Tour this Vancouver home's modern eclectic look.
This Vancouver home's modern eclectic look is a testament to the power of a sister act.
Now that the dust has settled on their massive whole-house renovation, homeowners Anna Wright and Alistair Sale – both busy professionals and parents of Lewis, 10, Freddie, 8, and George, 6 – each have their favourite features of the new interior. For Alistair, the cook of the family, the open kitchen is the (long-awaited) best part. Anna is most excited about the master ensuite bathroom she doesn’t have to share with the kids. And for the boys, it’s their bigger playroom in the finished basement.
The Vancouver family lived in the 3,700-square-foot 1920s home for five years before embarking on the huge overhaul. “I’m so glad we lived in the house for a while first and figured out what we wanted,” says Anna. “If we’d done the renovation right away, we would have done things very differently, and those decisions probably wouldn’t work for us now.”
The crisp white brick fireplace surround, built-ins and original wood panelling set off the dark grey on the upper walls of the den. Leaded glass cabinetry doors are another original feature. The antique chandelier was picked up at a London flea market.
A contemporary pale orange sofa pops against the white panelling and dark grey walls. The Mid-Century Modern desk was a lucky find at an antiques store a few years back, as was the Tolix chair.
Going vintage is often a more economical decorating idea than buying brand new, says Sophie.
The birdcage pendant light adds another unexpected dose of colour and whimsy.
In the dining area, an antique zinc-topped table from a French flea market pairs well with mismatched colourful Eames dining chairs. “We thought the different hues of the dining chairs would be quirky and fun,” says homeowner Anna Wright.
The designer pendant light was a pricey find from London, England.
Expanding the existing skylight and adding more windows above the sink brought loads of natural light into the white painted kitchen. Homeowner Alistair Sale greatly appreciates the bigger sink, but extra kitchen counter space, double wall ovens and a gas cooktop were at the top of his must-have list.
French doors lead out to a newly enlarged wraparound deck off the open kitchen/dining area, making the backyard much more accessible. The kitchen peninsula is perfect for casual breakfasts and homework time.
The zinc top on the antique dining table can take plenty of wear and tear from everyday family meals; the stark white modern dishware strikes a pleasing contrast against the patinated surface.
A desk area in the kitchen serves as the family workspace and offers plenty of storage space for the kids’ paperwork and school supplies. Inspirational photos and small pieces of art bring personality to the nook.
The new master ensuite bathroom is Anna’s retreat from hectic work and family life.
The matching gold mirrors in the master ensuite are a glitzy big-box score.
Grey and white cement floor tiles provide ornate pattern in the otherwise serene white room.
The bathroom floor tiles themselves weren't very expensive, but shipping the from California was.
If you think that red is too bright and too bold for you, we urge you to think again.
Inject some life and personality into almost any neutral space with a little dose of red. Take a look at these nine finds; we know you’ll be inspired.
We just couldn’t adore this artwork any more than we already do! Famed aerial photographer Gray Malin delights us again, this time with a collection of photos inspired by none other than Minnie Mouse herself. In this collaboration with Disney, Malin’s mouse muse takes centre stage and we love the sharply contrasting colours, which will add a dose of drama and whimsy to whichever room you hang it in.
The Leading Lady, Gray Malin, starting at $299
Add a splash of colour to your bed or living room sofa with this gorgeous garnet red throw blanket from Boll & Branch. Measuring 50”x70”, this blanket is 100% certified organic and is made with eco-friendly, non-toxic dyes so you can rest easy when you’re curled up with it on a chilly night.
Cable Knit Throw, Boll & Branch, $125
Vibrant and bold, this cherry red rug from design goddess Kate Spade is just the thing to brighten any room. Featuring a monochromatic red-on-red dot pattern, the whimsical design of this wool-tufted rug is the perfect addition to a modern space that needs a boost of colour and personality.
Deco Dot Rug, Kate Spade, starting at $700
When decorating your home, who says the kitchen can’t use a little tender loving care? Updating the kitchen doesn’t have to mean a full-blown renovation. Instead, add pops of colour by putting your useful kitchen must-haves out on display, like this gorgeous red three-piece set of Le Creuset stoneware.
Le Creuset Stoneware 3-Piece Set, Williams-Sonoma, $99
Turn your windows into the standout feature in your room with the simple addition of curtains. These beautiful Moroccan print curtain panels in vibrant Cardinal Red are certainly a showstopper. Combining a bold pattern with a bold colour is one way to make a statement.
If your bathroom is begging for a burst of colour and style, look no further than these Turkish towels, crafted on antique shuttle looms. The towels are lightweight and highly absorbent for a luxurious end to bathtime and have a multitude of uses. Use it as anything from a bath towel or beach blanket to a scarf or sarong.
Turkish Towel Takeda Watermelon, Tonic Living, $44
Sometimes your walls need a pick-me-up but nothing permanent. If you’re afraid of commitment but need a change, consider wall decals. They’re an easy, inexpensive and temporary way to add a splash of style to any room in your home. These plus sign decals will create an eye-catching and fun feature wall.
Plus Signs Wall Decal Set, Urban Outfitters, $12
Nothing livens up a space quite like a gallery wall. We’re fans of eclectic gallery walls, filled with photos and prints in varying shapes and sizes. And a variety of frames is one way to keep things interesting. Instead of sticking to a monochromatic theme of black, white or metallic frames, spice things up by including some colour, like this beautiful matte red option.
Gallery Frame, Indigo, $17
If you love the warmth of red but fear going too big with this vibrant hue, start off small with accents that can be easily swapped out (and don’t cost a fortune!) This pretty candle comes in a decorative red glass jar that will look wonderful on display and gives off a lovely fragrance of quince, pineapple, mango and fresh papaya. Close your eyes and let yourself be transported to someplace exotic.
Island Orchard Filled Jar Candle, Pier 1, $19
Sleek white appliances pair well with brass accents.
Toronto designer Colleen McGill shares five trends that will be big in kitchens for 2015.From baking holiday goodies and entertaining guests to sitting down to a tasty dinner with loved ones, the kitchen is the hub of activity in most Canadian homes. Colleen McGill of Toronto’s Colleen McGill Design Group has worked with many Canadian homeowners to create kitchens that work for them, infusing her signature style of modern simplicity and combining annual trends that withstand the test of time (hey, a kitchen renovation isn’t something you want to appear ‘dated’ in a few years time).
It’s all about that brass for kitchens in 2015, featured heavily in everything from taps, sinks, range hoods, hardware, light fixtures and even bar stools. “I love the warmth and sparkle that brass adds to a kitchen – it looks wonderful with whites and greys and can be sophisticated, modern or preppy,” says Colleen. “To get that beautiful patina, go for an unpolished brass with a brushed look that will continue to wear over time.”
Plenty of storage space has always been a must in kitchens, and 2015 will take it to the next level with large-scale walk-in pantries and wine closets. “The great thing about these walk-ins is that the room feels like part of the kitchen, but is a separate space which adds an exciting element for entertaining,” says Colleen. “In a more classic style kitchen, they can be hidden behind a cabinet door, but in modern spaces, steel-framed glass doors make these rooms even more amazing!”
Though stainless steel will always be a classic favourite, kitchens are seeing a resurgence of black and white appliances in everything from refrigerators to ovens. “Both look incredible and pair well with brass accents,” says Colleen. Instead of going for the old school block of a white refrigerator, opt for the sleeker, more streamlined appliances that blend in seamlessly to your kitchen’s architecture.
From Moroccan mosaic to brushed herringbone tile, the patterned look is big for backsplashes in 2015. “These patterned backsplashes add texture and interest to the kitchen –they’re a refreshing change from the marble slabs and subway tiles we’ve been seeing for years,” says Colleen. Create some contrast in an otherwise all-white kitchen with boldly coloured tiles and add some texture with matte or honed finishes.
As technology continues to evolve at a rapid pace, so does the way we work in the kitchen. Smart appliances will be everywhere this year, and Colleen is already a certified fan of the Miele smart oven (which can keep more than 30 of your favourite recipes in its memory) and the built-in iPad for ordering groceries and playing music through her Sonos whilst cooking. What’s at the top of Colleen’s wish list for 2015? “The Top Brewer by Scanomat is so sexy,” says Colleen. “It’s a tap that brews coffee, froths milk, or gives you chilled drinking water, cold milk, or hot water for tea – plus it can be controlled with your iPhone!”
4 eco-friendly home improvements
Scott McGillivray offers four smart eco improvements to save you money and reduce your carbon footprint.
Photography by Ashley Capp
1 Landscaping and hardscaping
Homeowners put a lot of work into making the insides of their homes green, but the outsides are just as important. By incorporating more hardscaping features, such as patio stones, onto your property and by planting native plants (rather than sod or seed), you can significantly reduce the maintenance and water needed to care for your lawn. Strategically placed trees and shrubs will also provide your property with more shade, which can reduce the amount of energy needed to cool your home.
Replacing traditional light bulbs with energy-efficient ones is a no-brainer. LED bulbs are the best choice as they last the longest, save the most energy and don’t get hot. They’re more costly but have a lifespan of 25,000 hours, so you may never have to replace them. Go a step further by installing dimmer switches–it’s an easy job and you can save a lot of money by keeping your lights at 80 percent of full power.
Your outdated appliances may still work, but they could be costing you. An efficient new fridge can save you up to $200 a year on your energy bills, meaning you will recoup the purchase price in only a few years. Energy Star-compliant dishwashers use not only 50 to 75 percent less energy than older models but also less water–as little as 11 litres per full cycle. And don’t forget the laundry room: Front-loading washers can cost just $20 a year to operate, especially if you run loads with cold water. Energy Star French-Door Ice & Water Refrigerator, GE Appliances, $3,499.
Replacing the old windows in your home with eco-friendly versions can have a big payout. Double and triple-pane windows insulate much better than single-pane styles, in turn reducing your energy bills. They can also come with glazing -– a low-emissivity, completely transparent coating that reduces harmful UV rays. But remember: If you’re installing new windows and want to get the full benefit of their eco-efficiency, spend the money on brick-to-brick replacement rather than retrofitting, because while the windows themselves are efficient, the window frames are likely not. Next Generation Ultimate Double Hung Window, Marvin Windows and Doors, from $675.