Set on a steep slope, enjoying views of the Pacific Ocean through lush forests, the inlet residence in View Royal is the quintessential west coast contemporary home. Soaring ceilings with full height glazing capture the stunning views and flood this expansive, open concept home with an abundance of natural light. Relocating from New Brunswick, the owners wanted to embrace the home’s natural surroundings and evolve from their former house designed in a traditional style.
A creative collaboration between Christopher Walker of Christopher Developments, Keith Baker from Keith Baker Designs and Tamara Bush at Inhabit Designs, the home blurs the line between indoor and outdoor living and draws inspiration from its natural surroundings with the use of sustainable materials. Clad in recycled cedar, local stone and polished concrete, the facade merges with its environment to maintain the west coast aesthetic.
Working with Baker and Walker to coordinate the exterior materials with the interior selections, Bush‘s goal was to create a harmonious design and celebrate the stunning views of the inlet by keeping the palette clean and simple. With the expansive views the focal point of the design, a colour palette of warm whites and ocean blues reflect the natural surroundings while graphic prints add texture and character. The full-height marble fireplace surround with cantilevered wood shelves accentuate the soaring ceiling height and offer recessed lighting for art display.
With careful consideration, Bush planned the home’s layout, did the millwork design, chose finishings, and worked with the clients on furniture selection. “Working on residential projects is an opportunity to think about the functionality and feel of every inch of the space,” says Bush. With a penchant for both sustainable design and a west coast contemporary aesthetic, Bush was the perfect fit for this nature-inspired project.
Bush chose custom oak cabinets to give this open concept kitchen a rich and inviting tone. Sleek and modern, it was important to Bush’s design to maintain sight lines to the view from all angles of this L-shaped kitchen. Featuring a mitered waterfall counter, the island expands its functionality with an eat-in space with stools and an open shelving display.
To fulfill the client’s request for a stained glass feature, Bush suggested recycled glass mosaic tile backsplash in ocean blues “to impart a sense of calm and maintain the modern aesthetic.” Single lever chrome faucets add to the contemporary feel and Flos glass pendants over the island keep the space light and sight lines open. With state-of-the-art Bosch appliances and a Miele built-in coffee system, no stone was left unturned in this kitchen design.
The design challenge was bridging the owner’s traditional décor with contemporary architecture. “They had oversized leather furniture with some definite traditional leanings so bridging the gap between their old and new style was key to this design,” Bush states. The clients wanted to bring in elements that spoke to their own personal style while complementing the contemporary architecture.
Given the expansive open concept of the layout, Bush knew that the flooring selection was going to have a major impact on the overall design. “I wanted a material with warmth and texture to offset the white walls and sweeping open space,” says Bush. Originally drawn to rare and expensive exotic hardwoods, the homeowners were open to Bush’s more environmentally responsible, striated bamboo choice which offered the character and warmth they were looking for without the environmental cost. The contrast in the renewable bamboo’s surface also helped to tie in the different wood species, particularly oak and fir, used in the millwork and stair treads.
The marble floor of the elegant foyer greets guests with an inlaid pebble stone path thoughtfully aligned with the stone pillar outside the front door. Custom built entry bench and closet for seasonal outdoor wear.
Solidly suspended from the tempered glass with brackets, Walker used a natural wood for the stair treads.
Designed by Bush, the custom built-in bed for the master bedroom includes floating side tables, storage, lighting and a feature panel creating a frame for client’s art. “Emphasizing the ceiling height, I chose Pablo Solis suspension lighting and created a statement custom headboard that wraps into a ceiling lid,” says Bush.
Serenity and luxury were key to designing this spa-like master bathroom. The seamless glass shower for two enhances the open concept in this restorative retreat. The custom oak millwork with a walnut stain on the floating vanity anchors the space and adds warmth with under cabinet lighting. A built-in linen storage and make-up counter add to the functionality of the luxurious en suite. Clearstory windows maintain privacy while flooding the room with natural light.
A unique request of the client was to incorporate a custom steam room into the home. “We wanted it to feel like an extension of the bathroom so I continued the pebble stone and details in the flooring with a glass door connecting the spaces,” states Bush.
“The goal of the media room design was meant to be playful and fun,” says Bush. Carpet tile on the floor with a band of turquoise blue draws guests into the room and continues the ocean blue theme. Echoing the sea theme is the Bisazza mosaic glass wall tile at the bar. Comfortable Gus seating completes the space.
Functional and spacious, this utilitarian laundry room keeps clutter at bay. Environmental considerations of the home include radiant in-floor heating, natural light/ventilation, low voltage and task specific lighting. “For sustainable materials we used bamboo flooring, recycled glass tile, eco-quartz and local suppliers where we could,” Bush states.