Sergio and Rafael are new to the North Shore, after spending some time in Vancouver’s West End and originally coming from Brazil. A job change and desire to slow down prompted this move across the water, and so far they are loving their new community! The Brazilian duo has been in Vancouver for two years and found living in a Hollyburn building to be comfortable and easy.
We interviewed them to find out how they’ve chosen to Make Hollyburn Home.
Hollyburn: What do you like about renting?
Sergio: I really like the flexibility and non-attachment – it’s less responsibility and maintenance.
Rafael: I like that we can try out new neighbourhoods and areas of the city, since we are not from here originally.
Hollyburn: Do most of your friends rent or own?
Sergio: A lot of our friends are also from Brazil, so they all rent as we’re starting from scratch and trying to explore new areas.
Hollyburn: How long have you been a renter and how long have you rented with Hollyburn?
Sergio: We’ve been renting for two years; one year we lived in Vancouver’s West End and we’ve been living in Hollyburn’s Bridgewater building since November 2017.
Hollyburn: What’s the biggest myth/idea you want people to know about renting?
Sergio: I think a lot of people who rent feel like they can’t do anything to make the space their own…which is not the case! It’s also so convenient and has less obligations than if we were to own property.
Hollyburn: Do you have a favourite décor/furniture piece/feature about your suite?
Rafael: I love our cozy rug! The living room is tiny, so it’s great for “additional seating” when we’re entertaining.
Hollyburn: Do you have any daily rituals or activities that you do in your apartment?
Sergio: CLEANING! I’m a huge clean-freak and vacuum almost everyday – I love to keep my home clean and fresh.
Hollyburn: What’s the best DIY upgrade you’ve done in your unit?
Rafael: Our bedroom is East facing and the morning sun hits it directly, so we asked Geoff (the Resident Manager) if we could install a rod over the blinds to hang curtains. He helped us install it so it didn’t cause any damage and it’s been a huge help keeping the room dark in the mornings.
Hollyburn: What’s your favourite room/space/nook?
Rafael: Actually, the bathroom! It’s so spacious and spa-like; I love it!
Hollyburn: Do you have any tips on “nesting” or feeling like you belong in your home?
Sergio: Being so far away from our home country, it was really important to us to add touches of our culture and personal items to make it feel like home. We used to be flight attendants together, so we created a map with all the places we went that’s a nice memento. Also, flowers! Flowers and plants really help to bring life to the space.
Rafael: We also keep a jar of corks that we write the date on and collect from our travels and events. It’s always fun to pull one out and reminisce. I would highly recommend everyone start doing this! It’s so easy and can be a nice decorative addition with a touch of personality.
Hollyburn: Where does your design inspiration come from?
Sergio: We like the clean and modern look. The unit is new so we didn’t have to do much, but we did purchase smaller furniture pieces to fit the space and a lot of it does double-duty and acts as storage as well.
Hollyburn: Do you have a staple item you think every renter should have in their apartment?
Rafael: For me, it’s video games and outdoor space. I love to destress and turn on Gods of War after a long day. Our balcony is perfect for entertaining since we don’t have space for a dining table as well, so we spend a lot of time outside.
Hollyburn: What is your best storage tip/hack?
Rafael: We put our dresser in the closet to save space in the bedroom but still have room for all our clothing.
Sergio: We also keep all our shoes under the bed to save room in the entry way.
Hollyburn: Where did you move from?
Sergio: We were living in the West End, but I was working nearby and saw the building and fell in love instantly! I FaceTimed Rafael right away from outside because I was so excited!
Hollyburn: How was your experience searching for an apartment?
Sergio: It was great! Christine was awesome; we did everything within a couple of days.
Hollyburn: Any pleasant surprises since moving in?
Rafael: We love that it’s a new building. Coming from the West End, it’s nice to have updated appliances, in-suite laundry, a dishwasher, and we love the neighbourhood.
Sergio: Christine and Geoff are both so nice and supportive as well, which I’ve never had in a building before.
Hollyburn: Have you required any repairs?
Rafael: The previous tenant was in a wheelchair, so there was a ramp that went out onto the balcony. We just needed that removed but Geoff did it right away.
Stay tuned for more blog posts just like this one in our #MakeHollyburnYourHome blog series!
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