hello!neighbor-vancouver edition!

I'm mixing it up a bit with this month's Hello! Neighbor post. We're taking a little road trip out to Vancouver to peak in on Kim and Morgan's townhouse in the South Granville neighborhood of that city. Before I moved to Toronto, nine or ten years ago now, I actually lived in this very same part of Vancouver. I have to say I miss being able to walk down to Granville Island to buy my groceries and walk along the sea wall. I hope you enjoy seeing a different part of Canada. A big thanks to designer, Natalie Cutler, for bringing this project to my attention and photographer Janis Nicolay for taking the beautiful photographs. Enjoy the tour!

Names

Kim McGarrity and Morgan Maguire

Occupations

Tax Lawyer ,CEO of Investor-State Law Guide (ISLG)

Any kids or pets?

One cat. Her name is Raven, but we call her Kittums.

Year Home was Built

1981

How long have you lived in your home?

5 months

What’s your favorite room and why?

Our kitchen. It functions as well as it looks.

How did you find your home?

Our search began on August long weekend when our landlords at the time notified us that they were planning to sell the Yaletown condo we were renting. Four days later, we reengaged in a 3-way bidding war for the condo—which we lost. At the time, we were really disappointed; however, once we started looking at other places with our amazing realtor (and great friend), Ania Balicki, we quickly realized that we really wanted a townhouse that we could put our mark on. We found our townhouse in the Fairview/South Granville neighbourhood in September. While it needed some work, it had great elements: on a quiet tree-lined street; a 500 square foot rooftop deck; and just minutes from Granville Island, the seawall and downtown. After another nail-biting bidding war and due diligence period (we’re both lawyers after all!), the townhouse was ours!

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Kim: Throughout our house search, I collected images of different interiors that I loved (mostly from Remodelista, House & Home and of course, The Marion House Book). I’ve always loved simple, clean interiors, and Nordic design. We hired Natalie and Jeff Cutler of Cutler Design + Construction and Natalie came up with our “Scandinavian Modern” theme. For our kitchen in particular, I was really set on having white painted cabinets with honed black stone counters. I wanted it to be modern, but with nod to more traditional, country kitchens like Martha Stewart’s kitchen set in the 1990s.

How did you end up living in your neighbourhood?

We’ve always liked the Fairview/ South Granville neighbourhood, and have both lived here or very nearby in the past. At first we were hesitant to leave the downtown core, but once we moved in we felt right at home. We still get to enjoy the amenities and conveniences of living in the city, but we also get to enjoy the quiet and calm of living in an established residential neighbourhood.

What did your home look like when you first saw it?

It was in desperate need of an update from the blinds to bathrooms, to the awful stone fireplace. Every room was a different colour—mint green kitchen, mustard living room and a dark green bedroom. There were at least four types of flooring just on the first floor! The previous owner had renovated the kitchen and replaced the appliances. While the bones of the kitchen were great, it just wasn’t our taste.

What work have you done on it to make it your own?

Before we moved in, we hired Cutler Design + Construction to renovate the townhouse. The kitchen got a serious facelift: new countertops, backsplash and fantastic brass hardware; sprayed the cabinets; added a display shelf, etc. We gutted the main bathroom and replaced some of the fixtures in the powder room. We painted throughout and replaced the all flooring, doors and trim. The renovation went really smoothly thanks to Natalie and Jeff!

We purchased some furniture including the custom dining bench and some accent chairs from Craigslist. We’re still figuring out how to freshen up the chairs.

What would your dream house look like?

It would have an ocean view, a sauna and let in tons of light. Something between Suzanne Dimma’s cottage and the Fredensborg House by Norm Architects.

We really love clean, bright spaces. That said, Morgan loves a patterned textile, so our dream house would have to have one or two pieces from Svenskt Tenn, which we discovered on a recent trip to Stockholm.

Thanks Kim and Morgan for inviting us into your West Coast home. And thanks again to Natalie and Janis!

I'll be back here later in the week with the before shots of this townhome and some insight into Natalie's design process. You won't believe what this space use to look like!

All photos Janis Nicolay.