Western Living Magazine
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Interior designer Andrea Rodman transforms a tired condo into a fresh new home for a young family of three.
For married couple Chin and Linda, Three Harbour Green was a long-time dream homethe prestigious building was designed by architect Jim Hancock, sits mere steps away from the Vancouver Convention Centre and features large-balconied waterfront suites, a movie theatre, a squash court and some of the best views this side of Coal Harbour. But there was just one hitch. There were never any units available, recalls Chin. We moved around a lot in the past few years, but we always had eyes for this building. One day, serendipitously, Linda hit it off with a realtor who represented her relative's 2,500-square-foot condo inyou guessed itThree Harbour Green. Before long, the spacious two-bedroom apartment on the sixth floor was theirs.
Of course, like most dreams, this one needed some work to come true. The dated apartment had yellowy-white walls, drab grey kitchen cabinets and soulless black and white furniture. It was leagues away from Linda's vision for a contemporary, loft-style apartment with a blend of Scandinavian simplicity and Parisian allure. A referral from a girlfriend led her to Andrea Rodman, whose aesthetic fit the bill perfectly.
In the process of buying this place, we were freaking out! recalls Linda of the timing; she desperately wanted to set up a meeting, but the designer happened to be travelling. I really wanted Andrea to see the place first to see if she could turn it into something magical. Of course, once a meeting was finally set, the three clicked immediately, which was especially key because Linda was pregnant at the time with their (now-16-month-old) daughterthis home would be their first as a young family.
A baby on the horizon factored into some of the major design decisions, such as practical touches like a nursery and a functional home office, as well as an overall calming aesthetic.
The couple decided to divide and conquer by each having carte blanche over the design choices of specific domains: the living room-office was deemed Chin's space, and the family room was Linda's. They really let us have some fun, recalls Rodman.
For Chin's office nook, black-painted oak storage acts as cheeky filing cabinets to tidy away paperwork and do double duty as shelves for books and plants. In the family room, Rodman got to work by prioritizing whitewashed walls before weaving together a Nordic design aesthetic with an art-gallery feel. A lot of high-end Scandinavian design has simple pieces mixed with more sculptural pieces, and that's what we did here, she says, pointing out vases and accessories from Provide Home and Avenue Road, and statement pieces like the Kelly Wearstler Strada flush-mount light, which presides over the living room like a spiny black sea urchin.
Because the ceiling draws the eye up to the ceiling, It's hard to miss the curvature of a rubber-moulded detail by TWL Contracting, who also did all the custom millwork. We added those ceiling details in the living room to bring in an interesting element of pattern, notes Rodman of the condo's only renovation. The solid neutral furnishings beneath it were chosen so as to not compete, and this masculine space differentiates itselfas does each roomwith a personality all its own.
A recent trip to New York had Linda and Chin craving an art-loft vibe for some areas, which Rodman produced with a 15-foot-long custom Carla Tak painting that hangs between the family and dining rooms. It not only unites both spaces with a splash of Pollock-meets-Rothko colour but also acts as a vibrant backdrop for the clean lines of a Bensen hardwood table and bench by Danish-Canadian designer Niels Bendtsen.
Indeed, the Nordic-chic dining area is perfect for entertaining, but when the weather allows, It's the 900-square-foot patio that draws them out into the fresh air. Here, a minigolf pit is tucked off to the side for their daughter, and if a little more space is desired to play in, the seawall and coastal rainforest of Stanley Park are virtually in their backyard. Talk about location, location, locationand a condo dream come true.
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