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Homeowners are giving their homes a fresh look by hearkening to the past, with industrial chic interior design ›› p.2

November 4, 2010

Georgie finalists announced

Restoration Hardware sales leader Jordan Steele works on his laptop in an industrial chic setting, where modern melds with the past in an edgy, trendy style of interior design. Martin Knowles photo

Homes: industrial is in Make your home modern and chic with pieces inspired by the past MAGGIE CALLOWAY When deciding how to decorate, homeowners may find it tough to choose an interior design style that suits their lifestyle, their taste and their home.

Industrial-style home design has been identified as an up-and-coming trend by many industry experts, a mode of décor that can bring to mind a New York Soho loft – or a Yaletown loft in Vancouver – and the lifestyle that goes with it. Perhaps some homeowners prefer to hearken back to a slower time, when furniture was passed down through the generations, when the nicks and bumps were things of family folklore. A time some like to recall as safer. Chic industrial design usually incorporates



metals and/or aluminum in greys and darker colours with antiqued and artifact wood in all kinds of colours and grains. Mid-century furniture adds a sense of history, mixed with splashes of bright colour and accented with rivets, welds or other heritage-inspired features. Metro Vancouver developer Amacon, when building a new-home project at District: South Main, took the time to underCONTINUED ON P.2

Finalists for this year’s Georgie Awards have been announced, and several Metro Vancouver builders and renovators have made the final cut. The premier housing event for B.C., the Georgies recognize the best of the best in home construction, renovation, design, development and sales/marketing. “From architectural elegance to energy efficiency, B.C. builders and renovators have weathered the storm of the economic recession in 2009 and have come out on top in 2010,” says Georgie Awards executive producer Scott Whitemarsh. “This year’s finalists prove that high standards, innovative ideas and sheer guts push the cream to the top.” Awards are being presented in 43 categories this year, including two new categories: Best Outdoor Living Space and Best Condo Renovation, to reflect what is happening in the local industry. Finalists in all categories were selected from hundreds of nominations by a judging panel of out-of-province industry experts. Many finalists are also members of the Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association. “Even in a difficult market, the quality and creativity demonstrated by the finalists show why residential construction continues to be the economic engine of British Columbia,” Whitemarsh says. According to the Georgie Awards website, the winners will be announced in January, followed by an awards gala in Vancouver on March 5. Visit for a list of finalists and look for further Georgie details in New Local Home later this month.

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2 New Local Home November 4, 2010

“Each piece

has a story” Off the front:

“Each day, we try to find the extraordinary in the ordinary, the new in the old.” Gary Friedman CONTINUED FROM P.1

stand the neighbourhood, its unique culture and the desire of its residents to protect what they had built there since 1888. Amacon was sensitive to the pride the locals took in the distinctive, one-of-a-kind stores owned and operated by craftsmen and artists in the historical Vancouver neighbourhood. The company looked at how many stores sold the furniture of yesterday, still beautiful and sturdy, with many more years of service left in the solid wood and cloaked in a patina only possible after years of care. To naturally fit into the existing community, Amacon designed a building that honours the neighbourhood. District show suites in the new homes were designed with a tip of the hat to the simplicity of culture, in a trendy, industrial chic style. “Discovery consists of looking at the same thing as everyone else and seeing something different,” says Gary Friedman, chairman of Restoration Hardware. The Vancouver business owner commissioned a new direction in a furniture line that has excited both designers and clients alike with its chic, industrial style. “We’ve embraced that same sense of discovery in our creative pursuits, each day looking all around us to find the extraordinary in the ordinary, the new in the old,” says Friedman. “Our appreciation of great architecture and


Amacon’s District: South Main new homes were designed in an industrial chic style.

collection of salvaged fragments from historical buildings inspired this season’s unique collection of lighting.” Such items include a barn door trolley pendant, fashioned from a reproduction of an antique cast iron trolley, threaded with cloth cording and fitted with vintage-style filament bulbs, he notes. “It is truly a one-of-a-kind piece,” Friedman says. A hand-carved Corinthian column lamp is a reproduction that once graced a building façade in Europe, he notes, while balcony railings from France, crafted of forged iron, were transformed into the store’s French architectural railing sconces. A whole collection of artifact lamps, mounted on museum bases, feature a lion’s head cornice, a Louis XV rococo fragment, a 19th-century Parisian gate

Restoration Hardware sales associate Haley Lloyd showcases the modern-meets-the-past feel of industrial design, with a laptop and original furniture. Martin Knowles photo

railing, and a Belgian heraldic shield that dates to the 1890s, for example. “This collection lets people put furniture in their homes that is not just functional,” says Restoration Hardware store leader Dorothy Bozek. She notes the “industrial edge” interior design style can mean incorporating pieces into the scheme that are interesting from a structural point of view, from a pair of calipers to an old pulley. “Each piece has a story. What using these industrial (pieces) has allowed us to do in design is to have that juxtaposition, that tension between the old and the new,” Bozek says. “You will have an old steamer trunk, like they had on the Titanic, and then you put your Apple laptop on it ... old and new, and old tech and new tech.” Placing some high-gloss pieces next to a distressed item of furniture will give the design architectural shape that tells a story with lowtech and high-tech details, she says. “We are pulling from the past. We want you to have a conversation (about your interior design); we want your guests to ask about the coffee table,” Bozek says. For Metro Vancouver homeowners looking to update their homes with an industrial chic look that melds modern and historic with a trendy flair, Restoration Hardware is just one option among many. Surplus stores may yield school desks, tables and stools, while farm sales are good to peruse for interesting pieces of machinery that can be repurposed. Garage sales may even lead to the discovery of a perfect industrial-style treasure. In uncertain economic times, homeowners may be striving toward a greater understanding of permanence and an appreciation of things of substance; perhaps that explains the popularity of industrial-flavoured interior design over the past year.

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Industrial edge is hot in Metro Vancouver’s new homes. Martin Knowles photos

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Housing Affordability Symposium

New Local Home November 4, 2010 3

Industry, government meet to talk affordability The Canadian Home Builders’ Association of B.C. held a first-ever Housing Affordability Symposium earlier this week. The two-day event, co-presented with B.C. Housing, was held Monday and Tuesday in Vancouver, to address the issue of market housing affordability by bringing government and industry representatives together. Speakers included Fort Langley-Aldergrove MLA Rich Coleman, who was B.C.’s Minister of Housing Rich Coleman and Social Development prior to a recent cabinet shuffle (he is now B.C.’s Minister of Public Safety and Solicitor General), the B.C. Real Estate Association’s chief economist Cameron Muir and Urban Futures Cameron Muir Institute executive director David Baxter. Several interactive panel presentations featured many local and provincial industry representatives as well, from Leding-

Construction workers build a new home in South Surrey, where some single-family homes can be expensive. A CHBA BC housing affordability symposium held this week aims to address the issue of home prices in Metro Vancouver.

ham McAllister senior vice-president John O’Donnell to Stacey Fenwick for Urban Lead Construction in Kelowna. The purpose of the event is to provide a forum so government and industry representatives can openly discuss barriers and solutions to improve market housing affordability in B.C. – not social or subsidized housing, a CHBA BC release notes.

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“Beyond our honoured speakers, the highlight of this event is the professionally facilitated roundtable discussions,” says CHBA BC president and symposium chair Bob Deeks. Issues discussed include community planning, maximizing housing stock, economic issues and regulatory constraints. “The ideas brought forth will be incorporated into the symposium’s Action Plan to

Address Market Housing affordability and can be implemented over the short, mid- or longterm,” says Deeks. That document will be shared with government and industry later this year and will “form the foundation of future discussions between all stakeholders,” the CHBA BC says. Visit or for more information.