Style and function. When they come together, it is nothing short of a feat. Their coexistence is the hallmark of skilled engineering as much as it is great design.
An example of how these two elements can seamlessly connect to create an impressive work can be found in this home in West Vancouver. A new three-storey house on a rare flat street in this neighbourhood known for its hillside inclines, it embraces both components to produce a unique brand of elegance.
“It’s comfortable luxury,” says Amanda Evans, the designer who worked with the owners and Linda Burger & Associates, the home’s builder, to produce a cohesive look. “Even though they wanted something luxurious, we wanted to get something that was durable and would survive family life,” Evans says.
A couple with two young children, “they had a pretty good idea of what they were looking for,” says Evans, who owns Amanda Evans Interiors. “They wanted someone to bring it all together.”
The mother, a doctor by profession, wanted a refined look. But she clearly understood the challenge of factoring in the rough and tumble that comes with two toddlers. She set the bar high. The home had to be stylish, but not too precious.
“It’s very comfortable and it’s really built for our family. And it’s very elegant,” she says of the final result.
Creating that look included many ingredients. It started with a few pieces of furniture the couple had in a previous home, including a classic grey upholstered chair in the living room and a hutch in the dining room. They added to that with a few key purchases, including an oversized chandelier over the dining table.
The chandelier is a statement piece. “That was such a strong starting point for us,” Evans says.
She also points to the custom millwork that showcases the fireplace in the living room. Flanking the quartzite surround, maple shelves are backed by grey-tinted mirrors. The subdued mirroring creates “the reflective value without being too busy,” she says.
Grey is a theme that carries through much of the house. A personal favourite of one of the owners, it serves as the anchor that dictated the selections of many of the accent pieces.
“We wanted to warm it up because grey can sometimes feel cool, especially with our weather in Vancouver,” Evans says. To do this, she added brass accents. The metals also confer glamour and a touch of sparkle.
Adding to the look of refinement are the custom-made area rugs – one in the living room, another in the dining room.
The dining table is a custom-made piece that combines two triangular gold metal base pieces with a four-inch-thick maple tabletop that was stained to coordinate with the millwork in the living room.
The smaller chairs are covered with grey vinyl, a selection that, as Evans describes it, “looks beautiful but can withstand everyday life.” The two wing chairs, one at each end of the table, are finished with the same vinyl on the seats, but are covered with a textured material on the side and backs to add a touch of sophistication. Evans says the end chairs are a small nod to traditionalism.
“For us, this is a pretty unique project. We got to do a very luxurious design and captured very comfortable aspects for family life,” Evans says. “We didn’t have to sacrifice style and the look to achieve that.”
This mix of style and function was carried to the finished basement, where a glass-walled office serves as a workspace that enables the adults to work while keeping an eye on the children in an adjacent playroom.
“I’m thrilled with the home,” the owner says. “It’s beautiful and also suits the needs of us. We’re going to live in the space.”