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Traditional Dollarton Home: Embracing the Timeless Beauty of Heirlooms


This traditional Dollarton home belongs to James and Lauren (names changed), an active semi-retired couple with three adult children. They have spent years building a life filled with adventure. The couple shares a passion for exploring the world, cherishing family moments, and hosting gatherings. 

In their initial consultation, they expressed a desire to renovate the entire main floor of their home. Upon visiting, we could see exactly what they meant. Like many original homes in North Vancouver, the interior exhibited signs of its age:


Before: Dollarton Traditional Home

We encountered a dimly lit kitchen with laminate countertops, worn tile flooring and carpet throughout their living spaces, and heavy oak elements in every room. Fortunately, the size and layout of the rooms were functional. They just required a substantial facelift.

As we delved deeper into the project and defined the investment their goals would require, Lauren and James made the decision to divide it into two phases. This is a common and effective approach for more extensive projects, enabling our clients to maximize their resources.

In Phase 1, our focus centred on the everyday spaces where the couple spends the majority of their time. We preserved the existing kitchen layout and implemented several strategic design updates to fit their current lifestyle. Phase 2 encompassed a more comprehensive strategy, addressing the flooring, painting, and decorating.

Now, their newly transformed home fits modern-day living while mirroring their most cherished values.

After: Classic & Pristine Kitchen


Classic, pristine, and functional, this kitchen transformation is striking, isn’t it? Our approach began with the installation of crisp, transitional-style cabinetry that kiss the ceiling, making the space feel taller. Complemented by warm, brushed brass hardware, this combination lends a timeless charm to the space.


Undoubtedly, the focal point is the laser-cut backsplash, a beautiful masterpiece locally crafted by Edgewater Studio. It showcases a laurel leaf pattern, drawing inspiration from the lush garden views visible just beyond James and Lauren’s kitchen window. This artful feature pairs beautifully with the quartz countertops, which exude a stunning marble-like elegance through subtle grey veining.


The centerpiece of the kitchen, the island, serves primarily as a practical workspace dedicated to meal preparation and serving. We intentionally did not incorporate seating or a sink, aligning with Lauren’s vision for an efficient, culinary-only zone. Adjacent to the kitchen lies a generous eat-in area…


This newly created area features an oval table in ash, finished in driftwood grey and complete with a freestanding bench thoughtfully designed with James and Lauren’s future grandchildren in mind. (They are eagerly awaiting!)

While the kitchen embraces Lauren’s preference for a predominately white colour palette, we infused subtle yet captivating blue accents. These pops of colour came to life through the custom Roman shades, upholstery on the dining chairs, and countertop storage vessels. Our design also elongated the kitchen’s overall footprint, creating more space and cohesively leading into the family room.

Comfortable & Bright Family Room


Their family room underwent a transformation in the best of ways. (Do you remember what it used to look like?) Now, it is a seamless extension of the bright and airy aesthetic of the kitchen. Subtle pops of soothing blue continue throughout providing an overall sense of comfort.

To enhance their seating arrangements, we sourced custom neutral-toned furnishings, including a sofa and two armchairs. Additionally, we designed custom patterned ottomans that can be neatly tucked under the coffee table, providing extra seating options as needed. A Frame TV, disguised among the stunning local artwork on display, adds both functionality and aesthetic appeal, making this space ideal for casual or holiday entertaining.


Their fireplace surround underwent a substantial makeover as well, with sleek blue-grey tiles that offer visual texture and effortlessly bring the colour palette of the room together. We also replaced the heavy oak mantle with a simple white one to lighten the space. The result is a warm yet airy lounging space perfect for James and Lauren’s cherished family moments.

Personal & Inspiring Living Room


In phase 2, undertaken a few years later, our focus shifted to the more formal gathering spaces. In the living room, we kept their layout the same but updated the space with quality custom furnishings. Given the soaring drywall surfaces, we opted for a soft grey wall colour to simplify the complex architectural lines. The result? A clean and refined aesthetic.


Before, this room was fairly dark. Now, it benefits from abundant natural light which reflects off the soft grey sofa and two light, houndstooth-patterned accent chairs. Above their fireplace, we added decorative mouldings that extend to the ceiling, establishing a captivating focal point for the room. To infuse a touch of sophistication and warmth, a curved brass mirror graces the space above. 


Finally, an heirloom glass cabinet displays collected and meaningful accessories that reflect the couple’s character and make this space feel inspiring, inviting, and personal.

Timeless & Meaningful Dining Room


Last but not least, we gave James and Lauren’s dining room a fresh, up-t0-date ambiance. To bring warmth and character into the room, we paired an antique table (with extendable leaves) with transitional, upholstered grey dining chairs. Above the table, a classic brass chandelier casts a timeless and inviting glow.

Meanwhile, subtle decorative wall panelling creates depth and interest on the far wall, while warm, brass curtain rods tie the design together and remain consistent with the home’s aesthetic. To infuse a hint of whimsy and connection to their beautiful outdoor view, we selected soft drapes with a nature-inspired motif and a vibrant painting by local artist Krista Johnson.


Throughout this project, our goal was to seamlessly incorporate the family’s cherished heirloom furniture with a fresh aesthetic, infusing each space with a meaningful yet contemporary atmosphere. The antique table and heirloom sideboard, rich with sentimental value, effortlessly balance the well-loved with the excitingly new. 

Final Thoughts

This transformation for our travel-loving clients stands as a testament to the power of thoughtful design, where functionality converges with elegance and sentimentality blends with modernity. We’re grateful for the trust, open communication, and the opportunity to bring James and Lauren’s vision to life.

If you are seeking your own home transformation, my team and I would love to help. I invite you to reach out to us here.



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Uncover the hidden potential in your home.

Whether you live in a mid-century gem in need of an update or a modern new build ready for personality, these creative solutions will change the way your home looks and lives.

Thank you!