House Tours
May 15, 2016

Cozy meets modern in this minimalistic West Coast family home

By: Sara Cation
Cozy, minimalist design for a West Coast family home

West Coast minimalist design Author: Janis Nicolay

House Tours
May 15, 2016

Cozy meets modern in this minimalistic West Coast family home

By: Sara Cation

In this from-the-ground-up project, BattersbyHowat Architects delivers a minimalistic yet cozy common area for a family of four.

The term "cozy modern" may sound like a bit of an oxymoron to most, but to David Battersby and Heather Howat of architecture and design firm BattersbyHowat Architects, it's almost a mantra. "Modern doesn't have to mean cold and repelling," says David, who, along with Heather, has designed many spaces that reaffirm the fact. And that's precisely why these homeowners - a pair of lawyers with two preteen children - hired the firm to design and build their 3,900-square-foot Vancouver house from the ground up. "They wanted a contemporary space they would feel comfortable in," says David. "And after they toured some of our previous projects, they knew we could deliver the style they sought."

The open-concept main floor delivers just that, from the 12-seater dining room and the strikingly expansive kitchen (with its whopping 17-foot-long island and cozy eat-in nook) to the light-filled living area, where the family enjoys spotting eagles soaring by through the huge windows. "The living room is so bright, we barely ever turn the lights on in there," says one of the homeowners.

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Cozy meets modern in this minimalistic West Coast family home

BattersbyHowat Architects

The creative forces behind BattersbyHowat Architects, David Battersby and Heather Howat, offer not only architecture services but also interior design and landscaping. In fact, it's one of the things that attracted the homeowners to the firm. "We felt there would be greater cohesion to the overall project," says one of the homeowners, "which proved to be true."

By: Sara Cation Source: Janis Nicolay Credits: Style at Home

Cozy meets modern in this minimalistic West Coast family home

West Coast modern design

David Battersby describes the style of home that he and Heather designed as West Coast modern. The mix of glass, cement and wood on the front delivers a quiet but statement-making modernism. On the top floor, recessed windows with extended side walls that angle outward add a feeling of privacy.

By: Sara Cation Source: Janis Nicolay Credits: Style at Home

Cozy meets modern in this minimalistic West Coast family home

Uncluttered open-concept design

Subtle colours in the pale blue back-painted-glass backsplash and island base, as well as the turquoise accents in the eat-in area, soften the sleek white kitchen, while oak cabinetry warms it up. Having open shelving in a few intimate places, such as the eat-in area, gives the homeowners an opportunity to display favourite items and family photos, but keeps the open-concept feeling far from cluttered.

By: Sara Cation Source: Janis Nicolay Credits: Style at Home

Cozy meets modern in this minimalistic West Coast family home

Mid-Century Modern eat-in area

Intimate and inviting, the eat-in area of this Vancouver home's kitchen is a favourite spot of the family who lives here. From the Eames chairs to the Nelson Propeller pendant light, Mid-Century Modern furnishings lend a timeless look, while the sunny palette keeps it fresh.

By: Sara Cation Source: Janis Nicolay Credits: Style at Home

Cozy meets modern in this minimalistic West Coast family home

Tabletop decor

Turqoise and sunny yellow tabletop accents help tie in the sunny colour palette.

By: Sara Cation Source: Janis Nicolay Credits: Style at Home

Cozy meets modern in this minimalistic West Coast family home

Sculptural screen

The central staircase, hidden behind a sculptural screen, adds an artistic architectural element that was also cost-effective. "The screen that's providing the guard is also supporting every stair tread," says David. "So it's interesting but also essential."

By: Sara Cation Source: Janis Nicolay Credits: Style at Home

Cozy meets modern in this minimalistic West Coast family home

Light and airy furnishings

The living area's glass nesting coffee tables are a light and airy counterpoint to the fireplace's cement hearth, which doubles as extra seating.

By: Sara Cation Source: Janis Nicolay Credits: Style at Home

 

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Cozy meets modern in this minimalistic West Coast family home