lovelydesign: Show & Tell Home Tour

home tour

Sharilyn of lovelydesign

Today, graphic designer and mama Sharilyn Wright of lovelydesign gives us a little home tour.

Yep, it's Show & Tell Home Tour time again — and for Sharilyn's tour, we're off to Burnaby, Canada. 

Come on inside...


I was introduced to the world of Sharilyn Wright when she submitted an adorable mom and baby snapshot to a photo contest we were having over on The image did not win, but its truth and sweetness is burned in my mind. Soon after, I spotted Sharilyn's amazing former design studio on Apartment Therapy. Then I wiped the drool from my bottom lip and continued on with following Sharilyn's blog lovelydesign and her work as it popped up around the interwebs. In her home, Sharilyn takes soft colors, art, pretty things, and good clean design choices and turns them all into darn good home. Her extraordinary collections and several unique pieces of furniture stand out wisely against lots of practical well-placed storage basics. As a result, her home is a soft and airy, beautiful and homey nest for family living. Let me show you.

Sharilyn, tell us a little about your family and your home.

I live with my partner Charles, our daughter Adelaide (who is two years old), and our two kitties Jack and Elliot. We live in an 1,100-square-foot townhome in Burnaby, which is about 25 minutes from downtown Vancouver, Canada. Our home is about four years old, and we have lived here for almost two years now.

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Family photos and pretty things

How do you approach decorating in your home? What's the most important thing?

We've chosen to fill our home with things we love and try our best to keep it tidy and organised. 

You have a young daughter. How do her opinions, tastes, and STUFF influence the look and feel of your home?

To me, our home is our safe place to be comfortable and ourselves. Our home is as much Adelaide's as it is ours. I don't have any qualms about her toys, dolls, or books being in every room — in fact, some of her toys I love so much that I want them to be around! But mostly, I want my daughter to know that this is her home and her special place to feel cozy and be herself, too.

So far, I have avoided any overwhelming "kid clutter" by purchasing a few well-chosen high-quality toys for Adelaide rather than a lot of crap. We never take her to large mainstream toy retailers — the temptation to just buy her a little something would be to great, and it really bothers me to purchase items that I know I won't be keeping forever or at least hand on down later on.

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Adelaide's bright and lovely room

With the internet or wonderful sites such as Craigslist, I've found at great prices the most amazing and wonderful toys that I am honoured to have my daughter play with and have in our home. My favourite toys are either vintage, handmade, or made by lovely companies such as PlanToys or Brio. These companies are phenomenal!
We've also incorporated play spaces and storage for Adelaide in pretty much every room of our house. Often used toys I store simply and tidily in low-shelving, so that she can easily select and put away her things. Large, attractive bins and baskets I keep around to also store some of her things in, which look nice as well. A couple of times a year we go through her toys together, and we either store, donate, or give away the ones she doesn't play with anymore. This helps to keep things from becoming out of control and cluttered.
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Everything in its place

Great design can be expensive. How do you get the most bang for your buck?
Honestly, I am a pretty good shopper. I get a kick out of knowing exactly what I am looking for, and finding the best deal I can. I love hitting up thrift shops or yard sales and antique stores and finding inexpensive items that I just love. I have gotten some great deals on eBay. My partner, Charles, gets a generous discount from Herman Miller through his employer, so we decided to take advantage of it and ordered a few items. But pretty much everything else we own was rather inexpensive and either found, thrifted, or vintage, or from IKEA.
Tell us about the best deal you have gotten lately for your home.
I am really happy with the little vintage teak desk I found for Charles, which is set up in our living room. I grew tired of Charles having all his stuff piled all over the living room, and I finally realised that he needed a dedicated work space, too. I remembered that I had spotted a little teak desk piled in the back of an antique shop a few months before, and so we took a chance and went back. They were setting up to film a movie in the shop when we did, and so the owner sold us the little desk for a greatly reduced rate. We ended up with a beautiful little desk, which was the perfect size for the space, for 1/4 of the price in other high-end vintage shops. And now there is so much less man-clutter around our house!
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Teak desk, found in an antique store for Charles

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Charles and Adelaide making family fun

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The living room from another angle

Tell us about one DIY project you have taken on recently and love.
This may be silly and trite, but something I love to do is to find and collect up old pretty containers (perhaps enamelware or Pyrex) and fill them full of pretty little succulent plants and lovely rocks which Adelaide likes to collect. The results are inexpensive and so nice, really add a nice touch to any room, and make a sweet and perfect gift for almost anyone!
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Sharilyn's adorable container gardens

Do you have a favorite piece of furniture or decorative item in your home? Tell us about this item.
Oh my. I have so many favourites. But I really love all of the art and posters that I have collected over the years and framed and my vintage globe collection as well. I love my paper sorter shelf (see below), which my dad made for me, and our vintage orange Eames rocker, which we found and fixed up. What makes the rocker even sweeter is that it is how also one of Adelaide's most favourite things, too!
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Sharilyn's art and poster collection

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Adelaide beneath the vintage globe collection

You run a small design studio and shop. What household chore do you tend to back burner most so you can tend to your creative life?
Oh my, where do I begin? I am a terrible at vacuuming. There just always seems to be something more important to do — until our carpet becomes embarrassing. I am also horrid a dusting and cleaning windows or bathrooms. General household scrubbing in general.
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Where the magic behind lovelydesign happens

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Paper sorter shelf, made by Sharilyn's dad

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Another peek at Sharilyn's studio space

What is your most important everyday ritual at home?
I really feel like the opening and ending to each of our days are the most important. Adelaide is a different child when she is rushed or we are stressed, so it is really important to us to have time in the morning to cuddle together in bed, talk about our dreams and our upcoming day, and have a nice simple breakfast together. If Adelaide has this strong foundation to go on, then almost always we will have a lovely day together. It is also important to me to try and have dinner together as a family each evening, and then go for a leisurely walk together before bath and bedtime. This is not always possible, but when we do, it is as though these times together are almost magical. And they really help to make for a happy and calm child.
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Bright dining space for family meals

In your home, what is one indulgence you give into?

We are all suckers for books. And art supplies — Adelaide never suffers for crayons, paints, or paper! I also try to buy the best quality food that we can, be it organic, local, and fresh. When we go shop for food, I always tell Adelaide that she can pick out any fruit or vegetable that she wants — this sometimes makes for interesting choices, but she always eats them!

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Adelaide's work space alongside mom's

The family bookshelves (hi, Adelaide!)

What are your favorite stores to shop for home?

I absolutely adore thrift, vintage, and antique shops. I often find specific items on eBay as well. I don't really ever visit (first-run) home or furniture shops, but IKEA often cannot be beat, especially for home accessories and storage solutions. I also adore a chain of stores we have here in Canada called The Real Canadian Superstore — they almost always have fantastic household items, children's clothing, and accessories. 

What Home & Garden blogs or websites inspire you the most?

I adore Flickr very much. I have found the most beautiful images (and friends) on Flickr, and often if I feel sad or blue, I will go and visit my personal Flickr favourites group. Flickr is the best! 

Your place is so bright and pretty, Sharilyn. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

Sharilyn Wright is a graphic designer who began her own design company in 2000 and her own stationary and product lines, which bring recycled and repurposed materials to higher design, in 2001. You may find more about Sharilyn on her blog lovelydesign and her products in the lovelydesign mail order shop.

Don't miss our previous Show & Tell Home Tours:

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