Sechelt-based designer Gwyntie Van Tuyl Weswicks brings a touch of the Sunshine Coast to the North Shore.
Homeowners Justin and Karen didn't really want to downsize. Sure, moving from a large home in West Vancouver to a small townhome on the North Shore would bring their dreams of owning a summer house on the Sunshine Coast that much closer to reality—but they didn't want to feel too cramped. "The goal was to make the space feel as big as possible, bright, airy" says Emerge Design principal Gwyntie Van Tuyl Weswick, who worked with builders Ritchie Custom Homes on the project. For the Sechelt-based designer, this translated into a neutral materials palette that opens up the space and allows everyone's unique personalities to shine through. "Karen's design sense is more eclectic, whereas Justin's is really clean and simple," says Van Tuyl Weswick. "We amalgamated their two styles to achieve simplicity, comfort and beauty, all while injecting a bit of fun in the space." The result? A playful, coastal-chic look for the entire family. Scroll through the photos below to see how it all came together. "The kitchen and living room are often considered to be the heart of the home—we were able to achieve that in both spaces," say Van Tuyl Weswick. "A large island for family gatherings was a must and a cozy sitting area for the family to read, kick back and relax was of the utmost importance." In the kitchen, a mix of concrete, wood and stone accents create a natural, bright and airy look. The herringbone marble backsplash creates visual interest while the oak detail around the cabinets (and on the island) adds a touch of warmth to the space. The furniture and accessories in the living room are an eclectic mix of new and found pieces. "Karen loves searching for treasures that she can repurpose," says Van Tuyl Weswick. The leather pouf was picked up at Consignment Canada in Vancouver and the gorgeous, centuries-old Persian rug was purchased from a family friend. The fireplace is a central part of the living room, so Van Tuyl Weswick added a bench to the the right side for balance and a wavy piece of modular art to the facade for texture. First Nations artwork can be found throughout the home. In the dining room, a piece by Coast Salish artist Ray Natraoro hangs above an antique console. The rug in the dining room is another antique find—one that took the homeowners months to decide on. "They would try rugs out, take photos, get me to see them and then switch them out with a new rug," recalls Van Tuyl Weswick. The homeowners' daughters played a major role in the overall design of the home, so Van Tuyl Weswick felt it was only right to have a bit of fun with the bubble swing that hangs beside the living room. "The hippo lives in that chair," she laughs. "He's part of the family." Without much space in the entryway, the designer opted for a geometric print from Walls Republic. "It's such a small entrance, putting anything there overpowered it," says Van Tuyl Weswick. "The wallpaper gives some personality." The upstairs landing is another quiet place for the family to relax. A simple turquoise armchair, hexagonal side table and antique rug create a cozy spot just outside the master bedroom. Another feature wallpaper (Flourish by York Wallcoverings) appears in the master suite: "The palette really speaks to what's downstairs," says the designer. "It's neutral, calming, cozy, relaxing." The homeowners wanted dimmable, functional lighting in the master bedroom for reading, so Van Tuyl Weswick installed a pair of barely-there pendants from Troy Lighting above the nightstands.