Photos: Inside A Foodie Queen’s Vegan Dream Home
No animals were harmed in the redesigning of Erin Ireland's East Van townhouse.
March 29, 2018
Though the Mount Pleasant townhouse Erin Ireland and Darren Yada bought in 2015 was perfectly fine, there was something about a cookie-cutter space that didn’t sit well with the creative couple. (Yada is the managing partner, strategy for Rethink; Ireland is the founder of To Die For Fine Foods and a food writer.) The layout was ideal—a naturally lit open-concept kitchen is the focal point of the ground floor, with cozy bedrooms tucked away upstairs—but the overall design was builder-basic blah. “We wanted to truly love it,” says Ireland, so they enlisted the services of friends and family to elevate the space to dream-home status—which started with the kitchen.
It was essential for Ireland to have a functional workspace that was camera-ready: she shares video and photos of her culinary experiments daily, and she has plans for a plant-based-cooking show in the works. So an old friend of Yada’s, Brett Mauer, ripped up the floorboards and ground down the imperfect concrete beneath, while concrete artist Brett Riekert covered the kitchen island’s pre-existing brown melamine.
Ireland got started on the baby’s room for first-born Roen (now one) when she was seven months pregnant, turning to designer Karla Dreyer for decor (and new-mom advice). Cactus wallpaper from Anewall pays homage to the ground floor’s botanical focus, while a West Coast Kids tent adds a whimsical touch.
This spring marked yet another interior change for the couple: both passionate vegans, the duo looked to veganize their home, swapping out a rug and sofa made with animal products. “You don’t have to sacrifice a stylish home by going vegan,” insists Ireland. “There are endless cool, design-forward leather-, down- and wool-free home items out there.”
Ireland and her dad replaced the original cupboards with a single steel shelf and wrapped the oven vent in iron, but one of her favourite features is the 12-foot-high exposed steel shelving, built by Ireland’s Uncle Russ.
A soft watercolour cactus-print wallpaper from Vancouver’s Anewall adds a hint of playfulness and colour to baby Roen’s room —complete with a Stokke Roof bed. In the corner sits a whimsical teepee-style tent ready for story time.
The large white Cube sectional from Article frames a custom spruce coffee table by North Shore artist Brent Comber. As a vegan, Ireland was also looking to remove any trace of animal byproducts from her home, so friend and interior designer Karla Dreyer found a local Marramarket rug—made with dyed recycled textiles—to replace a wool rug in the living room.