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THE

TRENDS ISSUE

SUSTAINABLE MAKEOVERS

The trend toward environmentally friendly renovations

TILE TRENDS The latest tile styles for floors, walls and more

EVOKING EMOTION

GREEN REAL ESTATE

Buying and selling eco-friendly homes

WHISTLER WOW! A contemporary home is inverted on a steep slope $7.99

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Scott MacKenzie’s landscape art taps into deep feelings

THIS SUMMER’S ASTROLOGICAL ACTIVITY

THE LINEAR ART OF SASHA ROGERS


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EDITOR’S LETTER

EVERYONE WANTS TO LIVE IN A HOME that is visually pleasing as well as practical and functional. That’s why so many of us renovate. Overhauling a home allows us to create precisely the environment that suits our lifestyles and tastes. The trend toward renovating residential properties is a relatively recent one. During the Great Depression of the 1930s, for instance, homeowners were so focused on just getting by financially that they made do with the homes they had, if they hadn’t already lost their homes because of the catastrophic state of the economy. The post-war period saw an unprecedented housing boom that met the needs of the baby boom. So, the 1950s and 60s were decades of brand-new houses that didn’t need a lot of TLC. But by the 1970s and 80s, many of those homes were in need of facelifts, and the renovation industry kicked into high gear. The trend toward improving residential properties does not seem to be abating. Think about the homeowners you know and consider how many of them have renovated their homes. While it can be cathartic to discard wornout old bathroom fixtures, kitchen cabinets, mouldy drywall and warped flooring in favour of newer, better materials and fixtures, there is an environmental price to pay for upgrading our homes. All of those discarded

items have to go somewhere and, in the past, they’ve gone straight to landfill sites. The planet pays the price when we renovate. That’s why I feel so sanguine about a trend that signals positive change. In this issue, writer Phillipa Rispin tells us about renovation companies that are guided by ecological values. From building to renovating, these companies implement environmentally sound principles to ensure that their footprints on Mother Earth are as light as possible. And they’re building or renovating houses that exert less pressure on the environment. Phillipa also interviewed Jennifer Lynn Walker, a real estate broker who is guided by the same environmental concerns. I hope that Jennifer’s eco-conscious approach to buying and selling homes is the beginning of a trend in her industry. Because this is our annual Trends issue, writer Susan Kelly looks at what’s new in tiles: ceramics, porcelains and natural stone. And Julie Gedeon tells us about colour trends. Hint: They’ve been getting increasingly vibrant in recent years. Julie interviewed colour expert Marie-Chantal Milette about colour’s impact on our moods and behaviours. It’s always interesting to watch trends develop. I fervently hope that the trend toward a new eco-consciousness will continue and that we’ll all embrace that change.

STEPHANIE WHITTAKER Editor-in-Chief stephanie@movatohome.com There are several ways you can stay in touch with us: @movatohome @movatohome @movatohome

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CONTRIBUTORS

ELISABETH KALBFUSS For most of her career as a full-time news and political reporter and editor, Elisabeth Kalbfuss was also a part-time wanna-be potter. For this issue, she profiled painter Sasha Rogers. “I was struck by how Sasha takes such basic concepts as line and separation and finds all these complexities and nuances in them,” Elisabeth says. “She’s fascinating to talk to because she’s given so much thought to how and why she works the way she does. And she makes a great cup of tea!” KAREN SEIDMAN Veteran news reporter Karen Seidman found herself transported to Whistler, B.C. for this issue, where she profiled a unique, light-filled house. “Its owners’ daring decision to go fully contemporary when rustic chic is more common for mountain retreats proves that today’s contemporary design – with lots of wood and texture – works anywhere,” Karen says. “The lofty windows, the gorgeous vistas – one lucky family gets to enjoy this home every day.” PHILLIPA RISPIN Writer/editor Phillipa Rispin had fun researching her stories about sustainable renovating and a “green” real estate broker. “It was interesting learning how four different sizes of business, in three Canadian metropolitan areas, approached the issue,” she says. “I could discern slight regional differences but, because the businesses are dedicated to the same basic philosophy of eco-consciousness, there were far more similarities. On the other hand, only one renovator told me about searching for a family’s cat lost in the ductwork. The quest ended happily; however, the telling of it ended with ‘I’ve found other things in walls I’d rather not mention.’ But that’s a story for another day.” SUSAN KELLY Trends have always fascinated frequent contributor Susan Kelly, a former fashion writer who now focuses on interior design and style matters. “I’m always wondering why,” she says. “Why does a particular colour or style, out of all the myriad possibilities, appeal to our consciousness?” For this issue, she was glad to get some far-seeing answers about tile trends from industry insiders across the country. She also dons her astrologer chapeau for another feature story in which she muses how this summer’s celestial trends might influence our lives and home decor choices. Susan provides weekly forecasts via Facebook at Susan Kelly Astrology.

Volume 6, number 4, Trends Issue 2018 Date of issue: July 2018

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CONTRIBUTORS Julie Gedeon Elisabeth Kalbfuss Susan Kelly

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CONTENTS

16 ON THE COVER

HAPPY HANG-OUT

A well-designed Toronto home becomes a joyful magnet for neighbourhood children

THE UPSIDE-DOWN HOUSE

Set on a steep slope, a Whistler home is designed in an unconventional fashion

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HELLENIC HOLIDAY

Create your own Golden Age by vacationing in Athens and Santorini this summer

40 EVOCATIVE VIEWS

Artist Scott MacKenzie paints landscapes to inspire deep emotions in viewers

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CONTENTS

50 DESIGN THAT PIVOTS ON A PAINTING

Designer Janie Hungerford took design cues from a piece of art in this Shaughnessy home

8 EDITOR’S LETTER 26 Trends Special Feature MOODY BLUES - AND GREENS AND REDS, TOO Colour has a strong impact on our psychology

48 SUMMER STARS This season’s astrology is characterized by three eclipses and a retrograde planet

60 Trends Special Feature THE TREND TOWARD TREADING LIGHTLY Some Canadian renovation companies are offering environmentally sustainable services

COMING HOME

A family moves back to Vancouver from Arizona and renovates a home in a perfect neighbourhood

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68 GREEN REAL ESTATE Sustainability is a key value for this real estate broker

86 WALKING THE LINE The paintings of artist Sasha Rogers begin with a linear element that is metaphorical and physical

102 SMALL SPACE, BIG IMPACT How a designer packed a lot of wow into a modest-sized bathroom

104 AMPLE SPACE IN SOUTH SURREY A new home adjacent to a golf course offers plenty of room indoors and out

110 CRYSTAL CLEAR This Vancouver construction firm prides itself on communicating well with clients

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94 Trends Special Feature

DIAL UP THE STYLE WITH TILE

There are stunning choices in the new ceramic, porcelain and stone tiles on the market


Kostuik Gallery represents mid-career and established visual artists from Vancouver, across Canada, the USA, Japan, Germany and The Netherlands. The gallery features paintings, mixed media, all photography forms and a selection of indoor and outdoor abstract sculpture. The gallery has participated in international art fairs in Miami, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Palm Springs, Toronto, Montreal and Nashville. Our services include small and large-scale commission based projects, framing, local delivery and installation, and shipping worldwide. The web site presents the most current works of each artist, including relevant articles and video interviews. left Matt Devine Where will this lead, (outdoor installation Houston) aluminum with powder coat, 82 x 42 x 4 inches bottom left James Verbicky Bhavanga 8, 2018 enamel and crystalina on canvas, 60 x 60 x 2 inches bottom right Judy D. Shane The Painted Photograph Remnants: Fragments: Silver White 01 VI, Inkjet Print on Cotton Watercolour Paper, Mounted on Aluminum 67.5 x 49.5 x 2 inches framed

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DESIGN

THE PLACE WHERE EVERYONE HANGS OUT A new home in The Beaches district of Toronto is the go-to place for the neighbourhood children BY BRENDA O’FARRELL PHOTOGRAPHY: VALERIE WILCOX STYLING: HEATHER LEWIS

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DESIGN VANCOUVER TRENDS 2018

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DESIGN

IF YOU GREW UP IN A NEIGHBOURHOOD where there were a lot of children, you may remember a house where everyone would hang out. You didn’t give it much thought. It was just the way it was. Everyone always ended up there. It was simply the place where it felt good to be. If you think back, you can remember all the good times you had there. But what was it about that house? What was it about the family who lived there? Whatever it was, that is what the owners of a small home in The Beaches area of Toronto wanted when they decided to build their dream home. They had bought the property eight years before and always had a plan to build an extension. But when the time came, and their family was growing, they decided to go big. They didn’t add on. They tore down and went back to the drawing board.

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DESIGN VANCOUVER TRENDS 2018

“When people come over, I want them to feel good; to have that warm feeling,” says the co-owner and mother of three. So it was with that intangible and notquite-defined aim in mind that the couple set out to build what they envisioned as the home they had always wanted. One of the first people they turned to was Joe Sexton, the owner of Sexton Works, a home builder and renovation expert. “They wanted their dream home and they got it,” Sexton states simply. “Everyone wants to go to (their) place to sit on the front porch. That is what they wanted and that is what

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they got. Making your dreams come true is possible. They were looking for a great place for their kids to grow up in.” But they got more than just the right vibe. They also got a great look – a transitional-style home with a few eclectic twists that reflect the family’s personality. “It represents who they are,” explains Rania Ismail-Cherry, designer and owner of Fohr Design Studio, who planned the interior of the new home. “It’s definitely transitional with a huge play on old and new. It has a funky eclectic vibe, but more polished.” •

The colour blue plays a major role in the house, including in the living room, where classic furniture is mixed with contemporary pieces.

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DESIGN

The backsplash in the kitchen features white subway tiles with a crackled glazed finish; it extends up to the ceiling, including the bulkhead. The custom-made vinyl-covered stools at the island have a distressed leather look.

“She’s bubbly, fun,” Ismail-Cherry continues, referring to the homeowner. “And her kids are the same way. They have their own flavour.” And that flavour is exhibited throughout the house in how they used bold colours, mixed antiques with modern pieces, and created a few spectacular surprises. The dining room is a perfect example of the type of unexpected gems. At first glance, the space appears to be oval in shape. But it’s not. It’s an illusion created by the coffered ceiling that features a circular design directly above a round table. “That’s a ‘wow’ room for sure,” says Sexton. “It turns your head.” •

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The quartzite counter on the island has a two-inch edge, giving it a “much more substantial” look, according to designer Rania Ismail-Cherry.


DESIGN VANCOUVER TRENDS 2018

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The circular coffered ceiling in the dining room helps create the illusion of an oval space. The designer describes the wallpaper as “dramatic in terms of pattern, but neutral in terms of palette.”

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DESIGN

The design of the space, including the dramatic patterned wallpaper, “really took the room to another level,” Ismail-Cherry says. “It gave it a whole other dimension.” And the gold-coloured starburst pendant above the table adds the sparkle. The royal blue chairs were inspired by the owners’ taste. The couple had six of the chairs in their previous home. Ismail-Cherry had them reupholstered in a colourful fabric to go along with the blue theme that is seen throughout most of the house, and she had four more chairs custom-built to match.

A dramatic use of colour sets the tone in the main-floor powder room.

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DESIGN VANCOUVER TRENDS 2018

The bold, dark feature wall in the son’s bedroom is brightened by a light fixture that bears his initials.

Ismail-Cherry’s favourite feature of the house is a unique glass and metal panel in the kitchen. Reaching to the ceiling from the top of a knee wall at the outer limit of the room, the panel plays both an aesthetic and functional role. The homeowner, who has strong traditional tendencies, wanted a separate kitchen, Ismail-Cherry says. That would have disrupted the flow of the layout of the home. “So we persuaded her to do this metal-glass partition. You can still see through it and it lets the light in. It’s a really awesome feature of the house.” •

Flamboyant flamingos hang out in the ensuite bathroom.

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DESIGN

A porcelain tile with a matte finish in the main entrance gives the floor a natural stone look, while the chevron pattern adds a contemporary twist.

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DESIGN VANCOUVER TRENDS 2018

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A bold use of colour dominates the living room, where the panelled walls are finished in the almost-black Benjamin Moore colour known as ‘Soot.’

As for the homeowner, her favourite space is the living room, also known as the music room. The panelled walls are painted a dramatic almost-black: a Benjamin Moore colour known as ‘Soot.’ The walls feature framed posters of concerts and events the couple have attended over the years. The furniture consists of a mix: a contemporary velvet blue sofa with classic vintage wood-framed upholstered armchairs. Also on display in the room is the old saxophone and clarinet, which once belonged to the owner’s father. “It’s not your typical formal living room,” the homeowner says. “It’s unexpected. I don’t want to be like everyone else. I try not to be, anyway. That is why I went with a dark living room.” Every room is different, yet the combination is harmonious. The home embraces old and new, traditional and edgy. No wonder everyone wants to hang out there. •

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DESIGN

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NAVIGATING A COLOURFUL WORLD

Colour affects our moods and buying habits, but colour trends change yearly BY JULIE GEDEON

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Deneb Ultra Violet, available at www.lightcolorlive.com


DESIGN VANCOUVER TRENDS 2018

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The Pantone 2018 colour of the year: “Ultra Violet”

WE ALL HAVE OUR FAVOURITE COLOURS, but how do they affect our moods? Marie-Chantal Milette has some answers. She knows that colour taps deeply into our brains to inspire us to feel upbeat or sad, calm or jumpy, wakeful or sleepy, and to influence the way we behave. Milette, the founder/owner of the Montreal-area Kryptonie The Color Agency, is among fewer than 100 colour experts worldwide, according to fellow colour expert Jean-Gabriel Causse, the author of L’étonnant pouvoir des couleurs. Milette claimed her rightful place on this stage by predicting a Pantone colour of the year. She confidently announced before anyone else that “Radiant Orchid” – a blend of fuchsia, purple and pink - would be Pantone’s colour of 2014.

“I analyzed the colours that were new but not yet trending at events that the media extensively covered in 2013, including the colour that would be called “Radiant Orchid,” which was featured in Pantone’s spring-summer trend report,” she says. “The Duchess of Cambridge wore a radiant-orchid dress when she first stepped outside with the newly born Prince George; the Ravens who have a similar shade in their uniforms won the Super Bowl; former President Barack Obama’s oldest daughter, Malia, wore a radiant-orchid coat for his inauguration; while his wife, Michelle, had gloves, and singer Kelly Clarkson a scarf. Ford also came out with a radiant-orchid Mustang, and the upswing in the economy called for a crazier colour.” •

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DESIGN

Milette’s fascination with colours began in childhood when her DIY father took her to hardware stores. “Bored, I started examining the paint-chips and their names,” she recalls. “When I realized people were paid for naming colours, that’s what I wanted to do.” Her father being a financial planner, and her mother an accountant, worried about her artistic bent. “Dad arranged for me to visit the Ogilvy & Mather agency when I was 12 and I quite liked it,” she says. “So, I studied design and marketing at CEGEP.” She learned all the basics and became skilled with the latest software but didn’t believe she had gained the expertise to stand out. “I asked Philippe Meunier, a founder of the Sid Lee Agency, to list the world’s top 10 design schools,” she says. “When I visited the Creative Circus in Atlanta, I was blown away by the innovative atmosphere, but also knew the school would challenge me; only 38 per cent of those registering actually graduated, which I did.”

The vast majority of individuals (92.6 per cent of those surveyed in one study) put the most importance on visual factors when buying products, according to the Seoul International Color Expo secretariat’s research.

The Pantone 2014 colour of the year: “Radiant Orchid”

Ferrari has paid for the exclusive use of its signature red, so the colour’s ‘recipe’ was removed from the Pantone catalogue and can’t be copied by others. Tiffany & Co. trademarked its robin’segg-blue colour to prevent it from being used by other jewelers for gift packaging.

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The Pantone 2017 colour of the year: “Greenery” was used for the Tiffany Damask Chair by Haute House, sold through Neiman Marcus


DESIGN VANCOUVER TRENDS 2018

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Sgraffito II - Homage to Hiroshige by Michael Lentz, available at saatchiart.com

AJA by Justina Blakeney, available at Hygge and West

Her education landed her at a Montreal agency, but her desire to determine the best colours for people and their businesses persisted. “I was 23 when I started Kryptonie,” she says. Her colour agency helps businesses – everything from spas to restaurant chains – to choose the best colours for their environments. She read everything possible about colour but still wanted recognized expertise. So off she went to Bainbridge Island, near Seattle, to learn from Leatrice Eiseman, the executive director of the renowned Pantone Color Institute. Pantone Inc. has established global colour standardization with the coded fabric, plastic and print swatches within its Pantone Matching System. It assures that a company’s logo or product appears in the identical tone worldwide.

Milette is now called upon to determine the best colours for brands or spaces. When it comes to decor, she cautions against designing exclusively with favourite colours. “Look for a balance that ref lects your personality but also creates the mood you desire for each space,” she explains. “I love yellow, but I’m already hyper, so a bright yellow would push me over the edge.” Her place features neutral tones with pastel accents. Pastels create a relaxing effect but differ, too. Pink fosters calmness, while blue improves focus. Colour affects each of the sexes uniquely, too. Grey office cubicles work for men but often make women sad, even depressed, according to a University of Texas study. The same research established that men find it difficult to concentrate in orange or purple settings but many women find them inspiring. •

Photo: Valérie Milette

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DESIGN

Watercolours – Watercolour Tiles, available at www.newmore.com

While bright tones can energize lethargic individuals, too much of any colour is ill-advised. An intense red in a bedroom may spark a couple’s love life, but isn’t recommended for anyone with sleep issues. “You need to determine the most pressing issue … or have two bedrooms,” Milette says, laughing. “People who favour red already tend be passionate and intense. And red causes everyone’s heart to beat faster - even people who are colour-blind - because it has the longest electromagnetic wavelength of any colour, and it stimulates the brain to release hormones.” Yellow, orange and red stimulate appetite, so they’re good kitchen accents for finicky eaters but might not be the wisest choice for those who already love eating.

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“Greenery” (15-0343) was Pantone’s colour of 2017 and it lingers as people seek to reconnect with nature. “We’re on technology devices so much that we’re seeking to bring the outdoors into our homes,” Milette says. “Green can lower our blood pressure but it depends on the shade: it has the largest number of shades visible to the human eye so while lime green inspires energetic creativity, a deep emerald or forest green has an earthy, grounding effect.” Ultra Violet (18-3838), Pantone’s colour of the year for 2018, may reflect a subconscious desire to connect with our spiritual realm. The intense purple is often associated with a greater – even divine – power with its use in various religious ornamentation, as well as

representing the third-eye or “ajna” chakra, characterized by Eastern religions as one of the human body’s seven energy centres. “It makes sense that many of us are seeking to connect with a higher spiritual level during these very technologically dominated and somewhat unstable times,” Milette says. Clues to this year’s colour included the unexpected death of singer/guitarist Prince, whose favourite colour was the deep shade of purple, and Hillary Clinton wearing it to encourage a uniting of the Republican red and Democratic blue after her presidential defeat. “We also saw it on fashion runways and there was a Porsche and popular Jeep Wrangler featured in Ultra Violet last year,” Milette adds.


DESIGN VANCOUVER TRENDS 2018

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The colour of the year is meant to tantalize people, encouraging them to enter a showroom. But once inside, most end up choosing grey for their sofa instead of the brighter new selection, according to colour expert Marie-Chantal Milette.

Cambridge sofa, available at Restoration Hardware

The Prince Estate and Pantone Color Institute unveiled a standardized purple hue last year inspired by the late singer/songwriter’s custom-made Yamaha purple piano. The colour is respectfully identified in the Pantone Matching System by Prince’s “Love Symbol #2.”

Dearly Beloved We Are Gathered Here Today To Get Through This Thing Called Life by Angie Jones, available at saatchiart.com

She reminds us that every type of colour has influence. For instance, wine experts in a recent study ranked the same wines higher when they were served under red or blue lighting rather than green or yellow, according to research at the Institute of Psychology at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, Germany. A good tip for wine cellars. “Earthy tones are associated with longevity, which is why darker brown is sought in finer furniture,” Milette adds. The white in many of our kitchens is to give our brains a reprieve from the day’s information overload, she says. Of the 23,000 to 35,000 decisions that adults make daily, according to psychologist Daniel Kahneman, author of the best-selling Thinking Fast and Slow, the first is often what to wear, which involves a conscious or unconscious choice of colour, Milette notes. Children, who make about 3,000 decisions a day, according to Kahneman, prefer brighter and lighter shades, Milette learned at the Pantone Color Institute. “When asked to rename orange in one study, many youngsters called it ‘awesome,’ ” she says. “A Schauss Pink (think bubble gum) can help to calm a child, and navy blue helps with focus, but a child should be able to pick out the colours for his or her room with a little parental guidance so they ref lect the youngster’s personality within reason, stimulate creativity and, most importantly, make the child happy.” •

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DESIGN VANCOUVER TRENDS 2018

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An architect cleverly designs a Whistler home in an inverted layout to deal with a steep building lot

UPSIDE DOWN

THE WONDERFUL UPSIDE OF

BY KAREN SEIDMAN PHOTOGRAPHY: KRISTA JAHNKE STYLING: LAURA MELLING

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DESIGN

A VISION IN WHITE OFTEN refers to a bride on her wedding day, but it is also the best way to describe this stunning Whistler home for a couple who eschewed the modern rustic look more typically adopted for mountain retreats. Instead, homeowner Sharryn Gonzalez knew that she wanted something contemporary that would overlook the gorgeous views from the property on the side of a mountain, just seven minutes from the ski hill. “I knew I didn’t want a traditional chalet,” says Sharryn, who lives full-time in Whistler with her husband, Tobias Lonfat, and their two children, aged four and 18 months. “Chalets are too traditional.” Tobias, however, is Swiss and grew up in one of those traditional chalets, which is what he envisioned for their Whistler retreat. The result though is that there is nothing traditional about this sleek, multi-level home. It’s a sun-drenched contemporary haven with soaring windows that allow the mountains to be the perfect backdrop to the minimalist design. Not only is the design of the home contemporary, but the way in which it came together was, too: with few stores in the Whistler area, Sharryn ordered almost everything for the home online. “The tile behind the TV and fireplace was straight out of a display at Julian Tile in Vancouver,” she says. •

Bathed in natural light, the main living level of the home gets its warm ambience from the light oak floors, the mango wood dining table, and the warmest accent there can be: lots of sunlight streaming through two-storey-high windows.

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DESIGN

That’s not to say this was an easy project. Architect David Arnott, of STARK Architecture, says the building lot’s 25-foot sheer drop proved to be very challenging from a construction point of view. “Most lots in Whistler are sloped, but this one is particularly so,” he says. However, he loved the creative and intellectual challenge of having that kind of constraint, which forces an architect to be that much more inventive. So the house was constructed to be its own retaining wall, and then Arnott came up with a creative layout that he describes as “an upside down” home. The entry is on the top level and it leads downstairs to the main living area and then down more stairs, to the ground floor, where the four bedrooms are kept cool in the summer and insulated in the winter.

The kitchen island was designed to seemingly flow out of the soaring windows.

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DESIGN VANCOUVER TRENDS 2018

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The entrance to what Arnott describes as an “upside down” design is on the top level. It’s then downstairs to the main living quarters, where there is a bridge connecting to the family room, and then downstairs again to the bedrooms.

The unique design led to a mixture of single- and double-height spaces on the main floor, which are joined with interconnecting bridges, all doused in glorious mountain light and the reflection of the sparkling snow in winter. The space planning of the home was well-considered, according to Laura Melling, an interior designer who was a stylist for the project.

Arnott was especially pleased that he was able to provide a small yard for the children, and that a “mortgage helper” – a two-bedroom, three-storey suite available for rent – has proven to be lucrative for the couple in the pricey Whistler market. •

Homeowner Sharryn Gonzalez spotted the tile that surrounds the TV and fireplace in an online display and ordered it through the web, as she did with many of the home’s furnishings. She loves the warmth the taupe tiles bring to the family room.

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The stunning light oak staircase, all encased in specially engineered glass, was another challenge. “That was a great collaborative effort by us and the builder,” Arnott recalls. Sharryn vividly remembers the tricky installation of what appears to be a free-floating staircase. “It had to be craned in through the balcony,” she says. “It was an experience.” The light, white, breezy feel of the house was accentuated with a few key furnishings that offer warmth and dramatic effect. The mango-wood dining table and stools, from CB2, help soften the whiteness of the cabinets and the white marble of the kitchen and dining areas. And the lacy orb light fixtures, highlighting a two-storey vaulted ceiling, bring contrast and flair to the open spaces and white walls. The contemporary-style staircase, with its open risers encased in glass, is a focal point that Sharryn believes contributed to the overall aesthetic of the house that she wanted. “It evolved and ended up even more modern than I anticipated,” she says.

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Imagine waking up to that view every day! Sharryn says the master bedroom and ensuite are like an oasis of tranquility for her. All the glorious light in the home, she says, is made possible by electric blinds.

To tone down the white, Melling says, she “just brought in some textiles and greenery to balance it out.” The home, she adds, is minimalistic but not sparse. “It’s a very warm and inviting home, which has a lot of natural light that is gorgeous,” she says. For Sharryn, it was a labour of love with a steep learning curve. “We knew nothing about building a home when we started, so part of me wishes I could go back now that I know more,” she says. So is there something she would change? “Actually, no,” she adds. “I’m really thrilled with the results.” •

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ART

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ART VANCOUVER TRENDS 2018

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Artist Scott MacKenzie’s depictions of Canada’s spectacular geography inspire strong feelings BY BRENDA O’FARRELL

THE CANADIAN LANDSCAPE: How would you define it? How would you sum up its vastness? Its diversity? Its iconic qualities? Its ruggedness? Its uniqueness? Scott MacKenzie has, in fact, tried. And it is this attempt that has given him a key insight: what defines a Canadian landscape is not simply what is seen, but what we feel when we see it. He k nows what he’s ta lk ing about. MacKenzie is a Canadian landscape artist whose images embody a sense of understanding. It is this emotional element that gives his interpretations of the Rockies their majesty, the prairies their strength, a stand of poplar trees a sense of safe shelter, and a row of wind turbines along an open ridge the promise of potential. A good painting for MacKenzie is about tapping into the emotional power of what is seen. •

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“We are so lucky. Every region is lucky to have diverse landscapes all across Canada.”

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He’s well acquainted with this effect and believes it’s his mission to capture the rousing sentiments that draw viewers in. “I think what I keep coming back to is the sense of presence from iconic places – places and things that deserve respect when you see them,” MacKenzie says. “I want to give the viewer – and, ultimately, the buyer of the piece – something to come back to, something that commands their attention.”

And the key to ensuring that there is a sense of reoccurring attraction, he says, is an undercurrent of strength. “I want to portray power,” he says. For this artist, that is the essence of every piece he commits to canvas. If it fails to meet that standard, he refuses to let anyone see it. “If it doesn’t have that sense of presence, I don’t release it,” MacKenzie says. “It has to convey a sense of purpose. It really has to stand out. I don’t want to add average works to the pile that is out there.”


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He characterizes himself as a representational landscape painter, or as he says: “My work is more figurative in style.” That figurative style is also evident in his renderings of people and animals. However, it is the landscape that holds him in thrall. MacKenzie grew up in northern Ontario, in an area that he describes as having a stark landscape. It is an area that contrasts with the city of Calgary, where he now makes his home. It is no coincidence that many of his works include images of the Rocky Mountains and their picturesque surroundings. “We are so lucky. Every region is lucky to have diverse landscapes all across Canada,” he says, describing what inspires the subjects of his paintings and the reason he gravitates to landscapes. “I try to see what it is trying to tell you,” he says of the views he paints. •

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The 41-year-old married father of two young boys says most of his works in the past 10 years have been rendered in oils. But from an early age, he drew in charcoals and painted with watercolours. “I’ve been drawing since day one,” he explains. He has little formal art training, but has travelled the world extensively, immersing himself in the work of great artists and artistic trends around the globe. He says his work is also influenced by the print-making style and strong sense of design he observed in Japan. It was there that he realized the power of having one focal point in an image, he says. In Australia, the aboriginal influence, characterized by the use of bold colours and a “basic representational look,” also shaped his approach to painting. Although his subjects cover a variety of outdoor scenes, he works exclusively in a studio. “I’m fairly methodical. I have a defined process,” MacKenzie says. He often finds himself working on between five and 10 pieces at a time. He produces about 10 to 15 works in a month, but only about two-thirds are actually brought to completion and put out for consumption. “I want my work to be really impactful,” he says. “I want (an image) with power and a sense of presence.” •

“There are no right answers. That is what makes it so great and so challenging.”

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That sense of presence is perhaps what makes his paintings stand out when placed in a well-designed home. But, he admits, it is difficult to predict how a piece will command attention once it’s on a wall. “The hardest thing is for people to visualize how it will affect a room,” he says, explaining that he suggests buyers try a painting in various locations until the appropriate setting is found. The right painting in the right spot combined with the emotional element he believes it must contain will “give you a reason to come back to it,” he says. When that happens, he adds, he has achieved his goal.

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MacKenzie’s work has been showcased in a number of group shows, including at Calgary’s Leighton Gallery and ROAM Gallery along with the Art Vancouver exhibition. He’s a member of the Federation of Canadian Artists. He admits that allotting time to promote his art through his website (www.scottmackenzieart.com) requires a disciplined approach. Painting, MacKenzie says, “is so open and there is so much you can do. There are no right answers. That is what makes it so great and so challenging.” The best part of the process, he adds, is recreating the feeling that is evoked by a view. But getting it right “is also the biggest challenge.” •

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LIFESTYLE

SUMMER: IN ALL ITS SWEETNESS, NOSTALGIA AND INTENSITY This season’s astrology is characterized by three eclipses … oh, and a retrograde planet BY SUSAN KELLY

IF PRESSED TO PICK A SYMBOL of one trend that sums up the astrology of summer 2018, I would select the pineapple. The jaunty motif seems to be everywhere and on everything – from cellphone cases to the white-and-gold ceramic candle I bought at Indigo, to light fixtures, to riotous repeat-pattern wallpaper in every sample book. Why it says summer 2018: The pineapple oozes nostalgic charm and is a traditional symbol of hospitality, two qualities of the summer sign of Cancer. It also has a luxe history as a popular motif with such monarchs as Louis XV and Catherine the Great. What could be more Leo, the regal sign that reigns over August? The pineapple exudes a stolid, sunny cheer and flair for creative reinvention, all of which I think fits the astrological zeitgeist.

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The summer pace is set by three eclipses. They won’t generate the hoopla of last August’s “eclipse of the century,” but they can have long-lasting impact. Eclipses tend to turn up the volume on the natural order of things. It all kicked off with the summer solstice plunging us into the affectionate and loving waters of Cancer. Memories of summers past take on a rosy hue. Home, family and roots are where it’s happening for this sign, and this is a time of reconnecting. Sentiment rules, and so the patio set inherited from Aunt Edna suddenly doesn’t look so shabby. With the first solar eclipse on July 13, it all becomes more intense. Cancer also signifies the foundation upon which we build our lives. This one is particularly potent for transformation, for becoming aligned with that which truly makes us feel alive, happy and content. I suggest hitting the hammock for some productive “me-time” during eclipses. Let your mind drift and see what bobs to the surface of your psyche. As English architect and designer Edwin Heathcote once mused in the Financial Times: “For Sigmund Freud, a dream of a house … symbolises ourselves not only to others but also inside our own heads. So, what exactly is going on inside?” What arises just might be symbolic of deeper change. An urge to upgrade the kitchen, for instance, might mean more self-nurturance is in order. If it’s the living room, you may need a wider social life, and so on.

The sun blazes into the dramatic and expressive sign of Leo on July 23, amplified by a full moon eclipse four days later. It could be a vacation season for the record books as it supercharges the sign’s usual pursuits: romance, recreation, socializing and creative expression. Just don’t take it too far. Changing all the fixtures and faucets from ho-hum brushed nickel to in-your-face shiny yellow gold might feel right now. But how will you feel come fall? If you didn’t fully get your Leo on, you get a second shot around the solar eclipse on August 11. Focus on your special talents, follow that creative urge down the rabbit hole; it just might lead somewhere unexpected and wonderful. Seek the perfect setting in which to shine and gain the applause you so richly deserve. There is a downside to eclipse seasons. They bring a heightened sense of urgency that prompts us to take action — just when the traditional advice is to avoid major moves. Around the time of an eclipse, it’s best to avoid signing a new mortgage or hiring a contractor to revamp the whole house, say. Be doubly cautious this year, because the planet Mercury is retrograde from July 26 to August 18. This busy-bee planet tends to toss a monkey wrench into things related to communications, such as emailed instructions to the decorator or the delivery slip on your drapes. Anyway, summer is meant to be enjoyed. And all in all, the astrological outlook is mainly sunny with trends that, like the pineapple, hold the sweet potential of gifts and richness within.

ARIES MARCH 21 – APRIL 19 Deal with family dramas early on, then make way for a playful and passionate summer season. Seek adventure. Find a new perspective on life.

LEO JULY 23 – AUGUST 22 Retreat to your lair and tune into your spiritual and intuitive side. In August, go and seek your place in the sun. It will pay off in a big way come fall.

SAGITTARIUS NOVEMBER 22 – DECEMBER 21 You’re propelled along a new travel vector, one that will take you far, far away. There’s also some serious inner transformation on tap and a new perspective on life.

TAURUS APRIL 20 – MAY 20 You become a trendsetter now as new forms of self-expression emerge. Follow that getaway impulse at summer’s end.

VIRGO AUGUST 23 – SEPTEMBER 22 Working the barbecue and terrace circuits builds momentum for future success. Summer goes out with a bang, and the one making all the noise is you.

CAPRICORN DECEMBER 22 – JANUARY 19 The eclipses could trigger a need to hold a metaphoric garage sale. Ditching the outmoded makes way for the new. Late summer is optimal for a vacation.

LIBRA SEPTEMBER 23 – OCTOBER 22 Spiff up that public image; a more polished presence will help you move up the ladder. Then get ready to give the social scene a whirl.

AQUARIUS JANUARY 20 – FEBRUARY 18 July trends favour getting in shape and working both harder and smarter. Expect a few inspired lightning bolts, electrifying your love and creative lives.

GEMINI MAY 21 – JUNE 20 Increase your earning power with the ultimate goal of greater freedom. A creative burst is due; learn new things and exchange ideas. CANCER JUNE 21 – JULY 22 Replace the shrinking violet decor with what ref lects your vibrant new self-confidence. Increased self-worth soon brings tangible rewards, too.

SCORPIO OCTOBER 23 – NOVEMBER 21 Head off the beaten track, literally with a backpack or on a journey of the mind. The eclipses stoke your career, so get ready to see and be seen.

PISCES FEBRUARY 19 – MARCH 20 Early summer is one big party, also optimal for meeting (and/or keeping) your true love. And you’re ready to shed any habits and routines that hold you back.

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DESIGN

FLOWER POWER AND THE IMPACT OF A PAINTING A 1922 Shaughnessy home gets a makeover, and its design cues are inspired by a piece of art BY ELISABETH KALBFUSS PHOTOGRAPHY: TRACEY AYTON STYLING: HUNGERFORD INTERIOR DESIGN

CALL IT “FLOWER POWER.” It was the sprawling gardens on a Shaughnessy property that convinced its new owners that they had to buy this home, and then a painting of blue and yellow irises that inspired its redesign. Built in 1922, the home had been through a few renovations already, but to make it work for their family, the new owners decided to gut it and make it grow in almost every direction. They added an extension to the back and onto one side, installed dormers that added height, and dug out the basement so they could raise its ceiling height to 11 feet to accommodate a golf simulator. The home was expanded to 4,700 square feet from its original 3,300. •

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Part of what the owners loved about their home was its Tudor-style charm, and they combed through photo archives of old neighbourhood houses looking for inspiration on how to preserve it. “We wanted to keep the essence of what an old home would have looked like,” says Janie Hungerford, owner and principal of Hungerford Interior Design, who says part of the original facade was restored as builders added on to it. “We worked carefully to make that happen.” Several of the old photos they found, including one of a home down the street, showed the same striking front door, in a shape they’d never seen. The top was rounded like an arch, then came to a point at the top.

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The homeowners fell in love with it and had one custom-made by Mountainview Designs. “Everybody comments on it, and when we put it in, even the tradespeople working on the house were talking about it,” she says. Inside the house, the style shifts to transitional, with some original features, such as the lead-framed windows in the kitchen, mixed in with the contemporary styling. Instead of a completely open floor plan, walls define the dining room, home office and mudroom entry, but still keep the space open enough to allow for easy flow. “We wanted to keep the feeling that each room was its own entity,” Hungerford says. “But you have to be thoughtful in how the rooms connect to each other.”

One of the biggest surprises for the homeowner is how much she appreciates the mudroom with all its storage and hooks. “It’s the tiniest room and the most striking and the most functional,” she says. The traditional wood panelling has a contemporary profile, and matte black hooks match the matte black in the patterned floor tiles from Ann Sacks.


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The inspiration for the children’s bedrooms came from quilts made by their grandmother when they were born. “We’re a family that loves to make things for each other,” says the homeowner. “I have all these things and I was wondering, how am I going to mix it with a modern home?” She loves the way designer Janie Hungerford incorporated some of those colours and built her daughter’s and son’s rooms around those special keepsakes.

The kitchen prep and eating areas are across the hall from the dining room and extend into the great room where the family spends most of their time. “It’s where all the toys get brought and where everything happens,” says the homeowner. “We all like to be in the same area.” So even though her husband has an almost floor-to-ceiling screen with his golf simulator downstairs, the family always seems to gather upstairs to watch TV together. •

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The dining room is the first thing visible to those entering the home, so designer Janie Hungerford wanted a sophisticated look here, but one that wouldn’t be too formal. Wood in a subtle herringbone pattern surrounds the fireplace; it was painted white and adds texture to the walls. Chandelier: Bocci.

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DESIGN VANCOUVER TRENDS 2018

The kitchen is also home to the Bobbie Burgers painting that, Hungerford says, inspired the direction of the house. “The homeowner loved the colour and the textures, and as much as she likes things to be on the neutral side, she was open to us adding pops of colour to add personality and interest.” So, the blues used by the Vancouver artist worked their way into the black-and-white backdrop of the house,

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inspiring the choice of cobalt-coloured chairs in the eating area, the large blue poof chair in the living room and the blue rug in the dining room. The painting’s yellow, gold and chartreuse tones come through in accent pieces. “I really wanted the black hood fan,” the homeowner says, “Then she (Hungerford) brought everything else together. What I appreciate is that she did it in such a thoughtful way.” •

The blues in the painting by Bobbie Burgers inspired the colour of the chairs in the kitchen’s dining nook. The painting’s colours were also carried to other parts of the main floor. Satellite chandelier: Design Within Reach; Saarinen executive chairs: Livingspace Interiors.

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The windows over the counter are original to the house; they’re one of the features the homeowner loved and wanted to preserve. Circus pendant lights by Innermost: LightForm.

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One of the special kitchen features is the cabinetry. The doors and drawers have built-in grips instead of handles, and their surfaces stay smooth. “There’s definitely more labour and cost involved,” Hungerford says. “But it’s unique; you don’t see it everywhere. It’s one of the things we as a company pride ourselves on. We’re boutique and high-end and do things in each project that are unique to each client.” It’s a feature the homeowner says was worthwhile. “I like it because we have kind of a pass-through kitchen and I didn’t want things sticking out so the kids could hurt themselves,” she says. “I like how clean it looks and I don’t have 27 knobs or handles sticking out.” Whatever the characteristics were that persuaded the homeowners to buy the property, it is but one of many renovated elements persuading them to stay. •

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INTEGRATING ARCHITECTURE AND INTERIOR DESIGN The best designs in the world are based on purpose and function. When a design solves a functional problem as simply and elegantly as possible, the resulting form will be honest and timeless.

ALEXANDRA HRISTOVA

Principal ID. ALA.

RESIDENTIAL, RETAIL, KITCHEN AND BATHROOM DESIGN CONCEPT, CREATE, DESIGN • unit 1501 159 W 2nd Ave, Vancouver, BC V5Y 1B8 • T. 604.910.6546 • www.a2hinteriordesign.com • alexandra@a2hinteriordesgn.com


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RETHINKING

RENOVAT IONS These Canadian companies offer environmentally responsible building and renovating BY PHILLIPA RISPIN

Photo: Craig Williams

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Photo: Craig Williams

DESIGN

CHRISTOPHER PHILLIPS HAS A MASTER’S DEGREE in philosophy and foreign aid. He has no driver’s licence and doesn’t own a car; he gets around Toronto by bicycle and public transit. He also has no cell phone. Would you hire this man to renovate your home? If you want to do things in an environmentally friendly way, you’d be smart to do so. Phillips (who, not incidentally, also has a master’s degree in building science from Ryerson University) is passionate about the environment. The philosophy of his company – Greening Homes – is an extension of his personal ethic. He’s not alone in this. In Montreal, Hisham Shakarchi – owner of Rénovert Solutions Inc. – is similarly driven. “I’m from Iraq, where resources are not as abundant,” he

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says. “There you learn to ration things and to appreciate the materials.” For Graeme Huguet, whose company My House Design/Build/Team has been serving Greater Vancouver and the Gulf Islands for more than 20 years, taking the green approach is practically second nature, “just part of who we are and what we do,” he says. “We educate clients to the extent that they want be educated, but there’s a certain amount we naturally talk about. We guide them through, explain different building methods, and then let them make the choice.” All three companies operate in service to what Phillips calls the five pillars of responsible renovation: responsible waste management, informed selection of materials, efficient design and use of resources,

Renovation begins with demolition and responsible management of the waste stream. On this Greening Homes project, 87 per cent of the project waste was diverted from landfill.

healthy indoor environments, and responsible business practices. A renovation usually starts with some demolition, and managing the waste stream is an important part of the process. Some unwanted elements – kitchen cabinetry, for instance – can be carefully removed and given to such organizations as Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore for re-selling, or to places that rely on


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Photo: Rénovert

DESIGN VANCOUVER TRENDS 2018

Rénovert Solutions worked on a daycare facility, stripping the interior down to the studs. The purple wall is BASF’s Walltite sprayed-on insulation and air barrier system. Hisham Shakarchi chose it over the traditional layers of vapour barrier and insulation (blown, batts, panels, etc.) because “it seals every nook and cranny,” and because it’s EcoLogo certified and Greenguard Children & Schools certified for indoor air quality, includes recycled plastic, and is applied with a zero ozone-depleting blowing agent.

donations. Huguet’s company, for example, donates items to halfway houses and group homes. “If we can repurpose something, it’s more green than dismantling it,” he says. With his degree in civil engineering from Concordia University in Montreal, Shakarchi is highly attuned to what’s salvageable and what should be recycled. “My approach is more practical and beneficial to the client,” he says. “For example, an old bathtub made of steel can be sold to scrap collectors. The copper in wiring also gets sold.” Much of the demolition debris can go to recycling centres for sorting and reuse; for example, wood from recycling centres is pulped and used to manufacture laminate flooring and MDF. In for med selec tion of mater ia ls is tricky. “Often, when choosing to do a green

renovation, it’s about trade-offs,” Phillips says. “There is no such thing as totally green. There’s usually an emphasis towards something; it could be health, it could be energy efficiency. For example, someone wants to use reclaimed wood or reclaimed products, which makes a lot of sense from an environmental perspective, but if you have chemical sensitivities, that may not be appropriate, because reclaimed elements may have been exposed to something that could be hazardous or toxic. You could have something that’s sourced sustainably that’s being shipped from China – let’s say bamboo flooring – and it could have formaldehyde in the glue, and you’ve got a high [energy investment] in terms of shipping.” •

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Both Huguet’s and Phillips’s companies have invested in education and expertise to ensure efficient design and use of resources. My House Design/Build/Team is accredited by several organizations such as Built Green Canada, and it’s a National Association of Home Builders Certified Green Professional. Greening Homes belongs to the Ontario Natural Building Coalition and the Canada Green Building Council, among others. There’s plenty of validation of their efforts, including awards. Greening Homes is particularly proud of winning a Best Green Renovation award and a Best Renovation $300,000 to $500,000 award. My House Design/Build/Team has ranked high in Georgie Awards lists over the years, and the company won five 2018 awards, including Best Certified Whole House Renovation and the grand award: Residential Renovator of the Year. Shakarchi’s company is relatively small by comparison and hires only trusted sub-contractors to perform specific jobs. “I’m everything, from being the president to making a great cup of coffee,” Shakarchi jokes. He says that major accreditation programs don’t really serve the purpose of his specific business, but he has various awards and certifications that attest to his expertise: Réno-Maître accreditation from l’Association provinciale des constructeurs d’habitations du Québec (APCHQ), Approved Residential Supplier designation by CAA-Quebec, and City of Montreal suggested contractor for the city’s recently discontinued Residential Adaptation Assistance Program. Shakarchi won the 2015 Bronze Renovation award from the APCHQ for outstanding performance and service.

Eco-conscious strategies apply indoors and out. The kitchen (opposite) of this award-winning home by My House Design/Build/Team features energy-efficient Miele appliances. Outside, the joints of exterior pavers are not mortared, allowing favourable on-site drainage and reducing uncontrolled run-off into municipal storm sewer systems.

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Photos: Reuben Krabbe

DESIGN VANCOUVER TRENDS 2018

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Ensuring a healthy environment could be said to start right in the individual home, and air quality is a major element in this. Avoiding materials (paint, drywall, glue, engineered flooring, carpeting) that off-gas or contain unhealthy substances is an important step. Assuring adequate, not excessive, air exchange is another. Renovators must have the skill to balance energy savings against quality of air. Phillips is particularly proud that the Canadian Green Building Award-winning retrofit home had fewer air changes per hour than a new-build passive house. Huguet considers energy efficiency “number one” in the scheme of things. “The goal is to develop a house that is Net Zero: what it consumes it also puts back,” he says. But clients worry about the cost of being eco-conscious, and might not enthusiastically embrace what initially seems to be more outlay for something so vital. “We have to

educate clients that an energy-efficient house is ultimately a less expensive house to run,” Huguet says. These renovators practise what they preach. To its employees, Greening Homes promotes the use of re-usable coffee cups and lunch containers onsite, and it restricts its projects (there seems to be no lack of them) to Toronto alone so that employees can use bicycles and public transit to get to work. Its offices use 100-per-cent renewable energy supplied by Bullfrog Power. “We also formally track our site waste diversion and provide a great amount of detail on how we achieve our environmental mandate across each project,” says Phillips. “And we provide a yearly bike maintenance and repair stipend during Bike Month, and regularly pay for formalized green building training for the team. I just sent three team members to Passive House training last month.” •

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Greening Homes won two 18th Annual BILD Renovation & Custom Home awards (Best Green Renovation, Best Renovation $300,000 to $500,000) for its work on this 100-year-old Victorian semi-detached home. All millwork, including that in the kitchen (before, right; after, above) was bench-built using 100 per cent FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) woods and sheet goods with no added urea formaldehyde.

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Says Huguet: “My House Design/Build/Team has created a Web-based communication tool for clients and employees so that all documentation is accessible online.” The company owns its energy-efficient office, and the trucks it owns are fuel-efficient, being hybrids or using EcoBoost engines or green diesel. Shakarchi says, “I’m still a little old-school; I like to see pen on paper,” but he has mostly embraced the virtually paperless office concept and is pleased that many of his suppliers have gone digital. He also manages his resources and workflow efficiently. It’s not all roses on the Canadian environmental scene. Although awareness is

growing, eco-responsibility is not the highest item on most clients’ renovation wish lists; rather, Phillips says that many clients come to him because they like the transparent way that Greening Homes does business and the quality of the work. “Environmental desires of clients is a happy by-product of the way we do business,” he says. “Really committed individuals willing to pay to make things deep green are few and far between.” Shakarchi takes a slightly more optimistic view. He finds that clients often want to go green in specific areas rather than in every aspect but, as he says, “These baby steps make a big difference.” •

Photos: Craig Williams

The house had no insulation when it was built a century ago. Greening Homes insulated it to R20 below grade and R24 on the first floor. The drywall has 98 per cent recycled content, the flooring is FSC white oak installed using zero VOC (volatile organic compound) glue, and the paint likewise is zero VOC.

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REAL ESTATE

THE GREENING OF HOME A Montreal-area real estate broker offers an eco-conscious approach to buying and selling houses BY PHILLIPA RISPIN

JE NNIF E R LY NN WA L K E R C A L L S HE R S E L F A N “ECO-REALTOR.” This Montreal real estate broker says she’s interested in “anything and everything to do with green (environmentally sound) real estate, homes, and lifestyles. I help people buy and sell homes with knowledge of the environment and the health of their families.” While Walker doesn’t have a specific certification in green real estate brokerage, she adds that she has integrated ecological principles into all of her work as an accredited broker. “It’s part of me. I’ve been doing it for 15 years as a broker.” Her greenness starts with her own business. “You get bare bones with me,” she says, citing such practices as giving clients materials that are printed on both sides and are not encased in a plastic binder. She recycles whatever she can, and she runs an office that is close to paperless. “Now everything’s stored in the cloud,” she says. When she’s with potential homebuyers, even for the first time, she’s proactive about getting the message across. “I’m always giving buyers options,” she says. “When we’re looking at houses, I immediately point things out that are green or not.”

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If buyers want to renovate, Walker advises them on what to buy, where to buy it, and how to discard or recycle old materials, and she recommends eco-conscious contractors. She is quick to emphasize that a green home is not necessarily more expensive than other homes. For instance, she says, building or renovating with local timber products saves on the cost of transporting materials. Sometimes, health is an overwhelming concern for buyers. Walker went to great lengths to find a home for a client with a chemical sensitivity disorder. She called ahead to the sellers to ensure that there was nothing, such as potpourri, giving off a scent. She advised the sellers not to clean the

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house or do laundry less than a few days before the potential buyer’s visit. She ensured that the house did not have vinyl siding that might off-gas; that it hadn’t been renovated recently (relatively fresh glue and paint could still be off-gassing); that it didn’t have a basement (basements tend to have mould); that it was a certain distance away from airports and train tracks (sources of air pollution), golf courses (often with chemically treated grass and plants), bodies of water (which might harbour harmful organisms). “I eventually found a place way up north that was built as green as could be,” she says. “But even after they moved in, they discovered that the pine framing was still

off-gassing natural substances and it had to be removed.” The lengths that Walker went to are unusual, but they’re indicative of what elements she considers in promoting eco-consciousness to home buyers and sellers. And that consciousness is spreading: She’s starting to get more queries from such professionals as architects, designers, and engineers. “I was called once to sell a green home in a Montreal suburb. But most of the buyers didn’t care or were oblivious to the fact,” she says with a laugh. That obliviousness may be about to change. •

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THE GLORY AND GREATNESS OF GREECE

A vacation in Athens and Santorini offers everything from history and culture to sun and sand BY LA CARMINA

GREECE IS A SUMMER TRAVEL DESTINATION that lives up to its postcard-perfect reputation. Picture this: crumbling white ruins, blue churches, and sunsets over the Aegean Sea. There’s a laid-back timelessness here that is certain to charm every type of traveller. If you visit both Athens and Santorini, you’ll be able to experience everything that makes Greece an enduring favourite. The myths come alive in the capital city, while the island is all about beach living: think sunset sails and patio dining. •

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Economics are currently in the traveller’s favour. Prices are low compared with the rest of Europe, so you get excellent value, particularly at luxury hotels and restaurants. Although Greece is still grappling with a financial crisis, vacationers aren’t affected, and all banks and ATMs are fully operational. Athens is the perfect starting point for a cultural odyssey. Named for Athena, the goddess of wisdom and war, this sprawling city has been inhabited for 5,000 years. No matter where you stroll, you’ll stumble upon impressive ruins from past civilizations. Howe ve r, At h e n s a l s o h a s a h ip ster side. The city has become a hotbed for artists who hang out in coffee shops, cocktail bars, and galleries with live DJs. Every traveller should visit the Acropolis, the icon of Athens. To avoid the crowds, arrive as early as possible at the foot of Acropolis Hill, where you can purchase the $30 entrance ticket. Wear comfortable shoes, as there are about 100 stone steps to climb. At the top, I wandered around temples dating back to the Golden Age of Athens (460– 430 BCE). My favourite was the Erechtheion, with its “Porch of the Caryatids” – six columns carved like Greek maidens, balancing a roof on their heads.

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The star of the show is the Parthenon, the white-pilla red sy mbol of Wester n democracy. Despite damage throughout t he c e nt u r ie s , t he s e D or ic c olu m n s stand strong. I felt in awe, standing beneath this wonder of classical architecture. The Acropolis Museum, which opened in 2009, is also worth a visit. The collection has artefacts from the Bronze Age to the Roman Empire and beyond. The top floor re-creates the frieze of the Parthenon. At sunset, it lights up with a 360-degree view of the Acropolis and mountains. •

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Athens’s contemporary street art is equally inspiring. I joined an Urban Adventures walking tour that took me to the city’s hippest neighbourhoods, including Exarchia, Plaka, Monastiraki and Gazi. These run-down corners have been rejuvenated with colourful murals, some with socio-political themes. Taking a cue from locals, I ate Greek food in cozy tavernas. My favourite was Seychelles, a home-style restaurant in the formerly industrial neighbourhood of Metaxourgeio. The grilled sardines with lemon, sea bass, and cabbage dolmades (rice and herb-filled wraps) were the best I’ve ever tried. I washed the meal down with ouzo (anise-flavoured liqueur) and orange cake (juicy layers of filo and Greek honey).

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Time to f ly one hour to Santorini, an island in the Aegean devastated by a volcanic eruption in the 16th century BCE. This is the place to relax under the sun. The islanders traditionally lived in cave homes, so why not stay in a modern version overlooking turquoise waters? I booked a vacation rental through Blue Villas Collection, which has more than 100 listings on the island. I settled into a luxurious white villa with a private pool and patio, and enjoyed my hand-delivered breakfast outdoors. When most people think of Santorini, they imagine the village of Oia, with layers of pastel homes topped by an old sea windmill. Come in the afternoon to browse shops and meander through the cliff pathways. Then, find a quiet perch to watch the radiant sunset over the water. •

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The other main village, Fira, has equally dramatic viewpoints. Hike the Karavolades Stairs down the caldera; if the 588 steps are too daunting, you can ride the cable car. Fira also has some of the best dining options. Every morning, I bought a warm spanakopita (spinach feta pastry) from Svoronos Bakery. For dinner, try Tsipouradiko’s grilled fish and risotto, paired with tsipouro liquor. Another beautiful way to see Santorini is by boat. I took a day-trip on Sunset Oia’s catamaran, which sailed to rust-coloured Akrotiri Beach and other hidden coves. The passengers stopped to swim, then feasted on Greek barbecue while watching the sun dip into the sea.

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Don’t leave Santorini without a day at the beaches. Kamari is famous for its black pebbled sand and dark waves. My favourite was Perissa, with its casual beach bar and dramatic view of Mesa Vouno. This season, take a cue from Greek gods and goddesses and let the wine, festivities, and culture flow. There’s plenty to enjoy in Athens and Santorini, no matter your travel style. Perhaps the philosopher Euripides put it best: “Experiences, travel, these are an education in themselves.” •

IF YOU GO: Getting There: Montreal and Toronto have direct routes to Athens on Air Canada and Air Transat, with a flight time of 9.5 hours. Vancouver departures must make at least one connection, which could be an opportunity to stop over in Paris, Amsterdam, London or Zurich. All ticket prices are $900-$1,300 CDN. In the summer, travellers can book a ferry ride of between five and eight hours from Athens to Santorini, for $30-$110 CDN. There are also many domestic flights to Santorini that take less than an hour, and cost between $70 and $200 for a round trip. Ground Travel: The easiest way to get around Athens is by Uber. Santorini does not have Uber, but hotels usually offer pickups for guests. To reach the island’s major sites, take the regularly scheduled buses for about $2.50 per ride. Accommodation: A central, four-star hotel in Athens costs about $150 CDN a night. A private ocean-front villa in Santorini begins at $575 CDN per night.

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FAMILY-FRIENDLY AND THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF S P A C E A move home to Vancouver leads a couple to redesign a Pemberton Heights home for their family B Y E L I S A B E T H K A L B F U S S • P H O T O G R A P H Y : J O N M C M O R R A N • S T Y L I N G : A LY S S A L E W I S

AFTER LIVING IN ARIZONA FOR SEVERAL YEARS, a family moved back to Vancouver, where they found a mid-century house that seemed close to perfect. They had two young children, and the house was across the street from a school in the family-friendly neighbourhood of Pemberton Heights. They planned a small, quick renovation and an early move-in date. But reimagining this new space wasn’t quite so easy. The family was downsizing to a 2,700-square-foot space from a house that was more than twice that size. Furniture wouldn’t fit or didn’t look right. Rooms felt cramped and were smaller than those to which the family was accustomed. So, the little update turned into a complete makeover. The inside of the three-bedroom home was taken down to the studs and reworked to make the space feel as large as possible. As the scope of the project extended, so did its timeline, from a few months to more than a year. •

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DESIGN

“The shape of the house is still mid-century style, but it’s been brought into a new era.”

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The kitchen is the hub of the new living space. The dining table that runs parallel to the kitchen island was designed by Lewis and built by Cube Millwork. Pendant lights: Under the Bell by Muuto, from Y Lighting; About A Chair by Hay: Vancouver Special; countertops: Caesarstone “Fresh Concrete.” The two sets of French doors along the back wall lead to the outdoor space.

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“As the project went on, they concluded they wanted to make it a home they would live in for a while,” says Alyssa Lewis, creative director and designer at Studio Block, who carried out the project. “It was important that the design details and new furniture were something they would be happy with for a long time. They realized this would be the framework for their new life. The shape of the house is still mid-century style, but it’s been brought into a new era.”

From the beginning, Lewis says, designing the home around the family’s life was key. That meant shared spaces needed to be completely open, not just to feel larger but so the adults and children could interact while going between living, kitchen and dining areas. That led to an expensive structural change: the removal of three posts from the kitchen, one of them through the centre of the island. They were replaced with beams to create clear sight lines. For Lewis, it’s one of the most aesthetically pleasing parts of the redesign and it makes the space function better for the family. •

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Many furnishings were selected from Scandinavian brands as a nod to the heritage of one of the homeowners. The Passion sofa by Softline is upholstered in grey felt. The side table, designed by Alyssa Lewis, was produced for Studio Block. Many of the accessories were created by local artisans. Sofa: Vancouver Special.

Downstairs, a new home office was built in what was once the garage, along with a playroom and media room. Keeping the children in mind also meant designing for practicality and durability, not just aesthetic value. As part of the update, the home’s single main-floor bathroom was reconfigured into two separate baths: one for the children and an ensuite for the master bedroom. “That was a space challenge, being able to make one bath feel like a master and making sure the kids’ bathroom would have all the things they would need,” Lewis says. •

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The outdoor furniture is in the same Scandinavian colour palette as its indoor cousins. It’s from a collection designed by Dwell Magazine for Target.

She describes the home’s modern lines and light colour palette of whites, light greys and blues as “Scandinavian-inspired with hints of mid-century design.” One of the homeowners has a Scandinavian heritage, and that influence can also be seen in the choice of light-coloured woods and furniture. He loves Carrara marble, so it was used around the fireplace, and in the bathroom, places where it wouldn’t need much care or maintenance. He also wanted to incorporate concrete into

the design: downstairs, it was poured as the office floor. And in the kitchen, the couple chose a Caesarstone countertop called Fresh Concrete that mimics that look and gives a bit of an industrial feel. The Nordic influence extends to the outside where the exterior walls were painted black, which can be seen in some Scandivanian home exteriors, Lewis says. At the front of the house, eight-foot-wide oversized concrete pavers were added to create a

walkway and add drama. A new glass garage door replaced the old one to allow light into that new home office. So far, the materials and furniture are standing up to the challenge of high traffic and little fingerprints, even the light grey living room sofa. “Good quality upholstery makes a world of difference,” Lewis says. “(My client) told me the other day that she spilt red wine on it, and it’s still good!” •

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ART

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The paintings of artist Sasha Rogers begin with a linear element that is both metaphorical and physical BY ELISABETH KALBFUSS

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ART

SASHA ROGERS STARTS EACH BLANK CANVAS with a horizontal line across the middle and spends a lot of time getting that centre space just right. “I love dualities,” the artist says. “You put in that line and have an immediate juxtaposition of two realities. The middle, for me, is a liminal place, a threshold between one world and another world.”

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Rogers thinks of her work as a conversation between those three distinct parts: the upper, the lower and that all-important middle. It’s that line of separation that fascinates and holds the most meaning for her, what she calls “a placeless place,” something that attracts us, draws us toward it, but that we can never quite reach.


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Viewers often interpret her paintings as landscapes or seascapes, with that centre line as the horizon. It’s an observation that used to surprise Rogers, since that’s not how she would see it while creating it or even when she looked at the finished work. Yet she seems to find the comparison between her art and the natural world gratifying. We tend to seek out nature when we’re sad or need solace, she says, and we look to it to renew and inspire us.

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“You can’t help but stand in nature and feel like a speck in the universe. It’s the human spirit longing for a higher connection. “People often look at my work and say, ‘I feel like I’ve been there, but I can’t put my finger on where it is.’ Most people who live with my paintings say they have a huge emotional effect. I think that’s a huge compliment; I want them to have that experience.” •

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ART

That theme of line and separation crept into Rogers’s work about 18 years ago, and she says she’s still driven to explore it and see where else it will lead. Achieving effects that are evocative of light, cloud, atmosphere, water or waves can take between 40 and 50 layers of paint and as long as a month to complete. She works in acrylic, using eight to 10 kinds of media that all have a different viscosity – from thin to thick and goopy. She thins them to make them watery and ethereal, and keeps two large fans going in her studio to speed up the drying process between layers.

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Once the canvas is dry, she often scrapes and sands it to achieve the look and texture she wants before adding yet more colour. Even with all those layers, there’s always a bit of raw canvas left in each painting, a small spot of nothing amid so much around it. Rogers grew up in rural Saskatchewan with two artist parents: her father, Otto Rogers, is a painter and sculptor; her mother, Barbara Rogers, was a potter, weaver and jewelry designer. Sasha Rogers studied art both in her home province and at the University of Alberta before settling in Toronto with her husband, architect Siamak Hariri.


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She taught painting and drawing at the University of Toronto for 10 years, but gave it up to devote more time to her own work, which she has exhibited in galleries and art fairs across Canada and the U.S. For the past decade, she has had her shows, including her current one, Lines of Longing, exclusively at Vancouver’s Kostuik Gallery. As a teacher, Rogers used to amaze her students by being able to identify whether they had grown up in urban or rural communities, just by looking at their work. All their early visual experiences formed part of what she calls their “artistic DNA,” something both individual and inescapable. Their resulting art was, for Rogers, relatively easy to interpret. Certainly, her own prairie childhood, with those vast expanses and seemingly endless skies, has imprinted itself on her own artistic DNA. •

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ART VANCOUVER TRENDS 2018

“I see space differently than if I had grown up in an urban environment,” she says. “Think of a prairie vista, white on white in the winter. It’s such a powerful thing. “I remember, as a child, riding my bike, looking at the horizon, and thinking: ‘If I pedal really fast, I can get there.’ Of course, you can’t,” she adds. “Like that horizon line, the centre (of my paintings) is the space of longing because it doesn’t really exist. You can chase it your whole life, and never get it.” •

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Lines of Longing is the name of an exhibition of new paintings by Sasha Rogers at the Kostiuk Gallery, 1070 Homer St., Vancouver (www. kostuikgallery.com; 604-737-3969).

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DESIGN

DIAL UP THE STYLE WITH TILE Today’s tile trends: metallic, three-dimensional, stone-like and oversized

Photo courtesy of Groupe Norfab

BY SUSAN KELLY

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Photo courtesy of Canaroma

DESIGN VANCOUVER TRENDS 2018

NEW TILE CAN INSTANTLY ELEVATE the look of a kitchen, bathroom or entryway. Yet it’s not a feature that homeowners want to update every year. Will the trend that is red-hot now keep its sizzle down the line? We asked some tile experts across Canada for their picks of the looks that will carry us into 2019 and beyond. When it comes to trends, tile insiders have a two-year jump on the rest of us, says Edward Saunders, international buyer at X-Tile, which

has three showroom locations in Ontario. “Most of us in the industry regularly attend big trade shows in the U.S. and Europe,” he says. “What we see there takes time to catch on here.” Saunders sees a trend toward reinventing classic looks with colour, texture or shine. A tried-and-true choice, white or grey porcelain subway tiles, for instance, takes on new punch if the familiar rectangle shape has a pronounced bevelled 3D finish. •

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DESIGN

Photo courtesy of X-Tile

Sometimes, a trend will catch on faster than anticipated. Last year, X-Tile’s designers used digital printing on porcelain to create a wall mural depicting a bank of white rocks in front of a tranquil turquoise sea. Originally available by custom order only, the look caught on so quickly that now the stores keep it in stock. Part of the appeal, Saunders says, is that it is equally striking on a feature wall or tucked in a nook. While texture is important in tiles now, another finish is coming on strong, according to Patricia Ee, sales and marketing director for Canaroma Bath & Tile in Woodbridge,

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Ontario. Her team is carving out more showroom space for tiles with metallic effects. “It’s a huge trend now, especially when combined with the 3D look,” she says. The most dramatic example features 13-by-40-inch tiles that, when applied, create a seamless, undulating gold or silver mirrored surface. Made of porcelain, these tiles look like hammered metal and liquid mercury. It’s a futuristic effect that works well in contemporary settings, she says. Most homeowners will apply them judiciously, perhaps as a wall feature, but the tiles could be used in the shower as well.


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Photo courtesy of Canaroma

If the mirror effect is too much for you, there are other metal finishes to choose from now. Also made of porcelain, they’re tiles that boast the easy upkeep of that material with the luxe look of real metal. Some tiles emulate blocks of gold, silver or bronze. Others take a trendy shade such as black, taupe or grey and add a slightly metallic sheen. “And mixing metallic tiles with natural stone or glass tiles can create very luxe and sophisticated effects,” Ee says. An old standby, mosaic tile, takes on new design impact with a metallic finish, says Claude Béland, representative for Groupe Nord-Fab, which has offices across Quebec. “When you add some sophisticated geometry, like a herringbone pattern, and a trendy shade like black, then you really have something,” he says. Patterned tiles of all kinds, from Moroccan fish scale to hexagonal, are a popular look now, and they’re often oversized. •

Photo courtesy of Canaroma

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But Claude Béland likes the look of micro herringbone mosaic tiles, such as the Gravity Arrow tiles from Porcelanosa, used to great effect by designers such as the late Iranian architect Zaha Hadid. The herringbone differs from the pattern of seasons past in that it has a broken zigzag design that looks asymmetrical and is linear. And thanks to advances in technology, tiles that emulate hardwoods are becoming an even bigger trend. It’s almost impossible to tell the difference between the real thing and the porcelain imitation, even after touching it, he says. Popular finishes include walnut or weathered driftwood-like grey stain. Most often used in planks on floors, smaller tile shapes are available, including hexagonal mosaics. “The play of small against large 11-by-72-inch planks can be very interesting,” Béland says.

Photo courtesy of Groupe Norfab

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Photo courtesy of Canaroma


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Photo courtesy of X-Tile

Colourful interiors are making a comeback, and tiles are following suit, says Alvin Luke, sales representative at Fontile Kitchen & Bath in Vancouver. “If you’re covering a wall or floor with them, you’ll probably still play it safe with neutral shades of grey, taupe or white,” he says. “But now, the more adventuresome are also using colour and in a bold way.” This could mean an accent wall or insert in a choice off the colour wheel. Any shade of blue, from navy to robin’s egg, is strongly on-trend, especially shades of aqua. It’s an approach that is very forward but also takes inspiration from the past, Luke says. Some homeowners, he says, will want to cover their bathroom walls or kitchen backsplashes in porcelain tiles rendered in pale pastel shades, such as pink, blue and lavender — something not seen since the 1970s. “Back and trending also are tiles that are six or eight inches square,” he says. Glazed terra cotta square tiles are popular again for their organic appeal. •

Photo courtesy of Fontile

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Photo courtesy of Ciot

Every expert we spoke to for this article named oversized or “XL” porcelain slabs as a noteworthy trend. “It’s just starting here in North America,” says Scott McDonald, sales manager at Julian Tile in Burnaby, B.C., “but growing quickly.” The most popular are those that mimic natural stone, especially marble. Some of the newest resemble concrete with a choice of textures, ideal for contemporary or industrial looks. Bonus: they are more durable and require less maintenance than the real thing. They come in four-by-eight or five-by-10-foot slabs, ideal for creating not only feature walls but also backsplashes and countertops without seams.

Photo courtesy of Canaroma

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Photo courtesy of Julian Tile

Photo courtesy of Coit

The latest innovation is XL slabs made of glass. They come in a variety of on-trend colours and can also be found with metallic effects or patterns. “One version features metal foils or textiles inserted between glass slabs,” McDonald says. “The effects are very subtle yet striking.” Besides the bathroom or kitchen, they can also be used on feature walls or fireplace surrounds. No matter where you live in Canada or how short the summer, tiles are migrating outdoors as well, says Marie-Claude Fréchette,

Photo courtesy of Coit

Photo courtesy of Julian Tile

marketing manager at Ciot, which has locations across Quebec and Ontario. Consider, for instance, marble, either the real thing or in a porcelain lookalike; it continues to be popular for kitchen counters, islands and backsplashes. “So much so, homeowners are carrying the look to the outdoor kitchen as well,” she says. The marble-look porcelain slabs are ideal for crafting luxe outdoor counters. And unlike real marble —or granite or limestone, if that’s the preferred look — porcelain is heat- and stain-resistant.

No matter how small the outdoor space, urban condo dwellers can add a distinctive touch to the flooring with tiles. Porcelain stoneware tiles are among the popular choices here. Homeowners with larger patios or decks may also opt to cover them with highly durable and low-maintenance porcelain tiles. “It’s all about a sophisticated look and seamless flow from the indoor living area to the outer,” Fréchette says. “It says a lot about how important outdoor living spaces are to us now.” •

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DESIGN

1. The colour scheme is soft and creamy. The walls are painted in Benjamin Moore’s Simply White, while the trim and ceiling are Oxford White. This palette is soft and fresh, lightening up the space.

SMALL SPACE,

2. A bevelled mirror hangs over the vanity, extending from countertop to ceiling. Placing mirrors in small spaces reflects light and creates the illusion of longer sightlines. This is the first element seen by the homeowners when they enter the space.

BIG IMPACT

The redesign of this bathroom by designer Nadine Thomson packed many elements into a modestly proportioned room

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FOR MONTREAL DESIGNER NADINE THOMSON, the mandate was to create an ensuite bathroom that would be “glamorous and contemporary” for her clients, Martin Martinez and Robyn Schwartz. This was the second house she was designing for Martin and Robyn, who had moved from an open loft on the Lachine Canal in Montreal to a century-old house in nearby Westmount to accommodate their growing family (now three boys under the age of five). “With my years of experience designing the inside of private jets, I am familiar with small spaces,” Thomson says. “This bathroom functions perfectly, and it looks and feels so much larger than the 72 square feet that it measures.” The colour palette was kept monochromatic. And despite the modest dimension of the space, “we chose the maximum-width vanity allowable since it’s the focal point. By doing this we created the illusion of grandeur,” Thomson says. •

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3. The shower measures 36-by-36 inches but feels larger because there is no curb. Its glass walls are flush with the tile floor. Designer Nadine Thomson installed a gutter drain on the periphery of the shower to keep its floor free of any obstruction.

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4. Hexagonal Carrara-marble tiles were used on the floor throughout the bathroom and into the curbless shower. Each hexagon is finished randomly – waxed, polished or textured – to create visual interest.

5. The white Odeon vanity from Restoration Hardware is the room’s focal point.


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8. The old hot-water radiators were removed to free up space for the tub, and the room was given under-floor heating.

9. The Sheerweave window blinds from Altex ensure privacy while allowing light in. The tight weave is a contemporary look, and the colour of the blinds blends well with the wall colour for a continuous, unobstructed canvas.

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6. Mixing metals in a room is currently on-trend. The faucets are polished chrome. By contrast, the Thomas O’Brien sconces from Circa Lighting are a matte brass. They create warmth and visual interest in this otherwise monochromatic environment. The sconces were mounted slightly beyond the vanity to widen the sense of the focal point.

7. The pocket doors have a two-inch header, so the ceiling runs into the space from the adjoining room, creating a continuous sightline.

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PLENTY OF SPACE INDOORS AND OUT

A new home adjacent to the Morgan Creek Golf Course offers potential owners room to stretch BY SUZANNE WINTROB PHOTOGRAPHY: DANIEL HWANG STYLING: ALEXANDRA HRISTOVA

ALEXANDRA HRISTOVA HAS A PASSION FOR TRANSF OR MING the ord i na r y i nto someth i ng extraordinary. It’s at the heart of every residential project she undertakes, enabling her to create enticing and intriguing spaces that reflect the unique personalities and lifestyles of her clients. “I love the creativity of my job, especially when I’m able to build from an empty lot,” says Hristova, the Vancouver-based interior designer with A2H Design Studio, who specializes in the design and creation of high-end residential projects that integrate interior design, architecture and landscape. “A well-designed space should be inspiring but also reflect the homeowner’s core essence,” she says. “Nothing gives me greater pleasure than seeing my client’s vision become their beautiful reality.” •

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A case in point is her latest project: an 8,500 -square-foot, open-concept house nestled in the prestigious neighbourhood of Morgan Creek in South Surrey, which Hristova designed for builder A&G Gill Bros. Construction.

The home has two kitchens. The spacious one adjacent to the family room boasts Carrara marble tiles, plenty of cabinets and drawers, a long island and Jenn-Air appliances. The delicate crystal light fixtures are inset into the ceilings to add pizzazz. But surprisingly, “that kitchen is used only for eating or boiling water,� says designer Alexandra Hristova. The real action takes place in the adjoining angular spice kitchen, where high-end Wolf appliances are put to constant use, and pungent smells can linger longer instead of making their way into the rest of the house.

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The sprawling eight-bedroom, 10-bathroom home with three-car garage is bright and airy thanks to its large rooms, high ceilings, expansive windows and, of course, the designer’s touch. Set on a pie-shaped lot just steps from the Morgan Creek Golf Course, the house integrates traditional and contemporary styles to create a transitional look and flow that is timeless. Lines are simple but sophisticated; textures are compelling; and colours run the gamut from soft to vibrant. With rooms seemingly spilling into each other for easier sight lines, it’s an oasis for a busy family whose members crave individual space but like to feel connected. •

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The floor of the wide entrance foyer – with the dining room on one side and the living room on the other – is laid with 18-by-36-inch white Italian porcelain tiles that comprise 26 different patterns. “They’re randomly placed to create different lines,” Hristova says. “I love that! It’s very natural.” The living room, decorated in unexpected turquoise, boasts a glorious see-through gas fireplace with a floor-to-ceiling engineered stone surround of white, grey and brown that resembles waves – the same pattern echoed in the two ceilings. The wave appears in other nooks, too, while other fascinating angles and shapes provide eye candy “to create more drama in the space,” explains the designer.

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DESIGN VANCOUVER TRENDS 2018

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(Above) The basement has three bedrooms (each with its own bathroom), plus a gym, bar and sauna. The colourful powder room dishes a dose of the avant-garde through three-dimensional orange tiles from Ames Tile & Stone’s Dwell Series that complement the black-andwhite cabinet and vessel sink.

The wow factor is evident in the sleeping areas and enormous basement, too. “This was such a fantastic project, especially because of its proximity to the golf course,” says Hristova. “It’s high-end. There’s a lot of green space around. For people who desire space, that’s what this house represents.” •

Working out in the home gym feels like going to a spa because of the basement’s green bathroom, complete with sauna, delicately tiled shower, and flattering vessel sink.

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DESIGN

CLEAR COMMUNICATION AND WORK DONE IN-HOUSE This Vancouver construction firm prides itself on doing things differently from the competition BY BRENDA O’FARRELL

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THE NAME OF A SMALL COMPANY usually offers a clue about the owners. But in the case of Kanox Construction, the insight is not overt. “It’s pronounced ‘Canucks,’ ” says Bobby Noghrehkar, one of the owners of the Vancouver-based building and renovation firm. “As in the Vancouver Canucks. We’re big hockey fans.” Their enthusiasm is not limited to hockey. The owners of Kanox are also big fans of the

city and the surrounding area they focus on. “Our company is a company that cares about the heritage of the city. We want to maintain a coherence of the neighbourhood,” Noghrehkar says, explaining how Kanox works mostly in the city, north shore and West Vancouver area. Established in 2016, the firm has three owners: Noghrehkar, who acts as a project manager; civil engineer Matt Mozaffarin who


DESIGN VANCOUVER TRENDS 2018

serves as CEO, has more than 25 years in the construction industry, and has lived in B.C. since 2008; and Kaveh Khalilzadeh, the sales and marketing manager. The owners take pride in being hands-on. “Usually there is a full-time partner on-site. We really focus on the finish and the management,” Noghrehkar says. But it is not just what they do – both renovations and new builds from beginning to end – but how they do it that sets Kanox apart from others. “Our company, because we do most of the things in-house and have employees, everything is transparent. That is what distinguishes us,” he adds, speaking from a job site

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where he was overseeing a reno in progress. “We oversee the process. We are precise, on budget and we have everything in-house: designers, architects, engineers, a civil engineer. Approach is really very important. We’re really interactive with our customers. We are super clear, super precise. The quality control is high.” Speaking about the company’s customers, he says: “Their home is the most valuable asset people have. To get the responsibility to build something for them is a really important thing.” For that reason, Kanox ensures that all aspects of cost are transparent. “Nothing is hidden. No cost is hidden,” Noghrehkar says.

And in the Vancouver market, where every inch of real estate comes at a premium, customers who don’t want any surprises appreciate knowing exactly what they are getting into before the work begins. Whether they seek something that is rustic, contemporary, or a mix of the two, “There are so many details in each component of a home,” he says. •

Kanox Construction 217-2438 Marine Dr., West Vancouver 778-865-4368 www.kanoxconstruction.com

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BUYERS’ GUIDE

FAMILY-FRIENDLY AND THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF SPACE Studio Block www.studio-block.com

THE PLACE WHERE EVERYONE HANGS OUT Fohr Design Studio www.fohrdesign.com 416-670-3047

PLENTY OF SPACE INDOORS AND OUT A2H Interior Design www.a2hinteriordesign.com 604-910-6546

Sexton Works www.sextonworks.com 416-357-8008

FLOWER POWER AND THE IMPACT OF A PAINTING Hungerford Interior Design www.hungerfordinteriordesign.com 604-928-6117 LINES OF COMMUNICATION Kostiuk Gallery www.kostuikgallery.com 604-737-3969 CLEAR COMMUNICATION AND WORK DONE IN-HOUSE Kanox Construction www.kanoxconstruction.com 778-865-4368 THE WONDERFUL UPSIDE OF UPSIDE DOWN Stark Architecture www.starkarchitecture.com

LANDSCAPES THAT EVOKE DEEP EMOTION Scott MacKenzie Art www.scottmackenzieart.com 403-988-4983 THE GREENING OF HOME Jennifer Lynn Walker, Real Estate Broker www.montreal-realestate.ca 514-402-8444 NAVIGATING A COLOURFUL WORLD Kryptonie The Color Agency www.kryptonie.com 514-267-6274 RETHINKING RENOVATIONS Greening Homes www.greeninghomes.com 416-532-6811 My House Design/Build/Team www.myhousedesignbuild.com 604-694-6873

DIAL UP THE STYLE WITH TILE Groupe Nord-Fab www.groupenordfab.ca www.claudebeland.ca 514-523-2007 ~ 514-891-1721 Ciot www.ciot.com Canaroma www.canaroma.com 905-856-7979 X-Tile www.x-tile.net 416-749-7111 ~ Toronto (North) 905-949-8453 ~ Mississauga 416-783-8453 ~ Toronto (Central) Julian Tile www.juliantile.com Fontile Kitchen & Bath www.fontile.com 604-683 9358 SMALL SPACE, BIG IMPACT Nadine Thomson Interior Design www.nadinethomson.com 514-775-2259

RénoVert Solutions www.renovert.ca 514-653-8378

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Vancouver Home - Trends 2018  
Vancouver Home - Trends 2018