Toddler Reuben Sanderson glides around the living room in his retro hot dog scooter, one of a full set of vintage toys that match the eclectic appointments of his Fifth Street restoration home.
Parents Alyssa and Jay Sanderson have transformed their early 20th Century heritage home with a renovation that added raw concrete counters, exposed timber beams, and hundreds of vintage pieces.
The downtown heritage district has always appealed to some, but with the rise of Revelstoke Mountain Resort in 2007, the district became increasingly popular with young families looking for affordable fixer-uppers that are within walking distance of downtown and the new local schools.
The Sandersons bought about four years ago with an extensive reno already in progress. A rough-hewn timber enclosed porch had been added, and they finished up lots of exposed drywall and framing to start their signature style.
Their look is a mix of original heritage, contemporary mountain-look renovations, and retro decorations.
The Sandersons hail from rural Alberta near Edmonton, where they developed and affinity for the Prairie aesthetic. Jay’s dad was a collector, dabbling in 1970s choppers and guitars.
They both love Prairie Canadiana, and inherited many First Nations artifacts from their family, often items from the mid-20th Century, when cowboys and Indians themes were prevalent in popular culture.
”I like a home to feel lived in, cozy, and warm,” says Alyssa, who is always on the hunt for retro pieces to add to the hundreds of items in their collection.
She scours estate sales, antique stores, garage sales, and is always on the lookout for castaways from downsizing relatives. Once they acquire a unique object, the work starts to create a new piece, like the discarded glass lampshade that was transformed into a terrarium for succulent plants.
What is their theme? “You can mix in old with new. If you love it, rock it. Every corner in your house should be a reflection of you,” Alyssa says.
The three-level home is peppered with collections. A freestanding clothing rack in the master bedroom displays Alyssa’s collection of vintage shirts.
The living area hosts monochromatic prints. Retro baseball caps adorn the entranceway. In the enclosed back patio, a print series of native chiefs. In the basement, music memorabilia lines the jam room, which includes a drum set and vintage guitars.
Their home is always a work in progress. The couple keeps adding to their unique synthesis, customizing their home as they go.
“It’s just keeping an eye out for things and using your imagination. Nowadays design is so accessible,” Alyssa says.
This story first appeared in the September issue of the free Revelstoke Mountaineer Magazine.