Western Living Magazine
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Rich textures and a subdued palette make for a space with some serious sophistication.
It’s hard to believe this sleek, modern home used to be the epitome of ’90s decor. “Half-moon windows, angled walls, light oak cabinets, pink tiles and brass hardware—the whole deal,” laughs Aleem Kassam, project lead and one half of Kalu Interiors along with Phyllis Lui.
Now, thanks to a smart renovation, the formerly closed-off layout is open and bright—walls were knocked down and odd angles have been squared off—and the dated finishes are gone, replaced with a sophisticated muted palette and rich textures.
Silver Stunner Structured armchairs are upholstered in velvet, while a silver mink area rug softens the hardwood flooring. It’s a cozy spot to curl up by the dramatic Italian honed marble hearth.
Starring Role “Lighting is everything,” says Kassam. “The most beautiful features won’t matter if they are not properly lit. The scale of the home was double-height ceilings, which allowed us to play with drama, delicate metal fabrications and unusual shapes.” In the foyer, a draped chain-link chandelier plays a starring role.
All Fired Up The two-storey home actually features three fireplaces all together…and one is right here in the master bathroom. Here, polished Italian marble makes way for a linear fireplace positioned in front of a free-standing tub. Not in the mood for a soak? Hop into the steam shower with built-in speakers. The 300-square-foot ensuite also features a floating vanity with his-and-hers-sinks, and heated floors.
Luxe Touches No specific direction or aesthetic was given by the homeowners, a pair of young jetsetters, but they asked Kalu to draw from their lifestyle, so the resulting design included a walk-in closet for her, and a 12-seat theatre for him.
Cool Comfort “We wanted clean, tactile comfort,” says Lui. You won’t find a lot of colour here: instead, the designers went “very Vancouver” with multiple greys and white highlights, but there’s a big focus on pattern and luxe textures: Italian marble, cut velvet wallpaper, polished onyx, and a little bit of sparkle thanks to some pops of crystal.
Going Glam “Knowing they are a young second-generation Canadian couple who loves to travel, we wanted them to come home to Pacific Rim-style luxury,” says Lui. The bedroom is decked out in luxe textiles and plenty of pattern, mixing a sense of glamour with a cozy, homey vibe.
Totally Tech High-tech features prove this space definitely isn’t stuck in the ’90s anymore: programmable lighting, smart home automation, and built-in LED illumination of all glass surfaces and mirrors.
Divine Dining In the dining area, a nook is accented by silvery patterned wallpaper and abstract artwork. Four sleek, upholstered dining chairs surround a marble-topped table. “The different textures and layers makes one want to touch everything,” says Kassam. “There’s a worldly, rich, travelled vibe that brings you home.”
Heart of the Home The island acts as the activity centre for the whole home, so it’s a good thing Kalu designed it to be an oversized six-by-six feet. “We prefer darker shades, or cut-veined marble for the island,” says Kassam. “Not only is it more dramatic, it’s more forgiving for the activities that could take place there—like red wine spills.”
Colour Story Though the home is primarily decked out in whites and greys, this bedroom gets some punch from breezy aquamarine accents and close-up photographs of gemstones.