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House Beautiful: Designer brings West Coast esthetic to Olympic View show home

Victoria designer Sandra Lyle-Mason was given free rein to design the interior of this Olympic View home, but the client had one main request: Blend the interior of the house, which is nestled in the trees, with the outdoors.

It’s not every day an interior designer is given carte blanche to design the interior of a new house for a client.

But in 2020 that dream was realized for Victoria designer Sandra Lyle-Mason, who had the task of choosing everything that went into a show home, located in the new Olympic View Development in Colwood.

The house, completed in October 2021, is used to demonstrate the high quality that future builders in Olympic View should emulate in any homes they build on the site.

Besides choosing all the design materials and finishes for the show home, Lyle-Mason also selected all the well-appointed furnishings, lighting and accessories that make the house feel like a home. No detail was spared, with Lyle-Mason even going so far as to search thrift stores to find unique items to give the space personality.

“This was a dream job for me,” says Lyle-Mason, of Lyle-Mason Design.

“[The client] came to me and said just take it and run.”

The client only made one request, which was to have the house blend the interiors to the outdoors. The house is situated on the edge of a woodsy setting.

The three bedroom, three bathroom house has a West Coast design esthetic with its linear modern simplicity and oversize windows that visually embrace the many Douglas fir and cedar trees behind the property.

As soon as you enter the home, your eye is drawn past the beautiful, custom-built wood and glass staircase to the trees and a brook adjacent to the house. The open treads and handrails are in the same light oak wood used in the flooring in most of the main first floor living spaces — the living room, kitchen, primary bedroom and hallways.

Lyle-Mason used large format porcelain tile in the entry way and bathrooms on this first level and on the second level opted to go with wall-to-wall carpets, adding a light-coloured cowhide in the office area. The porcelain tile in the front entryway is particularly striking since these resemble terrazzo tiles.

The ensuite in the primary bedroom, which is conveniently located on the first floor, uses a black and white hexagon-dot tile while the powder room has a porcelain that resembles marble flooring and its countertop looks like terrazzo.

Every inch of the 2,300 sq. ft. house was carefully thought out by Lyle-Mason, who strived to ensure everything in the house related to each other.

Her advice for others who are creating their own living space, whether a new build or renovation, is to come up with a design concept that suits your needs and your space.

“Everything in the space needs to relate to the concept. Delete what doesn’t apply. When you shop, ask yourself it it fits your design concept. Following this rule will create a cohesive space that is as individual as you are,” she says.

When it came to the show house in Colwood, Lyle-Mason’s design concept was “modern balance.”

By keeping her concept in mind she was able to create a sense of calm throughout the house. Also adding to the sense of tranquility was Lyle-Mason’s decision to use a monochromatic, black and white color scheme.

“Having a monochromatic scheme, with limited accent colors of terracotta, has a universal appeal and is timeless,” says Lyle-Mason.

To add interest, Lyle-Mason sprinkled circular shapes throughout the house, like the living room’s striking modern floor lamp, from Flos, with a circular blown glass diffuser to penny round tiles for the kitchen backsplash and using round sinks in all three bathrooms. The penny round tiling was also used in the bathroom, and for dramatic impact reaches to the ceiling in the primary bedroom ensuite and the kitchen.

By repeating design patterns the house has a sense of continuation throughout both floors of the house.

“This house is about balance and everything harkens back to that,” says Lyle-Mason.

Quality and high craftsmanship is also evident throughout the house.

In the kitchen the countertops are black quartz, in a satin finish, with a black faucet and gold hardware, while the kitchen island has a wood butcher block top.

Lyle-Mason wanted to avoid the all-white kitchen because it is so often used in today’s residential design and opted instead to do black cabinetry with white upper cabinets along one wall and white shelves along the other.

Two black pendant lights take centre stage over the kitchen island, adding to the kitchen’s warm, modern appearance. The pendants are the Muuto Unfold rubber pendant light, another European design selected by the designer.

The striking linear chandelier over the dining room table is from LZF.

Many of the high-end furniture pieces came from Gabriel Ross, like the striking oval-shaped dining table and wicker base custom dining chairs as well as carefully chosen furniture from Chesterfields in Victoria and Article. In the latter case, Lyle-Mason shopped online for the A-frame shaped shelving unit in the office as well as finding two ivory boucle ottomans she used as side tables in one of the bedrooms.

Other high-end furniture brands used in the house include items from Knoll, Cassina, Haworth and Ethnicraft.

This residence is the first house to be built in the Olympic View master planned, multi-phased development for what will eventually be 1,580 homes in three communities on the West Shore.

The idea for Olympic View, with an expected build-out completion of 10 to 15 years, began in 2003 for a new community on land owned by Olympic View Golf Club.

The first phase of this master planned community is for 32 single family homes, and three multi-family units in Colwood. The second and third phases will eventually include both single family and multi-family residences in Langford and Metchosin.

Future builders who opt to buy lots in the Olympic View development must follow a set of guidelines and can view the show home to see first-hand the standard of quality necessary for future residences.

The architect on the show home was Matrix Architecture and Planning and construction was by Story Construction.

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