Rustic Lakeside: High-Country CharmJanuary 2, 2019
It all started with our empty-nester homeowners announcing that they wanted to build a cottage in the city; While they would have loved to build a timberframe cabin in the mountains, they also badly needed to renovate their aging city home which had served them well in raising their family. But it just didn’t make sense to do both, so the happy compromise to build their cottage in the city proved a smart decision because they’ve been able to enjoy the feeling of escaping to the cottage on a daily basis, without having to wait for weekends or special holidays.
At the time they came to us, they already had most of the architectural design completed by a talented architectural team, and they had the timberframe provider secured as well as a reputable contractor.
To round out the design/construction team, they were looking for a designer they could trust with their wishes, and who could create something that reflected their own tastes and personalities. To quote one of the client’s comments upon hiring us; “you were not a pompous ass, and we saw that you could do a full range of services from interior architecture through to furnishings”.
At the early stage of interior design visioning, the homeowners were very clear about two things: They did NOT want ‘orange’ timbers, and they were not afraid of a bit of color and pattern.
Starting with the timberframe stain, it was quickly evident that the favoured shade was a rich red-brown. Since this was a structural timberframe home, this stain color would be visible everywhere inside and outside the home, and every other color and material had to be compatible to the timber stain.
We then determined that since this was a property in the middle of a city, that a slightly more urban edge could be realized if we created a strong contrast between the timbers and the tongue & groove ceilings, which were done in a white-washed effect, which reflects more light and enhances the bold patterns of the timbers.
From there, the palette developed naturally and a theme became evident; one of warm neutral ‘grounding’ colors accented with hits of aquarian-influenced blues and warmed up with coppers, with golds and the tiniest bit of red and spice tones for good measure.The theme of old and new also has a presence in the home; for example the taps and faucets throughout are finished in copper, but the fixtures themselves are more contemporary in style.
Light fixtures also have a generally more modern feel in the shape and form, to sit more simply against the architecture and not draw too much attention from sight-lines.
No where is the theme of old/new more evident than in the den and husbands office. The den is overall more modern, with the dominant linear lines of the U-shaped sectional sofa making a bold and clean statement. This stands in strong contrast to the highly rustic ‘miners cabin’ theme in the adjacent office, which is clad with reclaimed wallboards which were reclaimed from tobacco sheds in Virginia, complete with hand-forged iron nails!
A statement piece of Salish carving by George Hemeon, applied to a pair of cedar doors, artfully separates the two rooms. Both sides of the door are carved with imagery that has meaning to the owners.
The Salish accents continue in the dramatic stairwell, which contains a traditional totem, also by George Hemeon.
The open-rise stairs allow you to catch changing views of the totem as you ascend or descend. A custom light fixture was created using glass insulator caps from old telegraph poles –creating yet another piece that has a story to tell.
The powder room at the end of the hall plays on this rustic/modern theme with its hammered copper vessel sink and custom mirror created from the rim of a vintage tractor, complete with its chain for hanging it.
The master bedroom suite boasts vaulted timbered ceilings, an outdoor viewing deck, and expansive bathroom complete with custom soaker tub and floating vanity.
The copper and warm theme is carried through with copper-influenced floor and wall tiles, with rich brown carpeting grounding the bedroom.
Throughout this home, a lot of our attention was given to the way the timber ceilings are lit; in most cases the ceilings and timbers are highlighted using uplighting; we try to avoid putting any pot lights or fixtures into the wood ceilings so as to keep them as clean and beautiful to look at.
The basement continues the warm themes established throughout the rest of the home, and goes a bit more full-on with color and texture.
In the bar and wine cellar, the structural stone archway is flanked by a stone wall which has stone ledges built into it to create candle ledges. Over time, the was is left to drip down to create a sense of age and time passing.
The gothic doors were a fun find –genuine doors from a welsh chapel circa 1860. We coordinated with our suppliers to create the custom-made wood timber jamb to ensure a perfect fit.
In the entertainment room, a large slouchy sectional is enveloped in a warm embrace of copper tones; from the walls the epoxy floors, to the area rug, and creates a welcome place to sit down and rest awhile.
At the close of the project, we asked the client what they would tell others about us, and this is what they said: “We had no idea how many decisions we had to make when we started this process and we could simply not have done it without you. You steered us through the process in a very productive and efficient way. You are proactive and meticulous in detail without overdoing it, and always deliver on schedule. It was a true collaboration and has resulted in a product that exceeds our wildest hopes”.
Kevin is passionate about opening peoples' minds to possibilities and revealing potential, whether he's working with private clients on private commissions, speaking at public and private events, or leading hands-on design workshops. He has a knack for connecting with people, empowering them to envision and achieve their design goals.