Western Living Magazine
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The editors of Western Living share their favourite Western Canadian home designs published in the last year.
Our annual reader’s choice competition for the WL Home of the Year has wrapped (congratulations to Burgers Architecture). And as much as we love hearing your opinions on what the top Western Canadian homes of 2023 have been, we’re also eager to share our personal favourites.
Of course, we love every space featured in Western Living. But some homes just stick in the hearts of our editors—here are our top picks of 2023.
I volunteered to kick off this story just so I could snag this home—from the suspended fireplace to the structured sofas to the French bulldog-heavy photography, this reno from designer Andrea McLean was a ringer for me. I love how much this home embraces natural materials but also incorporates subtle pops of colour (see: the kitchen backsplash). It’s spacious but not cavernous, modern but not trendy and has such a serene, friendly vibe. Homeowners, if you’re reading this, I’ll happily dog and house-sit for you anytime.—Alyssa Hirose, managing editor
The views in this home are both inside and out. It’s hard to beat the show-stopping waterfront vista that’s framed from the living room, but this whole home sings with spaces the team at Falken Reynolds designed that are truly created for the homeowners themselves (right down to the built-in dog bowls in the mudroom). Case in point? That perfect reading nook in the bedroom shown here, designed to be exactly the right size for homeowner, down to the inch. —Anicka Quin, editorial director
The owner of this Westside family home may be hockey legend Trevor Linden, but I was starstruck on a whole other level when I was assigned this story: I knew this house! The intriguing, modernist house in my neighbourhood, and had always caught my eye whenever I walked by… so to get a chance to actually look inside, pore over the interiors and speak with Evoke architect David Nicolay (and the gracious Mr. Linden himself) about all the thoughtful design details was a highlight of the year for me. —Stacey McLachlan, senior editor
Full disclosure: I’m pals with Simon, our reigning Architectural Designer of the Year. Super full disclosure: I was going to choose Trevor Linden’s Evoke-designed before Stacey snapped it up (the insane hockey fan that she is), but I don’t feel so bad because Simon used to work at Evoke before he went out on his own and I like to think they share some common design sensibilities. And this design on Bowen is awesome—it’s super paired back and lo-fi in parts, and sorta show stopping and technologically crazy in others. More tellingly, the fancy parts are the ones that are hidden, showing the kind of quiet confidence it usually takes an architect decades to develop (if they ever do). I think if we hopped in a time machine and looked at Bowen in 25 years it will be a place that embraces design in a sustainable, under-played manner and my guess is that Simon will play a big role in this—Neal McLennan, wine editor
Surprising fact: I don’t even ski, but this ski-in ski-out chalet in BC’s lush forest captured my heart. The team at McKinley Studios made my childhood dreams come true —a luxury treehouse, a chic Swiss Family Robinson escape blending minimalism and nature. I may be biased by the season, but this chalet screams ‘cozy retreat’ against a snowy backdrop and it should be legally required to host the holidays every year, in my opinion. Floor-to-ceiling windows frame a breathtaking view, seamlessly connecting with nature and bringing the great outdoors indoors. It pays tribute to BC’s landscape inside and out, exuding West Coast charm. And here’s a fun tidbit: the owner had made a cereal box design prototype for it, a fact only adding to the treehouse vibe. Not a skier, but I’d live my Swiss chalet dream here, sipping cocoa in my après-ski dream treehouse. —Kerri Donaldson, associate editor
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