A DESIGNER DECKS THE HALLS
Interior designer Ami McKay welcomes a new family to the neighbourhood with a festive dinner party.
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).