Trendy, Coco Cran was not. The grand dame of Calgary designers grew up in Europe with a diplomat father (he was Norway’s consul general to France), and even after relocating to Alberta in the early 1970s, she never lost that touch of continental glamour. 

coco cran
Credit: Robert Lemermeyer.

In the four decades in which her designs appeared in these pages, there’s nary a project that screams dated. No walls of glass blocks, no cringe-worthy sea of pastels, no white on white on white. Instead there’s a studied vein of classicism through every room: Persian rugs, heirloom furniture and wonderful art adorning the walls—as in this Calgary home that ran in our December 1997 issue.

coco cran
Credit: Robert Lemermeyer.

It was all texture and warmth, and made even the newest space look like it had its very own history. It was elegance without the snobbery, class without the classicism. But trendy? That would have been strictly amateur hour.

coco cran
Credit: Robert Lemermeyer.

To read about more great people, designs, homes and innovations that shaped Western Living, click here.