A Creative Director’s Historic Live/Work Loft Is Minimal, Postmodern, and Cool

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Name: Victoria Ashley, founder and creative director of Laundry Day
Location: Victoria — British Columbia, Canada
Size: 750 square feet
Type of Home: Work/Live loft
Years Lived In: 6 months, renting

Victoria Ashley is the founder and creative director of Laundry Day, a Canada-based, design-forward glassware and smoking accessories brand. And the life/work loft she rents in Victoria is proof of her passion for intentionally designed objects; every piece of furniture and decor in her home is storied and incredibly stylish.

“In March 2021 I traveled to LA for six weeks for work. This was my first time visiting LA and I completely fell in love. Six weeks turned into four months, which prompted a lot of change in my life,” begins Victoria, of her journey to the home she rents today. “While I was away there was an issue with my current apartment and I had to find a new home in a crunch. When I moved out west when I was 19, I worked in housekeeping at a resort called Coxbay Beach Resort owned by a company called LeFevre Group. I kept in touch with the management over the years and when I was in need of a new home they came to the rescue with this dreamy space. These apartments rarely hit the market and when renters snag one, they stay. I had never been inside the apartment but the reputation of the building preceded itself and I knew I had to take the opportunity!”

“The apartment is located in Victoria BC’s historic Chinatown. The building was built in 1908 and has an interesting history. My unit is a one-bedroom work/live loft featuring concrete floors and walls, exposed reclaimed cedar beams and flooring in the loft,  and I somehow lucked out with beautiful views of the inlet and mountains. A serious GEM,” Victoria explains.

“I work from home so I like to split up my day with leaving the house for a workout first thing in the morning and then head out for a walk in the afternoons. On my afternoon walks I usually grab some groceries and head back to my apartment to put on some good music and cook, read, and have a bubble bath.”

Apartment Therapy Survey:

My Style / Inspiration: I’m drawn to pieces that are unique in their material, design, and functionality. Each piece has been carefully selected to complement one another; providing a balance between work and home.

My home is a direct correlation to my work. It is where I draw my inspiration and the desired mentality in which I aspire to embody.

I am drawn to a mix of Postmodern design and Japanese interior principles and place great importance on my space’s atmosphere through scent, lighting, and sound. I also try to support Canadian artists, small businesses, and buy vintage as much as possible in the curation of my space.

Favorite Element: The winters on the west coast are very cold, rainy, and gray. This corner brings together all of my favorite elements of the apartment with the beautiful warm lighting (created by Montreal-based artist Stamatios Fragos), comfy seating, a low stack of my favorite books, a large-scale painting, and it’s all nestled within a bunch of plants. The ideal place to meditate, drink a morning coffee, or take a mid-day break.

Biggest Challenge: I think the biggest challenge when working from home is creating a space that feels both warm and productive. 

Proudest DIY: I’m not sure this is a DIY but living in my workspace, I have surrounded myself with books on anything from architecture, design, art, decor, etc. Not only does this collection act as a source of inspiration and reference for my work, they also carry an energy that I find comforting and also aesthetically beautiful. With that being said, reference books are not cheap and I have made a habit of visiting my favorite local used book store every Saturday to browse the design sections or scope out the book section at any thrift store. It feels like both a productive purchase and a little treat for the apartment.

Is there something unique about your home or the way you use it? There is this small nook under the staircase that I’ve seen in other units in the building, which are usually used for storage. I had a local woodworker, Christen Lalonde, build a custom bench to fit the corner space to use it for a dining area! 

What are your favorite products you have bought for your home and why? Right now I am in love with New York-based designer, Alvaro Ucha Rodriguez. I have a wall sconce and the Petalo bowl of his from Lichen. We are currently working on a collaborative piece, which I am so excited to share with the world this spring.

My apartment buzzer only links to a landline to buzz people up. I saw this opportunity and ran with it. I love my vintage Conair landline phone I found on eBay. It lights up and has the best classic bell ringtone. 

And to make the mood right, I swear by Phillips Hue bulbs and Sonos speakers.

Finally, what’s your absolute best home secret or decorating advice? I think that building a home takes patience. You need to spend some time living in the space to understand how it can work for you and what it needs. Slowly and intentionally find pieces that you love and inspire you.

Room — Benjamin Moore’s “Edgecomb Grey”

This house tour’s responses were edited for length and clarity.

Adrienne Breaux

House Tour Editor

Adrienne loves architecture, design, cats, science fiction and watching Star Trek. In the past 10 years she’s called home: a van, a former downtown store in small town Texas and a studio apartment rumored to have once been owned by Willie Nelson.

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