Style Coun­cil

De­signer Paul Lavoie brings some Cal­i­for­nia cool to a Cal­gary home with views for miles.

Western Living - - CONTENTS - by ANICKA QUIN pho­to­graphs by PHIL CROZIER

In­te­rior de­signer Paul Lavoie em­braces a so­phis­ti­cated, neu­tral colour pal­ette to bring some Cal­i­for­nia cool to a Cal­gary home with views for miles.

“There’s con­stant ac­tiv­ity out­side those great win­dows. There’s an en­ergy there you want to set­tle back into, rather than com­pete with.”

When home­owner Sherie Toner met de­signer Paul Lavoie, she knew she’d met the one. She and her hus­band, for­mer CFLer Mar­shall Toner, had al­ready in­ter­viewed sev­eral de­sign­ers for a new home they were in the process of de­sign­ing with Riverview Cus­tom Homes and Matthew Klinken­borg of the de­sign-build firm Where Peo­ple Live—but it wasn’t un­til they walked into Lavoie’s of­fice that the com­plete pack­age came to­gether.

“We loved the ex­te­rior of the house, but we felt the in­te­rior still needed work,” says Sherie. “Paul just came in and said, ‘Do you mind if I get to it right away?’” Out came onion-skin trac­ing paper, and Lavoie sketched out how, by swap­ping the kitchen and din­ing room, they’d be able to take bet­ter ad­van­tage of the spec­tac­u­lar views out their floorto-ceil­ing win­dows. “I thought, this is our guy,” says Sherie.

Lavoie brought in Julie Lanc­tot from his team at Paul Lavoie De­sign, and the pair worked with the Ton­ers to cre­ate a space that was both stylish and com­fort­able—“some­where they could live in,” says Lanc­tot, “and not be afraid to sit on some­thing.” The con­tin­u­ous use of the same floor­ing ma­te­rial joins the in­te­rior of the home with the out­doors, and fold­away doors open up the main floor to cre­ate one pav­il­ion-style liv­ing area. Heaters on a cov­ered out­door pa­tio and bug screens that drop down from the ceil­ing when needed mean the fresh prairie air can be ex­pe­ri­enced well into the fall. “I call it Cal­gar­i­for­nian,” jokes Lavoie.

Reg­u­lar read­ers might be sur­prised to see such a neu­tral colour pal­ette com­ing from Lavoie’s team, who are known for their ex­u­ber­ant love of colour. But the Ton­ers were fans of nat­u­ral, or­ganic tones, and Lavoie was happy to oblige. “There’s con­stant ac­tiv­ity out­side those great win­dows,” notes Lavoie. “The moun­tains, the city be­yond— there’s an en­ergy there you want to set­tle back into a lit­tle bit, rather than com­pete with.”

Of course, neu­tral doesn’t mean dull, and the ma­te­ri­als pal­ette fea­tures a range of tex­tures to cre­ate vis­ual in­ter­est, from the large-for­mat nat­u­ral stone floor­ing that’s richly pat­terned in grey veins to the vel­ve­tand-gold side chairs and tweedy sec­tional in the liv­ing room (the lat­ter ac­cented with a pop of gold­en­rod-yel­low throw cush­ions). In the nearby kitchen, white cab­i­netry is paired with a range hood cov­ered in back­painted glass, which ap­pears light and airy in con­trast. The back­splash is mir­rored, so those sit­ting at the nearby bar stools can still catch a glimpse of the view to the sky­line and hills be­hind them.

By flip­ping the po­si­tion of the din­ing room, Lavoie and Lanc­tot were able to find more room for the kitchen it­self—in­clud­ing two is­lands. “By cre­at­ing a sec­ond is­land for peo­ple to hang out at, they’re not al­ways in your kitchen space while you pre­pare,” ex­plains Lavoie. As a foil for the tile floor, Lavoie chose con­crete for this sec­ond bar—and it quickly be­came a favourite spot to work for Sherie. “It’s our go-to

“She wanted some­thing that was not over­whelm­ing, some­thing that was quite clas­sic but mod­ern.”

place,” she says. “If I’m not up­stairs work­ing, that’s where I am. And when peo­ple come over, they end up at that is­land.”

For more in­ti­mate gath­er­ings, a wine room is tucked away on the main floor, though it still cap­tures the great view. “We wanted to give Mar­shall a spot to get away and en­ter­tain,” says Lavoie. “It’s more mas­cu­line than the rest of the house.” Com­fort­able leather chairs, a warm shag and floor-to-ceil­ing dark mill­work cre­ate a moody space that’s per­fectly de­signed for evenings with friends.

Up­stairs, the mas­ter bed­room is po­si­tioned to once again take in the view. “We wanted to make sure you could ac­tu­ally see it from the bed,” says Lavoie. Wra­paround win­dows meant a tele­vi­sion couldn’t hang on a wall, so in­stead the team de­signed an in­ge­nious struc­ture that al­lows it to pop up from the foot of the bed.

The ad­join­ing dress­ing room is all glitz. Mir­rors line the backs of the clos­ets to give the room sparkle, while a mar­ble-topped is­land is de­signed to house jew­ellery and smaller items. “It’s re­ally tai­lored to her,” says Lanc­tot. “We mea­sured all of her clothes and de­signed pull­outs for scarves and jew­ellery, along with a valet rod so she can hang her out­fits while she’s se­lect­ing them for the day.”

It’s a home that’s both glam­orous and wel­com­ing, just like Sherie her­self. “She wanted some­thing that was not over­whelm­ing, some­thing that was quite clas­sic but mod­ern,” says Lavoie, not­ing that the fin­ished de­sign speaks to the home­owner’s per­sonal style. “It re­ally feels like she lives in this house.”

Din­ner for Eight In the ad­ja­cent din­ing room (right), touch cab­i­netry opens up to re­veal a full bar hid­den within. The din­ing room ta­ble has a res­tau­rant-style spin­ner in its cen­tre, per­fect for larger din­ner par­ties.

Grand Open­ing The main floor (above, left to right) is open con­cept, and noth­ing dis­tracts from the view—right down to that light and airy pen­dant dis­play above the is­land that was made from two light fix­tures strung to­gether.

Glam­our Goals The dress­ing room (right) was tai­lored specif­i­cally for Sherie Toner: Lavoie’s team mea­sured her cloth­ing and de­signed cus­tom pull­outs for jew­ellery. Mir­rors on the doors bring glitz to the space.

Bar None The wine room (above) is on the main floor but has a much mood­ier, darker pal­ette and has be­come Mar­shall Toner’s re­treat. Mill­work was taken all the way to the ceil­ing, em­pha­siz­ing the height of the space.

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