After gutting their first condo and updating a previous house, designer Melanie Finkleman of Hazel and Brown Design took on a new home for this young family—and once you’re on house three, you’re clear on what will (and will not) work for a client. “They’re young, and he’s a musician,” says Finkleman. “We wanted to have a little edge, but to still reflect the home’s heritage.” The 100-plus-year-old home in Vancouver’s Shaughnessy neighbourhood had suffered a couple of mediocre renovations—much of the flooring was tiled, and the kitchen wasn’t organized to really capitalize on the views out the wall of windows in the back wall—so Finkleman’s team got to work bringing a thoughtful update to the space. Black, white and brass accents ring throughout, paired with touches of warm, cognac-coloured leather and natural wood. It’s got just enough flash for a rock star (velvet armchairs, a pop portrait of Elvis), with the right balance of kid-friendly for this family of four. (Expect to find them on that comfy Montauk sofa on a Friday night.)
The formal living room features two glam velvet Jonathan Adler swivel barrel chairs and a distressed leather sofa from Restoration Hardware. A discreet The Frame television from Samsung hangs on the wall. The clients’ record collection is stylishly stored in a walnut
credenza from Modshop.
The kitchen was designed around a custom-made hood fan—its powder-coated black surface, glossy metal straps and exposed bolts are an eye-catching element in the room. On the island, a hand-selected slab of marble is paired with a walnut butcher-block counter, complete with a cut-out to the compost bin underneath: any cuttings are slid right in. Warm caramel leather stools by Gubi provide a comfy spot for the kids to perch as the parents prep for dinner.
The kitchen before the renovation.
In the foyer, Finkleman designed an inlay of marble in a graphic black and white pattern on the floor. “It’s a large foyer, but it wasn’t big enough to have furniture,” says Finkleman. “It needed something to make it stand out when you come in.”
The cerused oak millwork in the family room is surprisingly stealthy: the tongue-and-groove panel behind the TV stores all of the audio-video components, including the wiring for the entire home.
Despite the glam and edgy feel to the design, the space is created to be kid-friendly for the couple’s four- and six-year-old daughters—nothing is too precious. The living room sofa is in a distressed leather, and the Montauk sectional in the family room is in an intentionally dark, easy-to-wear fabric (plus, a credenza tucks in behind to store the kids’ toys). “The girls will often sit on the carpet and eat their snacks at the coffee table,” says Finkleman.
While the homeowners wanted a more grown-up living room separated from the family room, they wanted to make sure it was a space that was actually used. Cue the home bar. Wrapped in black leather with a leathered black marble counter and antiqued mirror on the backsplash, it’s a rock-and-roll element in the room—and the whole family loves it. “Even the kids hop up on the stools and hang out to watch the TV over the fireplace,” Finkleman laughs.
The family room before the renovation.