Home Art collection Open house: a breeder from the 70s becomes a modern and bright...

Open house: a breeder from the 70s becomes a modern and bright classic

6
0

The house had barely been touched since 1974, a time capsule with original avocado plumbing fixtures, a sunken living room, dark stones, and high pile carpet.

Content of the article

Celia Dawson knew what kind of home she wanted. She just had to watch the market and wait.

Advertising

Content of the article

Vancouver’s Polygon Homes senior vice president of interior design had been renting in Kerrisdale for years. But she had an image in mind of her ideal home: a U-shaped, one-story house with a pool in the backyard and space for her and her two daughters in their twenties. And close to his parents, aged 91 and 84, on the West Side of Vancouver.

“I liked the mid-century modern feel, where it’s open, front and back, with full flow to the landscape at the front and back of the house,” she says. “I just waited for this house to appear.”

In 2018, it does: a 2,100-square-foot rancher on Musqueam lands near UBC, eight homes from his parents’ house. Originally built and designed in 1974, the house had hardly been touched since, a time capsule with original avocado plumbing fixtures, a sunken living room, dark stonework, and high pile carpet.

Advertising

Content of the article

In the modern and minimal white kitchen, a long window frames a view of the greenery instead of a backsplash.
In the modern and minimal white kitchen, a long window frames a view of the greenery instead of a backsplash. Photo by Brittney Kwasney – Bright Phot /PNG

In collaboration with Fiona Sinclair Design Studio and entrepreneur John Meaney of MDM Solutions, Dawson set out to modernize the layout. Ripping it to the studs, they leveled the floors, demolished the walls between the dining room and the kitchen, and removed a heavy stone fireplace that blocked the view of the garden.

With so much experience and knowledge in career design, has Dawson been overwhelmed by the number of interior options? “Focusing on a single idea for your home can be very difficult, but I kept the main goal in mind, which was an all-white palette,” she says. “I wanted my art to be color and the landscape to take over. The sightlines would be wide open; bright and perfectly integrated lighting.

Notable exceptions are the antique chandeliers in the dining room and powder room, which Dawson inherited from his parents. The fixtures “were crumbling with age” and the crystals were missing, but she was able to find a local antique dealer to restore them to their original sparkling splendor.

Advertising

Content of the article

A glass wall gives the en-suite shower an indoor-outdoor feel.  When privacy is needed, a remote-controlled blackout screen descends from an exterior soffit for added privacy.
A glass wall gives the en-suite shower an indoor-outdoor feel. When privacy is needed, a remote-controlled blackout screen descends from an exterior soffit for added privacy. Photo by Brittney Kwasney – Bright Phot /PNG

Other antique and vintage items – First Nations-made bentwood boxes in the bedroom, Chinese chests in the living room – also help balance the modern aesthetic. “I like to incorporate collectibles, old and new,” Dawson says. Built-in bookcases house his favorite books on art and landscape, alongside knick-knacks and small art objects collected on trips.

Elsewhere, Dawson’s art collection takes center stage, contrasting with the understated white palette. She started amassing early in her career, she says, when she decided to buy a piece of art each year – later framed in that passion by Polygon president and collector-philanthropist Michael Audain. Today, it owns works by British Columbia artists Gordon Smith, Fred Herzog and Tom Burrows, among others.

Advertising

Content of the article

The walls without art are mostly glass. “The windows and the light were the most important aspect of my reconstruction,” explains Dawson. Full glazing and sliding doors open onto the back and side yards of every room in the house. Instead of a backsplash in the kitchen, a long horizontal window frames a view of the greenery. Even the master bathroom has a full glass wall. “I wanted to feel like I was showering outside,” explains Dawson. When guests are nearby, a remote-controlled blackout screen descends from an exterior soffit for added privacy.

In the master bedroom, full-walled windows retain the home's interior-exterior flow, while vintage First Nations-crafted bentwood boxes from the Douglas Reynolds Gallery serve as bedside tables.
In the master bedroom, full-walled windows retain the home’s interior-exterior flow, while vintage First Nations-crafted bentwood boxes from the Douglas Reynolds Gallery serve as bedside tables. Photo by Brittney Kwasney – Bright Phot /PNG
For the living room, owner Celia Dawson designed an eight-foot-long zero-clearance fireplace, recessed under a cantilevered wall.  Sliding glass doors and full-wall glazing maximize light and garden views, while furniture from Vancouver's Once a Tree Furniture softens the minimally decorated space.
For the living room, owner Celia Dawson designed an eight-foot-long zero-clearance fireplace, recessed under a cantilevered wall. Sliding glass doors and full-wall glazing maximize light and garden views, while furniture from Vancouver’s Once a Tree Furniture softens the minimally decorated space. Photo by Brittney Kwasney – Bright Phot /PNG
The back of the house wraps around a patio and outdoor entertaining area, with a 20ft by 6ft hot tub made from a repurposed shipping container.
The back of the house wraps around a patio and outdoor entertaining area, with a 20ft by 6ft hot tub made from a repurposed shipping container. Photo by Brittney Kwasney – Bright Phot /PNG

Outside, the house wraps around an inviting patio of concrete cobblestones, with a cozy outdoor seating area and fire table. A pool-hot tub combination, made from a repurposed shipping container, arrived at the property via a crane, with cobblestones to appear integrated. An original two-story hedge at the house gives privacy to neighboring properties.

Advertising

Content of the article

The renovation process has been mostly smooth, Dawson says, after about a year of waiting for permits from the City of Vancouver and consent on designs from the Musqueam Lands Governance Office. The project was about 90% complete when COVID-19 hit, she adds, so the team could finish without major disruption. The project has since won the Georgia and Homebuilders Association of Vancouver 2021 awards for renovation excellence.

Before: The house had not been renovated since the 1970s.
Before: The house had not been renovated since the 1970s. Photo by provided /PNG

Once she moved in, the Dawson girls came to stay with her while working remotely during the height of the pandemic. “You could be in the kitchen, family room, dining room, bedrooms, back patio. All of these spaces became usable office spaces, basically, and the house was so soundproof you couldn’t hear a thing, ”she says.

Advertising

Content of the article

Today, the house is an oasis of calm for Dawson. “I love to come home and I hate to leave,” she says. “It’s just the feeling of relaxation when I’m at home, of peace and beauty.” The space was also well used for entertaining family and friends. “I like that people want to come and even drop by unexpectedly.” And live near her parents, whom she now sees daily? “It’s been a blessing,” she says.

  1. A marble block serves as a bar and focal point in the kitchen, concealing prep mess from diners.  A wok kitchen is concealed behind cabinets with a hidden door mechanism.

    A high-contrast makeover takes this North Shore home from mundane to urban

  2. Light enters the kitchen from all angles, including from above, thanks to skylights made possible by the house's offset second floor.

    How a custom East Vancouver home became a multigenerational sanctuary

  3. A gable roof line evokes the look of a traditional farmhouse.  Avoiding traditional overhangs, sections of the building envelope are instead recessed to create a rain cover.

    Modern Farmhouse Inspired West Van Mansion Becomes The Ultimate Home Office

Advertising

comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil discussion forum and encourages all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour of moderation before appearing on the site. We ask that you keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications. You will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, if there is an update to a comment thread that you follow, or if a user that you follow comments. Visit our Community rules for more information and details on how to adjust your E-mail The settings.


Source link