“It was pretty dark when I bought it,” says Lyndon Cormack with a smile.

The previous owners of this home had kept it in their family for more than 60 years, and for good reason. It rests on an enviable four-acre piece of waterfront just north of Deep Cove, a suburb outside of Vancouver. Few properties with so much access to nature are also a 25-minute drive from downtown.

Once Cormack made the place his own, an early visitor was friend and designer Omer Arbel˛the creative force behind the Bocci light empire. Arbel had some bright ideas, and today no less than 369 Bocci fixtures hang, swirl and fly throughout the house. A constant glow now animates the space, from inside, where those pendants team up with five enormous fireplaces, and also from outside, where the reflective waters of Indian Arm are seen through wall-to-wall openings.

Cormack, the co-founder of vintage-inspired backpack giant Herschel and Co, has always been interested in bringing classics into a new light. “A little patina is important,” he says. “You can’t fake it. The wear has its own story” So: Douglas fir beams were left intact throughout the five-bedroom home; the original Shaker-style cabinetry remains; and above the kitchen floats an old cedar-strip canoe inherited from the previous owner.

All of which makes for a bold juxtaposition to the high-design moments throughout. In the living room, for example, a 25-foot-high wall of white subway tiles is a perfect backdrop for a jaw-dropping network of black Bocci pendants. Each fishbowl-sized orb, seemingly in motion, is suspended by a twisting copper cable. One can stare up in wonder from the understated Minotti sofa, or maybe from that classic Eames recliner.

Then again, the eye is likely drawn outdoors, too. Walls of glass slide up in the living room (thanks to a cantilevered pulley system) and bedroom walls slide to one side, all to showcase the waterfront and the property’s expansive grounds. “I wanted lots of zones,” says Cormack. “Different places to hang out.” At 7,000 square feet, the home offers plenty to explore inside, but Cormack wanted the outdoors to serve as an expansion to the space. To wit: a putting green, climbing wall, basketball court, sauna, hot tub and a mega-sized chess set all await. Cormack’s daughters will sometimes take friends down a meandering path to the private ceramic studio by the water’s edge (complete, fittingly, with porcelain Bocci 21 pendant lights).

A 1,600-square-foot deepwater dock, where the Woodlands community gathers each year for its century-old regatta, is also a launchpad for the family’s summer excursions. “We try not to use the car when the weather warms up, so we’ll take the boat to Granville Island or Lonsdale Quay for dinner.” But, after adventures, there’s always time for drinks in the wood-wrapped (and bar-equipped) billiards room, or a chat in the library, where cozy seating options include Fritz Hansen’s Swan chair and a plush Ox chair by Wegner.

At the end of the day, up in the primary suite, “it’s like camping,” says Cormack. A luxurious Baxter bed (by Italian designer Paola Navone) faces the wide world through an opening that stretches the length of the room. And, yes, a school of multi-hued Bocci lights swims over the bedroom, too. The ultimate nightlight.

Looking through pristine photos of his finished home, Cormack laughs. “This house isn’t precious, it’s lived in,” he says. What he wanted, and what he got, is a house lit up by barbecue-ing friends and kids diving off the dock, by laughter and love. “It’s a shoes-on house,” he says (slate tiles help there). It’s a place where life (and marvelous light) just can’t be denied. So, the man who built an empire selling luggage may have finally built himself a space where he can put down his bags.

Bright modern living room with a grey sofa, colourful cushions and two armchairs on a pink rug, featuring hanging pendant lights.
In the Pink
In the family room, modern design pieces like the white Wegner Ox chair and blue Husk sofa from B&B Italia pair perfectly with a sculpture from North Vancouver artist Cameron Kerr and a salvaged wood chair from California designer Vince Skelly. Photo by Ema Peter

Living Room Before

Living room with a stone wall, wooden beams, two grey chairs, a couch, and two men talking.
Photo by Ema Peter

Living Room After

Living area with wooden beams, a stone fireplace, and eclectic hanging lights, featuring a beige sofa and colourful rug.
Light It Up
White and black Bocci 28 lights are in the living room, and various Bocci designs can be spotted throughout the home. Omer Arbel, founder of Bocci, also designed Herschel’s flagship store in Vancouver’s Gastown neighbourhood. Photo by Ema Peter


Living area with a stone fireplace, colourful cushions, and large windows opening to a patio with a lake view.
Photo by Ema Peter
Bright living room with a grey sofa, pink rug, and built-in shelves, opening to a garden with blooming flowers.
Easy Breezy
Many of the rooms feature folding glass walls that transition the indoor space seamlessly with the outdoor gardens, which overlook the Pacific Ocean. Photo by Ema Peter


Outdoor patio with a tall fireplace covered in greenery, featuring a hanging chair, a lounge chair, and a small table.
Photo by Ema Peter


Woods and Warmth
The Woodlands neighbourhood, where the home resides, began as “cabin country” for early residents of Vancouver, and that’s reflected in the home’s timber-frame construction. Photo by Ema Peter

Kitchen before. Kitchen area under renovation with wooden cabinets, white subway tile backsplash, and construction materials scattered around.

Dining area with wooden beams, colourful rugs, eclectic hanging lights, and a wooden canoe above, opening to a kitchen with white subway tiles.
Pop Art
The God Save the Queen artwork in the kitchen is by artist Jamie Reid, who did the cover art for the Sex Pistols single of the same name. Photo by Ema Peter


A man standing in a rustic modern interior with wooden beams, a large black artwork, and a colourful print on the counter.
Homeowner Lyndon Cormack had long admired the house before he purchased it from its original owners. Photo by Ema Peter
Modern home surrounded by lush greenery and colourful flowers with a red chair on the lawn.
Photo by Ema Peter
Kitchen with wooden cabinets, white subway tile backsplash, and colourful artwork on the counter.
A Fine Vintage
Cormack wanted to embrace much of the original patina of the home, and so he kept the Douglas fir beams and original Shaker-style cabinets. The cedar-strip canoe floating in the kitchen was also inherited from the previous owner. The artwork here is by Scott Sueme. Photo by Ema Peter

Bedroom Before

Before image of bedroom with wooden beams and a chandelier, featuring a brown bed and warm lighting.

Bedroom After

Bedroom with wooden beams and large windows overlooking a lake, featuring a brown bed and colourful hanging lights.
Rest Assured
A Baxter bed is positioned to take in Pacific Ocean views and breezes. Loll Designs Adirondack lounge chairs on the terrace are perfectly positioned for a morning coffee. Photo by Ema Peter

This story was originally published in the May/June 2024 print issue of Western Living magazine.