An unexpected flood is a terrible thing, except of course when it leads to a beautiful renovation. That’s the case with this home in British Columbia. Located right on Lions Bay, the house has a view that many people only dream of having — a married couple and their three young boys had called it home for many years when disaster struck. “In 2018 they came home to their house full of water,” designer Sarah-Marie shares. Thus began their unexpected home renovation.

“They wanted a home that reflected the west coast life in which they wake up to every day,” Sarah-Marie explains. “She loves the rustic look mixed with crisp white linens.” The designer was contracted to take on the kitchen, powder room, master bathroom, kids’ bathrooms, and to find a hardwood floor that matched the existing window and interior post color. In a recent interview, Sarah-Marie told us more about the process:

What a beautiful space! Tell us a bit about the scope of your work on this project.
Because their house was so unusual, redesigning it was a challenge. While Andrea and Mathew loved the rustic look and feel of their home, they were open to a total revamp. New kitchen cabinets, fresh quartz counter tops, and replacing their terra-cotta floors with a warm hardwood, and a total gut of their bathrooms.  They did want to keep things looking coastal and not too contemporary or stark. We replaced all the vanities with a simple white millwork vanity and kept the original powder room vanity from their previous home. We decided to paint it blue to keep that beachy vibe and bring in a fun floor tile that kept the character of the home. While looking through inspiration, we found that the white cabinets, marble accents and subway tiles with contrasting grout was something that was a common design element. We also decided that keeping everything light and classic would offer a lot more versatility in their home for years to come. 

This family spends the majority of their time in the kitchen and family room area. Given the children’s ages, we decided to make this space a place for them to eat, lounge and do their homework. Andrea and Mathew love being with their boys so a large open space was a perfect solution for them. There was existing pocket doors separating the two areas already, so it made sense to lay everything out the way we did. This way depending on the family members daily agenda they can close off the two areas, or flow in and out of both easily. 

What was a risk you took that ended up looking great?
The biggest risk I took during this renovation was convincing the client to create a very deep window well for their master bathroom vanity. Because the majority of this sink area cantilevers over the exterior of the house the cabinet space was very minimal. I convinced them to bring the vanity even further into the inside of the bathroom to create a bit of storage underneath the sink, and to forgo a typical bathroom vanity mirror. The overall depth of this counter space is around 34” deep. It leaves plenty of room behind their sink area for baskets and a small counter mirror if they so wish. I love the way this turned out. It makes the space feel like a luxurious vacation home. 

Do you have a favorite room?
The kitchen. I love the way this space turned out. It feels so open and fresh. Designing the kitchen around the post was definitely a challenge during the design/build process. We worked together with the millwork company to create a relation between the post colour, the floor colour and the hood fan and shelves. The glass knobs and pulls on the cabinets created an almost invisible look on the door fronts and the open shelves was a great opportunity to display some of the clients vintage pieces to keep the old with the new concept rolling in this area. The bar stools were something the client already had and were the perfect touch to complete the character of the kitchen. 

How long did the project take and what did the couple say when they saw their completed home?
It took about 5 months to complete. While the homeowner had an idea of what the home was going to look like upon completion, we do find with all our clients things always end up being a bit of a surprise! They saw all the materials, and finishes, but the full vision really only resided in my own head until it was fully executed. They were very overwhelmed when it was finished, especially when it was fully fluffed for our photoshoot. Any odds and ends that we purchased for the shoot was purchased by the clients. They love their new home!