Photos by Provoke Studios.

1974 was a good year. This post-and-beam Lions Bay home was built, and the designer who would eventually give it a glorious modern makeover was born.

Before photos

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The homeowners, John and Tyler, were taken by the mid-century feel and community vibes of their Lions Bay house, but the property was in need of a little love. The four-bed, three-bath, 2,800-square-foot house had been updated in a piecemeal way over the years (like the high-gloss kitchen), and the layout was awkwardly segmented by support columns. The lighting on the main floor was subpar too — a common issue for post-and-beam construction, where there’s no place to hide wiring in the ceiling.

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But 1974 baby Lori Steeves of Simply Home Decorating wasn’t daunted by the challenge. She pitched John and Tyler on a cosmetic renovation of the main living spaces and a total kitchen overhaul, and got to work turning the quirky house into a home the couple could love for decades to come.

An awkward closet was swapped out for a stunning library wall, and support columns firmed up with chic industrial brackets. Steeves reduced the exposure of the kitchen to create a more welcoming entryway. “It was important to provide a sense of ‘arrival’ at the front door,” she says. This was one step in improving sightlines, visually connecting one space to the next.

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“In the kitchen, we opted for an unconventional colour for the cabinetry, but one that would tie into the natural colours from the surrounding views from the outdoors,” says Steeves. Black hardware makes the perfect finishing touch.

The original oak hardwood throughout was refinished with a custom white washed finish, and many of the furnishings from Once A Tree Furniture (the library shelving, dining table the sofa table) were finished to complement it. Overhead, cedar planks and a layer of shiplap on the ceiling allowed for wired pot-lights and a new dining fixture, while still embracing the home’s original character. 

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While a home theatre room is kitted out for a comfortable TV-watching experience, the window in the living room has proven to be as much of an attraction for John and Tyler. “They find themselves parked at the dining banquette as often as in the Once A Tree swivel chairs that look out onto the stunning ocean and forest view,” says Steeves.

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PROJECT CREDITS
Designer: Simply Home Decorating
Construction: Kitsilano Construction
Custom cabinetry: Oscar Grann
Furniture: Once A Tree Furniture
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