As creative director of the Canadian furniture and home-decor company Urban Barn, Sébastien Fauteux travels frequently for business.
When decorating the four-storey townhouse that he purchased four years ago on Vancouver's East Side – he calls it his urban tree house – Fauteux couldn't help but be influenced by the boutique hotels he has stayed in during buying trips around the world.
"I'm not one for big, lofty spaces," explains the Quebec-born 43-year-old, who fell in love with Vancouver while vacationing there in 1994. "I find having multiple small rooms to be more cozy and inviting. That is what initially drew me to this place: All the rooms are tiny."
Fauteux's favourite is the living room, which he renovated himself, adding floor-to-ceiling mirrors to make the space feel airy and light.
"In my circle, this room is referred to as the 'private lounge.' It's cozy but not cluttered and everyone feels comfortable here," he says. "I love it because it's calm. I'm in my happy place when I can enjoy some music and a drink with friends."
The leather chaise
"My friends can come over and lie on what we call 'the therapist chaise' when they are feeling down on their luck. I can fix any woe with that chaise and a martini."
"I have a fascination – others might call it an obsession – with birds. If you're familiar with Urban Barn, you may have noticed that I frequently add images of birds on a lot of items, including chairs, lighting, rugs, toss pillows, bedding. You name it, I've put a bird on it. So when I spotted this oversized painting of budgies while attending an art show in Hong Kong, I just had to have it. It was meant to be."
The sound system
"It is a Geneva system and I couldn't live without it. I love grooving to James Brown singing I Feel Good when nobody is looking. The system's sleek, contemporary look comes with a completely hidden cord, making it a perfect choice for my small space."
"This custom sofa is from Urban Barn and I think it is ideal because of its clean lines. The fabric is soft to the touch and comes in a versatile colour, which is great because I don't have to worry about those inevitable wine spills."
"Being single and often on the road, I can't own a real, live pooch. So my stand-in is this white French bulldog named Georges (said with a French accent, s'il vous plaît)."
The coffee table set
"The Katrine Coffee and End Table Set is from Urban Barn and it is great for small spaces, as it is compact and adaptable. I brought a set home for myself because the glass-and-chrome finish goes perfectly with my decor."
The coat rack
"Living in Vancouver, I deal with lots of rainy weather, so having a place to dry my coat is important. I didn't want a coat rack that looked too traditional and I fell in love with this one instantly. It looks more like a sculpture. I guess you could call it a coat rack in disguise."