In­te­rior de­signer Ami McKay wel­comes a new fam­ily to the neigh­bour­hood with a fes­tive din­ner party.

Vancouver Magazine - - Play - Amanda Ross BY Ja­nis Ni­co­lay PHO­TO­GRAPHS BY

On any given day, PureDe­sign’s Ami McKay cre­ates, reimag­ines or ren­o­vates spa­ces for a mul­ti­tude of clients. But this year she brought home her sig­na­ture ethos—light and airy with lay­ers of tex­ture—when she and her fam­ily re­lo­cated to a new space. “I was heart­bro­ken to leave our old house, but we needed some­thing big­ger,” she says. “Lit­tle did I know that I would end up lov­ing our new place even more—I have abath­tub! Our four kids aren’t on top of each other any­more!”

McKay’s new tree-fort-like aerie over­looks the ocean in Lions Bay and has evolved from the pre­vi­ous all-white pal­ette ob­served in her for­mer home—now there are sat­u­rated hues. “This time, I wanted my space to be more colour­ful, more joy­ous, more about love,” she says. Her in­spi­ra­tion came by way of meet­ing Salma Mo­ham­mad, aSyr­i­an­refugee who McKay and a group of friends helped spon­sor to Canada (along with Salma’s hus­band and their three young chil­dren).

McKay had alight-bulb­mo­ment when she dis­cov­ered that Mo­ham­mad was for­merly a tai­lor while she her­self had been col­lect­ing and stock­pil­ing fab­rics from all her years of glo­be­trot­ting. Out of this happy con­nec­tion sprang Pure Pil­lows: each pil­low, sewn by Mo­ham­mad, is made with antique and­v­in­tage tex­tiles from far-rang­ing lo­cales like Viet­nam, Thai­land and Africa, with profit shar­ing go­ing back to the newly ar­rived fam­ily. The pil­lows land on shelves this De­cem­ber at McKay’s Pure de­sign studio; for now, though, they’re show­cased on her soft white fur­ni­ture and are al­most too pretty to sit on. In­stead, says McKay, “I come home from work, pour my­self a glass of wine and lie down on the rug.”

“You’ll never see a red-and-green Christ­mas from me!” says Ami McKay. Her sea­sonal decor is all about nat­u­ral fi­bres, like felted Christ­mas or­na­ments and bits of na­ture in­cor­po­rated in from the out­doors.

Ex­otic Touches “The house is West Coast in de­sign, but I’ve got my Moroc­can boho thing go­ing on,” says McKay (seen inset, top left).

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