Personal Space: At Home With Rebecca Bree Boutique Founder Rebecca Rawlinson

Vintage treasures and gorgeous photo books line the walls of Rebecca Rawlinson’s home library.

A peek inside the feminine-chic Rebecca Bree boutique at any point during the past 12 years would reveal an oasis of buttery-soft A.L.C. sweaters, boxy Anine Bing leather jackets and drapey Joseph dresses. It probably wouldn’t leave you assuming that owner Rebecca Rawlinson likes to play around in the dirt.

But the west side’s favourite stylist contains multitudes. “It turns out I’m a shop girl but I’m also a gardener,” laughs Rawlinson. It’s a passion she discovered during the early days of pandemic lockdown, and in 2020, she and husband Rick Leo left their East Van duplex for the quiet streets of North Vancouver to (quite literally) find some room to grow. They fell in love with their little blue house before they even walked in the front door. “The backyard sold us,” says Rawlinson. “There were fig trees and rhododendrons and a little greenhouse. I was like, ‘That’s it, I’m done.’”

And while she’s found plenty of happiness tending to roses, dahlias and ranunculus over the past few years, there’s just as much to love inside the craftsman-style home. Their second-floor library, for one, has become another happy place for the creative couple. Leo is a woodworker (he crafts custom furniture and adorable dollhouses with his company, Fallen Tree BC) and used his talents to install a wall of shelving that he painted a custom shade of robin’s-egg blue.

The TV lives downstairs these days. The couple uses the library for more artistic pursuits, spending evenings reading, writing, painting and drawing. Shelves display Rawlinson’s extensive coffee-table book collection and treasures sourced from Parisian flea markets and friends’ stores, while the drawers hide art supplies. And if Rawlinson is ever feeling too far from that gorgeous garden, she can head to the window seat in her walk-in closet for a glimpse down at the blossoms. “Dahlias are so easy to grow, they come in every colour and the more you cut them, the more flowers you get,” she says. “Next year, I’m going to put them everywhere.”

Time to ReflectThe vintage mirror is from France, a treasure Rawlinson discovered at Gild and Co. “Bonnie [Wilson, the owner] has such an incredible eye; the store is so filled with beauty. I have a hard time going in there because I just want everything.”
 Photo by Tanya Goehring.

Time to Reflect

The vintage mirror is from France, a treasure Rawlinson discovered at Gild and Co. “Bonnie [Wilson, the owner] has such an incredible eye; the store is so filled with beauty. I have a hard time going in there because I just want everything.”

Colour Theory

Leo “took a swing” with the colour of the shelves—a tint to match a vintage book in their collection. He painted while Rawlinson was away on a business trip. “I’m super particular, but he really has an eye for colour. He nailed it.”
In Bloom “I’m a big supporter of local florists,” says Rawlinson, who has fresh florals in her store and home daily. Some faves include Celsia, Quince and Florista.

By the Book

“I have a coffee-table book obsession. I can’t leave a bookstore without buying one,” says Rawl-inson. “When I need inspiration, I pull one out and it’s instant.”

 Photo by Tanya Goehring.

Crystal Clear

The Baccarat vase here was a gift from a client in Rawlinson’s early days as a stylist at Holt Renfrew. “It was the first time a client gave me something, and it was just really special to feel recognized,” she says.

Bottle Service

The vintage French perfume bottles were collected by Rawlinson’s mother; she’s slowly been passing them down to Rawlinson one at a time. Elsewhere on the shelf is another three small Limoges, purchased by Mom on her honeymoon.

Photo by Tanya Goehring.
 Photo by Tanya Goehring.

This Is Us

Rawlinson was drawn to this vintage painting when she first saw it at the Puces de Vanves flea market in Paris. “There’s an elderly couple by a lake, and they’re holding hands and gardening,” she says. “I just thought, ‘That’s me and my husband when we retire.’”

Photo by Tanya Goehring.
 Photo by Tanya Goehring.

Family Ties

The Encyclopedia of Saskatchewan seems out of place next to the de Gournay books of wallpaper samples, but there’s a good reason for its presence: Rawlinson’s grandfather is mentioned inside.

 Photo by Tanya Goehring.

Furry Friends

A tiny painting of Rawlinson’s dog (Little William Buttons) and cat (Rambo Charlie Tuna) was done by her best friend’s niece, artist Olivia Jorunn.

Window Shopping

This book on Bergdorf Goodman celebrates the department store’s iconic window displays; Rawlinson looks at it weekly for inspiration.

Photo by Tanya Goehring.

Room With a View

The window seat here in the walk-in closet (upholstered in fabric from Gild and Co.) offers a view to Rawlinson’s beloved garden.

Shoe Gazer

Rawlinson is a self-professed “shoe girl”—these shelves showcase just a fraction of her collection, which includes Chanel, Gucci, vintage Dries Van Noten and Jamie Haller.

Photo by Tanya Goehring.

Happy Hour

“I literally did a happy dance when I found it,” recalls Rawlinson of the 1950s Italian bar cart she purchased a few years ago. The mini ice bucket was scored at another Paris flea market.


Photo by Tanya Goehring.

Light It Up

A collaboration between Rebecca Bree and candlemaker Tallu and Co. for the Christmas season led to this pine-and-wood scented candle.

Tiny Dancers

Rawlinson collected Dresden figurines as a kid; these two dolls are still on display, in front of a painting by Vancouver artist Kirn Gill.