VICTORIAâ€™S HOME & D E S I G N MAGAZINE
Kitchen Countertops Smarter Homes Exterior X-Factor Painting Tips from the Pros
FEATURING A LUXURY RENO, AN ECO BUILD + A NEW CONDO CONVERSION
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IN THIS ISSUE
■ CUSTOM ECO BUILD
■ LUXURY RENOVATION
■ CONDO CONVERSION
THE ART OF URBAN LIVING
This Gulf Island home overlooking Haro Strait takes off-the-grid living to new luxurious levels.
A South Oak Bay beauty receives a timeless makeover, melding contemporary and traditional design.
A couple discover their ideal lifestyle in an iconic heritage conversion.
B Y DANIELLE POPE
B Y DAVID LENNAM
B Y ATHENA McKENZIE
Spruce looks at material, colour and tech trends to help you pick the perfect countertop. B Y DANIELLE POPE
High style in a penthouse condo in The Hudson. Page 56
The most talked about tech, gadgets and appliances for your smart-home system.
From landscaping to fencing to exterior lighting, here’s what you need to know to boost your home’s curb appeal.
MAKE YOUR HOME SMARTER
B Y KERRY SLAVENS
ON THE COVER
B Y KARIN OLAFSON AND ALEX VAN TOL
IN THIS ISSUE DEPARTMENTS
B Y KERRY SLAVENS
Trunk Show April 25th | 4pm - 7pm
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S PRUCE IT UP
Bring a modern sensibility to your home build or renovation with these design and décor trends.
A room-by-room guide to lightening up your décor for the spring season. B Y BEN BRANNEN
For the ultimate in bathroom luxury, the free-standing tub makes a sculptural style statement. B Y KERRY SLAVENS
ASK THE EXPERT
Spruce asks three local specialists for answers to common questions about interior painting projects. B Y ATHENA McKENZIE
How to stage your home for a speedy and successful sale. B Y PAMELA ROTH
A categorized list of the suppliers and trades showcased in these pages.
Coffered ceilings and high-end materials elevate this sophisticated kitchen.
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INSPIRED BY THE WEST COAST
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LUXURY WOODEN DOORS
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ASSOCIATE EDITOR Karin Olafson
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Kerry Slavens
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COVER: High style in a penthouse condo in The Hudson.
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VICTORIA, BRITISH COLUMBIA
Should we tame those trends ... or indulge in them?
Kerry Slavens, Editor-in-Chief
A flooring expert says greige (grey and beige) is replacing grey for hardwood trends. Plain ceilings are out and statement ceilings are in. And those cool Scandinavianinspired white walls? Time to replace them with ivory whites and warm creams. When you’re building or renovating a home, it’s so tempting to get caught up in the latest trends in décor and design. They’re fun, they’re fresh and they’re everywhere. Big jungle florals? Sure. Curves instead of angles? Of course. Geometric tiles for backsplashes? You had me at geometric. But as fun as trends are to look at, they also have the power to derail our esthetic sensibilities and mess up our homes, so it’s important to understand which trends you can use and lose easily, and which ones you should say no to because they will become dated in no time. To avoid design regrets and costly mistakes, here are a few “rules” I’ve gleaned from the many interior designers, EDITOR’S PICKS design/builders and architects I’ve interviewed:
FULL SERVICE INTERIOR DESIGN & RENOVATIONS HOME ACCESSORIES & GIFTWARE EXCLUSIVE LINES WINDOW COVERINGS & REUPHOLSTERY OFFERING STYLISH SOLUTIONS FOR YOUR HOME FURNISHINGS
Trendy Geodes and agates are trending in wall décor patterns, but as gorgeous as this Malachite Crystal wall mural from Murals Wallpaper is, its fun and fearless boldness also ensures it will become dated in short order.
2541 Estevan Ave Victoria 778-265-8002 calla.design
Timeless Their clean lines and neutral tones make these Shaker-style cabinets from Harbour City Kitchens a timeless classic.
Choose timeless over trendy for big-ticket items. Unless you have the time and budget to redesign your home every three to five years, this is a good rule. For example, that high-end orange Bertazzoni range might seem exciting today, but ask yourself if you can live with it a few years from now. And those bold granite countertops with the statement swirls? Do you really want them to dominate your kitchen design forever? Neutrals and clean lines are always in style. Neutral colours are versatile and you can easily build upon them by accenting with trending colours (like this year’s Ultra Violet from Pantone) or hip patterns (banana leaf, anyone?). Clean lines are always easy to work with. This is especially true with kitchen cabinets. It might be tempting to go for those of-themoment ornate choices, but clean lines will take you further and you can always add some trending fun into your cabinet fixtures and countertop accessories. Accents are great ways to welcome trends into your home. Think lighting, area rugs and other textiles, window coverings, wallpapers, paint, finishes, fixtures and furnishings you can recover or replace on a whim. Another strategy is to limit your trendy must-haves to small areas, such as backsplashes or feature walls — areas where you can switch up the style without pulling apart your entire home. In this issue of Spruce, you’ll read about the latest in home trends, but we’ve also filled our pages with plenty of timeless ideas and materials to help you create a home that evolves smartly (and not stressfully) with your unique tastes and lifestyle.
SPRUCE IT UP
HOT NEW TRENDS FOR YOUR HOME BUILD OR RENOVATION
Opposite page: Wisteria Falls from Waterperry Wallpapers. This page, clockwise: Farrow & Ball’s Hegemone; Stacy Garcia’s Aquarella (available in six colourways); Designers Guild Giardino Segreto
Ames 4D 8x8 White Nature matte glazed porcelain tiles
Don’t be shy when it comes to wallpaper; it’s all about making a visual impact. Embrace bold, painterly florals such as Waterperry Wallpapers’ Wisteria Falls. This 2018 décor trend has a classic sensibility that will endure for years to come. Bring walls to life with the playful blossoms of Farrow & Ball’s Hegemone, named for the Greek goddess of fruit and flowers; create an impressionistic garden scene on your walls with Designers Guild’s Giardino Segreto; or go for a large watercolour abstract with Stacy Garcia’s Aquarella. Farrow & Ball available through Bespoke Design; Designers Guild available through Calla Design; Stacy Garcia available through Design District Access; Waterperry Wallpapers available through Style/Library (a line carried by Design District)
A NEW DIMENSION
Create a modern, luxurious and dynamic décor with threedimensional tiles. Whether their design is geometric, abstract or organically sinuous, the distinctive reliefs on the Ames Tile 4D Series give both a tactile and visual experience, and can be used to add an eye-catching decorative wall to a bathroom or kitchen — or any room in a contemporary home. Available through amestile.com
Look beyond a canvas for your wall art. Kurva Design’s “Kelp” is a West Coastinspired light sculpture. The creation of local furniture and lighting designer Mike Randall, the striking piece is made from laminated black walnut and copper, and its LEDs can be dimmed using any modern household dimmer. Kurva is a Swedish word that means “bend,” or “arc,” and the name Kurva Design reflects Randall’s love for both curved styles and Swedish design’s simple, clean and modern lines. As with “Kelp,” Randall frequently integrates metal into his designs to provide contrast in both colour and texture. Available through kurvadesign.ca
Bringing a touch of greenery into your home is not a new idea, but a Mossart wall adds a modern, organic sensibility. The creation of Vancouver’s ByNature — known for its flowing living walls — Mossart panels are part of the company’s goal to redefine how nature is incorporated into our living spaces. The expansive Mossart panels are made from preserved moss and come in a fun array of colours. Special Mossart preservation technology means your nature-inspired wall does not require any light, watering or maintenance. Available through bynaturedesign.ca
SPRUCE IT UP
Changing your space doesn’t always require a renovation. Convertible furniture, such as BoConcept’s adjustable Hampton sofa (above), allows you to switch things up effortlessly, depending on your needs. Other items in BoConcept’s line, including the Xtra footstool (below), which converts to a guest bed, and the Chiva coffee table (right), which doubles as storage, are aimed at solving the constraints of small-space living. Available through boconcept.com
Historic STONYHURST Historic Stonyhurst sits high up on a ridge with spectacular views over Fairfield, the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Olympic
Peninsula. This storied property has been prominent in the Rockland area since it was built in 1884 as a manor home in the Arts and Crafts Tudor Revival style. The property neighbours Government House and is currently 9 suites — 3 bachelors, 5 one-bedrooms and the crowning glory 2-bedroom suite at the top. 7 of the suites feature views. The main floor suites retain much of the character of the original home with period fireplaces, coffered ceilings, some with wood paneled walls. The park-like grounds add to the grandeur of the estate. This property would be a solid investment to add to your portfolio, providing consistent future returns as this desirable location warrants. $3,800,000
SHUTTERS AT SONGHEES This lovely 1 bdrm. plus den suite offers approx. 885 sq. ft. of living space plus a large patio. Amenities include exercise room and pool. Stroll the sea walk at your doorstep to the city core & experience Shutters resort lifestyle! $575,000
OAK BAY – HENDERSON Located just steps to Mount Tolmie & UVic on a quiet tree lined street and set on a pleasant .19 of an acre. This 3-bed/3-bath home has been renovated throughout with features too numerous to mention. A beautiful sanctuary to come home to! $1,299,000
We’re a proven, award-winning team of Real Estate professionals, working together to achieve your real estate objectives.
Tel: 250-385-2033 | Toll free: 1-888-886-1286 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | www.cherylbejcar.com Dana Davis Unlicensed Assistant
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Available through Splashes Bath & Kitchen
CHANGE IT UP
Adding colour to your kitchen doesn’t have to be a long-term commitment. The velvet matte black silicone hose, which comes standard with Grohe’s Essence faucet, can be effortlessly replaced with a colour option that reflects your current taste or mood. Match to other surfaces and finishes in the sink area or add a vibrant contrasting pop. If your design mood changes from season to season, replacing the hose is simple — each colour hose is sold separately and is easy for a homeowner to install.
LESS SWING, MORE STYLE
Whether you want one for a bedroom closet, a kitchen pantry or even as a unique partition between two rooms, a sliding barn door offers utility with lots of personality. Optimal for space-challenged rooms, barn doors require no floor area for swing — all you need is some extra wall space for the door to slide along. Gorgeous wood grains, custom finishes and distinctive hardware are all ways a barn door can up the style quotient in your home. The barn doors from Urban Timber are designed to last generations, and are hand-crafted using traditional milling methods. Each door is custom designed, built to your specific needs. Available through Urban Timber
BUILDING BEAUTIFUL HOMES
P 250.857.5349 | E email@example.com | gtmann.com
PHOTO BY BEN RAHN FROM THE MODERN A-FRAME, REPRINTED BY PERMISSION OF GIBBS SMITH
T H E
M O D E R N
The calling card of the A-frame is its playfully modern, steep sloping FR A ME roofline, which allows for much creative space making. With full-colour photographs by architectural photographer Ben Rahn, The Modern A-Frame celebrates various iterations of this minimalistic form, including a stunning renovation in Union Bay on Vancouver Island (shown above). The book is full of design inspiration for architecture enthusiasts and homeowners looking to create a unique and stylish space. P H OTO GR A P H Y B Y B EN R A HN IN T R O D U CT I O N B Y CH A D R A ND L
Available through Bolen Books
Stylish outdoor living is not the sole purview of people with large backyards. Balcony glass, such as the system from Lumon Canada, optimizes the function of your condoâ€™s balcony, protecting it from the elements and keeping out birds. Using a frameless glass that fully retracts, the design has a minimal effect on the outside of the building but adds an extra bit of livable space to your home. Available through lumon.ca
BY BEN BRANNEN
INSPIRING DÉCOR CHANGES FOR SPRING WITH SPRING IN THE AIR, GIVE IN TO THAT URGE TO LIGHTEN UP YOUR HOME INTERIOR WITH THESE INSPIRATIONAL YET PRACTICAL DÉCOR AND DESIGN TIPS.
is always classic. Just iron up that white duvet cover for a just-off-theclothesline look. But don’t be afraid to add a little colour or pattern with some BEGIN WITH THE BEDROOM additional cushions on the bed. Again, I love the white-on-white look for bedrooms. yellow toss cushions So cool and crisp, but if you really want to say bring brightness. spring, give sunny yellow a chance. Adding pops For those who of it to your wall trim (perfect for those modern want even more interiors with grey or white walls) and textiles impact, think about is a tasteful way to create impact. Here’s a tip: bed linens in bold green-based yellows pair better with the grey family, while yellow with a bit of orange is better but sophisticated florals. A great with white or off-white. example is the Next, let’s look at the floors. While a bedroom Acanthus bed area carpet is a must in the winter months, linen scheme from springtime means letting those hardwood designersguild.com, floors shine. By midsummer you’ll be thankful featuring digital prints of hand-painted blooms that you have that cool feeling underfoot. If on linen with embroidered highlights in rich you prefer the softness a rug provides, replace colours, contrasting lime piping and a plain blue heavier textured rugs with lighter jute or cotton cotton reverse. varieties in lighter shades. And do have a good look at When it comes to your nightstands. If you don’t bedding, simplify and love them, now is the time for lighten the layers. It may a change. Lighter woods are be time to dress the bed more evocative of spring, but in a coverlet, but do keep if your nightstands are dark, the duvet handy at the an easy fix is to have a piece end of the bed just in of light-coloured stone cut for case we have a few cool the tops. This is a durable way evenings. to add a bit of lightness to the Light-coloured room. bedding will amplify the Bring spring into the bedroom It’s also a good time to fresh feeling of spring, with floral Acanthus bed linens, declutter the bedroom to from designersguild.com and white-on-white
f you’re anything like me, when the weather warms up, I shift from thinking about my home as a refuge of coziness and hibernation to seeing it as an open and airy space where the freshness of spring can flow through. To bring in that spring style, here’s my room-by-room guide to switching up the season.
TIP: GREEN-BASED YELLOWS PAIR BETTER WITH THE GREY FAMILY, WHILE YELLOW WITH A BIT OF ORANGE IS BETTER WITH WHITE OR OFF-WHITE.
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make way for some beautiful pieces of white or creamy pottery. If you’re lucky enough to have a few spring blooms to spare, cut them and place them on the nightstand for a burst of spring indoors.
Above: An easy way to lighten up your dining room is to remove the table linens and create a centrepiece with a small collection of white or creamy sculptural vessels. Adding some flowers or greenery will help evoke the season. With textural elements such as a rug, consider sisal or jute rather than heavier materials.
DINING ROOM DO-OVER
DLC - Modern Mortgage Group 207-3531 Uptown Blvd. Victoria, BC V8Z 0B9
If your serving dishes are in strong, deep colours, consider highlighting only a few of them in your china cabinet by placing them in front of plain white serving platters. You’ll still get to enjoy them, but the overall look will be lighter and simpler. Use the same formula with your dining table. Remove the cloth and runners and place a few matching or similar vessels in the centre with sculptural pieces or a plant or two. The repetition is what makes this work so beautifully. Or go a little more hipster by placing a few Mason jars down the centre of the table; they are great for emphasizing the linear line of a rectangular table. If you have dining-room pieces in a dark stain and don’t love them, consider having them painted — or paint them yourself — in a white or neutral shade. Make sure you use the proper preparation and materials to do a professional job so the finish will last.
For the dining room, mirrors are wonderful decorative elements. Where possible, use a mirror to reflect the beauty of the outdoors into your dining room.
INTO THE LIVING ROOM For spring, lighten up the load on your windows. In fact, if you have no privacy issues, just remove the treatments altogether. (You may want to keep some blinds for light control, of course.) During springtime in my home, I like to replace large heavy drapery with lighter sheer fabrics that blow in the breeze. The sheers won’t block as much light from entering, and the light airy feel will make your home appear more spacious and light filled. The simple act of moving your art collection around can completely change the look of
TIP: THE SIMPLE ACT OF MOVING YOUR ART COLLECTION AROUND CAN COMPLETELY CHANGE THE LOOK OF A ROOM. a room. If you have a piece that feels cheerful and spring-like, move it into a featured position and use it as inspiration for a couple of new toss cushions and a throw. While I love the cozy texture of velvet toss cushions in the winter, in the spring I like to replace them with cotton, linen or, for a more formal look, silk ones. Soft pastels will maintain a more formal feel in the living room, while bolder colours, such as yellow or teal, will add zip and offer a more edgy esthetic. This formula also applies to coordinating throws. If your room needs a pattern injection, cushions and throws are the perfect way to do it — but don’t take it too far. You just want to add a fresh look to the room but still maintain the simplicity of a paireddown space. Spring is also the season to roll up the cozy coloured area carpet and exchange it for a lighter option — or add the texture of a sisal or jute carpet.
Farrow & Ball’s Helleborus
For those of you who have been dying to play up a room with pretty or graphic wallpaper, now is your chance. I love Farrow & Ball’s Helleborus pattern (left) featuring two-foot flowers, handdrawn then digitally printed. Vibrant florals work especially well in a powder room. If you don’t want to use wallpaper, paint the ceiling to give your powder room that pop of surprise. This is also the season to change your towels. Pick up fresh white-tone towels or go with something in a persimmon or hot pink. Lastly, the little accessories matter in powder rooms, so add some fresh-scented hand soaps that say spring, and bring in some garden cuttings for the finishing touch.
INSPIRED BY THE SOURCE A change of season is always an exciting time to rethink our homes, so take a walk outdoors, look at the new buds, fresh greenery and maybe even blue skies! I’ll bet you’ll come home feeling inspired to inject some spring style into your home.
BY KERRY SLAVENS
SOAK IN THE LUXURY THE ULTIMATE BATHROOM FIXTURE, THE FREE-STANDING TUB ALWAYS MAKES A SCULPTURAL STYLE STATEMENT.
ree-standing tubs have an elegance of form that never goes out of style. Not only are they coveted for their comfort, their sculptural quality makes a bold statement in any bathroom with the space to accommodate them. On that note, before you buy a free-standing tub, carefully measure the area where it will stand. Don’t forget to measure doorways, halls and stairwells too. It’s also important to make sure your hot-water tank is big enough, your plumbing is appropriate and that your floors can hold the tub’s weight. Check with a builder or structural engineer to ensure you
don’t need additional reinforcement. Free-standing tubs come in everything from cast iron to stone, wood, acrylic, glass and resin. You may think you have to go for cast iron if you love the antique claw-foot look, but Victoria & Albert tubs, such as the Shropshire shown on page 26, are cast from a patented solid-surface composite, so you get the look you like without the weight. Lastly, do try your tub before you buy. Don’t be afraid to climb in and make sure it fits your body’s contours, because these tubs shouldn’t just look good — they should also feel amazing.
SCULPTED SOPHISTICATION Designed for comfort and style, this one-piece acrylic MAAX Villi tub features a maximized bathing well with comfortable raised backrests and a unique hidden drain (preinstalled). Available in white only. The MAAX Villi tub is available through Splashes Bath & Kitchen.
AU NATUREL The unique shape of the Papillon Tub in Silver Travertine suggests a calming inner sanctum. The tapered barrel-shaped vessel is carved from a single block of travertine with intricate natural veining. Also available in Carrara marble, Sandstone, Cumulo granite or black granite. The Papillon tub from Stone Forest is available through Victoria Speciality Hardware.
LOVE THE CURVES The Serina Mirolin just says spa with its raised neck rest, curvy contours and deep well. Manufactured with both natural stone and man-made materials, this tub features an ultra-smooth, highgloss, solid and durable surface. Available in white only. The Serina Mirolin tub is available through Kitchen & Bath Classics.
SLEEK YET COMFY The acrylic MAAX OPTIK combines straight and curved lines, with an inclined backrest, curvilinear armrests and a deep bathing well. The apron is available in standard colours and five designer colours. The MAAX OPTIK 6636F is available through Kitchen & Bath Classics.
TILE & STONE
Dream Design Decora CLASSIC BEAUTY The clawfoot Shropshire slipper tub is made from EnglishCast, a one-piece casting of volcanic limestone and resin. This tub’s compact dimensions make it particularly appealing for homeowners with smaller bathrooms. The apron is available in seven colour finishes and can be painted, faux finished or stencilled. The Victoria & Albert Shropshire tub is available through Kitchen & Bath Classics.
THE RIGHT FAUCET FOR YOUR FREE-STANDING TUB There are three styles of tub fillers for free-standing tubs: floor-mount, wall-mount and deckmount. Choosing which to install really depends on the tub design and your use of the tub. Make sure your hot-water supply will fill your chosen tub relatively quickly. Also, consider the spout length and placement. You want the water to fall appropriately in the tub, but you don’t want the spout to stick out too far. Lastly, if you plan to indulge in twoperson soaks, you may want to consider locating the faucet in the middle of the tub rather than on the end.
Kohler Loure in polished chrome
RETAIL SALES INSTALLATION
DECK-MOUNT TUB FILLERS are the least popular choice, mainly because they require the tub to be drilled to accommodate the fixtures. They do, however, offer a cleaner look than the floor-mount models because the plumbing and pipes are hidden. Try to select a tub with pre-drilled faucet and tap holes because not all tubs can be drilled without causing damage or voiding the manufacturer’s warranty.
SHOWROOM: 3205 QUADRA ST VICTORIA, B.C. (QUADRA & TOLMIE) 250-475-2033
Riobel Salomé in chrome
Kohler Margaux in brushed nickel
WALL-MOUNT TUB FILLERS mount on the bathroom wall or on a faux or pony wall. They come in a range of style options, from the sleek waterfall design to the antique chrome presentation. Be sure to consult with your designer or contractor to ensure the spout is long enough to reach the tub and to avoid drips or oversplash.
FLOOR-MOUNT TUB FILLERS tend to be bold style statements in and of themselves, drawing the eye to the bathtub. They won’t take up space on your tub or require drilling as deck-mounted fixtures do. They come in a range of styles, from contemporary to antique-look, and many come with separate spray attachments.
Victoria & Albert Staffordshire in chrome
General Contractors | Custom Built Homes | Renovations | Design
COUNTER CULTURE SPRUCE EXPLORES THE LATEST TRENDS IN MATERIALS, COLOURS AND TECH TO HELP YOU CHOOSE THE PERFECT COUNTERTOP FOR YOUR HOME. BY DANIELLE POPE
or most people, the kitchen counter is the crown jewel of a home renovation. It is the surface you’ll interact with most in your home (aside from the floors), so matching your selection to your needs, your look and your lifestyle is imperative. But with thousands of materials and colours to choose from, how do you know which countertop will fit? Luckily, Spruce has researched the options — from marble and quartz to metal to wood, and even Formica — so you can make the best choice for your kitchen.
A QUESTION OF COLOUR It might seem like a surface-level way (pun intended) to start the conversation, but experts say colour preference should be the launch pad in your countertop quest. Not only will colour dictate your options for materials, it will help you make a call on the tone of the room. “When it comes to the style of a kitchen, the countertop is going to do a lot to dictate the mood, and it should be almost the last element chosen,” says Morgan-Lee Kliman, showroom manager for Colonial Countertops’ stone division. Rushing the choice of a countertop before the other elements are chosen, she adds, is a bit like putting on your jewelry before dressing. “You want to feel secure with your cabinets, flooring, even the backsplash — then you make the counter work with those elements.” And with price tags between $2,000 for laminate materials to over $20,000 for higherquality stones, most homeowners want to choose well because a countertop is not the kind of “accessory” you’ll want to have to change. Kliman has a few tricks to narrow the options:
Dark-coloured countertops will close in a space and make it feel more intimate, which can work in large kitchens or those with high ceilings. Very dark or black shades, however, can show off debris, grease and handprints, so they may not be the perfect choice. Light-coloured counters increase the feeling of space and can enhance the height and dimensions of a room. Keep in mind, light will play off this surface and white counters risk being overwhelmingly bright. They can also become a showcase for messes. Stone tones and patterns with veining are popular for these very reasons, says Kliman. Although countertops in greys and whites have been trending for the last few years, taupes, golds and brown-greys are in play for 2018. “There’s a depth that comes to a room when you have a natural stone counter, or something that looks like stone, so we’re seeing a lot of this,” says Kliman, whose home is outfitted with Caesarstone quartz countertops in Alpine Mist — a colour displaying white veining on a light, browngrey backdrop. Nearly as important as colour is the finish. The look of countertops transforms through gloss or matte options, and the choices have expanded. Kane Ireland, owner of Abstract Stone, says suede and honed finishes are growing in popularity. Flat mattes, textured, brushed and even leather finishes now outweigh high-gloss, and many materials can be treated to preference. Ireland always encourages people to take sample materials home first for the real test.
Left: Cambria’s Swanbridge marble is a timeless surface with sophisticated greys and pinpoints of charcoal. Right: Don’t be afraid to combine contrasting finishes to add visual interest. This kitchen features Canongate in matte from Cambria’s Desert Collection and glossy marbled Helmsley. Both of these materials are available in highgloss or matte.
BUTCHER-BLOCK COUNTERTOPS Handcrafted in Edmonton, Caribou’s blocks for counters are made from nonspliced wood blocks that are treated with a polyspray that is food-safe, waterproof and impact resistant.
MATERIAL MYTHS Like Kliman, Ireland agrees natural materials are dominating the countertop world and the appeal of real stone is hard to beat. “We live with so many artificial and plastic things in our homes now, and people want to bring an organic element into their kitchens, so stone countertops are an obvious choice,” he says. “People are often surprised the price step between manufactured and natural materials is not that high. If it fits your lifestyle, it can be a worthwhile choice.” Ireland is quick to point out that all materials come with pros and cons. Engineered quartz, made from quartz chips and resin, remains popular for its impermeable nature, durability and vast colour options. This material is also a sturdy choice for its consistency in pattern, since it isn’t like natural mined quartz, with its unreliable fault lines and imperfect shifts in tone. However, the material isn’t heatproof — most quartz countertops can withstand only up to 275 degrees Fahrenheit — and not all quartz is created equal. The percentage of natural elements used can vary from 50 to 90 per cent. Organic stones, from quartzite and marble
to granite and soapstone, come with other intricacies. Naturally created colour patterns add distinctive appeal to your home. Marble — along with select softer materials like soapstone — remains an elegant choice for people with the right lifestyle, who love the patina that forms a lived-in look. Granite and quartzite are excellent choices for homeowners who rely on durability but want something that feels real. While some stone requires treatment, Ireland cautions there is plenty of propaganda about the “trials” of stone. “The truth is, any counter is going to give you some challenges, and you just have to decide which material makes sense for you,” he says. “You factor in what you want from your kitchen: if you’re a family with five kids, or an older couple, if you cook big meals or eat out, if you’re a purist who needs organic materials, or if you just want something low maintenance.” Stone isn’t the only material to gain popularity in modern kitchens. Caribou butcher-block wood countertops, manufactured exclusively in Edmonton, have become popular in Canada. These counters are sealed to be food-safe and impact-resistant,
THE PROS & CONS
Choosing the right countertop WOOD Pros: An excellent chopping/prep surface that’s gentle on dishes; very sound absorbent. Cons: It is prone to damage from burns, dents, and scratches and stains, plus it needs a food-safe protective sealer and regular maintenance. QUARTZ, INCLUDING CAESERSTONE Pros: Made from quartz chips and resin, durable quartz surfacing (a.k.a. engineered quartz or engineered stone) combines the beauty of stone with the easy care of solid surfaces like Corian. Cons: It is not perfectly heat-resistant, and hot dishes may leave burn marks or discolouration. MARBLE Pros: Timeless, elegant marble holds up well to heat (in fact, its ability to stay cool makes it a favourite of bakers for rolling out dough). Cons: Even when sealed, marble can be prone to scratches or “etching” from acidic foods like citrus and coffee. GRANITE Pros: More durable than marble, granite won’t scratch, plus it’s resistant to water, stains and burns if sealed well. Cons: Needs resealing about once a year, plus it’s heavy so you need very strong cabinet boxes.
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LAMINATE, INCLUDING FORMICA Pros: This durable, stainproof material of paper mixed with resins and fused to particle board is coming back in style with new patterns that imitate stone, wood, granite and marble. Cons: It’s susceptible to burns, scratches and even stains. Some laminates may peel with excess moisture exposure. Tough to repair if damaged. SOLID SURFACES, INCLUDING CORIAN
Pros: Easy installation, uniform colour. Cons: Susceptible to heat. GLASS Pros: Endless shape, colour and texture options; non-porous and tends to be heatresistant. Cons: It can chip, crack or break and it’s almost impossible to repair; scratches easily; shows fingerprints and dust. STAINLESS STEEL Pros: Trendwise, it has the look of a commercial kitchen, plus it’s stain proof, spill proof, heat resistant and easy to maintain. Cons: It may nick and scratch, so be prepared for the “patina,” plus it shows fingerprints and streaks easily.
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Visit plygem.ca for details. while preserving the traditional sheen of an oiled butcher block. Homeowners seeking an industrial look may be drawn to stainless-steel countertops, either as a full perimeter wrap or as an accent island. Metal counters appear in copper, brass, nickel and artisan-cast textures, even riveted sheet metal. For a new approach, counters sealed with an overlay of pennies, small tiles or other textured items make for a standout feature in any home.
STRONGCONSTRUCTION .CO N E W H O M E S & R E N O VAT I O N S
When it comes to countertop possibilities, there are few limits. From live-edge and reclaimed wood to glass, concrete, even resin, there are plenty of materials that stray from the typical. â€œSmartâ€? countertops are emerging in the industry as well, offering touch-screen heating and recipe guides built into the surface for an entirely futuristic approach to the kitchen. One of the surprise trends for 2018, however, is a resurgence of Formica. Formica in colours All That Jazz (top) and Sea Glass. This original laminate
Left: This timeless sleek countertop from Franke is made from premium-quality chrome-nickel steel, which makes it more resistant to staining, rust and corrosion. Franke products can be purchased ready-polished. Below: The live-edge look in wood furniture has been very popular and now we’re seeing more of this esthetic in stone countertops. It’s a popular choice for homeowners who want to bring the look of nature indoors.
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Laminate has become more sophisticated. This Industrial Loft laminate is available from Colonial Countertops.
countertop, created in 1912 and made popular in mid-century kitchens, was featured at last year’s IDS West in Vancouver as a trend to watch. The material brings a retro feel to any modern kitchen, and pairs endless colour options with striking affordability. Formica can be polarizing, however — not everyone appreciates the look. Derek Ballman, branch manager for FloForm Victoria, believes the laminate comeback is due to innovations in textures, which can now mimick stone, wood and other solids almost flawlessly. But laminate is also the perfect choice for homeowners hoping to create a vintage kitchen with bold colours that aren’t available in other formats — like turquoise or bright orange. “It’s impressive to see the options laminates can now offer,” says Ballman. “In many cases they look like true stone, but you’re spending $2,000 on a full kitchen, as opposed to almost $10,000. And, this is a material that lets you break outside the box to do something really different with your kitchen.” Despite materials or price tag, Ireland says the best move you can make when choosing a countertop is to go with your gut. “The kitchen is the hub of the home, and it’s a place where you will spend much of your time, so you want something you’ll love,” he says. “I encourage people to take stock of what will fit their lifestyle, because this will transform your home. A countertop is an investment, but it’s also a functional piece of art.”
CHOOSING A BACKSPLASH A backsplash is the accent wall of the kitchen, so selecting the right look is essential for tying your design together. Morgan-Lee Kliman of Colonial Countertops says the backsplash should be selected even before the countertops to align with the cabinets and the rest of the kitchen. Consider using materials that mirror other elements of the home, like the trim around the fireplace, the island or an adjacent accent wall. One classic option is using the countertop material as a full or partial backsplash, but a more dynamic look will be created by using a complementary material for an overall effect. Think highgloss counters with high-shine tiles or a metal backsplash or matte stone counters with a lowsheen wall pattern, textured glass or mirror finish. Choose carefully â€” this will become a focal point of your kitchen. Above all, experts say to invest in good grout because this is one accent wall that has to hold its function, even above fashion.
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â– CUSTOM ECO BUILD
THIS WEST COAST HOME, A BLISSFULLY ISOLATED BEAUTY OVERLOOKING HARO STRAIT, TAKES OFF-THE-GRID LIVING TO NEW LEVELS. BY DANIELLE POPE
COMPLEX CURVES 36
This home is built with Blue Sky Architecture’s signature curvature, allowing the building to fit into its environment and the view. Locally harvested Douglas fir posts form the skeleton of the home, while the exterior siding is made from one-bysix-inch horizontal flush cedar boards, and the roofing is standard seam metal. The most impressive element of the home, however, is the fact that it was built — and operates — entirely off-grid.
he first time Allan Cockell and his wife Benedicte visited the Gulf Islands, specifically Salt Spring, they fell in love with craggy cliffs, winding arbutus forests and the deep blue of the Pacific. It’s little surprise they planted their dream home on another tiny island — this one in the middle of Haro Strait with 180-degree views. What might be surprising, however, is that they managed to build this home entirely off-grid — on an island with no pre-existing power or water sources, and where materials (even the construction trucks) had to arrive by barge. They managed all that while tailoring the home to suit its isolated geography. The home, on an island near Salt Spring, is perched on a rocky crest, with glorious views of the Saanich Peninsula. Sided in cedar and curved horizontally, the house looks like a noble monument to its natural environment. A wall of windows opens to the south, with solar panels tucked, strategically out of view, below the terrace. It’s easy to see how inspiration for this home grew from its geography. Thanks to an Arts and Crafts-style approach to the workmanship, this structure combines the elegance of natural materials with an understated homage to the environment that surrounds it. When the Cockells approached architect Bo Helliwell, designer in principal at Blue Sky Architecture, about the project, Helliwell knew there would be challenges. This wasn’t the first time he’d worked on a remote island, but the forested property, mossy ridge and limited resources would influence the home. It took five years, from concept to move-in, but the house has won awards — a Canadian Wood Council Residential Wood Design Award and a Canadian Home Builders’ Association Vancouver Island CARE Award. “The property is nestled in rock and trees but, with the view, it was clear where the house should sit,” says Helliwell. “Our mission was to work closely with the environment to leave as much as we could undisturbed.” They did just that. Like many of the island properties Helliwell works on, the lot was dotted with arbutus and Garry oak trees — both protected species. The island also had an abundance of deer, presenting a special challenge for Helliwell to overcome, since the homeowners wanted a robust garden for their near self-sufficient retreat. These trials seem small compared with the reality that the construction crew would be arriving by boat each day, and materials would have to be craned in by barge. Not
NATURAL INSPIRATION Natural materials are a theme throughout the house. Douglas fir ceilings parallel Islandgrown, white oak floors. Glulam (gluedlaminated) fir beams bring a sense of strength and grounding to the open-concept living/ dining room, and a stylized redwood table, crafted by Helliwell’s son, Zeke, offers a pop of colour to the natural tones. The house draws on Asian influences too, with a traditional Japanese wet room, featuring a deep bath and outdoor shower. Stone flooring and blue tiles in the bath play off the surrounding environment, while the kitchen’s granite countertops and metallic white backsplash match the glass and aluminum featured in this room. Helliwell and the homeowners agree — above all, the house comes alive through its location. “There’s a sense of space here and, even though it’s small, we have a real community on this island,” says Allan. “There are so many awe-inspiring things about this home — it’s my happy place, and it feels like a new discovery every time I open these doors.”
BLUE SKY ARCHITECTURE
The “Solar Crest House,” on a remote island in the Haro Strait, combines geometric formality with organic design. Perched on a rocky ridge, the house wraps around the crest of a hill with its south-facing exposure offering the benefit of maximum solar-power opportunities. The home is powered, in part, by 26 solar photovoltaic panels, kept strategically out of sight of the expansive view of the strait from the back patio. Wind turbines, solar-battery storage and backup diesel generators also help to power this self-sufficient home.
BLUE SKY ARCHITECTURE
to mention, everything from the electrical resources to water supply would need to be engineered. Builder Rob Parsons of R. Parsons Construction says this is one of the more complex projects he’s worked on, but one he’s most proud of. “It’s a beautiful house, and a complicated one — though you’d never know from looking at it, and that’s a testament to the design,” says Parsons. “With any island project, you know time will be an issue and you have to be so organized with barge trips and materials. But then, you catch the view over D’Arcy Island and Mount Doug and Cordova Bay, and you get a whole new perspective. It’s really something.” That perspective is why the homeowners place very little artwork on their walls. “The natural panorama is the artwork here, and it’s ever changing,” says Benedicte. “Some mornings, in the fall, I get my coffee and call to Allan and say, ‘you’ve got to come and look at this tree.’ We’re constantly surrounded by colour.” This 2,800-square-foot house captures these views through its uniquely curved shape. The home is also equipped with many unseen features — an on-site well, a roof-water-collection system, five cisterns, 26 solar panels, electric, wind and diesel backup generators, radiant in-floor heating, on-demand water heating, UV water filtration and LED lighting. As Helliwell puts it, this house won’t lose power in a storm. “When you have to jump in a boat to get to anything, you want to make sure your home is as self-sufficient as possible,” he says.
“IT’S A BEAUTIFUL HOUSE, AND A COMPLICATED ONE — THOUGH YOU’D NEVER KNOW FROM LOOKING AT IT, AND THAT’S A TESTAMENT TO THE DESIGN.”
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BLUE SKY ARCHITECTURE
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Ocean views open to every south and west window in the home. Large glass walls in the dining room and the adjacent entrance hall slide open to the terrace and outdoor space. Though the house is only one level, the height and generous amount of light in each room increase the feeling of space. The kitchen is one of the more modern-themed rooms of the house, with glass, tile and steel motifs contrasting the natural wood elements. Granite countertops maintain the natural feel.
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BLUE SKY ARCHITECTURE
The redwood dining table was custom created by Bo Helliwellâ€™s son, Zeke, of Little Whistler Lumber. The lumber was selected to complement the bright red cedar and fir motifs found throughout the house. This open-concept room emphasizes the height of the home, with majestic Douglas fir glulam beams, rafters and decking drawing the focal points upward. Helliwell and the homeowners wanted to keep as much nature in the design as possible, such as the flooring made from white oak hardwood and Pennsylvania bluestone.
Water is life.
and our greatest cities are designed around it. So it’s no wonder that life is better the closer we get to it. One soothing, blue hour spent in Westbay Quay proves the positively life-enhancing effect of Victoria’s landmark new neighbourhood—a stunning collection of 85 homes found at the foot of a dynamic marina community fully outfitted for the best in life. o u r b o d i e s r e ly o n i t
Victoria’s ocEaNsiDE NEighbourhooD
westbayquay.com This is not an offering for sale. Such an offering must be accompanied by a Disclosure Statement. The Developer reserves the right to make changes and modifications to the information contained herein without prior notice. Specifications, sizes, layouts, availability and pricing are subject to change. Renderings, maps and photographs are representational only and may not be accurate. E. & O.E. Tenfold Projects Inc.
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RESOURCES LEAD ARCHITECTS: Bo Helliwell and Kim Smith, Blue Sky Architecture CONSTRUCTION MANAGER: Rob Parsons,
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BLUE SKY ARCHITECTURE
douglas fir timber frame
overhangs minimize summer solar gain & maximize winter solar gain.
daylighting and views natural cross ventilation vegetable garden solar photovoltaic panels rain water collection to cisterns
STRUCTURAL ENGINEER: Carlos Chiu, Chiu Hippmann Engineering INTERIOR DESIGN: Bo Helliwell and Kim Smith, Blue Sky Architecture KITCHEN/BATHROOM MILLWORK:
Dan Johnson Woodworking
PLUMBER: Heatwave Plumbing & Heating ELECTRICIAN: Abbott Electric EXTERIOR DOORS: Loewen Window Centre,
Karmanah Wood Design 141000 L (37000 gal.) cisterns
Left: Benedicte Cockell’s favourite feature of the house is the custom-designed traditional Japanese wet room, with a deep bath and outdoor shower. While the refreshing shower is designed for cleaning, the deep bath is traditionally used as a spa to regulate temperature and relax the entire body, from feet to ears, in a comfortable seated position. Lined with one-by-one-inch glass tiles in Interstyle’s Dewdrops tile in the colour Waterways, the room’s esthetic plays off the ocean’s blues. Above: The water-collection system allows the property to exist entirely selfsufficiently. Water is collected from the roof of the home and stored in five cisterns, holding 141,000 litres of rainwater. The cisterns are located beneath the south-facing façade, which gives these vats the benefit of gravity and keeps them out of sight.
WINDOWS: Loewen Window Centre ROOFING: A-Z Roofing DRYWALL: M. Allen Drywall PAINTING: TKG Painting INTERIOR DOORS: Karmanah Wood Design FINISHING CARPENTRY:
R. Parsons Construction
FLOORING: Heritage Hardwood Flooring GLASS: Parker Glass LANDSCAPE: Aaron Pitt, Bodhi Landscapes PAVERS: Island Stone Landscape Supply SOLAR CONSULTANT: Kevin Pegg,
EA Energy Alternatives
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â– LUXURY RENOVATION
MODERN ELEGANCE A SOUTH OAK BAY BEAUTY RECEIVES A TIMELESS MAKEOVER AND EARNS THE MONIKER MISE EN PLACE. BY DAVID LENNAM PHOTOS BY JOSHUA LAWRENCE
Thereâ€™s no better example of the marriage of contemporary and traditional design satisfying the preferences of both homeowners than in the master bedroom, with its secret-panel doors that hide ample walk-in closets, and soft New Zealand wool broadloom underfoot.
erched up high, nestled in a rocky outcrop on the lee side of Anderson Hill in Oak Bay, this long and narrow three-storey house, with incredible views across South Oak Bay, the Victoria Golf Club and Juan de Fuca Strait, is one that had truly exhausted its look. Time — and not just the cruelty of passing years — but a time, specifically the 1990s, had left her looking out of touch and passé. Built in 1992, the five-bed, five-bath, 5,000-square-foot home, its exterior an unfortunate not-quite-pink-almost-crèmebrûlée stucco was as dated inside as out. Reeking of a charm that had matched up well with oversize V-neck sweaters and leggings, the home’s teal tiling, aubergine walls, dark woods, lots of wall-to-wall, and 1990s light fixtures had not aged well. “It didn’t have the rounded corners on the drywall, thankfully,” jokes project manager Chris Clark of Coast Prestige Homes of the house now known as Mise En Place, “but
green carpet and just sort of ugly trim and terrible doors, those hollow-core doors, in a house that could potentially be worth $5 million.” “It really had a 90s flavour to it and definitely lacked any kind of character,” adds designer Jenny Martin, principal at Jenny Martin Design. “That really played against the personalities of the new owners, who are so colourful.” The new owners, Sue and Val Brown, a pair of psychologists, took possession in 2009, leaving the Shoal Point condo they’d been in for seven years. Dated interior design aside, the house was love at first sight. “I came up to take a look at it,” recalls Val, “and I saw the view through the office. Then I came upstairs and saw the view through the balcony and thought we’ve got to get this house.” Sue had been walking around atop Anderson Hill and felt the lure of the area before she’d even seen the house. “It’s a really wonderful design,” she says, “and not too big. The rooms are on a human scale.”
Above: The signature herringbone pattern in the new white oak with walnut inlay floors runs throughout, adding an additionally textured feel to each room. The painting above the fireplace on the left remotely flips back to front, revealing a large flat-screen TV.
The original and very dated 90s look of the old staircase lacked any of the eye-popping pizzazz of the re-do, which features exotic millwork, Venetian plaster on the walls, extensive marble flooring and palatial stained glass windows.
They were struck by the geometry of the space and the flow from room to room, although there was little design to tie each of the three levels together. “My feeling was that the house was going upwards and had no groundedness.” Clark saw a set of “good bones” in a stunning location, but he didn’t realize he’d be working on those bones on and off for three years, taking the entire interior apart and reassembling it.
IT ALL BEGAN WITH A NEW DECK The deck was leaking so had to be replaced. “And if we had to replace the deck,” says Sue, “let’s put some doors in the guest room. Once that was done we wanted to do the two guest rooms and their bathrooms.” Clark introduced the couple to designer Jenny Martin, who helped define a style that could carry through the house — a marriage of Val’s taste for the contemporary and his wife’s love of the more traditional, opting for a timeless elegance. Flooring is predominantly white oak with walnut inlay from Island Floor Centre, done in a signature herringbone pattern and featuring Celtic knot patterns in the four corners of rooms. New Zealand wool broadloom is underfoot in the bedrooms. “Keeping it timeless helps keep it cozy and inviting,” advises Martin. “The palette was
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The master bath vanity with twin sinks also serves as a room divider. Behind it is the very private shower and tub area. Builder Chris Clark reveals his team did fullsized mock-ups and months of back and forth, on site and in the shop, to get the details right.
very neutral, softer wood tones, lots of whites or off-whites. And the view is spectacular. Anytime you have a place where your windows are your artwork you don’t want really loud walls that compete with that.” For Martin and her team it was exciting to have clients so open to the design process and keen to let them try new things. “They got excited about the same type of things we designers get excited about. I think that’s what naturally led it to be as impressive as it is.”
THE BATHROOM INSPIRED BY A ROCK STAR The most spectacular, and challenging, job in the project was the 20-by-13-foot master bath, styled after rocker Lenny Kravitz’s Paris apartment bathroom. During the concept stage, while thumbing through images of impressive bathrooms, the owners encountered a photo of it. The centrepiece steam room/shower is made of Calacatta Caldia marble encased by floor-toceiling glass, with eight massage jets, two sets of wands and a rain hat. On either side are two long marble benches. “The benches had to be long enough so I can sit comfortably,” says Val. “You walk in and it’s like going into a cave.” Across a floor of glazed porcelain is Sue’s BainUltra Essencia oval free-standing bathtub with 46 air jets for a ThermoMasseur experience.
Call it the Lenny Kravitz steam room/ shower, constructed of laminated veneer lumber framing and structural steel to gain the tolerances necessary for those huge slabs of Calacatta marble, a gorgeous, highend natural stone available from a single quarry in Italy.
The most exciting part of the reno for Sue was having the bathtub of her dreams. — ergonomic perfection from the BainUltra Essencia freestanding jetted (and self-drying) tub. After the builders had it installed, they left Sue a little handwritten note: “Enjoy your bath.” Under that delicate chandelier, who wouldn’t?
There are heating units built into the floor and back of the tub and hideaway LEDs in six colours for therapeutic chromotherapy. And the tub even dries itself. According to Sue, it’s the most ergonomically suited bathtub in existence. She knows. During a three-day search in Vancouver, Sue sat in more than 100 tubs. “It’s very hard to find an ergonomically designed tub,” she explains. “They’re mainly designed by men who do not sit in them.” The bathroom is the element Clark’s most proud of. “It was a head scratcher, but it turned out fantastic.”
Shaker-style birch cabinets and drawers are all face frame. Countertops are both marble and butcher block from Island Countertop. Pulls are Restoration Hardware in polished nickel, and taps are solid brass Perrin & Rowe. There’s one lower cabinet with a concealed stand lift. A heavy iron mixer rises from floor level up to work height.
DETAILS HIDDEN AND NOT SO HIDDEN There’s a solid 10-by-5-foot wall of marble in the kitchen. One immense slab is a magnificent backsplash. The piece was so big it had to be lifted in to the house by a crane. The kitchen, which is not enormous, is an exercise in precision storage. Four years ago, Sue went to chef school and has accumulated, as Martin likes to say, “every single kitchen appliance known to man.” “I remember when we were getting started on the kitchen we went through an incredible inventory with Sue. That’s kind of where mise en place came from, “everything in its place.” Nothing in that kitchen was by chance.” Sue got rid of her Aga cooker and replaced it with a 48-inch dual fuel Wolf range. Above it hangs a custom range hood so powerful it automatically
Right: The huge beam across the vaulted ceiling of the great room was a Jenny Martin touch. “Hiring a designer was the best decision we could possibly make,” says Val. “It turned out to be almost the experience of a lifetime working with them.”
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crackle of a wood 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. Amy and Tim
triggers a makeup air handler to return to the room some of that stolen air, which emerges warm at foot level. Sitting down with the Browns in one of several sitting rooms, Val asks me if I like the large painting over the fireplace. Sure. But then he flicks a remote and the painting flips around to reveal a flat-screen TV. Very James Bond. What you don’t see is hydronic in-floor heating and a comprehensive automation system by tekmar Control Systems that regulates lights, heat, music and even humidity via a series of sensors that are flush with the drywall. Sue says the toughest part of the renovation was when they were measuring progress by how much more they’d destroyed, but adds, “This is our 30-year house.” And only three of those years have been taken up by renos. Asked when the couple is going to tackle the exterior of the house, updating the stucco, Sue grimaces. “A couple of years.” Are you looking forward to it? “No, but we’re used to it.”
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INTERIOR DESIGN: Jenny Martin Design OAK FLOORING:
Island Floor Centre and Cherry Point Hardwood TILE: Island Floor Centre TILE INSTALLATION: Versa Tile & Stone CARPETS: Banner Carpets STONE: Stone Age Marble & Granite
160 East Burnside Road, Victoria | 250-382-5421
MILLWORK: Jason Good Custom Cabinets HARDWARE:
Victoria Speciality Hardware, Restoration Hardware SPRING/SUMMER 2018
■ CONDO CONVERSION
No luxury is sacrificed in this condo kitchen, which features two side-by-side Miele refrigerators and freezers — fully integrated into the cabinetry — a Miele gas cooktop and oven, a Liebherr wine fridge and a built-in Miele coffeemaker. Knoll Ludwig Mies van der Rohe Four Seasons stools, from Gabriel Ross, complement the modern esthetic.
THE ART OF URBAN LIVING A COUPLE DISCOVER THEIR IDEAL LIFESTYLE INSIDE AN ICONIC HERITAGE CONDO CONVERSION.
oan Stirling is quick to admit she wasn’t originally sold on the idea of condo living. That was before she and husband Brian bought their distinctive penthouse in The Hudson building. Her change of heart happened shortly after moving to Victoria in December 2015, during a visit to Herald Street. “When I was walking around, I realized I felt like I was at home,” she says. “All the old buildings and brick — I felt really comfortable here.” The couple, who are self-described urbanites, moved to Victoria from Toronto where they ran a successful property-staging company. During their time in TO, they had also converted space in an old baseball glove factory into a loft living space, “back before the word ‘loft’ was common lingo.” They say raising their children in the city has been a very positive experience and point to walkability, restaurants, cultural events and diversity
BY ATHENA McKENZIE PHOTOS BY JOSHUA LAWRENCE To personalize their condo after purchasing, the homeowners changed the lighting and plumbing fixtures. Tom Dixon Beat Tall pendant lights and a Moen STo matte black one-handle high arc pulldown faucet were used in the kitchen.
A Flos Model 2097 Suspension Lamp acts as a dramatic focal point over the Knoll Warren Platner dining table. The MDF Italia Flow Chairs Padded, designed by Jean Marie Massaud, came with the homeowners from Toronto. Eyecatching elements, such as the Flower Bowl by Vancouver artist Martha Sturdy and the customframed graphic print, give the area a gallery feel.
“YOU FIGURE OUT HOW YOU WANT TO LIVE AND DECIDE WHAT SPACE SUPPORTS THAT LIFESTYLE”
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as ranking high in their lifestyle priorities. For Brian, now working as a real estate agent specializing in Victoria’s urban properties, lifestyle is the most important thing to consider when buying a home. “You figure out how you want to live and decide what space supports that lifestyle,” he says. “We live where we work and we work where we live.”
THE PERSONAL TOUCH Joan’s initial concern about living in a condo stemmed from her desire “not to live in a shoebox.” But a listing for a second-floor loft-style unit in The Hudson piqued her interest in the building. The 1,200-square-foot fifth-floor penthouse features two bedrooms, two bathrooms and an extra 250 square feet of living space on a stunning covered terrace. “This building is one of the most unique pieces of architecture in the city,” Brian says. “From a residential standpoint, you won’t be able to duplicate this. It’s a unique property and it matched up with our style and our esthetics.”
250-888-8224 | www.NewWestDev.com SPRING/SUMMER 2018
The unique lighting continues into the den, with its Artimede Tizio floor lamps. The Vitsoe 606 Universal Shelving, which the homeowners brought from Toronto, works perfectly in their new space. A Bensen sleeper sofa, CB2 tables and an Elte cowhide rug provide a neutral canvas for the pop of the Marimekko cushions.
“... WE HAD A GOOD IDEA OF WHAT WAS SELLING AND WHAT WOULD BE A GOOD VALUE.”
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While every home the Stirlings have bought prior to their Hudson condo needed major renovations, the move into this suite “was pretty simple.” “It took two weeks to make it our own. We wanted to put our thumbprint on it,” Brian says. Along with giving it a fresh coat of paint, the pair updated the light fixtures, changing the pendant lights over the kitchen bar and the chandelier over the dining table, and adding track lighting. They also replaced the plumbing fixtures in the kitchen and both bathrooms. The abundant light, a favourite element of Brian’s, plays up the couple’s striking collection of graphic art. The east-facing unit gets a view of the sunrise and Mount Baker through its floor-to-ceiling windows. It also has an intriguing view of Victoria’s everevolving cityscape.
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Brizo Sotria black matte taps were added to the ensuite. Artwork by Stephanie Harding was purchased in the neighbourhood at Dales Gallery in Chinatown.
Herman Miller Leaf Lights are just one of the standout elements in the master bedroom, which include STUA Atlas aluminum nightstands, a Ligne Roset Anna bed and a large mixed media piece by Ontario artist Neil Young.
You can have it all. Canadaâ€™s finest urban resort community.
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The contemporary design of the Villas at Cypress Gates is the perfect complement to the pristine, natural environment of Bear Mountain. Each of these homes enjoys stunning views of Mount Finlayson and offers its discerning owners the prestige of living in one of our most desirable gated communities.
A HOME AS AN INVESTMENT “When we bought this place, the other element that I quickly realized is that this was a great buy,” Brian says. “Having had our own interior design and property staging company, we had a good idea of what was selling and what would be a good value.” On his first visit to the area, he saw “holes in the ground and cranes in the sky,” and knew that the growth in the neighbourhood would only mean increased worth. To his mind, a condo is a great investment, especially in a market where for many people a detached home is “just a dream. “That could be viewed as unfortunate, but condominiums represent great value, great lifestyle opportunities and they’re still affordable,” he explains. “There are lots of programs that the government is sponsoring to support first-time buyers to acquire this type of property.” He calls buying in The Hudson one of the best real estate decisions the couple has ever made, pointing to the condo’s appreciation in the short time they’ve been there. As for Joan, she’s embraced the condo lifestyle. “We thoroughly love the area and living here,” she says. “Five years from now, this will the most desirable neighbourhood in the city.”
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MAKE YOUR HOME SMARTER THE PROMISE OF SMARTER HOMES HAS BEEN ON THE TECH AGENDA FOR YEARS, BUT SUDDENLY THESE TECHNOLOGIES HAVE HIT THE MAINSTREAM AND EVERYONE WANTS THEIR OWN AMAZON ALEXA OR GOOGLE ASSISTANT TO MAKE THEM COFFEE, LOCK THE DOORS, CHANGE THE TEMPERATURE, PLAY THEIR FAVOURITE SONG AND DIM THE LIGHTS. BY KERRY SLAVENS
he buzz from the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas is that the smart home you’ve been dreaming of has arrived in a big way. And it’s true — you can now control your lights, security cams, music and appliances from your smart phone or smart home hub. But before you get too excited, it’s important to realize that the fog of technology surrounding smart technologies can still make some of us feel a little, well, stupid. Fortunately, it is getting easier. Both Amazon and Google have raced to the forefront of smart-home tech, with Apple and Samsung hot on their heels. Amazon, for instance, has created an intelligent personal assistant called Alexa that works with its Echo or Echo Dot system to do everything from order pizza to turn on your ceiling fan. Google Home does much the same. So does Apple’s Homekit. There’s no rule that says you have to stay with one smart hub system, but because many of these devices can talk to one another, it helps if they talk the same language. And the truth is, it’s a bit like the old PC/Mac issue — while some smart devices will work with Amazon or Google, not all will. So before you buy that smart doorbell with video, make sure it is enabled for the system you have. Amazon’s Echo, with its assistant Alexa, works with a huge number of third-party apps and services (and you don’t need Amazon Prime). Google Home is catching up, and it’s a good bet if you’re an Android user or already invested in Google’s tech solutions. It also integrates seamlessly with Google-led devices, including the Chromecast ecosystem. Here are some of the most talked-about gadgets and appliances to consider as you build out your smart-home system.
C BY GE LED TABLE LAMP This smart lamp does more than just light a home. Put it in the bedroom where its AM/ PM light modes support your body’s natural sleep and wake cycles, or put it anywhere in the home and set timers, adjust light levels, play music from Spotify or Sirius FM and control other smart devices with access to Amazon’s Alexa.
KOHLER VERDERA VOICE LIGHTED MIRROR The Kohler Verdera Voice Lighted Mirror has Amazon’s Alexa built right in, giving you command of everything from your music to room temperature — right from the bathroom. This mirror has built-in speakers and dimmable 1000 lux LED lights — and it will also put you in control of Kohler’s range of connected bathroom products, including smart fill taps that control temperature and bath fullness, and the smart toilet, which flushes via voice.
NEST HELLO DOOR BELL The Nest Hello combines the convenience of a video doorbell with the image quality and intelligence of Nest Cams used for interior and exterior home security. Nest Hello lets you see people head to toe from close range, as well as packages on the ground, even when you’re not home. Featuring 24/7 live streaming, HDR imaging and night vision, Nest Hello can send you an alert when someone approaches, even if they don’t ring the bell. And if you subscribe to Nest Aware, it can tell you exactly who’s there with familiar face alerts. It also has HD Talk and Listen so you can answer the door even if you’re not at home.
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LG’s InstaView refrigerator features a tinted glass panel that allows you to see inside without letting the cold air escape. Just knock twice on the glass to light up the contents within. As well as giving you access to Alexa via voice control, the InstaView ThinQ refrigerator can act as the director for your connected kitchen, keeping track of your shopping list based on fridge contents, instructing the oven according to the recipe you choose, and even letting the dishwasher know what to expect so it can pick the right cycle.
WINBOT X WINDOW CLEANING ROBOT Ecovacs’ new window cleaning robot, the Winbot X, doesn’t need a power cord to run. Using a thorough four-stage cleaning system, Winbot squeegees and wipes in every direction to reportedly leave the windows streak-free and sparkling.
ANOVA CULINARY SOUS VIDE WI-FI-ENABLED IMMERSION COOKER Anova Culinary is a smart kitchen gadget for sous vide, the art of cooking food sealed in a bag and cooked in a water bath at a regulated temperature. It’s capable of cooking meat, vegetables, soups and even dessert. Just send the Anova a voice command through Alexa or Google and have your roast cooked to perfection for your dinner party while you’re upstairs in your dressing room.
BOSCH STAINLESS STEEL SMART COFFEE MAKER “Alexa, make me a latte.” The Bosch coffee machine lets you make everything from ristretto to espresso to cappuccino with Bosch’s Smart Home app or voice command to Alexa to brew the kind of coffee you’re in the mood for. Bosch’s MyFavorites stores up to eight of your favorite coffee preferences.
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When your yard needs watering, just say, “Alexa, tell Rachio to water the front yard for three minutes.” Or you can ask Google Home. Replacing the standard irrigation system controller, this smart sprinkler system can provide insight on when a lawn needs water and exactly how much, and it can automatically adjust watering using weather conditions and advanced metrics on what’s growing in the location and soil type.
ROOMBA 690 ROBOT VACUUM Compatible with Alexa and Google Home, the Wi-Fi connected Roomba 690 robot vacuum uses a three-stage cleaning system with dual multi-surface brushes to clean everything from small particles to large debris off your floor. Dirt Detect Technology recognizes concentrated areas of dirt and provides additional cleaning in those spots, and the iRobot HOME App lets you clean and schedule conveniently from anywhere, at any time.
THE NEST THERMOSTAT 3.0 This smart thermostat works with Google Home and Alexa to help you control the temperature in your home. It learns how your home heats and cools, how drafty it is and what temperatures you prefer. So when you wake up in the morning, you’ll be cozy. When you leave for work, it’ll turn itself down. When you come home, you’ll be cozy again. And you can control it from anywhere. You’ll also get reports on your energy use, and this model has Furnace Heads-Up for homes with a forced-air furnace systems.
THE SENGLED ELEMENT COLOR PLUS LED Anticipated this spring, the Sengled Element Color Plus LED is a smart bulb that changes colours and syncs with both Alexa and Google Home.
OUTDOOR ZONE 71
RULES FOR EXCEPTIONAL EXTERIORS
EXTERIOR X-FACTOR WHETHER YOU WANT TO MAKE YOUR HOME EXTERIOR MORE ATTRACTIVE AND FUNCTIONAL FOR YOUR OWN USE, OR YOU’RE KEEN TO ATTRACT BUYERS, SPRUCE BRINGS YOU EXPERT IDEAS TO BOOST YOUR HOME’S CURB APPEAL.
Elevate your home’s exterior X-factor with these design rules
FOCUS ON FENCING
Think both stylish and practical
WE LIKE IT HOT
Trends in outdoor heaters
GET READY TO SELL
Realtor tips to up your curb appeal
LIGHT IT UP
Above: The landscaping at this Prospect Lake project by Horizon Pacific Contracting shows the appeal of strong, crisp lines.
What’s hot in outdoor lighting
FOCUS ON FENCING
DESIGN RULES FOR EXCEPTIONAL EXTERIORS Landscape and design experts share simple design rules you should follow if you’re looking to elevate your home’s curb appeal.
When it comes to home fencing, think stylish but practical. Here’s how to do both.
BY KARIN OLAFSON
picture-perfect garden, an impeccable sense of colour and style, unique artistic features — certain homes just invite you to stop and stare at their beauty. To find out how to boost any home’s exterior X-factor, we talked to four local home experts who shared their design rules for creating exteriors that wow.
add a little pizzazz to their home’s exterior, Ines Hanl says a good guideline is to choose one main focal point and have just two additional design or landscape elements. That piece you choose as your main element might be as large and distinct as a fountain or as simple as a unique light fixture. “For example, if a piece of artwork is your focal point, add two beautifully potted planters as your two additional elements,” says Hanl. “It doesn’t have to be big, either — if you have a great wall sconce, you can treat it as your outdoor sculpture.”
The rule: Create strong, crisp lines Apply the rule to your home: The most striking exteriors
are ones that are simple, focused and uncluttered, a look homeowners can achieve if they think about creating clean lines, like the ones at the Prospect Lake home by Horizon Pacific Contracting, shown on the left. Twyla Rusnak suggests planting flowers and foliage along the street or the property lines to achieve a neat edge, while Hanl advises: If you can’t maintain a front yard with clean lines, then get rid of it. A poorly looked-after lawn is an easy way to take your exterior from enviable to untidy.
This simple yet dramatic fountain stylishly personalizes the exterior of a Glendale Cove home built and landscaped by Christopher Developments. Reminiscent of the owner’s time in Japan, the fountain’s dark T-shape represents a kimono. Below: Greens and red swaths in this Rusnak Gallant landscape bring a calming sense of organization to the garden.
The rule: Choose a garden colour scheme and stick to it Apply the rule to your home: The best-looking exteriors
appear organized — and that organization should extend to a garden’s colours. According to Rusnak, homeowners should go for big drifts of colour instead of a wide range of flowers in a variety of colours. Bianca Bodley adds that a limited colour palette makes an exterior more peaceful. “Less is more,” says Stephen McLeish. “Planting too many types of plants is common, and the problem there is that the eye doesn’t know where to settle.”
The rule: When it comes to greenery, mix it up Apply the rule to your home: While limiting the floral colour palette to just one or two colours
is essential, to add interest to an exterior, Bodley recommends homeowners select lots of shades of green to work with when it comes to greenery, ensuring that 60 per cent of the landscape is evergreen so the exterior looks great even in the winter.
Ines Hanl Owner, Sky Is the Limit Design
Twyla Rusnak Landscape designer and principal, Rusnak Gallant
What you want: Privacy JO-ANN RICHARDS
The rule: Have one focal point Apply the rule to your home: For homeowners looking to
BY KARIN OLAFSON
Bianca Bodley Landscape designer and co-owner, Biophilia
Stephen McLeish Registered landscape architect and owner, Acacia Landscape
How to get it: If your goal is
to make your backyard feel like a private oasis, with lots of privacy, consider cedarplank fencing. Cedar offers that classic coastal look while also providing seclusion and, depending on your choice of height and gate, security. While cedar does require regular maintenance, it is readily available on Vancouver Island, and its rich red colour adds to your property’s curb appeal.
What you want: A lowmaintenance, durable fence How to get it: Vinyl fencing
tends to be more expensive than wood, but it requires little maintenance and lasts for decades. Its durability means it’s also the ideal material for homes located close to the sea, while its strength makes it perfect for homeowners who have pets prone to chewing. Vinyl is available in a range of styles and colours, and since it can imitate both wood and ornamental styles, there’s no need to sacrifice curb appeal.
What you want: A decorative landscape addition How to get it: Metal fences with spaced pickets won’t hide a beautiful home and its landscape but will still offer a secure barrier around your property. Whether in aluminum, steel or iron, these fences can be either contemporary or classic to fit with the style of your home — and they are extremely strong. In coastal areas, however, metal fences should be coated to withstand the elements. SPRING/SUMMER 2018
The rule: Don’t mix design styles Apply the rule to your home: Think twice before you install that Coast Capital Realty
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Italian Renaissance-esque fountain in front of your craftsman-style home. For Bodley, what makes a home stand out is the cohesiveness of the exterior design with the house itself. “How the house and landscape relate to each other — and the overall uniqueness — is what catches the eye,” she says. A good example of this unity of style can be seen in the Glendale Cove home shown below, where the Asian-inspired feel is carried throughout the home’s architecture and the landscape design by Christopher Developments.
The rule: Don’t be afraid of metal, but make sure it’s used consistently Apply the rule to your home: Metal accents, from doorknockers to
gates, add interesting detail to home exteriors, but again, consistency is key. Select one type and style of metal and use it throughout. What’s appropriate and charming for a Victorian home is probably not the right choice for an ultra-modern home. Using metals is also a way to visually connect the exterior to the home itself. “If a home has aluminum details, you could also bring those details into the fencing,” suggests Bodley. “Or perhaps have aluminum posts and aluminum house numbers on your fence.”
The rule: It’s okay to avoid symmetry Apply the rule to your home: Not all entranceways are designed to
be symmetrical, so don’t try it if it doesn’t already exist. McLeish says he often sees two planters placed on either side of a front door, but when an entranceway isn’t symmetrical to begin with, this placement can look off-kilter and jarring. Instead, design within your home’s natural asymmetry for a look that works. According to Hanl, symmetry and asymmetry depend on factors like the house’s style and how far back the house is from the sidewalk — if there is a long entryway to a home, for example, a winding, asymmetrical walkway will probably work better than a long and aggressive, arrow-like approach.
The rule: Ensure your exterior is well lit, but don’t go overboard Apply the rule to your home: Exterior lighting is essential for safety, especially for paths and stairs, but it’s also an important design element. Uplights or downlights can be used dramatically on a home exterior, such as the Christopher Development home
Craig Toker 778-351-1616
Personal Real Estate Corporation
Below: Neatly edged beds of artful boulders, shrubs, ornamental grasses and a concrete sculpture complement this Glendale Cove home’s Asian-inspired contemporary design. In designing the landscape, Chris Walker of Christopher Developments echoed the home’s low-lying profile to preserve neighbouring ocean views. Walker’s use of rain chains with stone-filled pots instead of downspouts complements the home’s clean lines.
TIP: USE UPLIGHTS OR DOWNLIGHTS TO EMPHASIZE INTERESTING FOLIAGE IN YOUR GARDEN. shown below. Twyla Rusnak also emphasizes uplighting or downlighting interesting foliage. That said, less is more when it comes to lighting. McLeish says many homeowners want just gentle, ambient lighting to avoid contributing to light pollution. He recommends having just a few exterior lights, and varying their intensity and location. “Consider lighting a tree, but use at least two lights: light from the front and the back,” he explains. “Cross light and then you get depth of view.”
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The rule: Make your entranceway inviting and social Apply the rule to your home: If you have
space, try to avoid that tiny, uncomfortable stoop outside your front door. “I recommend having a courtyard space outside the front door to create an inviting landing space,” says McLeish. “It makes a nice transition from the outdoors to the home, and having a spot with a bistro table and chairs, where you can sit with a coffee in the morning, will add to the curb appeal.” Outdoor architectural structures make a home’s exterior that much more inviting, says Hanl. “I am a big proponent of front porches. They add to your social life — you can sit outside and meet your neighbours as they walk by. And be sure it’s well lit. On my porch, I have LED light fixtures that are on 24/7, all year round. It is so magical.” By keeping these design rules top of mind, you too can have a home that looks so perfectly — and effortlessly — put together that it invites passersby to stop and admire.
First Place Award Winner Canadian Jeweller’s Excellence in Design Awards INTERNATIONAL AWARD WINNING JEWELLERY DESIGNERS • SINCE 1972 946 Fort St, Victoria, BC • 250-383-3414 • www.idar.com Jewellery Designs © 2018 IDAR
WE LIKE IT HOT Even on the nicest summer days, outdoor dining plans can go awry when the sun sets and the temperature dips. To enjoy your patio at all hours — in all seasons — investing in a quality outdoor heater is essential. To find out what’s tops and trending for 2018, we talked to Mike Black, owner of Capital Iron. BY KARIN OLAFSON
Infratech’s W-series heaters can be flush mounted for a low profile.
Napoleon Kensington Square Patioflame Table
American Fyre Designs Fire Bowl Perfect for: Homeowners
Perfect for: Homeowners
Perfect for: Anyone looking for a heater that offers a big bang for the buck
Overhead outdoor heating is trending, and many homeowners are choosing to build heaters right into their gazebos. Infratech’s single-element heaters offer flexibility when it comes to the installation as they can be mounted in the ceiling, on a wall or on a pole. And they’re discrete, so they won’t draw attention away from any of your other outdoor elements.
Black says the Napoleon brand is popular because it has an accessible price point, can run on natural gas or propane and has an attractive bed around the flame that adds a nice glow. “And the design is social,” says Black. “You can gather around [this heater] and it reminds people of camping.”
According to Black, fire pits are currently more popular than outdoor fireplaces, and this fire bowl from American Fyre Designs is sleek and sophisticated. Made from glass fibre-reinforced concrete, it’s also distinct from other outdoor heaters. The bowls come in a variety of sizes, depths and colours, and according to Black, are “design-oriented.”
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GET READY TO SELL: 7 REALTOR TIPS FOR CURB APPEAL When you want to attract buyers, don’t ignore your home exterior. BY ALEX VAN TOL
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potential buyer’s decision is often made without even setting foot on your property. “When the client pulls the car right up to the curb, it’s like a blind date,” says Michele Holmes, owner of Holmes Realty in Sidney. “You have 30 seconds or less to nail a first impression.” Make the most of them.
RETRO-FIT TRADITIONAL CONTEMPORARY
1 Invest in landscaping. Get your green
in order. “Many houses here are so overshadowed with foliage that you can’t really see the architecture of the house,” says Andy Stephenson, realtor with Sotheby’s International Realty Canada. “Things grow so prolifically here that if a garden has not been planted professionally, some of those shrubs can exceed the height of the house, or they block the views from the living room window.” Clear the walkways and trim back shrubbery so when it’s raining, visitors don’t get slapped with wet branches on their approach up the walkway. “That’s our pet peeve as realtors!” says Saira Waters of Modern Real Estate Team in Oak Bay. Mow, weed, rake and add cedar mulch to your gardens, and plant seasonal flowers in the ground or in pots.
2 Tidy up. Establish a sense of space and cleanliness. “People don’t want to see your collection of tchotchkes and gnomes,” says designer and home stager Dawn Woodruff Thrasher. “A beautiful Buddha in a back meditative garden space is slightly different, because people think of serenity in the backyard.” Tidy your porch and decks, and hide lawn tools, basketball hoops, garbage and recycling containers. Remove plastic furniture and old planters, and clean dirty stucco with soap and water. Cover empty expanses on exterior walls with a visually arresting wall medallion. “If [a wall is] really plain, sometimes that can make it stand out and give it style,” says Woodruff Thrasher. “If you want to spend some money,” says Tasha Medve of Modern Living Realty, “there are different outside elements you can add to your home, like shingles or hardi-plank, to make the house feel more contemporary.” 3 Deal with deficiencies. Power-wash your driveway, clear gutters and eaves of plant matter, and touch up peeling paint. “It’s all those first impressions,” says Scott Piercy, real estate advisor with Engel and Völkers. “Mentally we’re programmed to notice what’s wrong as opposed to what’s right.” Get the
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6 Lighten up. Simple yet powerful,
moss off the roof, fill cracks in your driveway and, if necessary, level your walkways. Don’t forget that potential buyers have a chance to look around while the realtor is getting the key out of the lockbox. “If there are cobwebs or chipped paint, it sets the tone for how they’re going to move into the house and what they’re going to look for,” says Holmes.
replacing your dated exterior lighting fixtures with new ones is the cheapest way to add some sizzle. “I like oversized,” says Stephenson. “It can just add a whole bunch more punch than a tiny one-bulb fixture, even if it’s a smaller house.” Landscape lighting is pretty too, be it pathway lights or a wellplaced floodlight. And clean your windows. “A sparkling window adds a lot of punch, especially if you’ve got the character glazing,” says Stephenson.
4 Make a grand entrance. Add a simple and classic entrance mat, a new doorbell or letterbox, and ensure house numbers are tidy and visible from the street. “You can frame the front door by adding big pots,” says Eli Fast of Ivyhouse, a full-service design firm in Victoria. Hiring a florist to put together a couple of extravagant flowering plants for a pot adds a polished touch, notes Stephenson.
7 Bring in the pros. If you’re still not sure
5 Focus on the front door. A gorgeous door
is easy to do, be it a sumptuous West Coast wood or a brightly painted sleek modern door. But don’t automatically reach for the red. “As important as colour is, you want to make sure you have it fitting in with the theme of your home,” says Fast. Blue works for a beach house; red or classic black rocks a Tudor. “We’re also seeing a lot of green,” says Ivyhouse’s Bryn Taylor. “An olive-green front door would look good with grey houses or houses that have woodshingle siding.”
“AN OLIVE-GREEN FRONT DOOR WOULD LOOK GOOD WITH GREY HOUSES OR HOUSES THAT HAVE WOODSHINGLE SIDING.”
whether you’re doing it right, book a design consultation. “DIY is great, but having a consultation is worth its weight in gold,” says Fast. Landscape designers and home stagers often generate a good return on investment when selling. The whole idea behind enhancing the curb appeal of your home is to get people to connect emotionally with the space, say Medve and Waters. “People need to be able to see themselves in that home.” A clean, inviting and well-tended exterior signals to potential buyers that the home has been cared for, and that it’s a place of safety and retreat from the busy outside world. And that’s all we want when we come home.
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LIGHT IT UP We look at what trends are in and what’s out in the world of outdoor lighting. BY KARIN OLAFSON
What’s in: Solar lights What’s out: Halogen lights More homeowners are moving toward sustainability when lighting up their landscapes. Allsop’s According to Maureen SolarGlass Markham, store manager at in saffron Dig This’s Victoria location, adding soft ambiance to an outdoor space with LED lights, solar string lights or sophisticated solar hanging lamps is trending. For a decorative element, Markham says Allsop’s solar lights add bursts of colour to an outdoor space — they are available in playful colours like mint green and saffron — with coloured light fixtures also on trend this year. Pay a little more to get a long-lasting battery and for high-quality solar energy cells that will make the light cast farther.
Check for asbestos and other hazards before you start renovating Before you swing a hammer, hire a qualified professional to test for asbestos and remove it safely. Learn how to properly dispose of your reno waste to avoid being turned away at Hartland Landfill or private facilities. Find step-by-step guides, checklists and more at www.crd.bc.ca/renowaste or contact the CRD at 250.360.3030
What’s in: Bold brass fixtures What’s out: Painted aluminum fixtures
Home Depot’s Princeton brass wall lantern
Stewart McLellan, assistant manager at Wes-Tech Irrigation Systems, says homeowners are looking for quality when it comes to their lighting choices, and as a result, long-lasting brass light fixtures are back on trend this year. Brass adds timeless elegance to a landscape, and McLellan says brass lights also offer homeowners peace of mind because they often have 15-year warranties, while the lesserquality painted aluminum lights usually have just a five-year warranty.
What’s in: Enhancing garden
features with touches of light What’s out: Using highintensity landscape floodlights Don’t let that intricate trellis, majestic tree or whimsical Unique Lighting garden bridge disappear into the darkness. Instead, use small Systems’ Cardinal in-ground light lights to enhance these interesting features in your garden to ensure they offer visual interest in the day and night. Wrapping fairy lights around the trellis, hanging lanterns from the branches of a tree or providing a pathway of ground pot lights along that bridge will provide an interesting focal point and brighten up the outdoors to make it well lit and inviting without being too prominent.
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ASK THE EXPERT
BY ATHENA McKENZIE
Pro tips you need to know
WHEN IT COMES TO REFRESHING YOUR HOME, A COAT OF PAINT CAN BE TRANSFORMATIVE — BUT THE PROCESS CAN ALSO BE DAUNTING. TO HELP YOU TAKE THE GUESSWORK OUT OF PAINTING PROJECTS, THREE LOCAL EXPERTS SHARE THEIR ANSWERS TO COMMON QUESTIONS, FROM HOW TO CHOOSE THE IDEAL COLOUR FOR YOUR SPACE TO HOW TO TACKLE THOSE TRICKY TEXTURED WALLS.
JEFFREY BOSDET/SPRUCE MAGAZINE
“For new builds and big renos, painters mostly stick to spraying. We spray all the walls and the trims and then we’ll roll the final coat on all the walls. Everything is back rolled after you spray it, except for the trim. We use a finefinish tip on the trim so you get a factory finish.” — Matt Beyers, owner of Indelible Paint Works
Q: What does one need to know about hiring a professional painter? Expert: Matt Beyers, owner of Indelible Paint Works Ask a lot of questions. A big one is who will be doing the work? It’s not always the person out doing the quoting. How many guys do you have doing the work? How long do you anticipate it will take? What products will you be using? You also want to get a feeling off the person. Do you want them in your house? If it’s a new build or a big renovation, the painters are there until every other trade is gone, so we’re in your home. It is a personal experience. Know the difference between a quote and an estimate. A quote will be firm and the estimate is just an estimate. Your quote should be firm and it should outline everything that was discussed: everything that needs to be painted, how many coats and what the prep work will be. You should know what you’re getting before the painter shows up to do the work. Don’t always take the cheapest quote. Good work isn’t cheap and cheap work isn’t good. Pros do a lot of prep. We scuff-sand all the walls because it makes a nice surface for the paint; also when you do that, it’s easier to notice little dings and nicks in the wall. All those spots get patched, along with nail holes from paintings and any cracks. In kitchens and bathrooms, if needed for grease or mildew, we will PSP clean them and then let that dry. Mildew can really eat through your paint. If there are any water or smoke stains, we will clean those, and those walls will need a really good oil primer so the stains don’t leach through the paint. This is all done to achieve the best end result.
A new paint technology is the epoxy-reinforcedacrylic paint, such as Benjamin Moore’s Scuff-X, that helps protect walls from scuffing. It’s the ideal choice in narrow hallways and stairways where walls may show a lot of wear and tear.
Q: What are your best tips and methods for choosing paint colors? Expert: Ivan Meade, principal designer at Meade Design Group Don’t start with the paint colour. People always want to pick their paint colours first. They see a trending colour and want to use that. But it might not work in your space. You need to start with the other elements in the room. It’s easy to match paint to materials but much harder to match materials to paint. Finalize your materials — for example, your kitchen island counter and backsplash and even your floors — before you pick your paint colour. Light is the key. You have to do an evaluation of the space. Do you have high ceilings or low ceilings? If you have natural light, what are the natural conditions? Light is the most important thing. If you face east, you will have a warm light in the morning. If you face west, you have orangey yellow light at the end of the day. If you face south you have light all day, but it tends to be more cool. If you’re facing north, you have little light exposure. It’s not just about the room. Start with natural conditions of light. And then look at the artificial light. Even light bulbs can affect the pigment.
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From the natural light of early dawn to the artificial light necessary after nightfall, the effect of light on colour is a crucial consideration when choosing your paint colours. Bright midday sun will wash out many pale hues (left); that same hue will be flattered by softer, indirect illumination (middle), while artificial light can add a warm glow to the wall colour (right). Shown here, walls painted in Benjamin Moore Dream Whip 2174-60, Regal Select, matte; wainscotting is Mascarpone AF-20, Regal Select, eggshell.
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The colour wheel is a great tool for choosing your palette. The Farrow & Ball complementary colour scheme in this living room (left) uses colours located opposite each other on the wheel. The room features walls in India Yellow No. 66 and a cupboard in Mahogany No. 36. This kitchen (right) features an off-white Farrow & Ball monochromatic scheme with walls in Savage Ground No. 213 and cupboards in London Stone No. 6. and Off-White No. 3.
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Work with colour theory. I always point people to the colour wheel for choosing the palette for their space. A monochromatic scheme is composed of a single hue but can use varying intensities. An analogous scheme uses colours that are adjacent to each other on the colour wheel. A complementary scheme brings in colours that are diametrically opposite to each other on the wheel. Donâ€™t forget the trim. Another area where people make mistakes is with their wall colour and trim. They think they can just use white on the trim, but there are so many whites and using the wrong one on your trim can affect the end result. One trick is to paint the walls in a hue you like and then mix in 80 per cent white with that colour for the trim. A really contemporary look is to paint the walls and trim in the same colour but with a different finish. For example, use a matte paint on the walls and a glossy on the trim. Donâ€™t use the tiny paint chips. To address these issues and to get an idea of how a colour will look in your space, get a sample and paint a large poster board. Paint chips are so small and make the colours seem much more intense. Be sure to evaluate at different points in the day and on different walls in the room.
Expert: Terri Heal, manager at Pacific Paint
Don’t get stuck on removing texture. There has been a trend for people to remove stiple or popcorn ceilings, and walls, but one thing to keep in mind is that many times, when a home was built with the specifications of having a textured ceiling, the quality of the drywall underneath is not quite up to snuff because the builders knew it was going to be covered. That’s a warning for ceilings and walls. You may reveal something less attractive. Also, the stipling was put there for acoustic reasons, not for decoration. It actually helps with sound reverberation, so if you remove the texturing, you are going to have more echo. If done by a professional plaster person, it is possible to skim coat all of the walls to get them looking actually flat. Use the proper paint. The simplest choice in dealing with a textured wall is to paint it. There are no paints that effectively fill a textured wall. Reasonable quality paints will have a certain thickness of body but they are
Q: How do you approach a refresh of textured and wallpapered walls when you move into an older home?
“The simplest choice in dealing with a textured wall is to paint it.”
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styles that inspire 82
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We are Victoria’s best kept secret, specializing in distinctive and custom lighting, metalwork and hardware for your home and garden. All our pieces are handmade by artisans in our Victoria studio. Our studio showroom also features authentically detailed period reproductions and refurbished antique fixtures. Stop by to view or to discuss custom work.
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Using paint with a flat or matte sheen will downplay any texture on the wall. Benjamin Moore Clay Beige OC-11 (shown above) is a versatile neutral that can be given a flat finish in their Regal Select Interior Paint.
not intended as texture fill. Using paint with a flat or matte sheen will downplay the texture. A lot of people default to using an eggshell paint for washability, but that finish does have a slight sheen, so it may emphasize the texture or any flaws. Use a washable flat paint. A cheaper flat paint won’t have any washability and if you have an unwashable paint on a textured surface it will look awful in no time. Washable flat is important. You can paint over wallpaper. Though the best case is to get the wallpaper off, you may not have that option. Some papers — including cheaper older paper and very expensive custom paper — are actually made with a papery material that is somewhat porous. Others are vinyl coated or actual vinyl (for washability) and that’s basically a sheet of plastic on the wall. The latter takes a lot more care and attention. The safest route for any one of those papers is to prime it in an oil-based primer because the seam lines can be susceptible to water and that can make them come loose or pop up, creating vertical ridges every 20 inches. Even though oil is inconvenient and it stinks, the primer is neutral and you can then put any paint you want on top and achieve the look you want.
Expect more Over 20 years of finely crafted, handmade cabinetry, furniture and millwork
259 Esquimalt Road 250.360.2123 douglasgrantcabinetmakers.com
BY PAMELA ROTH
STAGE YOUR HOME FOR A SUCCESSFUL SALE AT ONE TIME, HOMES WERE SOLD “AS IS,” BUT TODAY’S BUYERS HAVE BEEN TRAINED BY HGTV AND OTHER MEDIA TO EXPECT FOR-SALE HOMES TO PRESENT WITH PERFECTION. THE GOOD NEWS? A WELL-STAGED HOME CAN SPEED YOUR SALE AND INCREASE YOUR SELLING PRICE.
hen you are selling your home, it’s essential to make a great impression right from the start. That’s why so many sellers have keyed into the importance of home staging, which is the art of preparing a home for sale in the real estate market. When done effectively, home staging brings out a home’s best attributes, downplays its worst and helps potential buyers to envision themselves living successfully in the space. And helping prospective buyers form a vision is key, according to Josée Lalonde of The Housse, a solution for local home stagers, offering a warehouse packed with more than 3,500 items for rent, including artwork, accessories, light fixtures, cushions and large pieces of furniture. Lalonde admits home staging in Victoria has been slow to catch on, compared with other Canadian cities, but she sees plenty of benefits — even in our hot housing market. Homes that are staged typically sell for at least five per cent more. Furthermore, 74 per cent of staged properties sell in less than four weeks. She says it’s particularly important to stage a home if it’s sitting empty. “When it’s empty [prospective home buyers] don’t know what to do. Ninety-five per cent of the population has no vision that way. People can’t see past whatever is there,” she says. “If you give them something [to look at] then it’s much easier for them to visualize their own things in there and it gives them that inspiration that their home could look like this.”
HOW TO SET THE STAGE Whether you stage your home yourself or use the services of a professional home stager, there are some key principles to follow to take your home from good to great. Get in the mindset Liz Mackay, owner of Fabulous Home Staging, is a former realtor who’s been staging homes in Victoria for more than 10 years. She agrees home buyers have to be able to visualize themselves living in a home or they won’t buy it. So, for sellers, it’s crucial to stop thinking of your property as “home” as soon as you put your property on the market. Instead, detach and begin to see your property as a product. Declutter Put away all personal items and treasures, such as photos or figurines, and make sure countertops are free of any clutter. And do get rid of or store furniture that contributes to a crowded feeling. Many people rent temporary
storage lockers to avoid cluttering up a garage or rec room with extra pieces. TIP Once you’ve cleared the clutter, you can selectively add back in a few pieces to give the home a lived-in appeal. Think tasteful vases, bowls of fresh-cut flowers (be careful about heavily scented blooms), a basket of fresh fruit on the counter, a bowl of lemons beside the sink and artfully placed pillows and stylish throws.
Refine hidden spaces Sellers may like to believe closets and cupboards are unseen spots during viewing, but they won’t go unnoticed by buyers. “People will go into your closets and open your cupboards,” says Mackay. “You need to make sure that people think there’s lots and lots of space. Most people wear 20 per cent of what’s in their closet, so the rest should be packed and put away so it doesn’t look crowded. And then colour block your [clothing items], just like you’d see in a clothing store.”
Opposite: A beautiful bedroom carries the subtext that a home is well cared for, so don’t ignore this important selling point. To make everything feel fresh and spacious, paint the room in a neutral colour and invest in neutral bedding, throw cushions and throws. If the room feels crowded, put some furniture in storage. Above: The kitchen is a major selling point. Start by decluttering this area and deep cleaning so it sparkles. If your appliances are old or dated, replace them. And do look at your cupboards: could they benefit from new hardware and a coat of paint?
TIP Closets that appear spacious make your entire home seem bigger. After decluttering, paint your closet interiors white or in a light neutral to make them more appealing.
Let it shine Before showing your home, make sure it’s sparkling clean and odour free. “[Home sellers] need to be aware of things, like if there’s pet odour. Cooking smells is another one,” says Mackay. But do be wary of trying to cover smells with over-perfumed synthetic scents; instead, bake some bread before an open house or use essential oils such as grapefruit or lemon in a
PSYCHOLOGICALLY, A ROOM JUST FEELS MORE PULLED TOGETHER WHEN FURNISHINGS AND DÉCOR ITEMS ARE ORIENTED AROUND A FOCAL POINT
This before and after of a home staged by Josée Lalonde Design and Home Style Solutions shows the power of creating a focal point. The carpet and painting unify the room and add a more intimate feel.
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scent diffuser — nothing too heavy. Consider hiring a cleaning service and window-washing service to give your home that extra sparkle. TIP Don’t forget the exterior. Give lawns and shrubs a trim and powerwash your home exterior, walkways and patios to give your home a fresh, neat look.
Repair or replace Once the home is decluttered and organized to perfection, it’s time to choose the right pieces to pull your rooms together. That means looking with a critical eye at your furnishings. A sagging sofa or scratched coffee table, for instance, may not seem like a problem to you, but a home buyer may see it as indicative of a careless attitude toward the home in general. And do think about your walls and floors too. Paint walls in neutral shades (it’s amazing how often bold wall colours can put off home buyers, even though it’s easy to repaint!) and polish or refinish floors if needed. TIP If your light fixtures are dated (we’re not talking heritage), consider replacing them to give your home a bright, contemporary look. And do replace yellowed or chipped switch-plate covers for a clean, new look.
Make it flow When staging a home, Mackay says it’s important to assess the “flow.” That begins with making sure each room has a focal point (typically, a piece of art, a feature wall, a fireplace or a large window). Psychologically, a room just feels more pulled together when furnishings and décor items are oriented around a focal point — and that makes visitors to the room feel more comfortable. It’s also important to place furnishings to ensure balance, harmony and the smooth flow of traffic. There has to be a certain amount of space between items so people can walk around properly without bumping into chairs and table corners. Again, it’s the psychology of making people feel at home. TIP Keep about 30 inches between furniture pieces you need to be able to walk around and 16 to 18 inches between sofas and coffee tables, so drinks are within easy reach.
DESIGN DREAMS COME TRUE
Hook & Hook Renovations & Design Inc.
250.893.8124 For this condo, staged by Josée Lalonde Design and Home Style Solutions, removing blinds and draperies maximized the natural light and made the space feel bigger.
Interior Design | Custom Cabinetry | Project Management
Dress it up When it comes to home sales, the “money rooms” are often the kitchen, family room and master bedroom, so make sure they look their best by investing in fresh neutral bedding and fresh, fluffy towels. Lalonde says one of the most popular items stagers rent from The Housse is original artwork from local artists. The right artwork, she adds, brings life to a home, and the colour and style of the artwork can set the tone for the design plan. Other items that are popular staging rentals at The Housse are mirrors, which can bring in more light to dark rooms and add the feeling of spaciousness and sparkle to an otherwise small and boring room. TIP Get rid of yellowed blinds and dated draperies. Invest in neutral cottons or linens or, if it looks good, leave windows in some rooms bare to make the room seem bigger and increase natural light. Do raise blinds and tie back draperies during viewings (unless you want to de-emphasize an unsightly view).
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The last key piece of home staging advice for a successful sell is simple: have it staged before the realtor walks through your front door. This will likely give you a better selling price and it also helps your realtor get to work immediately. And these days, when most people look at homes online before they decide whether or not to venture through the front door, it’s essential to have photos of your home. But they need to be good photos, says Mackay, as photos of a pre-staged home can leave buyers turned off and in disbelief. “We can’t believe what’s on the Internet ...” she adds. “[A home] has to have really good photos and that alone is reason enough to get a professional in to have a look before it goes on the market.” Ultimately, it’s all about showing a home to its advantage so buyers can easily feel that emotional pull to make an offer. “People will fall in love with it once it’s staged,” says Lalonde. “You set the stage.”
RESOURCES ■ APPLIANCES
West Coast Appliance Gallery Page 92 westcoastappliance.ca
Art Gallery of Greater Victoria Page 52 https://aggv.bc.ca
Blackthorn Contractors Ltd. Page 67 blackthorncontractors.com — Burkhart Construction Management Inc. Page 34 burkhartconstruction.ca — Coast Prestige Homes Ltd. Page 69 coastprestigehomes.com — GT Mann Contracting Page 18 gtmann.com — LIDA Homes Page 75 lidahomes.ca — Mdrnbuilt Page 91 mdrnbuilt.com — New West Development Corp. Page 59 newwestdev.com — Philco Construction Page 44 philcoconstruction.ca — SeaBrook Developments Page 27 seabrookdevelopments.ca — Strong Construction Group Page 32 strongconstruction.co — Villamar Construction Page 2 villamar.ca
LANDSCAPE SUPPLIES Windsor Plywood Page 41 windsorplywood.com
ORGANIZATIONS Camosun College Continuing Education Page 86 camosun.ca — Capital Regional District Page 77 crd.bc.ca — Go West Design Group Inc. Page 68 gowestgroup.com —
CABINETS & MILLWORK
Douglas Grant Cabinetmakers Inc. Page 83 douglasgrantcabinetmakers.com
Jason Good Custom Cabinets Page 33 jasongoodcabinets.com — Pacific Rim Interiors
Page 68 pacificriminteriors.ca — Urbana Page 12 urbanakitchens.ca
FINE WOODWORKING/ CUSTOM FURNITURE
Autonomous Furniture Collective Page 73 autonomousfurniture.com — Karmanah Wood Design Page 9 karmanahwooddesign.com — Live Edge Design Page 87 liveedgedesign.com ■
FIREPLACES & STOVES
Wilk Stove Page 55 wilkstove.com
HOME IMPROVEMENTS/ RENOVATIONS
Modern Real Estate Team
Page 87 handhrenovations.com —
Newport Realty/Cheryl Bejcar
Page 63 tnrenovations.ca
Newport Realty/Brett Jones
Hook & Hook Renovations
Page 61 modernrev.com —
True North Renovations
Page 17 cherylbejcar.com —
Page 7 incredibleclosets.ca ■
Page 79 securhomevictoria.ca
INTERIOR DESIGN/ HOME STAGING
Meade Design Group
Page 88 meadedesigngroup.com
Page 17 brettjones.ca —
Remax Camosun/Roxanne Brass
Page 50 roxannebrass.com —
Sotheby’s International Realty/ Sophia Briggs
Page 31 strattonandbriggs.com — Sotheby’s International Realty/ Katherine Gray
Page 21 homesweetgray.com —
Bartle & Gibson
Sotheby’s International Realty/ Melissa Kurtz Page 21 welcomehomevictoria.com
Harbour City Kitchens
Sotheby’s International Realty/ Nancy Stratton
KITCHEN & BATH
FLOORING Hourigan’s Flooring Page 19 hourigans.com — Island Floor Centre Ltd. Page 23 islandfloors.com
Page 74 bartlegibson.com —
Page 45 harbourcitykitchens.com —
Page 31 strattonandbriggs.com —
Kitchen & Bath Classics
Victoria Real Estate Board
Page 80 vreb.org
Page 82 kitchenandbathclassics.com —
The Ensuite Bath & Kitchen Showroom
Truffles Catering Page 88 trufflescatering.net
HOME DÉCOR Bespoke Design Ltd. Page 25 bespokedesign.ca — Calla Design Page 10 calla.design — Luxe Home Interiors Page 11 luxevictoria.ca — Max Furniture Page 35 maxfurniture.ca — Waterglass Studios Ltd. Page 83 waterglassstudios.com
Decora Ceramic Tile & Natural Stone
Page 26 decoratile.com — Exotic Stone Page 66 exoticstone.ca — Matrix Marble & Stone
Page 54 matrixmarble.com — Park Avenue Stone Panels
Page 61 parkavenuestonepanels.com — Stone Age Marble & Granite
Page 66 theensuitevictoria.com
LANDSCAPING/ LAWN & GARDEN
Page 62 bearmountain.ca/livehere —
Page 34 acaciavictoria.com —
Page 43 tenfoldprojects.com —
Page 77 victoriastones.com
Page 4 westhillsbc.com
Victoria Stonescape Ltd. ■
Westhills Land Corporation ■
WINDOWS & DOORS
Oakridge Windows & Doors
Ply Gem Windows
Penna & Co.
Page 5 dancevictoria.com —
Page 75 oakridgewindows.ca —
Page 73 idar.com —
Page 32 plygem.com
Page 79 pennakitchen.com —
Island Window Coverings
Page 8 pharmasavebroadmead.com —
Saffron Window Fashion Drapery & Blinds
Page 81 relaxtheback.com
Pharmasave Broadmead #232
Page 65 islandwindowcoverings.com —
Relax the Back
Page 76 saffronwindows.com
Modern Mortgage Group
Page 22 jodiesmortgages.ca ■
WINDOW PROTECTION/ SUN CONTROL
Titan Window Films Ltd.
Page 60 titanwindowfilms.com
Craig Toker — Personal Real Estate Corporation
Page 72 craigtoker.com
Page 59 stoneagemarble.com
Modern Transitional USING A BLEND OF CLASSIC AND CONTEMPORARY ELEMENTS, DESIGNER JENNY MARTIN, PRINCIPAL OF JENNY MARTIN DESIGN, CREATED A FUNCTIONAL KITCHEN WITH AN ABUNDANCE OF WOW FACTOR.
Visual Comfort’s Darlana fixtures were chosen for the way they enhance the room’s modern transitional esthetic. “There’s a classic quality to these light fixtures even though they are somewhat contemporary,” Martin says. “They also play into the angularity of some of the other details in the space.”
The motif concept for the coffered ceiling was a major jumping off point in the design process for Martin and the homeowners. “A coffered ceiling adds texture and shadow,” Martin says. “It draws the eye up and adds to the verticality of the space. Whether it’s painted tongue-andgroove or coffered ceilings, people are definitely more open to the idea of a statement ceiling.”
Surface Appeal The counter and backsplash, in Cambria’s Ella, has a subtle veining “reminiscent of a natural marble,” Martin says. “But the surface has the durability and functionality of a quartz. Its tones complement the room’s palette.”
The millwork at the end of the island includes a motif detail that echoes the ceiling. Thomas Philips Woodworking, who did the millwork, used a blend of different finishes throughout the kitchen — including a high-gloss acrylic cladding on the hood fan — which makes the space more dynamic.
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Unit B-3090 Nanaimo Street, Victoria, BC, V8T 5A6 250-382-0242 Unit B-3090 Nanaimo Street, Victoria, BC, V8T 5A6 Proudly selling, installing and servicing appliances in Victoria since 1984. 250-382-0242 WE SERVICE WHAT WE SELL. Proudly selling, installing and servicing appliances in Victoria since 1986. WE SERVICE WHAT WE SELL
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