Vancouver Home - Winter 2017/2018

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THE

WINTER

ISSUE

THE GREAT INDOORS How to enjoy winter inside the house MUD GUARD

The well-designed mudroom

COCOON ROOMS Make your home winter-cozy

GOTravelSOUTH destinations:

Mexico and French Polynesia

SLEEP TIGHT Our guide to beautiful bedding

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COMIC BOOK ART

ARIZONA HOSPITALITY

APPLIANCES FOR LOFTS

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EDITOR’S LETTER

WHENEVER I MENTION to someone that I really like winter, I am always met with a look of stunned surprise … sometimes, horror. Canadians, it seems, are hardy people, skilled at dealing with the rigours of cold weather. But with the exception of those who want to spend every minute on the ski slopes, few admit to having an affection for the season of snow, freezing rain, frigid temperatures, howling winds and long hours of darkness. No, it’s understandable that winter is a hard sell in this country. However, winter gives us an opportunity to slow down and cocoon indoors. After spending the warm months being active outside – and there is great joy in that – the darkness and cold of winter persuades us that it’s time to hunker down, light some candles, build a fire in the hearth, brew some tea and curl up with a good book. At least that’s what the season says to me when it’s cold outside. In fact, the cold outdoors seems to amplify the coziness indoors. For those of you who are not yet enamoured of the frigid season, I hope that this issue may change your mind. We asked Vancouver blogger La Carmina for her guidance on how to cocoon successfully without getting cabin fever. If anyone can sell the virtues of winter, she does in her delightful advice-filled column.

One indoor space that gets plenty of use during the winter months is the mudroom. This transitional area between the outdoors and the inner sanctum of home needn’t be dull and utilitarian, writer Susan Kelly tells us. Her story focuses on how designers are creating mudrooms that are as aesthetic as other areas of the house. They’re a pleasure to behold when their owners come in from the cold. Our bedding guide will show you where to get the best linens and throws for your bed so you can cocoon with that cup of tea and good book under a puffy duvet. And because we know that not every Canadian wants to hunker down indoors all winter, we profile two travel destinations that will make you forget about the cold months here: Mexico’s Riviera Maya and French Polynesia. Whichever camp you’re in – “hurray, it’s winter!” or “take me to the airport; I’m heading south” – this issue of Vancouver Home has some fine stories that I know will please you. Now, where did I stow my mittens and windshield scraper when I put them away last spring?

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

LA CARMINA Vancouver writer La Carmina travels to more than a dozen destinations yearly in search of off beat stories for the millions of readers of her LaCarmina. com blog. Her trip to the Riviera Maya left her brimming with inspiration. “As a goth, I especially loved the Day of the Dead skeleton art and Mayan pyramids,” she says. “Now that it’s cold in Canada, I’m dreaming of being back on the beach in Mexico!” For now, La Carmina says she’s staying cozy in her apartment, which she details in her story about winter cocooning. She is the author of three books, and has appeared on travel TV shows, including “Bizarre Foods” and “No Reservations.”

SUSAN KELLY Writer and long-time Vancouver Home contributor Susan Kelly takes on another trend for us. This time, she talked to six designers about how to elevate the style of the once-lowly mudroom. “Just in time for boot season,” she says. “But longer term, mudrooms are getting a lot of design attention these days, and rightly so.” Susan also caught a glimpse of how Victoria multimedia artist Lyle Schultz translates cartoon imagery into colourful canvasses. “He has very strong visions and the drive to make them a reality,” she says.

CLAIRE NEWELL Vancouver travel expert Claire Newell has visited more than 65 countries and says there are more on her bucket list. She’s the official travel expert for Global News and CKNW radio, and is the bestselling author of Travel Best Bets: An Insider’s Guide to Taking Your Best Trip Ever. Claire has appeared on NBC’s TODAY Show, Fox News and CNN, and has been published in Success, Professional Woman, Reader’s Digest and Today’s Parent. For this issue, she writes about why French Polynesia is an ideal destination for anyone who needs to slow down and unplug.

Volume 5, number 5, The Winter Issue 2017/2018 Date of Issue: December 2017

6100 TransCanada Highway Suite 100, Pointe-Claire Quebec H9R 1B9

PUBLISHER Dr. Sharon Azrieli CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER Stanley Kirsh

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Stephanie Whittaker ART DIRECTOR Randy Laybourne EDITORIAL MANAGER Tracey MacKenzie ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT Carmen Lefebvre CONTRIBUTORS La Carmina

JEAN BLAIS Jean Blais is the former co-producer of Manœuvres, a large poster-sized magazine that was a springboard for his career as an advertising photographer. After pursuing his career in New York and London, Jean returned to Canada, where he specializes in photography in various disciplines. For this issue, Jean photographed the home of writer Susan Schwartz for her story about winter cocooning.

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CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER Matthew Azrieli PRODUCTION DIRECTOR Wendy Loper ACCOUNTING Jenny Marques DIRECTOR OF SALES - NATIONAL Kelly Chicoine ACCOUNTS RECEIVABLE Trudy Kerman

Susan Kelly Claire Newell Susan Schwartz

SUSAN SCHWARTZ Veteran journalist Susan Schwartz has been decorating her living spaces for as long as she can remember. Even as a teenager at summer camp, she’d create a cozy corner by the bed with a small area rug on the floor and a colourful quilt on the camp-issue cot. There was always water in the kettle for tea. In this issue, she explores the elements that make her home the warm and welcoming place she hopes it is.

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PHOTOGRAPHY John Bentley Jean Blais Dave Brunt Ema Peter STYLING Jean Monet Andrea Rodman

LEGAL DEPOSIT

2292-0870 Vancouver Home Magazine Inc. 2017. All rights reserved. Any copying or reproduction of content without the written permission of Vancouver Home magazine is strictly prohibited. Publication # 41959020 issn



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CONTENTS

96 ON THE COVER COMFORT AND JOY

A writer creates a home that allows her to cocoon all winter with the things she loves

NOT JUST SKIN-DEEP

What begins as a cosmetic update of a Dunbar-Southlands home becomes a major facelift

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42 PARADISE FOUND

French Polynesia is an exotic locale in which to unplug from the busyness of life

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COMICS AND CULTURE

The unusual art of Victoria’s Lyle Schultz has some surprising influences

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CONTENTS

THE SECRET GARDEN

Recovering an overgrown garden was the just the beginning in the creation of this spectacular property

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6 EDITOR’S LETTER 26 BEAUTY UNDERFOOT Rug designer Erbil Tezcan transforms photographic images into one-of-a-kind carpets

34 SLEEP WELL Our guide to linens and throws that will make your bedroom warm and cozy this winter

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50 THEY STAND ALONE Open loft spaces require a different kind of kitchen appliance: those that are independent of cabinets

SUNSHINE, BEACHES AND AN ANCIENT CULTURE

52 NEW HOME - NICE VIEW A house in South Surrey is built to overlook a vast sweep of sea

Mexico’s Riviera Maya offers the winter-weary a warm welcome and plenty to see and do

60 STAY HOME AND STAY WARM There are many wonderful ways to cocoon indoors this winter

74 FIT FOR A PRESIDENT The presidential suites at the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia offer sweet luxury

MUD GUARD

While useful during inclement weather, today’s mudrooms are also aesthetically designed

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DESIGN

FROM COSMETIC CHANGES TO TOTAL FACELIFT A plan to “change a few finishes” in a new home metamorphoses into an all-out renovation PHOTOGRAPHY: EMA PETER STYLING: LAURA MELLING

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DESIGN VANCOUVER WINTER 2017/2018

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DESIGN

BUILDERS DESIGN AND DECORATE their spec homes to suit as many people as possible. (The term “builder’s beige” says it all.) It’s a sensible approach but one guaranteed not to please at least some potential buyers. Witness the purchasers of this recently built house in Dunbar-Southlands: They liked the house but wanted to change some of the finishes. After the dust had settled, “change some of the finishes” had turned into “redo nearly everything.” Renovation plans went from the homeowners’ desire for some “cosmetic changes” to a substantial facelift. However, they loved the layout of the house and its traditional design elements, such as the moldings, so they kept those along with the engineered oak f loors. No walls were demolished or rooms added.

The stairway and walls, in walnut, were left unchanged. The stairwell seemed empty, says the homeowner, remarking that “there was nothing that gave it character. I wanted cool, different lighting for the stairway.” Rodman had globular pendants by Bocci installed. Each hangs at a different height to fill in the stairwell running from the finished basement to the second floor of this 6,500-square-foot home.

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Queen of Spain wallpaper by Schumacher adds the wow factor in the main-floor powder room.

The homeowners had been looking for a layout that was somewhat traditional. “It was hard to find a home like our parents’,” says one of them of their search. She explains: “We saw good layouts and bad craftsmanship, or good craftsmanship but bad layouts. But this layout was perfect. It had good feng shui. The rooms were the perfect size. The lot was huge.”

The couple had seen a house designed by Andrea Rodman, interior designer and the principal of Andrea Rodman Interiors. They realized that she would understand their tastes, and they chose her to oversee the transformation from basic builder’s beige to personalized interior. She applied an aesthetic similar to the house they had seen but made it unique for their home.

“We told her we wanted something contemporary-modern-traditional-elegant,” says the homeowner with a little giggle. “We’re a young couple. We’re not into full-on traditional. We wanted to keep some of the traditional elements in the house but add in contemporary touches. •

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DESIGN

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DESIGN VANCOUVER WINTER 2017/2018

“We said, ‘minor reno. We want to keep what we can.’ Andrea started suggesting. Then . . . ” The homeowner pauses. “We basically ripped out everything,” she finishes. Before actual work within the house began, Rodman spent almost three months with the homeowners, all consulting closely, to design the new interior. With the expertise of Terris Lightfoot Contracting (“top-notch,” says Rodman), the project then got under way. It was an ambitious undertaking, and nearly a year passed before the homeowners and their two small children moved in.

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The combined formal dining-living room is immediately visible to anyone entering the house. Its wide entrance is flanked by walnut screens punctured in a lattice pattern, two holdovers from the builder’s decor. “We kept that traditional element; it makes a grand entry,” says the homeowner. In the living room, brown veneer was stripped from the walls. A feature wall around the fireplace was given textured charcoal-coloured wallpaper to contrast with the white-painted walls and ceiling.

“The living room had a traditional feeling,” Rodman says. “I thought it would be really fun to mix traditional and modern, to bring in some modern details and high contrast.” The old traditional fireplace surround was replaced with clean-edged, lightly-veined white Bianco Carrara marble. Detailed window casings and the coffered ceiling, which was painted white, were retained; however, the central light fixture is now a trendy three-dimensional starburst luminaire by Kelly Wearstler in gold tones that complement the thoroughly up-to-date coffee tables and bench. •

Designer Andrea Rodman suggested a mix of traditional and contemporary shapes and fabrics for the formal living room. The ceiling luminaire, coffee tables, and leatherupholstered bench are all by Kelly Wearstler. “Her furniture is like art,” says Rodman.

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DESIGN

The formal dining area is given a lighthearted feeling with the Cloud 19 chandelier and an ebullient painting, commissioned from artist Carla Tak, both of which echo the colourful, circular design motif established by the chairs.

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At the opposite end of the space is a formal dining area, but contemporary chairs in various pale tones add a lighthearted feeling. A commissioned painting by Carla Tak echoes the tones in the chairs and the circular decor motif for another contemporary touch.

The mix of traditional and contemporary styles continues in the main kitchen (there’s also a wok kitchen). Most cabinetry is in time-honoured Shaker style, but recessed pulls, a large island, and a squared-off vent hood are contemporary touches. Subtle veining in the Calacatta Piccolo marble island surface and vent hood adds movement, as does the diamond-square pattern of the ceramic floor tiles. •


DESIGN VANCOUVER WINTER 2017/2018

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The kitchen is done mostly in white, but the unit containing the fridge and oven is an off-white that picks up a tone from the ceramic floor tiles.

The vent hood over the stove and the large island top and sides are surfaced with Calacatta Piccolo marble. The countertop against the wall houses the cooktop and is highly practical Caesarstone.

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DESIGN

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DESIGN VANCOUVER WINTER 2017/2018

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The family room’s marble fireplace surround is one of the several finishes and design elements repeated throughout the home. Some traditional elements were retained, including the coffered ceiling, which was painted a crisp white.

The family room off the kitchen is the site of the only “plastic surgery” done during the home’s facelift: small windows flanking the fireplace were replaced with built-in shelves and storage. Large windows in the outside wall are more than adequate for keeping this pale room bright. As in many households, toy storage for children was an issue. Rodman covered a row of boxes with cushions and placed them directly behind the family-room sofa, thus providing both storage and extra seating for both family room and kitchen.

The second-storey decor is also a blend of old and new, traditional and contemporary. There’s plenty of room for the family upstairs. A large stair-top landing doubles as a library-office, and the four bedrooms all have an ensuite bathroom. The basement, still in progress, is being outfitted with a wine cellar, an entertainment/rec room, a workout room, a full bathroom with steam shower and a Japanese soaker tub, a theatre room, a guest bedroom with ensuite bathroom, and a laundry room. Having lived in it for nearly a year, the homeowner is delighted with her contemporary-modern-traditional-elegant home. “We have everything we need,” she says contentedly. •

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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.

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ART

BEAUTY UNDERFOOT Rug designer Erbil Tezcan’s origins in Turkey may mean that his craft is in his DNA BY SUSAN KELLY

CREATING CARPETS MAY BE IN ERBIL TEZCAN’S DNA. After all, the multi-award-winning designer hails from Turkey, a country with an almost mythical reputation for the art of rug-making, stretching back millennia. “I grew up in Ankara, where every home has Turkish rugs, but to tell the truth I didn’t notice them much,” admits the affable designer, who now lives in New Jersey. Unbound from tradition, Tezcan’s ability to completely re-envision the way rugs are designed and made has won him international acclaim.

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Take Summit, a rug inspired by a photograph by US photographer Art Wolfe, titled “Stacked Boats, Lake Baikal, Russia.” In Tezcan’s hands, upside-down boats frozen in ice morphed into an abstract take on a mountainous landscape, rendered in silk and wool. The rug went on to win the coveted Best Modern Design, Deluxe Rug award at the 2017 Domotex international rug design competition in Hanover, Germany. “I design because I love it, not to win awards,” Tezcan says. “Anyway, I consider myself a translator rather than a designer. It’s this gift I have, to see something and immediately translate it in my head into a beautiful-looking rug.” •


ART VANCOUVER WINTER 2017/2018

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Summit

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ART

Divine

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ART VANCOUVER WINTER 2017/2018

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The message seems to be coming across. He and his company, Wool & Silk Rugs, have carted home a top award from the Domotex show every year for the past six consecutively. The rugs are as likely to be displayed in galleries as in showrooms. For instance, for close to two years, his contemporary take on 23 traditional Afghani motifs hung in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. When he left Turkey at age 22, Tezcan was bent on another path: becoming a classical guitarist. He furthered his musical education in the U.S., where he met his wife of 25 years, Danielle. To make ends meet, he took a job in a rug company, working in the shipping department before moving up the ranks to salesperson, manager and finally buyer. It was the last job that gave him entrée to the production chain, from design to execution. In 2010, he decided to strike out on his own. “It was always my goal to make beautiful rugs that were different from what everyone else does,” he says, “even the texture.” After two years of experimentation, he created a new fibre blend with a special sheen. Tibetan wool, which he considers the finest in the world, is hand-spun with silk, in an exact proportion that remains a carefully guarded secret. Ninety per cent of Wool & Silk Rugs’s carpets are handcrafted in Nepal. •

Beautiful People

“It was always my goal to make beautiful rugs that were different from what everyone else does.”

Cyclone

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ART

But design is his real passion, says Tezcan, who has been known to stay up nights for days on end to complete a rug. He derives inspiration from many sources. The rug called Rampart, for instance, was inspired by a snapshot taken by his brother of an an old Byzantine wall in Istanbul. Another rug, called Divine, is based on a photograph of a stream, lake and vegetation on the earth. “The gold and red colours in this rug represent the colours of autumn,” he says. These days, it’s mostly photographs that trigger the creative process. Tezcan alters whatever image he’s working with by using Photoshop until he gets the effect he’s after. The whole process can take as few as three days and up to a month or more. The designer occasionally works with other artists. In 2017, an acrylic-on-canvas work by Texas abstract painter Bryan Debreuiel called The Beautiful People inspired a rug of the same name. Tezcan liked the work’s playful and colourful appeal, softening some of the lines in his interpretation.

Ocean

In Toronto, Tezcan’s rugs are exclusively available at Weavers Art. Last summer, Weavers Art hosted an all-day exhibit of his 2018 collection. Visitors met the designer and were able to speak with him to gain insight into the unique designs. One recent and important collaboration that Tezcan undertook was close to home. Several rugs in the most recent collection were designed by his son, Anka, 24. One, called Circle of Life, Tezcan père calls “cosmic,” and Cyclone was inspired by a patch of concrete floor. “I looked at the same floor every day and saw nothing,” says this proud father. “I taught him my method, but he sees things in his own way.” Perhaps it’s ingrained in his genetic code. •

Weavers Art 1400 Castlefield Ave., Toronto 416-929-7929 Rampart

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www.weaversart.com


ART VANCOUVER WINTER 2017/2018

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Circle of Life

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DESIGN VANCOUVER KITCHENS 2017

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DESIGN

FINDING WARMTH IN A WINTER WONDERLAND A selection of products that transform rooms into spaces for cozy, comfortable cocooning BY TRACEY MacKENZIE

L

et it snow. Let it snow. Let it snow. It’s time to hunker down and enjoy the warmth of the great indoors. At this time of year, there are few spaces more inviting than a well-designed bedroom, outfitted with beautiful linens, puffy duvets and fluffy throws. That goes for cozy living rooms and dens, too, where cushions and coverlets encourage us to sit a spell and warm up by a crackling fire. Here’s a selection of products to help you create rooms that shut out winter’s cold.

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DESIGN VANCOUVER WINTER 2017/2018

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BEDDI NG GU I DE

R EST EASY The Lavato White bedding collection is a blend of high-quality linen and cotton, woven in Italy. The pieces, which are made in Canada, are available in various colours. These super- soft sheets are crafted to transform a bed into a sleep sanctuary. Available at Au Lit Fine Linens www.aulitfinelinens.com

PI L LOW TA L K The blend of 50 per cent Belgian linen and 50 per cent long-staple cotton creates a soft pillowcase with a linen look. Pre-washing it softens the fabric and adds a casual appearance. Woven in Italy and made in Canada, the Lavato Skylight collection features sheets, pillowcases, shams, duvet covers and bed skirts. Available at Au Lit Fine Linens www.aulitfinelinens.com

SU M P T UOUS A N D SI L KY These 100 per cent bamboo pillowcases from the CÊzanne collection are soft and silky, and will keep you cool throughout the night. They’re crafted in Canada of fabric that is woven in Italy. Sheets, shams, duvets and bed skirts are also available. Available at Au Lit Fine Linens www.aulitfinelinens.com

R EL A X ED A N D R EV ERSI BL E The Lavato Dimora Grey collection is made of a pre-washed blend of linen and cotton that has a looser weave than the other Lavato linens. Offering a casual yet elegant appearance, these pieces are reversible, featuring a light grey on one side and a beige-grey on the other. Available in shams and duvet covers. Available at Au Lit Fine Linens www.aulitfinelinens.com

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DESIGN

BEDDI NG GU I DE

GR EAT SH A DES OF GR EY Hand-knitted, this extra-thick, wool-blend blanket was double-knit for maximum coziness. Larger than a lap blanket, it’s an oversized throw, which is a statement piece in any living space. Ships worldwide. 70˝ X 50˝. $317.08. La Reserve Design www.lareservedesign.com

H ER R I NGBON E COM FORT Redolent of classic homespun design, this herringbone wool-blend blanket is perfect for warming up under in front of a crackling fire. Hand-crafted in Canada, it has a fringe border to drape over your favorite sofa or chair. Ships worldwide. Approximately four-by-5.5 feet. $303.87. La Reserve Design www.lareservedesign.com

SI N K I N Carlo Bertelli, the third-generation creative director of Tessitura Toscana Telerie (TTT), the textile mill in Italy co-founded in 1947 by his late grandfather, is the creative brain behind this beautiful satin-stitch collection of 100 per cent cotton bedding. Regular use and laundering makes the 210-thread-count pieces softer. Available at Restoration Hardware www.restorationhardware.com

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DESIGN VANCOUVER WINTER 2017/2018

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BEDDI NG GU I DE

T H E V ELV ET I N E H A BI T Make it an evening ritual to climb into a comfy bed, dressed with this pure cotton-velvet bedding with a stonewashed linen underside. Available in various earth tones, this quilt and sham collection is tuck-embroidered in a subtle grid pattern. Available at Restoration Hardware www.restorationhardware.com

T H E BR IGH T BLU E SEA With a nod to ocean hues, Restoration Hardware’s tribal linen bed throw brings to life the art of mud-resist printing (dabu) of India. Artisans use carved wooden blocks to paint stripes on linen with mud, then dip the fabric in a natural dye bath. Available at Restoration Hardware www.restorationhardware.com

T ENCEL T EM P TAT IONS Tencel is an eco-friendly fabric that is antimicrobial and extremely soft. These sheets and duvet cover sets come in seven colours and are woven in a 600-thread count. Available at Linen Chest www.linenchest.com

COZ Y CUSH IONS Feather-light warmth and sublime texture characterize these Stowe brushed Peruvian alpaca pillow covers. Cozy and modern, these baby alpaca fleece covers are neutral-coloured in graphite and ivory. Available at Restoration Hardware www.restorationhardware.com

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DESIGN

BEDDI NG GU I DE

PA I N T ED PI L LOWS This line of rayon-silk-velvet-blend pillows was designed by Kevin O’Brien’s studio. Hand-painted and down-filled, they add a touch of Old World luxe to any space. $268 each. Available at Anthropologie www.anthropologie.com

WA R M I R ISH W ELCOM E From the oldest weaving mill in Ireland comes the April throw blanket by Avoca. Established in 1723, this family-run business is famous for tailored tweeds and colourful throws. Made of Donegal wool, it measures 72˝ L X 56˝ W. $178. Available at Anthropologie www.anthropologie.com

BET W EEN A ROCK A N D A SOF T PL ACE Images of geodes are everywhere this year, including on this featherweight duvet cover by East Urban Home. Made of a light polyester spun material, it’s also perfect for warm climates. Machine washable, it has a hidden zipper closure and ties inside to anchor a duvet insert. $245. Available at Wayfair www.wayfair.ca

T UCK I N Add a touch of panache to your comforter and pillows with this Hewitt pin-tuck duvet cover and sham set from VivaTerra. Elegant pin tucks create plushness. Organic cotton has a 230-thread count. Machine washable. Available at Wayfair www.wayfair.ca

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DESIGN VANCOUVER WINTER 2017/2018

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BEDDI NG GU I DE

COL D-W EAT H ER LU XU RY Stay warm under this ombre patterned faux-fur throw. Layered or on its own, this soft, luxurious throw makes a statement in a bedroom, living room or den. 47˝ W X 60˝ L. Available at West Elm www.westelm.com

F L ECK ED F U R Soft and fluffy, this flecked faux-fur throw is chic and elegant. Perfect for cuddling up, it’s machine-washable. 66˝ W X 88˝ L. Available at West Elm www.westelm.com

ICON IC WA R M T H The Hudson’s Bay blanket was first commissioned in 1800 and is as popular today as it was then. Made in England, this multi-stripe point blanket is 100 per cent woven wool and comes in the standard bed sizes. $325 - $550. Available at Hudson’s Bay www.thebay.com

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DESIGN

BEDDI NG GU I DE

A DASH OF EL EGA NCE Pale grey Jacob wool and creamy white Welsh Mule lambswool is combined in the Alta handwoven cushion by Glenbach Weaving. A dash of navy blue is used for contrast. Ships worldwide. Available at Glenback Weaving www.glenbachweaving.com

WOV EN I N WA L ES Hand-woven, these cushions are 100 per cent wool that is sourced from Shetland sheep in the Teifi Valley of Wales. Hand-made by a small family-run business, Glenbach Weaving, they bestow a traditional touch on beds, sofas and armchairs. Ships worldwide. Available at Glenbach Weaving www.glenbachweaving.com

COT TAGE CH IC The Eddie Bauer cotton-blend Stag decorative pillow is as Canadian as you can get. Perfect for cottages or city homes, this red-and-black, checkered pillow with a deer’s-head patch has a concealed zip closure. $60. Available at Hudson’s Bay www.thebay.com

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BEDDI NG GU I DE

LU X E L I F E These hand-felted fleece rugs come from The Living Rug Company. The raw fleece from each lamb is combined with carded wool and then felted to create the rug. No lamb is harmed in the process, and each fleece is named after the lamb it came from. These 100 per cent wool fleece rugs will add a touch of originality to your home as well as help with the upkeep of the lambs. Available at The Living Rug Company www.thelivingrugcompany.com

LOGICA L LY ECOLOGICA L The Pendleton Eco-Wise wool throw is made of non-toxic, biodegradable materials and is produced using environmentally responsible production methods. The fabric can be recycled or composted. $199. Available at Pendleton www.pendleton.ca

TA K E A SEAT! This seat cover from The Living Rug Company is made of 100 per cent wool fleece. Named after the sheep that donated its wool, the fleece is perfect as a chair pad or as a luxury cover for your pet’s bed. No sheep are harmed in this process and all proceeds go to the upkeep of the animals. Available at The Living Rug Company www.thelivingrugcompany.com

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TRAVEL

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TRAVEL VANCOUVER WINTER 2017/2018

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PARADISE FOUND

Tahiti and French Polynesia is an idyllic destination for anyone who needs to unplug from the busyness of life BY CLAIRE NEWELL

DINNER FOR TWO AT A TABLE set on a private beach, lit only by a hurricane lamp and the moonlight. We sat with our toes in the sand staring at the ocean and the bright stars in the sky, sipping champagne. My husband and I were at the St. Regis Bora Bora Resort, where our fivecourse French meal with a Tahitian-vanilla flair was being impeccably presented by our waiter, who rode a bicycle from the kitchen to the beach to deliver each course. It was one of the most memorable meals I have ever experienced and something I will never forget from my trip to Tahiti and French Polynesia. •

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TRAVEL

The moment I arrived in the capital, Papeete, I could tell that I would not be disappointed by the trip that I had dreamed of for decades. Stepping off the plane, I inhaled the warm, fresh air and visually devoured the brightly coloured tropical flowers and sparkling azureblue water. Having taken several fine arts courses in university, I immediately understood why French post-Impressionist artist Paul Gauguin spent 10 years near the end of his

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life in French Polynesia, and why most of his paintings from that time depict the people and landscapes of the region. Capturing the stunning beauty, with its sculpted sky-piercing, moss-green peaks and vivid turquoise lagoons, is what Gauguin did best, and what I tried to recreate with the hundreds of photos I took. But no painting or photo can fully capture all that makes these islands so magical. Sultry Tahiti and French Polynesia is a place to completely relax and experience

the warm, laid-back island culture while fully unplugging from the rest of the world. It’s an island paradise for vacationers, rich in culture, nature and hospitality. I liken it to Hawaii of 50 years ago. And it is only two hours of flying time past Hawaii, with direct flights to Papeete from Los Angeles’s LAX. With non-stop LAX connections all across North America, it has never been easier to get to this remote island paradise.


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While French Polynesia is close to Hawaii, it feels as though it’s a million miles away. The eight Hawaiian Islands get nearly nine million tourists yearly; the 118 islands of French Polynesia get about 200,000. This is a destination where you can still have complete privacy and wear nothing more than a swimsuit and cover-up from morning to night. You can spend days not seeing anyone while staying in a gorgeous overwater bungalow, jumping off the deck into the warm, crystal

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clear water to snorkel, passing time watching the fish through the house’s glass floor, and having your meals delivered so that you never have to eat in a restaurant. French Polynesia is composed of five groups of islands, or archipelagoes. Of its 118 islands and atolls, 67 are inhabited, and Tahiti, where the capital, Papeete, is situtated, is the most populated island. •

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I knew that I was going to enjoy my trip, but I had no idea just how amazing it would actually be. The uniqueness of each island is what stood out most; they are as varied as they are exotic. In many cases, the islands differ quite dramatically from each other, so it is important not to assume that you can do the same type of activities on each of them. For example, you can snorkel everywhere, but some islands are better than others, and some islands have high-end accommodations while others don’t. Another difference to note is that some beaches are smaller and more difficult to access than others. If you are accustomed to popular resort destinations, such as Maui or Mexico, with their wide, long stretches of beach, you may be surprised by these Polynesian shorelines. That said, the scenery will not disappoint – from geometric ridges strung with waterfalls on the high islands to flat, desert-like atolls, where lagoons far outsize the landmass.

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If you are planning to island-hop, getting around is best done by flying on Air Tahiti, the country’s only domestic airline, or by taking boats between the islands. All of the islands are small and require no more than a day or two to see the sights, but I recommend adding more days if you want to melt into the slow, peaceful pace of island life. A French colony since the late 19th century, French Polynesia has been a “collectivity of France” since 2003.

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I found the French inf luence there far more prevalent than I had expected. I was so surprised when I saw a delivery service dropping fresh baguettes to almost every home. It was interesting to observe how the French culture has been kept alive in such a remote region. I’m sure that this is why so many of the visitors I met were from French-speaking European countries: France, Belgium and Switzerland. Every local I met was friendly, happy and warm. We didn’t

always speak the same language, but I felt completely welcomed. My favourite activity was walking around in the morning while so many Tahitians baked their breadfruit, spreading the aroma of a bakery around the entire island. •

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TRAVEL

Island-hopping is a popular way to see Tahiti and French Polynesia. However, in my opinion, cruising is a better option for a first-time visitor to this destination. Cruising allows you visit multiple islands and experience all of the different areas and activities without having to deal with unpacking and repacking, transportation, airports, changing hotels, ferries, and the like. It would also be expensive and time-consuming to replicate the same type of trip on your own using ferries, planes and hotels. When cruising, I recommend you venture into the towns to try the local cuisine. However, be forewarned that restaurants

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in tourist-heavy areas are expensive. With the exception of fresh seafood and tropical fruit, everything is shipped from a great distance. Also, the high cost of electricity and a currency tied to the Euro (making the exchange expensive for North Americans) drives up costs. Cruising ensures that food, accommodation, drinks and entertainment are included in the price, allowing you to simply sit back and relax on the top deck and watch the sun set behind the islands. Some cruise lines offer regular sailings in Tahiti and French Polynesia, including Windstar Cruises and Paul Gauguin Cruises; others offer seasonal sailings.

While I was taking in the breathtaking views of these stunning islands, I came to appreciate why the postcard-perfect allure of Tahiti and French Polynesia has drawn visitors – and had others dreaming about it – for centuries. Of course, when the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan became the first European to discover the islands in 1521, he wasn’t exactly in search of a place to unplug from the busyness of life. But for those of us for whom, in the words of poet William Wordsworth, “the world is too much with us,” this is an ideal – and idyllic – place to discover. •


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IF YOU GO: Tipping: Not customary or expected Language: French Currency: French Pacific Franc (CPF) Hello: “ia ora na” Bring: Water shoes Water: Safe to drink Entry requirements: Passport validity of three months Average temperatures: 28°C in January, the hottest month, and 25°C in July, the coldest month Wettest month: January - 240mm of rain Best time to visit: May - October

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THEY STAND ALONE

Open loft spaces require a different kind of kitchen appliance: those that are independent of cabinets

THE OLD ADAGE ABOUT how everything old magically transforms itself into something new again doesn’t always apply. Nor should it. Sometimes you have to mix it up. And there is no better place to do that than in a loft – especially one in an old, repurposed industrial building. These old buildings – with their high ceilings, exposed brick and polished concrete f loors – have character and style all their own. They don’t simply offer a unique look to open-concept residential living; they are, in fact, in a category of their own. And with that comes the need to think differently, too – especially in the kitchen. Traditional kitchen cabinetry simply doesn’t always work here. And that means traditional-style appliances that are designed to be framed within cabinetry, simply don’t work. In repurposed industrial spaces, appliances have to stand on their own. That opens the door to inserting a bold new look into the charm of these old settings. And some appliance makers have got that covered.

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DESIGN VANCOUVER WINTER 2017/2018

“When people are moving into those kinds of spaces, they do it with the expectation of having to do something out of the norm,” says Mark Eglington, president of Euro-Line Appliances in Toronto and Euro-Line Appliances West in Vancouver, a wholesale appliance distributor specializing in European imports. Eglington says these repurposed spaces demand a different approach to kitchen design, one that includes free-standing appliances and often free-standing shelves, features that prevent the need to drill into concrete or brick walls. These appliances, he says, are built with iron frames and casters making them movable and sturdy. They include ranges, refrigerators and wine fridges. “They have a robust industrial feel that matches that type of space,” he says, explaining that the look is often referred to as “industrial chic.” Italian appliance maker Superiore, he suggests, has mastered the free-standing range for commercially-designed spaces. “Superiore only does ranges and only ranges,” Eglington says. Similarly, he adds, anyone seeking a fridge for these spaces, should look at Liebherr: “They do fridges and only fridges, and they do it better than anyone else.”

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And these companies offer interesting colour options, with a range of browns, blacks and bronzes. “I’m seeing a notable trend toward darker colours,” he says. “They have that mature feeling without looking tired.”

And although designed for industrial or commercially repurposed spaces, they offer size options that would fit comfortably in small apartments. So, everything old can have a new look after all. It’s all about finding the right mix.• Euro-Line Appliances West Inc. 2912 West 4th Ave., Vancouver 604.235.3980 ~ 1-855-ELA.WEST

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DESIGN

LOOKING OUT TO SEA

A South Surrey home is designed and built to take advantage of the view BY SUSAN KELLY PHOTOGRAPHY: DAVE BRUNT

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A SPECTACULAR OCEAN VIEW and a tony address would seem to be instant deal-clinchers. But when it came to the lot that this striking newly built home in South Surrey sits on, builder Jeet Sidhu, owner of Sky Ridge Homes, was not immediately sold. “When I first saw it, the lot was so neglected and overgrown, it was almost impossible to tell if the house would have any view at all,” he says. •

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But his vision and perseverance won out during an ensuing bidding war. After demolishing a dilapidated 1970s-era ranch house, the new structure arose. Architects at D Mand Design & Drafting Services deftly employed stone, stucco and long-board aluminum cladding to create a contemporary exterior that fits in well with its neighbours in the upscale neighbourhood.

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Inside the home, 5,910 square feet of living space unfolds over three levels. The floor plan easily accommodates five bedrooms, each with its own ensuite bathroom, plus a basement-level nanny suite. It turned out there is a view of not only the ocean but the mountains, which strongly impacted the home’s design. “It was crying out for a reverse layout, where the open-concept living, dining and kitchen areas are on the top floor,” says Sidhu. “That way, everyone in the family can enjoy the view at any time of day.”

Floor-to-ceiling windows were installed on the ocean side to create a sense of connectedness to the surrounding environment. To further enhance the indoor-outdoor living experience, the living area is lined with accordion doors that fold to completely open the home onto a massive 40-foot long deck with outdoor fireplace. The master bedroom on the floor below also lets onto its own terrace. •

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The open-concept great room feels airy and opulent, thanks to clean lines and subtle architectural features. In the living area, the 10-foot ceilings are vaulted. European wide-plank engineered white oak floors run throughout. The marble look of the linear fireplace surround extends to the ceiling to create an elegant focal point. It is echoed in the quartz waterfall-edge kitchen island, to help create a visual flow between the kitchen and living and dining areas.

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Behind the main kitchen lies a second wok or spice kitchen, complete with range, dishwasher and refrigerator. For entertaining, it also provides a convenient behind-the-scenes area for caterers to work. The wine cellar, usually banished to a basement, here forms a distinctive living room wall feature. “The open style is a big trend now, and meant to be a design feature,” Sidhu says. A second similar wine cellar can be found in the basement family room, giving a future owner the capacity to display up to 400 bottles. •

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Four bedrooms are found on the main level; a fifth on the top level could also be used as a guest room or space for crafts. The pièce de resistance, the master bedroom, measures 18 by 17 feet, not counting the massive walk-in closet and spa-like bathroom. Each bedroom is distinguished by a slightly different design, yet harmonized by a consistent overall white colour scheme accented with shades of taupe. Also on the main level, a room near the home’s front entrance is designed to serve as an office. With a powder room off it, it is ideally situated for a professional who receives clients at home. As well, an elevator off the garage and mudroom stands ready to whisk the future owners to the top floor.

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The home’s basement level offers opportunities for rest and recreation. A fully finished sauna with adjacent shower lies off the home gym, which is equipped with rubber flooring. Nestled between it and the family room and bar area is the media room with its theatre-like ambience, surround sound and a huge viewing screen. As well, a highly sophisticated smart home system controls video and audio throughout all three floors, while also orchestrating such necessities as security and lighting. “The home was designed with the future in mind, to be f lexible enough to meet a family’s changing needs,” Sidhu says. •

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Photo courtesy of BONE Structure

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LIFESTYLE VANCOUVER WINTER 2017/2018

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STAY HOME AND STAY WARM Take advantage of winter’s cold and darkness to experience the joy of cocooning indoors BY LA CARMINA

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HAS WINTER GIVEN YOU A CASE OF THE BLUES? A touch of cabin fever? Consider this cold, dark, blustery season a gift. Think of it as an opportunity to slow down, turn inward, and cocoon at home. The Danish concept of “hygge” (pronounced hoo-guh) is being embraced worldwide. The term refers to creating a relaxed, inviting environment that makes you happy to curl up, away from the cold. Take a cue from the Danes, and try these easy tips for warming up your home and body during the long winter months.

SPA SPACE Have a spa day indoors. Forget about going out in the cold to an expensive day at the spa, and pamper yourself in the comfort of your own home. A long, hot bath is especially satisfying in winter. Play relaxing music, dim the lights, and arrange candles around the tub. Throw in f lower petals, orange peels or any bath products that you have. To soothe dry skin, put oatmeal in a nylon stocking and run it under the spout. It’s easy to concoct natural face masks out of ingredients in your kitchen. Mix together yogurt and honey for a facial, and don’t forget cucumber slices over the eyes. For a salon-style treatment, comb coconut or olive oil through your hair. Middle and bottom left photos: La Carmina

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CHEERS! Make warm drinks that are enjoyed around the world. From Chinese “leung cha” medicinal tea to South American yerba mate, there’s a wide world of hot drinks out there. Many of these international beverages are made with healthful and delicious ingredients, with properties that encourage heating in the body. “Glühwein,” or mulled wine, is a favorite throughout northern Europe. In a saucepan, heat red wine with spices (cinnamon sticks, clove, star anise), lemon and orange slices, and a touch of honey. For a non-alcoholic version, swap the wine for berry tea or pomegranate juice. Indonesians warm up with “bajigur,” a soothing coconut milk and ginger drink. In Japan, traditional matcha (whisked green tea powder) is a winter staple. You can also have fun decorating hot chocolate with Japanesestyle bunny faces and ears. •

All left photos: La Carmina

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LIFESTYLE

WARM DECOR A few decor tweaks in your home can elevate your comfort levels. Decluttering is the first step: discard items that, in the words of organizing expert Marie Kondo, no longer “spark joy.” When a room is free of excess, it feels calm and inviting. To make the most of daylight, create a cozy window perch where you can look out and sip tea. At night, soften the room with candles or light up the fireplace if you have one.

Natural textures create instant hygge. Danish decoration tips include surrounding oneself with plants, and making centerpieces out of such forest materials as pinecones. Don’t forget to arrange comfortable throws and pillows around your favorite lounging areas.

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GET UP AND DANCE Work out with video games and apps. Chilly weather makes many of us reluctant to hit the gym or exercise outdoors. However, you can still break a sweat and have fun in front of the TV. Video game consoles, including Wii and Xbox, have developed fitness games that track your movements. Gather a group of friends and follow along with “Just Dance” choreography until you reach “superstar” status. You can also get moving to Wipeout (obstacle courses), Zumba, and P90X.

Photo: La Carmina

Online fitness is popular. You can stream hundreds of classes, taught by top instructors. Many programs offer free one-month trial subscriptions, including YogaGlo and Beachbody On Demand. YouTube also has plenty of videos that teach barre, Pilates, kickboxing and other workouts. •

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LIFESTYLE

LOUNGE AROUND Get stylish with loungewear. Hygge extends to feeling good about what you wear at home. Why not brighten up your winter wardrobe with a few comfortable yet chic pieces? Seek out sweaters with whimsical prints, such as the holiday loungewear collections by online purveyors Wildfox and UNIF. Or find a robe and slippers decorated with your favorite cute character. If you enjoy sewing and knitting, this is a chance to treat yourself with new accessories.

Top photos: La Carmina

Photo courtesy of Wildfox

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LIFESTYLE VANCOUVER WINTER 2017/2018

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PET PLAY Spend cozy time with pets. They tend to be extra snuggly this time of year. Spoil your furry friends with a long grooming session, and then take portraits of them with holiday lights and costumes. Cats and dogs can be delighted by a cardboard box with cut-outs, or a cozy fort made from bedsheets. If it’s snowing outside, make a snowman for them to investigate. And of course, cuddle up. Our animal friends naturally seem to understand the joys of cocooning in winter. • Photo: La Carmina

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ART

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ART VANCOUVER WINTER 2017/2018

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COMICS AND CULTURE The quirky art of Lyle Schultz taps into 1990s skate-punk culture and the depths of the subconscious mind BY SUSAN KELLY

“EDDIE HIDES HIS FACE UNDER A JOKESHOP (SIC) MASK.” Victoria artist Lyle Schultz says that lyric snippet from a song by Canadian skatepunk band SNFU about sums up his approach to life and art. “I tend to hide behind a sense of cartoon facade in most of my work,” he says. “It’s still me, but just hidden deep under many layers of paint.” A full-time painter for a decade, at age 39 Schultz has created a serious body of work. Unique, often absurd or provoking, yet somehow profound, his style is sometimes compared to American neo-expressionist painter Jean-Michel Basquiat. Schultz’s paintings have been shown in close to 100 exhibitions nationally, about three-quarters of them on Vancouver Island. His works can also be found in many private collections, including those of Kids in the Hall alumnus Scott Thompson and John Wright of the band Nomeansno. •

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Cartooning dates to Schultz’s teenage years in 1990s Saskatchewan. He and a friend produced Phoxx Hat, a ’zine filled with “poetry, drawings and insanity.” With other artists who were part of the same film group in college, he received a Canada Council grant to make an animated film: Hello, My Name is B.O.B., a project that took him to the West Coast. The group subsequently fell apart, but Schultz remained on Vancouver Island in 2003.

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The culture of the 1990s – from Terry Gilliam to Sam Kieth comics to filmmaker David Lynch – remains a big influence on his life. But it’s the decade’s underground-alternative and punk musicians, the “intelligent, creative, in-your-face bands that had amazing musicianship and art,” that inspire him the most. He has created album covers for such bands as U.S. punk rockers Lucky Scars over the years.


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And he counts SNFU musician and artist Ken Chinn, who uses the pseudonym Mr. Chi Pig, as friend and mentor. Schultz says it was backstage after a concert when he first saw one of Chinn’s paintings, which spoke to him as nothing had previously. “He also taught me that if you don’t have passion for what you’re doing, no one will care about what you produce, either,” says Schultz. He has a strong support system of friends, and is grateful to his parents who have always been strongly in his corner. Most of Schultz’s paintings have “at least 10 paintings under them,” as he tends to revise feverishly and relentlessly until he gets it right. He works on canvasses or panels that range in size from four inches square to sixby-12-feet. He prefers acrylic paints with the occasional mix of other media. Because he prefers to work insulated from natural light, his studio is in a converted sauna at the back of his home. •

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ART

The rest of his apartment is jammed with paintings, books and guitars. To find space to sketch out his ideas, he tapes huge sheets of paper to the walls. That way, he can record his ideas for the many media he works in, including animation, short film, and writing. He also has scattered six video monitors that continually run, usually showing his favourite classic films, such as David Cronenberg’s Naked Lunch or sci-fi classic THX 1138.

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Among the projects in the works now is a mixed-media animation with musician Edward Garbo for a song that’s set for release in 2018. And he’s launched a line of leggings, skirts and bags under his own label, Stitch Cricket. They’re entirely made in Quebec, from the performance fabric to stitching. “And I don’t just transfer a painting onto the fabric,” he says. “I design each item, so each becomes wearable art. And some are limited editions.” The clothing and accessories are

available only at stitchcricketclothing.com. Schultz also sells his paintings mainly online as well, at lyleschultzart.com and on his Instagram site: @lyleschultzart. His most popular works feature cartoonish dogs in often surreal landscapes. It’s again an outsider’s view of the world around him. For in a town where “everyone and his dog has a dog,” Schultz remains a devout cat person. “I am happy people like something I do, but don’t want these paintings to be all I do,” he says. •


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SWEET LUXURY

The presidential suites at the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia offer lavish indulgence

WHO HAS NOT DREAMED OF ESCAPING into the lap of luxury? Of closing one’s eyes and breathing in deeply as a warm wave of sumptuous relaxation envelops one’s body? Safe, secure and detached, this is what enjoying the moment really means. But what if you could enhance this exquisite sense of timelessness, this feeling of living in the now, by having it all steeped in the style and intrigue of ancient Spain?

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You can make this dream a reality by walking into one of two presidential suites at the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia. Surrounded by the Sonoran Desert at the foot of Camelback Mountain, the resort is in Paradise Valley, just east of Phoenix, Arizona. Here, white-washed villages like those of the Andalusia region of southern Spain provide the backdrop that will make your getaway an unforgettable experience.


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“Guests who stay in these suites are pampered to the utmost level,” says Chloe Dake, public relations and communications manager at Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa. “They are truly a way to escape. You don’t feel like you’re at a normal hotel.” A stay in the Camelback presidential suite is like no other. It is the perfect setting for a special romantic occasion. Among its unique features is the bathroom, which could set the scene for any Hollywood-worthy love story. “Everybody is in awe of the bathroom,” Dake says. “The bathroom is the highlight of the suite.”

A pendant chandelier, framed by a domed ceiling well, projects diamond bursts of light against the rounded walls, like thousands of stars cast in a dark blue sky. The large, luxurious tub is carved from a single piece of stone. “It’s very romantic,” says Dake. “It really sets the mood,” especially with the glow from the small windows and the soft light from flames of the grand votive candle arrangement. Unwinding with your special someone soaking under bubbles in this setting while letting room service deliver a world-class meal to your door to share as you look out at the majestic views of Camelback Mountain is unrivalled. •

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In addition to the romance, the Camelback suite – which includes two bedrooms and three bathrooms – also offers guests the opportunity to share an occasion with friends and family; it opens onto a private 4,000-square-foot exterior event space. This courtyard, equipped with guest bathrooms, is the perfect spot to host an intimate reception, especially before or after a wedding, which is the Omni Scottsdale’s specialty. This resort caters romance. And then there is the Andalusian Presidential Suite. With its stone columns, carved stone water features from the mid-1800s, tiled floors and beamed ceilings, this suite has two bedrooms, three baths and a private pool. “Everything in that suite is designed to transport you to another time and place,” Dake explains.

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If you’re looking for a luxurious private getaway, this suite is more than perfect. With a full wet bar for entertaining, it also includes a private office that will let you stay in touch while not taking you away from quality family time. And if you are planning a wedding at the resort, the suite’s spacious bathroom offers the perfect space for the bride and her bridesmaids to prepare for the big event. It’s a space that will help create a memorable atmosphere

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on a special day, a little something that falls into the category of “priceless.” So you might just want to think about inviting the photographer in, too. And when you rent these suites, you’ll also want to take advantage of the all-day access to the resort’s spa, Dake adds. Still dreaming of escaping into the lap of luxury? It can be done under the Arizona sun. •

Prices for the presidential suites at Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia vary according to the season, but start at $5,000 a night for the Andalusian Presidential Suite and $3,500 per night for the Camelback Presidential Suite.

Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia www.omnimontelucia.com 888-444-OMNI

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DESIGN VANCOUVER WINTER 2017/2018

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THE SECRET GARDEN

Landscape dictated the design of this Dunbar-Southlands home PHOTOGRAPHY: JOHN BENTLEY

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DESIGN

The four posts spanning the stream and supporting the lower-level flex space are remnants of the original house.

FOR SOME PEOPLE LOOKING to build a new home, the location – the neighbourhood – is the prime requisite; once it’s chosen, they find a site and build a home that suits their needs and wants. Other people have a strong idea of what they want in terms of home design, and they go looking for a site to accommodate it. And then there are those who simply chance upon a plot of land, fall in love with it, and build a house that makes the best of the site’s features, as did the owner of this home. “I saw it on the Internet,” the homeowner

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says. “It was listed through Macdonald Realty, and Allison Brooke brought me to it. I saw it for about five minutes and decided to buy.” The homeowner says that he was originally looking for a townhouse in the city, but because this garden was so unconventional, “I talked myself into considering it. It took me to a place that was so unexpected in its surroundings. You’re transported into a whole other world when you come past the gate. You don’t see any neighbours, nor any traffic on the street.”


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The garden at that time was in poor condition. “It was terribly overgrown,” the homeowner says. “It was like a massive jungle. Ivy had choked nearly everything in it. A gunnera plant on the island had taken over the whole pond.” It took two years and the expert help of Joe Fry of Hapa Collaborative before the garden was under control. Fry cleared the jungle and installed mostly native plants, and the garden’s charms are now fully revealed. The lot is on a ravine, with Khatsahlano Creek running through it down to the Fraser River. The site was originally a corner of a

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10-acre estate and was built as a Japanese water garden in the late 1800s. The estate was subdivided in the 1950s, and the house before this current one was erected in 1964. “The old house was really cool,” says the homeowner. “It was featured in Sunset magazine.” Despite its cool quotient, the old house was not sound, and its low ceilings were oppressive. What was intended to be a straightforward reno turned into a reno so thorough that, ultimately, only the four timber posts from the original foundation – a pair anchored on each side of the creek – were left. •

At the top right can be seen the glass guard at the end of the cantilevered entry slab between the driveway and the front steps.

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Red furniture bestows a zap of colour on the living room. The gas fireplace provides another form of warmth and also hides the bedroom behind. It’s surrounded by ungrouted porcelain tile by the Japanese company Inax, sourced in Vancouver at Stone Tile Pacific. Furniture is custom-made by Ligne Roset, through Livingspace.

The challenge of designing a dwelling equal to the setting fell to the homeowner’s friend, architect Alan Boniface of Dialog. “I had worked with Alan on a couple of other commercial projects, and I desired to do a house project with him,” the homeowner says. “We’d always said we’d build a house. I phoned him and said ‘I’ve found it.’ ”

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In the master bedroom, an enormous Mississippi willow headboard comprises five storage towers that serve as cabinetry for the master bathroom. The artwork by German artist Robert Berges is reverse-painted on glass (2007). Cabinetry: Modulnova, through ROOM8.

Boniface’s f irst observation was that anyone arriving at the house should have the garden’s splendour revealed gradually rather than all at once, and he envisioned a walkway from the driveway that would lead to the front entrance. It was a start, and design proceeded from there. But as soon as builder Brad Martin of Treeline Construction ripped the roof off the old house, work had to stop as the building’s inadequacies were manifest. It was back to the drawing board for Boniface. The revised plan has produced a new house that covers exactly the same footprint as the old one, but offers much more within its nearly 3,000 square feet. It’s designed for a couple – no children – and there isn’t even a guest bedroom within its generously windowed shell. It truly is a retreat for the semi-retired inhabitants. The upper floor is the main floor, being roughly on a level with the street. It’s mostly one large room containing kitchen, dining, living, and bedroom areas, with the bedroom and its ensuite bathroom being screened from the living space by a tall fireplace. There’s also a powder room and a garage. A spectacular one-piece staircase leads down through a glass-enclosed stairwell to the lower level with its flex space (TV room and workout area) and a full bathroom with a huge window giving a view of the garden to anyone luxuriating in the soaker tub that’s fondly referred to as “the spa.” •

The master bathroom exhibits a sleek, unfussy design; for example, the linen cupboard has no protruding doorknob. The counter is Corian with an integrated trough sink.

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Mississippi willow facing the kitchen island and dining area cabinetry provides warm contrast against opaque white glass kitchen cabinets by Modulnova. The cool white countertops are Corian.

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In the dining area, the cabinetry is multi-purpose, acting as liquor cabinet and storage space for china, table linens, and even a yoga mat or two. The chunky European white oak table was made in Germany by E15, through Livingspace. The artwork was commissioned from Vancouver artist Lesley Finlayson.

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The sunken garden is invisible from the street and the driveway, only being revealed as one approaches the front entry.

The homeowner has had a machining business for many years that makes precision parts, and he’s delighted by the attention to detail indoors and out. He says that lead architect Vance Harris has an “amazing eye. Vance and I worked through every single detail. Everything has an architect’s touch on it – for example, stainless steel trim edges on windows where concrete ends.” Similar attention was given to external finishes. “Because of my business and the availability of metals, we did interesting things,” says the homeowner. He cites the metal roof with its integrated metal

A waterfall flume by the front entry’s cantilevered walkway provides soothing sounds.

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gutter that drains runoff into a stainless steel trough, which traverses a concrete wall and leads directly into a storm sewer. He also likes the driveway; rather than being plain, it’s embedded with replicas of universal joints, the cuplike objects looking like “coins in a fountain.” He’s also proud of the doorsills, which are solid anodized aluminum machined in his factory. Despite their pleasure with the home and its bosky surroundings, the homeowner and his partner must move to accommodate changes in their lifestyle. The property is now for sale. It has been a secret delight for more than a century, and one hopes that it continues to be so for future owners well into this new millennium. • For more information, contact Manyee Lui Realty at www.manyeelui.com

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HOLA!

THE RIVIERA MAYA WELCOMES THE WINTER-WEARY Mexico’s Caribbean coast boasts beautiful beaches, fascinating culture and ancient sites WORDS AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY LA CARMINA

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THE SNOW IS GETTING ALARMINGLY DEEP. The wind is howling outside. And the furnace is on fullblast. Could there be a better time than now to escape to a place that is warm, inviting and culturally rich? Perhaps it’s time to pack your swimsuit for an escape to the Riviera Maya. Located in Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula, this 120-kilometre Caribbean coastline is home to Tulum, Playa del Carmen, Akumal, Puerto Morelos, and other charming beach towns. If you love both relaxing by the ocean and exploring local culture and archeology, this is your ideal tropical getaway.

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I booked an inexpensive direct flight and travelled in early January, leaving behind a heavy snowfall. Riviera Maya’s hot, dry season begins in November and ends in February, making winter the best time to visit. To avoid the tourist scene, I stayed at the adult-only El Dorado Maroma. As soon as I saw the resort’s thatched over-water huts on a stretch of quiet beach, I knew I was in for a relaxing break from the crowds.

If you prefer a larger five-star resort, Iberostar Grand Hotel Paraiso will pamper you with award-winning restaurants and spas. Nature lovers should consider Azulik Resort and Maya Spa near the town of Tulum, where the wood villas have 360-degree views of jungle and the Caribbean Sea, offering visitors the experience of living luxuriously in the wild. Spending time in the sun might be your priority, but don’t miss out on the ancient Mayan ruins in the region. Some of the oldest excavated sites date back 4,000 years. •


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El Dorado Maroma is on one of Riviera Maya’s most peaceful beaches. Guests can relax on the white sand, shaded by palm trees, rent speedboats, indulge in an outdoor massage, or sip cocktails in coconut shells at the poolside bar. This is one of the only resorts in the region with over-water bungalows.

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To get around, travellers typically rent a car or take public transportation such as “collectivo� buses. I hired a driver and guide from local concierge company, Loco Gringo, so I could easily visit several sites in a day. My guide, Paulina, took me to Chichen Itza, site of an iconic step pyramid and ancient observatory. Here, I learned about Mayan astrology and human sacrifice. We then drove to the lesser-known archaeological sites Ek Balam and Coba. Wandering through the stone temples without other tourists around, I felt transported back in time.

El Castillo, or the Temple of Kukulcan, looms over the Chichen Itza archaeological site. The Mayan pyramid has 91 steps on each of its four facades. During the spring and fall equinoxes, shadows give the impression that serpents are slithering down the sides.

Next, Paulina suggested a tour of the folk-art museum, Casa de Los Venados in Valladolid, an inland town established by Spanish colonialists atop an older Mayan settlement, which was dismantled to provide the conquerors with building materials. I rode to a yellow hacienda there, decorated with more than 3,000 Mexican works: grinning sugar skulls, colourful deer, and a mosaic of images of painter Frida Kahlo. After walking through the old town, we stopped at a cemetery filled with flowers and rainbow-coloured tombstones.

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Back at the resort, I honoured the sunworshipping Mayans by spending a day relaxing on public beaches. Locals agree that Maroma is the most picturesque, with its soft white sands and clear waters. Xpu-Ha has a charming mile-long stretch of coast, perfect for a long stroll followed by swimming and snorkelling.

Riviera Maya is also famous for its cenotes, or subterranean swimming holes. Dive into Cenote Maya near the Ek Balam ruins, or Ik Kil near Chichen Itza. When you’re floating and looking up at the shaft of light, it’s easy to understand why these wells were sacred to the Maya. •

Visitors to Ek Balam, the ancient Meso-American city, can climb its mysterious temples. The name translates to “black jaguar,” hence the many feline carvings. Nearby, swimmers dive into Cenote Maya, a natural pool with vines reaching down into cool waters.

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I wanted to try authentic Mexican food, so I went to Aguachiles in Playa del Carmen. The namesake dish is an outstanding Sinaloa ceviche, made from raw shrimp cured in lime juice and spiced with chilies. Aguachiles’s fresh seafood tacos and tostadas were also well-priced, and hit the spot. Kay Walten, founder of Riviera Maya vacation company Loco Gringo, encouraged me to eat at El Meson de Marques in Valladolid. “Here you can enjoy terrific Yucatecan food,” she told me. “Our favorite regional dishes are cochinita pibil (slow-roasted pork), sopa de lima (poultry lime soup), and longaniza (sausage similar to chorizo). Their special caldo de marques, a hearty soup with avocado, chicken and spice, is a winner.” Kay also raved about El Pollo Bronco, “the best Mexican grilled chicken place in Tulum.” This unassuming late-night joint serves addictive drumsticks with guajillo chili powder and a side of salsa.

Yucatan Peninsula cuisine mixes influences from Mexico, the Caribbean and Europe. Try ceviche (marinated raw fish), enchiladas with mole (a traditional sauce made with chocolate), and pork tamales with charred chilies. If you’re looking for a quirky locally crafted souvenir, pick up a rainbow sugar skull.

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I couldn’t leave without a few souvenirs from local boutiques. On Coba Road, artisans display impressive handmade dreamcatchers and plaster sculptures. My favorite vendor sold organic Melipona honey from stingless Mexican bees, fashioned into candles and soaps.


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You c a n a l s o f i nd u n ique g i f t s at MexicArte, located in Akumal and Tulum. Friendly owner Nayeli sources crafts and jewelry from various regions of Mexico, and gives proceeds directly to the artists. I also recommend Siete Detalles, a small store packed with handicrafts, pewter and glass. This is one of the only shops in Playa del Carmen with authentic talavera, a clay pottery tradition that dates back to the 16th century. A vacation in Riviera Maya is especially delightful during Canada’s coldest months, when you’re craving a fix of sunshine and seafood. With easy flight access and plenty of attractions, the land of the Maya is just the ticket to heat up a long winter. •

IF YOU GO: Getting There: There are direct flights to Cancun on most days of the week, from major Canadian cities including Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto and Montreal. These airlines include InterJet, WestJet, Sunwing, Air Canada and Air Transat. Prices range from $390 to $800, with a flight time of between four and six hours, depending on the city of origin. Ground Travel: If you’re staying at a Riviera Maya resort, the staff can usually provide a shuttle transfer from Cancun International Airport. Travellers may also rent a car and drive south down Carretera Federal 307, a well-maintained highway that follows the coastline; Playa del Carmen is a 45-minute drive from the airport. Accommodation: All-inclusive packages are excellent value, beginning at around $190 a night at a four-star resort. A luxurious, ocean-front villa is generally $500 and up.

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COMFORT AND COZINESS FOR WINTER COCOONING There’s an art to creating rooms that invite us to relax and warm up when it’s cold outside BY SUSAN SCHWARTZ PHOTOGRAPHY: JEAN BLAIS STYLING: JEAN MONET Floral arrangements: Le Marché aux Fleurs du Village

WHAT WE WANT MOST FROM HOME, I believe, is sanctuary – shelter from the storm. The marketing consultant and futurist Faith Popcorn, who coined the term “cocooning” back in the 1980s, explained that the concept involves building a “shell of safety” around oneself – a buffer from the perceived dangers of life beyond our front doors. It’s illusory to think that cocooning can protect us from peril, of course, but certainly it can provide a measure of comfort. And with the icy winds of winter bearing down on us, comfort is what we crave. •

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(Above) The deep sofas, by Montauk, are a perfect spot on which to curl up and gaze into the fireplace. (Opposite) French doors lead into the dining room, where the deep blue ceiling brings to mind a night sky.

As the winter coats and scarves and boots come out, I spread old Persian carpets on the old oak floors throughout the house and replace light-coloured linen throw pillows with those in deeper tones and heavier fabrics. Â And I gravitate toward the fireplace. There are two in the living room, both gas inserts; they lack the lovely crackle of wood-burning fireplaces but can be turned on and off with the flick of a switch and they have fans, so they generate warmth: In a living room facing north and east in a drafty house built more than a century ago, warmth is welcome.

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During these dark times, light is also welcome. I prefer the pools of light created by table and floor lamps to overhead lighting: It’s softer. Part of making the space mine is furnishing it with unique pieces and, to that end, I have had lamps created that incorporate vintage Mason jars, old Beauceware, wooden spools – even a heavy old iron. Nearly all the lampshades were custom-made. Could I find perfectly nice shades and lamps in homeware stores? Absolutely. But these elevate the lamps and make them special. I have always associated colour with comfort. The living room is Benjamin Moore’s Yellow Lotus (2021-50), a saturated and happy yellow. The dining room is a strong red, Poppy (1315), and the kitchen a Pear Green (2028-40). •

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Much as I admire spare spaces and clean lines, I don’t want to live with them. I want the art I chose with such care splashed on the walls and the books I read piled around me. I want to look at framed photos of people I hold dear and to admire the sunlight streaming through the coloured glass bowls and vases to which I am drawn. I want rooms that feel cozy and inviting.

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But like the guy who walks the line in the Johnny Cash song, I walk one, too. It’s the line between making my home feel warm and welcoming by filling it with things I love – and overdoing it so that the space becomes cluttered and, by definition, uninviting. It’s a fine line.

(Above) The library’s sofa is long enough to stretch out on. (Above and opposite) My collections are everywhere: old industrial spools in the library, vintage apothecary jars and Quimper dishes in the living room, cut crystal in the dining room.


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I have been collecting stuff for as long as I can remember, everything from vintage apothecary jars and crystal and table linen to unmatched pieces of old sterling, which cost a fraction of sets, and old copper pots for their patina. Most of my finds come from thrift shops and church rummage sales. I’m big on re-using items that had a life before they came into mine. A pair of chairs that had orange vinyl seats when they were in the basement of the 1960s house in which I grew up are now upholstered in colourful barkcloth from a pair of vintage drapes found at an antique store. Two doctor’s office chairs once covered in drab salmon are dressed now in a fabric wild with palm trees. A slipper

chair was $5 at an Ottawa thrift shop run by the St. Vincent de Paul Society. It was covered in a garish – and dirty – fabric, but it had good bones. Now it’s upholstered in the same dark blue as the Roman shades in the dining room – with little gold stars that seem to twinkle in candlelight. Probably the only piece in the house purchased new is the bed. •

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I love the patina of rough old pine dressers and dough boxes and have found a few at Finnegan’s, the seasonal flea market in Hudson, Quebec, open from May through October. And treasures I have found at a terrific Montreal consignment shop called Galerie M include a pair of Montauk sofas in the living room for which I paid considerably less than they cost new. The dining chairs came from a friendly Old Montreal shop, now sadly closed: It was run by a lovely French woman whose mother-in-law used to send containers full of furniture and home furnishings from France and it was a kind of cross between an antique store and a thrift shop. I had the chairs

re-upholstered in a soft red and blue plaid and then, years later, at an antique store in Cape Cod, spied a round table stained dark red that was perfect with them. My modus operandi has always been to buy what I like and figure I’ll find a place for it. From time to time I cull my collections, because I realize that I want to keep only what gives me comfort and joy. And I’m forever moving objects around because, to my mind, things need changing up. After all, you wouldn’t wear the same thing day after day, would you? So why should your rooms? •

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GO AHEAD! TRACK MUD INTO THE HOUSE Today’s mudrooms are practical, but they’re also beautiful, sought-after spaces BY SUSAN KELLY

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Photos courtesy of Cliff and Evans

DESIGN VANCOUVER WINTER 2017/2018

ITS NAME IS MUD — mudroom that is. But despite the unpromising moniker, in today’s houses, mudrooms are taking on new importance and lots of style. No longer an afterthought, “Eighty per cent of the large renovations we do have mudrooms on the wish list,” says builder Dave Evans, partner at Cliff and Evans Ltd., a construction company in Toronto. In most homes, it can be found just off a side or rear entrance, as in the detached single-family

home in Moore Park that his company renovated. Families prefer the convenience of using the door closest to the garage or driveway. Front doors, he points out, are reserved to welcome guests. The mudroom sees a lot of traffic, which is why planning one should start from the ground up. Here designer Kate Zeidler gave the f loors a style upgrade using soft grey porcelain tiles that emulate natural stone. Bonus: they are also highly durable and easy

to maintain. Evans often suggests a honed finish rather than a glossy one that can be slippery when wet. And no matter what the period of the home — this one dates from circa 1915 — modern conveniences such as heated floors are a must. “That way, you always have warm boots to put on, and they help speed up evaporation of any water that is tracked in,” he says. •

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People with children and pets perhaps are most keenly aware of how important the mudroom can be, says designer Rhonda Thornton, owner and creative director at Bloomsbury Fine Cabinetry in Toronto. “Between school and activities, there can be a lot of gear and clutter,” she says. “People now are investing more to have a space that is both organized and inviting.” Thornton designed the one in the home north of the city she shares with her husband and three children, ages 22, 19 and 16, plus three dogs. A solid maple bench has served the family well for more than 10 years. Underneath are storage bins carved with the names of each family member. Small children especially like having a space reserved just for them, she says, and they can keep such things as hats, mittens and scarves out of sight.

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Photos courtesy of Bloomsbury Fine Cabinetry

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Thornton was ahead of the curve in incorporating a mix of open and closed storage, now a big trend. Sports gear and other paraphernalia not used every day can go behind a closed door. “People want a less utilitarian, more quality-furniture look today,” says the designer. “It’s also important to respect the

overall style of the home.” By adding a few details, Thornton was able to give traditional English-style cabinetry a look that fits beautifully in the French-style country cottage.


Photos courtesy of Dvira Interiors

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And you can ramp up the style by adding luxe details and personal touches without losing any function, says interior designer Dvira Ovadia, principal at Dvira Interiors in Toronto. She fearlessly covered the mudroom bench in her updated traditional home in the Allenby area with vibrant striped wool fabric by Paul Smith. This despite the fact that her two children, aged five and eight, clamber on it to reach their backpacks on the hooks above. “It’s very durable fabric and the stripes hide stains,” Ovadia says. She ran durable natural slate floors underneath. Not only does she love the rich look, but they also remind her of growing up in Brussels. The farmhouse apron sink is not only European chic, but practical for rinsing gear and potting plants. The designer had both elegance and her children in mind when she chose the white wallpaper. She likes the sense of whimsy the gold bumblebees provide and the fact they are an international symbol of welcome. “Every detail is beautiful and was chosen with my family in mind, to make them feel happy when there,” she says. •

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Every mudroom is different, and there are no fixed rules for decorating it. Except when it comes to combining it with the laundry area; most designers advise against doing so, says Sarah Gallop, owner of Sarah Gallop Design Inc. in Vancouver. “Ideally, they should be in separate areas of the house; a crossover can be messy,” she says. Sometimes that is not possible, such as in the mudroom area she designed for a newly built home in the Cambie Corridor area of Vancouver. Gallop kept the two at opposite ends of the space. They are visually separated through the use of different colours and textures: smooth, pure white surfaces in the mudroom, soft grey tones and a mix of tiles in the laundry area. Dog-washing stations, though, are an increasingly popular feature that does belong in or near the mudroom. Here the designer included one across from the washer/dryer. It consists of a sink large enough to comfortably lift the homeowners’ small French bulldog for a quick rinse. “For larger dogs, I often design a small tiled-in area with hand-held shower attachment,” she says. •

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Photo courtesy of Sarah Gallop Design Inc.


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“In a more contemporary design like this one, clutter will make the room look cramped. You want as much behind closed doors as possible.”

Photos courtesy of South Hill Interiors

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Making the most of available square footage is important. Especially true of mudrooms in smaller homes, such as the “farmhouse chic” one designed by Barbara Mangoni, founder and principal at South Hill Interiors in Toronto. The usual impulse is to use open shelving to create the illusion of more space, but that’s not what was done here, she says of the century home her company recently renovated. “In a more contemporary design like this one, clutter will make the room look cramped,” she says. “You want as much behind closed doors as possible.”

To keep it light and bright, she had white Shaker-style cabinetry built around a window to one side of the door. It faces one opposite, under which a simple open bench provides a place for removing boots. To the side, an industrial rustic wall rack holds coats and backpacks. Underfoot, the same wide-plank engineered oak with a hand-scraped finish runs to the doorsill. “Putting down tile would have broken the line and made the area look smaller,” she says. “Plus, the wood adds a nice warmth, like a big welcome mat.”


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Photos courtesy of Mélyssa Robert Design

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Everyone’s dream: a spacious, gorgeous, organized mudroom. And that was what the owners of a newly built home in the PointeClaire suburb of Montreal requested, says their interior designer Mélyssa Robert, owner of Mélyssa Robert Design. “I put in contemporary sliding barn doors, which can hide any clutter from view,” she says. “But with three kids, the couple still wanted everything as organized as possible.” So the designer created customized solutions for each member of the active family. And, because the family wanted this to be their forever home, Robert made them adaptable to grow with the residents. A touch especially appreciated in winter is a custom rack for drying gloves and mitts set over a heating grate. She also had to meet the challenge of using eco-friendly materials, also a big trend. This mudroom breaks with the new norm in that it’s placed near the front door. Turns out, that’s the one the family uses. “It doesn’t matter where you place the mudroom,” says Robert, “as long as it works for your lifestyle — and is as beautiful as the rest of your home.” •

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IN OUR NEXT ISSUE

AD LIST

Is there anything more inviting than a kitchen in full use? The aroma of cooking and baking fills the house, along with laughter and conversation. Our kitchens have become the centre of our homes. We use our kitchens for so many activities: homework, cooking lessons for children, heart-to-heart talks. We cook, eat and entertain in the kitchen. In our next issue, we bring you profiles of some of the best-designed kitchens in Vancouver. Don’t miss Vancouver Home’s Kitchens issue, on sale in February.

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A2H Interiors Beyond Beige Casa Madera Euro-line Appliances Genesis Kitchens Granite Transformations My House Design Build Paramount Furniture ROOM8 Paul Gauguin Cruises

BUYERS’ GUIDE VANCOUVER WINTER 2017/2018

GO AHEAD! TRACK MUD INTO THE HOUSE Dvira Ovadia www.dvira.com 416-562-2252 Melyssa Robert www.melyssarobert.com 450-858-3326 South Hill Interiors www.southhillinteriors.com 416-970-1703 Cliff and Evans Ltd. www.cliffandevans.com 416-628-7186 Bloomsbury Fine Cabinetry www.bloomsburykitchens.com 416-782-7900 ~ 905-853-7700 Sarah Gallop Design Inc. www.sarahgallop.com 604-952-4448

SWEET LUXURY Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia www.omnimontelucia.com 888-444-OMNI

LOOKING OUT TO SEA Sky Ridge Homes www.skyridgehomes.ca 604-537-3624

COMICS AND CULTURE Artist Lyle Schultz www.lyleschultzart.com @lyleschultzart www.artbombdaily.com

D Mand Design & Drafting Services www.dmanddesign.com 604-597-1838

FROM COSMETIC CHANGES TO TOTAL FACELIFT Andrea Rodman Interiors www.andrearodman.com 604-339-0991 Carla Tak, Artist www.carlatak.com 604-603-9556 Terris Lightfoot Contracting www.terrislightfoot.com 778-355-8315 Zoë Pawlak, Artist www.zoepawlak.com

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THE SECRET GARDEN Manyee Lui and Associates www.manyeelui.com 604-263-9988 BEAUTY UNDERFOOT Weavers Art www.weaversart.com 416-929-7929


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