Inside the Home of Real Housewife of Vancouver Jody Claman

April 12, 2012

Claman, 50, grew up on a ranch in Merritt, B.C., which supplied meat to McDonald's in the 1960s and '70s. Her father, who attended St. George's and enjoyed a privileged West Side upbringing, wanted to escape urban life. "Merritt was a beautiful, wild place, and I was a bit of a wild child, but I still grew up understanding the finer things in life." She started collecting teacups as a young girl and today has more than 2,000, her favourite being a set of Pepto-Bismol-pink cups from Limoges, France.

Dressed in a Balmain jacket and Prada dress, Claman is a walking poster child for her The Glass House designer clothing store in Ambleside. (Daughter Mia, 25, also recently launched a clothing line, M.I.A. by Claman Couture) Unlike her Housewives co-stars, one of whom "makes Betty Ford look like Disneyland," Claman insists she's had no plastic surgery. "Even my hair is real. It's just not mine."

Shadbolt, Dalí, and Chagall inform Claman's impressive collection of artwork, which she inherited from her paternal grandmother, but she prefers to collect contemporary work by Vancouverites Bobbie Burgers and Derek Root. "I buy whatever speaks to me," she says, "like these paintings by Mimi Matte. My home could look like a duty free shop on acid for all I care."

The zebra hide is a trophy from a South African safari her second husband Eran Friedlander took many years ago. "It's part of what I call his ‘ex life.' He had all these hides in storage, so one day I just grabbed them and transformed them into furniture and décor." Boz the bobcat, upon which Claman is seated, is just one the many furs she's collected. "Call me Cruella de Vil. I love them!"

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