Though this home is just five years old, it felt a little dated when designer Mariana D’Amici of D’Amici Design first saw it. “All of the finishes (floors, millwork, etc.) were very timeless so there were no major changes that needed to be made to the materials,” she recalls. “But it was overdecorated and a little dated and they wanted me to create a more updated feel.”
The homeowners, a lovely couple with a daughter, had designed and built the home themselves — he is in property management. “The owners are a young cool jetsetting couple and their home did not read that way,” Mariana shares. The furnishings were a bit heavy and ornate, and camouflaged the excellent bones of the house, including the black-framed windows and custom moulding. Since the family loves to travel to warm, beachside locations, Mariana got to work creating an aesthetic that would convey that resort feeling at home. “I’m always inspired by the casual feel of Southern California decor, so I’d say I tried to take it in that direction through materials like cactus silk and hmong pillows, kilim rugs, hints of tan leather, and natural wood tones,” she explains. “Light and airy with some warmth through textures rather than color.”
The entryway sets the scene for the entire look and feel of the house. “The original light fixture was a very small crystal one that was hung too high, so we switched that for a beautiful Ro Sham Beaux beaded one that’s a bit of a modern take on a crystal chandelier. The table has a marble top and a cane base and when you walk into the home it just captures the whole look of what I love in one vignette,” she says. Tumbled marble floors act like a beautiful backdrop, which the owners were at first worried might be too much. Mariana laughs, “The owner asked, ‘is it going to be too much marble?’ My answer was “there is no such thing as too much marble!'”
Another cool element in the decor is the use of custom ceramics, which Mariana worked with Mimoko Ceramics to create. “I’ve never designed sculpture before and I just love the way they turned out. Sometimes you need something on your wall that adds interest, something that’s not a piece of framed art or a mirror,” she says. “These were perfect. Mimoko Ceramics is such an artistic gem and really took my ideas and made them reality.”
The project took 5 months to complete, and Mariana says that the one and only hurdle she had to deal with was the procurement of furniture and decor and items. “Being in Vancouver, Canada has major limitations in terms of accessibility of items,” she explains. “When I can have things delivered directly to Canada there are always major delays at the border and extra duties and taxes which make the process costly. It’s a major issue I deal with on many of my install projects,” she says. Because of this difficulty, many of Mariana’s clients will default to shopping at big box stores for their items. “I’m always aware of this and really try to steer away from getting too many items from the same stores, I don’t want a room to look like a specific store. I want a home to look curated and collected, and that takes more time and money. Luckily for me, the homeowners understood this and were in agreement that sometimes it’s worth the wait.”
The designer turned to a few Canadian favorites, including Monika Hibbs Home, Rug and Weave, and Peridot Decorative Homewear. The end result is a layered luxury we love. Find more details in the slideshow!