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Bachelorette Jillian Harris gets cozy in her hometown living room

Jillian Harris's living room

John Lehmann/The Globe and Mail

Alberta-born interior designer and reality-TV star Jillian Harris travels extensively as a cast member on the hit ABC show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, now entering its eighth season. But the former Bachelorette's favourite spot in the world is her postcard-sized living room in downtown Vancouver. She renovated her condo last year after moving back to Canada from Chicago following her high-profile breakup with Bachelorette contestant Ed Swiderski. "This is my happy place," says Harris, recently tapped by British Columbia's Rocky Mountaineer to re-design the glass-domed GoldLeaf railcar used for excursions through the Rockies. "I've managed to squeeze in almost everything dear to me," she says of her crash pad. "I love the room because it's cozy and complicated at the same time." -

1. The paintings

"The paintings basically represent my life and personality. Each piece tells a story, from the framed key that belonged to my best friend during childhood - we each have one - to the works purchased during my heal-a-broken-heart trip to Europe last summer. The charcoal sketch is of me as a child, while the tiny photo framed in heavy white is a photo of me, my cousin and my granny - these women are my heroes. The Joan Miró is an original given to me as a gift about 10 years ago by a gallery owner from whom I purchased art for a client."

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2. The cushions

"My favourite is the burlap My Whole Heart pillow from Sugarboo Designs. Right beside it is a velour damask Designers Guild pillow from The Cross Decor & Design [in Vancouver] which is contrastingly deluxe. The pea green and chartreuse combination is so dramatic. It has energy without being irritating."

3. The coffee table

"I lugged this coffee table all the way from Chicago last year. It's from Crate and Barrel and I got it for 60 per cent off. I love its oval shape - so organic. I also love the hammered antiqued-brass frame and antiqued mirror base. It has everything I appreciate about design: a bit of rustic mixed in with natural shapes and sparkly mirrored finishes."

4. The table lamps

"These are also from Chicago. I bought them at Pottery Barn. With a space this small, having lamps made of glass and mirror makes the room seem bigger than it is. They allow the place to breath, providing layered lighting without overcomplicating the room."

5. The tall mirror

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"The mirror, another large and heavy item lugged up from Chicago, is from Z Gallerie there. It was my first piece ever purchased in the city and I love it. It's seven feet high and totally opens up the space. The little stool in front is a cheap find from Cost Plus World Market. I love the bold graphic pattern ... what I felt the room needed to bring it alive."

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About the Author

Deirdre Kelly is a features writer for The Globe and Mail. She is the author of the best-selling Paris Times Eight and Ballerina: Sex, Scandal and Suffering Behind the Symbol of Perfection (Greystone Books). More

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