A Complete Remodel Designed to Capture the View
With extraordinary views of the Pacific Ocean, Stanley Park, and Grouse Mountain, the coastal seaport city of Vancouver, British Columbia offers remarkable outdoor beauty and the exceptional amenities of a city downtown area. It has become a popular tourist vacation spot, as well as an incredibly diversified residential location. And this approximately 1,400-square-foot subpenthouse is situated in Coal Harbour, an upscale neighborhood within the city.
When the owners purchased the home, the unit needed updating and the layout was not very functional according to Negar Reihani, founder and principal designer of Space Harmony, a design company located in Vancouver. “The owners wanted a modern retreat—something different than their home in California, so they would feel as if they were on vacation when in Canada,” explains Reihani. “We closed a doorway between the master bedroom and the kitchen and extended the kitchen to the windows, making room for a wall oven and pantry.”
Reihani says her design concept was to create a contemporary, neutral, tone-on-tone palette so the view could be the focal point. “The color scheme is taken from the surrounding nature: light-gray oak floors and matching rift-cut oak millwork, natural vein-cut marble in the bathrooms, modern porcelain tiles, and gold/slate grass cloth wallpaper in the corridor are among the finishes,” she says. “The paint color, Sherwin-Williams 7005 Pure White, adds freshness to the space.”
The entryway is small and relatively dark. “We used a gold-and-slate grass cloth and custom millwork to add sophistication to that space,” says Reihani. “As you walk through the entry corridor and come upon the huge windows, striking views, and brilliant light in the living space, it is dramatic and provides a sense of entrance.”
Throughout the home, the color scheme is similar and Reihani held the contrast to a minimum for continuity and to create a sense of spaciousness. “I used a very simple and modern blind that hides inside a custom cassette when rolled up so it doesn’t clutter the panorama,” she says. “The furniture in the living area was sourced through BoConcept. We incorporated a mix of fabrics, with a cloth fabric sofa for the lady of the house and a leather lounge chair for the gentleman,” she says, smiling. Colors are neutral tans with blue and cream accents. “The rug is cowhide done in a geometric pattern pulling the colors of the floors, furniture, and millwork together,” she adds. Another sitting area is on the other side of the dining space with spectacular views on two sides. It was designed as a quiet reading space with a super comfortable chair, a side table, and a faux-fur rug.
The dining area offers a bit more privacy than the kitchen and is furnished in pieces also sourced through BoConcept. The kitchen, measuring ten feet by twenty feet, is on the right as you walk into the living space from the entry. Countertops are quartz for easy maintenance and add a bit of soft contrast to the space. A huge island can accommodate eight people for quick bites. The backsplash is a stunning mural on commercial-grade wallpaper that brings in the colors of the waterscape outdoors. “One of our challenges was coming up with a concept to protect it with a Starphire Ultra Clear Glass panel. We didn’t want metal channels that would distract from the beautiful design,” says Reihani. “Our tradespeople attached the glass panel with silicone, making the installation completely invisible.”
The designer says an even greater challenge was creating a comfortable, functional master bedroom. “The owners wanted a king bed, but the room is small and has unusually angled walls. There was no way that it could accommodate a bed that size. We were able to fit a queen bed, but even then, there was barely any room for bedside tables,” she explains. “Custom-made side tables with a drawer, shelves, and lighting function perfectly and take up minimal space.” Standard closets were replaced by floor-to-ceiling custom cabinetry to best serve the exact needs of the owners.
Reihani’s goal was to maintain the power of the view as a central theme in the home. She allowed the incredible landscape to remain the focal point of every room with her simplicity of design and contemporary, neutral palette. “The view is like living art,” she says, “changing every day of every season.” Written by Carolyn M. Runyon.