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Suite 305, South Tower, 5811 Cooney Road
Richmond BC

Taste of Life Magazine is France & Canada's leading luxury lifestyle magazine in Chinese and English.

Building Anew  on Legacy and Memory


Building Anew on Legacy and Memory

Susan Kime


The library, directly off the entry hall, features mahogany millwork, a unique barrel-vaulted ceiling, and full-height wool drapery. The couches and chairs near the custom stone-carved fireplace allow for comfort and quiet intimacy. The statuary and books were collected from the owners’ travels and university days.


In a mature, elite Vancouver locale stands a grand 12,000-square-foot home that is brand new, yet embodies an old-world elegance. First impressions are deceiving — the home seems well-established and gracefully aged, like it’s been there forever. 

The designer of this home, Jennifer Heffel, CEO of HB Design, sought out rare professionals skilled in building old-world features. She put much effort into sourcing materials that would create this heritage look. 

A baby grand piano makes the living room not only a place for cozy lounging by the fire, but also a perfect room for entertaining. The carpets in both living and dining rooms were custom designed by HB Design and handwoven by Salari Fine Carpet Collections in Vancouver. 

A full-sized bronze reproduction of Giambologna's Flying Mercury stands out in the formal entryway. Moving from the entryway, there is an eclectic collection of Chinese blue vases and urns on two matching demilune tables of the Italian Empire style. Above this collection are the clients’ 20th-century Canadian paintings. 

In a traditional Tudor style, the home has a classic exterior of grey stone. But features such a red front door add a surprise of contemporary style. 

One of the guest bathrooms is hung with silk grasscloth wallpaper by Phillip Jeffries. The painting of white peonies is by local Vancouver artist Bobbie Burgers. 

Inside, the voice of tradition and legacy carries through all 40 of its rooms. It is full of memories from its owners’ 30 years of marriage — paintings, statues, and furniture that represent a lifetime together. 

Its prestigious location, the University of British Columbia Endowment Lands, is characterized by mature forest, distance between neighbours, and a peacefulness surrounding great estates. 

The dining room, with matching table and chairs set for ten, is of the Italian Empire style, as is the crystal chandelier. The draperies are wool. 

This gathering area off the living room is bright and homey, with a casual and comfy decor.

The clients have lived on this same lot for decades, but they tore down their old house to build anew. “Their familiarity with the lot, with its best view and backyard qualities, were carefully factored into the space planning and design,” Heffel says. “Designing this home was a true collaborative process with the clients.”

Her team has perfected the art of listening to the client, she says, always attentive to what the clients request, and what they do not. 

The master bedroom’s drapes are lightweight wool, and the mirror above the bed is a round convex of the Regency style. The chaise on the left is from the Lucien Rollin collection in the French Moderne style, from William Switzer. 

 The flooring in the kitchen is 5-inch-wide ribbon sapele (used throughout the home) and is complemented by the rich mahogany kitchen island. The perimeter cabinets were custom designed by HB Design and painted soft white. The refrigerator, to the left, is a stainless steel, glass-front Sub-Zero.

The bathtub is part of the Henry collection from Waterworks.

Over the vanity in the master bathroom is a faceted-border mirror.

Text by Susan Kime  Photography by Janis Nicolay