction or a new colour palette. This portrait of anemones, called Velocity, measures 66-by-66 inches.”

The cushions

“Our cushions are covered with a mix of Josef Frank fabric, Marimekko and Belgian Linen. Having grown up with massive Marimekko prints all over our house, I am totally fabric-obsessed. I recently had an exhibit in Stockholm, where Josef Frank fabric is like a national emblem, and we purchased some to make pillows. Seeing these every day is nostalgic and consistently inspires my work.”

The coffee table

“We got this vintage Saarinen table in Vancouver at a store called Inform. I grew up with a bigger version of this. We needed something round to pull this room together. The smaller one, also by Eero Saarinen, we found at an antique store in Toronto.”

The vase

“The vase on the table is by my daughter. As a family, we love fooling around with pottery. We go [to a pottery studio] once a week and our creations are getting increasingly crazy, larger and more alive each time.”

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