In 2012, after four years of running her design practice, Jamie Deck decided to make a shift in her business. “T
he big change we made was really focussing on families and bettering people’s environments in their homes to elevate their lifestyles,” says the designer. The new direction of her firm led to the launch of Shift Interiors, a full-service design studio based out of Vancouver. Ten years in, Jamie’s design principles haven’t changed, and she places a strong emphasis on wellness and pulling inspiration from natural material. “We really lean into the earthy elements of a home; metal, stone and wood.”
This design ethos is carried out in one of her recent new-build projects in the city’s Riley Park-Little Mountain neighborhood. Jamie used a monochromatic palette and layered in warm woods and texture in order to create a harmonized aesthetic that doesn’t feel cold. “When you’re designing an all-white house, you have to layer it up with textures in order for it to feel homey,” she says.
Scroll down for a look inside the new-build home that has a French country feel!
The homeowners wanted to create a French country-inspired look that would age gracefully with time. In the foyer, a simple aesthetic sets the tone for the space, with grab-and-go hooks, an antique bench and oversized art. Arches are a recurring design element that add to the European vibe.
According to Jamie, the home is a “canvas for collections” which can be seen in the library-piano room, where books, objets and plants fill up the compact space.
“The piano is a family heirloom and paved the way for the color palette,” she says.
Creating a sense of flow in the open-concept space was important to the homeowners, who host large dinner parties every Friday. “My clients are big into entertaining. Sometimes they have 30 guests for dinner and they encourage everyone to stay as long as they want, eat, drink and hangout,” says Jamie.
A custom kitchen banquette underneath the stairs was a creative way to save space and accommodate multiple seating zones on the main floor. “It was the only way to keep the traffic flow. When you’re entertaining every week, you need to get it right,” says Jamie.
“The idea was that some people could be sipping cocktails in one room while the others are snacking in the kitchen,” says Jamie, who set out to design a space that would work functionally and stylistically for the busy family. “In the kitchen there are lots of different elements, but we were careful not to overdo it.” Ribbed pocket doors are a clever feature that let you choose between open or closed storage. “They store vintage glasses and dishes in there, but it can even be used a coffee station. It’s like a china cabinet in a kitchen,” says Jamie.
The combination of marble, white accents and wood cabinets are a classic for open-concept spaces. “The clients definitely had to stick to a budget, but the marble was where we splurged. It’s a feature,” says Jamie of the countertops and backsplash.
Archways form beautiful sightlines throughout the home, and create a sense of connectivity and flow between rooms.
“The mudroom is my favorite room in the whole house,” says Jamie, who loves to play up the green with greenery. The client wanted a European-inspired tile, and they landed on a locally made and hand-painted floor tile that pairs perfectly with the mudroom’s sage millwork and black French doors and windows.
Two narrow windows take the place of built-ins in the living room, amping up the natural light for this airy room. The client wanted a modern fireplace with a heritage look, so they opted for a simple plaster application. To add drama, they finished off the look with a Serge Mouille-inspired ceiling pendant.
“We repeated the arches on the fireplace which is a nice little feature to make the space feel aged or from another era,” says Jamie.
The powder room plays up the traditional elements seen throughout the home. A pedestal sink, wall moldings and patterned wallpaper are timeless.
Jamie’s decision to design light and serene spaces is not just a style preference. “Vancouver is grey and it’s important for wellbeing that we provide bright environments that nurture our clients.” As for her go-to white, Benjamin Moore’s
Chantilly Lace is her favorite art gallery bright white. “It doesn’t hum pink, yellow, blue green — it’s nice and clean. Oxford White is what we use in more traditional spaces.”
The principal bathroom has a traditional clean aesthetic with an expansive oak vanity and wall moldings. An antique bench adds a vintage aesthetic.
Vancouver’s lush greenery takes the stage in the front garden which has an old European cottage feel. “The clients love sitting out here with lemonade or tea,” says Jamie.
“I think this house will age beautifully. In 20 years from now I don’t think they’ll need to change anything. That’s what I love about sustainable design,” says Jamie.