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What makes this Shannon Heth’s favourite room

Darryl Dyck/The Globe and Mail

Alberta-born Shannon Heth has only lived in her East Vancouver home since the spring. But she has already put her stamp on the space. As the owner of a lifestyle communications company, Heth PR, she has clients in both the design and arts fields, including IDSwest, the annual interior-design show taking place this year from Sept. 25 to 28 at the Vancouver Convention Centre. Some of the pieces that adorn her living room are finds from IDSwest; others were created by artists she knows intimately, including her husband, the painter George Vergette.

The artwork

"This is a selection of Canadian artists: On the left [the yellow bars] is a Peter Schuyff that was given to me by the artist. He was part of the Whitney Biennial this year. We just had it framed; it seemed like a good year to get it out of storage. In the middle are two smaller pieces: One is by Knit Girl, a local artist who has replicated [in knitwear] the 'Repent Sinner' stickers handed out in Gastown. The other is a collaborative piece by Marcel Dzama and his wife. On the right is a piece by my husband from his last show, Flowers & Trees. He has built up layers of spray on acrylic, about 40 in all."

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The chairs

"I actually found them at an antiques market in New Westminster. There are lots of antiques stores there, practically a whole row of them. I don't think these are original Wassily chairs, but I always wanted to have one. They came from the apartment of a woman who had them a long time."

The sofa

"It's by Montauk. We purchased it three years ago and it was an investment piece for us. It can fit the entire family: me, my husband, our son and our wiener dog. It's also long enough for both my husband and I to sit across from each other and stretch out. I'm five-foot-eleven and he's six-foot-one."

The coffee table

"This came from my in-laws and has been reworked by my husband. He replaced the glass top with a piece of Carrera marble. It's amazing how something as simple as that can update a piece."

The floor lights

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"These are by Omer Arbel for Bocci and we purchased them at the IDSwest show a few years ago. I love how the lights act like anchors and make the space feel a bit nautical. I've been a fan of Arbel's work for quite some time. He lives just a few blocks away from us."

The display nooks

"They hold an assortment of curiosities: Among them is a human skull – the jury is out on whether it's real or not – and a goat skull. Below them is a Jonathan Adler lamp that was a wedding present; I've been riding horses for most of my life but this is the only really horsey thing I have ever kept in my house."

The photograph

"This is a piece called The Lighted Bush by the artist Evan Lee. He is up for the Sobey Art Award this year and is a good friend of ours."

The owl

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"This is an owl that my father-in-law found dead on the side of the road over 50 years ago. He taught himself how to do taxidermy and did quite a bit of it when he was young. I always think of humorist David Sedaris when I look at it since he's always wanted to find a taxidermy owl for his partner, Hugh. He has written about this several times in the past. If he ever comes over to our house, I think he'll be pretty envious."

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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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