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How Douglas Reynolds’s living room captures his divergent interests

When Douglas Reynolds moved into his Vancouver penthouse apartment five years ago, he hired interior designer Kelly Deck to help turn it into a home and an intimate showcase for some of the Northwest Coast First Nations art he sells through his Douglas Reynolds Gallery in Yaletown. "I wanted to personalize [the space] and make it my own," says Reynolds, a 51-year-old Vancouverite whose customers include the acclaimed English artist Damien Hirst, for whom he has provided 30-foot totem poles commissioned from indigenous British Columbia carvers. Two years ago, Reynolds opened W Skincare in Vancouver with business partner Lorinda Zimmerman, attracting celebrity clients as far away as Los Angeles, who swear by its rejuvenating treatments. Word of mouth is so strong that before W Skincare expanded to Toronto, opening its doors this month, the waiting list was more than 1,000 names long. Both locations are decorated with indigenous art, including a stone sculpture of a raven by esteemed artist Bill Reid. A similar piece looms large in Reynolds's art-filled living room, his favourite. "I like to mix very contemporary Northwest Coast art with other contemporary pieces," he says. "I think the room captures these divergent interests of mine."

1. The sofa

"B&B Italia makes great furniture and this sofa is simple and fits into the decor. I will often curl up here if I have reading to do, as it is one of my favourite spots in the house to sit and read."

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2. The patio

"I live across from a one-block city park, and this small patio gets used a lot in the summer. I often have morning coffee out here as there is always something happening in the park. It's nice to watch the neighbourhood enjoy the public place while I gear up to start the day."

3. The chairs

"When Kelly Deck first showed me these white leather chairs I was resistant because the first thing I thought about them was that no one would want to sit in them for fear of getting them dirty. It's very important to me that my home is comfortable and inviting. But I grew to love the design of the chairs, even more so when I discovered they are, actually, really comfortable."

4. The coffee table

"The coffee table is by local woodworker Paul Tellier and represents chopped wood. I designed the table to sit in front of the fireplace outside on my roof deck, but I liked the versatility of an outdoor table that can come inside. I also have a circular wood table by Brent Comber that I use in my living room in summer months but often put it into storage for a few months each winter when I bring the outdoor table inside. Changing a piece of furniture can change the way the room feels, making everything look a little different."

5. The print

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"This dot print is by Damien Hirst. He gave it to me as a Christmas present. To not only own a piece of his, but to have an artist's proof signed to me by him adds a special element and connection to the year we spent working together to build his own NWC collection. This etching of Damien's started a motif of circular design that continues throughout my house in fabric and tables and other works that bring the theme through every room."

6. The mask

"Above the fireplace is a paper-cast mask that was made by renowned Haida artist Robert Davidson. The cast is one of many pieces that I carry in the gallery that show how Northwest Coast art can be modern and contemporary. The piece is powerful but serene and is a tribute to the diversity this art form is capable of. Davidson is also one of my signature artists and when moving into the house I wanted a major piece of the three artists I work with the most: Robert Davidson, Jim Hart and Don Yeomans."

7. The shelves

"To the right of the Robert Davidson mask is a shelving unit that focuses on two historic NWC pieces, three historic Navajo pots and one contemporary NWC piece. Although you can't see everything on these shelves, my favourite of the Southwestern pots is visible, an old hand-thrown pot with a moth design. It shows how the very modern and antique work well together."

8. The rug

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"This was shipped over from Germany and is a combination of felt and a very low-tufted carpet. The tufted pattern moves through the carpet almost like a meandering brook. I like the structure of the design and the free-flowing movement of the piece." – DEIRDRE KELLY

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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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