How To Achieve Ami McKay’s Effortless West Coast Style
If you’ve been flipping through our magazine in the past few years, you’ll probably recognize Vancouver-based designer Ami McKay. Her enchanting spaces draw inspiration from British Columbia’s rugged mountains and lapping ocean waves, while prioritizing eco-friendly design. From natural materials to unexpected pops of color and texture, discover how to decorate like Ami. Turns out, you don’t have to live on the West Coast to steal her style!
Make an impression with natural elements. A feature limestone wall sets the tone of this cool and contemporary Whistler family home. Blonde wood and large windows make the entryway feel light and inviting.
Think green. “I naturally opt for healthy choices, such as wool carpeting and rugs instead of synthetic, and sofas without fire retardants, like the Montauk [sofa] we used,” she says, proving that with small changes, eco-friendly design is easier to achieve than you think.
Draw inspiration from your surroundings. When the view is this good — like snow-capped Whistler mountains — there is no need to decorate to the nines. A warm wood dining table pays homage to the landscape, while hits of black add modern edge.
Break up hard lines with sculptural shapes. Ami turned this empty space into a reading nook with an airy Acapulco chair and artful pendants. “When you pull up to the property, you can see this space from the outside, so we needed something spectacular that would really make an impact,” says Ami.
Add interest with texture. Ami proves that a neutral color palette doesn’t have to be boring in this playful principal bedroom — a Moroccan pom-pom blanket and striped throw pillows does the trick.
Don’t overlook lighting. When we think of statement pendants, kitchens and dining rooms easily come to mind, but a refined bathroom is the ideal place to take a design risk. “The ceiling fixture functions like a chandelier but looks almost like a sea urchin,” she says.
Reimagine antiques. The star of this breezy entryway is the reupholstered vintage settee, which was given a new lease on life with a soft blue fabric.
Add playful DIY touches. Ami glued red, green and glittery paper to red twine and hung it over a mid-century modern sideboard for a family-friendly holiday touch.
Experiment with color. A millennial mint hue instantly livens up kitchen cabinetry and makes the space feel fresh and on-trend. Depending on the time of day, the powdery pastel can read as a neutral, so why not take the plunge?
Take advantage of the scenery. During the renovation, Ami created a stylish breakfast nook for the homeowners to watch their dog run around the backyard. The lush view doubles as a painting.