Best of Both Worlds

“Ur­ban chic” meets “rus­tic re­treat” in this Cana­dian tim­ber home.

Timber Home Living - - Contents - PHO­TOS BY SEAN DE LIMA

“Ur­ban chic” meets “rus­tic re­treat” in this Cana­dian tim­ber home.

For some, build­ing a cus­tom home means liv­ing the dream worlds away from ev­ery­day life. For oth­ers, that dream is re­al­ized right in their own back­yard. “My clients wanted to build two houses — one in the moun­tains and one in the city,” says Kevin Gray, owner of Kevin Gray In­te­ri­ors in Cal­gary. “But af­ter look­ing at costs, they couldn’t take on two projects with­out sac­ri­fic­ing many of the el­e­ments they de­sired, so we built their moun­tain home in the city.”

The three-level, five-bed­room house that backs up to a river in down­town Cal­gary, em­bod­ies the “ur­ban rus­tic” theme the own­ers and their team were striv­ing for. They wanted tra­di­tional tim­ber-frame el­e­ments, but a richer, darker look, so that was the jump­ing off point for the en­tire de­sign, ex­plains Gray.

“We didn’t want it to look like it was plucked out of the for­est and placed in the city,” he says. “In­stead, we wanted it to have an ur­ban sen­si­bil­ity; a so­phis­ti­cated look with eclec­tic notes.”

To ac­com­plish just that, Gray started from the out­side and moved in, cre­at­ing con­trast in col­ors, tex­ture and themes. Re­claimed ma­te­ri­als are found through­out the house, from the floors to the walls, and they’re paired with sur­pris­ingly mod­ern touches, in­clud­ing cop­per fix­tures, slate coun­ter­tops and sleek light­ing fix­tures. Com­bine th­ese fin­ishes with the rich fur­nish­ings in cop­per, gold and teal, and the re­sult is a les­son in mix-and­match per­fec­tion.

“A tim­ber frame project like this is al­ways chal­leng­ing be­cause there are more de­tails to co­or­di­nate be­tween de­sign and con­struc­tion, which you don’t get on con­ven­tional homes, but the re­ward is worth it,” says Gray. “We love hav­ing happy clients who talk glow­ingly about their home, which is cer­tainly the case here.”


On the home’s ex­te­rior, Dou­glas fir tim­bers are paired with cus­tom-milled, solid-wood sid­ing that fea­tures a “sim­i­lar aes­thetic to chink­ing,” says de­signer Kevin Gray. Cedar shakes stained a cus­tom gray/green tone paired with fas­cia boards and win­dow...

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