When designer Ben Leavitt of Plaidfox Studio met with the homeowners of this 2,400-square foot condo in Vancouver’s Coal Harbour, he heard those magic words that are, no doubt, a dream for any designer: “You have carte blanche.”
To be fair, that wasn’t the only direction the homeowners gave him. They wanted the update to their 1981-era space (which is actually two apartments combined into one) to be energetic, playful, anything but generic and neutral—the perfect fit for a young family. “The homeowners let us push them with colour,” says Leavitt. “As a young artistic family with a European background, they wanted to embrace a more vibrant palette.”
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The team at Plaidfox opened the space up, removing as many internal walls as they could, and turned the once-dreary galley kitchen into an airy space open to the dining area and living space. And, of course, colour throughout makes a huge impact, from the baby-blue cabinets in the kitchen to the bold, mustard-yellow millwork in the living room. “I always say, once you live with colour, you realize you can’t live without it,” says Leavitt. “It just gives you so much happiness to live in a space that’s colourful.”
More of this Colour-Happy Home
In the Mood
“It doesn’t have to have tons of different colours to be a colourful space,” says designer Ben Leavitt of Plaidfox Studio. “And it can still be really calming. That’s why we use large washes of one colour, to keep the space feeling peaceful and calm but super energetic at the same time.” The perimeter kitchen cabinets in this Vancouver condo are painted in the bright and cheery Aspen Skies from Benjamin Moore, and paired with soft white oak on the island.
Walking on Sunshine
With two small kids, it was important for the homeowners to have lots of storage for toys and more. “It doesn’t matter if you live in a small apartment or a big apartment, there’s never enough room to put everything,” says Leavitt. This huge bank of mustard-yellow cabinets (Fields of Gold by Benjamin Moore) is almost 16 feet with floor-to-ceiling storage—toys on the bottom, home wares on the top. Leavitt says he was both surprised and thrilled that the homeowners went for the bold shade. “The idea of something is always more scary than the thing itself. When you see it in person, it’s really quite pretty and interesting and makes the apartment unique.”
In the eating nook, the black sconce above the custom banquette is from Circa Lighting. A Fenis chair from Zanotta adds a playful accent piece to the mix. “It looks a little like it has bunny rabbit ears,” laughs Leavitt. The Bocci pendant over the Ethnicraft dining table brings in another hit of blue. The dining chairs are from Bensen.
The wet bar cleverly disguises pipes and an air-conditioner unit overhead. “Hidden in there is a coffee maker, and everything they could use to make coffee,” he said. “We could have just drywalled it over, but we were able to use it to make a little bistro area.”