For the last four years, Calgary fashion designer Paul Hardy has lived with a German pointer named Fergus in a 1978 two-storey he renovated himself. "I've recently become interested in interior design and am currently working on two houses for clients," the multi-talented 37-year-old Winnipeg native explains. His own home is his calling card, showcasing such novel ideas as walls finished with dyed sand. The open-concept living room is his favourite in the house, where he works, reads and entertains. "It's a multi-purpose room," he says. "I spend the majority of my time there thinking up new ideas."
The dining table and chairs
"I made the table myself, from copper piping and glass. I taught myself to solder metal after I couldn't find anything I liked. The space itself is not large, and I didn't want to make anything over-heavy. The chairs are vintage, and I had them re-covered in faux pony skin. I got them from a local antiques dealer, but they're originally from Saskatchewan. I like antique shopping on the weekends, and do it in whatever country I'm in."
"These are oil paintings by Barry Weiss, my favourite living artist. He's from Saskatchewan, but I met him here in Calgary where he now runs the Weiss Gallery on 6th Street. He specializes in moody landscapes, but these are more abstract and organic-looking than what he usually does. I love the texture, the way he layers the tones of the paint. It's characteristic of my work, which is perhaps why I feel such an affinity."
The bovine spine
"I got it for $2 at a garage sale. I thought it went well with the longhorn-cow rug and the various other textures in the room."
"These are among my favourite things: One is on the tribes of Africa, the continent I visit frequently now as part of my development work with Reversal of Fortune [a foundation that produces moderately priced clothing made by marginalized women in Rwanda] Another is a coffee-table book by Tom Ford, because I think he's an icon. The third one is a book of paintings by Degas, my favourite dead artist."
"It's a vintage Pinocchio puppet from Florence. Whenever I'm travelling, I try to bring back an artifact from every country I've visited as a memento. My house is filled with them. This is from my first trip to the Italian city, which I visited in 2007 as part of the yarn trade show Pitti Immagine Filati."
"That's the only contemporary piece of furniture I've bought for the house. I got it at HomeSense. I wanted something I could put my feet on at the end of a long day."
The purple chair
"I got this wing chair as a gift from a client who was re-doing her own house. She ended up giving it to me when she didn't have any more room for it."