When the homeowners purchased a double lot in Oak Bay, they enlisted all three divisions of the Zebra Group — Design, Construction and Interiors — to bring their vision to life. “The clients wanted a family house with generous living areas, space for their two offices, and room to accommodate guests,” says Rus Collins, who designed a traditional, cedar shingle style exterior that blends well into the established neighbourhood. With 7500 square feet of living space across three levels, the home also includes a detached garage and plenty of outdoor areas to live and play.
The architectural expression informed the interior design direction where Lorin Turner of Zebra Interiors kept the finishes and details clean and uniform so that the bones of the house could really shine. Rows of skylights and mullioned windows pour natural light into the Scandinavian farmhouse-style interior defined by a crisp white palette, white oak boxed beams, and vaulted ceilings. Skylights were even integrated above the covered outdoor dining area, where the painted wood beams, pillars and the barbecue pergola create beautiful craftsman detailing.
“Including ceiling beams in the living room and master bedroom took careful consideration,” says Zebra Construction lead, Martin Whitehead, who adds that the beams are decorative, not structural, and are white oak like the floor. Inside the house is a quiet, monochromatic palette warmed by blonde wood tones, shiplap detail and plenty of greenery. Turner says the design process started with the flooring. “Once we decided on the white oak and it’s rustic texture, that influenced every other wood in the house.”
White oak beams in the living area accentuate the vaulted ceilings and introduce a touch of down-to-earth farmhouse feel. The centrepiece of the living area is the fireplace surround, clad floor to ceiling in sand toned Walker Zanger, Gubi Peak, glazed ceramic tile which emulates carved stone without overwhelming the room. Turner emphasizes that texture was an important element throughout the design that adds visual interest to the neutral palette.
In the powder room and family bath, white shiplap walls create a rustic, beach-house look, while K2 stone, quarried on the Island, adds colour and natural pattern to the floors in the mudroom, powder room and the fireplace in the den.
Brushed brass hardware and pendant lights in the kitchen add a splash of gold in the clean white kitchen where handmade Andalucia tiles by Walker Zanger in matte white adorn the backsplash and quartz countertops reflect the light. All the other warmth comes from the white oak floors, island cabinetry and the pocket door to the pantry, which hides an upright freezer, coffee station and long term storage.
In the master bedroom, the nautical porthole window, vaulted ceilings, and a central white oak beam give the room a cottagey feel to enhance the pared down, neutral finishes. The white oak boxed beam also provides an anchor for the brushed nickel ceiling fan.
Zebra Group blended a classic east-coast style facade with a warm Nordic farmhouse fusion on the interior for a timeless aesthetic that is beautifully liveable. “This was a great project for Zebra,” says Turner. “All three of our departments were involved and the result is a thoughtful design that fits with the existing streetscape while capturing the essence of our clients.”