Situated on the banks of the estuary in the Esquimalt Harbour, this custom-built home was thoughtfully designed to harmonize with its natural surroundings. For this professional couple, the objective was to design a home that would reflect the earth tone palette of the home’s waterfront setting and create an open concept interior where they could enjoy the views and entertain guests. “We entertain often, at least weekly,” so creating an open plan with a welcoming flow was a priority. Turning to Gabriel Ross in the past to furnish previous homes, the couple wanted a classic modern look with quality furnishings in a neutral colour palette. “We like the idea of using design elements that aren’t overly trendy but are centred on good design and pleasing lines.”
“I love that we manage to use and enjoy the entire home even though it’s only for the two of us. We designed it in such a way that we don’t have many empty rooms, but enjoy larger principal areas that can be used in our everyday life and also function well for larger gatherings.”
Designed by Omer Arbel and made in Vancouver, the Bocci 14.14 lighting hovers delicately over the dining table. “The Bocci light throws the perfect light and is bold enough to make a statement while disappearing enough to maintain sight lines to the beautiful views.”
“Our intention was to mirror the colours in the waterway and forest behind the home by keeping the palette in greys, greens and browns.” Made in Italy, the Lapalma Thin Bar Stool with a walnut veneer is height adjustable and ergonomically comfortable.
Tim Philipchalk from Harbour City Kitchens adds that, “the homeowners requested a natural, mid-tone wood for the millwork to provide some contrast to lighter flooring and white kitchen cabinetry. Walnut has a timeless appeal and struck the right amount of contrast for the home.” A built-in walnut buffet reflects the wood in the kitchen island and elevates the home’s functionality with additional storage.
In the living room, two Herman Miller Eames Upholstered Plastic Armchairs in Hopsack Orange fabric add a bold pop of colour to the overarching neutral palette. The homeowners chose the white plastic back with a white wire base to echo the white of the dining chairs. Harbour City Kitchens built a drop box ceiling feature to visually distinguish the dining area from the kitchen and to create a standout feature for the Bocci lighting.
The surround on the fireplace reflects the wooded area outside and is bordered by walnut to pull the elements together. A hand-knotted Salari rug from Chester Fields provides comfort underfoot while the Herman Miller Goetz Sofa by Mark Goetz brings mid-mod interest to the room. Wrapping thick cushions in a striking moulded wood shell, the Ivory leather upholstery with an ebony veneer frame contributes to the contrasting palette. Knoll Warren Platner Side Table in bronze.
The front entrance provides an airy welcome while the glass and steel railing maintains the open feel of the home. The Liora timber pendant light adds an organic feel.
A well-stocked bar flanked by Jeff Covey bar stools in walnut (now discontinued) invites guests to the lower level to enjoy the entertainment room built by Harbour City Kitchens. A decorative mural depicting a rusted piece of iron paired with three-light wire cage pendant lights brings an industrial vibe to the basement bar. Bathroom vanities in walnut boast built-in RGB LED motion sensor lighting built by Harbour City Kitchens. Bathroom artwork by Fornasetti.