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MY DIGS

by Carla Gillis

Sixth-floor one-bedroom
apartment with cozy deck


Bradford McIntyre (Right) and Deni Daviau (Left)
have made maximum decorating use of their West End apartment
Photo: by Doug Shanks.

June 2, 2005

Location: West End
Rent: $726 a month
Square feet: 650
Length of time here: 10 years
Occupants: Bradford McIntyre, promoter of HIV/AIDS awareness, PositivelyPositive.ca; Deni Daviau, hair-stylist; five zebra finches.

Major selling feature: Bradford McIntyre: "In 1994, I drove a girlfriend's car out here and I fell in love with Vancouver. Six months later I moved here (from Ottawa). I've been HIV-positive since 1984, going on 21 years now, and I wanted to live out the rest of my days in a beautiful place. I certainly didn't think that I'd have 10 years! And counting! I love the sea and mountains. Everything I need is close by. The hospital, the pharmacies, all the shops.

First thing I changed: BM: "I painted and wallpapered and made a home for myself. Originally the red was a terracotta and the green was a little darker. Three years ago, we changed the tone. I wanted to have that Chinese red. There's definitely an Asian influence."

Feature I brag about: BM: " The wrought-iron radiator cover, which I painted. It's definitely an unique piece. And the black-laquered rattan dining room set with palm back chairs. I found it in antique shop in Kitchener-Waterloo. Early on, I was told I only had six months to live so I sold a lot. I only brought a few things to Vancouver, like the radiator cover. These two chairs I bought at a retro shop on 4th, just to Vancouverize the apartment."

Story behind the art: BM: Deni and I were married in 2001 at St. John's United Church and we received a lot of gifts and photos. Even though I'm still in touch with family and friends, I can just look around and see them. It creates a comfortable warm feeling and sense of having a home. When I moved here, all I knew was that I needed to provide a roof over my head and I trusted everything else would work out. And here I am. everything kind of comphy cozy."

The decor: BM: Eclectic. Its a collection of things gathered. There's absolutely no wall space left. The one thing people say when they come into the apartment is how comfortable it is. And, Boy, how long does it take to dust?'" Deni Daviau: "The only time we get rid of something is when it breaks.".

Downsides: BM: The buildings going up around us. When you looked out that window before, you could watch the tram go from the bottom of Grouse Mountain to the top. You could see the cruise ships going out to Coal Harbour.... The good thing is that the sun hits those buildings in the afternoon and ricochets all the way to the back of the apartment. So in some respect, they've provided us with more sun."

About the 'hood: DD: Everything is close by, like groceries. And I work downtown so it takes me only 15 minutes to get there." BM: "We love the West End mini market, the garage sales. When you have Stanley Park and the beach, the whole neightbourhood is like living in a park. Friends for Life is just on the next corner, which is a place for people living with a life-threatening illness. BCPWA (now Positive Living BC) and AIDS Vancouver are available to me for support if I need it. Its also convenient for volunteering."

Most recent home purchase: BM " The fireplace. We found it in New Westminster in Antique Alley, all beat up. It was white and someone had nailed through the top of the mantel. I had to fill all those holes, sand, and paint it."

Reno plans: DD: "We're done." BM: "Well...." DD: "We're done." BM: {laughing} I've probably done more than others in the buildings. Changing the kitchen floor, keeping the hardwood floors beautiful. painting. I'm used to having a home. A box isn't apealing to me. So I wanted to make sure that box feels like, when your walking through the door, your comig into someones home."

Carla Gillis

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"Reproduced with permission - WestEnder"

Westender
WestEnder


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