Recently I had the pleasure of visiting Nicole Oliver‘s home in Vancouver. Nicole is a well known Canadian actress and voice actress, which you may know as the host of Crash Test Mommy and shows like Supernatural or your kids may recognize her as the voices from Barbie and the My Little Ponies. Catch Nicole in The Christmas Ornament for Hallmark Channel with Kellie Martin and Cameron Matheson this Christmas.
As soon as I walked through the door I felt at home right away. The inviting feel has everything to do with the focus on family and family history a common theme throughout the home. The living room is a welcoming and comfortable space. For a 10yr anniversary gift Nicole and Chris treated themselves to new fire place that is easily the centerpiece of the room. With a tiled hearth and beautiful stone mantel the fireplace is then topped with a large hand carved frame for the mirror giving a ‘gathering spot’ for the family. The cushions, by ‘Vancouver Special’ one of her favorite local home decor stores, are unique with the names of historic transit stops on them.
A common piece of art throughout the house are decorative blocks from Sid Dickens which Nicole has been collecting for years, as did in a cute sort of coincidence did her “yet to be met” husband Composer Chris Ainscough. The two still purchase pieces and along with their two children; have their stars signs displayed as pieces of art.
Family history and a sense of where one came from is important to Nicole, she has two cabinets (in the living room) filled with memories of the past and present. The items as old as 1869 come from Chris’s great great Grandfather John Henry Grady (whom her son Grady is named after) who served during the Red River Rebellion; to Chris’s great Grand Father William (whom the other son is named after) who was in WWI through to modern items such as wedding photos and pictures of the kids.
This theme of family and history continues throughout the house in the kitchen the kids art is everywhere and in their rooms there is art work from famed children’s artist Rose Cowles. In Nicole’s office she has some of her favorite purses along with her LEO nominations, Bachelors and Masters Degrees. I noticed a lot of flowers throughout the house and Nicole told me she loves the look and feeling of the real flowers (from the Flower Factory on Main St) as the greenery adds a sense of freshness and the colors can brighten a grey dreary Vancouver day.
Personal Style: Nicole’s personal style is what I would call practical chic. On the one hand Nicole is running around to work or auditions and the other hand she is a busy mom with two kids, what do you do? Make sure you can combine sophistication with everyday practicality. She believes in local shops whenever possible, with designers like Jacqueline Conoir, Nicole can keep that professional look without breaking the bank or being too over dressed for a school event.
This is a family home and every inch of it is welcoming, and has a sense of warmth and good memories. Both Nicole and Chris work in the film industry which can be very hectic and stressful. The home they created with their family is a welcome refuge and escape and with the kids in school and their sports events on the weekends a sense of normality is achieved from the fantasy world of work.
Story: Lien Dilewijns
Photos: Mazen Zeidan
Assistant: Tyler Burrows