A Pared-Down Urban Master Suite Blends Subtle Details, Luxurious Finishes, and Sophisticated Lighting for Maximum Comfort Both Day and Night.
When a professional couple living in Vancouver, British Columbia, began to look for a new condominium with interiors that suited their taste and physical requirements, they quickly found themselves back on their own doorstep. It soon became obvious that nothing matched their unique location in the heart of the city, or remarkable view of the urban skyline and nearby mountains—and there was no place like their own home.
But in order to truly enjoy it, they needed a clever designer to rethink the floor space, fulfill their wish list of conveniences, and create a serene environment that minimized clutter and exuded an elegant feel. Enter designer Patricia Gray, who counts John Travolta and Iron Chef Rob Feenie as clients and is celebrated for her knack of transforming ordinary spaces into exceptional, functional, and luxurious homes.
My clients lived in this penthouse for eleven years and it was time for serious updating, acknowledges Gray. But there were many wonderful features that were irreplaceable, including thirty linear feet of windows, high ceilings, and a large patio. So they opted for a complete makeover, . . . literally got rid of everything . . . and we started from scratch.
A major focus of the project was the master bed and bathroom suite, and the first thing to go was the bathtub.
Neither one [of the homeowners] enjoyed taking baths, so that space was extremely valuable, says Gray. In place of the tub, they gained a nice long vanity with two sinks and a well-lit make-up table that was an important addition for the wife.
Interior walls were moved to add a large walk-in closet, and heated floors insured that the space would remain ultra comfortable during all seasons. Then came the finishing details including marvelously textural walls, natural tumbled Carrera stone, wall tile made from recycled soda bottles, top-quality polished chrome bath fixtures, and dimmable lighting that accommodates a range of moods from energized to romantic.
Gray turned the entire wall behind the luxurious DUX bed into an oversize headboard by covering it in padded, upholstered panels and an acoustic baffle to insulate sound from the outside world. When in bed, the homeowners can rest comfortably against the headboard or operate motorized window coverings from an iPad. LED bedside lamps from German manufacturer Holtkötter are hardwired into the headboard for nighttime reading, and custom bedside tables of dark African wenge wood float on the wall in a seamless application.
An engineered oak floor with a satiny oil finish is intentionally low-maintenance. To conserve additional space, traditional doors were eliminated and replaced with sheets of reflective, sandblasted glass hung on stainless steel tracks.
A piece of polished natural travertine that originally inspired Gray’s design, and she ultimately used on the walls of the bathroom, became the focal point of the entire space, with every other detail executed to accent and highlight. Even hand-coated Venetian plaster walls encasing a five-foot-long custom firebox with a floating glass corner, were colored on-site to accentuate the stone. Small, handmade pieces of art including an Italian-designed, LED-illuminated molded stool at the vanity, whimsical silk accent pillows that are part of dress designer Catherine Regehr’s signature home line, and an acrylic painting by Patricia Gray herself, pulls everything together with a crisp, yet sensual sophistication.
The finished interior is “absolutely dreamy,” says the designer. “I always try to simplify rooms and edit them down to the bare essentials. In this case, it was all about creating a mood of elegance and comfort. Everything is there that the couple could ever want and it’s all done with totally natural materials that have a low carbon footprint. The monochromatic [palette] of warm beiges layered with the other tonalities make it completely restful . . . and the added bonus is that there’s no clutter at all.”