Completely clad in black metal, this Edgemont family home looks like a stunning modernist fortress, all clean lines and sleek finishes showcased against the lush West Coast wilderness. But a blush-pink door hints at something homier inside. And once you step over the threshold of the three-storey, 4,200-square-foot house€”featured as part of 2019's Vancouver Modern Home Tour€”you'll find a fresh, airy space that belies those first impressions, and an environment that's just right for a family of four.

there'sa practical side to that black-on-black metal exterior: the site is located in a wildfire hazard zone, so the majority of the cladding had to be non-combustible. But on the inside, the design team leaned in to a bold, beautiful contrast. €œOn the inside we wanted it to feel bright, open, cheerful, and to exude quality,€ explains architectural designer Mark Simone of Shelter Residential. €œWe were very careful about window placement to capture views while maintaining privacy, and we looked for creative ways to bring natural lighting to the main level.€

Interior designer Sophie Burke brought in a West Coast mid-century sensibility to keep the space €œminimal yet welcoming,€ she says€”perfect for the busy needs of a young family. That meant a palette of warm woods and whites that's fresh enough to feel modern, but neutral enough to suit the family's changing tastes over time. White oak flooring and white-painted millwork play off walnut features and black metal accents, though the home isn€™t entirely monochromatic. Beyond that pink door, the muted teal tiles in the powder room add a pop of colour in an unobtrusive space.

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Burke layered in texture via intricate tile work€”from penny rounds in the shower to white hex tiles in the bathroom€”and with thin, vertical wooden slats and brickwork surrounding the living room fireplace. Here, the long horizontal hearth contrasts against the 12-foot-high ceiling to make the space feel expansive, and custom walnut wood shelving holds books and treasures on either side of the fireplace. Above, a custom cluster of George Nelson Bubbles hangs dreamily in the air.

An understated, minimalist kitchen throws the focus to the greenbelt outside, while in the bathroom, a freestanding tub in front of a large picture window offers private views to the trees beyond. €œCreating a strong indoor-outdoor connection was very important,€ explains Simone. On the west side of the home, large sliding doors allow the living room to open right up to a simple covered outdoor living space.

It's a design intended to outlast trends and to accommodate the family as it grows and changes over the years to come€”but Simone hopes there may also be a secondary benefit for the little ones: €œI would love for the kids to develop an intrinsic appreciation of good design.€ 

This story was originally published on September 5, 2019.