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

SPRING 2019

INSPIRING HOMES & INTERIORS sprucemagazine.ca

PM41295544


133 NEW HOMES ON VICTORIA’S OLD TOWN HARBOURFRONT

THERE’S A NEW ENERGY IN OLD TOWN. NOW SELLING

THEPEARLRESIDENCES.CA PRESENTATION CENTRE

508 HERALD STREET OPEN DAILY NOON - FOUR

This is not an offering for sale which can only be made in conjunction with the delivery of a Disclosure Statement. Illustrations and renderings are representational only and may not represent the finished building, suites or views. The Developer reserves the right to alter, without notice, floor plans, specifications, layouts, finishing, equipment and materials. To obtain further information and a copy of the Disclosure Statement contact the developer’s sales office at 508 Herald St, Victoria BC, V8W 1S6 E.&O.E.


Timeless Quality • Professional Design • Personalized Service

Owners Jessica and Tony

PROFESSIONAL SERVICES FROM D E S I G N T H R O U G H I N S TA L L AT I O N

250.812.4304

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CANADA’S LARGEST

RETAILER

COQUITLAM 1400 United Blvd 604 524 3444

KELOWNA 1912 Spall Rd 250 860 7603

LANGLEY 20429 Langley By-Pass 604 530 8248

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VICTORIA 661 McCallum Rd 250 475 2233


IN THIS ISSUE

SPRING 2019

FEATURED HOMES

30

40

50

■ LUXURY BUILD

■ HISTORICAL RENO

■ MODERN CONDO

AN ORNATE SENSE OF STYLE

FARMHOUSE REDEFINED

THE HEIGHT OF STYLE

This Uplands home reimagines modern elegance with a classic approach to design.

The winemaker’s home at Blue Grouse puts a West-Coast spin on a 100-year-old farmhouse.

For this Calgary couple, an Oak Bay condo makes the perfect post-retirement home.

B Y DANIELLE POPE

B Y DAVID LENNAM

B Y MARIANNE SCOTT

SPRING 2019

This stylish kitchen makes use of an elegant trio of brushed metal, white and navyblue. Page 56

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66

The right mix of task, general and mood lighting can make your home a masterpiece.

These homeowners brought in the pros to help create their dream kitchen.

The inside scoop on making the transition to a smaller home.

B Y DANIELLE POPE

B Y NESSA PULLMAN

B Y SHANNON MONEO

LAYERED LIGHTING

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ON THE COVER

A HANDS-ON KITCHEN RENO

YOUR GUIDE TO DOWNSIZING



IN THIS ISSUE

18

DEPARTMENTS

10

EDITOR’S LETTER

B Y ATHENA McKENZIE

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S PRUCE IT UP

Spring ahead on your home project with these design-forward ideas.

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18

DESIGN INSPIRATION

HAVE A SEAT

One of the largest selections of bar and counter stools on Vancouver Island — starting at $119.

The why, what and where of wallpaper — and the trends to try now. B Y BEN BRANNEN

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ASK THE EXPERT

Exploring the benefits of an integrated design-build approach with MDRN Built’s Adam Fryatt. B Y ATHENA McKENZIE

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DETAILS

Statement backsplashes to elevate your kitchen’s style. B Y ATHENA McKENZIE

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REAL ESTATE

Demystifying your mortgage options. B Y ALEX VAN TOL

73

RESOURCES

A categorized list of the suppliers and trades showcased in these pages.

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FINISHING TOUCH

Available in bar and counter heights and featuring spectator height (seat height 34")

This award-winning bathroom uses natural materials and a soothing palette to create the perfect retreat.

— Proudly Canadian made — Completely customizable colours and fabrics and many more styles available in store Max Furniture is locally owned and operated in Victoria since 2008

1-2745 Bridge Street, Victoria maxfurniture.ca “Dreams are our Business”

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Behr Paint’s Colour of the Year

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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, Georgina Camilleri EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Kerry Slavens EDITOR Athena McKenzie PRODUCTION MANAGER Jennifer Kühtz SALES & MARKETING MANAGER Amanda Wilson LEAD GRAPHIC DESIGNER Janice Hildybrant DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY Jeffrey Bosdet ASSOCIATE GRAPHIC DESIGNER Jo-Ann Loro STAFF WRITER Susan Hollis ADVERTISING COORDINATOR Rebecca Juetten MARKETING COORDINATOR Advait Gupte PRODUCTION ASSISTANT Belle White PROOFREADER Renée Layberry CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Ben Brannen, David Lennam,

Shannon Moneo, Danielle Pope, Nessa Pullman, Marianne Scott, Alex Van Tol

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Jeffrey Bosdet, Geoff Hobson,

Joshua Lawrence, Leanna Rathkelly

CONTRIBUTING AGENCIES Getty Images p. 73 ADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVES Deana Brown, Sharon Davies,

Denise Grant, Cynthia Hanischuk

GENERAL INQUIRIES info@sprucemagazine.ca

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COVER: This kitchen renovation merges the space’s

classic character with a modern esthetic. Photo by Geoff Hobson

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

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

SPRING 2019

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EDITOR’S LETTER

A home to spark joy

Athena McKenzie, Editor

A

s I write this, Marie Kondo seems to be everywhere, with much-heated debate on my social media about her approach to decluttering. While Kondo’s method — the foundation of her book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and her Netflix show Tidying Up with Marie Kondo — focuses on home organization, it also points to a worthwhile mindset for making bigger home-build and renovation decisions. Her KonMari method asks users to only keep those things that “spark joy” — more than simple happiness, this means honing in on what’s truly important. As Adam Fryatt of MDRN Built advised me in our recent conversation (page 20), when you embark on a home build or renovation, you really need to focus on what you want your home to do for you. “What are the goals, concerns and fears?” he asks. “What are the important spaces? How do you want to feel? Some people like big and open, some want to feel cozy and secluded … Are you entertaining a lot or is it a place you escape from the world?” How we interact with our home and the makeup of its important components is different for everyone. Your family may want lots of space and take pleasure in a traditional esthetic, as seen in the elegant custom build in the Uplands (page 30). Maybe you’re ready to downsize and imagine the convenience and comfort of a contemporary condo (page 50)? The happiness we get from our home can also be nurtured through its décor details. I’m hoping to redo the pinky-burgundy walls in my space, and my plan to use Behr’s Blueprint Blue with a feature wall in Sanderson Owlswick wallpaper gives me a thrill of pleasure. As you look through these pages, I hope you find inspiration and resources to pull your home project together — those bigger design details and little finishing touches that will “spark joy” and create a happy home.

As owls are my favourite animal, my plan to pair Sanderson Owlswick wallpaper with the classic hue of Behr’s Blueprint Blue brings me joy.

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SPRING 2019



SPRUCE IT UP

Function Meets Style

PLATINUM HD

SPRING AHEAD ON YOUR HOME PROJECT WITH THESE DESIGN-FORWARD IDEAS — INSPIRATION FOR INDOORS AND OUT.

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SPRING 2019


BENJAMIN MOORE

Benjamin Moore’s Blue Lake Aura Grand Entrance Satin; Misty Gray Aura Exterior Paint Low Lustre; Midsummer Night Aura Exterior Paint Satin

2

3

Block

Edison

4

1 BATHROOM BUILT-INS

<

Benches aren’t the only things being added to walk-in showers — storage niches are also having a moment. Without these ledges, your shower supplies can end up on the floor or in an unattractive shower caddy — and why do that to your dream shower? Combined with a rainhead, handheld showerhead and customized body sprays, it’s peak luxury combined with purpose. Shower shown is from the Silver Care Award-winning Casa Blanca bathroom by Seba Construction.

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MATERIAL MATTERS

Architectural concrete can add modern flair to your space. Matt — the new handcrafted, bespoke concrete panel from Vancouverbased Distinct Interiors — brings an innovative new material to interior design. These modular overlays are remarkably thin and replicate a diverse range of concrete architectural styles. The panels are extremely versatile and can be used for a backsplash (as above), a feature wall or a fireplace surround — inside and out — so get creative. Available through mattconcrete.com

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FIRST IMPRESSIONS

A colourful front door is a great way to express your personal style. To pick your colour, the experts at Benjamin Moore recommend taking a favourite hue from inside your home. Their Aura Grand Entrance line — specially formulated for front doors — is available in any colour. For impact, use a saturated colour that will pop from the surrounding architecture. Available through Pacific Paint and Wallpaper

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UPCYCLED GOODS

Sustainability is a growing concern in building and décor. The newest lamp base by East Van Lighting was developed in collaboration with ChopValue, a Vancouver-based product design company that creates beautiful materials with recycled chopsticks from Asian restaurants. (ChopValue also has a collection facility here in Victoria.) Available in the Block, Edison and Davy lamp models, each lamp base is constructed using up to 300 postconsumer recycled chopsticks that would otherwise end up in landfills. Available through eastvanlight.com

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Blueprint Blue AN EVOCATIVE HUE INSPIRED BY ARCHITECTURAL BLUEPRINTS, BEHR’S COLOUR OF THE YEAR FOR 2019 WILL FEEL STYLISH FOR YEARS TO COME.

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PHOTOS: BEHR PAINT

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MAKING BEAUTIFUL KITCHENS

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SPRING 2019

Say goodbye to the winter blues: this shade of blue is happy-making. Behr Paint’s 2019 Colour of the Year is a warm mid-tone blue that gives a sense of timeless style to any room. Called Blueprint S470-5, the shade is mellow and calming, with the faintest trace of green. “Much like the sketches builders rely on to bring an architectural design to life, Blueprint S470-5 lays a foundation for consumers to make their unique vision a reality,” says Erika Woelfel, vice president of colour and creative services at Behr. “This universally appealing hue provides a steady stream of positivity and is poised to be an instant classic.” Blueprint S470-5 serves as a foundational hue for the annual Behr Colour Trends — a palette of 15 supporting colours forecasted to influence décor and design in the year ahead. Available through The Home Depot


It’s like Blue Jeans for YourCountertops NATURAL | ELEGANT | DURABLE Used on its own, Blueprint S470-5 creates a soothing ambience, but when paired with other colours, it can also add depth — or even behave like a neutral to anchor bolder palettes. Behr has created a 2019 Colour Trends Palette, which highlights the best hues to pair with Blueprint; for example, the Down to Earth palette pairs neutrals and earthy browns, like Mars Red, while Colour Binge uses monochromatic hues, ranging from Watery to Deep Navy.

Watery

Dark Navy

Mars Red

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SPRING 2019

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MORE SPACE. MORE POSSIBILITIES. BIGGER ADVENTURES. MODERN MOSAIC

Want to protect your floors in high-traffic areas but don’t want to worry about the cleaning and care of a wool rug? Hidraulik has created an innovative line of vinyl floor mats, area rugs and runners that stylishly capture the neoclassic and geometric shapes of original cement tiles from the modernist era. Made from a premium vinyl stock that is waterproof and anti-slip, they are also easy to clean. Available locally through Penna & Co.

Mats are available in sizes up to 6'7" x 9'10."

Introducing the all-new 3-row, family-sized SUV as envisioned by Subaru — the 2019 Subaru Ascent. Built on the new Subaru Global Platform (SGP), the Ascent offers seating for 7 or 8 passengers, a supremely comfortable ride and generous interior space.

2019 SUBARU ASCENT WELL-EQUIPPED FROM

$37,795 * INCLUDES FREIGHT & PDI

JPSubaruVictoria.com | 1784 Island Highway, Victoria, BC | 250-474-2211 *Pricing applies to a new 2019 Subaru Ascent Convenience (KT2C8) with MSRP of $37,795 including freight & PDI ($1,800). Documentation fee ($395), A/C levy ($100), tire levy ($25), taxes, license, insurance, and registration are extra. Offer subject to change or cancellation without notice. Vehicle shown solely for purposes of illustration, and may not be equipped exactly as shown. See Jim Pattison Subaru Victoria for complete details. Dealer #40319.

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SPRING 2019

WATER AND STONE

Outdoor water features can suit any garden style or size, and the sound of water and the drama of the feature’s design can make for an ideal focal point in your landscaping. This modern architectural water feature was designed to complement the home’s sophisticated style. Custom stainless steel was used for the spouts and basalt for the wall. Designed by Wildwood Waterscapes


LIGHT SHOW

Like to change up your décor on the regular? Nanoleaf’s Smart Lighting panels can completely transform your space however and whenever you want. Available in sets of nine, their lay-flat form factor outputs any of 16.7 million colours and can be changed instantly to suit your mood, the season, the time of day — even your music. For more details, visit nanoleaf.me DAYLIGHT

NIGHTTIME

A ROOM OF ONE’S OWN

Whether you are looking for at-home office space, a studio or even a meditation suite, the Aux Box could be the answer. Designed and built in Parksville, each self-contained unit is fully insulated and wired. At 106 square feet, they don’t typically require a building permit — although you still need to check with your municipality. No building permits means cutting down install times by months. And with little required site work, there is minimal yard mess and disruption to your personal space. For more details, visit auxbox.ca

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SPRING 2019

17


DESIGN INSPIRATION

BY BEN BRANNEN

THE WHY, WHAT AND WHERE OF WALLPAPER

THE BENEFITS OF USING WALLPAPER, THE WAYS TO USE IT THROUGHOUT THE HOME, AND THE TOP TRENDS TO TRY NOW.

W

allpaper is a designer’s secret weapon — it instantly creates a mood and palette for a room. Designers call it a “jumping-off point” because it nails down many of the decisions essential for creating a cohesive look. Elements of its colour scheme can be used throughout the rest of the room. For example, you can pull darker or lighter values of its colour to use on the ceiling and trimwork. Why choose wallpaper? When used correctly, wallpaper brings style, character, history and elegance to a home. It can instantly finish a room and also add a valuable focal point. In some cases, it can even replace the need for artwork in a space. Many hotels use wallpaper exclusively as their finish of choice for walls. While the wallpaper helps create the desired ambience, it also protects the walls from frequent cleaning and general abuse. Vinyl is usually chosen as it is thicker, pliable, water resistant and hard-wearing. The same attributes can be helpful in your home to protect high-traffic areas from wear and tear.

THE FINER DETAILS Wallpaper comes in a variety of dimensions and price points. A double roll will cover approximately 50 square feet (not taking into account a pattern repeat). Sizes range from 21" wide by 11 yards long to 27" wide by 9 yards long to 36" wide and sold by the yard. The wider the paper, the fewer the seams. Basic anaglypta paper (meant to be painted) can cost as little as $75 a roll, while hand-painted silk paper can run to thousands of dollars.

Left: Patterned wallpaper can create a striking feature wall and be a jumping-off point for colours used in the rest of the space (Phillip Jeffries Kinship).

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THERE ARE NO “RULES” ON HOW TO USE WALLPAPER IN INTERIOR DESIGN, BUT THERE ARE SOME GUIDELINES TO CREATE MAGNIFICENT ROOMS.

Whenever possible, I recommend using a professional installer, who can come to your home, measure the room and recommend the amount of paper to order for the project.

JOSHUA LAWRENCE

TOP TRENDS TO TRY

Clockwise from top: Bring the outdoors in with a foliageinspired print (Hooked on Walls Jungle Jive Palma); Mari Kushino Design uses florals to add a feminine touch in this GT Mann project (Wallquest Aubrey from English Garden); Use metallics to add elegance and to bounce light through a room (Phillip Jeffries Lilies Golden Pond); Contemporary botanicals come in multiple colourways (Thibault Design’s Cordelia); Create a feature wall with a bold, graphic print (Farrow & Ball’s Gable BP 5405).

There are no “rules” on how to use wallpaper in interior design, but here are some guidelines based on how today’s designers use wallpaper to create magnificent rooms. • The number-one use of wallpaper is to add a feature wall in your living room, dining room or bedroom, using a wallpaper with a bold, striking design. • Wallpaper your powder room. This is a safe area to make a splash and surprise your guests. Be sure to use a bold pattern and cover all of the walls. A fully papered powder room gives the feeling of entering a jewelry box. All you need is a mirror over the sink to finish it off. • Use grasscloth or vinyl wallpaper to protect high-traffic areas like a hallway, stairwell or even the family room. Along with added protection, these papers add texture and some acoustic absorption. • Apply a wallpaper to the back of a bookshelf or built-in cabinet to add some visual interest. Choose a bold colour or graphic pattern that makes you look at the background as well as the objects you are decorating your shelves with. • White is a classic in kitchens, but it often needs a little something to warm it up. Adding a textured or patterned wallpaper to inject personality and charm is an emerging trend in interior design. • Along with the abundance of midcentury modern elements and furnishings comes a companion wallpaper that complements it — Scandinavian Chic. Scandinavian designs often present a fresh, cool palette along with rustic modern nature elements.

MAKE IT PERSONAL However you decide to adorn your walls, remember it’s the diversity of uses and pattern combinations that make wallpaper so interesting. ^

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ASK THE EXPERT

BY ATHENA McKENZIE

IT’S ALL IN THE DETAILS

Spruce gets the inside story from Adam Fryatt, owner of MDRN Built, who brings a contemporary sensibility to his local residential projects.

G

rowing up on a farm in Vanderhoof in the interior of British Columbia, Adam Fryatt’s first exposure to design was utilitarian and simplistic — buildings were meant to satisfy basic needs and provide shelter. While that functionality still underlies his approach to design, Fryatt developed a serious passion for modern architecture when working and studying in Vancouver in his 20s. “I had a great mentor in Patrick Powers of Powers Construction, and one of my first jobs for him was renovating the Livingspace showroom, where I ended up getting a job doing deliveries and installations,” Fryatt says. “This is where I first got really exposed to architecture and design — going into all of these spectacular homes that were designed by architects. I got to see what real design was, and I was hooked.” Fryatt earned an Environmental Design degree at UBC as part of its Architecture program with the intention of becoming an architect himself. A stint at a desk job, however, made him realize that he also really loved the physical aspects of building things and putting it all together. Now in his mid-30s, his company MDRN Built integrates his design and construction backgrounds, and specializes in designing, managing and building modern home projects. What are the advantages of the design-build approach? It’s very comprehensive. Design-build companies work as both contractor and designer, not just the builder. The process involves working with the homeowner from the initial conception all the way through to the finished project. When I start drawing, I’m thinking about the composition and the layering and how things are going to work together down the process; for example, how are we going to get two materials to interface? Thinking about these finer details early on is more of an architect quality. We also do all the stuff a construction company would do, with my own staff and employees, and taking

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JEFFREY BOSDET

EXPLORING THE BENEFITS OF AN INTEGRATED DESIGN-BUILD APPROACH


To create a warm, welcoming atmosphere in the covered area that constitutes the front porch of his Clare Street project, Adam Fryatt of MDRN Built used cedar siding on the wall and Indonesian Red Balau for the steps and deck. Fryatt chose natural transition points to incorporate the stucco and sheet metal used along with the cedar siding for both front and rear elevations. The project needed a variance on height so the driveway would fit with the grade underneath the house, as the homeowners didn’t want part of their front elevation taken up by garage space.

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and personalized strategies will put

PHOTOS: JOSHUA LAWRENCE

you in the best possible position when buying or selling a home in Victoria.

1. KITCHEN 2. LAUNDRY 3. POWDER 4. ENTRY 5. PORCH 6. DECK 7. DINING 8. LIVING AREA

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PHOTOS: JOSHUA LAWRENCE

“THE BIG DETAILS COME OUT THROUGH CONVERSATION … IT’S GETTING A SENSE OF WHAT THEY WANT THEIR HOUSE TO DO AND HOW THEY WANT IT TO FUNCTION. ARE YOU ENTERTAINING A LOT OR IS IT A PLACE YOU ESCAPE FROM THE WORLD?”

As the top floor could only be 70 per cent of the floor below, Fryatt used the open space to create a balcony off the master bedroom on the green roof of the floor below. With its privacy wall and plantings, it acts as a private retreat, and also replaces some of the green space lost in the build. Part of it also acts as a cover to the outdoor cooking area, enabling year-round use. Water features, by the landscape designer, Biophilia Collective, in both the front and back yards add to the urban-oasis atmosphere.

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1. GREEN ROOF 2. MASTER BEDROOM 3. MASTER CLOSET 4. STUDY 5. DECK 6. MASTER ENSUITE 7. BATHROOM 8. BEDROOM


care of all of the sub-trades and all of the billing. It’s an integrated set-up where you can get it all in one stop. How does the process work with the homeowner? I like to meet with the client to get a sense of what they are trying to achieve: What are the goals, concerns, fears? And then we go through the program list: What do you want in your house in terms of spaces? What are the important spaces? How do you want to feel? Some people want big and open, some want to feel cozy and secluded, and don’t want to live in a cathedral.... Obviously, we have to talk about style. I always go with the assumption that if you are talking to me, you’re interested in something more contemporary and modern. I often ask people to create a list or put sticky notes all over their existing house about the things they like or don’t like. Some get super specific, like the toilet paper is on the wrong side or they don’t like seeing it when they open the door; or notes on the fridge saying they want a concealed fridge. It’s a great exercise to get the really fine detail. Where can design go wrong? Nothing bothers me more than a bunch of windows that look like they’re shot at a wall with a gun. It can work sometimes, if all the windows are the same size and it’s a randomized mosaic. But when it’s a bunch of windows and they’re all different sizes and none of them seem to have any relationship to each other, to me that just says the designer was only worried about how those windows functioned to the inside of the house. They weren’t thinking about the expression to the outside. I try to do both at the same time. What are the elements of contemporary design that you favour? It changes over time. I like clean lines. With some designers, I find things are over designed — it goes beyond the realm of attainable. It can be very interesting, like articulated facades and lots of different types of transparency and screening, and moving parts; and I love those elements but it’s not feasible for the average homeowner. I like thinking about efficiency in design as well. Good design comes from having restraints, I find. This is why working in the urban context is good because you have restraints already built in. So working within your restraints for something that is concise and fairly simple but has strong, almost graphic qualities. I would say that’s something I like about contemporary design. What advice do you have for a homeowner looking for a builder? You need to find someone who shares your passion. If you want something unique and tailored to your own life, you have to find someone to work with who is going to share your enthusiasm and bring their own to it. ^

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LAYERED LIGHTING THE RIGHT MIX OF TASK, GENERAL AND MOOD LIGHTING CAN MAKE YOUR HOME A MASTERPIECE. BY DANIELLE POPE PHOTOS BY JEFFREY BOSDET

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L

ight rarely feels more important than during dark winter months, when a fireplace and a few candles can transform a home into a cozy retreat. Knowing how to layer lighting for year-long function and style, however, is an art in itself. Fortunately, Spruce has gathered a few bright ideas from industry experts who can help do just that. Interior designer Ines Hanl has a simple philosophy around this work: light is life. “Lighting affects humans at our most basic level — it can change mood and cognition, and the ancient part of our brains reacts intensely to it,” she says. “I honour this in my designs.” Studies have long shown lighting can influence our well-being and impact the nervous system, memory and sleep. It’s little wonder light choreography plays a role in ensuring a higher quality of home life. Hanl’s passion has helped her create some of the most dynamic lighting in Victoria’s design scene, including a recent project on Bear Mountain which combined impressive modern and traditional lighting techniques. “The key to great lighting in a home is to layer it,” says Hanl, principal at The Sky Is the Limit Interior Design Concepts. “The right light can create a sanctuary.”

BUILDING PIECE OF MIND

THE THREE HORSEMEN OF LIGHTING Hanl’s illumination principles developed from growing up in her parents’ poorly lit 1970s house. A designer once helped the family renovate their main floor, but even then the lighting was so terrible the atmosphere barely changed. Since then, Hanl has mastered the three main types of lighting that can transform a space: general, task and mood lighting. When used correctly, these “three horsemen” of lighting create dynamic layers. “All three aspects need to be combined in order to achieve practical and esthetically pleasing results,” says Hanl. “Lighting in this way has to be an ongoing topic, thought about from the start of a project, right through to the end.”

Ines Hanl’s Bear Mountain project exemplifies her lighting philosophy. Left: The interior designer says decorative lighting — such as the Herman Miller Nelson Bubble pendants in the dining room — needs proper display space to be effective. Above: The kitchen contains the three essential elements: general lighting in the form of pot lights, task lighting under the cabinets and mood lighting from the Eglo Canada pendants.

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General lighting includes ubiquitous ceiling lights, fixtures, pot lamps or fluorescents. Hanl cautions against leaving the placement to the whim of an electrician. Instead, lighting arrangement should focus on what matters in the room. In Hanl’s Bear Mountain project, a grid of 4-inch LED pot lights run along the ceiling to create natural aisles of light. Task lighting illuminates areas to improve function. This can include under-counter lighting, vanity lamps, floor lighting, stairwell tracks and even desk lamps. This lighting is essential in creating usable space. Hanl added exterior wall sconces and path-finding lights to the Bear Mountain project to create an attractive, functional entry. Atmospheric lighting is created with finishing touches — firelight, candles, string lights and accent lamps — to develop the mood of a space. In the Bear Mountain home, a central fireplace provides a warm glow and softens the room. While mood lighting is essential, Hanl urges people not to overprioritize this form. “You have to be mindful. A lot of restaurant lighting nowadays is mood lighting, and it doesn’t allow one to read the menu,” she says. “If you have to pull out the ‘cellphone torch,’ there is something wrong.”

TECHNICAL BEAUTY To make full use of light, Jim Wong, manager of Illuminations Lighting Solutions, says there are a few practical tools to help. Start by assessing how a space will be used, he says, then plan around that. “Lighting is everything when designing a home,” he says. “If you can’t see properly, the beautiful quartz countertops or hardwood floors, or all the other work you put into the house is a waste.” Dimmers are worth the expense for any light, he says, to allow movement from a day of cleaning to an evening of relaxing. Both Wong and Hanl also encourage the use of direct and indirect light sources, which project onto reflective areas — like a wall or ceiling — to create diffused lighting. “When you build in layers you avoid shadows under the eyes, or uneasy corners in a room,” says Wong. “You want everything to pop as it’s supposed to.”

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Above and left: Hanl used an Artemide Pirce suspension lamp in the foyer for indirect mood lighting and to emphasize the height of the ceiling. Around the home, strategically placed pot lights create areas of illumination. Light placement is also key in the wine bar, where decorative Kuzco pendants are reflected by a mirror.


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Use motion detectors: These allow light sources to save energy while becoming responsive to the environment. Jim Wong of Illuminations suggests installing occupancy sensor switches on all outdoor lights, and even mini motion detectors indoors that come in handy for dark hallways. Install stairwell and step lighting: LED strips recessed under steps or handrails act as gentle guides for passersby. Small wall sconces or pot lights set into the steps can pair functional decoration with a theatrical look. However, Wong says to avoid lights that will blind people as they walk down or up steps. “Step lights look great in every home, but you have to position them well, especially with children or older adults who need extra visibility at night or in the shadows,” he says. Don’t forget about style: Mike Randall, principal with Kurva Design, says another consideration is how the fixture will look in the room, and whether or not it will enhance the overall design. “I encourage people to select fixtures that are minimalistic but also sculptural so they don’t interfere with the room or the view,” says Randall, whose company created the “S-Light” for this reason. “Your fixtures should look like a piece of art, even when they’re not in use.” Consider the colour temperature: Getting a fixture that produces the right amount of light is also important. Randall notes that “warm white” can vary greatly between manufacturers and can appear cold against incandescent bulbs. “It is important to see the product in context so you can sense whether or not it will work,” he says. “Dimmers can also help to create different vibes though, and can adjust colour temperatures.”

Hanl pays close attention to the esthetic of the fixtures. Some lighting is meant to be hidden, like puck lights and LED strips, while decorative fixtures, pendant lamps or sculptural pieces should be given room for display. In the dining room of the Bear Mountain home, a trio of Herman Miller Nelson bubble lamps make playful use of the 16foot ceiling. The wine bar is accentuated by pendants reflecting through a mirror, and Hanl designed a stainless steel cable system in the living area for flexible, lowkey lighting that enhances the clients’ art collection. The room is accented with table lamps to add diversity, and a contemporary chandelier in the foyer utilizes indirect lighting to showcase the tall ceiling. “You can actually have too much lighting,” she says. “If the space is too bright, or the light is too even, you need to employ

307-100 Saghalie Road, Victoria

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dimmers and other tools. You want islands of light, offset by shadows for a natural effect.”

JUST THE RIGHT LIGHT Small efforts can make a big difference, especially at entry points of a house. Lanterns or hanging lights welcome people into a space, and backlighting can create a focal point for wayfinding. Architectural lighting — uplights or downlights — will emphasize noteworthy features on a house, like stone cladding, and soffit lighting can help with navigation. Hanl and Wong emphasize the importance of building in outdoor plugs for seasonal lights too. Natural window light and mirrors play a role in improving light dimension as well, and Hanl often pairs accessory and task lighting. She creates illuminated display shelves, cabinetry backlighting, lighting along a bar overhang or under the kick for extra drama. She also says the toilet, shower and tub should be lit, and vanity lighting from side lamps is the most flattering. “Lighting is often the final touch in the room, but it should never be the last thought,” says Wong. “At bare minimum, plan the wiring. Good lighting makes any house happier.” ^

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Below: Layered lighting also plays a role in the bathroom, where it is often overlooked. Along with general lighting in the main area and shower — in the form of pot lights in the Bear Mountain home — task lighting is crucial for the vanity. Right: To create drama, Hanl often creates illuminated display shelves and cabinetry backlighting, as she did for this condo renovation in Victoria.

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AUTOMATED ILLUMINATION Smart lighting is soaring in popularity, according to Mike McDougall, certified lighting consultant at McLaren Lighting, and is turning home lighting into a paragon of convenience. “The integration of lighting controls, especially app-based ones that pair with systems like Google Home and Alexa, are flying off the shelves because they are easy and intuitive, and many you can set up yourself at home,” says McDougall. Smart bulbs allow users to connect phones to lighting with the touch of a few buttons, for control over timing, colour, dimness and quality of light. McDougall says the only downfall is that online bandwidth in the home can be taken up by some at-home systems. Higher-end systems, installed by electrical engineers, typically have their own bandwidth, but come with a hefty price tag. Geofencing is another smart feature that creates security, comfort and energysaving support for lighting. The

Smart light bulbs, such as the Easybulb Plus, let you control your light from your phone or tablet. Most are installed like a regular light bulb.

technology maps a perimeter around the home, then notes where a phone is stationed, compared to the house. A user who drives away with a few lights on will receive an app alert, with the option of turning off the lights, dimming them, or leaving them on for security’s sake. The same geofence can be programmed to turn on garage lights, or even home heating when users are a certain distance away. “Some of these systems, like the voice-activated light controls, most people assume you will never need,” says McDougall. “But then you use it for six weeks, and suddenly you get so comfortable you forget how to live without it.”

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â– LUXURY BUILD

AN ORNATE SENSE OF STYLE THIS UPLANDS HOME REIMAGINES MODERN ELEGANCE WITH A CLASSIC APPROACH TO DESIGN BY DANIELLE POPE

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PHOTOS BY JOSHUA LAWRENCE


W

hen Luis Ambriz-Gomez was asked to create a custom home in Victoria’s Uplands neighbourhood, he was given a very specific feature to model the house around: a grand, two-story radial staircase. “That circular staircase was the centrepiece of the project, and everything else worked around it,” says Ambriz-Gomez, project manager with GT Mann Contracting. “The homeowners wanted it to be the focus from the moment you first walk in.” The staircase is nothing short of magnificent, with 18 elegant oak steps, and custom-built curved oak handrails that curl at the ends of a rounded feature wall. In fact, this portion of the project occupied nearly a full month of building alone. Yet the rest of the 6,000-square-foot home holds just as much grandeur in each room, themed around a bright, traditional approach to a modern mansion. “The client had real vision with this home, so the task was to make sure there was a cohesive and continuous style,” says Mari O’Meara, interior designer with Mari Kushino Design. “We wanted to duplicate the look of the staircase throughout the house, so we selected trim and mouldings that tied the project together.” The five-bedroom, five-and-a-half bathroom home is the epitome of classic elegance, pairing the highest quality materials and craftsmanship with delicate, traditional details like coffered ceilings, wainscoting, wall paneling, crown mouldings, finishing kicks and ornate, custom trim.

With an embrace of the traditional, this custom Uplands home took nearly two years to perfect. From the radial staircase that inspired the design to customized ornate details — like crown mouldings and classic windows — this home showcases a contemporary approach to timeless design. A closer look reveals unifying themes emerging from the moment you enter the property, such as the circular drive and the curved handrails on the entryway.

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Left: The spiral staircase was the original inspiration for the home, and is adorned with an Arlington 1305 Swarovski crystal chandelier. The stairwell presented unique challenges due to its curvature: while the treads and curved handrails were created from pure oak, the crown moulding panels and trim had to be cast from rubber to address the bending shape of the staircase. This page: The elegant and masculine office was completed entirely in cherry to play up the traditional theme. With the slim margin of error allowed in using this material, the precision work required for this room is one of the most impressive feats of the project. The oak herringbone floor carries through the brightness of the home while distinguishing this room from the rest. The rustic office table was an item collected by the homeowner.

The project was so expansive that Ambriz-Gomez says it took the team nearly two years to complete, working handin-hand with the owners. The detail was so great, in fact, that the home won gold at the Construction Achievements and Renovations of Excellence (CARE) Awards with the Victoria Residential Builders Association. “The homeowners have a love of the traditional, and that look never dies,” says Ambriz-Gomez. “There is a bit of a spectacular element in every room — especially in the office, which is made entirely from cherry, as well as the master bedroom and ensuite, which captures an expansive amount of space.” With engineered hardwood oak flooring throughout the house, and shades of clean white in every room, the cherry office stands in dark contrast. Nick Robertson, owner of Ground Up Custom Carpentry, completed much of the construction throughout the house and says it’s rare to have the chance to work with such exclusively high-quality materials. The room was built from wall to ceiling in cherry, and the oak floor was laid out in a herringbone pattern. Ornate details decorate the space, including a herringbone-tile fireplace and built-in cherry cabinetry. “The margin of error with everything you do in a situation like that is serious — if you cut something, there’s no going back. But it’s incredible to see people put so much forethought into the design and materials of the house,” says Robertson. “To have an extravagant playing field like that is not something you get the chance to experience every day.”

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“THERE IS A BIT OF A SPECTACULAR ELEMENT IN EVERY ROOM.”


The master bedroom and ensuite stands out as another area of extravagance in the house and occupies nearly 1,200 square feet of space. The bedroom is outfitted with a stately equestrian mural painting above the hearth, French doors, his-andhers walk-in closets and dressing areas. The bathroom hosts five different types of tiling, including full marble-style tile sheets in the shower, along with a glassed-in, dual-shower spa corner, pedestal bath, full-scale vanity, twin sinks and private water closet. With three levels to the home, including a 10-foot-ceiling basement and playroom, and an entire children’s wing, the fivemember family has room for entertainment

The master ensuite is one of the most spectacular rooms in the house, using five different types of tile, including a full marblestyled tile sheet in the shower. The master bedroom, its closet and ensuite take up nearly 1,200 square feet of space, and with a pedestal bath, dual shower, twin sinks and personalized vanity, this room emphasizes a spa atmosphere.

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CUSTOM HANDCRAFTED LIVE EDGE FURNITURE AND LUXURY WOODEN DOORS INSPIRED BY THE WEST COAST

and function, but delicate beauty plays a primary role throughout the house. The oversized kitchen makes use of classic white cabinetry, with built-in camouflage for the dishwasher and fridge. The range stove is augmented with a pot faucet for convenience, and the whitewashed oak island is balanced by a trio of ornate pendant lanterns. The functional butler’s pantry and dining area just off the kitchen is contrasted with a formal dining hall around the corner. An openconcept living area opens onto a covered deck for expanded space, with ornamental cast stone fireplaces inside and outside providing warmth. The patio also features a barbecue cooking area and double heat pumps for yearround use. O’Meara assisted the homeowners in creating a look that traded anything too trendy or textured for subtler, clean lines. Two areas that experiment with play, however, are the family room, with a patterned grey wallpaper from Cole & Son, and the girl’s private bathroom, with oversized floral wallpaper.

White is the predominant colour throughout home, which suits the vibrancy of a young family better than classic ivory or creams. Benjamin Moore’s Simply White adorns the walls, while light oak engineered hardwood floors reflect the brightness. Even the kitchen’s island is crafted from whitewashed oak material. Decorative window treatments, wainscoting and crown mouldings add dimension, and the consistent colour maintains the contemporary, traditional esthetic. In the kitchen, camouflaged built-in appliances add to the clean look, and are paired with a glossy Bianco Genesi 13 white subway tile backsplash and elegant Feiss Galloway Pendant lamps.

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ahhh, the

Romance of a fire... Is there anything more symbolic of home, of warm hearts, and the gathering of loved ones? At Wilk Stove, it’s our mission to keep these sentiments alive — with the perfect stove for your living space. One of the challenges of this project was to make sure a cohesive and continuous style was carried throughout the house. To achieve this, the aim was to duplicate the qualities and motifs of the stairwell in as many ways as possible, from the exterior chandelier and the height of the outdoor pillars, to the ornate fireplace. The herringbone tile flooring in the back entryway (above) plays up the stylized elements of the home while keeping the image timeless.

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Pattern also appears in the herringbone floor tile in the mudroom, boys’ bathroom and outer deck. “We needed a few key places that create interesting visuals in the space, but that can also be enjoyed by the family,” says O’Meara. “A lot of the elements we’ve brought in can be found in nature, so it keeps up a modern and timeless feel with metals, glass and natural colours.” Details around the house, like the Swarovski Arlington staircase chandelier, and parallel pendant lamps found throughout the home, enhance the grandiose charm that fits with the building’s majesty. “This was a really special project, because my role was to make sure the vision stayed on track,” says O’Meara. “In this case, the client was coming to me with finishes and concepts and saying, ‘What do you think of this?’ It’s exciting to work with people who naturally have an ornate sense of taste and are willing to explore that to see what it can become.” ^

RESOURCES BUILDER: GT Mann Contracting INTERIOR DESIGN: Mari Kushino Design FINISHING CARPENTRY/CUSTOM MILLWORK:

Ground Up Custom Carpentry

FLOORING: Hourigan’s Flooring KITCHEN/BATHROOM MILLWORK: Thomas Philips

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■ HISTORICAL RENO

FARMHOUSE REDEFINED THE WINEMAKER’S HOME AT BLUE GROUSE PUTS A WEST COAST SPIN ON A 100-YEAR-OLD FARMHOUSE. BY DAVID LENNAM

I

PHOTOS BY LEANNA RATHKELLY

n the beginning, Paul Brunner just wanted to turn his old farmhouse — in the middle of a Cowichan Valley winery — into a better version of an old farmhouse. The owner of Blue Grouse Estate Winery wanted to maintain the Grouse House’s sense of history and didn’t expect that would mean gutting it, removing the third storey, and then reassembling it brand new. “The original idea was to update the house with as little change as possible,” says Brunner. But, with a wry smile, he admits that these sorts of projects have a way of expanding. The roof was removed, along with the entire upper floor — everything but the foundation walls, the subfloor, and the chimney, confirms builder Tom Humber of Humber Custom Carpentry. “Usually you’re poking a dormer in here or there or a bay window,” Humber says. “But in this case it was a major change.” Removing that third floor allowed for a dramatic cathedral ceiling on the main, with exposed — and very barn-like — natural wood structural trusses, all sanded and varnished. Without walls to block the view, the airiness gives the effect of stepping into the vineyard itself. It’s something Brunner is particularly proud of. “Had we put the upper floor on the house, we wouldn’t have the same impact from the front door to the big windows at the front of the house.” Humber agrees. “When you walk into [the house] you get a huge feeling of space, like walking into a cathedral. If it were just dirty old trusses it would look like a barn in there.”

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Above: Situated on a slope amidst rows of vines in the Blue Grouse Estate Winery, the lowest level of the Grouse House is cut into the embankment so that it has groundlevel appeal, rather than feeling like a basement. Right: The home’s owner wanted the feel of an old farmhouse, but with easy-to-maintain modern conveniences. The magnificent cathedral ceiling was the result of removing the building’s original third floor.


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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

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Above: The board and batten cedar exterior conveys a vintage patina and was treated with an organic “tea” to expedite the aged greying/silver process that naturally occurs to the wood. The blue front door mirrors the colour used in the winery’s nearby tasting room.

Left: Interior walls in the great room don’t block the sun, leaving the entire space open and airy. With abundant fir finishing, the design of the Grouse House plays off that of the tasting room. Hard-wearing, wide-planked, reclaimed hickory floors are throughout.

Built in the 1960s, the waney-edged cedar lap-sided Grouse House was residence for the Kiltz family, the winery founders who turned the basement into a tasting room in the early ’90s. It sits almost overtop the vineyard, surrounded by grapes, snugged into a Mediterranean microclimate where summer temperatures reach past 35 degrees. It’s only steps down from the winery’s rather magnificent new tasting room, which was designed by architect Joe Chauncey of Seattle’s Boxwood. Chauncey consulted on the vaulted ceiling trusses in the residence and other tied elements — the buildings play off each other with a generous use of fir, similar oversized blue grouse-coloured entrance doors (the colour of the bird’s tail feathers), and numerous French doors open to expansive decks. The tasting room and Grouse House equally invite in the surrounding landscape — rows of grapevines, a forest and gentle hills —

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Above: A light, white, and wood design esthetic infuses one of the intimate seating areas in the south-facing great room. French doors on either side, plenty of fir-framed windows, and discreet lighting stretched on wires across the ceiling beams “enhance the natural light,” says the home’s owner, “but doesn’t feel artificial.” Left: In the U-shaped kitchen, stainless steel appliances, including an Italian-made Bertazzoni gas range, combine with PentalQuartz countertops and white Shaker cabinetry to play against the natural wood of the exposed engineered trusses. The pendant lights are from Rejuvenation.

with abundant windows, high ceilings and unobstructed views. It’s all very South of France, inside and out, which was according to plan. “We wanted French country design,” says Brunner. “It’s simple design, and that’s what my wife likes.” Designer Jodi McKeown Foster, of jodi foster design + planning, says it’s about seeing through the architecture, having your gaze continue right through the interior to the outside. “The view is framed by the shape. It’s quite rustic, but lovingly furnished, not over-decorated or over-designed.” Foster, who led the design of the residence with colleague Carly Neal, says her clients wanted to feel like they were living in a farmhouse that had been there forever, “but refined … just not precious.” “They wanted their friends and guests to be able to walk through with their gumboots on because they’d just been down in the vineyard.” Although the Grouse House covers 4,300 sq. ft. with three bedrooms, three bathrooms, a wine cellar, the high-ceilinged great room, plus another lounge on the lower floor, it’s surprisingly intimate. The great room has been given three distinct sitting areas, each cozy, each comfortably furnished. “You don’t feel like you’re in this great [big] room,” says Brunner. The two downstairs bedrooms share a lounge/ kitchen and, through more French doors, an ample

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patio. It’s an idyllic private retreat for visiting family members or “bed and bottle” guests, and can be sectioned off from upstairs by a large, sliding barn door at the foot of the stairs. These rooms feature nine-foot-plus ceilings, which Brunner loves, but confesses was a bit of a lucky accident. “The floor in the basement of the original house wasn’t level, so we were either going to have a low ceiling or would have to raise the original subfloor on the main floor. We chose to raise the floor, and the benefit is those high ceilings downstairs so you don’t get any sense of being in a basement.” The entire house was designed for full access by the mobility challenged, including a ramped front entrance and fully accessible powder room on the main floor, as well as agein-place considerations, like a zero threshold

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shower, in the master ensuite. It was also designed to multi-task. The main level can be used as both residence and for winery social events. Brunner and his wife, Cristina, are fond of their home’s uncluttered décor and restrained elegance, but it’s the tranquil seclusion that trumps all. “I really, really like the privacy,” says Brunner. “At night it’s a concert of birds and frogs. You get out on that deck in July or August at midnight and you see every star.” Neal likes to think of the design as West Coast farmhouse, “A peeled back, simplified, refined version of a farmhouse.” Brunner laughs about originally wanting a 100-year-old farmhouse and getting an up-todate farmhouse, “that will look just the way we wanted in about 100 years.” ^


This page: French doors (above) open onto extensive patios and sunshine from the guest suites on the lower floor, designed like hotel rooms. “In the guest area, on the vineyard level, you look out those French doors and it’s like you’re in the vineyard,” says designer Jodi McKeown Foster. “It’s magical.” At right, his and hers sinks and mirrors in the master bath. Left: A large, sliding barn door separates the owner’s main-floor living area from the guest suites on the lower. The nine-foot-plus ceilings downstairs are a bonus of having raised the main level’s subfloor during construction. The main flooring tile throughout is a commercial grade indoor/outdoor porcelain tile that has the appearance of natural slate.

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Culinary Classic. Beautifully British.

Left: Approaching the front door, the eye already sees through the architecture, and there’s a sense that you’re almost stepping into the vineyard. Architect Joe Chauncey has added details to enhance the rustic feel of the old farmhouse. Above: Notice the height and proportion of everything to connect visually and physically with the vineyard outside. The picture rail running along the top of the 6'5" wainscoting, for instance, or the 8-foot-tall interior doors. The Grouse House is all about the energy of light and air.

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RESOURCES CONSULTING ARCHITECT: Joe Chauncey, Boxwood HOUSE DESIGNERS: Jodi McKeown Foster and Carly Neal, jodi foster interior design + planning GENERAL CONTRACTING: Humber Custom

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â– MODERN CONDO

The Height of Style FOR THIS CALGARY COUPLE, AN OAK BAY PENTHOUSE CONDO MAKES THE PERFECT POST-RETIREMENT HOME. BY MARIANNE SCOTT

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PHOTOS BY JEFFREY BOSDET


ABSTRACT DEVELOPMENTS RENDERING

A

fter retiring, Karen Mark and Geoffrey Carrington took the task of finding the perfect abode seriously. They had decided to leave their Calgary singlefamily home and move to Victoria where Karen grew up. “We started preparing two years ago,” Geoffrey says. “While travelling and renting vacation properties, we studied layouts and size, and gathered ideas on what we wanted in a new home.” They explored various Victoria apartments, then saw the layout of the south-facing penthouse in the Maddison — a condominium complex built by Abstract Developments — and knew it would suit them perfectly. The building is sited on the corner of Richmond and Oak Bay Avenues, an ideal location for the couple. “My parents are in their 90s but still live in the Estevan-area house I grew up in,” Karen says. “I can walk to their place in 25 minutes, or downtown in 30. We also love the nearby Oak Bay library, and the rec centre is a few blocks away.” Abstract’s Mike Miller believes the corner-placed building makes a statement. “We bought the property in 2008 and had time to think through the design, with its neo-classic rounded corner and brick and stucco cladding,” he says. “It’s got a townhome feel.” The penthouse offers the features the couple was looking for. Its 1,425-sq.ft. floorspace includes 10-foot-high ceilings throughout, an open concept living/dining/kitchen area, two bedrooms and baths, and a small den where the owners have installed a long desk allowing for two computer stations. “We like that the master suite is separate from the rest of the apartment,” Geoffrey says. “And we wanted a residential building — no retail on lower floors. Being on the top floor, we have skylights in the entry, master bath and kitchen, adding even more light provided by the huge windows.” From their balcony, they can see the Olympic Mountains’ snowy tops on a clear day. The kitchen contains everything people who like cooking and entertaining could desire, including the five-burner gas stove, and Karen is delighted with

Left: The openconcept living and dining space integrates with the kitchen, where stools flanking the bar allow family and guests to interact with the chef. The Calligaris dining table conceals a pull-out that lets eight guests share dinner. The strategically located kitchen skylight highlights the stainless KitchenAid appliances. The rectangular glasstile backsplash and under-cabinet lighting add luminosity.

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the double oven. A wine cooler keeps beverages at the right temperature. The easy-tomaintain white quartz countertop is complemented by the cotton-white cabinets, which in turn are offset by dark walnut open shelving. Karen and Geoffrey chose the same walnut finish when completing their closets, storage cabinets and desk. The living room’s wall-mounted gas fireplace provides ambience, while the television suspended above hides its cords in the chimney. The owners like the many design elements introduced by Nygaard Interiors. “Sandy Nygaard has excellent taste,” Karen says. “We even like the doorknobs. We chose the light colour palette, so the floors are made of soft, white-oak engineered planks throughout our condo.” Pointing out the laundry and bathroom’s light-grey porcelain floor, Karen says: “See that linen-look strip of tile running in the middle of the rectangular tiles? It’s a great esthetic.” When buying a condo in new construction, owners benefit from technologies not often available in older buildings. For example, the Maddison includes an underground garage with bike storage and wiring for charging an electric car. The laundry features a sink beside the full-sized stacked washer/dryer. The condo’s pot lights and other lighting are part of the installation, as are the window shades. Triple glazing helps control heat loss/ gain and strongly reduces traffic noise. Comfortable in-floor radiant heat warms the penthouse, but it can also be cooled by multi-zone air conditioning. An on-demand water heater lowers energy bills. Smart-home Control 4 technology includes a multi-zone built-in stereo system, whose LCD touchscreen also controls dimmable lighting.

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The living room’s seating is placed opposite the wallmounted Montigo gas fireplace, whose flame creates a cozy atmosphere, while also providing space for a large-screen television. The jutting chimney hides all electrical cords for a clean look.


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Putting Family back on the Balance Sheet Above: Matching the kitchen’s appliances, the stainless double sink is surrounded by a non-porous white quartz countertop. The single-lever Moen faucet and built-in soap dispenser promote easy cleaning. Below: The kitchen is compact but offers ample storage in its walnutclad open shelving that contrasts with the cotton-white cabinetry.

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This page: No stepping out from a steamy shower or hot bath onto icy tiles — the floor is heated. The dual-style floor tiles create a custom look. The floating vanity is supplied with under-cabinet motionsensor lighting. Right: Today’s electronic world requires an office. The small den with its built-in desk organizes the laptops, screens, printer and chargers. The tall cabinets offer storage for office supplies and sundries.

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“We like radio,” Geoff says. “Through this technology, we receive broadcasts from around the world.” With the exception of one painting and a carved teak elephant from Myanmar, the couple left their more traditional furnishings in Calgary. “We wanted a fresh start in a new, modern building and have added furniture slowly,” Karen says. One of their prize pieces is a ceramic Calligaris dining table, whose top looks like marble, from Studio Ydesign. It has an ingenious pull-out that can seat eight diners. The living room sofas, chairs and the kitchen bar stools feature earth shades. “Our art provides the colour,” said Karen. “We’re so happy in this home. I’m a real homebody and love hanging out in our penthouse.” ^

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A Hands-On Kitchen Reno

REALIZING THEIR AMBITIONS WENT BEYOND THEIR DIY EXPERTISE, THESE HOMEOWNERS BROUGHT IN THE PROS TO GET THE KITCHEN OF THEIR DREAMS. BY NESSA PULLMAN

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PHOTOS BY GEOFF HOBSON


Before

D

o-it-yourself renovation projects were no foreign task to homeowners Julie Fast and Darryl Harris, so when they first walked into the kitchen of their soon-to-be home, they knew it was in need of a complete upgrade — and they were ready to take on the challenge. Designing their own kitchen was on the top of their bucket list and they knew this was going to be the one. “It was the structure of the house we fell in love with; when I walked into the kitchen I was instantly captivated by the A-frame roof, the expansive walls and the large beams along the ceiling,” says Fast. “It was so neat and so unique, but it was like walking into a time capsule — it was in serious need of an upgrade.” After walking through the space and envisioning how they wanted to revitalize it, they quickly realized this project was perhaps a bit out of their scope of expertise. A mutual friend introduced the homeowners to local designer Kelly Moir, principal at KM Interior Designs, and a partnership formed instantly. “The homeowners knew what they wanted and had a good idea of how to do it, but they were also aware they didn’t have all the answers and were looking to professionals for advice,” Moir says with a chuckle. “But I also knew there was no way they were going to sit off to the sidelines and let someone else do all the work!” Moir brought local builder Rob Lindorff of Revival Renovations on site to examine the space. With the original home being built in 1964, there were a lot of structural concerns that initially stood out to him — especially with the building’s unique architecture. “It’s not very often you see a structure built like this,” says Lindorff. “The floor above the kitchen was suspending off of beams in the ceiling

Gold-like accents throughout the space make this kitchen look distinctive. The island and bar faucets are both Delta Trinsic in champagne-bronze paired with the Orchard farmhouse sink by American Standard DXV in the island. Moir used the Maclain Pendant by Kichler in natural brass above the main island to tie the elements together.

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which led to each rafter; when we looked inside we discovered that the connections between the floor beams and roof structure were completely inadequate for building standards these days. There was a lot of head-scratching going on trying to come up with solutions; there was nothing we could buy off the shelves to fix the structural problems that arose in this house.” The homeowners liked the original layout of the kitchen but wanted to open up the space to make it brighter and more conversational. Another big target was to create different zones and produce a more functional working space. Keeping most of the same foundation in the kitchen, Moir removed the upper cabinets of the existing U-shape that originally closed off the kitchen, and enlarged the window to add in more natural light. She then built the kitchen cabinets along the interior wall to create a separate coffee and bar area away from the main working zone.

It was the homeowners’ vision to use an elegant trio of white, gold and navy blue to complement this already unique space. The kitchen cabinets, custom built by Hobson Woodworks, are painted in Black Blue by Farrow & Ball for the lowers and pantry, and Benjamin Moore Cloud White for the uppers. Synchronizing this timeless contrast are Bar Series pulls by Lewis Dolin in brushed brass. To balance out the bold choices used throughout, Moir went for a lighter Quartz countertop by Caesarstone in Calacatta Nuvo (1), and a backsplash tile in Country Series Gris Claro by Euro Tile (2). All the painting was done by the homeowners, who used Sherwin-Williams


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Agreeable Gray on all the walls and trim. To keep continuity, Moir replicated the original oak flooring from the attached living room in the kitchen, (installed by Sundog Flooring) and restained both floors to upgrade the look.

1

2 3 To pull everything together, Moir created a striking accent wall above the bar using eccentric wallpaper by GP&J Baker in La Fiorentina Charcoal (3) that unifies the colour scheme in the kitchen. This element is now the homeowners’ favourite detail in their new space.

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“IT WAS SO NEAT AND SO UNIQUE, BUT IT WAS LIKE WALKING INTO A TIME CAPSULE — IT WAS IN SERIOUS NEED OF AN UPGRADE.”

In the attached living room, Moir put in a brand-new floor-to-ceiling fireplace to complement the peaked ceiling the homeowners were originally drawn to. Moir used Ames Concept tile in Nordic Stone for the surface and framed the fireplace with built-in cabinetry, painted in Sherwin Williams Mega Greige, topped with a maple-stained countertop.

“Julie knew in her heart this house was special; her mission with this renovation was to accentuate the original character, without losing its personality,” says Moir. “Our job as the designer is to extract from the clients what it is they want, and then find a way to make that work using all the resources we have at our fingertips.” This meant applying the homeowners’ favourite colour — navy blue — in the kitchen’s millwork as a dramatic backdrop to complement the brushed-gold hardware and fixtures — keeping up with the kitchen’s unique persona. “During construction we found the original blueprints to the house,” says Fast. “Just by looking at them, I knew the homeowner had a really great sense of style, and I wanted to honour that.” To merge the old character with the new upgrade, Moir kept this kitchen a classic transitional design by infusing traditional

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Shaker-style cabinets and crown-moulding with modern fixtures and geometric patterned wallpaper. “There were many firsts for us with this project,” says Geoff Hobson of Hobson Woodworks, who custom built all the millwork in the kitchen. “We had never done that colour of cabinets before, and then fitting those into the existing beams and structure was a big challenge.” Moir was cognizant of the fact that the A-frame structure and ceiling beams would dictate everything about the new layout, having to work creatively with them to not only incorporate them into the new design, but to make them shine. Moir did this by placing the range hood directly in between the two ceiling beams to create a focal point on the north kitchen wall, and building a fireplace to frame the A-shaped ceiling on the opposite-facing wall

in the living room — making this house’s unique characteristics even more defined. During the renovation, the homeowners purchased an old fifth-wheel trailer and parked it in the backyard to be as close to the site as possible without living in the mess. Each evening when they would come home from work, they would change out of their work clothes and go straight up to the house to find Rob and walk around the site, getting updated on everything that happened that day. When everyone went home, they would buckle down, working sometimes until midnight painting and prepping the site for the team the next day. “I’ve never seen harder working clients in my entire life,” says Lindorff. “They did all the interior demolition themselves and the site clean-up every night. When most people are done with their day jobs they don’t want to come home and do physical work; they want to leave it to the workers. But


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not them … they got right in there.” After many rounds of trial and error in their DIY home projects in the past, the homeowners’ knew that this was going to be a great opportunity to learn first hand. “We’ve always loved house projects, so when we got our hands on this, we knew we weren’t going to just hand it off to someone else to do … we both knew we had a lot to learn, and this was a great chance to work with professionals and see it done right,” says Fast. “My best advice to anyone doing a construction build is to get involved, be on site and ask questions. If you are unsure of something, then ask; if you can’t picture it, then get them to walk you through the space and lay it all out for you.” Many late nights and hard work later, the homeowners can proudly tick building their dream kitchen off of their bucket list. ^

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STUDIO 512 / 512SPACES.COM

DETAILS

BY ATHENA McKENZIE

THE STATEMENT BACKSPLASH

C

onsidering how much time you spend in your kitchen, this space should have details you absolutely love. If you’re about to embark on a kitchen reno, why not add a personal touch and opt for a statement backsplash? While your backsplash will play a largely decorative role, it also needs to protect your walls from splatters and spills caused by food preparation. It should be easy to clean, as well as adding visual interest. If you’re into colour and pattern, decide whether your counter or the backsplash will be the focal point — you don’t want different elements vying for attention.

All the way to the top

Ceiling-height backsplashes can give classic tile a fresh and modern look. They are also a great way to call attention to an area of your kitchen, create a focal wall or highlight a large patterned tile. Sonoma Tilemakers’ Stellar Marea, available through Decora Ceramic Tile & Natural Stone

Always time for tile

Whether it’s glass, ceramic, porcelain or stone, tiles are the most common type of material for backsplashes. And whatever your style, there’s an inexhaustible array of colour and pattern choices.

MOSAIC This is a classic choice that can add lots of diversity whether you go for bright colours or just a subtle mix of complementary tones. Available through Julian Tile

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GO GEOMETRIC Honeycomb and geometric tiles are trending at the moment and are a subtle way to make a modern style statement. Use one colour (like an edgy update on the subway tile) or bring in complementary hues for visual interest. Scale Series available through Euro Ceramic Tile


Colour story

Ready to make your mark? Bright, colourful tile can create a show-stopping backdrop in your kitchen. It’s an easy way to add a pop in a neutral kitchen, or even add a another layer of saturation to a colourful room. Walker Zanger tile available through Island Floor Centre

Above: Sophia Mosaic in Grass Gloss (left) and Ottoman Mosaic in Jasmine Blend Crackle/Gloss Ceramic Right: Terracotta Café Water 3" x 6" tiles

SHINE ON If you like a bit of lustre and want a sleek, contemporary look, go for metal, from stainless steel to tiles that are finished in a look and texture that resembles real metal. Casa Roma Lantern tile available through Hourigan’s Flooring

SUBWAY STORIES While the most common size for subway tiles has been 3" x 6", we’re now seeing subway tiles in larger sizes. A large format subway tile backsplash can be especially helpful for a small kitchen where the large tiles create the perception of space. Or, to mix it up, skinny subway tile laid in a herringbone pattern is very pleasing to the eye. Tierra Sol Chevron Mosaic in a project by Island Floor Centre

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Mix it up

For an interesting contrast between matte and gloss, natural stone and sleek metal combine to create a sophisticated, polished look with a bit of shine. Bedrock Series in Titanio White available through Ames Tile & Stone

A solid choice

A slab backsplash is a backsplash made of a continuous material. The solid surface creates a different visual effect than a more modular tile. When matched to the countertop, it can create an especially sophisticated look.

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IT’S A WRAP For a modern, streamlined look, consider bringing your quartz countertop up the walls instead of using the traditional backsplash tiles. Cambria Brittanicca available through Floform

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4 EXPERT STRATEGIES There are so many options that choosing the perfect tile for your space can be tricky. Harbour City Kitchens designer Nikki Bhalla recommends these strategies when choosing a backsplash: • “Flooring, cabinetry and countertop colours should all be considered when choosing the kitchen backsplash,” she says. • “Depending on the look a client is after, creating a slight contrast between the countertop and cabinets with the backsplash is usually recommended. [At Harbour City Kitchens], we often help clients with their backsplash decisions based on their new cabinetry.”

Have some fun

Like wallpaper, tile can also act as artwork. Instead of creating a repeating pattern out of matching individual tiles, try interjecting randomization with complementary geometric motifs. Centanni Tile Chess Series available through Design District Access

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• If you’re looking for a timeless kitchen that can grow with you through all the trends, go for subway tiles. “Whether choosing classic white or moving to a statement colour, most contemporary kitchens work great with subway tiles,” she says. “And it allows you to change your décor through the kitchen and house to suit the changing trends.” • But don’t be afraid to go for colour or pattern. “For more bold clients, tile can be a great opportunity to express their creativity, love of a trend or colour.” ^

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YOUR GUIDE TO DOWNSIZING SPRUCE CONSULTS WITH A REAL ESTATE AGENT, AN INTERIOR DESIGNER AND A PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZER TO GET THE INSIDE SCOOP ON MAKING THE TRANSITION TO A SMALLER HOME. BY SHANNON MONEO

I

t used to be that people stayed in their homes until the choice was taken out of their hands. Today, with bucket lists to be checked off or big debts to be cleared, many people look to downsizing to find freedom or free up cash. But moving into smaller digs means clearing years of stuff and finding the right home for a next phase. Chris Gill has been in real estate for more than a dozen years and has seen the upswing in downsizers — the folks who sell the 4,000-square-foot family home and relocate to a space one-fifth the size. “Downsizers are a growing segment of our market,” says Gill, a realtor and co-owner of The Condo Group Real Estate. “A lot of developers are trying to attract them.”

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In Greater Victoria, new condos have distinctive features, Gill says, such as the absence of hallways, open design, smaller bedrooms and bathrooms, and on-site storage lockers, all geared to downsizers. Popular sizes range from 850 to 1,000 square feet, with the two-bedroom-and-den a desirable plan. Options like McClure Terraces, Bayview, Hudson Place One, Regatta Park, Lyra Residence, Marigold Lands and The Pinnacle are sprinkled throughout the area. But even with such variety, Gill has found those who are downsizing tend to be demanding and often have difficulty giving up the family home. “To truly downsize, they have to eliminate what they don’t need anymore,” he says. Clients tell Gill,

Above: A new condo is an appealing option for downsizers and there are many developments currently under construction in Victoria. At The Pinnacle at Sayward Hill, a new development by Jawl Properties in Cordova Bay, each unit features two bedrooms, two bathrooms, an office and a media room.


TOP 5 Downsizing Tips 1. DON’T DELAY Kids gone? Health good? Better to downsize now than wait until illness strikes or a spouse dies, making the shift more difficult. Downsizing should be a lifestyle choice, where burdensome yard work is exchanged for fun stuff done ahead of any best before dates.

2. DECLUTTER Don’t focus on the whole house. Take it room by room. Start with the kitchen and yard tools, since new digs will likely have a smaller kitchen and a yard may not exist.

3. PASS IT ON If children are involved, they can take furniture or mementos, but ensure there’s a definite date when the items must be gone.

4. DONATE If a yard sale is too much work, offer items to friends and neighbours or donate to local thrift stores or organizations like The Salvation Army or Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore.

5. THINK FIT Measure each room in the new home to guarantee existing furniture will fit. There are virtual room online tools to help configure furniture in a new home. Planner 5d, Roomstyler 3D Planner, and HomeByMe are all free.

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“There’s no way I can live in 950 square feet,” or “My china cabinet will never fit in here,” to which he replies, “Do you really need that china cabinet? I tell my clients not to get too attached to their furniture.”

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A STEPPING-STONE PROCESS As he guides them through this process, Gill dons many hats, from confidante to psychologist to seller. “Very rarely does someone come in knowing what they want,” he says. In fact, downsizing is often a “stepping-stone” process. Clients initially want to move from the roomy, two-storey home into a rancher, keen to avoid stairs. But an evolution occurs. Yard work that goes with a rancher becomes burdensome. A townhouse or condo then beckons. “They want to be able to lock and go,” he says of travelling retirees. Once the new home is bought, the next step of paring down belongings for the move can be as challenging as finding the home. What’s crucial is making sure that furniture and belongings fit into the scaled-back floor plan. New furniture may have to be bought, or the

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Left: Regatta Park in North Saanich, a condominium project by Casman Properties, features three 18-unit buildings. All suites have two or three bedrooms and oversized balconies.

WHAT’S UP WITH DOWNSIZING? Two surveys, two opinions. In a July 2018 Royal LePage online survey of 1,000 Canadian boomers (born between 1946 and 1964), 71% don’t plan on buying a new home in the future. When asked about retirement plans, 52% said they had no intention of downsizing while 41% replied they would seek a smaller space when retired.

41%

children’s toys from 30 years ago given away. “Go slow, clean house,” Gill recommends. “You don’t need that newspaper from 1950. You’ve never looked at it.” Maggie Megenbir is acutely aware of having to go slow. “The earlier you declutter, the better,” says Megenbir, a professional organizer and owner of Calm, Cool and Uncluttered. “You can start a couple of years earlier. It’s so much less stressful.” Big decisions have to be made when there’s 30 or 40 years’ worth of items to sort. “We are a society of accumulators and consumers,” she says. “When we have too many things, it’s a huge burden.” Who hasn’t seen a home’s garage chock-full of stuff? Megenbir calls garages the “room of deferred decisions,” while spare bedrooms are “I’ll deal with you later.” So get rid of the easy stuff — the bric-a-brac — first, Megenbir recommends. Then progress to sentimental items, keeping in mind that it’s expensive to store sports equipment, outdoor/camping items and kids’ stuff. Which is why it can be cost-effective to hire a professional organizer.

of Canadian boomers would seek a smaller space on retiring.

Meanwhile, a July 2018 Ipsos poll of 1,349 Canadian homeowners, aged 18+, reports that 93% of seniors (65 and up) think it’s important to remain in their current home throughout retirement. For younger groups, 68% of 35- to 44-year-olds, 74% of 45- to 54-year-olds and 79% of 55- to 64-year-olds opted for the existing house. Narrowing it to B.C. boomers, Royal LePage found that they are banking on real estate to fund their retirement. Of the B.C. respondents who own their home,

26% said more than half of their retirement savings are tied to real estate — the highest rate of all provinces. The Ulisse Dining unit from Resource Furniture is a sophisticated space-saving Murphy queen-size wall bed with an integrated dining table that can seat up to five people.

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When thinking about using their homes to pay for retirement, 43% of B.C. boomers plan to downsize their principal residence, 42% would consider a condo purchase for their next home and 37% would move to a new area in search of affordability.


THE PROFESSIONAL APPROACH Megenbir walks through the client’s home, examining each room to see what exists. She also asks the clients for a floor plan of their new place, which determines what can be moved. Often, she’ll visit the new digs and, using painter’s tape, will mark where furniture can be placed. In addition to helping clients declutter, Megenbir can arrange packing materials, pack, coordinate movers/cleaners/storage, assist with pre-sale staging and help unpack. A former social worker, she also offers support for what can be an emotionally draining period. Ideally, homeowners have a bit of time before they have to move, but sometimes people have to quickly relocate and decisions can’t be dwelled upon. A downsizing job can require as little as 30 hours or take upwards of 70 to 80 hours if it’s a large house with many items, Megenbir adds. Going hand-in-hand with a professional organizer is a professional designer. “Downsizing can be very stressful for most people,” says Carly Scholze of Carly Scholze Interiors. “Most of the time they just don’t know where to start and when to end.” Like Megenbir, she’s dealt with people who have to purge a lot of items and still find they have too much stuff or not enough storage. Condo units with lockers are pretty well essential, she says. Items like seasonal décor and bikes are locker candidates.

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MAXIMIZING SPACE While open concepts are easier to plan around and are more versatile, they come with privacy and noise challenges. To maximize the space, Scholze examines it, with an eye to floor-plan options and storage ideas. “Depending on the space and client, usually new, smaller furniture with integrated storage options, like a bed with drawers below, is needed,” she says. “Scale is also an essential part of design. If the bedroom furniture is too big, or looks too big for the room, it will look out of place and be less functional in the space.” Finding new furniture isn’t difficult. Those with bigger budgets can buy high-quality, multiuse items like folding wall desks or folding beds that become dining tables at shops such as Resource Furniture, Scholze says. For mid-range spenders, businesses like Island Murphy Beds, or custom millwork shops, sell folding furniture and storage beds. The advantage of custom millwork shops is that they can craft a style chosen by the customer who doesn’t want the modern transitional style of pre-made furniture, Scholze says. Finally, low-priced options for small spaces can be found at dependable IKEA. Whatever the budget, Megenbir, whose home is free of clutter, has parting words — and a great guideline for anyone looking to downsize. “I have to really need or love something to bring it into my home.” ^ SPRING 2019

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REAL ESTATE

BY ALEX VAN TOL

HOW TO FIND THE BEST MORTGAGE FOR YOU

“A broker can offer solutions in terms of which lenders are likely to approve an application and which may not.”

SPRUCE BREAKS DOWN THE OPTIONS: BANKS, CREDIT UNIONS AND MORTGATE BROKERS

F

or many, shopping for a mortgage feels overwhelming. Given the abundance of information to research and ponder, some people can be a little funny: they might spend the time to find the perfect phone plan for the best fit and value, but when it comes to the biggest purchase of their lives, they’re intimidated by the options. Whether you’re purchasing a house or condo, taking out equity from your home, or renewing your current mortgage, it’s important that you are making an educated buying decision.

When you shop for a mortgage at your bank, you need to understand that the bank’s mortgage specialist sells only that lender’s products (it’s the same with a credit union). So, you might not be getting the most competitive interest rate — and if you need to close your fixed-rate mortgage early, either because you’re moving or because your circumstances change, you may be faced with a penalty. Banks do bring a lot of upsides. People often opt for the bank because of its reputability and familiarity. If you have a pre-existing relationship with your bank, you may feel more comfortable taking your mortgage there. A distinct upside of borrowing from your bank is that a strong relationship with your banker can often pull you through if you hit financial snags. In more complex financial circumstances — if you’re self-employed, say, or your credit is a bit shaky — it may be best to work with your

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JEFFREY BOSDET

THE BANK A tried-and-true partner

Jodie Kristian, mortgage consultant with Modern Mortgage Group


bank, especially if you have a long history. “Sometimes the bank can pull the deal together based on your history, not just on your last year or two,” says Victoria realtor Kirsten Marten, co-owner of Coldwell Banker Oceanside Real Estate. So if you love your bank and you feel like they understand you and your needs, do consider them as a viable option.

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THE CREDIT UNION Banking with a local business

JEFFREY BOSDET

Credit unions offer the same services that banks offer and focus on their own products. The key difference is that they are owned provincially, which means they take a local view to serving their customers. “Credit unions have been rated number one in customer service excellence for 14 years in a row,” says Moira Hauk, regional manager of Coastal Community Credit Union for Southern Vancouver Island, referencing an IPSOS poll. “So if you’re interested in having somebody who you can pick up the phone and talk to and really build a relationship with, I would say a credit union is a choice for getting great advice.” Credit unions also invest heavily in their local communities. “Every dollar that you invest with us stays on Vancouver Island,” says Hauk. “Your deposits are in Joe’s house over there. His mortgage is helping us pay you interest on your account. So that’s actually kind of cool.” Being owned provincially also means credit unions aren’t bound by the federal mortgage qualification regulations. “Not all credit unions are following the Bank of Canada qualification or requirements for non-high-ratio mortgages,” says Hauk. “If they’re high-ratio and they’re insured through

“If you’re interested in having somebody who you can pick up the phone and talk to and really build a relationship with, I would say a credit union is a choice for getting great advice.” MOIRA HAUK, Coastal Community Credit Union for Southern Vancouver Island

“Sometimes the bank can pull the deal together based on your history, not just on your last year or two.” KIRSTEN MARTEN, co-owner of Coldwell Banker Oceanside Real Estate

CMHC or Genworth, then everyone is required to follow the CMHC stress-testing guidelines. But if they are conventional, many credit unions are not following those guidelines.” Which means you could possibly go down to your credit union and find yourself a rate that’s almost two-per-cent lower than the five-year benchmark rate — and find yourself more house for your money. Like a bank, it may help to have a solid preexisting relationship with a credit union in order to benefit from this possibility.

THE BROKER The independent option If you want the lowest mortgage rate possible, a mortgage broker is likely your best bet. This person is an expert in mortgages alone — not in RRSPs, TFSAs and balanced funds. This is another benefit. “For the most part, a broker only does one credit check but can shop your application to multiple lenders,” says Jodie Kristian, mortgage consultant with Modern Mortgage Group. “This is important because every time someone checks your credit rating your score drops.” Mortgage brokers operate independently but must be licensed; they are overseen by the Financial Institutions Commission (FICOM) and undergo ongoing training to maintain that licence. A broker can work with banks, credit unions and monoline lenders (lenders who only offer mortgages) to find you the best rate possible, and can coach you through the steps to buying a home. “What I like the most about mortgage brokers is that they’re shopping you to many different products as the buyer,” says Martens. “So they’re looking for the product that’s best for you.” Martens adds that about 85 to 90 per cent of her clients opt to work with a mortgage broker. An excellent broker will have your best interests and needs in mind — not just the best commission. Which means as a buyer, you have

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“Words are powerful tools that not everyone thinks about on a daily basis. You don’t think about what they mean until you happen to be walking by and spot a sign with a quote that touches some of these emotions.” — Owner Courtney, Williamraedesigns

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

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HELPING YOU MAKE MORE DOUGH The love from island consumers for Portofino Bakery’s locally sourced artisan baked goods has helped the company to take on the latest expansion of their facilities. At Island Savings, we give members like Portofino Bakery the business advice they need and with our $6/month BizSimple™ Business Account† we help put your money into your project – not into unnecessary bank fees. See the full story at islandsavings.ca/Portofino

islandsavings.ca/Business

Bank. Borrow. Insure. Invest.

†The Credit Union Deposit Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, a statutory corporation, fully guarantees all BC credit union deposits. Credit Union equity shares and investments such as mutual funds or RSP equity plans are not covered by deposit insurance.

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Keeping it Simple®

“My goal is to put people in the best mortgages for them so they’re happy with my services and they tell their friends and family.” ELIZABETH PRINS, mortgage planner

to do your due diligence and get referrals from people you trust. “I’ve been a broker for 13 years and 100 per cent of my new clients come from referrals,” says mortgage planner Elizabeth Prins. “My goal is to put people in the best mortgages for them so they’re happy with my services and they tell their friends and family. I will do mortgages for people and I don’t even get paid; if it’s the best place for them to be, I will do it. Sometimes it does make sense for them to stay with their current bank.” Finally, says STRESS TEST Kristian, when it In 2017, in an effort comes to qualifying to ensure Canada’s for a mortgage financial system loan, each lender remains strong and calculates payments fluid, the federal on current debt, government brought property taxes etc., in the qualifyinga bit differently. rate stress test “A broker can offer for first-time solutions in terms homebuyers. In 2018, it introduced further of which lenders are qualification guidelines: likely to approve homeowners — those an application and either purchasing or which may not.” looking to refinance There’s no silvertheir existing homes — bullet answer to now qualify for much where you’ll find smaller mortgages than your best mortgage. they have in the past. The best advice is to Previously you would only have to stress test carefully examine the your mortgage if you choices, and compare made a down payment the features of the of less than 20 per different mortgages cent. Feels like a drag, offerings. Ask but it’s actually good your most trusted fiscal policy in a nation people about their where housing markets experiences, and use have ballooned and their referrals to do household debt is at your homework. ^ record highs.


RESOURCES

APPLIANCES

Lansdowne Appliance Gallery Back Cover lansdowneappliance.com ■

BUILD/DESIGN

Abstract Developments Page 4 abstractdevelopments.com — BC Home Builders Corp Page 25 bchomebuilders.co — Burkhart Construction Management Inc. Page 69 burkhartconstruction.ca — Carsa Construction Page 61 carsaconstruction.ca — GT Mann Contracting Page 28 gtmann.com — MDRN Built Inside Back Cover mdrnbuilt.com — Silver Cedar Construction Page 55 silvercedar.ca

BUSINESS/ ORGANIZATIONS

Butterfield Law Page 14 butterfieldlaw.ca — Edward Jones/Anne Delves Page 58 edwardjones.com — Island Savings /First West Credit Union Page 72 islandsavings.ca — List Yourself Page 10 listyourself.ca — Wellington-Altus The Mahrt Investment Group Page 53 themahrtinvestmentgroup.com

COUNTERTOPS

Colonial Countertops Page 45 colonialcountertops.com — Island Soapstone Page 15 islandsoapstone.com

FINE WOODWORKING/ CUSTOM FURNITURE

Autonomous Furniture Collective Page 61 autonomousfurniture.com — Karmanah Wood Design Page 37 karmanahwooddesign.com ■

FIREPLACES & STOVES

Wilk Stove Page 39 wilkstove.com ■

FLOORING

Hourigan’s Flooring Page 9 hourigans.com — Island Floor Centre Ltd. Page 38 islandfloors.com

FURNITURE/ HOME DÉCOR

Bespoke Design Ltd. Page 64 bespokedesign.ca — Luxe Home Interiors Page 11 luxevictoria.ca — Max Furniture Page 8 maxfurniture.ca — Monarch Furnishings Page 28 monarchfurnishings.com — ScanDesigns Page 5 scandesigns.com

KITCHEN & BATH

The Ensuite Bath & Kitchen Showroom Page 49 theensuitevictoria.com ■

LANDSCAPE DESIGN

Acacia Landscape Page 34 acaciavictoria.com — Mary Haggerty Designs Page 49 maryhaggertydesigns.com ■

LIFESTYLE

Baker Rejuvenation Centre Page 29 bakerrejuvenation.com — Church and State Wines Page 67 churchandstatewines.com — Departures International Travel Inc. Page 67 departurestravel.com — Expedia Cruiseship Centers Page 46 cruiseshipcenters.com — Home Care Assistance Page 69 homecareassistancevictoria.ca — Idar Jewellers Page 59 idar.com — Jim Pattison Subaru Page 16 jpsubaruvictoria.com — Pharmasave Broadmead Page 71 pharmasavebroadmead.com ■

LIGHTING

Pine Lighting Page 34 pinelightingvictoria.com

REAL ESTATE

Properties in Victoria Professionals/ Royal LePage Page 21 propertiesinvictoria.com — Sotheby’s International Realty/ Rebecca Barritt Page 27 strattonandbriggs.com — Sotheby’s International Realty/ Sophia Briggs Page 27 strattonandbriggs.com — Sotheby’s International Realty/ Nancy Stratton Page 27 strattonandbriggs.com — Sotheby’s International Realty/ Andrew Maxwell Page 15 andrewmaxwell.ca — Victoria Real Estate Board Page 47 vreb.org

RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT

The Pearl Residences Page 2 thepearlresidences.ca ■

WINDOWS & DOORS

Oakridge Windows & Doors

Page 55 oakridgewindows.ca ■

WINDOW FASHIONS

Island Window Coverings

Page 17 islandwindowcoverings.com — Pacific Rollshutters & Awnings Page 23 pacificrollshutters.com

GRANITE/STONE/TILE Matrix Marble & Stone Page 65 matrixmarble.com ■

CABINETS & MILLWORK

Douglas Grant Cabinetmakers Page 59 douglasgrantcabinetmakers.com — Jason Good Custom Cabinets Page 43 jasongoodcabinets.com — Jude Murphy Furniture & Cabinetry Page 14 builtbyagirl.com — Seaside Cabinetry & Design Page 3 seasidecabinetry.ca

HOME ORGANIZATION

Incredible Home Page 7 incrediblehome.ca

INTERIOR DESIGN/ HOME STAGING

The Housse Page 63 thehousse.com

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FINISHING TOUCH

Bathroom Bliss WITH ITS VIEW OF THE OCEAN AND THE SAN JUAN ISLANDS, THIS AWARD-WINNING BATHROOM BY LIDA HOMES USES NATURAL MATERIALS AND A SOOTHING PALETTE TO CREATE THE PERFECT RETREAT.

Outdoors In

The oversized window — framed in the same tile work as the walls for a seamless effect — looks out to a secluded beach and offers views across to the San Juan Islands. The abundance of natural light and openness of the design make the room feel even bigger than it is.

Pattern Play

Designer Shawn Richardson created visual interest by using grey Olympia tiles with many different patterns, and interspersed cream C + S tiles to add breathing room in the mosaic.

Vanity Fair

To add to the feeling of spaciousness, under-cabinet lighting was added to the floating vanity, which is made from walnut plywood with a horizontal grain.

Float Therapy

“The homeowners wanted to look out the window and feel like they were floating in the ocean,” says LIDA Homes’ Mika NishimuraPennimpede of the freestanding Acritec bathtub with its floormounted Riobel tub filler.

The soft and soothing palette carries over to the heated Tierra Sol tile floor.

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GEOFF HOBSON

Warm Whites



We are the kitchen equipment experts.

Unlike many manufacturers, we are specialists. Our expertise has been honed over generations. Sub-Zero has been designing the ultimate in refrigeration for more than 60 years. Wolf has been building cooking equipment to satisfy the most demanding professional chefs and domestic cooks for more than 70 years. That experience shows.

Visit Lansdowne Appliance Gallery for expert advice.

2517 Douglas Street, Victoria, BC V8T 4L9

250-383-1275

lansdowneappliance.com