August 20, 2012

Brilliantly beachy

A blend of the formal and the casual gives this West Vancouver house the ‘beachy’ feel so suited to its position overlooking the ocean.


Clinging like a limpet to a rocky West Vancouver cliff not far from Lighthouse Park, this stunning three-level family home was designed not only to celebrate and maximize the vista, but to blur the boundary between outdoors and indoors through the considered use of materials, texture and colour. Step into the foyer and, half a floor below, the dining room and living room open on to a wide deck that spans the length of the structure, offering a matchless ocean view framed by towering evergreens. Extending from the foyer ceiling down to ground level, a cascading Bocci light fixture illuminates the entranceway.

The Eclipse folding doors that open onto the deck fold right back out of sight, helping to break down any barrier between exterior and interior. Contributing to this illusion, materials – basalt, a stone quarried in B.C., and ivory-painted V-groove panelling – are used inside and out.

Interior designer Terry Doyle of Architerior Design of Vancouver, who worked closely with architect Gordon Hlynsky, says his clients wanted their home, completed in February after seven years of planning and building, to feel “beachy.” To this end, Doyle has blended the formal with the casual, using muted tones of pearly-greys, sand, oyster and milky aqua, punctuated with silver and dark tones – stained walnut and maple furnishings, oak flooring – to create an atmosphere of airy serenity and complement the seascape outdoors.

Comfort and elegance are the keynotes in the dining room and living room, separated by a long, low storage cabinet with a pewter top that reflects the light flooding through a long, narrow skylight that runs along the apex of the rooms’ vaulted ceiling and continues out and over the deck. Come evening, silver and glass accents catch the glow of the magnificent chandelier over the dining table. The wood fireplace, clad in bluestone, comes on at the touch of a small panel in the wall. Found throughout the home, these panels also control music, lighting and temperature.

In the kitchen and family area, wooden cabinetry and wall panelling are painted ivory. Hand-made tiles form a backsplash behind the Wolf gas range, and the wooden refectory-style kitchen table features bracing underneath that is reminiscent of an old-fashioned picnic table. Industrial-style hanging fixtures light the work island and eating bar, finished in dark granite that has been flamed and brushed to create a matte surface that won’t show fingerprints.

One level down, past a climate-controlled wine cellar on the landing, the master suite also enjoys a spectacular view. The bathing area, finished in pale travertine, includes an enormous soaker tub placed close enough to the folding glass doors to allow the bather to feel the ocean breeze, as well as a luxurious shower room. Two toilets and two separate vanity areas offer privacy, and a capacious walk-in closet provides more-than-adequate space for the homeowners’ clothing and accessories. Bedrooms for the couple’s two children are also on this level.

One flight below is the recreation room, with a wet bar and billiard table, along with a media room and a guest room. From this level, a pathway winds down to the swimming pool and cabana through a series of “garden rooms” – one with a bowl-shaped outdoor fireplace – ending at a wooden deck with a stairway down to the ocean. The green-roofed cabana features an open bar. A fold-out leather couch allows the room to accommodate guests.


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