At Home with CBC News’ Ian Hanomansing

CBC News' Ian Hanomansing has had many high-profile assignments in his career. But when it comes to relaxing in his renovated home, he's never far from the TV

Ian Hanomansing on his East Van neighbourhood, home renos and his favourite furniture

Read about Hanomansing’s CBC News Now

“We chose Vancouver’s Mount Pleasant neighbourhood in 1991 just after we got married because we could afford it, and hoped to someday move to the West Side. It has charming streets lined with big trees and refurbished heritage-style houses, and it has a small-town feeling similar to where I grew up in Sackville, New Brunswick.

“Plans for the future changed when neighbourhood friends decided to sell their house that we’d told them we loved – it’s over 100 years old with a wraparound porch, four bedrooms on three floors, and near a park. We bought it privately and quickly, which left a few would-be buyers a little put out.”

Hanomansing Home Renos

“We’ve completed extensive renovations. We first refurbished the living room and had such a positive experience with the contractor, Murray Wystrach, that we finished everything else we wanted to in one fell swoop three years ago. We did the kitchen, upstairs bedrooms, basement and garage. We lived in half of the house, divided by a temporary a wall, during five months of construction.

“It was the right time in our lives because we’d learned from past experiences and had the financial means. But it also came at a time when my route to work (Cambie Street) was under massive construction and my workplace (the CBC building) was undergoing arduous renovations, so everywhere I went felt restricted. When the dividing wall was taken down and we walked into the new area we were awestruck, particularly by the kitchen.

The Hanomansings in the Kitchen

“I’m not a cook. My wife, Nancy, had the vision to build a utilitarian but dazzling kitchen that’s not only great for cooking but is the family focal point. She directed the process with the architect, interior designer and contractor. The kitchen is large: we expanded it by adding a computer/TV/music centre. When our two teenaged sons work on that computer, we can see what they’re doing, and they can still engage with the family.

“Nancy was tricked into having a TV there. When she agreed to the computer, she didn’t know I’d lead her down the slippery slope, installing cable for TV. [At first], she was horrified, but now we watch it while dinner is cooking.

“Two large windows were added, which gives a view and sunlight that we didn’t have before. We carefully saved beautiful stained-glass windows from the living room renovation that are now inset above the new kitchen windows – the room’s design and colour scheme were inspired by them.

“We have lots of counter and cupboard space, more than needed since we’ve pared-down a lot. I finally discarded things like jam bought in Atlanta when I covered the 2006 Olympics.”

Hanomansing’s Favourite Furniture

“Like many living rooms today, but unlike those that were off-limits when I was growing up, our living room is a daily gathering place for activity. It has a grand piano: I played piano as a child and now my son plays very well.

“My favourite piece of furniture? We have a nice leather recliner bought with the intention that it would become my favourite chair, used like the dads on TV sitcoms, but I end up on the comfy couch.

“I tried adding collectibles. I really like the idea of displaying art pieces I’d found on each trip abroad. I would search for just the right souvenir when travelling to cover stories in the Philippines, Japan, Vietnam…but the thing I’d buy would still end up tucked away out of sight somewhere.

“Nancy has a much better eye for art and design than I do.”

Originally published in BC Home magazine. For monthly updates, subscribe to the free BC Home e-newsletter, or purchase a subscription to the bi-monthly magazine.