Karin Bohn is a lot of things — a successful business owner, a YouTuber, and a former resident of Dawson Creek, just to name a few. This diverse range of experiences, as well as a unique upbringing in an Asian-European household, is what she attributes to the special touch that her award-winning interior design firm House of Bohn (HoB) offers.
HoB takes on clients in both the commercial and residential space, comprised of largely restaurant, hospitality and high-end homes (including Icon’s own McCleery & Magee estates in Southlands), and has been involved with several iconic projects recognizable throughout Greater Vancouver.
Photo Credit: Provoke Studios
“People might know of the penthouse that was in the Three Harbour Green tower. So that was a three-floor 9,000 square foot renovation that when completed hit the market for almost $59 million,” says Bohn.
“There’s Anh and Chi (Vietnamese fusion restaurant), that’s over on Main Street. We did Virtuous Pie, a plant based pizza place in Chinatown. People might also know Krokoodile Pear juice bar around town.”
Established in 2009, HoB is actually Bohn’s second design company. The first was launched immediately following her graduation from the interior design program at BCIT in 2006, which lasted only a year before she pulled the plug and took a year off to reflect and apply the learning towards a then brand new venture.
Describing the firm’s aesthetic as modern and eclectic, HoB often combines contemporary styling with that of classic architecture taken from different cultures and time periods in its work. Using McCleery & Magee as an example, traditional British elements were implemented to tie in to to the equestrian roots of the neighbourhood, like heavy mouldings and rustic looking barn board flooring.
Bohn says she’s naturally drawn to a broad range of influences being born in a small northeastern B.C., the child of German and Chinese immigrant parents who met in Canada. Her father, a doctor, ignited a passion for her future career early on.
“My dad was really into construction as a hobby — he built our house and was always in the garage building things. Watching him I think I definitely grew a love for the industry because of that, and then growing up in Dawson Creek is totally different than growing up in a city. I used to play with my sisters and our imaginations would run wild. I think that’s how I became really creative,” she says.
When not in a meeting, the 36-year-old can be found in front of the camera curating her eponymous YouTube channel where topics include entrepreneurship or interior design. Recently, she’s released a number of videos in a series titled “Bohnafide,” detailing Bohn’s personal home renovation in North Vancouver.
“When I started out 10 years ago I had so many questions. As an entrepreneur there are so many ups and downs that you go through and often it’s hard to get those questions answered. So I like to give back by teaching a little bit and really just share the knowledge I’ve gained over the last eight years, and provide an authentic behind the scenes look at what it’s like to be a woman in business.”
When asked what’s in store next for HoB, Bohn says they’re expanding beyond the Metro Vancouver market and into overseas. Currently, the company is working on another multi-level penthouse, this time in Chengdu, China.
“I’ve always wanted to do work in the states, and I’ve done some work in Calgary, but to go into China is really cool.”