Set back on the lot among the towering cedars in bucolic Broadmead, this recently renovated, flat-roofed, post and beam home enjoys 3000-square-feet of natural light-filled space. The busy homeowners had been living in the home for some time when their tolerance for the 70’s wallpaper, floral window valances, and purple carpet began to wane. The home hadn’t been touched in the 44-years since its build and, uninspired by their dark and divisive 1970’s house, the professional couple contacted Zebra Group for a complete redesign and build to bring this stunning split level into the twenty-first century.
“The couple travel a lot so they wanted to create a home where they could be comfortable and entertain friends,” says Lorin Turner, Interior Designer at Zebra Group. “Our intention was to knock out walls to let natural light saturate the entire home, create a smooth transition to the home’s natural surroundings and generate spaces for relaxation and entertaining,” says Rus Collins, principal designer and owner of Zebra Group.
Starting the design consult with mood and atmosphere, as opposed to requirements and technical needs, the client played a piece of music that best captured how they wanted to feel in their new home. “The couple wanted the house to be more contemporary, open and airy,” states Turner. The aim of the design was to add subtle details honouring their respective Asian heritages while maintaining a clean, modern aesthetic.
For the avid chef in the family, Zebra designed a high-functioning kitchen while capturing the natural light and opening the space to the social areas of the home. No stone was left unturned in this clutter-free culinary kitchen: efficient work triangle, ample counter space, energy-efficient appliances including gas stove, eat-in island with storage and wine fridge. Utilizing the vertical space, the streamlined cabinetry wall with fridge, pantry and oven allows the cooking area to maintain a light, airy feel.
Symmetrical open wood shelving adds interest and keeps cooking essentials close at hand. Rustic oak flooring underfoot maintains the warmth and comfort of the open space.
The original stone fireplace screamed 1980’s ski lodge and free-floating in the middle of the room, was neither a part of the living room nor the dining room. Turner and Collins suggested a more contemporary gas unit framed with a warm gray quartz stone. “We reoriented the living room layout to create a focal point fireplace and created a fluid transition to the newly enlarged patio and grill station outside,” states Collins.
In terms of design challenges, keeping the renovation within the home’s existing footprint and working with given ceiling heights, structural beams, staircase placement and fireplace location proved to be the ultimate design test. Also, because the home backs onto a large granite rock face, the designers had limited options for the much-needed patio expansion.
A definite showstopper, a statement staircase provides a sense of weightlessness, amplifying the home’s airy feel with glass panels and beautiful floating wood treads. Elongating the windows in the stairwell allows the natural light from the back of the home to infuse both the upper and lower levels of the house.
Turner states that “it is always a challenge to artfully connect a home when the main living space is on the second floor, separate from the home’s main entry. First impressions are extremely important. As the entry level is primarily private space for the homeowners (plus guest quarters), our goal was to create a beautiful home office with significant storage on the first floor and then draw visitors seamlessly upstairs to the primary living space.”
Built right up against the boulders and trees in the back, the home enjoys a treehouse feel with floating raw oak treads, glass and a flood of natural light leading you up to the home’s main living area surrounded by trees.
Adding to the treehouse feel, the deck off the main floor living area is built right up to the rock backdrop offering a private oasis for al fresco dining.
Turner concludes that “the house is no longer stuck in the past; it is fresh, bright, and highly functional. By capitalizing on the natural beauty of the home’s surroundings, we’ve created a peaceful retreat for our clients. I hope that every time they step in the door, our clients hear the notes of the breezy melody they first played for us at the start of their home renovating journey.”