Western Living Magazine
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A Vancouver designer turns her sophisticated waterfront condo into a showcase for art and design.
When interior designer Anna Dhillon decided to return to Vancouver with her husband—leaving New York and an international architectural design firm—it was a chance to create a new home that would truly showcase their treasured artworks and favourite furniture. “We were starting from scratch but for a few really special pieces,” says Dhillon. “It was time to invest and make the place the way we really wanted, and populate the space with the pieces that I’d been dreaming about.”Though the breakfast bar, lined with wire Knoll bar stools, is an ideal spot for an espresso and the morning paper, the couple wanted expansive seating for their frequent dinner parties (frosted sliding doors conceal a compact but well-equipped Boffi kitchen). And so, a long glass table provides seating for eight and does double duty as a room divider, visually separating the open floor plan into a multi-purpose space.It’s a comfy scene in front of the Carrara marble fireplace—luxuriously upholstered, deep grey sofas piled with custom textile throw pillows—but there’s a sense of irreverence at play here, too. Twin baroque-style mirrors made from clear resin hang on either side of the marble fireplace, and the traditional Oriental carpet that lies underfoot has been bleached and redyed—two small twists on tradition that give the elegant room an unexpected edge.On the other side of the table awaits a more casual sitting area: a plush Montauk sofa, upholstered in warm, cream-coloured wool, is the perfect spot for cozying up for movie nights. It’s also an ideal perch from which to admire the pair of gritty urban carbon prints by Brooklyn-based artist Norman Mooney that flank the television, and the custom-finished, matte- lacquered credenza designed by Taylor Hayes.It’s a carefully curated space—that’s the beauty of essentially starting from scratch—with each piece celebrating craftsmanship or story. The Serge Mouille floor lamp in the TV area, for example, is inspired by the form of a skeleton; the cord chairs tucked by the dining table were originally designed in 1954 and reproduced in 1994. Even the powder room acts as a makeshift gallery for the couple’s framed set of Toronto artist Scott Eunson’s laser-cut sculptures, which populate a sink-side wall. “We’re drawn to pieces made with thought and passion, to designs with texture and detail that keep things interesting,” says Dhillon. “I want to be inspired by my home on a daily basis.” Designer Anna Dhillon sprinkled in hits of sparkle throughout her home—from the Knoll bronze glass coffee table to the reflective Moooi chandelier to a sleek, silver abstract sculpture —which keep the room’s rich textures balanced. Dhillon is drawn to symmetry (the pair of resin-framed mirrors that flank the marble fireplace each act as a backdrop to matching tableaux of favourite books and tripod lamps) but the mismatched collection of custom throw pillows piled on the twin sofas breaks the mirror image illusion. Though the grand glass Nienkamper dining table is the focal point of the room during dinner parties, the trio of classic Knoll wire bar stools that lines the marble kitchen island offers a front-row seat to watch the chef at work (sliding frosted doors hide compact European-style appliances) before the first course is served. Glossy floating cabinets hide files and notebooks to leave the homeowners’ workspace clutter-free. This penchant for living simply extends to the whole home—the treasured design books and artworks (above) that are peppered throughout the condo are minimal but meaningful. Dhillon often works with bold hues when designing for clients, but she chose a neutral palette for her own home and uses fresh floral arrangements to add small hits of colour.
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