Western Living May/June 2024

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NEW LOOK! Bold Renovations That Embrace Big Change
Great Brunch Recipes for Mother’s Day Spring Forward
PM 40065475 May / June 2024 $12.99
PlaidFox’s renovation of a Vancouver Special makes a builder-basic home fun and functional for this family.
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What does your dream kitchen look like? TRANSITIONAL  New Age Change MODERN  Sophisticated Drama TRADITIONAL  Nostalgic Vibes
Beauty on the inside. And out. CLASSIC  Chic Casual YOUR TAILORED KITCHEN AWAITS We Have Your Style Covered



Kitchen or art gallery? Site Lines Architecture brings a curated look to a family home in Langley, B.C.



Cool carafes, trendy patio umbrellas, bold rugs and more hot summer looks.


Bar Chouette looks très bien thanks to Amanda Hamilton Interior Design.


Paper artist Tara Lee Bennett creates cutting-edge sculptures.


We’re feeling blue... in a good way.



A trend guide from the 2024 Kitchen and Bath Industry show in Las Vegas.


The North Vancouver home of Herschel Supply Co. founder Lyndon Cormack has great design in the bag.


Goodbye, builder basic: PlaidFox breathes new life into a Vancouver Special.

45 PARTY OF FIVE Designer Brianna Hughes makes one family’s return to Edmonton from Baja, Mexico, a beautiful homecoming, indeed.




Crab cake bennies. Rösti waffles. It’s not your mother’s brunch (but she’s going to love it).



Farmers’ market-fresh recipes from Rosie Daykin, owner of Butter Baked Goods.




Five road-trippable destinations to check off your 2024 bucket list. PLUS

Design inspo from Pure Design’s

Ami McKay: think textured Moroccan tiles, cozy coffee table books and flea market finds.

CONTENTS B.C. & ALBERTA » VOLUME 52 » NUMBER 3 4 M ay/June 2024 / westernliving.ca 22 26 24 COVER: Ema Peter. THIS PAGE: crab cake eggs benedict: Mark Gibbon; Cormack home: Ema Peter
LIVINGSPACE 1706 WEST 1ST AVENUE, VANCOUVER, BC V6J 0E4 T. 604 683 1116 LIVINGSPACE.COM Dada Engineered moltenigroup.com
westernliving.ca ceo & group publisher Ryan Benn group vice president, publishing & operations Nina Wagner editorial editorial director Anicka Quin editors-in-chief Nathan Caddell ( BCBusiness ), Stacey McLachlan ( Vancouver magazine) managing editor Alyssa Hirose assistant editors Kerri Donaldson, Rushmila Rahman wine and spirits editor Neal McLennan contributing editors Melissa Edwards, Amanda Ross, Barb Sligl, Julie Van Rosendaal editorial intern Gates Annai email mail@westernliving.ca design creative director Jenny Reed art directors Stesha Ho ( Vancouver magazine), Edwin Pabellon ( BCBusiness ) sales representation vice president of sales Anna Lee senior media specialists Brianne H arper, Mira Hershcovitch, Amy LaJambe, Sheri Stubel sales coordinator Rebecca Scutt email sales@canadawide.com european sales specialist S&R media, Sylvie Durlach tel +33 1 44 18 06 65 email srmedia@club-internet.fr production/administration group vice president, education and administration Jane Griffiths group director of operations Devin Steinberg director of circulation Tracy McRitchie manager, hr and administration Ava Pashmchi executive assistant to ceo Hannah Dewar production manager/digital ad coordinator Kim McLane production associate Natasha Jayawardena production support technician Ina Bowerbank office administrator Celine Simpson finance group vice president, finance Conroy Ing, CPA, CMA vice president of finance Sonia Roxburgh, CPA, CGA accounting Terri Mason, Eileen Gajowski address Suite 130, 4321 Still Creek Drive, Burnaby, B.C. V5C 6S7 tel 604-299-7311 fax 604-299-9188 web westernliving.ca email sales@canadawide.com WESTERN LIVING MAGAZINE is published 6 times a year by Canada Wide Media Limited, Suite 130, 4321 Still Creek Drive, Burnaby, B.C. V5C 6S7. Phone 604-299-7311; fax 604-299-9188 All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced in any form—print or electronic—without written permission of the publisher. The publisher cannot be responsible for unsolicited manuscripts or photographs. This publication is indexed in the Canadian Magazine Index and the Canadian Periodical Index, and is available online in the Canadian Business & Current Affairs Database. ISSN 1920-0668 (British Columbia edition), ISSN 1920-065X (Alberta edition). Canadian Publications Mail Product Sales Agreement #40065475. PRIVACY POLICY From time to time, other organizations ask us if they may send some of our subscribers information about products and services that might be of interest. If you prefer that we not provide your name and address, please contact us at the address listed above. You can review our complete Privacy Policy at westernliving.ca BC Like us on Facebook @WESTERNLIVINGMAGAZINE Follow us on Instagram @WESTERNLIVING Visit us at WWW.WESTERNLIVING.CA PAUL LAVOIE INTERIOR DESIGN. PHOTO: PHIL CROZIER

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Home Again

One of my favourite parts of selecting homes for our Renovations Issue is the before and after photos. Some of the most satisfying renos are those where you can still catch the spirit of the original home: a parquet floor re-imagined as a basket-weave cement tile, as in Brianna Hughes’s family-friendly design (“Party of Five,” page 45); or the fir beams, refinished to bring back their beauty, in Herschel Supply Co. founder Lyndon Cormack’s North Shore home (“Let in the Light,” page 26).

It’s fitting that we’ve chosen this issue to launch a bit of our own renovation in the pages of this magazine—not so dramatic that you won’t recognize us, but significant enough that we could possibly make a TikTok before and after video. (I mean, at least I think we could: like most Gen Xers, I get my TikToks two weeks later on Instagram.)

The biggest change is right on our cover. After almost a decade with our initials-only “WL,” we’re launching a new logo. Western Living is a celebration of Western Canada, and what it means to live your best life here. So we decided it was time to reflect that mandate with a return to our original name, albeit with a fresh look and feel. Creative director Jenny Reed tested more than 100 typefaces before she landed on the one we’re launching with this issue—modern, but warm and inviting.

And you’ll see a few updates within the magazine, too. We’ve expanded our Entertaining section—with even more inspiration from our recipe developers (Lawren Moneta’s spectacular brunch dishes will soon be in rotation in my kitchen—especially her deceptively simple avocado “hollandaise”) along with a few from Western Canadian chefs. (To wit: this issue we’re featuring plant-forward plates from Butter Baked Goods’ Rosie Daykin.)

Of course, we’ll still be your go-to source for great design. We head to the best design shows around the world to source trends and more (you’ll discover what’s new in kitchens and baths from KBIS this issue on page 24, with furniture finds from Milan’s Salone del Mobile in the next). But we’re also lucky to live in a place that’s home to some of the most talented designers in the country—many with a global reputation. And it’s our honour to shine a spotlight on those talented individuals who make our part of the world a beautiful place to call home.

As Lyndon Cormack notes about his own home in this issue, “a little patina is important.” Our renovation process has kept that patina of a life well lived—and I think you’ll recognize the spirit of our home, this magazine, in the pages that follow. But we’re thrilled to be making space for even more of the best of the West with this fresh new look through the months to come.

8 May/June 2024 / westernliving.ca EDITOR’S NOTE
Quin , Editorial Director anicka.quin@westernliving.ca Follow Anicka on Instagram @aniqua Follow Western Living on
Anicka Quin portrait: Evaan Kheraj; styling by Luisa Rino, stylist assistant Araceli Ogrinc; makeup by Melanie Neufeld; outfit courtesy Holt Renfrew, holtrenfrew.com
Introducing the 1st Annual Celebratingtwenty-fiveof
Project great room Thormanby Island encourages slow,thoughtfulliving
Evolution of a Logo The first issue of Western Living (left) launched in 1971. We
moved to the WL moniker (below) in 2015.
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Spotlighting the best of architecture and design in Western Canada.


Designed by NATALIE SANDS-MANIANIS, Site Lines Architecture, Langley, B.C.

The Look: Sleek and Seamless “This feels more like an art gallery than a kitchen,” admits Natalie Sands-Manianis, interior designer for Site Lines Architecture. But that’s no accident. The homeowner is an artist, and the open-plan layout for the kitchen and living room in this mountainside home in Invermere (built by Quiniscoe Homes) needed to be clean, crisp and clutter-free, so as not to distract from the beautiful works on display. So Sands-Manianis concealed everything she could, panelling the appliances, cabinets and pantry door in the same custom-stained white oak. The counter and backsplash, meanwhile, are decked out in extra-large slabs of Laminam porcelain for a smooth, seamless backdrop. Though it was designed to show off paintings and prints, it’s clear this space is a work of art in itself.

westernliving.ca / May/June 2024 13
Eymeric Widling

Sparkling Beauty


New in stores across the West.

Bring the Noise

New Swedish speaker brand

Teenage Engineering has a colourful OB-4 speaker ($895) that looks as good as it sounds—it’s also portable with a handle so you can DJ on demand wherever you go. vanspecial.com

Easy, Breezy, Beautiful

The Molteni&C Boboli outdoor armchair (starting at $5,670) is a Vincent Van Duysen original that’s light and airy, like a stylish cross between a chair and a hammock (without the struggle of getting in and out of it). livingspace.com


Your Work Ligne Roset’s Indiscret desk ($4,340), designed by Constance Frapolli, is a stunning dark walnut and bronze piece that’s not one to keep secrets. With its tempered smoky glass top, this versatile desk offers a clear glimpse into your creative process. livingspace.ca
14 M ay/June 2024 / westernliving.ca
Specially handcrafted to preserve the fizz of sparkling water, Mud Australia’s water jug ($228)—in muted pastel colourways— also serves as a stunning sculptural piece, perfect for holding bubbly sodas, spring tulips and everyone’s attention. providehome.com What a Tassel Step up your floor plan with the Keoka Jaipur Living rug (starting at $2,100)—a chic, cozy spin on Afghan artistry with braided tassels and a geometric pattern that will fill any room with comfy drama. layersandlayers.com
AN EXPERIENCE Like No Other Your private showcase awaits at a Thermador Showroom. Explore luxury bespoke kitchens and discover how true craftsmanship, design, and innovation can bring your unique vision to life. Book an appointment at one of our showrooms: THERMADOR.CA/EN/EXPERIENCE/SHOWROOMS Vancouver: #101-30 E 6th Avenue Vancouver, BC • V5T 1J3 1-833-776-5893 Van-LuxeApplianceStudio@bshg.com Are you a designer? Join our Star® Partner Program to receive special industry only invitations, design support and rewards. starpartner.thermador.ca Toronto: 334 King Street East Toronto, ON • M5A 1K8 1-888-966-5893 Luxestudio@bshg.com Montreal: 61 Rue Peel Montreal, QC • H3C 0W3 514-353-3232 MTL-Latelier@bshg.com

SPF (Sun-Proof Fierceness)

Ever since Rihanna sang its praises, the umbrella has been having its moment in the sun—which this Tuuci Ocean Master M1 cupola umbrella ($3,225) is perfect for, with over 14 finishes, an elevated vent for airflow and a stylish s calloped valance. informinteriors.com

Tile Style

Sip your coffee poolside (even if you don’t have one) with the Avalon 51” rectangular tile coffee table ($1,499). Crafted from warm sandy-hued tiles and seemingly floating atop a recessed plinth base, it’s minimalism meets island time. crateandbarrel.ca

Brutalist Mix collection from AVDxRollout, from $16.50 per square foot. rollout.ca

Tanning Bed

Soak up the sun in style on this sleek Blu Dot Dog Days outdoor sun lounger ($2,593). Making your neighbours jealous? Worth every penny. designhousevancouver.com

Designer Alykhan Velji is known for spaces that celebrate colour, pattern and texture—and his new wallpaper collaboration with Rollout is a perfect extension of just that. Drawing both from Velji’s African heritage and an inspiring read through a vintage design magazine that turned him on to brutalist architecture, the Brutalist Mix collection is just what your bedroom wall is waiting for. “Terra” draws cues from the red earth and lush greens of Tanzania, while “Elements” and “Dune” celebrate the study in contrast that brutalism can showcase—soft forms overlie the sharp angles of brutalism in the former, while pinks, sand and ochre colours in the latter take their inspiration from the desert and architectural forms.

Anicka Quin , editorial director

For more editors’ picks visit westernliving.ca

Shining Sea

A bright idea inspired by salvaged sea glass, the Tala Shore table lamp ($219) is made from sustainable recycled glass and offers ambient lighting that goes from dim to warm with a colourful high-gloss base to brighten up any room. lightformshop.com

HOMES + DESIGN SHOPPING 16 M ay/June 2024 / westernliving.ca EDITOR’S PICK
Brutalist Mix collection: Joel Klassen

Homeward Bound

Embark on a visual journey through West Coast Modern architecture with the soon-to-be released book Reside: Contemporary West Coast Houses ($55). Through stunning photography by Ema Peter and insightful essays by Dr. Michael J. Prokopow, admire residential marvels from over two dozen B.C.-based architecture firms—Frits de Vries Architects, Measured Architecture and Evoke International Design, to name a few—from wherever you reside. indigo.ca

Undercover Happy Hour

Channel your inner ’60s spy with the Lift flower bar/end table ($14,030), designed by Sacha Lakic for Roche Bobois. Also available in ocean blue, terracotta and dark green, this flower-shaped double agent hides a secret bar, ready to shake and stir up some serious style. roche-bobois.com

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Designer Courtney Molyneaux helps Bar Chouette earn its street cred.

Location can make or break a restaurant , but even a great location—like a spot in Calgary’s bustling Beltline neighbourhood— isn’t enough to guarantee success. You also need curb appeal.

“The previous restaurant didn’t get a lot of traffic,” says interior designer Courtney Molyneaux of the vegan spot that occupied this space prior to its newest resident, Bar Chouette. “The room wasn’t open or inviting, and the lack of lighting made it look like a vacant space from the street.”

18 M ay/June 2024 / westernliving.ca HOMES + DESIGN GREAT SPACES
Photo Op “That is the most Instagrammed part of the restaurant,” says Molyneaux of this seating area. Visible from the curb at night, it also contributes to Bar Chouette’s street presence.

Double Texture

“The space would feel so different without the plaster walls,” says Molyneaux of her favourite design feature. “They have so much life and elevate the look.”

Determined to protect Bar Chouette from the same fate, Molyneaux and the team at Amanda Hamilton Interior Design brainstormed ways that the contemporary French bistro could grab the attention of patrons passing by.

First and foremost, Molyneaux brightened up the restaurant with Globo pendants from Lightform; hung at varying heights, they create a cozy, intimate atmosphere that beckons people to come in for dinner and late-night drinks. She also refreshed the walls

with plaster to give the room a more warm and lived-in look. “We wanted to put a cool edge on a vintage interior without it feeling too old-school,” she explains.

With items such as gochujang-glazed squid and a carrot “hot dog” on the menu— plus a playlist that’s heavy on hip hop and ’90s jams—Bar Chouette is far from a traditional French restaurant. And owner and chef Duncan Ly thought the design should reflect that. “He wanted it to be eclectic and playful,” recalls Molyneaux. “He was like, ‘Make it French—like the food belongs here—but let’s have fun with the interior.’”

Setting the restaurant apart from everything else in the area was also important, so Molyneaux incorporated custom neon signs from Neonific, funky wallpaper from Flavor Paper, vintage mirrors and quirky art prints. It all comes together to create a look that’s very cool—or, should we say, chouette

westernliving.ca / May/June 2024 19
Wonder Walls Molyneaux chose Andy Warhol-inspired wallpaper patterns (right and below) for both bathrooms to give the restaurant an underground and edgy vibe.


Vancouver artist Tara Lee Bennett turns scraps into sculptures.

There’s something deeply romantic about passing paper love notes—but for Tara Lee Bennett, a contemporary artist dating a printmaker, the true magic was in the offcuts her partner left behind. “There was all this paper she wasn’t using,” Bennett remembers. “So I started creating my work with that, and spending more and more time with her... as our relationship grew, so did my art practice and focus on paper.” Now, the pair are married, and Bennett’s botanical, sculptural works are in homes from Vancouver to Saudi Arabia.

Bennett was born in Zimbabwe, attended school at Design Centre Enmore in Sydney, Australia, and now works out of Vancouver’s Parker Street Studios, where

20 M ay/June 2024 / westernliving.ca HOMES + DESIGN ONE TO WATCH
Hirose / Portrait by Adam Blasberg Artwork photos by Engelbert Romero

Looking Sharp

Bennett works collaboratively with clients to create her commissioned pieces, often picking up on botanical trends. “Everyone’s clamouring for thistles at the moment,” she says with a laugh.

sometimes she’ll spend a whole day constructing a single flower. “Paper is such a simple, humble material, but it’s also transformative— there are endless possibilities,” says the artist. Some of Bennett’s florals are modelled after real species, some are not—the pieces blossom with irises, peonies and dahlias as well as with imagined flowers. “It’s kind of a garden of my own creation,” she shares. There’s no risk of wilting, either: Bennett uses high-quality cotton rag paper and acid-free glue for everlasting wall art.

While much of her monochrome, textured creations depict flowers, the series is about more than stems and petals. “It’s really about lushness and beauty and abundance,” Bennett explains. She’s botanically minded now, but who knows how the future will unfold: “You can make anything out of paper, so you never know.”

westernliving.ca / May/June 2024 21

Blue Is the Warmest Colour

Ahead of the inevitable onslaught of audacious summer brights, dive into a trending cool blue that’s refreshing yet serene and still beachy keen—like a holiday to Capri before the peak season crowds descend.

Blue Nova paint by Benjamin Moore (from $70), benjaminmoore.com Marni modern chair by Nuevo ($1,232), simons.ca Riviera sunbed cushion by Skagerak in sea blue stripe ($1,199), oldfaithfulshop.com Shredded A3 Deadline mirror by Cassina ($1,789), informinteriors.com Antoine custom sofa by Montauk (price upon request), montauksofa.com Anchor Holding rug by Zoë Pawlak for Burritt Bros ($10,420), burrittfloors.com
22 M ay/June 2024 / westernliving.ca
1966 serving cart by Knoll ($4,511), livingspace.com

Ahead of the Curve

Ahead of the Curve

The modular Curve defies the rules of traditional linear design, available in a multitude of organic shapes and over 177 luxurious fabrics, made to order in Italy. Visit our Vancouver showroom to discover Resource Furniture’s entire collection of modular seating, wall beds, transforming tables, and storage solutions.

The modular Curve defies the rules of traditional linear design, available in a multitude of organic shapes and over 177 luxurious fabrics, made to order in Italy. Visit our Vancouver showroom to discover Resource Furniture’s entire collection of modular seating, wall beds, transforming tables, and storage solutions.

ResourceFurniture.ca New York CityLos Angeles Calgary Vancouver San FranciscoSeattle Toronto
ResourceFurniture.ca New York CityLos Angeles Calgary Vancouver San FranciscoSeattle Toronto

What Happens in KBIS

From warm, welcoming kitchen countertops to green toilets (yes, you read that right), we’ve curated the coolest trends from the 2024 Kitchen and Bath Industry Show in Vegas.

This past February, we attended the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show (KBIS) in Las Vegas—the largest trade show of its kind in North America. Across three massive exhibition halls sprawling over 450,000 square feet, we laced up our sensible shoes and hit the ground ready to soak up all the kitchen and bath trends of 2024.

Warm Welcome

Crisp whites may be clean-looking and versatile, but, according to Caesarstone, warm surfaces are making a serious counterargument. Subtle browns, beiges and golds bring another level of hominess to a kitchen, keeping the space more cozy and less clinical: there’s Goldfinch’s subtle sandy veins, the luxe Marbannova that leans toward grey and Isobellia’s bold standout streaks.

Fluting and Floating

Texture has officially arrived at the tub. While there are still plenty of sleek soaker tubs out there, designers are diving into more playful options when it comes to the bath’s exterior. Tona’s Ovation tub, for example, is inspired by the classic columns of ancient Greece. Konkretus’s Papua design embraces that same architectural vibe, and also comes in colours like powder blue, pastel yellow and deep orange.

24 May/June 2024 / westernliving.ca
Caesarstone 5152 Goldfinch Caesarstone 508 Isobellia Caesarstone 507 Marbannova Konkretus’s Papua bathtub Tona’s Ovation soaking tub

Green Machine

Exhibitors at KBIS were seeing green: specifically, emeralds, teals and other indulgent, brilliant hues (see ya, sage). Cosentino introduced its regal Jardin Emerald Silestone Le Chic Boheme—a material that’s green in the sustainable sense, too, made with renewable electric energy, 99-percent recycled water and less silica than other engineered stones. Kohler’s teal toilets were the talk of the show, daring designers to go bold in the bathroom.


Function and fashion truly came together at KBIS, via smart toilets and not-so-lazy Susans. Technology has found its way home.


Ikonni Sound P4F02

WFH warriors can battle sound stylishly thanks to beautiful acoustic panelling, like this versatile material from Ikonni— it’s made with sound-absorbing non-woven fabric and MDF, a far cry


Going, Going, Bronze

Why settle for silver when you can get gold? Luxe, brass-y finishes made a statement in Vegas, from Moen’s minimal and modern Greenfield bathroom faucet to Maestro’s voluptuous (their word) Ruffle pedestal sink. Shinier creations showed up, too, like Karran’s dazzling, dimpled Cinox vessel sink.

Brondell Swash

Eco Thinline

Hygienic, eco-conscious and (let’s be honest) pretty darn fancy, bidets are slowly appearing in more North American homes. Brondell’s S wash Eco Thinline seat fits over a standard toilet, and is less than four inches in height.



LeMans shelf

Deep cabinets are no match for the shelf scientists at Kesseböhmer. The LeMans product is modelled after the French racetrack—the 85-degree hinge and four-arm articulation system is efficient, indeed. Do you have a need for speed?

Cosentino’s Jardin Emerald Silestone Le Chic Boheme
westernliving.ca / May/June 2024 25
MaestroBath’s Ruffle pedestal sink Moen’s Greenfield brushed gold one-handle high arc bathroom faucet Karran’s Cinox stainless steel round vessel sink Kohler’s Memoirs Stately toilet in teal from the egg-carton soundproofing of yesteryear.


26 M ay/June 2024 / westernliving.ca

The North Vancouver home of Herschel Supply Co. founder Lyndon Cormack is an art-filled, playful ode to both high design and the patina of time.

In the Pink

In the family room, modern design pieces like the white Wegner Ox chair and blue Husk sofa from B&B Italia pair perfectly with a sculpture from North Vancouver artist Cameron Kerr and a salvaged wood chair from California designer Vince Skelly.

westernliving.ca / May/June 2024 27
HOMES + DESIGN LET IN THE LIGHT 28 M ay/June 2024 / westernliving.ca

It was pretty dark when I bought it,” says Lyndon Cormack with a smile.

The previous owners of this home had kept it in their family for more than 60 years—and for good reason. It rests on an enviable fouracre piece of waterfront just north of Deep Cove, a suburb outside of Vancouver. Few properties with so much access to nature are also a 25-minute drive from downtown.

Once Cormack made the place his own, an early visitor was friend and designer Omer Arbel—the creative force behind the Bocci light empire. Arbel had some bright ideas—and today no less than 369 Bocci fixtures hang, swirl and fly throughout the house. A constant glow now animates the space—from inside, where those pendants team up with five enormous fireplaces, and also from outside, where the reflective waters of Indian Arm are seen through wall-to-wall openings.

Cormack, the co-founder of vintageinspired backpack giant Herschel and Co., has always been interested in bringing

Light It Up

White and black Bocci 28 lights are in the living room, and various Bocci designs can be spotted throughout the home. Omer Arbel, founder of Bocci, also designed Herschel’s flagship store in Vancouver’s Gastown neighbourhood.

Living room before westernliving.ca / May/June 2024 29

Easy Breezy

Many of the rooms feature folding glass walls that transition the indoor space seamlessly with the outdoor gardens, which overlook the Pacific Ocean.

classics into a new light. “A little patina is important,” he says. “You can’t fake it. The wear has its own story.” So: Douglas fir beams were left intact throughout the fivebedroom home; the original Shaker-style cabinetry remains; and above the kitchen floats an old cedar-strip canoe inherited from the previous owner.

All of which makes for a bold juxtaposition to the high-design moments throughout. In the living room, for example, a 25-foot-high wall of white subway tiles is a perfect backdrop for a jaw-dropping network of black Bocci pendants. Each fishbowl-sized orb, seemingly in motion, is suspended by a twisting copper cable. One can stare up in wonder from the understated Minotti sofa—or maybe from that classic Eames recliner.

Then again, the eye is likely drawn outdoors, too. Walls of glass slide up in the living room (thanks to a cantilevered pulley system)

and bedroom walls slide to one side—all to showcase the waterfront and the property’s expansive grounds. “I wanted lots of zones,” says Cormack. “Different places to hang out.” At 7,000 square feet, the home offers plenty to explore inside, but Cormack wanted the outdoors to serve as an expansion to the space. To wit: a putting green, climbing wall, basketball court, sauna, hot tub and a mega-sized chess set all await. Cormack’s daughters will sometimes take friends down a meandering path to the private ceramic studio by the water’s edge (complete, fittingly, with porcelain Bocci 21 pendant lights).

A 1,600-square-foot deepwater dock, where the Woodlands

30 M ay/June 2024 / westernliving.ca

Woods and Warmth

The Woodlands neighbourhood, where the home resides, began as “cabin country” for early residents of Vancouver, and that’s reflected in the home’s timber-frame construction.

westernliving.ca / May/June 2024 31
Kitchen before Pop Art
HOMES + DESIGN LET IN THE LIGHT 32 M ay/June 2024 / westernliving.ca
The God Save the Queen artwork in the kitchen (left) is by artist Jamie Reid, who did the cover art for the Sex Pistols single of the same name. Homeowner Lyndon Cormack (below) had long admired the house before he purchased it from its original owners.
westernliving.ca / May/June 2024 33
A Fine Vintage Cormack wanted to embrace much of the original patina of the home, and so he kept the Douglas fir beams and original Shaker-style cabinets. The cedarstrip canoe floating in the kitchen was also inherited from the previous owner. The artwork here is by Scott Sueme.

Rest Assured

community gathers each year for its century-old regatta, is also a launchpad for the family’s summer excursions. “We try not to use the car when the weather warms up—so we’ll take the boat to Granville Island or Lonsdale Quay for dinner.” But, after adventures, there’s always time for drinks in the wood-wrapped (and bar-equipped) billiards room, or a chat in the library, where cozy seating options include Fritz Hansen’s Swan chair and a plush Ox chair by Wegner.

At the end of the day, up in the primary suite, “it’s like camping,” says Cormack. A luxurious Baxter bed (by Italian designer Paola Navone) faces the wide world through an opening

that stretches the length of the room. And, yes, a school of multi-hued Bocci lights swims over the bedroom, too. The ultimate nightlight.

Looking through pristine photos of his finished home, Cormack laughs. “This house isn’t precious, it’s lived in,” he says. What he wanted—and what he got—is a house lit up by barbecue-ing friends and kids diving off the dock, by laughter and love. “It’s a shoes-on house,” he says (slate tiles help there). It’s a place where life (and marvelous light) just can’t be denied. So, the man who built an empire selling luggage may have finally built himself a space where he can put down his bags.

Bedroom before 34 May/June 2024 / westernliving.ca
A Baxter bed is positioned to take in Pacific Ocean views and breezes. Loll Designs Adirondack lounge chairs on the terrace are perfectly positioned for a morning coffee.


SINCE 1892


101 water street www.kiatelier.com @kitcheninfinityatelier

PlaidFox offers a fresh take on the retro charm of a once-spurned, now-beloved Vancouver classic.


westernliving.ca / May/June 2024 37
Kerri Donaldson / Photos by Ema Peter

The once-ubiquitous Vancouver Special hasn’t historically received a lot of love. They were often quickly built, they’re utilitarian in design and they favour max square footage over thoughtful space planning. But the boxy homes that were once so popular in the Lower Mainland—it’s the only housing style developed here that isn’t found anywhere else—hold great renovating potential. “They’re simplistic and malleable,” says Ben Leavitt, founder and creative director of PlaidFox. That second quality—being easy to modify—applies to both their interior and exterior structure. Paired with the Vancouver Special’s vintage charm, it’s sparked a resurgence of interest among a younger generation of homeowners aspiring to inject some fresh energy into the design and imprint it w ith their own identity.

38 M ay/June 2024 / westernliving.ca HOMES + DESIGN SPECIAL TREATMENT

Layered Story

“I always loved the side-by-side of the three materials: the corrugated rust wall, that white painted fireplace and then the wood ceiling,” says Kelly O’Quinn, senior designer at PlaidFox. “How they all converge—that’s sort of my favourite pocket.” Homeowners Kaitlin and Jamie, below, wanted to bring a vibrant, youthful feel to this former Vancouver Special. In the dining room, the Vitra Wiggle side chair, Vakkerlight paper-like pendants, spherical Audo Copenhagen TR bulb wall lamps and oval Lock and Mortice Seton dining table contribute structure to the design. Meanwhile, the velvety Nanimarquina Noche rug, timber De La Espada Kim bench-turned-coffee-table and the linen-and-wool throw pillows add layers of texture to the living room.

Among those new homeowners are Kaitlin and Jamie, a couple in their mid-30s who enlisted the PlaidFox design team to assist them with rejuvenating a ’70sera, four-bedroom, three-bathroom Vancouver Special in the Mount Pleasant area. Instead of opting for bold design manoeuvres or dramatic colour additions, the stylish couple leaned toward a more neutral, minimalist approach. “They wanted to add a vibrant, youthful feel,” says Kelly O’Quinn, senior designer at PlaidFox, who collaborated with Leavitt to revamp the couple’s dated corner lot residence into a space uniquely reflective of their tastes. The team worked to incorporate modern elements while honouring the home’s inherent charm. “It’s about seamlessly merging the old with the new; respecting tradition while embracing innovation,” Leavitt explains.

Creating this synergy of old and new called for a comprehensive renovation—in other words, stripping the home down to its essence. “We took it down to the studs,” says Leavitt. “We preserved the original architecture on the exterior, but we didn’t want a disjointed look, where the interior feels starkly different from the exterior.” The renovation strategy focused on revitalizing rather than replacing. The existing flagstone fireplace received a fresh coat of paint—Benjamin Moore’s Chantilly Lace—and plaster, along with a new contemporary terrazzo hearth. And while the original wood ceiling was replaced, the team ensured that the design maintained its original feel.

Other features, however, were updated to reflect modern tastes. The layout was transformed into an open-concept space, removing walls to eliminate cramped rooms, and getting rid of finishes such as spindles on the stairs and textured amber windows. They also revamped the small, non-functional kitchen, which previously featured linoleum flooring and melamine countertops. “We aimed to have each space semi-bleed into the next, so that your eye travels,” says Leavitt. A variety of wood tones, meanwhile, add a vintage flair. “Mixing different woods creates a nostalgic atmosphere, evoking a sense of warmth and character,” explains O’Quinn.

At its core, the design is about capturing the essence of a well-lived life—a space that’s imperfectly perfect. For Leavitt, that essence lies in the home’s eclectic mix of pieces, each telling its own story. “Homogeneity can drain a space of vitality,” he says. In the living room, for instance, a delightful mingling of old and new furniture creates a relaxed atmosphere that avoids being overly formal or matchy-matchy. Classic furnishings, such as the comfy Cassina Soriana armchair and the Audo Copenhagen Knitting lounge chair in leather—reminiscent of the Vancouver Special era itself—are seamlessly integrated with a sleek, ultra-modern Muuto armless modular sofa. Personal touches add character and heritage, with

Living room before
westernliving.ca / May/June 2024 39
40 M ay/June 2024 / westernliving.ca HOMES + DESIGN SPECIAL TREATMENT

Natural High

“If you are going to do a white kitchen, natural stone is a way to really wake it up,” says Leavitt. The kitchen’s flatpanel cabinets—painted in the same Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace that the team used for the fireplace—and the impressive 19-foot island’s white oak millwork get a natural lift from the Caesarstone neutral white quartz countertop. Meanwhile, the contrasting Delta Trinsic single-handle matte-black faucet adds a subtle accent in the minimalist space, standing out against the ornate SSC marble backsplash that flows into the countertop.

elements like a vintage scroll from Kaitlin’s family displayed above the sofa, or a vinyl record collection featuring artists like Charlotte Cardin, Daft Punk and Phoenix.

In the dining area, a Seton oval pedestal table in black-stained oak from Lock and Mortice is matched with vintage-inspired Cassina chairs. Above the table, cloud-like sculptural Tense pendant lights by Vakkerlight introduce ambiance and whimsy to the linear space. “When choosing light fixtures for a space, you want to select items that act as an element of sculpture during the day,” advises Leavitt. The feature wall of angular millwork in Benjamin Moore’s rust-toned Ten Gallon Hat paint provides a striking contrast to the floating lights. The inspiration stemmed from a uniquely shaped tile the designers had discovered from Mutina. “It had this really triangular shape and we thought about installing that somewhere,” explains O’Quinn. “But in the end we wanted to do this bigger wall of it and just create a similar shape out of millwork.”

Kitchen before
westernliving.ca / May/June 2024 41

In the home’s heart, the bright white kitchen—made more pronounced by the neighbouring rust-coloured dining room— showcases a juxtaposition of light woods and natural stone marble. “Let this be evidence that PlaidFox can do a white kitchen,” quips Leavitt. Honed marble from SSC Countertops unites the backsplash and perimeter cabinetry surface in a seamless sweep of elegance, adding depth alongside the kitchen’s standout feature: a 19-foot island. “Adding natural marble to your kitchen is like adding a modern abstract painting,” says Leavitt, emphasizing its artistic dimension. The island, acting as the nucleus of the home, is topped with a concrete-like neutral white Caesarstone quartz and lined with custom white oak tambour millwork, making it the perfect gathering spot for dinner parties and epic board game nights.

Kaitlin and Jamie’s input throughout the process ensured that the home mirrored their own style and way of life, while their knack for uncovering vintage treasures further enhances the overall charm of the space. “They exude a cool, casual and fun vibe,” says Leavitt, “and I truly believe the house embodies that spirit.”

Despite previous renovations, the home retains its soul, connecting with both its surroundings and its occupants. “I think people living downtown, maybe in apartments, believe that single-family neighbourhoods are places where creativity and fun slowly wither away,” says Leavitt. “But the reality is, when I look at this house, when I observe the movement happening in Vancouver, and when I see Kaitlin and Jamie as embodiments of that, I just feel like they’re making residential neighbourhoods much more exciting.”

In the end, this Vancouver Special is not merely a renovation—it’s a reinvention: one tailored to its occupants, and maintaining a timeless feel that thinks outside the box.

Concrete Jungle

The main floor bathroom, bedecked with a striking Ferrandi wallpaper (by Christiane Lemieux for York Wallcoverings)chosen by the homeowners, features modern fixtures— a matte black Riobel faucet floating atop a concrete pistachio-green sink from Concretti Designs. A suede finish Silestone Nolita counter from Cosentino and a custom flat-panel white oak vanity embody the homeowners’ eclectic, global tastes.

Bathroom before 42 May/June 2024 / westernliving.ca HOMES + DESIGN SPECIAL TREATMENT


And so do our building partners.

Innotech Windows + Doors is a local manufacturer of highperformance European-style windows and exterior doors. Our products are specified by progressive building professionals for custom residences that are both architecturally striking and deeply sustainable.

Learn more about our Passive House Institute certified windows and doors: www.innotech-windows.com/passive-house

Forest Hills: A dark, dated North Vancouver home finds new life with a custom renovation.

Premier renovation experts Twin Lions Contracting transformed an 80s-style home into a contemporary, stream-lined haven with a bright and airy ambiance.

The Forest Hills project is a jewel in the heart of North Vancouver’s Edgemont neighbourhood.

Twin Lions Contracting transformed the 4717-square-foot project from a dark, dated home to a light and airy, modern but comfortable place where its owners feel completely at home.

“This reimagined family home is a combination of sophistication, design and functionality,” says Kevin Hatch, president, Twin Lions Contracting. “Each room is a testament to the art of living well, where style and substance meet to elevate the everyday into something truly exceptional.”

Modern luxury meets timeless design

The team at Twin Lions Contracting stripped back the 1980s style aesthetic, creating a blank canvas for the client’s contemporary vision–a warm and open space that is both luxurious and approachable.

Mission accomplished. Just steps inside the home, a grand curved staircase, double height ceilings and a beautiful arched walkthrough capture the eye and announce there is more to come throughout the home.

“The arched walk-through provides an essential connection to the living room,” Hatch says. “As you ascend the grand

staircase, this architectural masterpiece becomes a true focal point, leading the way to generously reimagined bedrooms and bathrooms that are a mixture of sophistication and luxury.”

On the second floor, the primary en suite underwent significant expansion, introducing the space and luxury of a massive walk-in shower, free-standing soaker tub and his and her vanities.

Dream Kitchen

The kitchen makes the homeowner’s every culinary dream come true with top-of-the-line appliances and exquisite face frame millwork.

“This culinary haven is where inspiration seamlessly melds with functionality, turning every meal into an artful experience,” Hatch says.

One of the project’s many highlights is the extensive and meticulous millwork. Completed by TLG Millwerks Ltd, it epitomizes the dramatic difference finishes and materials can make in a home, updating a tired aesthetic to become beautiful and functional while maximizing storage capacity.

Award-winning contracting team

Twin Lions is a premier custom home builder and renovation contractor in the Greater

Vancouver area, earning an industry-wide reputation for outstanding workmanship, integrity and professionalism. It has won awards for Best Renovation across multiple categories from CHBA National, CHBA BC (Georgie) and HAVAN.

Twin Lions was founded in 2010 with a clear mission: set the standard for excellence and put pride back into the construction industry.

“Building trust, forging longstanding relationships and creating an unparalleled experience for our clients has been the cornerstone of our business since day one,” Hatch says. “We couldn’t achieve this without support from our incredible team. They are the driving force behind our success, and every member of our team lives our core values.”

Get started making your renovation dreams come true at twinlionscontracting.com

Canada Wide Media in partnership with Twin Lions Contracting @twinlionscontractingltd @twinlionscontracting @Twinlionscontracting
Photographer: Janis Nicolay Photography Kitchen before
After After Bathroom
Staircase before



Family Matters

westernliving.ca / May/June 2024 45
Edmonton renovation leans hard into cozy nooks and eclectic details and delivers warmth to a big Alberta family on the rebound from tropical climes. The Brandts (from left: Arlo, Nicole, Winnie, Shaun and Etta) moved to Baja during the pandemic, but they missed Edmonton. Fortunately, they spotted this great ’70s-era home that was ready to renovate to suit their family of five.

In the Mood

January 2021, Nicole and Shaun Brandt made the most of the proverbial workingfrom-home pivot, and moved from Edmonton to Baja, Mexico, with their three kids (who were all under 10 at the time). The weather was fabulous; the beaches spectacular; the food, the relaxed pace, et cetera—all tough to beat. After a few months, however, some of the family members (hint: it wasn’t Nicole or Shaun) started to long for familiar northerly climes.

“The kids wanted to come home,” says Nicole, who, once the decision to return to Edmonton was made, scoured real estate listings for weeks to find a house that would suit their stylish young family—and perhaps take the sting out of leaving behind an ocean view.

In stark contrast to the couple’s previous attraction to contemporary, open-plan homes, Nicole found herself drawn to a circa1979 five-level split with wood panelling and two staircases. “It was a weird house, but I couldn’t stop looking at it,” she says. “I got the courage to show Shaun and he loved the feel of it, too.” Even though they knew they would renovate, the Brandts were inspired by the home’s eclecticism—the curved archways and, as Nicole saw it, “quirky twists and turns and nooks and crannies” spread over multiple levels. The couple hired Edmonton designer Brianna Hughes to modernize and connect the home’s haphazard dots without erasing the vintage Brady Bunch vibes.

Besides a kitchen extension that eliminated one set of stairs, the walls of the house were kept intact, and the house was re-designed in stages starting with the kids’ bathroom and the primary bathroom upstairs so that the family could live on that floor while the main floor was being renovated. The project came together bit by bit, informed by furniture, materials and design details the Brandts fell in love with along the way. The effect is a curated collection of rooms stylistically independent from each other yet still connected via texture and

Living room before
46 M ay/June 2024 / westernliving.ca
Homeowner Nicole Brandt fell in love with the oversized corduroy sofa from Article (above) that was actually the perfect size for the living room. Designer Brianna Hughes paired it with a richly painted feature wall (Espresso from Benjamin Moore) with mouldings to create texture and interest.

Welcome Centre

In the entry (below left), Hughes framed a photo that Shaun took of Nicole and her two kids (she’s pregnant with Winnie) on a family trip to Italy. Hughes retiled the fireplace in Zellige tiles from Edmonton’s Geon Tile and added the hearth (right). In the landing at the top of the stairs (below right), there’s a rug from Edmonton artist Rashelle Campbell.

westernliving.ca / May/June 2024 47
Entryway before

Dining room before

In Time

In the dining room, Cesca chairs from Marcel Breuer for Knoll add to the vintage vibe of the home, paired with a cozy captain’s chair from CB2. The pendant light is from Luminaire Authentik.

Bathing Beauty

In the primary bathroom (left), a red travertine counter brings a warm hit of colour to the surrounding neutral palette.

48 May/June 2024 / westernliving.ca HOMES + DESIGN PARTY OF FIVE


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The same Zellige tiles from the fireplace appear again in the kitchen backsplash, this time in a glossy finish (above). Hughes also brought in a limestone exterior cladding to one wall, but overgrouted the stones to create the feeling that they’d always been there (right).

Kitchen before Vintage Charm
50 M ay/June 2024 / westernliving.ca HOMES + DESIGN PARTY OF FIVE

colour. Terrazzo and travertine are repeated in the bathroom and bedrooms; wainscoting in the dining room makes an appearance in the kids’ bedrooms and the loft; and a 1920s-style parquet floor in one room (the home’s abundant parquet was unsalvageable in the others) is echoed in a basket-weave cement tile in the kitchen. Hughes further weaved in consistency by creating new curving entranceways to match the arches original to the home. Overall, says Hughes, “there’s a lot of detail and colour and different eras in the house, but there’s a consistent softness to it.”

The Brandts drew a few of their favourite vintage finds compellingly into the pastiche. The kitchen’s island—Grande Vena Vecchia porcelain slab—is extended by a wood tabletop crafted in B.C. and attached to an antique base; the mix of materials pulls in warmth and personality. Likewise, upstairs, a circa-1960s scissor chair put some soul into the loft off the primary bedroom and opened Nicole’s eyes to its charm. “That room didn’t make sense to me at first,” says Nicole, who had its walls painted white. When the couple found they never used the room, Hughes suggested repainting in a cool grey-green (Benjamin Moore’s Night Train) and turning it into a record room. “The chair, the colour, the wainscoting—now I love it and I have my coffee there every morning,” says Nicole.

Hughes couldn’t do much about the northern latitude of the Brandts’ new house, but she managed to ensure the family was collectively drawn to the warmth and fun of the living room. Early in the project, Nicole had found a super-sized contemporary sofa from Article upholstered in retro fabric that could easily envelop the whole family in full


loafing mode. “Nicole loved the sofa, but it’s enormous and it’s in rust-coloured corduroy, so it took some thinking to balance the look of it,” says Hughes. Playing off its ’70s look, she left the wood panelling on the ceiling above it and painted the large wall behind the sofa with Benjamin Moore’s Espresso. The fireplace and wall sconces amplify the coziness of the living room and the couch is, as was Nicole’s intention, the heart of the home. “It’s the first time all five of us have been able to sit together,” she says. It may not be a beach but sometimes the right piece of furniture in the right house has all the power of a sunny family holiday.

Kids’ bathroom before
westernliving.ca / May/June 2024 51
In the kids’ bathroom, terracotta subway tile is a pretty match to the terrazzo tile on the tub surround (below).



54 M ay/June 2024 / westernliving.ca

Whether you’re celebrating Mother’s Day with a mid-morning feast or just entertaining friends on a springy Sunday, this is a menu full of (delicious) surprises. French toast has its place, of course, but to truly celebrate—your mom, your life of leisure, whatever—turn to crab cake bennies, crispy rösti waffles, zingy lemon tarts and more. Raise a mimosa: here’s to the beauty of brunch.

westernliving.ca / May/June 2024 55
Recipes and food styling by Lawren Moneta / Photography by Mark Gibbon / Prop styling by Paris Forrer

Spring Salmon Freekeh Skillet with Warm feta Citrus Relish

Yield: 4 servings

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 35 minutes

Warm and comforting with a hit of freshness from the relish, this is a dish to linger over at brunch. Spring salmon also goes by the names chinook, king or tyee, so keep your eye out when purchasing your fish. Freekeh is a popular whole grain that has been consumed for centuries in the Middle East and North Africa. Its name comes from the Arabic word farak, which means “to rub”—this refers to the production process in which durum wheat is harvested before it is fully ripe, then toasted and rubbed vigorously to release the green kernels.

2 tbsp grapeseed oil, divided 4 to 6 oz salmon fillets, skin off Kosher salt and ground black pepper, for seasoning

2 large yellow onions, chopped

5 garlic cloves, divided

1¼ tsp crushed fennel seed, divided

½ tsp ground cumin

1 cup uncooked cracked freekeh

1½ cups unsalted vegetable stock

½ cup golden raisins

1 lemon

2 tbsp chopped fresh oregano, divided

1 small orange

¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil

¼ tsp crushed hot red pepper flakes

3 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

3 oz crumbled feta cheese

Heat 1 tbsp grapeseed oil in a large skillet, cast iron if you have it, over mediumhigh heat.

Sprinkle salmon evenly with a generous seasoning of salt and black pepper. Once oil is very hot, add salmon to pan, and cook skinned side down until nicely browned (about 2 minutes). Remove salmon from pan and place, skinned side down, on a plate. Salmon will not be done cooking. Keep skillet over heat but reduce to medium.

Add remaining 1 tbsp grapeseed oil to skillet along with onions. Cook, stirring often, until starting to brown (about 4 to 5 minutes). Finely mince 4 cloves of garlic and add to skillet with onions along with 1 tsp fennel seed and ground cumin. Continue to cook, stirring often, until onions are nicely caramelized and garlic and spices are aromatic (about another 2 to 4 minutes). Stir freekeh into onion mixture before adding vegetable stock, scraping bottom of skillet to loosen any browned bits. Stir in raisins. Let mixture come to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, finely zest lemon but keep remaining lemon as you will use it for the relish. Once simmered, uncover skillet and stir lemon zest and 1 tbsp oregano into freekeh mixture. Nestle salmon,

skinned side down. Cover skillet and cook on low until liquid is absorbed and freekeh is done and salmon is cooked through (about another 5 to 6 minutes).

While salmon finishes cooking, make the relish. Peel reserved lemon, removing all white pith. Cut between membranes to remove lemon sections, discarding the membranes. Chop each lemon section into 3 pieces. Finely zest half of the orange and set aside. Peel orange, removing all white pith. Cut between membranes to remove orange sections, discarding membranes. Chop each orange section into 3 pieces.

Finely slice remaining garlic clove and add to a small saucepan along with olive oil, crushed red pepper flakes and remaining ¼ tsp fennel seed. Place over medium-low heat and cook, stirring often, until garlic is just golden brown (about 3 minutes). Remove saucepan from heat and stir in parsley, orange zest and remaining 1 tbsp oregano. Add feta, chopped lemons and chopped oranges and stir gently to combine. Let mixture stand so cheese warms and softens but is not melted (about 2 minutes).

To serve, divide salmon and cooked freekeh among serving bowls. Top with some of the relish and serve remaining relish alongside.

56 M ay/June 2024 / westernliving.ca ENTERTAINING FIRST, WE BRUNCH
westernliving.ca / May/June 2024 57
Rösti Waffles see page 62 for recipe.
58 M ay/June 2024 / westernliving.ca ENTERTAINING FIRST, WE BRUNCH

Crab Cake Eggs Benedict with Avocado “Hollandaise”

Yield: 4 servings

Prep time: 40 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

This reimagination of the classic brunch dish is perfect for when you want something special. Traditional hollandaise can be a bit finicky and has been known to split if you are not careful during the emulsification process. Here we forgo the fuss altogether and opt for a luscious, silky-smooth sauce reminiscent of hollandaise that comes together in a snap and requires no cooking.

Crab cakes

1½ lbs fresh crabmeat

2 to 4 Thai red chilies, to taste

2 garlic cloves, minced

4 green onions, trimmed and thinly sliced into rounds

2 tsp freshly grated ginger

2 tsp finely chopped fresh basil leaves

Finely grated zest of 1 large lemon

2 large eggs

1½ cups panko bread crumbs

Canola oil, for frying

⅓ cup all-purpose flour

3 tbsp cornmeal

Kosher salt, for seasoning

Avocado “hollandaise”

1 ripe medium-sized avocado, pit and peel discarded

Juice of 1 large lemon

1 tsp Dijon mustard

¼ tsp kosher salt

⅛ tsp ground white pepper (optional)

¼ to ½ cup warm water

For serving

1 tbsp grapeseed oil

3 cups packed fresh baby spinach or kale

Kosher salt, for seasoning

4 poached eggs

Chili crisp condiment, store bought or homemade (optional)

Pick over crabmeat to ensure it does not contain any shells or cartilage. Place crabmeat in a large bowl.

Finely chop Thai red chilies. Use at least two but more if you enjoy more spice. (If you would like to tame their tongue-tingling properties further, deseed chilies before finely chopping.) Add chilies to bowl with crabmeat along with garlic, green onion, ginger, basil and lemon zest. Mix all together thoroughly with your hands, breaking up crabmeat. Add eggs and panko and mix again until mixture is well combined. Divide mixture into four equal portions and form each portion into a patty at least 1 inch tall. Place crab cakes on a small parchment-lined baking tray or plate and place in the freezer for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, make avocado “hollandaise” sauce. In jug of a blender, add avocado, lemon juice, mustard, salt, pepper and ¼ cup warm water. Blend, scraping down sides of blender jug with a rubber spatula as needed, until smooth and creamy. Add additional water as desired to create a pourable consistency. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper if desired. Set aside.

Add enough oil to a high-sided pan, cast iron pan or Dutch oven so that it’s about a half-inch deep. Warm over medium-high heat until it reaches 320°F.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour and cornmeal. Remove crab cakes from freezer and dredge in flour mixture. Fry crab cakes, in batches if needed, until cooked through (about 2 minutes per side). Transfer to a paper towel lined plate, sprinkle lightly with salt and let drain.

Just before serving, heat grapeseed oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add greens and a pinch of salt. Sauté until bright green and just wilted (about 1 to 2 minutes).

To assemble benedict, place one crab cake on each serving plate. Top with warm greens, a poached egg and a spoonful of avocado “hollandaise.” Garnish with a drizzle of chili crisp condiment or serve on the side, if desired. Serve immediately.

Brunch with Punch

Toast Mother’s Day with these bubbly bottles.

Your mother deserves better than prosecco, but the fear of someone pouring OJ into Dom is very real. How about the B.C. middle ground? Our best sparkling is often made in the same classic (and expensive) method as champagne, while being in the same price league as our Italian friends. Here are three brunch-worthy bottles that are wise splurges for that special lady.

Blue Mountain

Gold Label Brut $32

Pinot noir and chardonnay grapes are hand harvested and go through the painstaking methode traditionnelle to ensure that w onder—lemon, fresh bread—happens inside the bottle. If there is a paradigm for B.C. sparkling, this is it.

Road 13 Sparkling

Chenin Blanc 2018 $45

We’re not going to follow France the time. This stunner from 13 uses the same labour-intensive process but subs in the sublime blanc for an embrace of ripe pear. A pre-COVID marvel.

Birch Block

Blanc-de-Franc Pet Nat

This is not made in the traditional method, but if your mom is be all over pétillant naturel, ancient method of making and one that works wonderfully with this elegant and light cabernet franc.

westernliving.ca / May/June
Illustration: iStock/Ksenia Bogdanova

Radish, Navy Bean and Pickled Strawberry Salad

Yield: 4 to 6 servings

Prep time: 2½ hours

Cook time: 15 minutes

Radishes are wonderful. They are very rarely the star of a dish and that’s a shame as they are so versatile. In this recipe they are highlighted in three different ways to create a crave-worthy salad that might just be the talk of the table. The bright and sweet bite of the pickled strawberries also adds another dimension of delight. You will have more pickled strawberries and radish-top pesto than you need for this recipe. Extras can be stirred into soup, spread on toasted baguettes or served alongside grilled meats.

Pickled strawberries

⅓ cup unseasoned rice vinegar

1 tbsp granulated sugar

¼ tsp kosher salt

⅛ tsp freshly ground black pepper

1 ½ cups strawberries, halved Water, as needed

Radish-top pesto

½ cup raw pumpkin seeds

1 small garlic clove

¼ tsp kosher salt

2 tbsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice

1½ cup packed radish greens, washed well and dried

½ cup fresh basil leaves

¼ cup finely grated parmesan cheese or nutritional yeast

¼ to ⅓ cup extra-virgin olive oil

Lemon vinaigrette

2 tbsp fresh-squeezed lemon juice

½ small garlic clove, finely minced

1½ tsp Dijon mustard

Pinch fine sea salt

½ tsp clover honey

2 to 3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

For salad

16 red radishes, divided

1 tbsp grapeseed oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

½ small red onion, thinly sliced

1 can navy beans, drained and rinsed under warm water

¼ cup raw pumpkin seeds

1 tbsp capers

¼ cup packed fresh mint leaves

To start, prepare pickled strawberries as they need time to brine. In a small bowl, whisk together rice vinegar, sugar, kosher salt and black pepper until sugar and salt have dissolved. Place strawberries into an airtight container just big enough to hold them and close the lid without squishing them. Pour vinegar mixture over strawberries before adding enough water to cover. Secure lid and shake gently to combine. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours and up to 24 hours before using.

Meanwhile, make radish-top pesto. In bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal S blade, add pumpkin seeds, garlic, kosher salt and lemon juice. Pulse until pumpkin seeds are roughly chopped. Add radish greens, basil and parmesan and pulse again until greens are roughly chopped and mixture is combined. With food processor running, drizzle in enough olive oil to create a thick but spreadable pesto. Taste and season with additional salt or lemon juice. Transfer pesto to a bowl and set aside. If not using right away, pesto will keep refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

When ready to put together salad, start by preheating oven to 450°F. Slice 12 radishes in half and place in a roasting dish or on a baking tray. Toss with grapeseed oil and season with a good pinch each of salt and pepper. Place radishes cut side down in a single layer. Roast until crisp tender (about 10 to 15 minutes).

While radishes roast, make vinaigrette. In a large bowl, whisk together lemon juice,

garlic, mustard, salt, honey and olive oil until well combined. Season to taste with additional lemon juice, salt or olive oil. Add red onion slices and stir to coat in vinaigrette. Set aside for 10 minutes. Add navy beans, pumpkin seeds and capers. Using a mandoline or sharp knife, thinly slice remaining 4 radishes. Add these along with roasted radishes to bowl with other ingredients and gently toss to mix everything together.

To plate salad, spoon onto a serving platter. Garnish with mint leaves, dollops of pesto and drained pickled strawberries.

60 M ay/June 2024 / westernliving.ca
westernliving.ca / May/June 2024 61

Rösti Waffles

(see photo page 57)

Yield: 4 servings

Prep time: 25 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Move over, hashbrowns, these rösti waffles pack a double punch of flavour and crispiness. This recipe can be easily doubled or tripled to feed a crowd or altered to suit your taste. Don’t like gouda? Try parmesan or pepper jack. Want to go vegetarian? Use one whole onion and add a teaspoon of smoked paprika and omit the bacon.

½ lb thick-cut bacon, about 6 to 8 slices

1 large russet potato, skin on, well scrubbed

½ yellow onion

3 large eggs, lightly whisked

1 cup grated gouda cheese

½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

2 tbsp finely chopped chives

Add bacon to a cold frying pan and place over medium heat. Cook bacon, turning occasionally, until cooked through and crisp (about 8 to 10 minutes). Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain. Once cool, roughly chop and set aside.

Preheat waffle iron. Grate potato and onion using a food processor and the shredding disk or on the large holes of a box grater. Transfer grated potato and onion into a clean kitchen towel or a large triple layer of cheesecloth. Gather the corners, position over a large bowl and squeeze out as much liquid as possible into bowl. Let the liquid in the bowl sit for 2 to 3 minutes to allow the potato starch to settle, then pour off and discard the liquid but leave the potato starch.

Add grated potato and onion, bacon, eggs, cheese, pepper and chives to bowl with potato starch. Stir together with a fork until well combined. Ladle half the rösti mixture into your waffle iron and cook until crispy (about 6 to 10 minutes, depending on the iron). Transfer hot rösti to a wire rack while repeating cooking process with the other half of the mixture. Cut or tear rösti waffles at least in half and serve while warm.

Lemony Portuguese Tarts

Yield: 12 tarts

Prep time: 25 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

These handheld tarts are the perfect sweet treat to include in a brunch spread. Made with ready rolled puff pastry, they come together pretty quickly and are sure to disappear just as fast.

2 sheets, pre-rolled, store-bought butter puff pastry (about 1 lb) ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled 1¼ cups granulated sugar, divided ¼ cup all-purpose flour

½ tsp ground cardamom

¼ tsp fine sea salt

1¼ cups whole milk

2 tsp vanilla extract

2 tsp finely grated lemon zest

½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

5 large egg yolks

Confectioners’ sugar or freeze-dried strawberry powder, for garnish

Preheat oven to 475°F for a convection oven or 500°F for ovens with no convection feature. Lightly grease a 12-hole muffin pan with butter. Set aside.

Lightly dust your work surface with flour and lay flat one sheet of puff pastry. If needed, with a rolling pin, roll pastry into a 10-inch square. Brush top side of pastry with 2 tbsp melted butter then scatter over 2 tbsp sugar. Top with second sheet of pastry (first making sure to roll out if needed), brush with remaining 2 tbsp butter and sprinkle with another 2 tbsp sugar. Roll up to form a tight log. Place rolled puff pastry in refrigerator for 5 to 10 minutes.

Once chilled, trim off uneven edges of puff pastry log and, using a sharp knife, divide into 12 equal pieces. Working with one piece of puff pastry at a time, place into cup of prepared muffin pan, cut side down, and, using your fingers, press into and up sides of pan, creating a tart crust shape. Repeat with remaining puff pastry pieces. Transfer muffin pan to refrigerator to chill.

Meanwhile, whisk together remaining 1 cup sugar, flour, cardamom and salt in a medium saucepan. Whisk in milk, vanilla, lemon zest and juice and egg yolks until just combined. Place saucepan over low heat and cook, whisking constantly, until custard has thickened (about 5 minutes). Remove saucepan from heat and transfer custard to a measuring jug.

Divide custard mixture among chilled tart shells, filling each about three-quarters full. Smooth out tops of custard with back of a spoon, if needed. Bake tarts in oven until custard has puffed and is heavily caramelized on top and pastry is crisp (about 18 to 22 minutes).

Place muffin pan on a wire rack. Let tarts cool in muffin pan for 10 minutes before removing and placing on wire rack to cool until just warm or at room temperature. Just before serving, dust with confectioners’ sugar or freeze-dried strawberry powder.

62 M ay/June 2024 / westernliving.ca ENTERTAINING FIRST, WE BRUNCH


styling by Lawren Moneta; photos by Seth Stevenson; prop styling by Ryan Louis

A well-designed home puts function first—it’s crafted to work just how you need it too.

But the finishing touches can be just as important: those elements that bring in layers of comfort, colour and texture to make a space feel beautiful, too. Alykhan Velji, Creative Director of Alykhan Velji Designs, joins editorial director Anicka Quin to chat about how he makes the finishing touches truly work in the homes he and his award-winning team design.

Join us for a glass of wine, appetizers and great conversation!

When: Wednesday, May 29, 2024, 5:30pm to 8pm

WheRe: Merit Kitchens Design Centre, 1-6130 4 St SE, Calgary, AB

TICKETS: $10, with all proceeds going to the Calgary Food Banks


If you’re an IDIBC member, this event is eligible for one non-IDCEC hour of professional development credit.

Alykhan Velji, Creative Director, Alykhan Velji Designs Anicka Quin, Editorial Director, Western Living
Styling 101: How to Make a HouSe a Home
TalkS In partnership with Wine partner
Aly Velji portrait: Michelle Johnson; room photo: Joel Klassen


Even a bakery owner can’t live on cake alone. Luckily, Butter Baked Goods’ Rosie Daykin has a full garden of fresh produce and a creative spark to whip up veggie-forward dishes that are just as delightful as her signature buttercream desserts—and she’s sharing the recipes in her latest cookbook, The Side Gardener

Recipes by Rosie Daykin / Photography by Andrew Montgomery


page 67 for recipe.

westernliving.ca / May/June 2024 65
Butter with Nutty Fruit Crackers , see

Beet, Blackberry and Buckwheat Salad

Makes 4 servings

I don’t so much “grow” blackberries as “gather” them. Just as I like to travel with clippers in the glove box for spontaneous roadside floral heists, I find it an equally good idea to bring along a little pail when walking the dog during berry season. You never know when you might avail yourself of a random blackberry bush.


1 large or 2 medium beets

Olive oil, for drizzling

1 tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

1 handful hazelnuts

½ cup dried buckwheat

1 cup fresh blackberries

1 big handful fresh mint leaves, roughly torn

1 cup labneh or plain Greek yogurt Lemon zest, to serve


1 tbsp red wine vinegar

1 tsp dark brown sugar

½ tsp salt

3 tbsp olive oil

To make the salad:

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Rinse any dirt or debris off the beets and trim the tops and bottoms. Place the beets on a sheet of foil, drizzle with a little olive oil and sprinkle with half of the salt and the pepper. Wrap them inside the foil and place directly on the oven rack to roast until fork tender, approximately 45 minutes.

Place the hazelnuts on a baking sheet or small baking pan and pop in the oven with the beets for 5 minutes, until they

from The Side Gardener by Rosie Daykin. Copyright © 2024 Rosie Daykin. Photographs by Andrew Montgomery.
by Appetite an imprint of Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.
66 M ay/June 2024 / westernliving.ca ENTERTAINING INTO THE GARDEN

are lightly roasted and fragrant. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and allow the nuts to sit until they are cool enough to roughly chop. Don’t worry about removing their skins; I like the added colour they provide.

Remove the beets from the oven and set aside until they are cool enough to handle. Remove the skins of the beets and cut into 1-inch pieces. Transfer the cut beets to a large bowl.

Fill a small saucepan with 1 cup of water, the buckwheat and the remaining ½ teaspoon of salt. Place the pot over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, put the lid on and allow the buckwheat to cook for about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat. Lift the lid, place a clean folded tea towel across the top of the pot, and replace the lid. Allow the buckwheat to steam for about 5 minutes more. Remove the lid and fluff the buckwheat with a fork.

Set the pot aside until the buckwheat has cooled and then add it to the beets.

Add the chopped nuts, blackberries and torn mint to the bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste and, using a large spoon, toss to combine.

To make the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, brown sugar and salt. Slowly add the olive oil while continuing to whisk until well combined. Dress the salad and toss it all again.

Use a spoon to spread the labneh or Greek yogurt across the bottom of a large serving platter. Top with the salad and sprinkle with lemon zest to serve.

Radish Butter with Nutty Fruit Crackers

Makes about 2 cups of butter and 36 crackers

(See photo page 65)

Radishes and butter are a match made in heaven but are usually served side by side, with a little bowl of sea salt for sprinkling. I decided to streamline the process by combining all the same elements into a delicious and fluffy radish butter, made even more delicious when spread across a fruit cracker. Just keep sowing your radish seeds throughout the summer so you have a continuous supply.

Radish butter

2 cups fresh radishes, washed, dried and finely grated

1 cup “European style” unsalted butter

1 tbsp lemon juice

1½ tsp sea salt, plus more for sprinkling


1 cup all-purpose flour

¼ cup firmly packed dark brown sugar

1 tsp baking powder

½ tsp salt

¼ cup raisins

¼ cup dried cherries

¼ cup roughly chopped hazelnuts

¼ cup roughly chopped pistachios

¼ cup roughly chopped dried apricots

¼ cup roughly chopped dried figs

1 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary

½ cup buttermilk

2 tbsp butter, melted

To make the crackers: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter an 8-inch loaf pan and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt with the raisins, dried c herries, hazelnuts, pistachios, apricots, figs and rosemary. Stir to combine. Add the buttermilk and stir to combine. The dough is quite dry, so I find it best to use my hands for the final mixing to make it all come together nicely.

Press the dough evenly into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted into the centre of the loaf comes out clean.

Chef’s Tip

When grating the radishes, use a food processor to save time... and your knuckles.

Remove the loaf from the oven and set aside until just cool enough to be removed from the pan. Allow the loaf to cool completely on a wire rack before cutting. I will often prepare the crackers to this point the night before and then cut and bake them again the next day. I find it much easier to slice the loaf thinly once it has sat for a bit.

Using a serrated knife, carefully slice each cracker very thinly and lay them on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Use a pastry brush to lightly coat the face-up side of each cracker with the melted butter.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, until a lovely golden brown.

You can store the cooled crackers in an airtight container for at least one week or in the freezer for 3 months.

To make the radish butter: Heap the grated radish in the middle of a double layer of cheesecloth. Twist the top closed and give the bundle a good squeeze to remove any excess liquid. Repeat this several times until the radish is very dry.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip the butter and lemon juice until light and fluffy. Add the grated radish and salt and mix to combine.

Place the radish butter in a large ramekin or small serving dish. Smooth over the top and sprinkle with a little more sea salt. The butter will keep in the refrigerator for several days, but do allow it to warm slightly before serving to make it easier for spreading on crackers.

westernliving.ca / May/June 2024 67
Illustration: iStock/ilbusca

Wilted Greens Tart

Makes one 9-inch tart, or 6 servings

Another wonderful way to use all those fresh greens from your garden. For those of you hesitant to make pastry, phyllo is your friend!

I always have a box in the freezer for a variety of uses, but this tart shell is one of my favourites. Not only does it save tons of time, there is also something rather lovely about the randomness of the folds and edges of the finished tart. If pie crust had a laid-back, easygoing cousin, this would be it.

6 to 8 sheets phyllo pastry

½ cup butter, melted

2 tbsp butter

1 shallot, peeled and finely diced

1 big handful kale, washed, spines removed and roughly torn

1 big handful fresh spinach, washed

1 big handful fresh arugula, washed

Sprinkle plus 1 tsp salt

Sprinkle plus ½ tsp pepper

½ cup crumbled feta cheese

4 large eggs

1 cup whipping cream

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Place a piece of phyllo on a clean work surface and use a pastry brush to gently coat it with some of the melted butter. Transfer this piece of phyllo into a 9-inch quiche pan, carefully pushing it down to the bottom of the pan. Allow the excess to slightly hang over the edge of the pan. Repeat with the next sheet of phyllo, giving it a 10-degree turn every time you layer a piece. Don’t worry if it tears; just paste it together with a brush of melted butter and carry on until you have completed the whole shell. Set aside.

Melt the 2 tablespoons of butter in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the chopped shallot and cook until it is translucent and has started to soften. Add the kale, spinach and arugula and continue to cook until all the greens are soft and wilted. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and place in the prepared shell.

Sprinkle the crumbled feta over the greens.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, cream,

1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon pepper and pour over the cheese and greens.

Bake on the centre rack of the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, until the centre is puffed and the phyllo is a lovely golden brown.

Remove the tart from the oven and allow it to cool slightly before removing it from the pan and placing it on a serving plate. It can be served warm or at room temperature.

The tart will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for several days.

68 M ay/June 20 24 / westernliving.ca ENTERTAINING INTO THE GARDEN Illustrations: iStock/Barloc

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Where to eat, stay and spa in this idyllic island town.


▶ Transplanted Nova Scotian Ronnie Lee got his Tofino start cooking at weekend BBQ pop-ups in his friend’s backyard. But word of— and smells from—the east coaster’s smoker prowess soon spread and, before long, a restaurant was in the works.

Lil’ Ronnie’s Beachside

BBQ now delivers revelatory beef brisket daily thanks in part to 18 hours of smoking, but also its provenance from Beretta Farms, an ethical

ranch raising animals without the use of antibiotics or hormones. 1101 Pacific Rim Hwy., Tofino

▶ Family-run Jeju’s menu isn’t vast, which means that each of its Korean dishes is


thoughtful and perfected. The tiny restaurant recently added charcoal bossam, a char-grilled pork belly served with arugula, ssamjang and pickled radish. Take note: the K.F.C. lettuce wraps with sweet spicy gochujang and pistachio often sell out. 101–120 Fourth St., Tofino

Adriana’s Sandwich Shop

▶ Stop by the new location of Adriana’s Sandwich Shop for classic sandwiches with a twist (Broccoli Bob with broccolini, pickled carrots, arugula and sriracha; prosciutto parmigiana with arugula and lemon pesto) and pizza (salami and honey; kale with mozzarella and lemon).

4–131 First St., Tofino

westernliving.ca / May/June 2024 71


▶ Shelter Restaurant, a Tofino mainstay for over 20 years, recently moved to new digs in the former 1909 Kitchen but brought their local faves with them. The classic Meares Island chowder features local catch (as does the


▶ Accommodation at Mackenzie Beach Resort includes beachfront cabins, reimagined Airstream trailers and their newest addition: 240-squarefoot modern suites built by Vancouver Island’s Aux Box. These stunning prefab units pack elevated punch with a private deck, firepit, indoor and outdoor showers, kitchenette (with local Rhino coffee) and ensuite (with Canadianmade Oneka toiletries refilled locally by Ucluelet’s The Den). 1101 Pacific Rim Hwy., Tofino

▶ Ranked one of the world’s best stretches of sand, Chesterman Beach’s three kilometres of spectacular sun and surf are just a quick three-minute walk from a gem on Airbnb. Designed by Vancouver-based Scott and Scott Architects (Formula Fig; Leisure Centre), the three-bedroom Chesterman Cabin feels modern but not spare and cold, with birch plywood walls and radiant-heat concrete floors. Nestled in the trees sits a hot tub a stone’s throw from the sleek glass sliding doors. 1358 Chesterman Beach Rd., Tofino

▶ If you build it, they will come. The Wickaninnish Inn, which needs no introduction as Tofino’s grande dame, was first the vision of Dr. Howard McDiarmid, who moved to the area in 1955 to head up the local hospital. His children,

Surf bowl with locally caught wild salmon); the salted sourdough with salted butter is baked inhouse. This summer they’ve got the Seaside Smash cocktail (gin, Chambord, lemon and rosemary) on tap. 634 Campbell St., Tofino

Charles and Bruce, brought that vision to life by clearing the land by hand so that, in 1996, a proper beachfront hotel could finally welcome well-heeled international visitors to the area. In The Pointe restaurant, dine while listening to the soundtrack of crashing waves live-piped through speakers. 500 Osprey Ln., Tofino

▶ Skip the set-up at Surf Grove campground with their new rigid-roofed A-frame tent rentals. With sturdy shelter overhead, storm watch safe and dry from a queen bed that fits snugly under the pint-sized peak. Each campsite includes a fire pit with chairs, onsite laundry and picnic table as well as room for one pitched tent. 1451 Pacific Rim Hwy., Tofino

▶ Opened in the summer of 2023, the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation’s Tsawaak RV Resort and Campground—adjacent to the Indigenous-owned Tin Wis Resort Lodge—offers 34 RV sites and 13 longhouse cabins just steps from Tin Wis (MacKenzie) Beach. The visitor centre features a gallery for local Tla-o-qui-aht artists to showcase their work while a retail shop stocks essentials— like marshmallows, of course. 1119 Pacific Rim Hwy., Tofino


▶ Just 15 minutes from Tofino’s harbour by boat sits the new Moon Jelly Bathhouse where seaweed bathing promises to lower stress, increase circulation, relieve skin conditions and calm the nervous system. Rich in antioxidants and minerals including zinc, potassium, magnesium and iodine, the new spa’s seaweed is sustainably harvested from the Naas Foods kelp farm near Tofino. For six hours, soak, plunge, bask, sweat, swim and rinse on your own private floating sanctuary with lounge, day beds and sky hammock hung over open water in the northernmost bay of Lemmens Inlet. Shi’s Marina, Tofino

▶ In partnership with the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation, the Tofino Resort and Marina’s remote floating sauna dock sits in total solitude (it’s a 35-minute boat ride from town). Once here, immerse yourself in the healing powers of a wood-fired cedar sauna, paddle boarding and plunging in the pristine waters of a quiet bay a world away. 634 Campbell St., Tofino

72 M ay/June 2024 / westernliving.ca
Mackenzie Beach Resort


Stand-up paddling is a beautiful way to see Squamish from sea level.


You don’t need to take a lesson to paddleboard in Squamish... but you should.

Iknow how to not fall off a paddleboard. That said, I’m used to participating in this wobbly watersport in only the most ideal conditions: on calm lakes in the hottest days of summer, and once in Maui, where taking a tumble into the ocean hardly matters. But the stakes feel a lot higher on an overcast day in Squamish at 7:45 in the morning.

My friend Mariah and I are suiting up on the west shore of the Mamquam Blind Channel

for an “Intro to Stroke” class with Norm Hann Expeditions. Our instructor, Tina Currie, exchanges friendly greetings with the earlier-risers who pass by us on their way out of (out of!) the water. Many of them look twice our age and also twice as fit. Buckling into my crayon-red life vest and lugging my board to the water’s edge, I decide to fake it till I make it. After all, there’s not much wind, the water looks buttery smooth and I kind of know how to do this.

Paddling is for summer only, right? Wrong. So, so wrong. Paddle BC is an excellent resource for yearround activities (think canoeing, kayaking, rafting and more). They offer a list of training courses all over the province—that’s how we found Norm Hann Expeditions in Squamish. You don’t have to get wet, you just have to get with it. paddlebc.ca

Currie suggests we start on our knees, but all four of her pupils (Mariah and I plus a couple from out of town who apparently think an 8 a.m. paddleboard is a romantic vacay) move quickly to standing. We paddle south along the channel, Currie stopping every once in a while to point out an interesting bird or historical landmark or fundamental error

I’m making while paddling (politely, of course). It turns out that you’re not supposed to jam your paddle as deep into the water as possible, but, instead, hinge and rotate at the waist and keep your arms in a relatively stagnant position... kind of like how a Barbie might paddleboard. My (wrong) technique had me zig-zagging across the channel, needing to switch


sides almost every stroke. Now, I’m on a much straighter track, slicing through the blue-green water and hardly even thinking about how embarrassing it would be to fall in.

Not only does Currie’s instruction make me faster, it

also makes me more energyefficient: in the past I’ve found paddleboarding exhausting, but this method is downright meditative. The glorious marbled cliffs and lush forest landscape helps, too. We practice turning on a dime, paddling circles


Out of the water, here’s a list of things to do on (and above) dry land.


▶ Pre-paddle, there’s coffee and doughnuts at Fox and Oak, the cozy café that you’re basically guaranteed to see a corgi at. Check out their rotating “community” and “experiential” doughnuts—the former donates a portion of proceeds to charity, the latter pushes baked good boundaries. 1386 Main St., Squamish

▶ Just north in Brackendale, the Watershed Grill has a charming riverside patio and is a prime eagle-viewing spot (it’s just across the water from Brackendale Eagles Provincial Park, the part-time home of around 1,300 bald eagles—bring along your binoculars). Grab a salmon burger with wasabi mayo or split some baked brie with red onion jam with your adventure pal. 41101 Government Rd., Brackendale

around a dock and facing the occasional boat wake head-on.

Prior to this, I didn’t think I needed a paddleboarding lesson—like with ice skating or Spikeball, I thought this was just one of those standard seasonal PNW activities I’d approach

with some spirit, little skill and zero grace. But there’s something deeply satisfying about skimming over the water while gazing up at those serene Squamish views. I understand now why the paddle-happy retirees were so eager to get up and go.


FYI, Sea to Sky Air pilots are friendly but firm when answering no, you can’t have a turn at the wheel.

Taka Ramen and Sushi

▶ Designophiles, take note:

Taka Ramen and Sushi is dreamy minimalist space created by local Squamish designer Josianne Bérubé. On the menu is (you guessed it) ramen and sushi, plus sashimi salad, donburi and more. 38065 Cleveland Ave., Squamish


▶ To escape from your escape, there’s Gather Bookshop, a

store packed with stories for readers of all ages. If it’s in stock, check out Held by the Land by ethnobotanist and Squamish Nation member Leigh Joseph— it’s all about the healing powers of Indigenous plants. 38041 2nd Ave., Squamish

Squamish Farmers’ Market

▶ The Squamish Farmers’ Market is on every Saturday, April to September, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Find fresh flowers, local veggies and live music here. 37996 Cleveland Ave., Squamish

▶ You won’t find a prettier modern boutique than Grateful Gift Shop. Vintage clothing, all-natural skincare, handmade jewellery and candles line the carefully curated shelves in this light-filled space. 38027 2nd Ave., Squamish


▶ Take sea to sky literally by booking a scenic flight after paddleboarding—trust me, the water is even more gorgeous from the air. Sea to Sky Air offers tours starting at $135. There’s no bad seat on these little planes, but the co-pilot spot is definitely the coolest. seatoskyair.ca

74 May/June 2024 / westernliving.ca (SEA TO SKY AIR AND SQUAMISH
Fox and Oak




Brunch on 3rd takes in-house to a new level: the restaurant is inside a home in a charming neighbourhood. For the savoury connoisseur, the West Coast mushroom benedict is a go-to pick for the tomato jam alone. Have a sweet tooth? The banana bread French toast is the perfect dessert-for-breakfast, with cream cheese icing and maple syrup for dipping. Traditionalists can’t go wrong with a classic fluffy pancake. 148 3 St., Duncan


What’s better than Saturday morning brunch? Saturday morning brunch and exploring a


Planning a getaway to Vancouver Island?

Take it from a local: you don’t want to skip the hidden gems nestled in the Cowichan Valley.



Cowichan Bay is a seaside community that specializes in quiet charm and barking sea lions, and the docks along Cowichan Bay Road are a favourite spot for the dogs of the water. Eavesdrop on their conversations while taking in the beach views, then meander through town (check out Wild Coast Perfumery for vegan eau de parfum). 1721 Cowichan Bay Rd., Cowichan Bay

beef brisket and poached eggs. 9752 Willow St., Chemainus


Chemainus is known for its murals—grab a coffee from the nearby Willow St. Café and enjoy the public art, from vintage oxen vignettes to a 2022 work by Coast Salish artist Maynard Johnny Jr. If you’re looking for one-of-a-kind vintage clothing, the six-decadeold Chemainus Health Care

Auxiliary Thrift Shop is top-tier. 9749 Willow St., Chemainus

farmers’ market. Just down the road is the Duncan Farmers’ Market, which runs year-round every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The market shows off the Cowichan Valley’s local bounty with close to 100 vendors. This is the spot to grab some farm-fresh eggs or hunt down a unique pair of earrings. 200 Craig St., Duncan


A sizzling day calls for a cup of iced jasmine green tea with white peony and rose petals.

Westholme Tea Company offers a guided tea tour and workshop to get to know some curated organic tea from around the world. We recommend getting a reso.

8350 Richards Tr., Duncan


Foodies on the hunt for local ingredients will find organic B.C. red fife fettucine and ciabatta pizza dough at True Grain, a 20-yearold bakery that now has locations in Courtenay and Summerland (but started in good ol’ Cowichan Bay). Once you’ve found your pantry staples, pick up a chocolate salted pecan spelt brownie for the road. 1735 Cowichan Bay Rd., Cowichan Bay



Gilmore Girls fans, get ready to enter Chemainus, the Island version of Stars Hollow. The Owl’s Nest Bakery Bistro is old-timey charm to the max (the barista knows most of the customers by name). Check it out for brunch— the Holy Cowichan bowl is piled high with potato hash, braised


You can’t visit the Cowichan Valley without seeking out some great grapes and great views.


If it’s exercise you’re after, take the highway straight to Stoney Hill Regional Park in Maple Bay. It’s a bit of an uphill battle, but we promise the end point is worth it. Sweat your way around the three-kilometre trail loop and take in the view of Salt Spring Island at the apex. cvrd.ca/1917/stoney -hill-regional-park


This Mill Bay institution offers a variety of superior wine, and the attached restaurant has an excellent menu. Enjoy a glass (or a bottle) of a pinot noir and a grilled chicken sandwich with apple butter, brie and bacon. unsworthvineyards.com

Westholme Tea Company True Grain Bakery Brunch on 3rd
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It was 1883 and CNR rail workers were busy laying track through the Rocky Mountains when they stumbled on a series of natural hot springs. Then, as now, developers quickly angled and investors queued behind them, so the government stepped in to protect the rare find—and our first National Park was born.

Soon the world was beating a path to Banff’s majestic front door and a resulting mountain cuisine bubbled up—one part local, one part European. Today, from Lupo’s handmade pasta with raclette and fresh truffle to this summer’s blend-your-own-gin experience on the Banff Cocktail Trail, that adventurous spirit remains. Here are a host of new and newish eateries offering fuel for that next mountain experience—be it peak or patio.


The postcard-amazing Fairmont Chateau Lake

Louise’s new restaurant, Louiza, serves Mediterraneanstyle share plates inspired by Canadian Rocky Mountain flora. In collaboration with Canmore’s Wild Life Distillery, the hotel recently launched two premium spirits, Fairview Winter Gin (juniper, grapefruit, saskatoonberries) and Untamed Signature Whisky (Alberta rye aged in white American oak, with notes of muscovado sugar, black pepper and “forest floor”). 111 Lake Louise Dr., Lake Louise

Inside the historic Mount Royal Hotel (it opened three years after Alberta became a province), Brazen pays homage to the intrepid explorers who first checked in when it


opened on a prime spot on Banff Avenue. Duck croquettes, fried artichokes with smoked tofu mousse and smoked striploin with cherry juniper jus are modern takes on rustic mountain cuisine. 138 Banff Ave., Banff

Chef Justin Leboe earned his chops at Calgary’s acclaimed Pigeonhole and Model Milk before joining powerhouse Banff Hospitality Collective’s newest 180-seat gem, Bluebird Wood-fired Steakhouse Located in the former iconic Melissa’s Missteak (don’t worry, that institution just moved down Banff Avenue), the reimagined chalet-meets-’70s lounge in the nearly 100-year-old building features a newly built 15-metre fireplace with stonework in a facsimile of the town’s main



The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise (left) is home to Louiza, a new restaurant that brings a taste of the Mediterranean to the mountains.

bridge. Prime rib looms large with shareable sides (gluten-free Yorkshire pudding; fried Manchego cheese with cantaloupe and macadamia nuts) while a half-price fondue happy hour and tropical-friendly cocktails on the newly opened patio make for perfect après. 214 Lynx St., Banff

For decades, the Inns of Banff was the first lodging to greet visitors to town, but it’s been revamped as the new Hotel Canoe and Suites with an onsite café, Sudden Sally, that offers breakfast (Canoe rolled oats with dates), lunch and dinner (sweet


potato and date salad; buttermilk panko onion rings with a smash burger; house pickles). 2000–600 Banff Ave., Banff

In a sea of price-elastic upscale eateries, Hankki’s Korean street food clocks in as one of the most affordable meals within sight of the Great Divide. The popular Calgary transplant’s KBBQ bowl with sweet and savoury marinated grilled pork costs just $11, while the Hankki Original, a battered beef and chicken sausage hotdog on a stick, sits at a pioneer-priced $6. 206 Buffalo St., Banff



One of Canada’s earliest iconic railway hotels, the Fairmont Banff Springs feels thoroughly modern with its Banffchella pool party vibe. This year’s new theme—Parisian garden party—sees pool and patio kitted out with natural florals and lawn games. fairmont.com

Bluebird Wood-fired Steakhouse Brazen
PHOTO: Platinum Contracting with Triple Dot Design Studio Inc. 2024 HAVAN Awards Finalist: Best Renovation $1.5 Million and Over



From Oliver to Osoyoos, women in wine are crushing approachability. BY BARB SLIGL

“It gives me goosebumps,” says winemaker Val Tait when describing the subtleties of terroir in the South Okanagan. She’s worked at vineyards worldwide, but thinks Gold Hill Winery’s 25-acre estate vineyard on the Golden Mile Slopes—just across from the sandy, sun-baked hills of Black Sage Bench—is one of the best in Canada. And, as a woman winemaker, she wants to capture the distinct personality of its cabernet franc grapes. “It sounds like a cliché, but it’s a reflection of where the grapes are grown,” Tait says of the more restrained and pure varietal expression characteristic of local wines made by women.

There’s a strong sisterhood in Oliver Osoyoos Wine Country, a 33-kilometre stretch from the landmark of nʕaylintn/McIntyre Bluff to the U.S. border. Women make up about 20 percent of the lead winemakers across the Okanagan (compared to 10 percent elsewhere in B.C. and

While you’re there


14 in California). Tait’s been immersed in the nuance and complexity of growing grapes in the Valley for two decades—and loves that her go-to grape, cabernet franc, has an idiosyncratic and more approachable character (less of the pungent green notes and more of the dry and herbal qualities) when grown in South Okanagan soil.

“Approachable” is a term often repeated by women winemakers here. Catherine Coulombe, co-owner and winemaker at vinAmité Cellars in Oliver, uses it to describe her wines, along with words like feminine and gentle. “I like smooth wines; I want to be able to drink it tonight,” she says. And, she adds, she wants her tasting room to have the vibe of “hanging out in your friend’s kitchen.” Coulombe also touts other women winemakers, like Gina Fernandes Harfman of Nostalgia Wines—

Take a break from the wine with a spicy margarita and tacos— ¡claro está! —on Main Street in Oliver. TacoRiendo started out of owner Jany Lopez’s van, when the Mazatlán expat sold Mexican groceries to migrant workers who wanted authentic habanero sauce and traditional tortillas. Soak up the lively atmosphere and stock up at the attached and now brick-and-mortar grocery shop. 6038 Main St., Oliver

Val Tait (top) gets a bite of the bounty at Gold Hill Winery; the vineyard at Lakeside Cellars (left) hosts soapmaking and yoga, too).

just across the Okanagan River— from whom she gets vinAmité’s viognier grapes.

On the southeastern shores of Osoyoos Lake, you can often find Danielle Dhaliwal on a lawnmower tending the grassy site in front of Lakeside Cellars’ tasting room. The co-owner and manager of the winery grew up on an Oliver farm and is now married to another farmer, who is also the viticulturist and winemaker at Lakeside. Dhaliwal wants to make the wine scene more enticing—and, yes, approachable—to women, and so cultivates a convivial spirit at Lakeside, from food trucks and to-go cans of bubbly to soapmaking workshops and live music. Noting a group of 30 yogis who are practicing on the lawn for the winery’s “Rise and Wine” summer yoga series, Dhaliwal acknowledges the community vibe. “We almost look like a cult,” she says with a laugh.


Danielle Dhaliwal Lakeside Cellars


“It’s the best summer wine.” (Danielle’s husband, Ricky, planted orange muscat at Lakeside because it’s her fave.)

Val Tait

Gold Hill Winery


“I think it’s going to become the signature grape in British Columbia.” (A clone of the grape variety is also Tait’s social media handle: @cabfranc214.)

Catherine Coulombe vinAmité Cellars


“This is my favourite wine. We’re well known for this chardonnay because it’s on the lighter, softer side.” (And the yeast is sourced from Burgundy.)


Throughout the summer, food trucks converge in spots like Gyro Beach in Osoyoos—and also at wineries along both benches. Get classic comfort food from Bo Betty’s , including homemade burgers like the mushroomladen Mamacita and deep-fried pickles. The ’50s-themed fare is locally sourced and served by a crew of women, sometimes even dressed as the Pink Ladies. facebook.com/p/bo-bettys

80 May/June 2024 / westernliving.ca

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My Deck

It was one of the last things we added when we renovated, but it’s truly a piece of heaven. I literally can’t wait (for Don) to power wash it at the start of the season so we can spend our time out there: it’s become this incredible garden with over 30 plants and trees, including olives. 1



My trips to Italy and all over Europe have completely elevated my design aesthetic. We’re about to launch tours in Puglia too, and I can’t wait to share some of my finds from a designer’s point of view: dinner in a church, accommodations in farmhouses and caves, trips to flea markets—it’ll be pretty magical.

Palazzo Bontadosi

This hotel is in a tiny village in the hills of Umbria and the rooms themselves are exquisite, but it’s also home to one of the most incredible spa experiences of my life. There are saunas, steam rooms and a saltwater pool in an underground cave right under the hotel, and it’s all yours for the hour.



Travel Home: Design with a Global Spirit by Caitlin Flemming and Julie Goebel

I love this coffee table book, filled with collected items from the travels of international designers. It’s clean, eclectic and interesting, and it gives the reader great ideas on how to curate different spaces with found items.

Designer Ami McKay on the 5 Things That Keep Her Inspired


Tiles of Ezra

The woman behind this Australian brand, Georgia Ezra, works directly with families and factories in Morocco. The palettes are earthy; the tiles are handmade, mottled and imperfect; and the gorgeous colour of the clay comes through the glazes.


Flea Markets

We’ve found the most interesting things on our travels, almost always at flea markets. Most recently I brought back a miniature gilded oil painting for the bathroom, and an eight-inch brass fly with hinges on it. We really couldn’t figure out what the latter was—I thought it was a door knocker. Turns out it was an ashtray (we don’t smoke!) but it’s a wonderful little piece of art.

82 M ay/June 2024 / westernliving.ca
Designer Ami McKay of Pure Design with partner Don Thomas

Calgary - 221 10 Ave SW - 403.262.6813 - luxuriesofeurope.ca

Vancouver - 377 Howe Street - 604.416.5084 - reflexangelo.com

SEGNO dining table by Made in Italy
for advertising purposes only. REM’A Arquitectos. (1) Conditions apply, contact store for details.
Flavien Carlod, Baptiste Le Quiniou,
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