For this retired couple considering a move from their modern home to a low maintenance turn-key residence, the answer was this spacious 1700 square-foot condo on the water with a view of the working harbour. The condo’s vistas were alluring but the 1990’s layout was dated and disjointed — the rooms were boxy and disconnected with no sense of flow. The owners turned to designer, Jason Rolstone to breathe new life into their space with his earthy west coast sensibility.
Inspired by the home’s bird’s-eye view from the 8th floor, Rolstone did a rethink on room allocation and orientation. Together with Erik Larsen of Larsen Group, they created the aptly named “serene sky palace” where natural elements of wood, stone, metal and concrete mingle with rich textural fabrics to create a warm and inviting home. A stunning curved wall, designed by Rolstone, softens the condo’s angular lines and gently guides you into the living area.
A welcoming open-plan layout with an emphasis on orientation to the water and ample display space for their growing art collection were at the top of the couple’s wishlist. “In order to repurpose rooms, I removed walls and opened up the space to create a flow that just didn’t exist before. We created views of the ocean from every room, even from the bed in the master bedroom. The bulkhead in the dining area was designed to light the 7-foot concrete and acrylic Birgit Piskor sculpture — a 50th wedding anniversary present the couple gifted themselves,” adds Rolstone.
To elevate the living area’s cozy factor, Rolstone had Kirk Ludwig at Autonomous Furniture Collective build a hand-crafted mantel out of torched western red cedar to pair with the soapstone sculpture. An 11-foot custom designed sofa from Van Gogh Designs and handmade wool cushions from Fever Tree on Salt Spring Island invite guests in to enjoy the view. The leather chair, faux fur throw and jute and wool Calvin Klein rug from Parc Modern pull the room together.
Exposing original cement columns allowed for an industrial touch that merged beautifully with the various woods, metals and stone creating what Rolstone refers to as an “elemental balance.” Given carte-blanche with furniture selections, Rolstone carefully curated the showstopping Churchwood dining table from Autonomous Furniture Collective and paired it with the hand-crafted sculptural Hubbardton Forge Flux pendant from Vermont. Dining chairs are from Van Gogh Designs.
To keep the predominantly white kitchen from feeling too stark, Larsen built teak uppers and accents to balance the glossy white cabinets and bring warmth to the kitchen’s neutral palette. While the couple splurged on Fisher and Paykel appliances they maintained the kitchen budget with high-gloss white Ikea cabinetry (with the assistance of Larsen’s custom components).
Splashes of earthy brown and grey in the Neolith waterfall countertops play nicely with the warm teak accents. Rolstone adds that it’s a designer’s dream to have three waterfall ends on a countertop.
“The kitchen’s pass-through window was not part of the original design but once we started the reno we realized the view from the sink would be a wall, we quickly cut a hole and brought the light in. I’m not normally a fan of pass-throughs but in this situation, it made the best sense for the client,” states Rolstone.
Seizing a few square feet of dead space from the condo’s original dining area was part of Rolstone’s master plan to create a spacious master bedroom centred around his custom designed king bed with views. Larsen adds that “Jason had the idea to create a continuous piece so that the back of the headboard would create a seating area in an open concept closet on the opposite side.”
Larsen brought Rolstone’s creative vision to life by building a bed that not only looks like it was built out of a single seamless piece of wood but also appears cantilevered from every angle of the bedroom. Larsen says that to add to the challenge, “the whole piece was hand-built in the master bedroom.”
To complement the exposed structural concrete in the master ensuite, Larsen built a concrete countertop that pairs perfectly with the Italian porcelain tiles that envelop the room.
The pièce de résistance in the serene, spa-like ensuite is Rolstone’s carefully sourced pebble flooring that not only look like natural rock but are smooth and comfortable underfoot. The couple feel at peace in their home, which for Rolstone is the ultimate goal and the best compliment.
- Designer: Jason Rolstone Design
- Contractor: The Larsen Group
- Cabinetry/Millwork: The Larsen Group
- Hardware: Victoria Speciality Hardware
- Flooring: Wood – The Finishing Store; Carpet – Fuzzy Wuzzy Carpets
- Fireplace Mantle/Live-edge Dining Table: Autonomous Furniture
- Countertops: Beyond Surfaces (Neolith); Master Bath Custom Concrete: The Larsen Group
- Glass: Royal Oak Glass
- Tile: Loki Tiling
- Lighting: Mclaren Lighting
- Furniture: Parc Modern, Van Gogh Designs, 18 Karat, StudioYdesign; Monarch Furnishings, Autonomous Furniture, The Larsen Group (Master Bed)
- Art: Jason Rolstone
- Sculpture: Birgit Piskor