A young family hired us to renovate a 3,300 square-foot, 1960’s split level house, across the street from Vancouver’s VanDusen Gardens. Our remit was to create a light filled, warm and peaceful home. We looked to West Coast Modern architecture from the 1960’s and 70’s for inspiration, to design a home that connected with nature and embraced the natural backdrop while subtly reflecting the clients’ Asian heritage.
While creating a much more open and connected space plan, our clients wanted visual separation between the kitchen and living room so we added a quartz clad wall behind the
cooktop – the visually quiet yet durable finish avoids distraction from the fireplace and art.
We maintained the original travertine fireplace to serve as a warm and strong focal point in the living room, and extended the stone to frame a wall of warm, mid toned oak millwork in the kitchen. Light oak flooring extends this colour to the rest of the house.
Graphic angular stair guards provide a focal point from the entrance and privacy to the dining area beyond.
Working with the original stair location we used a combination of solid free-standing forms on the outside and light double-post pickets on the inside, airily connecting the kitchen and dining room to a well-used playroom.
The challenge to making the pickets and solid guards feel cohesive was met by ensuring both followed the same lines, down to the small detail of how the metal handrail and the thinned quartz wall cap (for durability) are both a quarter inch thick with a quarter inch reveal in front of the bottom wood riser.
Their Asian heritage subtly pervades the whole house, where each space reflects a sense of harmony and connection with nature. The Vancouver temperate rainforest has many similarities to Malaysia and Hong Kong (where the owners are from originally), so connection to the back yard was key.
A three-paned sliding door now opens up the kitchen to a large deck, all raised just above the lush garden.