Small space: Simple serene townhome
When it comes to designing interiors, Kelly Deck is no newcomer. As the principal of Kelly Deck Design, she estimates that she's been involved in building about 200 homes for clients. And yet the Vancouver designer, who's known for perfectly capturing the modern-organic West Coast vibe, had never actually owned a place of her own until recently because she hadn't found one within her budget that was up to her designer standard.
The opportunity came when Kelly was asked to consult on the design of a seven-unit townhome development in Vancouver's hip Commercial Drive neighbourhood. As Kelly surveyed the site, she was taken by its location: "This was one of the nicest pockets in the area, which boasts a wonderful wine store, an Italian bakery and an organic butcher. I could see myself living here." And, of course, she couldn't pass up the chance to finally create her own dream home from the ground up - even if it was a compact 1,200 square feet.Main floor: 250-square-feet
The main floor is an open-concept space that includes a kitchen and living room.
In spite of the townhouse's small scale, tri-level living appealed to Kelly. "Although the unit is attached, you still get the feeling that it's a home because there's a front door and a set of stairs."
The narrow white kitchen features compact appliances that are integrated into the cabinetry. Because this is the home's only dining area, Kelly splurged on Felt Arper dining stools, which are as comfortable as they are stylish. The counter‐height dining table doubles as a food‐prep surface when not in use.
For the interior, Kelly wanted to create a soothing environment with a Scandinavian sensibility. That means everything from the furniture to the lighting is beautifully sculptural, while the rest of the decor is minimal. And the neutral palette is a selection of white, cream, pale grey and black with wooden and metallic accents.
On the open-concept main floor, homeowner and designer Kelly Deck had all the surfaces, from the base boards to the ceiling, painted white to make the spaces feel cohesive. Kelly chose white oak flooring in a matte finish for the main level and staircase. A custom red cedar coffee table by artist Brent comber is the living room's focal point. says Kelly: "It feels very West coast."
The open shelving in the living room boasts simplicity with elegant trinkets.
For the second floor guest space for a dedicated home office, room, Kelly selected a bed that Kelly incorporated a work area was close to the ground. "When here. a narrow console-style a large piece has a lower centre of gravity, it takes up less visual volume and the ceiling looks higher," she says. Since the two-bedroom home has no extra desk ensures there's plenty of clearance for guests to settle in with their overnight bags.
The guest room has its own ensuite bathroom and work area, so visitors can close the door and relax in their own private space. "It's great for when my parents come to visit," says Kelly.
Kelly used simple meaningful decorative accessories, including books, antiques, artwork and travel photography, to create a curated and cozy (but not cluttered) retreat from hectic days.
Chic dressing room.
We transform an attic space into a stylish dressing room on a ready-to-wear and an haute couture budget. Can you tell the difference?
1 Carl Robinson Edition 5 Reflect Edgware wallpaper in CB54400, Crown Wallpaper & Fabrics, $200 per double roll, through designers. 2 Large faux shagreen box in Seal Grey, Absolutely, $429. 3 Lacquered silver-plated brass Traditional Mirrored tray, Ethan Allen, $319. 4 Bernhardt Jet Set maple-veneered MDF Door cabinet with gold-leafed MDF base, Zilli Home Interiors, $1,349. 5 Hand-knotted bamboo silk Opulence rug in Silver, 8' x 10', Imperial Carpet and Home, $3,243. 6 Track-armed winged chaise longue with polyester Venice fabric in 61 and nailhead trim in Silver, Union Lighting and Furnishings, $2,220. 7 Designers Guild lambswool-blend Zari Graphite throw in Grey, Putti Fine Furnishings, $295. 8 Bonaldo painted-steel Fortuny side table in Glossy White, Suite 22 Interiors, $500. 9 Vintage Italian ornate carved gilded-wood mirror, Carrocel, $1,850.
1 Carl Robinson Edition 9 Romantique Ida wallpaper in CB90009, Crown Wallpaper & Fabrics, $100 per double roll, through designers. 2 Medium lacquered-wood Eggshell Inlay box with mosaic mallard eggshell pieces and crackle finish, Ethan Allen, $159. 3 Painted-aluminum tray, HomeSense, $13. 4 Particleboard Sektion wall cabinet in White, 36" x 15" x 30", IKEA, $55; fibreboard Ringhult doors in High Gloss White (customized), 18" x 30", IKEA, $84 each; birch Skäralid base (customized), 15" x 30", IKEA, $59. 5 Hand-knotted wool and bamboo silk Atrium rug in C6 Beige, 8' x 10', Imperial Carpet and Home, $1,317. 6 Stocksund chaise longue with cotton-blend Nolhaga fabric in Gray-Beige and stained-beech legs in Black, IKEA, $639. 7 Klippan lambswool Samba throw in Grey, Likely General, $175. 8 Lacquered painted-rubberwood Lamsa side table in White, Jysk, $70. 9 Gilded cast-resin Chinoiserie mirror in Gold, Ethan Allen, $1,489.
Any budget can get in some storage, especially if it's as glam as these cabinets. Keeping a small area, like this attic, clean and organized is the key to enjoying the space so make sure it's kept that way with a stylish piece for a fabulous room. High (left): Bernhardt Jet Set maple-veneered MDF Door cabinet with gold-leafed MDF base, Zilli Home Interiors, $1,349. Low (right): Particleboard Sektion wall cabinet in White, 36" x 15" x 30", IKEA, $55; fibreboard Ringhult doors in High Gloss White (customized), 18" x 30", IKEA, $84 each; birch Skäralid base (customized), 15" x 30", IKEA, $59.
This dressing room is meant to make getting ready feel like the best part of your day. But if the morning is moving slow, or you need a break to scroll through Instagram, take a quick lounge on the perfect seat to keep you feeling like a glamorous gal. High (left): Track-armed winged chaise longue with polyester Venice fabric in 61 and nailhead trim in Silver, Union Lighting and Furnishings, $2,220. Low (right): Stocksund chaise longue with cotton-blend Nolhaga fabric in Gray-Beige and stained-beech legs in Black, IKEA, $639.
Who could even imagine leaving the house without a quick look in the mirror? Whether you're feeling the sleepy Sundays or you're pumped for TGIF this mirror will reassure you that you're looking (and should be feeling) stylish. High (left): Vintage Italian ornate carved gilded-wood mirror, Carrocel, $1,850. Low (right): Gilded cast-resin Chinoiserie mirror in Gold, Ethan Allen, $1,489.
Function over style? Why not have both? This side table is the perfect addition to any room really, but we love it for displaying flowers, holding your morning coffee or keeping your favourite book close by. High (left): Bonaldo painted-steel Fortuny side table in Glossy White, Suite 22 Interiors, $500. Low (right): Lacquered painted-rubberwood Lamsa side table in White, Jysk, $70.
Every house (and nearly every room) needs a vanity tray to keep things looking tidy, organized and trendy. Staying organized is the easiest way to impress so toss perfume bottles, jewellery and little trinkets to keep track of your every day essentials. High (left): Lacquered silver-plated brass Traditional Mirrored tray, Ethan Allen, $319. Low (right): Painted-aluminum tray, HomeSense, $13.
If you know what you want to make your room just right, do it! Furniture, like cabinets, may come with hardware and extra accessories, but that's merely a suggestion. Head out and find the perfect accessories to complete the look and the room. High (left): Bernhardt Jet Set maple-veneered MDF Door cabinet with gold-leafed MDF base, Zilli Home Interiors, $1,349. Low (right): Rings, screw eyes, washers and grommets, The Home Depot, $15. See how to make this cabinet and customize it yourself here.
Our dressing room get its punch from the sloped ceiling's bold floral wallpaper. You can mimic this feature, whether you're looking to splurge or save. High Carl Robinson Edition 5 Reflect Edgware in CB54400, Crown Wallpaper & Fabrics, $200 per double roll, through designers. Medium Anna French Wild Flora Bouquet in Gold, Thibaut, $163 per double roll, through designers. Low Carl Robinson Edition 9 Romantique Ida in CB90009, Crown Wallpaper & Fabrics, $100 per double roll, through designers.
Skip art in your dressing room – use your best-loved shoes instead, employing floating shelves and picture ledges as display spaces. The pieces come in different sizes, which makes them ideal for an irregular-shaped wall like this one. Particleboard Lack SHELVES, 75", IKEA, $30 each. Fibreboard Mosslanda picture ledges, IKEA, from $13. Mirrored box, HomeSense, $25. Laquered-wood Mid-Century jewellery box in White Lacquer, 15" x 11" x 8", West Elm, $239.
Modern backyard with all the amenities
This once-boring backyard is now a multi-functional retreat, complete with lounging and eating areas, an outdoor kitchen and an expansive pool.
While the exterior of the house is more traditional in style, the homeowners wanted a contemporary backyard that would accommodate both family life (they have two tween-aged children) and their love of entertaining. The large-scale project that took eight months to complete involved turning the 100-by-245-foot lot into a multi-functional retreat. Fortuitously providing areas for sitting, eating and lounging, its terraced design was in response to an odd architectural quirk of the house. “It didn’t have a great relationship to the yard, because the main floor is elevated six feet above grade, which is unusual,” says David. “So all this landscaping and all these terraces were really a way to gracefully bring you down to the pool elevation and connect the house back to the yard.”
Boasting a covered outdoor kitchen and dining area, a built-in hot tub, several lounge spaces (including one with a massive firepit) and a substantial pool, the backyard now serves as a true sanctuary. (A new 1,650-square-foot amenities building at the back of the property houses a Ping-Pong room, a spa-like bathroom and a three-car garage.) Says David: “We joke that when the family goes on vacation, it’s nice for them to come back home because their house is often more luxurious than the places where they stay!”
The backyard's terraced design provides a graceful descent from the house's elevated main floor to the pool level below. The staggered floating concrete steps create an organic look.
A charcoal-stained fir pergola features a glass canopy to allow for alfresco dining even on rainy days. "The detailing of the pergola is a response to the fact that the house is more traditional," says architect David Battersby.
The lounge area on the upper terrace is defined by a massive coffee table-cum-gas-firepit and a cozy resin wicker sectional. A concrete wall lends privacy.
The covered outdoor kitchen, which is outfitted with a TV and barbecue, boasts a large range hood that provides proper ventilation.
A row of resin wicker loungers enhances the pool area's luxurious country club vibe.
Ipe decks at either end of the 20-by-60-foot concrete pool make for comfortable spots to relax. "It's much nicer to sit on a wooden deck than on concrete," says David.
A wooden screen allows for an intimate sitting area on the lower terrace. "Because the terraces are elevated, we installed these privacy screens so there were no overlook issues with the neighbours," says David. A "Bloodgood" Japanese maple offers height, while plantings like golden Japanese forest grass and 'Firefly' heather offer a variation of texture and colour.
Photography: Tracey Ayton
Homeowners' contrasting interior design styles come together in a modern-meets-traditional Vancouver home – no compromises necessary.
It all started with the bar. “The homeowners hired me to renovate a little bar area in their family room,” says designer Chrissy Cottrell of Chrissy & Co. Design Savvy. “And I said, ‘Well, if you do that, your kitchen is going to be very jealous!’” The couple took note, and last summer, the small project turned into a full-scale two-month over-haul of their cramped main floor. Chrissy opened up the space, added storage and updated the aesthetic. Here’s how this home was given the grand treatment.
The dark and dated main level of this 3,000-square-foot home suffered from a chopped-up layout and a look that could best be characterized as nondescript. “It was very fragmented,” says Chrissy. “For such a big place, it only made sense that it have an open-concept floor plan.” In addition to poor flow, the space had a cluttered feel due to insufficient storage. The ho-hum house was also in need of some architectural interest.
A bit of Pinterest surfing indicated the homeowners’ differing styles – she gravitates toward traditional pieces; he likes modern, clean lines. Armed with this information, Chrissy sought to create a space that suited not only their aesthetic preferences but also their lifestyle. “I know they’re planning on having a family,” she says, “so I came up with a design that features kid-friendly finishes and durable furnishings while incorporating both of their styles.”
With a style that Chrissy dubs “eclectic transitional,” the house boasts a bright, organized look that’s both sophisticated and fresh. Juxtapositions of old and new, masculine and feminine, and sleek and ornate create a fine balance. For example, a curvaceous Dutch-style chandelier and ornate gilded mirror offset contemporary furnishings in the living space.
The dining area’s gallery wall was actually created to conceal a TV. “It’s hidden behind the photograph of the horse, which slides up when you press a button on a remote control,” says designer Chrissy Cottrell.
The living area’s fireplace was replaced with a timeless clean-lined version featuring a marble herringbone-tiled surround.
Tearing down the wall between the kitchen and living room and installing sliding glass doors made all the difference: On top of creating a brighter and more open space, it allowed Chrissy to double the kitchen’s size, supplant its eat-in area with a more formal dining spot, and provide better functionality and overall flow. Architectural elements like wire-brushed French white oak floors, fireplaces with marble surrounds and substantial built-ins, inject character. The palette of crisp whites and contrasting neutrals was livened up with a few pops of colour to make the space come alive.
Hand-pressed ceramic subway tiles cover the kitchen walls. With a rippled, slightly imperfect look, they provide intriguing texture and a bit of sparkle. “They have this organic feel to them and subtly reflect the light,” says Chrissy.
The kitchen cabinetry’s soft cream colour is a classic choice that also offers warmth and depth. The exteriors of the brass pendant lights were painted cream to complement the space’s palette.
In the family area, the sofa’s masculine vibe is countered by a pair of smaller-scaled Louis XVI-inspired armchairs. “The only piece of furniture the homeowners wouldn’t part with was the old leather sofa,” says Chrissy. “But it worked out really well!” The gas fireplace was given a facelift with a surround made of 12-by- 24-inch Calacatta marble tiles. “They nicely offset the built-ins, so the wall doesn’t feel too dark,” says the designer.
The family area’s built-ins offer much-needed closed storage and room for display. Painting them a rich charcoal adds handsome contrast, visually differentiates the space from the adjacent kitchen and is a practical choice. “It’s a more livable option than black because all-black surfaces show too much dust,” says Chrissy.
Chrissy painted the entire powder room black. “If you paint a ceiling white in a black room, the eye goes straight to the ceiling before noticing how striking the space is,” she says. Luxurious elements like the marble-look floor and brass-toned faucet enhance the elegant jewel box vibe.