House Tours
May 15, 2015

House tour: West coast Scandinavian style

By: Kathleen Dore
House tour: West coast Scandinavian style

Modern home with Scandinavian flair Author: Janis Nicolay

House Tours
May 15, 2015

House tour: West coast Scandinavian style

By: Kathleen Dore

There may be about 7,000 kilometres between British Columbia and Scandinavia, but the two regions come together style-wise in this Vancouver home.

You've heard of West Coast modern style, but how about West Coast Scandinavian? Homeowner Karen Boriss got the idea to inject some Nordic nuance into the 3,200-square-foot home she and her husband, Alex Holmes, were building in Vancouver’s Cambie Village neighbourhood when she noticed a similarity between the regions’ climates. “Vancouver doesn’t have the snow and the cold, but it has grey skies for so much of the year,” she says. Karen also has an affinity for streamlined Scandinavian interior design, with its emphasis on natural light, pale wood tones and white walls with pops of colourful accessories.

The contemporary white-plus-bright palette suits the thoughtful open-concept floor plan the couple wanted for the house they share with their two young children. “The design is focused on encouraging family time, having good flow and creating a place to enjoy raising our kids,” says Karen. 

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House tour: West coast Scandinavian style

Living room

Bright pops of colour perk up the living room's subtle palette and can be switched out with little fuss.

By: Kathleen Dore Source: Janis Nicolay Credits: Style at Home

House tour: West coast Scandinavian style

Scandinavian kitchen

High ceilings, plenty of white, simple reclaimed wood shelves and a wall of windows provide the spacious kitchen with an even greater sense of expansiveness. "Getting rid of upper cabinets meant we had to be really creative to get the same amount of storage," says Karen. "With the addition of the pantry, it's worked out perfectly. We love it."

By: Kathleen Dore Source: Janis Nicolay Credits: Style at Home

House tour: West coast Scandinavian style

White kitchen

Food truly takes centre stage in this white kitchen.

By: Kathleen Dore Source: Janis Nicolay Credits: Style at Home

House tour: West coast Scandinavian style

Dining area

"I was struggling with what to hang above the dining table, but as soon as I saw this pendant light, I knew it was perfect," says homeowner Karen Boriss. When the bifold doors are open, the dining area is transformed into a true indoor-outdoor space.

By: Kathleen Dore Source: Janis Nicolay Credits: Style at Home

House tour: West coast Scandinavian style

Fresh florals

A humble bouquet adds fresh colour to the Scandinavian simplicity of the space.

By: Kathleen Dore Source: Janis Nicolay Credits: Style at Home

House tour: West coast Scandinavian style

Backyard design

The new house has a heritage feel, thanks to cedar shingles. Landscape designer Dave Demers gave the family the backyard design they dreamed of. "I wanted my kids to have a place for free play. There's a sandbox, a vegetable garden and the lawn and patio where they ride their bikes - all in a clean, modern space," says Karen.

By: Kathleen Dore Source: Janis Nicolay Credits: Style at Home

House tour: West coast Scandinavian style

Colourful planters

Orange planters - made in part from recycled materials - add a hit of bold colour on the smooth concrete steps.

By: Kathleen Dore Source: Janis Nicolay Credits: Style at Home

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House tour: West coast Scandinavian style