Words by Adrienne Dyer. Photos by Jody Beck.
Interior Designer Pamela Billinghurst and Residential Designer Ian Roberts of Flashhouse combined their deep appreciation for modern architecture to design and build this 3,900-square-foot family home. With four bedrooms upstairs, communal spaces on the main, and a guest suite and garage in the basement, this home embraces family life with a warm minimalist style.
“The design had aggressive program requirements to accommodate a young, active family with busy and differing schedules,” says Billinghurst. The homeowners also wanted the house to remain unobtrusive from the outside, to be full of fresh air and natural light, yet maintain privacy on the small lot. “Modern design always wants to bring the outside in,” says Roberts, who centred the design around an exposed concrete wall and open-riser staircase. “This allows light and sightlines to be porous from the street to the backyard.”
The concrete wall on the main floor serves as a visual divide between the kitchen and living space while maintaining a streamlined layout for the busy family of five.
In the kitchen, pure white quartz countertops pair with millwork meticulously designed to look like furniture finished to blend with the white-washed oak floors. The subtle, mitred cabinetry echoes the crisp edges of the wall reveal that separates the base of the wall from the floor.
“The reveal base, achieved by using a steel angle, creates a small shadow line between surfaces,” Billinghurst explains. While complex to plan and execute, this detail provides a refined, clean alternative to baseboards that suits the home’s modern utilitarian appeal.
Upstairs, a concrete wall provides a visual backdrop with textural contrast for refined features like the freestanding tub and black, mini-brick shower tile in the master ensuite.
Against a neutral palette, black accessories stand out, as do soft bursts of pastel colour in the children’s bedrooms and two bathrooms dedicated to their use.
A design so pure relies on perfect execution of the finest detail. As Roberts says, it’s a design free of visual noise, one that “speaks quiet volumes with understated materials.” This quality, exemplified in a home that naturally embraces family life with comfort and ease, is the essence of the philosophy of both designers. “There is a calmness to being in this house that comes from light and air,” Roberts says. “No tangible material detracts from that.”