Western Living Magazine
A Seven-Bedroom Pied-a-Terre Designed to Bring Family Together
Design Crush: Inside a Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy Clinic in Calgary with Natural, Serene Vibes
This Modern Lakeside Home Captures Gorgeous Views Inside and Out
Recipe: Scallop Ceviche from Maenam’s Chef Angus An
3 Classy Australian White Wines to Toast Olivia Newton-John With
Recipe: Wild Pacific Halibut Cakes
Getaway Guide: How to Spend One Perfect Day on Galiano Island
Where to Eat, Stay and Play in Canmore
The Perfect Southern Alberta Getaway (If You’re Obsessed With Yellowstone)
‘West Coast North’ is a Love Letter to Western Canadian Architecture and Interiors
Design Obsession: This Roll-Up Drying Rack Is Maybe My Favourite Thing in the Kitchen
10 of the Hottest Homewares for Summer 2022
Announcing the 2022 Designers of the Year Finalists
You’re Invited to the Design Party of the Year!
DotY 2022: Our Judges for the Maker Category Can’t Wait to See What You’ve Got
Once a closed-off bungalow, this Vancouver home now soarsand has plenty of room for its owners quirky collections.
Brian Cunningham and Sara McCracken might be modernists, but theyre not minimalists. We do have a life-sized stormtrooper in our media room, laughs McCracken.
The couple had lived in their 1940s West Vancouver bungalow for about 12 years, but as their two children started to grow, the pair began talking about a need for more elbow roomand space for Cunningham's film memorabilia. (He's a concept illustrator for the industry, she's in the collectibles-free field of tax law.) It was either find a new place or renovateand they opted for plan B, with the help of their old high-school acquaintance, Nigel Parish of Splyce Design.
I told Nigel we need a media room where we can put movie collectibles and not have them in my living room anymore, says McCracken. Cunningham nods along. Nigel asked me, I cant tell if you've serious or if you've kidding about this stuff, and I said, It just has to have a place somewhere!
The couple had long tracked Parish's career and admired his work. It was exactly our styleclean lines, very purposeful design, says McCracken. The designer showed the pair how they could keep the original footprint of the home, but go up a half-storey to create room for a master suite and a home office.
On the main floor, theyd open up the warren of rooms that was so common to 40s design to create better flow between the living room and kitchen, and cantilever the living room out a couple of feet over the front yard to gain a little more square footage. And theyd create better access to the surrounding landscape with multi-slide doors that open the kitchen to the backyard. (In another high-school throwback for this home, the couple hired a second former classmate to help out as their builder: Dave Adair from Blackfish Homes.)
The addition of the half-storey results in a dramatic new roofline for the home, and a vaulted ceiling for the entry and main floor. That subtle tip of the roof creates so much volume, notes Parish.
A new stairway up to the master suite is free of risers, allowing more light to penetrate down through the stairs to the lower level. A simple materials palette throughoutwhite oak millwork and flooring, white lacquer cabinetrykeeps the rest of the space light and bright, too. Nothing is overly fussy, yet It's perfectly designed for this family of four. The improvement, you can really see it looking from the living room to the kitchen, says Parish. It's that natural flow between the spaces, the connection to the outdoors.
One of the great things about designing with Nigel, says Cunningham, is that our kids are now at the age where It's great for them to have their own space, and he worked with that.
Dylan and Kelly, now 13 and 11 respectively, have their bedrooms on the lower level with that much-needed media room for their toys (and for dad's). And the parents have their own spaces, too. The top-floor office is Cunningham's favourite room in the house. It's a little purpose-built office for my work, when I need to be in kind of a dark area, he explains. It's a little oasis up there when everything is chaotic and the kids have friends in.
For McCracken, her personal retreat is the command central that Parish set up for her in the kitchena little nook where she can sit with her laptop as the kids cruise in and out or study at the nearby island. In the summer, you can open the doors out to the backyardI love it.
I think that's what has worked so well with the design we settled on, continues Cunningham. We do have that big, open entertaining space, yet designed into the house is everyone's retreat area. It just works.