This Designer’s European-Inspired Condo Will Give You Wanderlust
Designer Denisa Nica, who runs Style Society, a styling and design consulting company, was inspired by a trip to Europe that took her from Italy to Romania when designing her Port Moody, B.C., condo just outside Vancouver. The home’s overall design started with a ceramic bowl that Denisa commissioned in Positano, which is set in the base of the living room coffee table. For more old world character, she had interior doors painted azure to mimic an old house in Rome, and brought in oak herringbone floors and velvet furnishings reminiscent of Europe’s grandest museums.
“For years, I dreamed about a design that would bring Europe to Western Canada, always thinking, ‘One day…’ and, now, here it is.” Take a virtual tour of the elegant continental space below.
“For our home’s color palette, I used black, white and grey with pops of blue and green from the ceramic bowl that’s built into the coffee table base,” says Denisa. The fireplace wall, which once housed a window, grounds the space.
Denisa’s company, Style Society, provides remote styling and design consultations to clients all over the world.
Little details — like a blooming bouquet of fresh flowers, coffee table tomes and a gilded antique — add visual interest.
“I always wanted a home where art would be a part of the design and I could enjoy it every day,” says Denisa. The dining area’s gallery wall features custom mirrors that are inset into the panelling for an antique look. The artwork is framed by molding and a sculptural chandelier plays up the 20-foot-high ceiling.
The stairway’s concrete stringers are textured and painted with gold veins to resemble marble and the blue doors to the laundry room have a multilayered finish for a timeworn look. Under the stairs, the bar area’s metallic honeycomb tile backsplash brings richness to the space.
Denisa with her husband, Daniel, and their 15-year-old daughter, Mara. Brass fixtures and accents are standout touches in the kitchen. “You often see brass inlays in old European furniture, so we added them to our millwork,” says Denisa.
Denisa disguised a secret closet in the entry that holds keys, purses and scarves with artwork painted by her daughter and a picture light. The picture frame acts as an ingenious door pull.
The guest bathroom’s brass privacy sign — which Denisa had shipped from England — is a charmingly authentic European detail.
Inside, Ellie Cashman’s iconic floral wallpaper was treated with a waterproof coating to prevent moisture damage. “I was so inspired by this dramatic wallpaper; it looks like a huge painting,” says Denisa. “The flowers seem so real.”
Denisa chose moody colors for the principal bedroom; the handmade wallpaper was inspired by marble veining. “I wanted something that creates movement,” she says.
The guest room serves double duty as the home office. A Murphy bed is flanked by custom millwork to provide ample storage. When the bed is lowered, the picture lights act as sconces and a nightstand pulls out from a drawer.
In the principal ensuite, thin porcelain slabs were applied to the walls to mimic marble at a fraction of the cost. Brass-inlaid cabinetry and fixtures add to the luxe look.