Life With A Vue

This summer us Chicks had the opportunity to meet and work with the Klein Group – an awesome team of Real Estate experts who specialize in the Commercial, Residential and Marketing arms of the industry. Spearheaded by group Founder, Eugene Klein, a boutique North Vancouver mixed use development  – The Vue – was brought to life; AGCTK was brought in to create the space that would invite potential buyers “home” through the design of a two-room Presentation Centre, as well as a top floor Display Suite. Swaying away from traditional show home design, our team approached the project with a clear Vision: “Welcoming the community home to their Westcoast eclectic space at The Vue; combining style and  signifigance, The Vue offers an urban dwelling in the heart of nature. Ideal for new families, young business owners and forward-minded retirees, life at The Vue is all about the blend of details that offer a classic caliber with a design that invites the warmth of nature in”.

In the two-room Presentation Centre, the Chicks chose to create a living space, rather than a selling space – an area offering a design that would give the atmosphere of what “home” at The Vue looks like, and acting as an extention of the upstairs Show Suite. As we began on the Display Suite,  we designed with a particular buyer in mind, yet offered classically comfortable elegance that is appealing all around. This suite at The Vue was designed for a young family who perhaps have grown up in North Vancouver, yet spent much of their young adulthood developing their personal sense of self and style in the urban core of Vancouver. Now, as they seek a space for their own family to grow, they are returning to their roots nestled in North Vancouver’s nature; while they are excited to return “home”, they want to remain on the pulse of what is happening in the city – The Vue offers them the ideal mix of both style and nature. This Show Suite layout was designed to offer a master bedroom, a nursery or small child’s room and a great room that would allow a family to live, play and entertain.

As we sourced the decor, larger furnishing pieces offered a classic quality and feel, while lighting and accessories created a hip vibe with fashion-forward undertones. We of course scoured our usual stops, ReFind (* just moved to Main + 30th and the new spot is a gem! *) and Space Lab for the vintage finds and unique pieces, Union Wood Co for some industrial elements (think: the rustic aluminum headboard) and struck it lucky at Fluff and CB2 for the traditional furnishing pieces. Stunning vintage Persian rugs were picked up at Rugs Canada (if you haven’t been, it is definitely a must-stop in your hunt for the perfect area or accent rug!). Fab finds from Target and even Craigslist finished off the space. Overall, the style is summed up as Westcoast, yet is enhanced with an eclectic, layered feel that combines eras and aesthetics to create a sense of personality and the warmth of home. Huge shout outs to the awesome dudes at Big O Construction and Welcome To East Van Moving for all the help! Photos courtesy of the lovely Shannyn Higgins.


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Haute Culture

FEATURED IN: Design Bureau (Chicago), Westcoast Homes & Design (Vancouver)

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This client was a treat for our team, and a great way to cap off a design-filled Summer. She is fashion-forward, life-loving and inspired by eclectic cultural elements of decor… yet she somehow hadn’t changed the look of her (totally amazing) Yaletown conversion loft since she purchased it as the display suite a few years back. Ergo, she had been living with uber-minimalist style defined by a Barcelona chair, chrome arc lamp and Euro-inspired white leather couch. It was a fab look for some, but left this client’s inner stylista screaming for something much more.

The process began with selling all the above-mentioned modern elements to make room to address her need for hits of colour, texture and storage space to showcase treasured items. For lighting we decided to go bold, using a blend of gold and red oversized cage lights down the hall and a recycled large pendant over the bar; to ground the space we chose a super graphic black-and-white area rug and Moroccan inspired floor to ceiling drapery. To create a sense of comfort and an inviting entertaining space, a super deep grey-velvet dream of a couch (seriously, this is the raddest couch ever. I might just have to go buy one for home) was brought in from CB2 and used opposite two retro loungers; nestled amongst them we used a gold and travertine base glass-top coffee table to keep up the glam factor and tie in the glass waterfall nesting side tables. Art was kept minimal, using a trio of Robert Fougere prints hung with vintage brass hand clips, all scored at Space Lab. Tucked slightly out of view (but with a massive swing arm for accessibility when desired) we mounted her tv, anchored by two vintage school desks as her console unit (she’s a professor, so we couldn’t’ resist the schoolhouse reference). The area was then top lit by a custom designed multi-bulb pendant light. This fixture was created with a piece of hand-planed reclaimed yellow cedar, vintage shades of various sizes and coloured cords.

Moving into her kitchen area, we removed her previous dining table and opted to replace her traditional bar top with a large, dining-sized Ceasarstone top (from J&D Stoneworks); for seating, we used an assortment of vintage and new barstools to create a new “dining” space in which she could easily entertain. This change in spacial layout made room for the super fab custom shelving unit that has become the focal point for the space. The idea was sparked when we found a killer, oversize vintage metal filing cabinet at The Found and The Freed; we knew we wanted to use it in this project, but also wanted to utilize the super high ceilings for storage and decor. So – we brainstormed with the boys at Welcome To East Van and the concept for these shelves was born! With their creative minds and skilled hands, the shelf was fabricated in record time (thankfully – this was a quick turn around project!) and was for sure the showstopper for our client at the big reveal of her space. We added in her glassware and bottles to create a bar area, and used books, art and pottery lighting to finish off the design.

The rest of the space was topped off with a variety of travel-inspired colours for throw blankets, pillows and other textiles; we used a lot of non-fixted lighting in an array of sizes and eras  (from ReFind) to create the final ambiance. Shot by Tracey Ayton, let us know what you think of the pics!

Fresh Family Fun

This project was a labour of both love and fury; all of us Chicks (and a few extra, very helpful hands) certainly left some blood, sweat and tears on the floor of this space! Our clients purchased the unit in close to it’s original 1910 condition and wanted to create a modern-meets-warm-eclectic family space in which they could grow and nurture their young family. During the course of the renovations and designing, we spent many hours with them discussing ideas, both for the little details and for the overall feel. Ultimately, we blended sleek, modern hard finishes with industrial and vintage soft finishes all set against gallery white walls to achieve the look.

To add some depth and character against the whitewash walls, we chose a gold-on-white cork print paper for the main entrance and opted for a bold graphic floral in warm tangerine and grey for the living room (papers both from Anne Starr). To complete the backdrop for the rest of our work, we moved onto the lighting: we of course went vintage for most of it (yay for ReFind and Space Lab) and added in a few more modern and architectural pieces from CB2. We played with a blend of new and vintage furnishings for the larger statement pieces – many vintage treasures were found at Filmgo, Union Wood Co and The Found and The Freed, while fab new finds were scouted out from CB2, EQ3 and we even repurposed and refinished some of the clients’ own items to fit the feel. Creative selections for storage, like using the vintage swimming pool locker as toy storage in the living room, really set the stage for the feel we were trying to create. We chose to include many textiles (throws, soft pillows and flowy curtains) to soften the stark walls and industrial elements, and that also allowed the space to be functional for a family with a curious and active toddler… lots of soft places to fall and snuggle! This family also wanted to be able to use their space to relax, read and reflect – we decided to use their extensive library as a decor feature, rather than tucking all the books away; a simple yet statement way to display them is colour blocked, as shown on the vintage green shelving in the living room.

We also (once again) looked to our creative roster of craftsmen to include a few custom pieces for these clients: the desk in the office was handmade by Clint Moroz of Space Lab (originally an old school maple table found on craigslist, it was planed and stained and used atop custom welded legs to achieve the end result); the stellar reclaimed wood/ industrial piping shelves in the kitchen really stand out against the all-white tile and cabinetry, and were designed and created by the rad boys at Welcome To East Van.

In the end, we had a blast collaborating, creating and completing this space… check out the images (courtesy of Tracey Ayton Photography) and let us know what you think!

Newlywed, newly-designed

The Chicks heart this space and these clients! The owners of this lovely little condo are recent transplants from The Windy City, Chicago, and are the cutest newlyweds we’ve met. They granted us a lot of creative freedom when working to create a place for them to call home and were open to the idea of bold wall coverings (and, in this space, ceiling coverings!) and vintage elements to conquer the cookie-cutter shell they started with. We brought in the craftsmanship of Union Wood Co and DTO Welding & Fabrication to construct a custom shelving unit for the washroom that would add personality, stylish extra storage and, of course, a little rustic charm. With a plethora of super fab wallpapers from Anne Starr and Layers & Layers, we covered most of the wallspace; we opted for white-on-white patterns for the living room, bedroom and washroom ceiling, while playing with bold graphics in the office nook and washroom walls. Throw in wicked vintage finds from ReFind, Space Lab and Filmgo Sales and.. viola – you’ve got a true certified Chick space! Photos are courtesy of Tracey Ayton Photography.

Entertainment Statement

Ok, so way back in the day in May, we gave you a Sneak Peek into this space… it was a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom original condition condo that The Chicks were hired to renovate and stage for sale for the ever-fabulous Dana Propp. As we told you then, the success of this “entertainer’s dream” suite was largely in part due to local artist (and dear friend) Zoe Pawlak, Fluff Rentals and our fave boys to shop with: ReFind and Space Lab. We opted for a lighter, brighter and more feminine approach to this space than with previous projects, and chose wicked pieces that would accentuate the natural light and size of the unit. Thanks to Tracey Ayton, the space was captured beautifully – we certainly were ready to host a super fab party here after it was all said and done!




The Urban [un]Bachelor Pad

Wow, as the old saying goes, “time flies when you’re having fun”… and that’s exactly how this Summer has been for The Chicks! We’ve been (gleefully) up to our eyeballs in fabulous projects – happily shopping and designing our butts off. However, it’s made us truant in blogging! We have a few fab Catch Up Features to share with you, a photo log of what we’ve been up to for the past few months! We hope you love the spaces, and keep tuned for more to come.

This space was a dream job for us because the the young, professional bachelor who was moving into the home was very liberal in his design preferences and granted our team almost complete creative freedom in designing a home that suited his social lifestyle. Being a new development, we had a great blank slate to work with; however, the very linear and modern shell meant that we had to find super key pieces to inject the personality and layered feel our client was looking for. We started with striking wallpaper from Anne Starr Agencies to set a darker, more masculine mood within the space; we then found our statement pieces (such as the seriously pre-loved work-table-turned-dining-table) and custom lighting from Space Lab. We scoured estate and garage sales for the vintage Persian rug to counterbalance the light wood floors, and add in a little traditional glamour. The rest was about seating for an entertaining space and one-off cool finds to fill in the blanks. We had a ton of fun here and hope you enjoy the shots, courtesy of Tracey Ayton Photography.

Chicks at Home: a Houzz feature and a DIY

I was recently approached by the lovely Megan Buchanan, of Cedar + Gray, to showcase my home as a feature property on Houzz. Super stoked to open my home to her, and of course extremely flattered at the suggestion, I realized that I had a few fun things I wanted to get done to my space before Megan (and her camera) arrived. So in true Chicks fashion, the girls got to work, put our creative minds together, and came up with some fresh and fun ways to add that “little extra” to the house. Our fave finishing touch is the stair risers – I had originally painted them a bright apple green to match the surrounding wallpaper, but it had quickly begun to look dull and the one colour paint wasn’t wearing the year of scuff marks very well. I didn’t want to simply sand it down and return the risers to the original wood, so we used scraps of old wallpaper to recover and “fab up” the stairs! Not quite done, I hit up my usual go-to spot for cool treasures, Space Lab, and found vintage brass numbers that were originally door markers on the VGH Nurse’s residences; I repurposed them, numbered the stairs and ended up with a colourful and interactive staircase. Check out Megan’s full Houzz feature, and if you want to try this out for yourself, here’s our DIY photo guide.

step 1: remove baseboards or trim on the risers
step 2: number the trim pieces and get your tools organized
step 3: select your wallpaper, measure the risers and cut the paper (we used a half inch overage for shrinkage)
step 4: apply paste to backside of wallpaper strips, lightly fold in half and let set for 10 minutes
step 5: apply wallpaper to the risers and smooth out the bubbles
step 6: repeat on each riser with the desired wallpaper
step 7: once the paper paper has fully dried, use a sharp edge blade to trim off excess
step 8: reapply trim pieces and nail in the numbers (we used vintage brass numbers, but house numbers from any hardware store will do!) Voila – your super fab stairs are done and sure to impress your guests.