- October 16, 2019
GLOBAL STYLE FOR ONE VANCOUVER JETSETTER
To see this Vancouver condo, is like meeting the homeowner herself. Our client Paula is a doctor, an international photographer, a world traveller, and so for this full-scale renovation, we pulled from places like Morocco, Japan, India and Scandinavia to design a modern, eclectic and global home inspired by her travels.
To make her apartment feel more like a house, we tasked ourselves with creating completely different spaces in a home that’s completely open-concept. So instead of focusing on one total vision, we broke it up into different vignettes. Each room is individualized, and has its own distinct vibe and style.
Originally, the entryway was a massive open area without much function—it didn’t even have a closet. Our creative director Ben Leavitt had recently returned from a trip to Japan where they have these long white oak benches everywhere—and these were a sleek modern solution for seating by the door. The eye-catching backgammon tile from Marrakech was the perfect backdrop for the entryway, which we juxtaposed with ultra-modern light fixtures (like a gold metal sconce from Brooklyn-based studio Rich Brilliant Willing). The photograph hanging above the bench, which was taken during the homeowner’s travels in Bangladesh, served as our jumping off point for a global palette. We loved the photo’s dark, rich and rusty burgundy tones and it’s this colour that we tried to infuse in some form into every main living area in the house.
Which brings us to the living room. Formerly the dining room, we started by taking doors off the closet, adding in a Moroccan-inspired pointed arch and installing a cabinet inside that we painted in a very non-Vancouver-condo colour, Benjamin Moore’s dusty pink. Pushing the envelope even further, we tiled the back wall in a Moroccan concrete tile by Kelly Wearstler. By using something like an encaustic concrete tile, wherein every single tile is handmade and looks different, aged even, and it allows the space to feel bolder.
When you’re doing a room like this, you need to find that fine balancebetween newsness and antiquity. The photograph above the hutch is by Paula, the black Norman of Copenhagen chairs are Danish, her coffee table is a hand-beaten brass piece we bought in India, the accent chair was a California find that we reupholstered in rust-coloured velvet, her sofa is an industrial-meets-modern piece from Blue Dot, and this eclectic, global mix that crosses time periods and continents is all tied together with a modern light fixture from Montreal-based Lambert and Son.
Scandinavian may be the baseline for the apartment’s modern design, but the dining room is proof you can make a space feel new and fresh without going all white. Our client didn’t let us do anythingwe wanted, but she allowed us to create something different, and that’s why we ended up with a dining room with triangle drapes, red plastic chairs, two-toned wallpaper, a crazy plinth vase and a flying saucer Kelly Wearstler pendant light—this is our version of “modern.”
We sourced colour-perfect oxblood Gubi chairs from Inform Interiors in Vancouver, and used custom drapery in ice blue and charcoal grey to cover all the drywall in the room, to make the whole space feel larger and look like it’s all windows.
To keep the main living areas relatively tech-free and calming, we put the TV in her new media room that we created out of one of the guest rooms. In a lot of Moroccan spaces they have these expansive wall-to-wall sofas, so for the media room, we had a 10-foot-long sofa custom made and craned it into her apartment. Fortuitously, an unused hollow of drywall by the sofa allowed us to create a niche in the shape of a classic India-style cutout. The antique brass buddha from China and her Moroccan and Middle Eastern rugs add some vintage soul, while the classic 1950s plaster foot table brings a touch of playfulness to the room.
Our client didn’t really own any accessories, but we didn’t want to just fill up her house with a bunch of new store-bought stuff. We wanted pieces that tell a story, so we purchased all her accessories either from independent artists throughout the world or sourced them vintage. In the powder room, you’ll see the #28 industrial-meets-modern light fixture from Brooklyn’s RBW, as well as an antique ceramic bust figurine from Savannah, Georgia. Even in small spaces like this relatively neutral bathroom, it’s important to mix in pieces that have a bit of personality. Following that thread, the powder room door closes with a custom sliding barn door in a charcoal grey lattice design inspired by a door we found in Morocco.
Changing gears again, we juxtaposed wrap-around penny tile and matte black flooring in her master bathroom with a large-scale, custom wallpaper mural of a tropical textbook drawing.)
To create an atmosphere of calm in her bedroom, we wanted it all one tone. Navy blue is classic and relaxing, so we went navy on the walls (painted in Benjamin Moore’s Hail Navy), the bed, the bedding, the cowhide rug and the striped bedside table. In this room, like all the others, we didn’t want to just play by the rules, so we panelled the wall, switched the wood to a traditional herringbone and gave her an asymmetrical bedtime set-up: one kaleidoscope bedside table, one sconce for reading, and a single photo mounted off-centre—but just like every other eclectic vignette in he home, it all strikes a balance. Not everything needs to match to create a cohesive look, it just needs to be complementary.
To see more of our project – https://plaidfox.com/project/2/moroccan-inspired-condo