exquisite elegance mixed with understated sophistication



Shaughnessy, the celebrated Vancouver neighbourhood, has long been known for its exquisite elegance and grand but understated sophistication. And it’s here where you’ll find this resplendent residence. Designed by its owner in collaboration with Richard Salter Interiors and Stuart Howard Architects, this stately home exhibits something fresh but familiar, a reborn sense of beauty, thanks to custom commissioned art pieces and other finishes aglow with life.

 reverse-painted glass paneling of a peacock, also by Gorman Studios.
reverse-painted glass paneling of a peacock, also by Gorman Studios.

Opening the front door reveals an airy, two-storey foyer where a delicate, white orchid reposes on a circular Henredon table. Above, six panels of stained glass echo the Deco-inspired staircase railings; minimalist interlocking curves and lines create balance, visual rhythm, and a theme that flows throughout.

To the left, a hallway leads toward the formal dining room where, today, 12 guests are anticipated for lunch. Designed with a white-on-gold palette, this room’s most exotic feature is a continuous, chinoiserie mural by Vancouver’s own Gorman Studios. Hand-painted on all four walls, it showcases the delicate brushstrokes of Japanese-style weeping willows, waterfalls, and peacocks.

Adding a whimsical sense of playfulness, an eclectic array of shiny surfaces appears unexpectedly throughout this home. One hallway wall features a Christopher Guy mirror named simply “Camilla” in reference to the feathers often seen adorning royal hats and fascinators at the Ascot Racecourse. Just below, four vases by renowned local glassblower Robert Held shimmer in the sunlight. One, apparently feeling more casual than the others, is recumbent with its neck supported by a clear display stand — the better to show off the full range of its colours.

In the great room, which the family agrees is their favourite place to spend time together, a twinkling chandelier reminiscent of early morning dewdrops on a spider’s web is suspended from the centre of a soaring 20-foot vaulted ceiling. And in the living room, another Christopher Guy mirror is framed with intertwined curves — curves also seen in the high-relief ceiling design and repeating yet again in the subtle inlay of an antique display bookcase.

The upstairs bedroom wing is an oasis of soothing colours and textural layering. A much-loved highlight here is the master ensuite’s marble and glass soaker tub, luxuriously deep and softly lit by day from the skylight. At night, candles’ reflections dance across the water or through silver leaves framing the mirror just above — like moonlight on the boughs of a magical, elven forest.

“I’m always looking for something different,” says the owner. “It might be old, it might be new, or it might be something we’ve had specially designed.” She points to a recent commission, a seven-foot reverse glass painting of a peacock by the same artists whose work adorns the formal dining room. “But it always brings beauty and delight into our home and into our lives.”

From the foyer to the master ensuite, colour and shape is used sparingly but to sublime effect.