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Studio Felix brings in unexpected colour for a versatile, but unique design.
Custom homes are generally born from a close collaboration between the designer and the client—but what if there is no client? In the case of this Calgary infill, only the builder (Icon Developments) the architect (John Trinh + Associates) and interior designer (Studio Felix) were involved: the house wasn’t sold until after it was finished. But instead of the cookie-cutter, please-everyone-while-pleasing-no-one look that most spec homes have, this space stands out.
“I really believe in injecting personality and bringing fun,” says Suzanne Tetrault, principal interior designer at Studio Felix. “We didn’t want the blocky, boxy, white-walled, chrome-fixtured kind of infill.” Instead, the team focused on channeling a New York brownstone vibe—with a little extra modernity and whimsy.
When walking into the home, the first thing you see is the fireplace. “We wanted to make it a central feature,” says Tetrault. The curved, fluted fireplace is a minimalist showstopper. There’s a pop of colour in this room, too, thanks to a black-blue quartz media centre. “It’s not too in-your-face,” explains the designer.
Colour makes an artful appearance in the kitchen, too: green bench seating makes up a cozy breakfast nook that’s brightened by an adorable circular window. The lighting is from New Orleans company Sazerac Stiches.
The cabinetry is streamlined and sleek (recessed pulls on the doors create a black stripe detail along the tops of drawers) and curvilinear edges on the island make the marble all the more interesting. Tetrault says one of her favourite elements is the kitchen windows behind the sink, which open on to an outdoor bar that connects seamlessly with the indoor countertop.
The ensuite bathroom is the room that embraces the New York brownstone feel the most. “We wanted to keep it cool and classic,” says Tetrault. This space is all about the material details: the marble countertop wraps around the window, creating a picture frame effect, and the black marble floor mosaic extends a few inches up into the shower. “It’s a lovely detail,” says the designer.
But it’s the powder room that really sets this home apart from your average spec home. “We knew this was going to be the showpiece of the main floor—this is the bathroom that all guests will use, and they’re going to be in it for such a short time, so we wanted to make an impact,” explains Tetrault. Masureel wallpaper with a jungle motif steals the show, but the Mitzi light embedded the custom arched vanity mirror plays an important role, as well.
READ MORE: Inside a Modern Lakeside Home with Incredible Views (Inside and Out)
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