Per­sonal Space

Craigslist, con­sign­ment—the beach? For­mer eco-fash­ion de­signer Ni­cole Bridger shows us how shop­ping sec­ond-hand and get­ting re­source­ful pays o . j

Vancouver Magazine - - News - Ju­lia Dil­worth BY Ja­nis Ni­co­lay PHO­TOGRAPHS BY

At home with for­mer fash­ion de­signer Ni­cole Bridger.

Home Scents The vin­tage cre­denza is one of her favourite finds be­cause it re­minds Bridger of her grand­fa­ther. “It smells like Scotch and cigars,” she laughs (in­set, left).

Sky’s the Limit “I’ve al­ways been a hat per­son,” says the for­mer fash­ion de­signer, an ob­ses­sion she’s had since age two. Now cher­ished sun hats and pana­mas line the top of her walk-through closet, with only a por­tion vis­i­ble here (op­po­site, in­set).

Sanc­tu­ary Bridger’s med­i­ta­tion cor­ner is like a sneak peek into her next ca­reer—she’s left the fash­ion game to start a new busi­ness cen­tred in in­tu­itive coach­ing and heal­ing be­lief sys­tems (in­set, right).

Jam Ses­sion Bridger rocks out on her ukulele—“I wanted to do some­thing cre­ative that wasn’t mak­ing me money”—with son Rhame on bass (op­po­site, right).

For Ni­cole Bridger and her nine-year-old son, Rhame, this West Point Grey top-floor apart­ment was an im­me­di­ate fit—but the same couldn’t be said for her ex­ist­ing fur­ni­ture.

“I wanted some­thing in this neigh­bour­hood—I was ac­tu­ally born only a few blocks from here, by Trim­ble Park—but the cre­denza I had be­fore was too small, the desk I had was too big…” and ditto for her old sofa and din­ing ta­ble. Start­ing from scratch, she chose to buy ev­ery­thing sec­ond-hand (save for one Edi­son bulb chan­de­lier), in­clud­ing amid-cen­tury mod­ern desk for $350, a10-per­son Ikea din­ing ta­ble for $150 and a 100-year-old chest cof­fee ta­ble—a steal at $40. Bridger closed down her eco-fash­ion op­er­a­tion in Fe­bru­ary (up next, she and her son are mov­ing to Bali, where she’ll chan­nel her brand’s “I am love” mes­sage into a book about her per­sonal jour­ney), but her de­sire to live sus­tain­ably is stronger than ever. “I think we need to start shift­ing from this need to ‘have, have, have,’ to ‘how about hav­ing less?’” she says. “Hav­ing stuff that’s go­ing to last, things you would ac­tu­ally pass on.”

Most of the home’s colour comes from her beloved dark blue wall (painted specif­i­cally to high­light a favourite pho­to­graph from L.A. artist Zoe Crosher) and acher­ished col­lec­tion of wild-or­ange and sun­se­tred Per­sian rugs—“I think be­cause it’s a dark floor, you can re­ally go for it,” says Bridger. The two be­d­rooms are sep­a­rated by the liv­ing room, and Bridger’s walk-through closet (which might be 90 per­cent hats) func­tions like ase­cret path­way that leads into her full en­suite. “This is ac­tu­ally one of my favourite parts, be­cause it’s like my own lit­tle cor­ner,” she says.

Apart­ment ex­tras are lim­ited to cher­ished trea­sures picked up on the fam­ily’s trav­els (to In­dia, El Sal­vador, Hornby Is­land) and mu­si­cal in­stru­ments. “Rhame-o’s re­ally into play­ing the drums and bass now,” says Bridger, her­self acon­fessed ukulele player. “I was hop­ing he and I could start a band be­fore he re­al­izes it’s not cool. That win­dow is be­com­ing very small, though.”

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