The juxtaposition of old and new strikes splendour in a Shaughnessy estate.
As a young girl, Janie Hungerford spent blissful hours arranging furniture in her antique dollhouse. During her teenage years, that creative energy morphed into a love of black and white photography and styling her bedroom. To bridge her passions for art and design, Hungerford pursued film studies at Queens University and graduated from the Parsons School of Design in New York. Today, as the owner of Hungerford Interior Design, Hungerford invited TOL to see her own residence — a contemporary upgrading of a classic 1927 character home in Shaughnessy.
When the aged estate came on the market, Hungerford seized the opportunity to finetune her finesse for merging tradition with au courant design. “We could have leveled it and started fresh, but I felt compelled to respect the structure’s original bones and create a real family home for us,” Hungerford remarked about working with renovation specialist Trevor Eyford to reconfigure and extend the space. “I love to take something old and retain elements of it while making something entirely new.”
The once-tired entry is now rejuvenated with window boxes, balustrades, and a vivid blue door that cheerfully leads visitors inside. Most walls were repositioned to make the house function for the modern-day lifestyle of a family of five. Hungerford preserved its leaded glass windows and incorporated a coffered ceiling, oak flooring, beautiful millwork and glass stair railings. Film school’s lessons served Hungerford well as she creatively illuminated spaces, backlighting a stunning onyx bar and highlighting colourful canvases by favorite artists Wendi Copeland and Andrew Briggs. “Being in film means you have to have a keen eye for composition,” Hungerford explains. “I love to play with juxtaposition and scale.”
The gorgeous open kitchen and family room, central to the floor plan, are ideal for entertaining or simply kicking back on the sectional. Upstairs, three whimsical bedrooms adorned with fairytale furniture are humble in comparison to the master retreat. Ceilings soar to reveal architectural beams over a king bed. An ensuite showcases a stand-alone tub and marble clad shower.
The striking contrast of antique and modern throughout the house is honored in each room’s treasure trove of heirlooms garnered from the Hungerford family’s five-generation history in the Lower Mainland. An antique Chinese desk c.1900s belonging to her grandparents is a conversation catalyst sitting opposite an oversized mirror in the living room furnished with vintage settee, modern accent chairs and dramatic orb chandelier. Even the walls juxtapose past with present — a wax faux-finish adds an Old World luminance to the dining room, furnished with her grandmother’s table and chic Minotti Jensen chairs.
Layers of thoughtful textures, hues and detailing await discovery in the powder room too, where the salient “Rivets” in Philip Jeffries wallpaper collection suggest a cool industrial edge. Hungerford’s great great grandfather formed BC Tel, a precursor of Telus; her grandfather was a doctor in the US Navy Medical Corps and a respected practitioner in Vancouver. Her father was an Olympic gold medalist, lawyer and founder of the Hungerford Group — an award-winning real estate development firm. Janie collaborated with the family-run business when she designed the interiors of MacPherson Walk, a condominium receiving numerous industry accolades. A philanthropist at heart, Hungerford served on the committee for BC Cancer Foundation’s Inspiration Gala which raised $5-million, and opened her freshly remade abode for Home for the Holidays, a fundraiser for Kids Help Phone.
A perfect blend of timelessly traditional and cutting-edge contemporary, Hungerford’s home journeys beyond commonplace style into a whole new genre of eclectic.
Photography by Brad Laughton