SPRUCE Fall/Winter 2021

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VICTORIA’S HOME & D E S I G N MAGAZINE

INSPIRING HOMES AND INTERIORS Modern architecture blends with pattern and colour in this family home Open-concept penthouse gets a luxury upgrade West Coast off-grid reno tucked away in the woods

sprucemagazine.ca PM41295544


Bathroom, Kitchen, Lighting, Door Hardware, Cabinet Hardware, Custom Wine Storage & much more.

Beautiful Italian-crafted Furniture Collection Blu Bathworks 45 degree furniture collection is Italian-crafted using quality, sustainable materials with the lowest formaldehyde emissions in the world.

Experience Our Fully Functioning Showroom In Person Simply peruse in peace or have one of our expert team members guide you through our extensive collection of bathroom, kitchen, lighting and hardware fittings.

You Dream It, We’ll Find It. Cantu Bathrooms and Hardware Ltd.

8351 Ontario St. Vancouver BC V5X 3E8 Tel 604.688.1252 | www.cantubathrooms.com copyright © 2021 Cantu Bathrooms and Hardware Ltd.


DESIGN | MANUFACTURE | INSTALL westcoastwindows.ca #105–2031 Malaview Ave W, Sidney 778.404.1695


CUSTOM SOLUTIONS BEYOND THE KITCHEN


1745 BLANSHARD ST,

VICTORIA, BC MONDAY—SATURDAY

250.383.2635

URBANAKITCHENS.CA


IN THIS ISSUE

On the cover This custom new build blends two different styles with a striking result.

FALL/WINTER 2021

Page 26

40

34

46

FEATURES

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34

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46

Rethinking these oftenoverlooked elements of a kitchen will transform the heart of a home.

Modern architecture blends with pattern and colour to bring play into this family home.

This off-grid Camas Hill house reno is as remote as it is beautiful.

An open-concept penthouse combines its luxury upgrade with high-tech modifications.

B Y DANIELLE POPE

B Y DANIELLE POPE

This new Oak Bay build demanded innovative design solutions to preserve its collection of Garry oaks.

KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL

A MARRIAGE OF STYLES

MODERN DRAMA

B Y DANIELLE POPE

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BEAUTY IN THE WILDERNESS

B Y LINDA BARNARD

FEATURES & FINISHES

B Y KIM PEMBERTON


100% Victoria Owned

INCREDIBLE HOME WWW.INCREDIBLEHOME.CA

Live Life Incredibly

CLOSETS • KITCHENS EURO CLOSET DOORS


IN THIS ISSUE DEPARTMENTS

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EDITOR’S LETTER

12

S PRUCE IT UP

18

DESIGN FIX

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Adding texture to your space will welcome in the cozy.

Dealing with dated bathrooms. BY JENNY MARTIN

We specialize in traditional carpentry and fine craftsmanship in Victoria, B.C. We design, build and renovate buildings and structures that are durable and authentic at a good value.

50

ASK THE EXPERT

Ivo Zanatta of Matrix Marble and Stone talks about working with nature.

50

BY ATHENA McKENZIE

54

DESIGN INSPO

Wine cellars combine classic appreciation with modern beauty. BY DANIELLE POPE

56

REAL ESTATE

Experts take a look at what’s in store for 2022. BY SHANNON MONEO

www.green-island-builders.com info@green-island-builders.com @green_island_builders

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FINISHING TOUCH

Wallpaper has become the new statement item for dens and small rooms: how to pick the perfect pattern for the space.

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V I C TO R I A’ S H O M E & D E S I G N M AG A Z I N E

PUBLISHERS Lise Gyorkos,

GUEST EDITOR Danielle Pope

Georgina Camilleri

PRODUCTION MANAGER Jennifer Kühtz

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY Jeffrey Bosdet

DIGITAL MARKETING MANAGER Amanda Wilson

LEAD GRAPHIC DESIGNER Janice Hildybrant

ASSOCIATE GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Jo-Ann Loro, Caroline Segonnes

CONTRIBUTING EDITOR Carla Sorrell EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Aldyn Chwelos ADVERTISING COORDINATOR Rebecca Juetten PROOFREADER Lenore Hietkamp CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Linda Barnard, Athena McKenzie,

Jenny Martin, Shannon Moneo, Kim Pemberton, Danielle Pope

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Dasha Armstrong, Jody Beck,

Jeffrey Bosdet, Sama Jim Canzian, James Jones, Kurt Knock, Joshua Lawrence

ADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVES Deana Brown, Cynthia Hanischuk,

Brenda Knapik

25 years of finely crafted, handmade cabinetry, furniture & millwork

GENERAL INQUIRIES info@sprucemagazine.ca LETTERS TO THE EDITOR letters@sprucemagazine.ca

259 Esquimalt Road 250.360.2123 douglasgrantcabinetmakers.com

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ON THE COVER

A Marriage of Styles, story on page 26. Photo by James Jones

Landscaping Your Lifestyle

acaciavictoria.com

250.595.0527

Spruce magazine is published by Page One Publishing 580 Ardersier Road, Victoria, BC V8Z 1C7 T 250-595-7243 info@pageonepublishing.ca pageonepublishing.ca

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Spruce is Victoria’s home and design magazine. For advertising info, please call us at 250-595-7243 or email sales@sprucemagazine.ca.

Printed in Canada by Transcontinental Printing. Ideas and opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of Page One Publishing Inc. or its affiliates; no official endorsement should be inferred. The publisher does not assume any responsibility for the contents of any advertisement and any and all representations or warranties made in such advertising are those of the advertiser and not the publisher. No part of this magazine may be reproduced, in all or part, in any form — printed or electronic — without the express permission of the publisher. The publisher cannot be held responsible for unsolicited manuscripts and photographs. Canadian Publications Mail Product Sales Agreement 41295544

Garden Makeovers Garden Coaching 2D & 3D Modelling Land Planning Site Design SPRUCE | FALL/WINTER 2021

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Why work with Robyn? “Robyn is so knowledgeable, courteous and insightful. She certainly has a keen awareness of the market. Her negotiating skills are outstanding! I feel very fortunate to have had her as my REALTOR®” - P.K.

Robyn Wildman Top rated in Customer Service Multiple MLS® Award Winner BUYING OR SELLING REAL ESTATE CALL

250.818.8522 rwildman@sothebysrealty.ca robynwildman.com

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EDITOR’S LETTER

Waiting for the One

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hen it comes to home design, there’s something to be said about waiting for that “perfect” match. The choices involved in any project can seem overwhelming, but little can overrule that gut sense when something just feels right. Whether it’s the accomplishment of agreeing on style, finally deciding how to use the spare room, or at last selecting a paint colour, these decisions take time. Shortly after my husband and I got married, we launched into the exciting task of revamping our space. Our initial target was set on one item in particular: a new sofa. This wasn’t to be just any sofa, but a haven of comfort that would tie together the country-modern look of our living area. We spent weeks scrolling through design websites and online ads, visiting furniture stores and musing over options, finding little that matched our look. Just when we were sure this ideal sofa would remain only in our dreams, there it was. Some say you know what you’ve been looking for all along when you see it. When we first saw the sofa, we both inhaled audibly. Without saying a word, we strode over and took our seats. Smiles eased across our faces as we sank into the soft brown leather, down cushions hugging our backs. “Oh,” we both said, looking at each other. “Oh.” And that was it. Or so we thought. The thing about selecting décor for your home is that when it fits, it fits. Every so often, that special piece — the right hanging mirror or a particular stone countertop — changes everything. And so, we commit. Whether we’re considering crafting that dream wine cellar (see page 54), modernizing a bathroom (see page 18), finding a bold wallpaper (see page 58) or marrying two distinct styles to create a dream home (see page 26), there’s no doubt design preferences are a personal matter. Knowing what’s right for your home comes down to investing in expert advice you trust and doing enough research to know what you love. For some, this results in entire rooms being sculpted around a favourite antique chair, a specific colour or an heirloom painting. For us, the sofa became the anchor to our redesign. Trouble was, we were going to have to wait. At first, the six-week window seemed an easy sacrifice. With the pandemic extending shipping times, and with overseas complications afoot, six weeks turned into three, five, eight months — and then a full year. With every passing update, our hearts sank deeper into the reality that our dearly selected piece may never arrive. Never mind that we had sold off old furniture, bought the perfect-match crate coffee table, invested in a desk, lamps, even pillows and sheepskins that echoed the vibe. The empty hole in our living room, where our future sofa would live, sat like a vacant reminder during the pandemic that some dreams take a little longer to come true. But come, it did. Appearing nearly a year to the day after we had ordered it, in one miraculous swoop, our living area was made perfect. Though that time of cozying up with blankets on a hardwood floor wasn’t how we’d planned our first year of marriage, the joy of seeing our space take shape — exactly as we wanted it — was all the sweeter. As my husband reflected one morning, enjoying a cup of tea on the new sofa, “When you know, you know.” It was more than worth the wait. In this edition of Spruce, you’ll see stories of others who waited through lengthy construction delays or pandemic challenges to see their own visions come to reality. With beautiful inspiration to set you up for your next project, I hope you enjoy these pages of our Fall issue. Happy reading.

“Knowing what’s right for your home comes down to investing in expert advice you trust and doing enough research to know what you love. ”

Sotheby’s International Realty Canada, Independently Owned and Operated.

Danielle Pope, Guest Editor

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“Better to illuminate than to merely shine.” — Thomas Aquinas

You are unique, your home is unique, and Luxe is not your typical furniture store. At Luxe Home Interiors we believe in curating an inspiring shopping experience where customers can see, touch and feel great treasures that cannot be found anywhere else. We believe in shopping local, and relish the beautiful human connections that happen with in-person shopping. All of our sales people are skilled designers. Let us help you tell your unique story. Visit us at our new home at 564 Yates Street, conveniently located across from the Bastion Square Parkade (first hour free)!

564 Yates St 250.386.7632 luxevictoria.ca


SPRUCE IT UP

Feeling into Fall

LAYERING TEXTURES AND MATERIALS WILL GIVE ANY SPACE A DYNAMIC SHIFT FOR THE SEASON.

OPEN MINDS

Build layers of personality into your home and step through a new portal by investing in a custom interior door — like this one from Victoria-based Karmanah Wood Design. Whether acting as a transition buffer, an entry for a kid’s room, or a privacy barrier for the home office, creative doors are a sophisticated way to add function and even fun. Sliding barn doors enhance a rustic, coastal vibe, while other options (like hidden doors, strategically placed behind or a painting or bookshelf) can create intrigue and mystery.

JODY BECK

Available at Karmanah Wood Design

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BRIGHT IDEAS

Save space and welcome new textures by trading in that old floor light for a well-placed hanging pendant lamp. These lights can create areas of interest while brightening a room and keeping the floor flexible. Add a dimmer switch, and that same space will become as cheery or relaxed as desired. Pendants don’t have to be confined to existing ceiling fixtures (like those over the dining table) or require electricians for installation. A hanging light kit will allow you to create a plug-in pendant that can easily be hung from an anchored swag hook at your preferred location. Available through bouclair.com

LAYERS OF LIGHT

Nothing sparks the comfort of the season quite like the glowing warmth of a fire. Heat Savers’ Ortal’s Corner Line creates a flexible architectural solution while bringing focus to any space. With left and right options, this natural gas, corner fireplace collection offers the modern luxury of a direct-vent fireplace while controlling temperature to ensure your space remains comfortable. The flickering light and warmth from this unit will steal the chill from any foggy morning. Available through Heat Savers

ROOM BY ROOM

As living areas are parsed into home offices and offices into yoga rooms, decorative screens help build privacy and create the layers of separation needed for sharing space. These dividers can be more than simply functional. With bold wallpaper back in style, statement screens bring a little flair to a space without changing the walls permanently. Decorative canvases come in every pattern and texture imaginable, from zebra prints to world maps, floral patterns and Damask textiles. Some companies even support custom prints. For those who prefer the bamboo and rattan looks, wave screens are a structurally appealing option to this classic. Available through roomdividers.com

TEXTURE MAKES PERFECT

Intentionally adding texture to a room is one of the quickest ways to bring in that cozy feel for Fall, and bamboo, rattan, wicker and macramé remain some of the most popular choices to create the effect. Add dimension to a space by refreshing an area rug — think shag on hardwood or a bold pattern in a simple room. Wicker or hanging plant baskets add depth, while woven pillows, jute footrests, cashmere throws and wool wall hangings can soften an entire room. Available at Monarch Furnishings

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PERFECT PATINA

Natural materials that build patina over time, such as carefully selected wood furniture pieces, add compelling touchpoints to your home. The Column Dining Table (pictured here) is a modern take on the long dining table, just right for family meals, games or shared workspaces. The racetrack-shaped top and bold, twin-pedestal base, provides a communal feeling. This model can be built in North American hardwood in a variety of sizes and finishes, ensuring that you will enjoy touching this piece as much as looking at it. Available through Union Wood Co.

Something Blue NEXT YEAR’S COLOUR TREND INVITES HOME DESIGNERS TO TAKE A DIVE INTO LAYERS OF RICH BLUE. Home design experts are listing “blue atoll” as 2022’s lifestyle colour trend of the year. This subtle colour, with the depth and transparency of water, complements home décor with a relaxing and mood-balancing experience for classic interiors. As a Pantone colour, the shade is easy to match, so enthusiasts can trend their spaces accordingly. No need to wait for the new year to dive in, however. As a refreshing take on 2021’s popular sage green, blue atoll promotes feelings of vivacity and positivity — exceptional tools to take into the Fall season. Opposite, clockwise from left: Milano Collection throw cushion from Hudson’s Bay; Lines and Circles Print from WalnutStDesign’s Etsy shop; vinyl wall mural from OttenkiShop on Etsy; womb chair from eternitymodern.com; Benjamin Moore’s Yosemite Blue

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Transformative Touches CONVERTIBLE FURNITURE FOLDS CREATIVE SOLUTIONS AND EXTRA DIMENSION INTO A SPACE.

Imagine your home as a golden oasis...

TABLE TALK

Adding layers of dimension to a space requires a willingness to change. Fortunately, transforming tables make it possible for rooms to shift from living spaces to dining areas in moments, at the touch of a button. The Alzare Square Transforming Coffee Table, from Vancouver company Expand Furniture, was created for small spaces required to fill flexible needs. This shape-shifting table utilizes a hydraulic gas lift to rest as a 10-inch coffee ledge, or raise to a 30inch dinner table that can seat up to eight. It comes complete with wheels, and in a variety of finishes.

...a space of beauty, peace, harmony and health for your family. Call for your consultation today.

•design •decorating

Available through expandfurniture.com

• art • colour • energy work • crystals • decluttering • aroma

www.alchemybydesign.org 1.250.889.1734

REST STOP

Murphy beds are a classic choice for space saving when a room needs to perform more than one task, and they tuck texture into any space they occupy. Cabinet beds offer a fresh take on this transforming furniture, as an installation-free, portable option when compared to the more permanent Murphy. A cabinet bed stores away as an attractive credenza, opening through the front into a pull-out mattress. Because of their low-gravity, folding nature, these beds can often accommodate thicker mattresses than the Murphy alternatives, and can be customized in a variety of woods to add an elegant look to any room of the house. For those wanting a more permanent solution, some models come with attachable desks, bookshelves and stowaway drawers. Islanders can view the options in person at the Parksville location. Available through cabinetbedcanada.com

Be Ready to Roll! Pacsafe luggage, with its multiple anti-theft features, allows you to show up for life’s adventures while keeping your belongings secure. Available now at Pharmasave Broadmead!

PHARMASAVE BROADMEAD Broadmead Village Shopping Centre 310-777 Royal Oak Drive 250-727-3505 pharmasavebroadmead.com

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For over 40 years, Wilk Stove has built its reputation on providing superior wood and gas installations. We’re committed to providing the best products available in the hearth industry and to customizing retrofit fireplaces to give clients exactly what they want.

160 East Burnside Road, Victoria | 250-382-5421 We offer after-hours showroom appointments. Please contact us for more information.

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The best in wood and gas heating appliances I M A G I N E A F I R E P L A C E I N E V E RY R O O M .


DESIGN FIX BY JENNY MARTIN

Dealing with a Dated Bathroom

PLATINUM HD STUDIOS

CONSIDER STYLE, FORM AND FUNCTION WHEN APPROACHING A BATHROOM MAKEOVER.

S

ome of the most common queries I get about bathrooms are requests to revise dated or spartan builderbathrooms. There have been many advances in bathroom design and function in recent years, giving bathrooms inviting, spa-like qualities. Luckily, there are many ways to update these boring bathrooms, whether you want a simple refresh or a complete renovation. To bring in modern luxuries and conveniences, you can focus on functionality and esthetics, as well as sensory considerations. All of these elements can make a big impact.

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SMART STORAGE SOLUTIONS A major drawback of many older bathrooms is their lack of storage, which is often limited to a small basic vanity. From a functionality standpoint, replacing the vanity and adding extra built-in storage is a great place to start. It’s now common to add specialized drawers for towels and linen, for example. Dirty clothes often end up in the bathroom, so hamper storage is also a smart option. Rollout drawers beneath the main sink cabinet are popular additions, so instead of wasted space, that area becomes storage for surplus shampoos or cleaning products.

Consider programming drawers for better organization. Where do your hot tools live, and how do you deal with the cords? There are pullout drawers that can go beside your sink that kill power to the outlets when they are closed, so you don’t have to worry about whether or not you unplugged your curling iron. You can even set up his-and-her sides, where she has the stainless-steel cups that hold all the hot tools, and he may have space for an electric razor and toothbrush. Another functional update to consider for dated bathrooms is adding outlets. With the number of gadgets we enjoy today, people often


Left: Improving storage is a crucial step to any bathroom redesign, and replacing the vanity or adding built-in options will allow room for specialized drawers, from towel and linen storage to customized areas that keep hot tools safe and out of sight. Right: Raising the counter height in older bathrooms (from 31 to 34 inches) helps these spaces feel more accessible and easier to use. Higher counters create room for better storage, and prevent people from leaning over for grooming.

find too few plugs to accommodate this reality. When adding outlets, be sure they are tucked away, either low on the wall, or down on the side of the vanity, for a clean look.

RAISING COUNTERS In older bathrooms, the counters are often quite low. Nowadays, we aim for a minimum of 34 inches, but in a house that was built in the 1950s, they’re often sitting at 31 inches, which can feel drastically different. With higher counters, you aren’t leaning over as far when you’re brushing your teeth, and it’s closer to the ideal working height — typical kitchen counters are at 36 inches. A slightly higher counter also creates more space beneath for a stool to accompany a makeup station. Older bathrooms often present lighting problems. The standard bath bar across the top of a mirror is a challenge, both for adequate illumination and esthetic, and is often considered one of the least flattering types of lighting available. I recommend switching to cross illumination by putting sconces on either side of the mirror. You want a light source with a good quality of light and temperature, then diffuse it with a shade or cover. This will give you flattering, even lighting for applying makeup or shaving. Another element people are adding is an illuminated mirror, either one of the smaller magnification mirrors with a built-in LED or one inside a medicine cabinet with a perimeter LED. It’s amazing the difference this can make for grooming tasks. When considering lighting, wet pot lights in the shower are wonderful extras. Dimmable fixtures are another element to include, so you can create a candlelight esthetic for a bath without being in complete darkness.

ADDING PERSONALITY If you wish to add personality to your bathroom, you can employ many fun techniques rather than starting over completely — even just replacing the stock mirror with one in a more interesting frame. Another simple way to make a big visual difference is to add bold wallpaper or wall

JODY BECK

LIGHTING FIXES

panelling. Installing bead board or a board-andbatten motif can add a coastal flair. Bringing in natural elements, such as arrangements of botanicals, is a great way to add that spa-like atmosphere. Layer textures with baskets and textile elements, or add a linen Roman shade or another natural texture to the windows.

water change colours with different lights. Aromatherapy can be a wonderful addition in steam showers. You can also create that sparetreat experience at home in different levels, with diffusers, candles and plants. When it comes to making your ideal bathroom edit, it’s all about making it your own.

SENSORY ELEMENTS

Jenny Martin, founder of Jenny Martin Design, specializes in the creation of high-end luxury homes. She is dedicated to helping homeowners define their personal style while optimizing their daily routine through bespoke systems.

Adding dynamic sensory elements is one of the easiest updates you can make. Options for this include techniques like chromotherapy — shower or whirlpool systems that make your

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KITCHEN CONFIDENTIAL Making strategic adaptations to your kitchen is the most effective way to transform functionality in the heart of the home. BY DANIELLE POPE

T

Whether you’re ready to take on a complete renovation or simply wish to replace some of the features you use most often in your kitchen, making small — and large — adaptations can transform how much you enjoy your space. Designers have this tip to provide guidance: quality tools inspire greater use. When you surround yourself with elements you adore, and those that offer superior function, you’ll be sure to make the most of your space. The sections that follow will help you gain insight into the most transformative tweaks you can make to ensure you’re loving the heart of your home.

■ STORAGE Functional layout is the goal with any kitchen, but storage solutions have become more innovative as technology changes. Shawn Richardson with Incredible Home says hidden under-counter lifts make all the difference when it comes to using appliances with ease. “Mixmasters are so heavy, but a hydraulic lift arm allows these tools to pop out of

Shallow cupboards, like the one featured in this kitchen, showcase the simplicity created when each jar has its own prominence, without the risk of ingredients becoming lost in the depths.

GOODHAUSATL.COM

he kitchen is one of the most active areas of a home. Customizing this space to the needs of your household is the best way to ensure your creative area is working for — rather than against — you. From refining storage options and discovering on-trend hardware, to personalizing cabinetry colours, lighting and sink design, Spruce examined some of the kitchen’s most overlooked areas to discover what innovative solutions designers and home experts are seeing and recommending today. The biggest takeaway: customizing your space requires a deep dive into personal preferences.

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Customizing your space requires a deep dive into personal preferences.

■ ZONING While the kitchen is naturally a hub of activity, creating dedicated “zones” to support the needs of a particular household has become a trending solution for attractive space management. From coffee and bar nooks to baking corners and spice stations, these zones keep everything in its place.

Left: Splinters Millworks created the functional cabinetry in this kitchen’s baking zone, ensuring space for primary tools and room to work.

JOSHUA LAWRENCE

a counter and lock in place for use, then hide out of sight,” says Richardson. Another solution is recruiting unused space, like installing wine pegs on a fridge panel. Richardson recently completed a project that stored 36 bottles on the side of the fridge in this commonly forgotten space. Stephanie Excell, a designer with Urbana Kitchens, says sometimes less is more when it comes to storage — like purpose-built shallow pantries. “Many jars and packages we need to store in a kitchen have a small footprint, yet tend to be lost in deep shelves,” she says. “A shallow pantry allows for easy access of all items, and everything stays visible.”

Below: Sub-Zero’s under-counter refrigeration option makes food preparation easy for families wanting quick access to fresh ingredients.

Baking Centres

Baking centres provide a clear space for creation, and can be customized for a family’s favourite baking endeavours. Richardson worked with one client who wanted customfit bins for the most popular ingredients — from sugar and flour to cornmeal — with individual measuring scoops in each. The bins were strategically placed under a butcher block island for making quick bread and for other baking activities. Another consideration for these areas is to install dedicated appliance drawers, with kill

switches that cut the power when closed. These draws leave appliances plugged in for easy use. “There are so many useful appliances now, but figuring out where to put them all so they’re easy to access but out of sight can be tough,” Richardson says. “These zones provide a place for everything.”

Fresh-Prep Areas

While coffee and beverage zones remain popular choices for function, Richardson says freshprep areas are a new trend on the kitchen scene. Easily accessed for fresh cooking, such a

JODY BECK

■ COLOUR When it comes to adding a pop of colour to the kitchen, more designers and homeowners are opting to do this with cabinetry, often with bold results. Hardwood (stained or otherwise) remains a classic choice, but cool tones are the primary trend this year — from the traditional white and grey to variations of greens and blues. Think moss, sage, hunter green, navy and even turquoise. Apple green and pastel blue create dramatically different looks, and even dusty pink is making an appearance, complementing grey hues. How to choose the right colour for your space? Researchers have long studied the impact colour has on the human psyche, so consider the effect: greens and yellows are thought to stimulate positive feelings, while blues and some pinks can create a calming effect.

station can include a dedicated chopping workspace, pullout refrigerated drawers (separate from the fridge), a prep sink and even tool storage. “It’s amazing how much easier it is to open a crisper drawer of pre-washed veg and have everything at your fingertips,” she says.

SherwinWilliams Rosemary

Benjamin Moore First Light

Farrow & Ball Cooking Apple

Left: This project by Green Island Builders demonstrates the soothing impact the colour green can have in a kitchen, especially when incorporating layers of different shades in one space.

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■ ISLAND LIGHTING

JAMES JONES

Lighting has a big impact in any kitchen, but lighting over the island has seen some major shifts. As twin and triple pendants fade in popularity, statement lighting is shining in full force. “Over the past few years, there’s been a definite shift in light design towards the sculptural, where the light fixture itself becomes part of the artistic design of the space,” says light designer Mike Randall of Kurva Design. “It’s a new place for people to be creative and express themselves.” Randall says discrete and minimalistic fixtures are also becoming more popular, with many opting for slim, linear pendants in wood or aluminum. While off-the-shelf options exist, Randall says there is an advantage to customizing. “Most people spend a lot of time in their kitchens,” he says. “Islands have to be lit in a way that allows for bleary-eyed breakfasts, food prep, school work and evening dinners.”

Above: Kurva Design’s Kelp Pendant makes an artistic show out of this island light setup. Left: The wood veneer ceiling light from Accord Lighting and the Cerchio LED pendants (both available at McLaren Lighting) reveal how dynamic lighting can provide function and fashion while illuminating the kitchen island’s many diverse tasks. Designers say sculptural options are becoming more popular for adding personality to this area.

WHERE TO SPLURGE: LUXE DETAILS Small details can do more than change the look of a kitchen — they can transform its usefulness. Whether you’re considering a new sink or an upgrade to your hardware, designers agree: the more you enjoy the experience of your space, the more often you’ll use it.

The Sink

The kitchen sink isn’t what it used to be. Now with dynamic colours, textures and shapes, designers are opting for both subtle and bold choices to add a sense of play to this well-used part of the kitchen. “Sinks aren’t just plain white anymore,” says Maria Chambers of Victoria Speciality Hardware. “There are so many different types of colours and textures, and they all add a little flair to the kitchen.”

Sinks are making a new decorative splash in the kitchen scene, with shapely options, like this Native Trails farmhouse concrete sink (line available at Victoria Speciality Hardware).

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The Faucet

In time for Fall, Chambers says honey bronze is likely to become the top-selling hardware colour of the season. The look gives off the glow of antique gold, but with a modern appeal. “A lot of people are going with pieces in honey bronze, which offers a beautiful mix of new and old,” she says. “In older home renovations, people want to keep the classic look, but create a variation on the traditional.” Chambers says bespoke hardware is another trending choice, as are unique shapes, like the geometric structure of Franz Viegener faucets. Black and unlacquered brass aren’t going anywhere, either, but this year welcomes rose gold and graphite into the mix.

Top left: Brizo Litze SmartTouch articulating faucet in Luxe Gold; bottom left: Grohe Essence single handle faucet in Hard Graphite; right: Hansgrohe Talis N faucet in Polished Nickle.



INCREDIBLE HOME

100% Victoria Owned

DESIGNER PROFILE

Improving lives through organization

I INCREDIBLE

Live Life Incredibly

ncredible Home has been specializing in designing and building beautiful home organization for more than 39 years. A staple in Victoria, our clients have come to rely upon us to design more than simple spaces. Our qualified design team is proud to work with you to create exceptional, beautifully crafted kitchens, home offices with style, vanities and entertainment units that meet your specific requirements and of course, Incredible Closets. Step into our inspiring showroom to take a closer look at the wide variety of products we offer. We invite you to open the doors and drawers and test the many varied accessories within our closets and cabinetry

INCREDIBLE HOME100% Victoria Owned WWW.INCREDIBLEHOME.CA

that make home organization a pleasure. Check out our garage storage options and accessories and see for yourself how our exceptional hardware makes our Euro doors glide effortlessly and why they are a step above all other sliding closet doors. Begin your process by walking into our showroom or setting up a time to meet with one of our designers in our showroom. Bring us your idea folder, floor plans or rough dimensions and photos of your existing spaces to get a start on your design. Ultimately we will need to meet in your home to measure your space, and in the case of closets, to perform a wardrobe analysis. Everything we offer is custom

Live Life Incredibly

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DESIGNER PROFILE

LORRI McCRACKIN DESIGNS Interiors with Soul

D

esigning a beautiful, thoughtful home isn’t easy. Copycat design, bloated budgets and avoidable delays are common missteps. With more than 25 years of experience, I specialize in helping clients identify their innate style, translating it to a physical space that feels like coming home to yourself. By listening closely, planning carefully and sourcing creatively, I design modern collected homes that tell the story of you.

#403-200 Cook Street | 250-532-1746 | lorrimccrackindesigns.com

BUSINESS PROFILE

DESIGN DISTRICT Design on Demand

D

esign District provides onsite Design on Demand, professional interior design support services in half-hour increments. “There are few things more daunting than a home improvement project,” says Ann Squires Ferguson. “Design District clients get precisely the amount of support they need, immediately and with no long-term commitment or contract.” The Design District showroom is Victoria’s centralized supplier of wall coverings, textiles, window coverings, hardwood, tile, carpet, furniture, lighting and hardware.

DESIGN DISTRICT

Ann Squires Ferguson, CEO of Western Interior Design Group, is now also the new owner of Design District. “Our goal is for Design District to be the beating heart of interior design on the Island,” she says.

577 Pembroke Street | 250-590-8698 | designdistrictaccess.com

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A MARRIAGE OF STYLES Blending one partner’s appreciation of modern architecture with the other’s love for pattern and colour, this custom build became a family’s perfect home. BY DANIELLE POPE PHOTOS BY JAMES JONES*

*Unless otherwise noted.

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■ CUSTOM ARCHITECTURAL HOME

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V

ictoria homeowners Rob and Shara had a lot to think about when defining the concept of their South Island home. It was to be a space that could accommodate two growing boys, family, friends and regular entertaining. “We wanted our home to feel modern but approachable: a place where you can help yourself to anything and make yourself at home,” says Shara. “A place where everyone knows where to get the water glasses.”

ALL IN THE FAMILY

Fortunately, the family was able to recruit two expert friends to help them envision a stylish but comfortable space: Kyla Bidgood, principal interior designer of Bidgood + Co. Interiors, and architect Franc D’Ambrosio, founding principal of D’Ambrosio architecture + urbanism. “Because I know the family and their lifestyle personally, it made the process that much easier. They love to entertain, and wanted a home they could grow into,” says Bidgood. “As with every project, husband and wife often have different perspectives — Rob’s taste is modern and clean, and Shara likes pattern and colour. My job is to marry these two preferences and put the result through my lens of livability, buildability and flow.” That infusion of styles brought striking results. Throughout the home, modern lines are accented with pops of colour — from the powder room’s bright hexagon tile backsplash to classic furniture pieces and modern fixtures that add flair to each space.

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The kitchen is the hub of this home, with entertaining occurring here on a weekly basis. To accommodate large gatherings, it had to seamlessly transition into the dining and living areas and the south-facing patio. The cabinets, painted in Benjamin Moore Knoxville Grey, provide a soft modern appearance, while playful pendants by ANDlight float above the kitchen island. The breakfast nook, with a 400-pound stone pedestal table, invites durable dining.

“This is probably my favourite kitchen that I’ve ever designed,” says Bidgood. “I love how we incorporated handmade elements and imperfect materials to give it more texture. It’s very contemporary, but you’ll see themes repeating throughout the house, like black hardware or metal on the sides of the island.”

ROOM FOR PLAY The home, which was completed in 2019 over a span of two years, sits at 5,500 square feet, with four bedrooms and a nursery, six bathrooms, a den, an office, a family room and an open gathering area attached to the kitchen. The outdoor space is just as developed, with south-facing tiered terraces transitioning from sitting patios to gathering areas to a pool and playful green space. The family and design team factored children into the plans in creative ways, with elements like a traditional U-shaped diner — fun for kids to slip into for breakfast, or gather around for arts and crafts.

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“We thought about how fun it is for kids to run in circles, so we wanted an outside space that was designed for the boys to play like that,” Shara says. “When you have young children — ours are four and three — you have to imagine what you’re going to need in the future. You draw from your own experiences and remember what made you feel comfortable growing up.” Shara says the design also had to accommodate for height — Rob is 6'7" — so they needed a home that could comfortably fit everyone without feeling cavernous or too large. “We have people over almost every weekend, and friends have become our family over these meals we create together,” Shara says. “We wanted an openconcept kitchen-living-dining room, because we wanted everyone to feel like they’re in the party. Even the outdoor space is connected. There’s continuity, too, so it doesn’t feel too big when it’s just us.” Interconnectedness was the focus of D’Ambrosio’s work on this project. Specifically, the relationship between the interior and exterior architectural details. D’Ambrosio says he pays as much attention to what people will see from a window — like feature trees changing with the seasons — as to what they’ll experience inside the house.

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Above: The living area’s striking architecture makes this an easy gathering space, with the woodburning, formedconcrete fireplace the centrepiece. The homeowners wanted to draw on Scandinavian and Japanese interiors, but through a West Coast lens. Right: Pleasing vistas were an intentional choice on the part of architect Franc D’Ambrosio. The home’s location allows the family to balance their need for the convenience of the city with their love of the outdoors.


Natural materials were central to this project, and the design team worked with the homeowners to select local, durable and long-lasting elements that could reflect the joyful imperfections of family life, while still creating an elevated appearance. White oak was used to clad the main staircase at the centre of the space, and this was mirrored through the cabinetry, flooring and surrounding oak trees on the property. Marble from a quarry on Vancouver Island was sourced for the bathrooms, complimented in the powder room by colourful hexagon handmade tiles, which add spark and play to the design. Hard-wearing black steel motifs appear on the kitchen island and in the hardware and plumbing throughout the house, bringing longevity to these features in a home with small children.

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LO C A L LY H A N D C R A F T E D D E S I G N E R K I TC H E N S

B U I LT F O R L I F E

“We had a challenge because the property was sloped in the back, and we wanted to create a seamless quality between the indoor and outdoor spaces, so we designed these terraces that could connect everything,” says D’Ambrosio. “You can move from the interior to the landing to the fire pit, then the pool, and in a few steps you’re in another character of space. Because of that drop, there were spectacular views, so we could really play with that as well.”

A BACKDROP OF HOME With D’Ambrosio’s intentionality, Bianca Bodley, principal landscape designer of Biophilia Design Collective, supported the project with choice flora and fauna. The property is decorated with feature Seiryu maple trees and layers of green ground cover, from pachysandra and Irish moss to tassel ferns and camellias. Accents of Japanese snowbells and panda bamboo are paired with feature evergreens, and Mexican feather grass provides movement. “The clients wanted a feeling of lush green all year round, so we focused on creating layers upon layers of green, which builds beautiful texture against the amazing black backdrop of the house,” says Bodley. Shara says the home is growing on them more every day. “The more we use it, the more we’re falling in love with it. I have a few favourite spots, like sitting by the wood-burning fireplace, or staring out the windows to the Japanese maples,” says Shara. “But we’re still coming across these moments, even now — like the sight lines — and they create these little vignettes that are so beautiful and better than we could have imagined.”

DREAM KITCHENS REALLY DO COME TRUE

RESOURCE LIST ARCHITECT: D’Ambrosio architecture + urbanism BUILDER/CONTRACTOR: Aryze Developments INTERIOR DESIGNER: Bidgood + Co. MILLWORK: Splinters Millworks COUNTERS: Silestone in the kitchen; Caesarstone and Vancouver Island Marble for the vanities

Custom Jason Good kitchens and bathrooms are built for inspired living. From initial sketch to final installation, we transform design dreams into functional masterpieces.

FLOORS: Hakwood Engineered Oak Floors; Vancouver Island Marble (ensuite bath) APPLIANCES: Sub-Zero refrigerator; wall ovens and cooktop, Marvel LIGHT FIXTURES: ANDlight, Schoolhouse, Secto Design, Cedar & Moss, Muuto FIREPLACE: Custom HARDWARE: Cabinet hardware by Emtek, Restoration Hardware, Superfront LANDSCAPING: Biophilia Design Collective

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250.384.4663 | Victoria, BC | jasongoodcabinets.com JOB # JGOF-15756 CLIENT: JASON GOOD CUSTOM CABINETS PUBLICATION: YAM MAGAZINE INSERTION DATE: MAY/JUNE 2014 ISSUE SPRUCE | FALL/WINTER 2021 SIZE: 7.5" X 4.7" (HALF PAGE) PREPARED BY: ECLIPSE CREATIVE INC. @ 250-382-1103

FURNITURE: Salari Fine Carpets, Wegner from Carl Hansen and Son, Herman Miller, Nelson, Knoll, Muuto and others via Gabriel Ross, Chester Fields and The House of Chester ARTISTS: Lauren Mycroft, Scott Sueme, Bill Porteous


SAMA JIM CANZIAN

The charred wood “shou sugi ban” exterior siding was milled locally from western red cedar, and framed by steel beams — set off perfectly against the lush green backdrop of the surrounding landscape, designed by Biophilia Collective. The family wanted the outdoor area to be as inviting as the indoors, and the property’s graduated levels achieve this, with a swimming pool, hot tub, boules court and lounge spaces perfect for entertainment. Ensuring the couple’s children had adequate room for play was a central design feature.

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■ NEW BUILD

MODERN DRAMA THIS TREE-FILLED LOT DEMANDED INVENTIVE SOLUTIONS FOR A NEW WEST COAST BUILD SO ONE COUPLE COULD CREATE THEIR IDEAL HOME FOR EACH PHASE OF LIFE. BY DANIELLE POPE | PHOTOS BY JOSHUA LAWRENCE

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The homeowners wanted a house that would provide easy access to the outdoors, while blending in with the beauty of the natural Garry oak forest that surrounds the property. The home’s concrete exterior is durable and meant to last.

W

hen two Victoria homeowners made the choice to build a new home on their Oak Bay property, they anticipated some of the challenges: agreeing on size, layout and the design. What they hadn’t expected was having to make those choices more than once. “That was the hardest part of the whole process — realizing all that work was going to need to change in order to preserve the property’s collection of Garry oaks. We have 26 to keep in mind,” says the homeowner.

A DREAM REVISED As the couple learned, local design bylaws would prohibit the removal of many of the trees on this forested lot. With a long and narrow property line and a steep slope at the back, the owners weren’t sure they’d be able to reconfigure their vision. Fortunately, architect Pamela Úbeda was able to redefine the possibility by downsizing the plans slightly (by 10 per cent), and flipping the house 180 degrees from the initial proposal.

“The original house was set farther back, but because the property is in a Garry oak forest with a huge arbutus tree in the middle, we were advised we had to go back to the drawing board,” says Úbeda, principal of Coast and Beam Architecture. “However, just flipping the floor plan managed to save 12 trees, which I was happy about. And, because we were only using 15 per cent of the buildable area rather than maxing out the lot, the design panel was pleased.” SPRUCE | FALL/WINTER 2021

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Left: Sitting at just over 8,000 square feet, this West Coast contemporary home provides the long, rectangular space the owners asked for to support aging in place. A flat main level connects the indoors to the outdoors, and the three-storey drop in the back of the property was transformed by the multiple terraces, creating retaining walls that changed the slopes into gardens. Below: The open-concept living and dining area creates a flexible and accessible space for this family. The couple also wanted a space their two children could enjoy and grow up in, while in school and beyond.

ROOTING INTO POSSIBILITY Even with the restrictions, Úbeda was able to meet most of the couple’s wishes, designing a Vancouver-inspired, contemporary West Coast home of just over 8,000 square feet. The pair wanted a long, rectangular space where they could age in place, with a flat main level that connected the indoors to the outdoors. Because their family includes twin boys, they wanted space for the children to evolve — from school to college age and beyond. The outer three-storey drop was transformed into multiple terraces, with retaining walls changing the slopes into gardens. Tim Agar, owner and principal of Horizon Pacific Contracting, was the contracting lead on the project. He says tree preservation was the theme throughout the build. “When you start a project like this, you have to identify every tree on the site, bring in an arborist and cover each root system with plywood,” says Agar. “It can feel like you’re a bull in a china shop, but the end result is beautiful.”

TECHNICAL DECEPTION Agar says trees weren’t the only complication for this build. Due to the open-concept style and immense size of the rooms, structural integrity was a focus. From a technical perspective, challenges arose from the floor-toceiling windows — one of the home’s most striking features — and from

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FROM A TECHNICAL PERSPECTIVE, CHALLENGES AROSE FROM THE FLOOR-TO-CEILING WINDOWS — ONE OF THE HOME’S MOST STRIKING FEATURES.


the concrete exterior, which could experience “thermal bridging” when naturally moist air condensates against the walls. The remedy was to create a concrete and wood layer, virtually building a house within a house. “Many of these modern, clean houses look very simple, but they’re deceptively technical,” says Agar. “Modern architecture doesn’t prefer a lot of walls, but when you’re spanning over a great length, you have to switch to steel. That means planning everything in advance, like how you’ll integrate an HVAC system and electrical. You have to get inventive with your solutions.” The homeowners say the end result is just what they had hoped for. “One of the things we like best about this house is that you can walk out onto the backyard without taking any steps,” says the homeowner. “It’s one of the reasons we liked the lot to begin with: you’re close to parks to walk the dogs, it’s a 10-minute drive to town and it’s a place everyone can enjoy.”

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Above: The kitchen and fireplace act as bookends to the living area, with a calming palette that parallels the forest outside. Gold LED strip pendants keep the space clear and bright. Right: Designer Sandy Nygaard supported this couple through space planning and selecting finishes and materials that would weather for the long haul. To create a relaxing environment, Nygaard encouraged the couple to go with modern, earthy tones. Left: The entryway carries on the modern motif, with oversized Syrma Grande Suspension Pendants, by Sean Lavin for Tech Lighting, contributing a sense of grandeur to the space. The linear patterns throughout the home — from the rods of the pendants to the wall feature and lines of the staircase — draw the gaze upward in this large area.

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RESOURCE LIST ARCHITECT: Pamela Úbeda, Coast and Beam Architecture BUILDER/CONTRACTOR: Horizon Pacific

Contracting

INTERIOR DESIGNER: Sandy Nygaard, Nygaard Interior Design ENGINEER: Munro Engineering MILLWORK: Splinters Millworks COUNTERS: Colonial Countertops FLOORS: Hourigan’s Flooring APPLIANCES: Trail Appliances LIGHT FIXTURES: McLaren Lighting WINDOWS: Starline Windows WINDOW COVERINGS: Client sourced FIREPLACE: Good Grade Plumbing and Gas Co. HARDWARE: Emtek DOORS: Home Lumber & Building Supply ELECTRICAL: Amped Electrical Contracting PAINTING: Amira’s Painting

The master bedroom, with its adjoining porch, is one of the homeowners’ favourite locations in the house — a quiet retreat in which they can step outside on a sunny, crisp afternoon to read their books. Surrounding windows keep this room bright throughout the year.

LANDSCAPING: Golden Appeal Landscaping FRONT DOOR: Oakridge Windows & Doors MARBLE FEATURE WALL: Colonial Countertops

C I B C WO O D G U N DY

The is is change. Theonly onlyconstant constantininlife life change.

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“CIBC Private Wealth” consists of services provided by CIBC and certain of its subsidiaries, through CIBC Private Banking; CIBC Private Investment Counsel, a division of CIBC Asset Management Inc. (“CAM”); CIBC Trust Corporation; and CIBC Wood Gundy, a division of CIBC World Markets Inc. (“WMI”). CIBC Private Banking provides solutions from CIBC Investor Suite 400 - 1803 DouglasServices Street Inc. (“ISI”), CAM and credit products. CIBC THE WATKINS GROUP World Markets Inc. and ISI are both Members of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund and Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of ICanada. CIBC Private Wealth services are available to qualified 250.418.0114 1.800.663.1855 karen.king@scotiawealth.com individuals. The CIBC logo and “CIBC Private Wealth” are registered trademarks of CIBC. If you are currentlyCapital a CIBC Wood client, please contact your Investment Advisor. ScotiaMcleod; a division of Scotia Inc. Gundy

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■ OFF-GRID RENO

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BEAUTY IN THE WILDERNESS With a harrowing journey just to get there, this off-grid mountain home earned itself an eco-focused upgrade. BY LINDA BARNARD | PHOTOS BY JODY BECK

I

t’s not easy getting to the off-grid Metchosin house that Dean Read and his partner, Bradford Bell, purchased in 2018. Accessible only by a white-knuckle drive up an unpaved road along the side of Camas Hill, it’s as striking as it is remote. When the two started planning the update on their house last year, Read and Bell wanted to create a home so peaceful and comfortable it would be just as hard to leave. Navigating their busy lives in finance and highprofile entertainment, the pair craved a summer refuge to share with their goldendoodles, Harley and Astro. When they first bought the dramatic 28-acre property, they imagined it as their future retirement residence. Built in 1993 and designed by Victoria architect Nigel Banks, the house is set among trees on the edge of a bluff. The design pays homage to legendary architects Frank Lloyd Wright and Arthur Erickson, with five decks designed to take advantage of views across Sooke Harbour and the Strait of Juan de Fuca, all the way to the Olympic Mountains. The airy interior features exposed wood and is filled with natural light from oversized windows. A low-sloping roof with a jutting roofline gives the house a powerful, dynamic feel.

CLIMBING THE MOUNTAIN Read and Bell wanted to both bring in a contemporary look and upgrade the in-floor heating system. With the help of Victoria kitchen design firm IKAN, they modernized the kitchen, adding fresh countertops, cabinets and hardware, as well as new appliances.

Surrounded by dramatic views from the crest of Camas Hill, these homeowners wanted to update their interior to a modern, peaceful oasis. They replaced the composite floors throughout the main level with large grey tiles, which sets the tone and flow for the house.

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Above and lower right: Victoria kitchen design firm IKAN modernized the dated kitchen, with clean white cabinetry that brightened the room. Martin Scaia and Green Island Builders removed walls, shifted a staircase and opened up the space. Left: Victoria interior designer Brooke Hatfield sourced the contemporary Mobile chandelier from West Elm that hangs over the dining table, bringing modern intrigue to this off-grid space. Opposite page: The pokey main-floor bathroom was transformed with a walk-in shower and expansive window overlooking the forest, for vistas in every room.

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With renewed motivation, the pair kept going. Martin Scaia, founder and principal of Green Island Builders, and Brooke Hatfield, of Brooke Hatfield Design, supported the design of the main-floor bathroom, closets and lighting. The team removed walls, relocated a staircase that was cutting into the kitchen and renovated the flooring. Updates to the woodstove, hot water system and plumbing were also needed. The biggest challenge of the project was getting to the site. “It is a pretty fierce road,” Scaia says. “But when you’re going up the road, all of a sudden, you see the house on the hilltop, and it’s just a stunning view.” It was Scaia’s Ford F-250 pickup that got the job done, including shuttling crew members unable to navigate the steep road. It also delivered the 24-by-24-inch tiles from Horrigan’s Flooring that would eventually cover the entire main floor. Read had hoped to replace the pebbly composite flooring with solid concrete, but cost and accessibility made it improbable. Instead, he chose the pale grey tiles and, to save on removing the old floor, Scaia’s team used a self-levelling compound and set the tiles over top.

AWAY FROM IT ALL “I just thought [the home] was this oasis away from the city — and breathtaking, really,” says Hatfield. “It’s just situated so well on the hillside and overlooks the wilderness.” Her goal was to keep that oasis feel with a simple design: all the elements of modern life with an off-grid heart. The dated bathroom at the back of the house was revised with a new layout, large

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Above: Hatfield sourced Øst pendant lights from SØKTAS in Australia, which hang dramatically from the foyer ceiling. Lighting has become especially important in this home for creating modern ambience. Right: Goldendoodles Harley and Astro get a good view into the entrance, which includes the custom-crafted closet doors made by Scaia as a lower-cost alternative to shiplap. The motif blends in well with the surrounding forest.

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white tiles, light-coloured wood the job we asked them to “It makes more sense to reuse vanity and black fixtures. The the existing structures we have, do. They were actually for creative ways of walk-in shower is framed by a and bring these structures into looking solving problems and finding massive window overlooking the modern age …” efficiencies,” says Read. the forested mountain top. Read One of those solutions was says it’s the next best thing to an —Martin Scaia, Green Island Builders replacing dated, mirrored outdoor shower. doors. When the shiplap-style “There’s nobody outside. So, doors Hatfield suggested were privacy is not an issue,” he says. cost prohibitive, Scaia cut Read wanted sparks of vertical plank-like grooves into modern flair, like the dramatic solid wood doors with a router, pendant lights now hanging in creating lower-cost duplicates. the foyer, inspired by handThroughout the project, blown pendants Read saw in Scaia was concerned about New York. Hatfield sourced materials — in terms of cost Øst pendants from SØKTAS in and the environment. Australia. “It makes more sense to “That was a little bit nervereuse the existing structures wracking for me, more so than we have, and bring these the bathroom, because I knew he structures into the modern age was spending a lot of money on … without a lot of intervention those and I really needed to get or a lot of extra resources,” it right,” says Hatfield. Scaia adds. “It just takes careful Because she wasn’t onsite planning and good design.” often, Hatfield made a template Meanwhile, Read and Bell to place the lights and drew a are considering renovating the grid on the ground so that the second floor when the timing is right. electrician would know exactly where “We’re very happy,” Read says. “We comment to put the junction boxes. on it all the time, how lucky we are to live here and A SUSTAINABLE APPROACH how much we love the place. To be honest, it’s not easy, but the challenges are worth it and we’re “One of the things I really appreciated about fortunate to live here in this space.” Martin and his team is they weren’t just doing

RESOURCE LIST ORIGINAL ARCHITECT: Nigel Banks BUILDER/CONTRACTOR: Martin Scaia,

Green Island Builders

INTERIOR DESIGNER: Brooke Hatfield,

Brooke Hatfield Design

MILLWORK/CABINETS: IKAN FLOORS: Hourigan’s Flooring TILE SETTING: T.I. Tiling STONE: Abstract Stone WALNUT COUNTERTOP: Neufeld Furniture APPLIANCES: Coast Appliances LIGHT FIXTURES: Entry pendant lights from SØKTAS; hallway Simba sconces from Arteriors; bathroom Mara sconces from Tech Lighting; dining room Mobile chandelier from West Elm WINDOWS: Pacific View Windows

and Doors

HARDWARE: IKAN DOORS: Custom, Martin Scaia, Green Island Builders ELECTRICAL: VIP Electric PLUMBING: Solid Plumbing & Gas

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An open-concept penthouse gets a luxury upgrade, revamping every surface, and adding extra touches, including some modern high-tech features. BY KIM PEMBERTON PHOTOS BY DASHA ARMSTRONG

FEATURES & FINISHES

A

fter 27 years of living in rentals in Hong Kong, Alain and Crystal Bedard found the perfect penthouse where they can enjoy their retirement in Victoria. Alain was a pilot and Crystal a labor delivery nurse prior to moving to Vancouver Island to enjoy a more laid-back lifestyle. For this couple, a big benefit of returning to Canada was that they could finally buy a home and make it their own. “We’ve always had to live with someone else’s choice, from tiles to flooring,” says Crystal. “This is our first home together.” Crystal found the corner-unit penthouse while visiting friends in the neighbourhood. Alain was still in Hong Kong, but, after seeing the condo on a video call, agreed it was the right choice. “It was perfect — except for the finishes,” says Crystal.

A LONG-DISTANCE AFFAIR Working through the challenges of the pandemic and living abroad, the couple

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updated their newly acquired, 1,437-squarefoot condominium, enlisting the help of MAC Renovations and interior designer Alexis Solomon. The project started in January 2020 and was completed just 10 months later. “Dockside Green is a relatively new building and the finishes were still updated and contemporary, but they had some wear and tear,” says Solomon. The penthouse had been previously rented and its dark, bamboo flooring wasn’t in good shape. The kitchen cabinetry was dark brown, as were the countertops, so they too had to go due to the lack of contrast. “It was beige-on-beige-on-beige, and they’re not beige people,” says Solomon. “[Alain and Crystal] have a really elegant style and like a dramatic look, while still being classic.” Solomon recommended a hand-scraped, white oak wood flooring, which is forgiving if accidentally scratched. The couple also took Solomon’s advice and opted for two-tone kitchen cabinets in both light and dark colors, with easy push-button opens. Crystal jokes


Island stores Island Style Island Living Proud to be locally owned and operated A flip-lift cabinet over the countertop provides easy access to a working space. The Brizo faucet, from the Litze collection, was chosen for its sleek design. For optimal storage, the designer created a niche for cookbooks at the end of the kitchen island.

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Outdoor spaces for all seasons

that she had to give her husband something to remember about his former life flying planes, since he was accustomed to “always pushing buttons.” Because the cabinets, locally sourced from South Shore Cabinetry, would be hit with so much light from the adjacent floor-to-ceiling windows, the designer avoided real oak, which would discolour in time, and opted for a durable print that looks like bleached wood. New quartz countertops, provided by FloForm Countertops Victoria, included a feature Crystal had long admired: the waterfall countertop kitchen island.

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The sleek lighting over the island was an idea contributed by Alain, who had seen it used in an Apple computer commercial. The light was found at McLaren Lighting and Alain points out that its linear shape keeps the sightlines clear — from the outdoor view to the interior open-concept living/ dining/kitchen space. “Lighting can really make or break a design,” says Solomon, who also has a bachelor’s degree in theatre and set design. “If you look at a stage and it’s lit well, it transforms a space.” Lighting makes a bold statement throughout the home. For instance, recessed lighting is used

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Above: The boldest design happens in the powder room, with a feature wall of cubic, 3D porcelain tiles. Right: The ensuite’s seamless cabinet has hidden built-in power outlets.


in the powder room to illuminate a feature wall of charcoal grey, cubic shaped porcelain tiles with a 3D effect. The same recessed lighting was used on the sides of the fireplace, which has a surround in both dark and light tones. Care was taken by Decora Tile on the room’s focal point to ensure the television above the fireplace was perfectly flush to its tile surround. “I wanted it to look more like a picture frame and, behind that, all the components are completely hidden,” says Alain. Since the couple was living in Hong Kong and couldn’t travel during the pandemic, they weren’t able to see, first-hand, how the renovation was progressing. They were, however, thrilled with what MAC Renovations had accomplished when the final reveal happened after packing up their former life and moving back to Canada. “It was almost like an HGTV show,” adds Solomon.

RESOURCE LIST BUILDER/CONTRACTOR: MAC Renovations DESIGNER: Alexis Solomon MILLWORK: South Shore Cabinetry COUNTERS: FloForm Countertops FLOORS: Mirage Floors LIGHT FIXTURES: McLaren Lighting KITCHEN SINK FAUCET: Brizo DOORS: Berkley Doors TILES: Decora Tile BATHROOM CABINETS: Sidler International

The high-quality electric fireplace is now a focal point in the living room. Each piece of furniture was chosen intentionally to ensure the space remained open. Stained espresso oak with recessed strip lighting was used for shelving, sitting adjacent to the mounted television on the porcelain surround.

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ASK THE EXPERT BY ATHENA McKENZIE PHOTOS BY KURT KNOCK

SET IN STONE

Q& A with Ivo Zanatta of Matrix Marble and Stone

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ABUNDANT, ORGANIC AND NATURALLY OCCURRING, STONE BRINGS A STUNNING DESIGN FINISH TO ANY PROJECT.

Q Ivo Zanatta, president and CEO of Matrix Marble and Stone, has a family history of quarrying high-quality marble unique to Vancouver Island.

uarried from the Earth’s surface, natural stone has been a go-to building material for millennia. It can be used to striking effect for a variety of projects, from flooring and countertops, to fireplaces, pools and sculptural elements. Matrix Marble and Stone operates its own marble quarries right here on Vancouver Island. Originally Cowichan Terrazzo and Ceramic Tile, one of three companies started by the Zanatta family, Matrix Marble and Stone was founded in 1980. It was the first natural stone company on the Island, importing exotic stones from Italy and other international suppliers. Soon after, the company acquired specialized equipment and began operating its factory in Duncan. In 1990, the Zanattas opened Vancouver Island Marble Quarries and began quarrying the high-quality white, grey and black marbles unique to the Island. “They’re what we call in the industry ‘boutique quarries,’ because we cut the blocks specifically a certain way,” says Ivo Zanatta, president and CEO of Matrix Marble and Stone. “We don’t just mine it and remove it as we go; we cut very specific marble

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corridors. We don’t just cut what’s there. We can turn the frame a little bit, just like you would do with Photoshop, to get a beautiful picture. We need to create beautiful pictures with the slabs.” Spruce visited Zanatta at the Matrix Marble and Stone showroom in Duncan to learn more about natural stone and how it can be used in your next home project. ■ If a homeowner wants to incorporate natural

stone into their project, what is their starting point? When people come here, they generally have an interest in natural stone. Most of the time, they will bring us a drawing of their layout — for, let’s say, their kitchen. What we do is put a budget together. If they feel comfortable and it’s within their budget, they will come back and walk through all the inventory displayed in our yard. If they see something they like, they will take a sample. We have a whole library of samples. It’s not like a man-made stone, where you can pick from a chip. There is so much variation; you have to see it. That’s the best way for a project. Once they pick one, we tag it and it gets set aside.

No two stones are alike. Because of the distinct properties of the marble Zanatta and his team quarries, each piece is unique and is specially cut to highlight the artistic qualities of the material. Once a client selects a slab, that specific piece is tagged and set aside for the project. Customizing machines make almost any request possible.

Ethical, dedicated, reliable.

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Every day your REALTOR ® goes to work - for you. 52

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■ How long before the next step?

That depends on the project. The homeowner will contact us when they’re ready for templating. We go to the project site and template it. Our manufacturing team cuts it, prepares it and gets it ready. Then our install team picks it up and installs it for a day or two or three — whatever it takes.

Victoria, BC owes much of its personality and appeal to the unique homes that line its streets.

■ What are the common misconceptions

around natural stone? That it’s expensive. Some stones are very inexpensive. Of course, some of the Carrara marbles are very expensive. Prices can go from $25 a square foot up to $150. But that’s your classic Carrara. Veined marble is very expensive. It’s a classic and beautiful look that you’ll find all over the world. You’ll see it from 2,000 years ago — even in Cleopatra’s house. ■ What about the idea that it’s hard to care for?

It’s very easy to care for. There’s zero maintenance. The nice thing about natural stone is that it doesn’t burn, so you can put a hot pot on it and it won’t do a thing to it. Whereas engineered stones are manmade with resins. They’ll leave a mark. [Natural stone] is a great product. It’s hard to scratch, hard to damage. Just clean it with dish soap and water. Never use any chemicals, vinegar or abrasive cleaners on your natural stone, as it can etch.

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■ Is that a permanent mark on natural stone?

An etch is a dull mark, like a burn, but it is not permanent and should disappear over time from daily use and cleaning. It can be immediately removed by refinishing or repolishing the stone’s surface. ■ Are there limitations to natural stone’s

applications? Thickness. It should never be less than three centimetres thick. We make custom countertops, marble bathrooms, flooring, wall cladding, fireplaces, pools and landscape products. Our specialized machines can make almost any creative request a possibility.

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■ Tell me about the different marbles that you

quarry on Vancouver Island. There are four original colours and variations to choose from: Vancouver Island White Marble, Tlupana Blue-Grey Marble, Tlupana Deep Water Marble and Black Carmanah Marble. The grey and white marbles — and our new marble, which we call West Coast Wave — all come from Tahsis, a little village on the west coast of Vancouver Island. The black marble comes from our Lake Cowichan quarry, just past Honeymoon Bay. We’ve been working these quarries since the early ’90s. The marble blocks are processed here at our factory, with cutting, shaping and finishing depending on the application.

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DESIGN INSPO BY DANIELLE POPE PHOTOS BY JEFFREY BOSDET

Wine Time

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WHETHER GEARED FOR THE CASUAL ENTHUSIAST OR DEVOUT AFICIONADO, WINE CELLARS ARE AS PERSONAL AS THEY CAN BE ELABORATE, AND PAIR PERFECTLY AS A STATEMENT ROOM.

ine cellars may have historically evoked images of dark wood, dimly lit hallways and rows of dusty bottles, stowed from years past. Today’s cellars, however, are nothing short of revolutionary. Housed in everything from luxury cooling rooms to temperaturecontrolled caves, wine is as treasured now as before. Designers and enthusiasts agree: a cellar says a lot about the person who owns it. “People who know wine wax poetic on its qualities, and it has as much to do with capturing a moment in time and a place in the world,” says Ann Squires Ferguson, new owner of Design District. “What someone wants to create in a wine cellar tells us a lot about who they are as an individual and what they value.” Squires Ferguson says the right cellar is as evocative as it is a showpiece, because most owners want these rooms not just to maintain the sanctity of their wine, but to enjoy with friends. “The wine cellar is really a sacred place to many of these clients. It’s as close to an altar as it gets in today’s age,” she says. “Some are technically exceptional, others are almost ostentatious. The cellar really declares, ‘This is who I am.’”

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Above: Ed Geric’s wine studio elevates the traditional idea of a cellar by creating a customized showpiece for his semi-precious bottles of wine. Completing much of the work himself, Geric wanted a space that would be as much an Italian retreat as an area he could enjoy with friends. The state-of-the-art cooling system, strategic art pieces and limestone and walnut surfaces offer the vintage experience Geric was searching to find.


Todd Shelley’s wine cellar was inspired by the natural bedrock under his house. The cellar is accessible via a secret passage and features brick walls, a hand-finished stuccostyle ceiling, custom racking and a special chilling system.

ITALIAN ADVENTURE Ed Geric was looking for a project to uncork during the pandemic. As president of Mike Geric Construction and a well-known wine enthusiast famous for his coveted bottles, Geric wanted to unshelve his dreams of crafting his own cellar. He hired Studio Roslyn, an interior design firm out of Vancouver, to create a space he could enjoy with friends, clients and fellow connoisseurs. He wanted his cellar to capture the feeling one gets when walking or biking through Italy, with blue skies and rolling hills, and he achieved it with the help of strategic art pieces. “I wanted this space to feel like a wine room, not just a drywalled area with a couple of chairs. It had to be special to me,” says Geric. “I was going for a contemporary rustic vibe, with quality surfaces like limestone and walnut.” Geric’s cellar has a state-of-the-art cooling system, complete with a permanent probe that samples liquid temperature in one bottle — ensuring a consistent 57 degrees Fahrenheit. The custom horizontal racking displays labels, while special wine glasses, heated floors and guest jackets add comfort to the experience. With semi-precious bottles of Screaming Eagle (at $4,000 bottle) and a top-ranking $30,000 French Bordeaux, it’s little wonder Geric has put in the care. He completed much of the work himself, from the finishing woodwork to the installation of the vino pegs. “You can imagine it was fairly labour intensive, but I had a lot of time over COVID to do it,” he says. “It was quite fun.”

“ It’s as close to an altar as it gets in today’s age.” CAVER’S DELIGHT Squires Ferguson says many contemporary cellars are moving away from dark wood and heavy lines and turning into transparent show areas in a home — with backlit glass, LED lighting features and curvaceous patterns. Design District recently updated the wine display in Vista 18 Restaurant + Lounge with three storage units overflowing with glittering magenta light. The units become art pieces themselves. Victoria homeowner Todd Shelley discovered the inspiration for his artistic cellar during the construction of his new home. Shelley noticed the gentle undulation of Vancouver Island bedrock under the main floor, and the stone reminded him of the cave-like cold storage spaces he’d seen while living in Rome.

“The biggest challenge was actually not in construction but in convincing everyone of the vision for the finished space,” says Shelley. “It was just a rocky pocket outside the floor plan during the framing stage of the home, but the potential was undeniable.” Stand-out features for Shelley’s cellar include the hand-finished, stucco-style ceiling, brick walls, an oversized iron-and-glass feature window and custom racking and chilling units by Blue Grouse Wine Cellars. There’s also a secret passage: an above-ground entry portal with a fold-down pocket ladder concealed behind a painting (and locked for safety). “Because so many components were specialty, it took quite a while to complete, and it was only just ready by the end of the rest of the build,” says Shelley. “It was very much worth the wait.”

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REAL ESTATE BY SHANNON MONEO

The Forecast for 2022: What Will Real Estate Look Like? After almost two years of disruption, what will the coming year bring to the frenetic business of real estate? Local realtors share their predictions, while acknowledging the crystal ball can be hazy. Lisa Williams, a vice-president of sales for Sotheby’s International Realty, shares her predictions for 2022’s real estate forecast.

JEFFREY BOSDET/SPRUCE MAGAZINE

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isa Williams has been selling homes in Greater Victoria for 30 years and has traversed the market’s peaks and valleys while generating one of the region’s mightiest totals in transactions as a solo agent. When it comes to a prognosis on the area’s robust real estate market, Williams says, “That’s the question everyone is asking.” When the pandemic took hold, people in her business thought the market would crash and prices would fall. “The reverse happened,” says Williams, a vice-president of sales with Sotheby’s International Realty. For next year, however, she has a forecast. “It’s strong — and it’s going to stay that way.” The president of the Victoria Real Estate Board (VREB), David Langlois, also incorrectly guessed that real estate would take a hit. “We’re terrible at predicting the future,” Langlois says. Still, that doesn’t prevent him for theorizing. Because people are adapting to the changing nature of pandemic restrictions, he says buying a new home may drop from their to-do list. “[People] are not so obsessed with the four walls around them,” he says, noting, “we know markets turn on a dime.” Current predictions estimate prices will not slump over the coming year, because of the continuing shortfall of ready housing. The VREB’s June 2021 report noted that the median price for single-family homes in Greater Victoria rose 21 per cent from June 2020, condo prices jumped by 14 per cent and row/townhouses saw a 24 per cent increase. Even manufactured homes registered a 4 per cent hike.


ONE UNEXPECTED PANDEMIC “BUY” PRODUCT HAS BEEN THE NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO ARE NOW BUYING HOMES WITHOUT HAVING SET FOOT IN THEM. “It’s all good news for those selling,” says Tony Joe, the broker/owner of RE/MAX Island Properties. With three decades of selling properties in Victoria under his belt, Joe says this region is a safe bet when it comes to real estate. He’s seen people willing to pay top dollar, because they know their investment is sound, unlike other parts of Canada. He recalls in 2009 when prices did drop locally but rebounded within a few months.

DRIVEN BY DEMAND

Experts agree it continues to be a sellers’ market — aided by low inventory. “It’s one-third of what it should be,” Joe says, noting that in June, there were 1,400 active listings. Historically, there are around 4,500. “For meaningful change, we need 2,000 homes tomorrow.” Yet, Joe says, it’s not likely to happen. He points to municipalities like Saanich and Oak Bay, where it can take one year to get a permit for a building extension. In Langford, there’s a seven-day turnaround. URBAN EXODUS? Langlois says more projects are coming Even if interest rates rise slowly, online, but developments as all three realtors expect, face hurdles. it won’t dampen buyers’ “I hope that municipalities enthusiasm, because buyers stop talking about improving Insider’s view their purchase as a development timelines and long-term investment. Rates Quick Hits actually develop them,” he have been low for so long, it’s says. ■ Prices inevitable that they will rise, Williams adds that Prices will remain elevated. Williams says. there’s frustration in various There will be a levelling off So, who is making those as demand slows, leading to corners due to building million-dollar purchases for a a less dramatic rise in prices. costs that continue to climb. regular detached home? The market will be more Delays in approvals only balanced for both sellers and Langlois, an agent with add time and costs. buyers. Macdonald Realty, has seen One unexpected “a relentless march out to pandemic “buy”product has ■ Inventory the West Coast.” The story, been the number of people The housing shortage will during the pandemic, is that who are now purchasing continue. Single-family people want more space and, homes without having set homes will continue to be in since they can work at home, foot in them — even prehigh demand. Buyers’ focus why not have a home in a construction sales, where will shift to condos and place without six months of buyers haven’t seen the townhouses. property. winter, with clean air and “It’s remarkable to me,” ■ Interest Rates with diverse recreational Low rates have been around says Joe, who’s gone so far choices? since 2009 and the creep as to make a video from a “It makes sense,” Langlois up will begin. Regulators will Sooke home, through town says. “But is it real?” aim for measured increases. and along the highway. Joe believes the theory is Buyers are making partly accurate. ■ Sales Methods big-money decisions based “The pandemic has Videos and 3D tours will on these 3D video tours. caused people to revisit their continue to be significant Langlois notes those selling tools. Open houses lifestyle. They can work tools aren’t new, but more may become defunct. remotely. They can work realtors are being forced to anywhere,” he says. “People use them to meet consumer come here by choice.” demand. He’s had experience with “But there’s no substitute for being in a native Victorians who have moved elsewhere property,” he says. and returned. A lot of Ontarians and Lower As for open houses, Joe hasn’t held one for Mainlanders are migrating to the Island. over a year and a half, and Langlois wonders if “You can sell your semi-detached home in they’ll ever return. Toronto and buy a detached house in Victoria,” “I’d prefer not to sit in a box for two hours on says Joe. a weekend,” he says. Williams has sold to Canadians living in the Whatever happens in the coming year, U.S., as well as international clients. Williams believes the stakes are clear. “A lot of tech money is coming in to Victoria. “The inventory is so low and there’s such There are younger buyers, younger families,” demand,” she says. “We don’t see things changing.” she says.

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FINISHING TOUCH

Paper Party

JEFFREY BOSDET/SPRUCE MAGAZINE

From geometric murals to natural textures, wallpaper has made a big comeback, transforming dens into statement rooms. Designer Iván Meade reflects on how to pick the perfect pattern for the space.

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allpaper has quickly become one of the most sophisticated ways to revolutionize a room, and for niche spaces — like dens — nothing creates as dramatic an effect as a customized pattern. Iván Meade, principal designer at Meade Design Group, believes selecting the right paper is key to creating a vibe, second in importance only to ensuring it’s installed correctly. “The first thing you have to do is identify the focal point of the room – in a den, it’s the credenza,” Meade says. “Wallpaper never starts symmetrically and you don’t know where the seams will go, so you don’t start at the corners. You start in the centre, at the focal point, and move from there.” Wallpaper has had a complicated history, from the luxury rice papers of the Qin dynasty to the tea florals

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in Great Aunt Min’s kitchen. Today’s trends emphasize optical illusions that play with light and texture. Meade offers three tips: test the paper vertically (not flat on a table), keep it classy with elegant designs and invest in an experienced installer. In this Victorian heritage restoration (pictured), Meade turned a sullen room into a rich entertainment space. He utilized an invigorating geometric pattern on the focal wall, then ran the wallpaper up the sloped ceiling, flanking each side with dramatic charcoal paint to tone down the effect. “This client loves to watch movies, and the den is not meant to be bright. You have to consider how you’ll use a room and how the wallpaper will relate to that space,” says Meade, noting he selects materials first and wallpaper after. “The client wanted this room to look like a castle but also be cozy. This is a contemporary, edgier take on that.”


The Forget-Me-Not Bracelet A superb piece of hand-crafted jewellery is very special. The care, thought, and craftsmanship that goes into an idar piece makes the final creation incredibly personal and beautiful. That is exactly what Idar Jewellers has been doing for more than 45 years.

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Idar’s vision is to create distinctive lines of jewellery that are exceptionally designed and made by hand, using time-honoured techniques and intended for a lifetime of everyday use. That original idea and inspiration lives on in every piece he produces. To ensure you are purchasing an original work of art, Idar’s signature bee trademark is stamped on the inside of each piece. At idar, the piece of jewellery you buy today becomes the heirloom of tomorrow one to be treasured for years to come.

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