“When you first see this home’s exterior,” says Teresa Cain, founder of Interior Solutions Design Group, “it looks like a spacious, three-story, traditional estate: many windows, pillars, with a large freestanding three-car garage. But as you enter, you begin to see an evolution from one style to the next. Though the exterior defines tradition, the interior speaks in another voice, as it moves from traditional to transitional, with luxury always being the subtext or undertone.”
Cain speaks with authority on this evolution, as she worked on this estate’s interior design for nearly a year, collaborating with Design Marque, Dekora Staging, and Pacific Property Group Ltd. “I was not alone in this design project, and we all had ideas that added to the granular meaning of luxury transitional design.”
Cain and the others had a lot of transitional square footage to work with — seven thousand square feet, six bedrooms, six bathrooms, with the entire main floor combining indoor and outdoor areas, with walk-out viewside terraces, a heated outdoor summer dining area with access to the swimming pool and spa. On the lower floor, there’s a billiard room, an exercise gym, a wine vault, spa, and changing rooms.
The size of the estate would normally create a challenge for the designers, but with the agreed-on transitional style, all worked well. Transitional colour palettes are very subtle, with an emphasis on ivory, chocolate, beige and tan, creating a scheme that is relaxing and uncomplicated.
“Elegant features define the many memory points in the home,” Cain says, “but the underlying transitional aesthetic involves clean, open, breathable space. The ceilings are high, sometimes 25 feet, and often a signature light fixture accents the warm woods, and off-white walls blend well. This lighting creates comfortable living, dining, and kitchen areas. Because the flooring is mostly natural wood, the texture in the carpets or rugs is important. Berber carpets and sisal rugs are popular choices for this style.”
In this estate, she says, the kitchen is an open area, with the highest-end appliances: Wolf, Miele, and Sub-Zero. These are complemented by a large gourmet kitchen island with a sink, or work basin. “When the host or the chef is preparing food on the island and guests are talking, he or she doesn’t have to move over to the kitchen sink to work,” says Cain. “There are more uninterrupted conversation possibilities if you have two complete kitchen work arenas instead of one.”
One of the bathrooms is another unique example of Cain’s focal points. “I wanted the bathtub, called a slipper tub, to be memorable, so we angled it diagonally, so the slipper tub would be even more of a focal point than normal. I think it worked well, as the other detailing allowed the eye to go toward the slipper-tub direction.”
The indoor/outdoor areas also define luxury in terms of more usable gathering space. “These areas provide a smooth transition between indoor and outdoor living,” she says. “In this home, indoor becomes outdoor without boundary. And these spaces expand the home so much — the owners can have more family, friends, and other guests to dine, swim, and in all ways enjoy the milder Vancouver weather.”
In all of these spaces, Cain and her design colleagues provided an interior basis onto which the owners can add their own personal statements, in terms of paintings, photographs and heirlooms. Whatever colour, shape and dimension they are, they’ll fit into this estate, due to the blend of exceptional design aesthetics coupled with transitional colour palettes.
Written by Susan Kime
Photos Courtesy of Eric Christiansen Real Estate