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

SPRING 2020

ARCHITECTURAL FAMILY HOME WEST COAST MOUNTAIN LODGE DRAMATIC HERITAGE RENO LUXURY CONDO LIVING

INSPIRING HOMES & INTERIORS sprucemagazine.ca

PM41295544


Visit our new Canadel Dining Gallery

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stylish contemporary 1 & 2 bedroom homes

WATERSIDE LIVING. natural beauty inside & out. With construction starting this year the opportunity to purchase at pre-construction costs will be gone forever. Featuring massive savings of $44,500 on 1 bedroom homes there is no better time to shop the collection. Living amidst the flavour and colour of Victoria’s vibrant downtown, overlooking the beautiful Inner Harbour. Walk or bike to work, stroll to nearby shops to pick up fresh ingredients for dinner, soak in dynamic views and harbour front living. Looking forward to Sunday brunch? A night on the town with friends? At The Pearl Residences you’re just minutes from Victoria’s entertainment. With spacious interiors both modern and timeless, you’ll always look forward to coming home.

starting from $445,000 including parking

REGISTER NOW THEPEARLRESIDENCES.CA PRESENTATION CENTRE & DISPLAY SUITE 508 Herald Street, Victoria, BC V8W 1S6 | Open Daily 12pm – 4pm P 778.432.2778

E info@thepearlresidences.ca

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.

SALES CENTRE

THE PEARL


SPLASHESONLINE.COM Currently operating 23 locations in BC


Legato

This high-profile one-piece toilet is transitional and simple in style with a modern elongated bowl and our Tornado flushing system.


IN THIS ISSUE

SPRING 2020

FEATURED HOMES

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■ GRAND RENOVATION

■ LUXURY CUSTOM BUILD

■ STYLISH URBAN CONDO

HAUTE HERITAGE

MOUNTAIN LODGE INSPIRED

VIEW FROM THE TOP

A dramatic renovation transforms this 1912 Oak Bay house from a derelict building to a family’s dream home.

This custom-built home is West Coast on the outside and Rocky Mountain chalet on the inside.

Trading their family home for a water view penthouse, these empty nesters are embracing condo living.

B Y DANIELLE POPE

B Y DAVID LENNAM

B Y ATHENA McKENZIE

SPRUCE | SPRING 2020

This minimalist and modern family home melds function and style. Page 24

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Two professional kitchen designers — a husband and wife duo — create their dream house.

This Rockland reno evolved from an interior overhaul into a sweeping project that brought in the home’s landscape.

B Y NESSA PULLMAN

B Y SUSAN HOLLIS

BRINGING IT HOME

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ON THE COVER

INSIDE & OUT


INCREDIBLE HOME


IN THIS ISSUE

GROW YOUR INVESTMENTS

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DEPARTMENTS

Managing business, family and personal wealth

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EDITOR’S LETTER

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B Y ATHENA McKENZIE

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S  PRUCE IT UP

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DESIGN INSPIRATION

Spring refresh: our favourite new home trends and ideas for the season.

Our design expert explores the latest and greatest offerings in flooring. B Y BEN BRANNEN

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ASK THE EXPERT

Twyla Rusnak and Illarion Gallant blend art and function in their landscape design. B Y LINDA BARNARD

IAN STOCKDILL Portfolio Manager & Investment Advisor 250-953-8461 or 1-800-799-1175 ian.stockdill@nbc.ca www.ianstockdill.com

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DETAILS

Transform your space with inventive wall coverings that go beyond wallpaper. B Y ATHENA McKENZIE

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REAL ESTATE

The pros and cons of the real-estate open house.

National Bank Financial Suite 700, 737 Yates St., Victoria National Bank Financial – Wealth Management (NBFWM) is a division of National Bank Financial Inc. (NBF), as well as a trademark owned by National Bank of Canada (NBC) that is used under licence by NBF. NBF is a member of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) and the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF), and is a whollyowned subsidiary of NBC, a public company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: NA).

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SPRUCE | SPRING 2020

B Y SHANNON MONEO

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FINISHING TOUCH

Blacksmith Jake James gives the garden gate a sculptural upgrade. B Y ATHENA McKENZIE

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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

Our goal is to exceed your expectations and bring everlasting beauty into your home.

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 DESIGNERS Ben Barrett-Forrest, Jo-Ann Loro

ADVERTISING COORDINATOR Rebecca Juetten

PRODUCTION ASSISTANT Belle White

PROOFREADER Paula Marchese CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Linda Barnard, Ben Brannen,

Susan Hollis, David Lennam, Shannon Moneo, Danielle Pope, Nessa Pullman

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Jeffrey Bosdet, Joshua Lawrence,

Sarah MacNeill, RAEF Architectural Photographer, Belle White

CONTRIBUTING AGENCIES Getty Images p. 64, 65 ADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVES Deana Brown, Cynthia Hanischuk,

Gary Hollick

GENERAL INQUIRIES info@sprucemagazine.ca LETTERS TO THE EDITOR letters@sprucemagazine.ca TO SUBSCRIBE TO SPRUCE subscriptions@sprucemagazine.ca ADVERTISING INQUIRIES sales@sprucemagazine.ca

Specializing in Custom Kitchen Countertops since 1997

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COVER

A young family’s architectural dream home. Photo by Joshua Lawrence.

It’s time to get comfortable!

It’s time to get comfortable! FIREPLACES • HEATING • WEATHERPROOFING • Home comfort since 1978

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

Since 1978 ARK’s team of energy experts have been helping clients choose the best solution for their heating needs. Come check out the many options available in our showroom. We install, service, guarantee, and are proud of our work. #6 - 1950 Government Street | 250-386-7643 | www.ArkAtHome.ca

SPRUCE | SPRING 2020

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EDITOR’S LETTER

To Fix or Not to Fix

T Properties in Victoria Professionals ™ Sarah West and Bill Ethier The Real Estate Team You Trust for Life w: propertiesinvictoria.com   I    p: 250.920.7000 Personal Real Estate Corporation

Our in-depth knowledge of the market and personalized strategies will put you in the best possible position when buying or selling a home in Victoria.

Sarah West* and Bill Ethier

*Personal Real Estate Corporation

The Real Estate Team You Trust for Life

w: propertiesinvictoria.com The Real Estate Team You Trust for Life p: 250.920.7000 Sarah West, PREC and Bill Ethier w: propertiesinvictoria.com p: 250.920.7000

SARAH MACNEILL

Our in-depth knowledge of the market and personalized strategies will put you in the best possible position when buying or selling a home in Victoria.

here’s a lovely aphorism that Spring is the season of new beginnings. If you’re anything like me, this time of year brings a surge of energy and creativity, making it the perfect time to embark on that big home project, especially one you’ve been putting off. Whether you’re just tackling a traditional deep cleaning or actually considering a full-on renovation or custom build, this is the time of year to get it done — or at least start exploring all the options. I, for one, dream of a kitchen makeover and the planning always kicks into high gear in the Spring. There’s nothing like preparing a counter full of fresh greens and produce to prompt research into the best sink styles and counter materials for a functional and stylish kitchen. And then there’s my recent obsession with creative storage spaces — a number of the homes I’ve visited lately boast hidden pantry and appliance closets behind integrated cabinetry, and I can’t wait to share these rooms with you in a future issue. Maybe you — like the homeowners in the projects featured in Haute Heritage (page 30) and Inside & Out (page 54) — have a home that needs more extensive work. How does one evaluate and prioritize those sizable projects? Should you renovate or start over from scratch? This is a big decision that requires much planning and consideration — and there is no one-size fits all solution. According to interior design consultant Lisa Dunsmuir of Step One Design (who guided the renovation featured in Inside & Out), the key to finding the answer is by weighing out the factors of time versus money versus environmental responsibility. “My feeling is that you always have to be diligent about all of these things,” she says. “Especially the latter. There can be a culture of disposability with building. If you live in a home that’s been lovingly maintained, there is no need to tear it down. You can take your vision and use what you already have to create something that works wonderfully for you. The big thing is to be open to all of the possibilities. Trust in the experts you hire, the people who do this for a living.” The projects featured in our Spring Issue run the gamut of Before possibilities, from switching up a feature wall and downsizing to a condo, to the complete overhaul of a dilapidated heritage house and the modernization of a 1970s-era split-level, to architecturally interesting custom builds. There’s also plenty of outdoor excitement, including the splendour of landscape architecture that blends art and functionality. As always, I hope you find it full of ideas and inspiration to bring to your own home.

Many potential buyers walked away from this old house, but it was lovingly restored by its new owners. See the results in Haute Heritage (page 30).

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SPRUCE | SPRING 2020

Athena McKenzie, Editor


MODERN MID-CENTURY “This intriguing mid-century room is modernized by a mix of materials and flexible furnishings to create a day dreamy lived-in feel. And that view calls for a good book and a cappuccino please!” — ELAINE BALKWILL, LUXE DESIGNER

2655 Douglas St | 250.386.7632 | www.luxevictoria.ca


SPRUCE IT UP

Spring Refresh

PATRIZIA CINI

OUR FAVOURITE NEW HOME TRENDS AND IDEAS FOR THE SEASON

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SPRUCE | SPRING 2020


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NATURAL TOUCH

Neutrals and natural materials are very popular in home accessories right now, and that esthetic is carrying over to lighting and chandeliers, with designers creating interesting and airy shapes. The hand-crafted, artisan look of basket chandeliers, such as Secto Design’s Victo 4250 Suspension light (left) or Arteriors’ Ashburn Pendant, add an interesting textural element to any room. Available through Lightform and Arteriors Home

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MADE TO FIT

Contrary to popular convention, there’s no such thing as one-sizefits all when it comes to a sofa or sectional. North Vancouver-based Ffabb creates custom-made furniture, including their inviting Coasty Slim Cove sectional. Your choices include 11 components — which can create 17-plus possible combinations — along with 28 different fabrics and three fill options: rebound foam, latex foam or 75-per-cent feather/25-percent down. Available through ffabb.com

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CURVE APPEAL

Add a sculptural element to your washroom with the Bubbles freestanding wash basin, designed by Marco Piva for Kreoo. The shape and name were inspired by the pleasing visual of soap bubbles floating in the air. Its modular design allows for more efficient production, as the piece can be carved from smaller blocks of stone, reducing material waste. For added visual interest, different marble colours and textures can be combined into one piece. Brand available through Cantu Bathrooms and Hardware

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FEEL THE HEAT

Induction cooktops are growing in popularity and it’s easy to see why: in addition to the speed of cooking, induction ranges save energy by automatically shutting off when a pot is removed from the range. They are also very easy to clean with their flat top and minimal details. Fisher & Paykel induction cooktops feature PowerBoost and GentleHeat options for specialized cooking tasks, such as searing meat and melting chocolate. Find local retailers at fisherpaykel.com

SPRUCE | SPRING 2020

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JOSHUA LAWRENCE

DESIGNER INTEL FOR THE DIY HOMEOWNER

CadboroBayDentist.com

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778 433 1888

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3849 Cadboro Bay Rd Victoria BC V8N 4G3

Cleverly named for the product flatlays that showcase an interior design’s material and finishing choices for a home, Flathaus is a marketplace where interior designers sell curated renovation finish packages — at a price that fits a DIY budget. The brainchild of local designer Leanne McKeachie, the service is meant to fill a gap in the market and provide interior designers with an outlet similar to that of stock photo sites for photographers. The packages come in a range of prices curated to suit different renovation budgets, from “Starter Haus” to “Dream Haus,” and the specifications document provided to the homeowner outlines product details, including manufacturer, supplier, colour, code, size and pattern. More info at flathaus.com

LANDSCAP E ARCH I T ECT URE I RRI GAT I ON MAI NT ENANCE

NOW IS T H E T IME TO P LAN YO UR 2020 P ROJECT!

acaciavictoria.com

250.595.0527 14

SPRUCE | SPRING 2020

SPRING CLEANING

If the season is inspiring a whole-house deepcleaning — or even just a refresh — know you don’t have to overload your house with chemicals to get the job done. You can replace your harsh household cleaners with ecofriendly options, such as those by Sapadilla Soap Co. Founded in Vancouver, the company uses plant-based ingredients and 100-percent pure essential oil blends to create their line of soaps and cleansers. Their All Purpose Cleanser is highly concentrated, biodegradable and earth friendly, and it can be used on almost every hard surface in your home. Find local retailers at sapadilla.com


SUSTAINABLE STYLE

This solid black walnut waterfall countertop was constructed from two book-matched slabs. It was designed and constructed by J&S Custom Furniture for one of the first green passive houses built in Vancouver.

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There’s no doubt wood can add much character and warmth to a home, and it can still be a sustainable material choice if you put some thought into selection. J&S Custom Furniture Co. is a full production studio workshop in Vancouver that salvages wood from a variety of sources — including character-building demolitions, old barns, industrial building teardowns, unwanted pallets and fallen logs — to make their furniture and millwork. This solid black walnut countertop with an epoxy river is made with hardwood certified by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), which means it was sustainably harvested. “Unfortunately black walnut is not often found in the reclaimed variety,” says Steve McFarlane, cofounder and director of operations at J&S. “The mill we purchased the wood from is located in Ontario. They specialize in removing old trees that have fallen down, or are about to, on old farmsteads. They still do it by horse, believe it or not.” Project shown by J&S Custom Furniture Co.

FILE NAME: AQUARA_Yam_Douglas_Spruce_Mags_Half_20190726.ai FILE SIZE: 7.5" (W) x 4.7" (H) with 0.125" bleed

SPRUCE | SPRING 2020

PROJECT: AQUARA by ELEMENT CONTACT: info@ancreative.com

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A Classic Colour for 2020 When it named Classic Blue as its colour of the year, Pantone recognized this hue has always been a strong choice for home décor, stating: “Classic Blue injects creative confidence into interiors. Easily applied across so many different materials, textures and finishes, it is a dependable blue that can take you in different directions expressing tradition and elegance as well as unexpected boldness.”

NEW ARRIVALS Magnolia house and home products, and Joanna Gaines’ cookbook! Come and see for yourself in our award-winning

JOSHUA LAWRENCE

Giftware Department.

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3 2 PHARMASAVE BROADMEAD Broadmead Village Shopping Center 310-777 Royal Oak Drive 250-727-3505 pharmasavebroadmead.com

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SPRUCE | SPRING 2020

1 Turn your walls an artful blue with the Misty Mountain Unpasted Wall Mural from York Wallcoverings Designer Series (line available at Design District Access); 2 Give a dresser or table a blue upgrade with a coat of paint, such as Behr Beacon Blue; 3 Pluto Rug from Covet House (line available at Luxe Home Interiors)


Home renovations are always on time and on budget. They don't disrupt anything and are never stressful. - No one, ever. For this renovation on Gonzales Beach by Goodison Construction, Jason Good, of Jason Good Custom Cabinets, used an automotive colour formula on the kitchen island and cabinet inserts, creating a striking focal point in the room and adding an unexpected dose of drama.

Aux Box was established because we all know this isn't true. If you need more space, visit auxbox.ca

Plan your visit to our boutique spa, with over 6,000 square feet dedicated to supporting your wellness. We are an exceptional 2-storey facility that is earthy and warm. Our welcoming team is dedicated to providing a grounding space for rejuvenation and renewal.

What if, we recharged ourselves as often as we did our phones?

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4 Embrace the classic feel of a blue AGA cast-iron cooker (line available at WestCoast Appliance Gallery); 5 Create a statement backsplash with Feather Sani tile from Lunada Bay Tile (line available at Design District Access)

Ayurvedic treatments • RMT massage Organic skincare • Body treatments Zero Gravity Pedicures 714 View Street 250-385-6676 sapphiredayspa.com

SAPPHIRE DAY SPA

SPRUCE | SPRING 2020

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DESIGN INSPIRATION

BY BEN BRANNEN

FABULOUS FLOORS From hardwood and tile to area rugs, our design expert explores the latest and greatest offerings in flooring.

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our floors have a big job to do. Not only do they need to be functional, they make a big statement about the style of your home. Luckily, today’s flooring come in a diverse mix of materials, allowing for plenty of choice and originality.

WALKING ON WOOD The majority of new homes constructed today feature wood flooring in the entire home, with the exception of the main bathroom and laundry room areas where water (the enemy of wood floors) is in heavy use. Even the powder room can have wood flooring. Wood floors add physical and esthetic warmth to any room. They are also a softer choice for prolonged standing or walking and fairly durable for family traffic. With advancements in the durability of factory-finished floors, the majority of floors installed today are prefinished with stains. Dozens of wood species and colours are available, and pre-sealing means less toxic chemicals on site, no sanding and easier installation. For the longest lasting floor, choose a stain color that enhances the wood rather than trying to make it look like a different species of tree. For example, maple and birch are good choices for floors, but darker stain colours can appear blotchy, whereas lighter stains enhance the natural features of the wood. Mahogany and cherry are naturally red-based so no amount of stain can absolutely remove their red/ purple undertones. White oak is the top choice today: riftsawn options have a very linear pattern to them, while plain-sawn boards will feature the heart grain that oak is known for. On a larger floor, you may want more

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Above: For Jawl Residential’s 986 Heywood condo project in Fairfield, Island Floor Centre used engineered European-sourced Hakwood flooring throughout the kitchen and living area. Left: Apavisa Pelle Series large tiles, exclusively distributed by C&S Tile (available through Design District Access)


ACCESSORIZE YOUR FLOORS

With most of our flooring being hard surfaces, the injection of area carpets is essential to create a cozy environment, divide up our spaces and create interest. There is a general trend to using casual area carpets and less formal Persian rugs. Popular choices are recycled, over-dyed and patchwork Persian carpets. Abstract designs with strong injections of colour, along with textured rugs or those with geometric designs are suitable in both traditional and contemporary homes and layer nicely over wood floors or even large scale tiles. Pictured: Antiquity collection (1803J Grey Multi) rug from Jordans Flooring.

Above: Big Blue Mill Luxury Vinyl Tile in Indigo Allusion from Armstrong Flooring (find local retailers at armstrongflooring.com) Right: Memory Collection in Deco Noon from Centanni Tile (line available through Hourigan’s Flooring and Design District Access) Far Right: Encaustic porcelain tiles from Centura (find local retailers at centura.ca)

pattern and interest by using the plain sawn, while a smaller area would look calmer using rift-sawn boards. Another category of wood-like flooring that is gaining popularity is vinyl-plank flooring. There are options that pass as wood-plank flooring, or you can choose styles that look like tile. One of the major benefits of vinyl flooring is its ease of cleaning and resilience, so it’s ideal for wet areas like kitchens and bathrooms, but it is also ideal in high-traffic living rooms or in homes with pets.

MAKE IT TILE Although many main-floor powder room floors are being done in hardwood, tiles are still the most common choice for bathrooms. While smaller tile is still available, there is a movement to using extremely large tiles

for bathroom and common area floors. Tiles as large as two by three feet look sleek and contemporary when done in faux marble or concrete-style designs. Marble mosaic tiles are also very popular and timeless, with more contemporary designs incorporating bars of brushed gold and/or silver as an accent. Consider using mosaic marble to create the look of an area carpet in a small bathroom. Another popular tile option for flooring is encaustic tiles in bold designs. These tiles are still made using age-old moulds and can be used for bold colour combinations. Scale is important in using these tiles — a small room might not be able to accommodate the pattern repeat, and in a large room, the pattern may become too busy. Used in a laundry room area, they can be perfection.

BRING THE HEAT If opting for easy to clean and extremely durable ceramic tile floors, consider having a heating membrane installed below. Tile and stone floors hold heat for an extended period of time, making them a semi-efficient way to heat your home. Heat systems under engineered hardwood floors work very nicely as well but don’t hold their heat for as long. If you have a heating system installed through a concrete subfloor, you can even have heat under carpeted surfaces. In lower areas the heat will rise through the home and benefit higher floors as well. Some words of advice: leave heated floors to the experts. These systems need to have the proper components and power source to run efficiently. SPRUCE | SPRING 2020

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BELLE WHITE/SPRUCE MAGAZINE

ASK THE EXPERT

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BY LINDA BARNARD


Making It Beautiful BLENDING ART AND FUNCTION IN LANDSCAPE DESIGN With the design/build approach of Rusnak Gallant, the supple beauty of the garden meets the hard science of making a space for it to flourish.

How is working on landscape design different from making public art? G: It’s different because it’s not in the public realm. It’s a different narrative and it’s a bit more of an intimate discussion [with landscape clients]. It’s about space and a bit more personal.

How do your artistic backgrounds affect how you work with clients? G: It’s about vision and insight, because they talk about their needs, and we respond to it with some sense of vision and insight, coloured by poetics. R: My background was dance. It’s a lot about composition or choreography and creating space, rhythm and patterns. When you’re laying

BELLE WHITE/SPRUCE MAGAZINE

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wyla Rusnak and Illarion Gallant, partners in life and work, run their business from their home at Blenkinsop Valley Farm, near the foot of Mount Douglas. Their residential projects blend art and function, echoing the houses and the people who live in them by fusing “the culture of construction with the culture of design,” says Gallant. Whether a $10,000 garden, or a complex $2 million undertaking, projects begin with detailed conversations with clients. Ideas lead to concept drawings and a design. Budgets are based on meticulously itemized lists of materials and labour. Gallant handles the hard-surface elements of retaining walls, walkways and rock and says landscape architecture is based on science and engineering. He’s also a creative, the lauded sculptor behind some of Victoria’s most-recognizable large-scale public art. A walk with the couple around their property reveals their passions and styles. Rusnak, a trained landscape architect, studied dance at university and is a talented painter. She also grows showy dahlias. A new building is going up to house that business, from seed to flowers. Meanwhile, she’s experimenting with growing deer-resistant plants. They raise pigs, turkeys and chickens. Beautifully rusted, large steelworks and pieces from Gallant’s public art projects rest near granite outcroppings and a stand of Garry oaks. Small weathered wood buildings are used for work, animals and making art. A former garage houses their office. Gallant’s studio is just down the driveway where he is working on his latest public art project, Succession, commissioned for the District of West Vancouver Municipal Hall. During the visit to their property, Spruce talked to Gallant (G) and Rusnak (R) about their design/build approach.

Pieces from Illarion Gallant’s public art projects can be found around the couple’s property.

out plants, they have rhythm. But then as a painter, you might begin to see layers and layers of colour. When you’re designing a garden, you have to think in multi-layers and time and space.

How do you start a job? R: I get a feel of what kind of project it is and either I’ll go alone, or we’ll go together [to meet the client], if it’s a big one that’s complicated. We meet and see if we have the same ideas, and, no, it doesn’t cost anything. If Illarion is there, he likes to kind of poke around and see where they’re from, what they do. And it’s really important to walk through the site. Some people are like, “I have no idea what to do here. I don’t know anything about gardening. I don’t know what a weed is.” And some people are, “I hate

this. I love this. I want this pushed this way. I need five more feet here.” And that’s the fun part. The more rules they give you, then you figure out how to use those rules. Then you can open their mind by giving them something exciting. G: They make informed decisions. And our job is to educate.

What are the misconceptions that people have about landscape design? G: [Some people believe] that it’s nonthinking. That it’s basically idiots who do it. But it’s materials. It’s people’s labour. It’s materials and it’s labour. It’s construction. R: Or somebody will take a weekend landscape course and design their own garden.

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UNIQUE BY NATURE 100% NATURAL

But it’s like going to buy art. Are you going to go buy a poster, or are you going to go to a gallery and buy a piece of art? We have training. A lot of times people think landscape is just sticking in a few shrubs. But what we’re doing is actually peeling back. You might be dealing with the top three or four feet, to get your drains and your electrical lines in.

What challenges does this region present for landscape design? R: The climate is beneficial. It doesn’t get as cold, so we have way more plants. But there’s also more pests because it’s warm and things don’t get killed off in the winter. G: Water, winds, heat. We have drought conditions here and that’s a hassle. You have got to be sure the plants are always watered [they install drip irrigation systems rather that sprinklers] and make sure you have the proper soil and environment for the plants.

How do you get to know your clients to work out goals and an esthetic?

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SPRUCE | SPRING 2020

G: Twyla interviews; I interview as well. We both have different kinds of questions. I ask personal questions, so I get a sense of how they live because I have to understand what their lifestyle is, so we understand how they use the space, where they are culturally. We’re doing a contemporary Canadian landscape. And it has to reflect these clients. Because it’s their garden, not ours. It has to reflect them. R: I ask if they’re gardeners. Do you want to be in there and take care of it yourself? Do you want cut flowers? Every client is different. They’ll have their own vision for what they want, or what they don’t want. They give you direction, and then you just take it from there. I take a lot of direction from the architecture. Typically, we add the wow factor to any house. If you do the right landscape, it just looks like it’s always been there.

Is there something that you like to include in every project? R: I like to make sure that there’s something blooming pretty much yearround. That’s what people love about Victoria. G: And I like hard surfaces, the hierarchy of hard surfaces. You go from the street up the driveway, on the side, right to the front door. There’s a whole hierarchy of patterns — the textures and the entrance sequence. R: We’re going to make something beautiful. If something doesn’t quite work, you change it. So, when we leave, this is going to just be beautiful. That’s kind of the ultimate goal of making gardens, not making a garden so it’s just functional.


TUSCAN RESIDENTIAL The goal for this Oak Bay property was to create a garden that enhanced the Tuscan look of the house. To achieve this, Rusnak and Gallant worked with a formal layout in the front garden, using lush green evergreen hedges, along with groundcover accented with white flowers and white variegated foliage. The 12-foot-tall Portuguese laurels act as privacy walls and serve as a lush backdrop for the gardens. Statuary, benches and feature pots filled with seasonal displays create focal points. The back area was designed for entertaining and features an outdoor built-in barbecue area, an outdoor gas fireplace and seating area. Granite cobblestones were used to create paved areas, which flow into the cobbled driveway. Large Japanese maples create dappled shade over the cooking and seating areas.

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BRINGING IT HOME BY NESSA PULLMAN

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PHOTOS BY JOSHUA LAWRENCE


TWO PROFESSIONAL KITCHEN DESIGNERS — A HUSBAND AND WIFE DUO — BUILD THEIR ARCHITECTURAL DREAM HOME.

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hen Atarah Humphreys and Felipe Prado met in Italy, she was attending design school; she was from Canada and he was from Mexico. After graduation, Prado, an industrial designer, brought Humphreys to Mexico, where they opened up a kitchen design studio together. After their move to Vancouver Island — where they set down roots and started a family — Humphreys continued to share her expertise as a designer at Urbana Kitchens. When their expanding young family outgrew their house, the husband and wife design-duo decided to put their artistry to use and custom-build an architectural home of their own. While they had the design portion mastered, finding the right build team who could match their appetite for meaningful design was a challenge — until they met Ryan Goodman and Matthew Jardine of Aryze Developments. “Like us, they truly appreciate high-quality design,” says Jardine, partner at Aryze. “It connected us instantly.”

FUNCTION FIRST Being designers, the homeowners knew exactly what they wanted going into this. “The kitchen had to be designed first,” says Humphreys. “The rest of the house was just going to have to fit around that!” From their experience in the industry, functionality was placed at the top of the priority list. From creating an effective work-triangle in the preparation area to storage for the kids’ lunch bags, Humphreys thought of it all. Having their young children in mind, Humphreys wanted to keep the materials in this kitchen trendy yet transparent. Durable quartz countertops with waterfall edges allow for easy cleanup from the kids’ messes. Staying away from grout lines or textured materials, a solid panel of back-painted glass was used on the backsplash for simple upkeep. The slab-style cabinets are medium-density fibreboard (MDF) with integrated aluminum channels as the handles on the lower half to prevent snags and as a precaution while the kids play. To cultivate a festive Mexican influence into the space, the duo custom-designed angular shelving units in the island and coffee area using a perforated metal. These units act as effective storage while adding playful additions that

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stand out against the minimalist kitchen. Humphreys worked primarily on the space-planning while her husband added in the eccentric touches to make this a true architectural home. “Felipe is the dreamer and I’m the realistic one,” says Humphreys with a laugh. “So we make a good team that way.”

CULTURED INFLUENCE During the homeowners’ years living in Mexico, they were largely inspired by the culture’s minimalistic design sense. “Mexico is known for its traditional and colourful esthetic,” says Humphreys. “But they also have this modern, cutting-edge design that’s really striking.”

During a visit to the Aryze office, Atarah Humphreys took notice of a lighting feature the team had created using LED insets and intense angles. While designing the custom hood fan for above the stovetop, Humphreys asked Aryze to recreate a similar design by integrating the same lighting into the structure. Originally Humphreys and her husband, Felipe Prado, were not sure they wanted a hood fan, but this appliance (that doubles as a light fixture) is now one of their favourite pieces in the home. The rest of the lighting is kept simple and efficient to maintain the minimalist approach. Häfele LED Mini Puck lights are placed underneath the cabinets for task efficiency, while white track lights are suspended from the exposed beams in the ceiling, giving an industrial appearance.

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The duo used simple essentials mixed with diverse design elements, such as texture, acute angles and raw materials to create the home’s striking appearance. They played around with these principles to produce different effects throughout the home. A floating staircase in the dining room was built with the same perforated metal used in the kitchen’s storage units. “I fell in love with this material,” says Humphreys. “Because when the sun hits it, the shadows create all these beautiful patterns.” To keep the space from looking too constrained, the pair added pops of vibrant colour in artwork and select vintage décor collected from their past. “The foundation is simple in design,” says Humphreys. “But it’s the play of materials, light and shadow that adds life.”

DESIGN + LIFE “Creating an architectural home on a tight budget can be tricky,” says Ryan Goodman, partner at Aryze. “But in this project, the homeowners found a way to use it to their benefit.” The cement foundation on the floors were given a polish and left uncovered for an unrefined and textured look. Hydronic in-floor heat systems were installed to add warmth to the bare material. The ceiling was left exposed, revealing the roof’s structural joists for an industrial feel. The build team applied the home’s insulation to the exterior of the roof (a term called outsulation), to lock in the heat. Not only

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Above: To make the main living area appear larger, the owners maximized unused space by inputting a doubleheight ceiling above the living room, which also allows exposure to the floating metal staircase and overhead walkway on the north-facing wall. Below: Winged walls were integrated into the exterior design to mimic the same angles found in the kitchen’s millwork — adding more unique features to this architectural home. Coordinated steel was used on the home’s exterior walls for easy maintenance, and Energy Star windows were used throughout for cost efficiency.


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■ GRAND RENOVATION

A DRAMATIC RENOVATION TRANSFORMS THIS 1912 OAK BAY HOUSE FROM A DERELICT BUILDING TO A FAMILY’S DREAM HOME. BY DANIELLE POPE

PHOTOS BY SARAH MACNEILL

HAUTE HERITAGE

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hen Max and Jac-Lyn Mickelson first stared up the steps of their future dream home, the two almost walked away. As Jac-Lyn tells it, Max was not even willing to see the second floor once they realized the state of the house — though Jac-Lyn was taken by the entrance, the sweeping lawn and the neighbourhood where they’d longed to raise their family. It was a 1912 character home in Oak Bay that showed the kind of wear a century of life brings to a property: the building dipped and swayed in places, decades of belongings littered the grounds and the house was in various stages of deterioration. It was enough to make most prospective buyers turn away at first sight, and others to shake their heads at the costs involved. So did the Mickelsons, at first. Except, weeks later, the family sold their own home and, as pressure mounted in their housing hunt, they revisited a few properties they’d passed by — including the Oak Bay house. It was the right location, and the couple returned with a builder and designer to assess the reality. Raubyn Rothschild, principal designer of Rothschild West Design + Planning, says the first time she laid eyes on the house, she couldn’t wait to get to work. “When I walked in, I was extremely excited to see the potential. The whole house seemed really special,” says Rothschild. “It had so much of what they were looking for in the exterior, and I knew we could turn the inside into what they wanted. I was glad to be involved at this point, because this is the moment when a lot of people walk away.” The Mickelsons were familiar with the renovation process; both through working on their previously owned 1950s bungalow, and through their construction business. However, a character renovation of this magnitude would involve overcoming an array of challenges, from rigorous permitting requirements and environmental upgrades to sourcing materials and adhering to codes that respected the heritage of the building. They decided to move forward. “In some ways, I think it started as an act of desperation,” says Max. “We were without a home, and we really had no other options, so we decided to make it work. We turned out to be the ideal buyers, though, because more than anything, we wanted to bring this place back to its former glory, and we had the motivation to do it.”

The dining area in this renovation preserves some of the original features of the house, from the coffered ceilings to the wainscotting walls and fir flooring. The 17th C. Monastery Rectangular Table in Grey Acacia and vintage French round side and armchairs from Restoration Hardware brings simple comfort to this gathering area, while the gold-toned Pelle Gooseneck dining chandelier from West Elm adds a modern vibrancy to this traditional room. SPRUCE | SPRING 2020

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The kitchen in this home had to be entirely rebuilt during the process, and now features high-end Miele appliances, partnered with marble counters in honed Bianco Statuario, custom walnut shelving in a natural finish and custom millwork to draw on a traditional style. The subway tile backsplash feature from Daltile builds flare and function in this space, and the white and navy tones offer an elegant contrast (using Benjamin Moore Cloud White and Hale Navy). The gold-toned Brizo faucet and quartz perimeter counters (in Silestone White Zeus Extreme) creates a sophisticated pairing, and the Goodman hanging light pendants in hand-rubbed antique brass align with the nearby 20th C. Library sconces in lacquered burnished brass from Restoration Hardware. Stools from Rove Concepts supply a mid-century modern twist to this space, while the custom-created black-framed windows (from Loewen Windows) bask this section of the house in natural light.

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ORIGINAL TOUCHES Though the home was nearly gutted and some areas, like the kitchen, were entirely replaced, much of the original features were preserved — from the coffered ceilings and the wainscotting walls to the fir flooring (in parts) and historic doors that were redistributed throughout the house. In a complex permitting twist, part of the original structure turned out to be non-conforming, and new plans would require a portion of the home to be shrunk by a few feet, devastating the master bedroom. Rothschild surprised everyone with a redesign that transformed the area to a laundry and bathroom, then redistributed the master to its own private level. “I thought we were facing total disaster with the project at this point, and Raubyn managed to flip it into something that not only improved the plans, but became a signature feature of our house,” says Max. “Sometimes, the best thing you can do is abandon your preconceived ideas and come up with something new.” Some areas of the house, like the basement, were more tedious. When Matt Kinnee of Kinnee Contracting first saw this level, he was aware it would have to be dug out and rock blasted away so the Mickelsons could have a usable ceiling height on this floor. What he and others weren’t expecting, however, was the grim setting of a deranged metal shop. The area was eerie, poorly lit, and looked like something out of a movie. “The building had dipped, curved and settled over time, and getting in there to straighten it out was going to be a real challenge,” Kinnee says. “The basement itself was very crammed, and there was metal hanging from every open space you could imagine. I wasn’t quite expecting what we saw, but it sure was good to get in there and start ripping it apart.”

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THE BEAUTY BENEATH After less than a year of extreme renovations, the result was a welcoming 3,200-square-foot, Scandinavian-themed family home with three complete levels of usable space — from the main floor’s active living zone, to the upper level’s bedrooms and lower level’s guest suite. The house is filled with natural light, organic materials and texture. Fine details, like the specially dyed black window frames that showcase the wood grain, match the spirit of the home’s vintage feeling while bringing it up to modern standards. “When it comes to working with old houses, there is so much potential, but you have to build off of what has been created,” says Rothschild. “You need to know when your plans are working, and also when it’s time to rethink things. We wanted to create a home that was going to age well and use materials that have their own patina so it fit with the heritage, and everything feels like it can be used and loved.”

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“SOMETIMES, THE BEST THING YOU CAN DO IS ABANDON YOUR PRECONCEIVED IDEAS AND COME UP WITH SOMETHING NEW.”

The drama between new and old welcomes guests at the entry. White and navy tones build throughout the house, and the wainscotting feature along the walls and stairwell draws the eye upward into the home. The artwork stylishly positioned on the navy console is by Roberta Mickelson, Max’s late mother. In the living room, visitors are invited to enjoy the privately sourced mohair sofa and chairs. A ceramic tile gas fireplace and insert offers this space a warm atmosphere, and more work by Roberta Mickelson adorns the hearth. The gold-toned sconces tie themes together with the kitchen. The family room, at the other end of the main floor, (opposite page) is used as an entertainment space and sunroom, welcoming in the light with treatments by Island Window Coverings.

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The master bath plays with traditional luxury through thematic floor tile by Olympia Tile and the shower’s feature wall in 3-x 6-inch marble tiles with specialized glass shelving. The vanity’s millwork was completed in natural walnut with Emtek black-coated hardware, aligning the look with the home’s custom black-framed windows. The marble countertop, again in Bianco Statuario, ties in with the shower and kitchen motifs. Black Brizo fixtures and the brass-framed round mirror adds dimension to this room. The bowl-like Aida bath tub by Acritec elevates this room as a modern spa. Opposite page: The repurposed entry lantern captures one of the house’s earlier features that was refurbished and preserved outright in dedication to the home’s history.

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While some elements of the house are brand new, like the kitchen’s high-end Miele appliances and the living room’s ceramic tile gas fireplace, others were saved — almost by accident — like an old pendant lamp destined for the dump that was reenvisioned into the current entry lantern. “The fact that we were able to preserve so much of the home was really special, and sometimes that takes more work than starting fresh,” says Jac-Lyn. “With any serious renovation, things can seem ugly and dirty and messy before they become beautiful, but if you can just see through it, there’s beauty there waiting for you to find it.”

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■ LUXURY CUSTOM BUILD

MOUNTAIN LODGE INSPIRED TUCKED INTO THE RAINFOREST OF NORTH SAANICH, THIS CUSTOMBUILT HOME IS WEST COAST ON THE OUTSIDE AND ROCKY MOUNTAIN CHALET ON THE INSIDE. BY DAVID LENNAM

PHOTOS BY JOSHUA LAWRENCE

C

onstructing a luxury mountain lodge in a West Coast rainforest is a precarious undertaking. The steep ski-slope roof angles, as well as the log frame and stone accents, are ill-suited to the straight-lined and flat-roofed West Coast esthetic that’s so starkly modern. But what if you could build your dream home combining both — all West Coast on the outside and Rocky Mountain chalet chic on the inside? That’s what Corrie and Dave Graboski have done, and the result is curiously understated, yet palatial. Theirs just may be the only unostentatious house of close to 8,000 square feet, perhaps because, when you’re inside, it’s a cabin in the woods. Monumental, but somehow intimate. “I want people to be able to put their feet up and read a book and have a cup of tea and feel comfortable here,” explains Corrie. The chalet style is a five bed/seven bath open plan over two spectacular levels, plus basement. Airy and bright doesn’t begin to describe how huge windows, a lack of interior walls and a main floor with a towering ceiling draw the outside in to bathe the heavy wood beams and abundant use of stone in natural light.

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Like a plus-sized post-andbeam dream, the open, light-filled main floor gives ample room to stretch, or to curl up in. An expanse of wide-plank, hand-scraped engineered oak flooring leads from a solid custom front door that wouldn’t be out of place in Game of Thrones. And that enormous kitchen island is one single slab of Black Mountain granite.

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The hybrid 18-metre lap pool/ recreational saltwater pool uses a dehumidification system that recovers 98 per cent of heat loss from the air and pumps it back to heat the pool water. Below: The custom dining table, live edge with a twist, is from Matthew Lopez, who used locally sourced brown elm. “You have the practicality of a tapered square with rounded corners,” says Lopez. “So when you sit, the live edge is an artistic piece in the middle.”

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And then there’s the indoor saltwater pool, housed in an almost pressure-sealed 2,200-square-foot natatorium. Even though the pool — a hybrid 18-metre lap pool, plus fun pool for the kids and hot tub — is inside the house, there’s no odour or humidity leak into the living space, thanks to a dehumidification system that recovers 98 per cent of heat loss from the air and pumps it back to heat the pool water. In fact, as the home’s builder Tim Agar of Horizon Pacific Contracting points out, the whole house is energy efficient, thanks to three forced air heat pumps. “When you think of this scale, with a swimming pool, energy efficiency is one of the key elements. Canada’s EnerGuide rates this house 8 out of 10, which is very good.”

FROM DESIGN ...

BRINGING THE MOUNTAINS TO THE COAST Originally from Alberta (Corrie grew up in Canmore in the shadow of the Rockies), the couple moved to Ardmore 11 years ago and knew this was where they’d stay. After renovating their old house as much as they could, they began looking for a lot to build on. A chance meeting at a Christmas party connected them with the owner of what must have been the last unbuilt lot in the neighbourhood. “We just jumped on it,” recalls Corrie, a doctor, who had her heart set on something with a Canmore-slash-Whistler ski chalet feel under plenty of peaked rooflines. “We’ve always dreamed about what we wanted our house to look like. We even kept this little book of ideas for it.” Her husband was looking to bring in a more modern vibe. “I think the only thing we both had in common was we liked the rustic look of the chalet-style homes from Canmore with the big wood beams, the plank floors, the rock,” says Dave, a pharmacist for many years. “We loved that, and then, from Corrie’s aspect, she wanted to go more rustic. From my aspect, I loved the idea of combining that rustic with something that’s completely modern and making something unique.” Corrie put a lot of faith in architect Pamela Úbeda of Coast and Beam Architecture, builder Tim Agar of Horizon and interior designers Kimberly Williams and Elaine Martel of Kimberly Williams Interiors. “They all said to me, ‘I know the outside looks really modern,’ and to me it took a long time to wrap my head around it because it was very strange and I don’t usually like modern; I like rustic. And they said, ‘Corrie, trust us. We’ll give you rustic on the inside and you’ll love it.’ ”

ALL HANDS ON DECK The Graboskis, their 10-year-old twins and a dog the size of a wolf, moved in a year ago, after a long construction period where they were very hands-on.

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Well, Dave was, anyway. “Maybe a little too much,” he grins. Agar won’t say that, but acknowledges Dave’s deep-dive involvement. “We saw him on site every day. I think he knows far more about construction now than he does about pharmacy.” Dave laughs when he admits he couldn’t just leave the details to someone else. “It was such a big deal to me,” he says. “This is our once-in-a-lifetime. We picked every single thing, every stone, every colour, the floor, even where the light switches go.” The way one of their interior designers, Elaine Martel, sees it, Dave could come to work with her. “He has such a keen sense of design style. He really drove the boat when it came to the design and look.” The couple praised the designers for seeing their dream and helping them realize it. “Right off the get-go, they knew exactly what we were looking for,” says Dave. “Everything they brought us was in line with our vision.” Flooring could easily be overlooked in a home of this size, but it’s the piece of finish that drove everything else, explains Martel. And again, it was a matter of pleasing both Corrie’s rustic and Dave’s modern tastes. “So we had to find one that worked for the warmth and the look they could both love,” Martel says. “Once that was selected, all else fell

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The master bath is pretty much a mountain chalet spa with a sunken soaker tub and stacked natural ledge stone framing a rain/steam shower the size of a guest bedroom. The powder room, with its distinctive charcoalcoloured stacked stone wall, features an Akrotiri Vessel sink from Stone Forest and a slightly futuristic, wall-mounted TOTO Neorest elongated toilet bidet.


“THIS IS OUR ONCE-IN-A-LIFETIME. WE PICKED EVERY SINGLE THING, EVERY STONE, EVERY COLOUR, THE FLOOR, EVEN WHERE THE LIGHT SWITCHES GO.”

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“ONCE [THE FLOORING] WAS SELECTED, ALL ELSE FELL INTO PLACE — THE STAIRWELL WOOD, THE WOOD WINDOWS AND EVERYTHING WAS BASED AROUND THE FLOORING.”

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B G SH OWR O O M S .C O M


The baby grand piano is the focal point of Corrie’s “English library room” upstairs, but is open to the main floor. The piano sits centrally in an upstairs space featuring identical children’s bedrooms, with ensuites, at either end of the floor. The indoor window looks out from Corrie’s office. Inside, a queen bed pulls out of the wall like a drawer, on rollers, in case unexpected company arrives. Closed, it looks like part of a bookcase.

into place — the stairwell wood, the wood windows and everything was based around the flooring.” Wide-plank, hand-scraped engineered oak from Fuzion Flooring informed the generous use of rock in the kitchen, master bath, laundry room and as a dramatic basementto-second-floor feature wall framing the stairwell. All that rock, stacked natural ledge stone, helped pull the warm tones from the hardwood. Agar appreciates that, for Dave and Corrie, this is their house, the one they want their kids to grow up in and that everything is detailed to what their family needs and wants. For Dave, the house is superior than what he and Corrie had in mind. “Working in conjunction with Tim and with the architect, putting their ideas together with ours, we ended up with something better than what we wanted.” Corrie agrees … at least she does now. “This is not what I wanted, at first. Dave came on board faster than I did. I really, really struggled, changing my vision and just ended up trusting the process and am very glad that I did. And now this is our forever home.”

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RESOURCE LIST ARCHITECT: Pamela Úbeda, Coast and Beam Architecture BUILDER: Tim Agar, Horizon Pacific Contracting ENGINEER: RJC Engineers INTERIOR DESIGN: Kimberly Williams and Elaine Martel of Kimberly Williams Interiors ELECTRICAL: Amped Electrical Contracting PLUMBING: Good Grade Plumbing and Gas

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UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED, ALL PHOTOS BY RAEF ARCHITECTURAL PHOTOGRAPHER

■ STYLISH URBAN CONDO

A sculpture from Birgit Piskor’s Raw Musa series creates a dramatic silhouette against the penthouse’s striking views. The suspended ceiling panel above the table delineates the space, and houses pot lights as well as top lights. Together with the Hubbardton Forge Celesse Pendant from Mclaren Lighting, all the lighting can be set though the Control4 Smart Lighting to create cozy mood lighting for entertaining.

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VIEW FROM THE TOP

TRADING THEIR FAMILY HOME IN BROADMEAD FOR A WATERVIEW PENTHOUSE IN VIC WEST, THESE EMPTY NESTERS ARE EMBRACING CONDO LIVING. BY ATHENA McKENZIE

N

othing quite prepares you for the view from Kerry Brown and Richard Larkin’s penthouse condo in Bosa Properties Encore development. The bigger picture offers an expansive panorama that extends from the Inner Harbour across to the Olympic Mountains; a closer look reveals the fascinating activity of a working harbour, from whale-watching boats and water taxis to seaplanes taxiing out for liftoff. “When people come over they just get awed,” Larkin says, with a sweep of his hand to take in the vista. Brown and Larkin — among the first buyers into the project — secured one of the two penthouses in the five-storey building of the two-tower development. They moved from a custom home in Broadmead, where they had lived for 20 years. SPRUCE | SPRING 2020

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“We were at the highest peak in Broadmead, up at 350 feet above sea level,” Larkin says. “We actually had this same vista but looking down on the city. It was almost the same kind of view. We were just farther out.” When their son moved out, the pair decided it was time to consider downsizing, especially given the constant upkeep required on the 4,300-square-foot home, which sat on twothirds of an acre. “Our parents, both Richard’s and mine, had retired in Victoria in the James Bay area,” Brown says. “They had downsized and we saw them really enjoy the downtown kind of living.”

LUXURY LIFESTYLE While Brown was not initially sold on the idea of a condo, memories of living in Europe in her younger years, and falling in love with the lifestyle, made her realize the Bosa project could offer some of the things she appreciated about that time. “I liked the ability to be able to get groceries every couple of days and walk everywhere,” she says. While not in the downtown core, the building is close enough that the couple can easily walk to the Inner Harbour, but they get to live beyond the noise of downtown. “This is just enough out of town,” Larkin says. “We can pop over to Save-On, and it’s only

10 minutes to go across the bridge and we’re at Il Terrazzo, or 20 minutes to the Union Club.” In addition to easy access to downtown and a high walkability score, Brown and Larkin had other important criteria. To make the big move to condo life, they required an elevated and expansive view, lots of natural light and outdoor space. “Encore was designed to embrace the waterfront, mountain and city views, afforded by its unique location overlooking the harbour,” says Wayne Vickers, VP of Development at Bosa Properties. “The positioning of the buildings relative to the water and the growing community was very important to us in our design and development, both to maximize views and also to create a strong sense of privacy for homeowners within the community.” Large wraparound decks, totalling 1,100 square feet, make the 1,650-square-foot condo seem even bigger. In summer, the doors stay open, and the outdoor space blends into the interior. The building also boasts amenities which Vickers says are designed to support residents’ sense of peace and calm. Highlights include the private outdoor pool and heated cabanas, and an outdoor kitchen and barbecue area, which overlooks the community’s expansive green space. “A lot of times it feels like we’re living in a resort,” Larkin says.

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Amenities at the building include a large lap pool, gym, cabanas and an outdoor kitchen with barbecue, giving it a resort-like feel.


“THE POSITIONING OF THE BUILDINGS RELATIVE TO THE WATER AND THE GROWING COMMUNITY WAS VERY IMPORTANT TO US IN OUR DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT, BOTH TO MAXIMIZE VIEWS AND ALSO TO CREATE A STRONG SENSE OF PRIVACY FOR HOMEOWNERS WITHIN THE COMMUNITY.” — Wayne Vickers, VP Development at Bosa Properties

Custom millwork in edge-grain oak is used as a feature wall in the living room. It is the backdrop for the television, a sound bar from Atlas Audio Video, and an electric fireplace from Capital Iron, with its quartz hearth from Colonial Countertops. Display shelves provide space for ceramics and art. The millwork also conceals a bar cabinet (with a bright green interior) and storage drawers, as well as the amplifiers for the speakers wired throughout the condo. The down-wrapped custom sofa, sized to fit the space perfectly, is covered in fabric by Kravet.

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Some of the custom details in the kitchen include the backsplash from Decora Tile and an added pantry wall — with a 24-bottle wine fridge from Trail Appliances — that separates the kitchen completely from the entry. The homeowners also upgraded the integrated refrigerator from a 30-inch to a 36-inch model. Calligaris Metro bar stools from StudioYdesign and a Matteo Lighting Lineare light fixture from Mclaren Lighting transform the kitchen island from work area into an inviting social spot.

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ARTFUL. SUSTAINABLE. WEST COAST DESIGN

ENGLISH

The following is a quick reference guide to Edward Jones’ speci colors, fonts, and logos. CARE Award Winner Double Gold Award for Best Home Design Concept over 6,000 sq. ft.

Colors

Fonts

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Gotham Gotham is used for all Edward Jones advertising, collateral and pieces. It is primarily used for body copy. readability, it is re Anne For M Delves , CFP 5 Financial Tips Financial Advisor go below 9 pt. on 13 pt. Preffered disclaimer style is 7 pt. on 8 p for Business Owners

PMS 116C

®

PMS 5535C

ITC 1Franklin Gothic An Individual Pension Plan provides

retirement income and has estate ITC for Franklin Gothic is used for tables, charts, and copy heavy d planning benefits. (Appropriate for incorporated business owners.) used for our HNW category.

PMS 160C

2 Employees are the heart of your business. Ensure they are taken care of through Group Disability and Savings Plans.

PMS 647C

3 Buy-Sell Insurance ensures that you and your business partner(s) can buy each other’s interest out at death.

Logos Promotional logotype Used in our national brand campaign and marketing materials. The preferred treatment is black logo and tagline on a rectangle of PMS 116.

JEFFREY BOSDET/SPRUCE MAGAZINE

4 Key-Person Insurance protects your business should your key employee become disabled or pass away. 5 Have your Financial Advisor review all aspects of your business by doing a comprehensive review with you and your Accountant. w ww. edwardj o nes. c om

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–Edward Jones, its employees and financial advisors are not estate planners and cannot provide tax or legal advice. Please consult a qualified tax specialist or lawyer for professional advice regarding your specific situation. –Insurance and annuities are offered by Edward Jones Insurance Agency (except in Québec). In Québec, insurance and annuities are offered by Edward Jones Insurance Agency (Québec) Inc.

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To create this spacious ensuite, the homeowners reworked the developer’s original layout, moving a walk-in closet that was taking up the exterior wall and replacing it with the bathroom. This makes for an impressive view from the freestanding soaker tub. A DVI Lighting Starburst Pendant Light from Mclaren lighting adds extra visual interest. Custom millwork by Splinters Millworks matches the millwork in the rest of the suite. The bedroom also boasts views, with a window overlooking the Inner Harbour. The striking carpets in the master bedroom and the ensuite are family heirlooms.

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THE PERSONAL TOUCH Buying early in the development process meant the couple was able to do a lot of customization to the unit. They tinkered with the layout so the master bedroom’s walk-in closet no longer took up a valuable exterior wall. By moving that closet to the interior and moving out the ensuite, the soaker tub was able to have a striking floor-to-ceiling window backdrop. They got the suite with no backsplash tile or light fixtures, and no wood finishing, then worked with interior designer and friend Patricia Neilson to create their ideal esthetic. “We didn’t bring any furniture from our house,” Brown says. “The proportions were all wrong. In a condo, you want things to be multi-use, and you want them to work with the scale of things.” A convertible Calligaris Orbital dining table from StudioYdesign that expands to fit 10 people and a cozy, custom-made sofa means the couple still gets to host dinner parties — and show off that view. “One of the things that we hadn’t realized that we would appreciate so much is the activity down here,” Brown says. “To see when the wind changes, to see the planes take off from different directions or struggle. All the little harbour ferries are so cute fighting the waves. We can see both the sunrise and the sunset. There isn’t a day we don’t say to each other, ‘Oh! Look at that!’”

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INSIDE & OUT

THIS ROCKLAND RENOVATION EVOLVED FROM AN INTERIOR OVERHAUL INTO A SWEEPING PROJECT THAT MODERNIZED BOTH THE HOUSE AND ITS LANDSCAPE. BY SUSAN HOLLIS PHOTOS BY JOSHUA LAWRENCE

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N

o one who undertakes an interior renovation wants to hear that the project will need extensive, unexpected infrastructure upgrades to things like sewage and plumbing lines, but most houses, regardless of vintage, often prove unpredictable behind the scenes. So when Sharon Daly and her husband, Sig Isaac, decided to tackle an interior renovation of their two-level, three-bedroom Rockland home, which was built in 1972, they knew to expect a few surprises. What they didn’t factor in was a massive overhaul of underground exterior lines that resulted in the gutting of most of the sloped exterior landscaping surrounding their home. “We wanted a place that looked integrated and we didn’t want to do it ourselves. Then the project got bigger and bigger and bigger — we had to redo all the things that make your house work and function, but that you don’t want to pay for because you can’t see it,” says Daly. “But having our electrical, mechanical, plumbing and perimeter drains done does give us peace of mind.” Having already refinished the home’s dated popcorn ceilings and textured walls, along with all the electrical and the kitchen five years ago, Daly and Isaac were ready to tackle the rest of the 2,700-square-foot home last year. The house was spacious enough, but didn’t meet their storage and esthetic needs. Awkward closets, insufficient bathroom spaces and lack of a wow factor meant the house was in need of a general overhaul, but not one that required an extensive redesign — something designer Lisa Dunsmuir of Step One Design says is key to keeping budgets and expectations under control. “Working within an existing footprint helps to maximize dollars on any project,” says Dunsmuir. “Everybody has a different take on what’s important or a priority in a project, so I think it’s important to pay close attention to that, to what their needs and requirements are, and, at the same time, help them to choose where to place their money.”

Left: When Sharon Daly and Sig Isaac renovated their kitchen five years ago, they chose a clean, contemporary presentation that would stay fresh over time. Designer Lisa Dunsmuir riffed on the kitchen’s ambience to create a cohesive look throughout the rest of the house. Above: Introducing a 900-pound basalt boulder water feature and lush, deer-proof plants, landscape designer Melissa Baron executed a complete overhaul of the front garden, including a new path, gate and a generous sprinkling of bee- and bird-friendly shrubs.

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Careful planning and communication with builder Alan O’Rourke meant aspects like the master bedroom’s upgraded ensuite bathroom and new walk-through closet were achieved with a maximum of storage and a sleek design, without having to blow up the main floor’s original layout. A wall was moved to give more space to the ensuite and closet, but the change wasn’t monumental — and exposed a very wet situation behind the bathroom walls that needed attending to. “That whole area is quite tight but functions really well,” says O’Rourke of the master bedroom upgrades. “A lot of thought went into that area when we were building, really being aware of how our doors were going to open and exactly where things were coming to, so all the tile and glass worked out well.” Off the kitchen, a small, hardworking pantry is now Daly’s favourite room in the house. Bright with natural light, the space houses a Miele washer and dryer, extra fridge drawers, a microwave, food storage and a coffee bar, plus a linen closet and hamper. “We tried to get as much as we could in here while keeping it functional,” says Isaac. “It keeps the kitchen less cluttered.” Throughout the house, custom cabinetry by Splinters Millworks allows each room to function at its best — something not always achievable with store-bought inserts, and an extra that Daly and Isaac say was well worth the cost.


“WE TRIED TO GET AS MUCH AS WE COULD IN HERE WHILE KEEPING IT FUNCTIONAL.” Downstairs, which was taken down to the studs before being carefully redesigned, is now home to a spacious media room, featuring a large TV room above a Valor fireplace and an integrated sound system. The space is framed by large windows and a walk out to the mature, private back gardens. Just off the main room is Daly’s office — a quiet, light-flooded space that was formerly a furnace room. In addition, the full-height lower level boasts a new bathroom, mudroom, ample storage, two more access doors and an interior bike training gym for the pedal-loving pair. The entire space was designed to be easily upgraded to a secondary suite — it is up to code, features a multi-split heat pump, is kitchenready and all ceilings were double drywalled for sound.

Left and opposite: The pantry remains uncluttered, despite the number of appliances hidden in the space. Featuring a Miele washer and dryer, fridge drawers, a microwave, coffee maker, extra food storage, a linen closet and a hamper, Daly calls this the hardest-working room in the house. Right: Isaac trains in the groundfloor bike room, which features a big screen TV and built-in ceiling projector, loads of bike storage and a separate heating system.

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MODERN LANDSCAPE Though initially taken aback at the extent of the work needed outside for what was supposed to be a strictly interior upgrade, Daly and Isaac decided to capitalize on the surprises, hiring landscape architect Melissa Baron, who works with Demitasse Garden Centre, to create a sophisticated front exterior landscape to match their breezy, streamlined esthetic goals. Though Daly and Isaac are accomplished gardeners with a wellestablished back garden, Baron wanted to keep the front landscaping low maintenance and in-line with the home’s esthetic.

Before Before the renovation, the all-white stucco house had a traditional grass lawn and pillars along the front wall. Due to sewage and drainage issues on the sloped Rockland property, the entire front yard had to be dug up, sparking an exterior overhaul that Daly and Isaac hadn’t anticipated.

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“I LIKE COMBINING THE REALLY CLEAN, MODERN LINES OF THE RECTANGULAR WALKWAY WITH REALLY SOFT PLANTINGS.”

Landscape architect Melissa Baron contrasted the sharp angles of the rectangular walkway with flowy, durable grasses — an homage to Daly’s prairie roots while meeting her request for low-maintenance shrubbery. New hardscaped pathways connect the front to the side and backyard, and beneath it all new perimeter drains and sewage lines keep the house and property safe and dry in any weather.

By replacing a retaining wall with large boulders, rockery plants and ferns along the side, and adding a 900-pound basalt rock water feature, Baron ensured the front maintained a natural, slightly rugged feel to counter the geometry of the new paths joining the street and driveway to the front and back of the house. “I like combining the really clean, modern lines of the rectangular walkway with really soft plantings,” says Baron. “Some modern landscape designs seem more formal and less soft and flowy, so this one was a nice combination of the hard from the modern path, and the soft of the plantings.” Drawing on Daly’s appreciation of plants that are both ornamental and functional, Baron included a number of berry bushes, plus a range of bird-, bee- and butterfly-friendly species. Now back in the house for a year, Daly and Isaac have a few final projects they’re working on inside the home, but they’re clearly satisfied that they won’t have to worry about any infrastructure weaknesses in the years to come. “To have wiring we knew was going to work, and all the plumbing done so that when we sealed up the ceiling for the last time, we knew we wouldn’t have leaks, actually gives us a lot of peace of mind,” says Daly. “Now when there’s a rainstorm we can just lie there and enjoy it.”

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DETAILS

BY ATHENA McKENZIE

WILD ABOUT WALLS

TRANSFORM YOUR SPACE WITH INVENTIVE WALL COVERINGS THAT GO BEYOND WALLPAPER.

Walking the displays at the Interior Design Show, one thing is obvious: designers are embracing statement walls, from 3D wall coverings and textural wall panels to marble and cork and living walls. This more subtle take on a feature wall brings in a tactile element to your space. The best part? This trend is easily adaptable to your personal style.

WOOD INSPIRED

If you’re looking for the classic look of wood but want the simple upkeep of tile, consider a wood-inspired ceramic or porcelain tile. Tile design technology has become so advanced that, at first glance, it’s easy to mistake the faux look for the real thing. You can achieve almost any look with unique patterns shapes and colours, such as the Saloni Kross (above) and Saloni Vector (right). Available at Capital Tile + Stone

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Ceramic tiles, porcelain and mosaics aren’t just for kitchens and bathrooms. These décor elements work well in almost any room and offer ease of maintenance and durability. They are also easy to fit in to your space, coming in various shapes, colours and patterns, as well as sizes, from ultrathin, tiny tiles to extra-large panel-sized tiles. If 3D texture is your goal, tiles also provide lots of options, from subtle ridges to raised waves.

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RECLAIMED GLORY

Wood paneling has come a long way since its overuse in 1970s rec rooms. Consider 3D wall panels created from responsibly sourced reclaimed wood. With its naturally weathered look, grooves and natural splitting, these panels have a rustic feel, perfect for a modern farmhouse look.

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Architectural vinyl film, which comes in a variety of colours and patterns, can refresh your interior surfaces. Easy to apply to walls, columns and doors — and even furniture — these films have various subtle textures that can be felt with your fingertips. With options that look like wood, metal, stone, terrazzo or marble, and others that offer texture, it’s easy to add a sophisticated and personalized touch to your walls. Available through bodaq.com


PUT A CORK ON IT

In recent years, designers have rediscovered natural cork with its wide range of tones and textures. While popular as flooring, it also makes a stylish and eco-friendly decorative feature wall. And it’s not just pretty — it is naturally resistant to pests, mould and mildew, and offers sound and heat insulation. Available at cancork.com

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REAL ESTATE

BY SHANNON MONEO

The Open House Debate THE PROS AND CONS OF THE REAL-ESTATE OPEN HOUSE — SO YOU CAN DECIDE IF IT IS SOMETHING THAT COULD WORK FOR YOU.

O

pening a for-sale home to strangers to improve selling opportunities is one tool where realtors aren’t on the same page. Some swear by open houses. Others don’t bother unless sellers request one. But like many aspects of real estate, unpredictability can change the story. Open houses in Canada account for about five per cent of total sales. So is it worth letting nosy neighbours in to see the colour of your bathroom towels or how the master bedroom is decorated? Ron Neal has sold more than 4,000 homes in Greater Victoria since 1991 and admits he

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doesn’t rely on open houses to close deals. “It’s often an unnecessary part. It’s more about the right marketing to the right people,” says Neal, broker/owner at RE/MAX Alliance. His forte is finding appropriate properties for motivated buyers. As well, an easy-to-navigate website, filled with plenty of photos and features such as drone footage, makes home-viewing convenient. “Open houses are the old school way. With the internet there’s so much information available. People use open houses to verify what they’ve seen,” Neal says. “Those anxious to buy don’t wait for open houses.”

Jason Binab has a different perspective. “I believe in open houses; I’ve always been a strong supporter,” says the managing partner of The Agency. A realtor since 2005, Binab has sold about 1,500 properties and estimates about 200 of those sales resulted from open houses.

IF YOU DO IT, DO IT RIGHT It’s a bit of an art to showcase a home and do a good job, but it’s worth it, he says. You never know when a motivated buyer will walk in and want the house. Binab recalls a woman who came to an open house and after a walk-through


told him to shut down the open house because she was buying it. He couldn’t do that, so she waited two hours, made her offer and purchased the home. And Binab points to Los Angeles, where The Agency also operates. Owners of $20-million to $50-million homes welcome open houses where valet parking, security at the door and poised realtors greet everyone from the curious to the serious. One valuable aspect of open homes is that they’re an inexpensive way for new realtors to meet people who could be future clients, says Saira Waters, a realtor with Royal LePage’s Modern Real Estate Team. Selling in Victoria since 2009, she sees more benefits than drawbacks with open houses. In the first few weeks of a listing, lots of activity takes place and that may include an open house to get more people through the home, she says. “Often buyers don’t want to bother a realtor, and they may find a house they might not have with a realtor,” Waters says. Open houses can also create a sense of urgency. After viewing a home, buyers may want to make an offer so they don’t lose a home they’ve just fallen in love with. Tied to that is that realtors hosting an open house can get a feel for the market — such as buyers waiting for prices to drop — based on viewers’ comments and reactions, Waters says. For Sarah West, open houses hinge on the seller and the property. “They can be a powerful marketing tool but some say, from the get-go, they don’t want nosy neighbours, lookie-loos and unqualified buyers,” says West, a realtor in Victoria for the last seven years with Royal LePage. But opening a home to the public may be an option when, after five weeks or so, there’s a lull. An open house can deliver new eyeballs and refresh exposure. “It’s a good way to get a lot of people through in a short time,” West admits. And even if prying neighbours traipse through, they may tell friends, looking to buy, about the house. She also points out that in a busy market like Victoria’s, there may be scheduling conflicts with agents, so buyers can visit open houses on their own and if they find an enticing property, they can have their agents arrange personal viewings. One thing to remember is that in strata properties, such as condos, strata rules may forbid open houses, West cautions.

PROCEED WITH CARE Other drawbacks include theft, with security worries being the number one reason sellers say no to open houses, Waters says. She recalls a seller who set up a security camera and was watching remotely without notifying guests, as legally required. Neal once had a client call him to say her coin collection was missing following an open house. A few days later, after much angst on all sides, she called to say the penny dropped after remembering she had hid the coins. Still, items, from iPhones to prescription drugs, do disappear, the realtor noted.

O

O U T L OOKS

D E S I G N L

T

D

Whether your style is subtle sophistication, classic elegance or modern simplicity, we’ve got you covered. OPEN HOUSE ETIQUETTE

How to make a home memorable — in a good way • Staging is important, so declutter, remove personal photos and the stuff on the fridge. • Make sure the house is clean and tidy and smells good. • Don’t use scented products like Febreze. • Bake some cookies or bread; the scent makes everyone smile. • Don’t leave mail lying about. • Have lights on. • Remove all valuables, cash, jewelry and medications. • Make sure expensive items won’t be knocked over and broken. • Ensure driveway is clear so parking is available. • Have a tidy yard, including getting rid of doggie doo. • No pets in the house; remove pets’ belongings and litter box. • No surreptitious recording unless guests are told security cameras are on site. Courtesy Jason Binab, Saira Waters and Sarah West

One change, in June 2018 to B.C.’s real estate rules, has put a crimp in realtors’ roles. Now, realtors can represent only either the buyer or seller in the same transaction, not both, as was previously allowed. Realtors aren’t happy with the rule. In the case of open houses, with would-be buyers visiting a for-sale home, the realtor at the open house acting for the seller has to be cautious about what they say. “It’s a mood killer,” says Binab. “It limits my ability as a realtor. I can’t connect with a buyer.” Several years ago Binab would do three or four on a weekend (prime open house time), but today usually does only one per weekend. As Neal sums up, open houses are about convenience. “When open houses are properly marketed and agents are contacted, they can bring in people at a specific time. It’s one more option down the line and can be done at certain intervals, at the start, sporadically and if the property is not selling.”

Custom window coverings, blinds, drapes and motorization Upholstery and slipcovers Cover Story Bedding and custom bed linens For your home, office or yacht

For an in-home or studio consultation, phone Paula Grypma

250-656-7659

OUTLOOKSDESIGN.COM 101-9818 Third Street, Sidney

SPRUCE | SPRING 2020

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FINISHING TOUCH

The Secret Garden BLACKSMITH JAKE JAMES GIVES THE GARDEN GATE A SCULPTURAL UPGRADE.

For blacksmith Jake James, a gate represents much more than its function. While it can serve to keep children or pets in, James views a gate as a sculptural and architectural element for a house. For this gate in a Japanese-inspired garden in Oak Bay, James worked directly with the homeowners to conceive the design. “The garden has a pagoda roof on the gatehouse, and bamboo is a heavy feature, so the homeowners came to me with those elements,” James says. “I played around with the idea of Zen circles, which is just off centre on the gate. The ripples are drawing from the idea of raked gardens and ripples from water features that are a major part of Japanese garden design.” Beyond the sculptural appeal — that both the homeowners and people on the street can enjoy — James views a gate as a special portal. “You open and close that gate, and you’re shutting the world out behind you,” he says. “Or whatever that psychological transition is you go through when you get home. I enjoy that kind of slightly philosophical, conceptual idea of what a gate means to someone when they’re coming home.”

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SPRUCE | SPRING 2020


Authentic Idar

The Botanical Collection A superb piece of hand-crafted jewellery is very special. The care, thought, and craftsmanship that goes into an idar piece makes the final creation incredibly personal and beautiful. That is exactly what Idar Jewellers has been doing for more than 45 years. Located in the heart of Fort Street in Victoria, idar serves as the retail showcase and working studio of award-winning master goldsmith and nationally renowned jeweller Idar Bergseth. Idar’s vision is to create distinctive lines of jewellery that are exceptionally designed and made by hand, using time-honoured techniques and intended for a lifetime of everyday use. That original idea and inspiration lives on in every piece he produces.

and periwinkle, along with ladybugs and dragonflies, inspire these pieces of art.

What better way to commemorate a special occasion, whether it’s a wedding, birthday or other milestone, than with a piece from Idar’s Botanical Collection? This popular series is a nod to our local flora and fauna. Superbly designed flowers, including calla lilies, roses

To ensure you are purchasing an original work of art, Idar’s signature bee trademark is stamped on the inside of each piece. At Idar, the piece of jewellery you buy today becomes the heirloom of tomorrow - one to be treasured for years to come.

Recently, Idar was invited by DeBeers to carry its exclusive Forevermark diamonds, which are handselected for their beauty and their rarity. Less than one percent of the world’s diamonds are eligible to become Forevermark.

INTERNATIONAL AWARD WINNING JEWELLERY DESIGNERS • SINCE 1972 946 Fort St, Victoria, BC 250-383-3414 • www.idar.com Jewellery Designs © 1972 - 2020 IDAR


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30 Years in Business

Profile for Page One Publishing

Spruce Magazine  

The Spruce Spring 2020 issue features inspiring homes & interiors

Spruce Magazine  

The Spruce Spring 2020 issue features inspiring homes & interiors

Profile for page-one