Parisian style with West Coast edge. That was the ask from designer
Negar Reihani’s clients, who had just purchased a 2,000-square-foot townhouse in Vancouver’s Coal Harbour neighborhood. The husband had lived in Paris for a few years and wanted a dash of classic French style reflected in his own house, while his wife loved simple, relaxed West Coast decorating. There was something that they all agreed on, though. “We wanted a unique home with interesting visuals,” says Negar, founder of design firm Space Harmony. “It was about being more creative and stepping away from the cookie-cutter beige and cream.”
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Since the townhouse is split across three levels (kitchen and dining room on the first floor, living room and patio on the second, and bedrooms on the third), Negar (
pictured) ensured that the mix was reflected throughout, even down to the floors. “I’ve taken some design elements from European homes like the chevron flooring,” says Negar. “Then, we made it more modern by using wider planks than you would see in a typical French interior.”
That push and pull is most prominent in the kitchen and dining room. The surface applied moldings and ornate gold-framed mirror read as European, while the whitewashed wood chandelier — made to resemble branches and stumps — has a more casual, woodsy feel. The clients wanted a dining table that could double as a workspace, so Negar designed this custom golden piece.
The living room was the biggest challenge because there wasn’t enough space for a tree (they placed one on the patio instead) and there wasn’t a mantel to dress up above the fireplace. Instead, Negar accented the trio of coffee tables with a hot chocolate station and placed a plethora of Christmas objets around the room. The living room’s contemporary fireplace is complemented by neutral grasscloth and velvet drapes.
Meringues and hot chocolate on the coffee table create a charming Christmas vignette.
The heart ornaments were made of leftover fabric from Negar’s previous design projects.
Under the dining room TV is a black metal cabinet that stores dog toys and a leash.
The blue of the kitchen cabinets is inspired by the clients’ waterfront neighborhood. Negar created cohesion throughout the house by repeating elements: the cabinet pulls on the paneled fridge and reeded bathroom vanity, and marble in the bathrooms and on the fireplace. “Because townhouses are multilevel and the staircases break the rhythm of the design, it’s very important to have elements repeat on every floor,” she says.
The deep blue cabinets with gold mesh detailing and crystal knobs are contrasted with a tropical wall mural.
A freestanding cylindrical sink, oak base and wall-mounted faucet sit against chintz wallpaper in the powder room.
When it came to holiday decorations, Negar didn’t want anything to look overly styled or ornate. “Because this house has beautiful finishes and colorful features, I wanted the Christmas decorations to be loose and rustic.” The greenery is designed to evoke items you’d find while on a forest hike outside Vancouver.
For a cozy sleeping environment, the principal bedroom is covered in plush fabrics. Even though Vancouver and Paris are 7,900 kilometers apart, Negar managed to bring elements of both styles together.
Author: Alexandra Whyte
House & Home November 2022