Few things spell “home” quite the way a gathering of friends and family does. So a summer party was the perfect way to celebrate a new kid on the block in Vancouver’s tony South Granville neighbourhood, an estate designed by the Tavan Group. Taste of Life accepted an invitation to join and was treated to a tour by Troy Van Vliet, the main brain behind the soul-satisfying residence.
From the street, this home has a quiet, understated aura, but as we stepped inside, we were instantly immersed in a sumptuous world of Italian marble, Swarovski crystal chandeliers, exotic woods, and light but luscious fabrics.
In the foyer, white Carrera marble extends up to create a dramatic inlaid feature wall — a material that’s found on every floor of this 7,355-square-foot residence. A butler appeared with flutes of champagne — which is always the perfect way to begin a party or start a tour through an impeccably-dressed manor.
To the left, three sisters chatted animately on white leather chairs at one end of the glass-topped dining room table. The presence of white orchids in a three-foot centerpiece filled the room. Above, custom moulded ceiling motifs offered the first glimpse of a recurring homage to traditional detailing.
The lilting notes of a Brandenburg Concerto soon drew our group’s attention to the parlour — a sunny space resplendent with cultured limestone fireplace, richly textured toss pillows, layers of iridescent accoutrements, and an invitingly deep sofa. The pianist looked up only briefly, his eyes alight with pleasure at the feel of the music, then returned his attention to the white, baby grand.
A cheer came from just around the corner where a lanky young man was wowing several aunties and uncles with his kitchen prowess — expertly flipping a pan of sautéed prawns about to be served family-style on the massive center island. The searing ingredients looked and smelled so good that they stole the spotlight away from the exquisite surroundings Van Vliet later pointed out: glass and gold mosaic tiling framing a dark marble backsplash. In supporting roles nearby are brocade-patterned vertical tiling beneath the center island’s bar, a subtle echo of a motif first seen on feature walls in the parlour and dining room, and high-gloss Italian wood cabinetry around the refrigerator.
Like all summer parties, this one spilled onto the patio — really an outdoor living room with kitchen, dining table, fireside lounge, and bistro area all overlooking a garden brimming with colourful blossoms. “The property is unique because there’s no back lane, so it’s extremely quiet and private here. It’s perfect for entertaining,” said Van Vliet.
Privacy is also the watchword throughout the bedroom level. Each of four bedrooms enjoys its own ensuite — no sharing required. But it’s the master suite that reinterprets five-star excellence with a curved Juliette deck just beyond the freestanding soaker tub, full steam shower, and mother of pearl backsplash above dual sinks. “From here you’ve even got a view of the ocean,” Van Vliet said, pointing to where the Straight of Georgia shimmered in the distance.
“Ready for something totally different?” Van Vliet asked. Well, why not? He led the way down a flight of marble stairs to the home’s lowest level, and instantly we were transported into the rich mystique of mid-century private clubs and jazz bars.
In front of us stood a 12-foot bar topped with caramel and dark chocolate-coloured granite, wire-brushed to look and feel like leather. “Nature with a little bit of elbow grease,” as Van Vliet explained. It provided one of two vantage points for an innovative double-sided TV. Comprised of suspended sheets of glass, the screen is equally viewable for the group of soccer enthusiasts already sitting at that bar or from the period hotel restaurant-style seating directly behind. “It’s wired for Karaoke, too, if you’d like to have a go.”
We left one enthusiastic guest browsing through the song list and headed for the tasting room trimmed with dark leathers, a ‘retro glam’ metallic inset above the wet bar, and a climate-controlled, 436-bottle, glassed-in wine wall that provides a peek-a-boo view to the adjacent theatre room. We were just in time for a wee dram of one of Scotland’s finest single malts before the sun set and the party really got going.
“Our goal was to create a home that looks rich but tastefully classic, a home that’s welcoming and timeless,” Van Vliet said. And while only time will tell, there’s little doubt this South Granville Estate’s light will continue to shine bright far into the future.