From The Archives: Inside Hockey Players’ Homes
For most hockey players, the rink is home. But even world-class NHLers need a place to retreat to when they’re not on the ice. Go inside the homes of three famous hockey players, including Wayne Gretzky’s California estate, that we’ve featured in the pages of House & Home.
To see inside the Dallas home of Stanley Cup champion Jason Arnott, pick up the November issue of House & Home, on newsstands October 10, 2016.
Retired hockey star and former Vancouver Canucks captain Trevor Linden always knew he wanted to retire on the west coast, so when a townhouse in Whistler’s Snowy Creek went on the market, Linden wasted no time in buying it. After renting it out for just over a decade, Linden gutted and renovated the five-storey unit with help from his brother, contractor Jamie Linden, and designer David Nicolay.
David transformed the kitchen from builder-basic to contemporary hideaway by concealing the double fridges and freezer drawer within white lacquer cabinets and using natural hues with clean lines. Green chairs and accessories add a fun hit of green in an otherwise neutral area.
Mare Bianco limestone tiles and oak cabinets are juxtaposed by the clean modernity of Caesarstone counters and white lacquer cabinets. The stretch of narrow wood cabinets contributes to the open, uncluttered look and adds warmth to the cool white counters.
Across from the kitchen and dining area is Trevor’s living room. High ceilings and clean lines make it a relaxing, tranquil space for reading or socializing. The existing fireplace was updated with unglazed porcelain tile and, since no mantel was built, the texture remains the focal point. Neutral colors and natural materials are consistent with the flow of the open-concept main floor.
David recessed the TV to save space. A built-in sofa seats ten, making this room a perfect gathering place for friends and family. The Brent Comber coffee tables lend an elegant rusticity to the space, while a painting by celebrated B.C. artist Gordon Smith visually links the interior with the outdoors.
Just off of the kitchen is this floating steel staircase. Wood treads match the rest of the home and frameless glass guards offer sculptural impact without blocking the flow of light.
The loft space is masculine without being heavy, and matches the feel of the rest of the home while offering a more private place to read and relax. Custom-made shelves keep clutter in check. White walls, large windows and exposed wood beams in the vaulted ceiling keep the loft bright and airy.
The king-size bed from Carmel Furniture Design dominates the principal bedroom, while the Brent Comber side table adds a natural note. The use of earthy colors creates a stress-free, relaxed vibe.
Designed as a wet room, this main bathroom has an airy style. The mirrors, neutral colors and high ceiling make the room appear larger than it is, and no-fuss cabinets corral toiletries. The floating vanity and toilet have visual lightness and are practical when cleaning the floor.
With a view like this, it’s no wonder former Canuck goaltender Kirk McLean chose to settle in Vancouver’s Kitsilano neighborhood. The nature-entrenched hillside was the perfect match for his down-to-earth personality.
An expansive window floods the kitchen with light and affords views of a lush garden. Designer Wendy Williams Watt wanted the kitchen island to feel solid and sculptural, so she stained it ebony and topped it with black granite. Rather than use barstools, she set a long, low leather seat by the window to accommodate guests but keep them out of the way.
Clean and spare but utterly comfortable, the living room is a mix of traditional and updated pieces with lots of strong shapes and minimum clutter. The old coffee table, which Kirk has had for years, pairs handsomely with a tweed Ralph Lauren sofa and an antique Chinese cabinet. A simple sisal area rug defines the space.
Wendy played light and dark finishes off each other to moody effect in the living room. To give the hearth more presence, she recreated an idea she picked up at the Mondrian hotel in L.A.: she added a 6″ deep white tablet (of drywall) behind the wooden mantel, which has a surround of lustrous deep brown porcelain tile.
The den is Kirk’s favorite room. Previously a gloomy spare bedroom, it was opened up by adding french doors along the back wall and creating a small garden reading area outside. The walls are covered in French pen-and-ink drawings.
Kirk’s bachelor pad, featured in our April 2006 issue, has a handsome, classic aesthetic. Mud hues used throughout counter the abundant natural light. In the living room, slouchy, feet-friendly furniture creates an inviting space. Two leather club chairs, a classic rolled-arm sofa and round ottoman are traditional elements. Tall windows overlook a spectacular view of Stanley Park, English Bay and the Vancouver skyline.
“Kirk has a beautiful style,” says Wendy. “He likes classic and traditional design, but with an edge.” That’s certainly true of his condo kitchen. Bar height chairs slipcovered in white denim pull up to the eating bar clad in a polished marble countertop. They contrast the ebony-stained Shaker-style cabinetry, which adds traditional character.
The eating nook in Kirk’s kitchen is defined by a corner banquette covered in canvas with a traditional linear stripe. “I like a dress shirt,” says Wendy. Drapery made from tweed suiting fabric, a cashmere toss pillow and a floral iron chandelier enhance the warm, casual look.
A beveled mirror brings in the views seen through the window. The bed was custom-made to look like a sofa — inviting, soft and low. The space’s subdued palette and masculine pieces add warmth. A white pendant light and minimal accessories lend a modern feel.
Set in the picturesque Santa Monica Mountains, Wayne Gretzky’s stately home, featured in our October 2005 issue, is a little slice of heaven. The porte cochère at the house’s entrance exemplifies the symmetrical Georgian exterior. A dramatic fountain echoes the interior’s ornate architectural detailing.
The parlor, off the foyer, exudes an elegant mix of English, Asian and Regency influences. The richly hued silk upholstery pops against the white-glazed walls and ebonized walnut floors. Luxurious gilt pieces tie in with the fireplace’s hearth and surround made of ivory and gold onyx.
In the Gretzky kitchen, the beadboard-panelled ceiling and range hoods, butcher-block countertops and a chunky tea-stained oak top on the island imbue a homey look. The precise floral hood trim reflects the extensive moldings used throughout the home. The louvered pocket door leads to a large walk-in pantry.
With French doors (not visible) that lead to the Gretzkys’ beautiful garden, intricate floral motifs and a green-based palette (in the bespoke silk-blend cotton area rug, deep olive mohair-covered sofa, and green onyx fireplace surround), the living room has a soothing botanical look.
In Wayne’s private study, rich, dark walnut panelling and built-ins contribute to a library-like aesthetic. Beloved hockey memorabilia, like a Warhol portrait of Wayne, his #99 jersey and a Detroit Red Wings jersey that belonged to Gordie Howe, personalize the room.
In his wife Janet’s private tub room, the bath enclosure is defined by an arch with detailing that emulates a keystone and pillars. The floral and lattice pattern on the tub’s apron is French-inspired. The ivory and cream palette makes for a soothing retreat.