Western Living Magazine
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Mitchell Freedland designed the ideal escape to the mountains.
You might think this Whistler getaway is meant for those who come to the mountains only to enjoy the scenery from a cozy spot on the sofaand indeed, the house is designed to capitalize on some pretty killer views. The warm, contemporary home just begs for weekends by the fire.
But It's also built to tackle a very Whistler design problem: where does all that outdoor mountain gear go? When Vancouver designer Mitchell Freedland was brought on board to design a comfortable and approachable home for the ownersa semi-retired, very active couple from Vancouverhe made sure that storage for skis, bikes and more was as much a part of the solution as the selection of sturdy, ski-boot-durable Italian porcelain floor tiles.
Throughout the home, Freedland followed the clients direction to make it as practical as it could be, and as comfortable as it could be, he says. And so, on the practical side, a custom mudroom, clad in walnut millwork, deals with the plethora of boots, coats, mitts and ski equipmentand is particularly well used when the kids and grandkids are visitingand storage in the garage handles the mountain bikes.
All that storage frees the rest of the home to balance the comfortable, beautiful side of the equation. In the main-floor living space, the fireplace acts as an architectural anchor, its patinated bronze cladding providing a warm glow both day and night. The room is contemporary yet cozy, with a nod to classic cabin aesthetic in its exposed cedar ceiling. It was a way to bring the woods outside into this room, says Freedland. In another subtle nod to the world outside the windows, the design of an elegant wooden floor lamp from Arteriors evokes the shape of an antler.
While the main floor is open plan, a custom wine cabinet separates the living room from the adjoining dining room, its surface easily becoming a spot for a buffet service during social gatherings. The entire area is designed to celebrate the view: in the kitchen, the windows drop right down to the adjacent prep counter; even the staircase was redesigned to remove its risers, so that the floating, fumed white oak treads can offer peek-a-boo views to the windows beyond. And the kitchen is no showroom: It's designed to work for the avid cooks in the house. She's a real cookand a great baker, says Freedland, and she uses every inch of it.
Upstairs, the master suite is designed as a departure from the warm and woodsy vibe of the rest of the home: here, winter whites with subtle accents of charcoal create a bright and inviting space. The custom bed features a full-height upholstered headboard, framed on either side with walls made from sandblasted mirror that provide a glowing depth to the room. White statuario marble clads both the fireplace and the adjoining master ensuitethe bath perfectly positioned to soak in those views, too.
Once the sun goes down and the views outside fade to darkness, the focus switches to inside the home, with lighting design that was carefully considered to capture every moment. We spent so much time on the lighting, says Freedland. It's amazing to see how magical the effects are at nightthe highlights made, the sense of drama. Ideal for those winter nights when a trip to the mountains calls for nothing more than the perfect spot at home by the fire.