A Modern Reno Made a Craftsman-Style Home Oh-So-Charming

Modern living room with marble fireplace.

Ema Peter Photography

The charming neighborhood of Kitsilano, Vancouver, Canada, is just blocks away from one of the city’s best beaches, Kits Beach, and is home to a bevy of heritage, Craftsman-style homes, many of which are more than 100 years old. For one of Gillian Segal’s latest projects, she took on the extensive renovation and interior design of a three-story craftsman-style ‘90s built home filled with classic details.

Sitting at nearly 3,000-square-feet, the open-plan included a first-floor living space, two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a laundry on the second floor, while the attic, home to another bedroom, has incredible views of the beach. 

“I immediately fell in love with the character and charm the house had,” Segal says, who also happens to live in the same area. "The heritage-style wood inlay floors, stained glass, and old beat-up brass door hardware were my favorite features.”

I immediately fell in love with the character and charm the house had. We essentially gutted the home and kept a few special, select features.

The rest of the home, however, was in desperate need of updating, so the plan was to salvage and maintain the key features while bringing modernity throughout the interiors. “We essentially gutted the home and kept a few special, select features,” she adds. 

Overview of open floor plan.

Ema Peter Photography

The client, a retired woman who lives with her dog, Lexie, and the occasional guests of her two university-aged children, tasked Segal with an intensive revamp. While the initial design took only three months, the designer has continued to tweak, furnish, and decorate, working to collect the perfect art and accessories to complete it over the last three years.

As the design has evolved over many years, Segal has come to cherish the special relationship she has built with the client as she has seen her through two pregnancies. “I am forever grateful to this client for her support while becoming a new and second-time mom,” she says, 

Modern bedroom with large window nook with bench.

Ema Peter Photography

The time spent on this project is apparent as there are so many fine details. One of Segal’s first priorities was keeping some of the traditional elements of the home intact. She saved the original wainscotting and added even more moldings and pencil rails, but the one thing she and the client differed on was what to do with the stained-glass windows.

“They were very ornate and quite dark with primary hues,” she recalls. “The client despised them, but we felt as though it was an important feature of the home, so we took this as a challenge to reinterpret a stained-glass window through our lens.”

The result? Newly designed windows, which blend seamlessly with the rest of the lawyered, neutral-toned home

Kitchen with pink cabinets and stained glass window.

Ema Peter Photography

In the dining room, which was initially surrounded by large Craftsman-style pillows, interior windows, and a dropped coffered ceiling, Segal removed the clunky architectural details and replaced them with arches.

“While the client was unsure at first, as soon as the arches got framed up, we all knew we had made the right decision,” Segal says.

The room includes two bold and whimsical Erin Armstrong paintings, as well as a Pelle light fixture. “The lighting in this project acts as an extension of the art collection,” she says. 

Dining room with two large face art pieces.

Ema Peter Photography

For the kitchen, which is one of Segal’s favorites she’s ever designed, she aimed for a peaceful and elegant feel with materiality that is echoed throughout the home. Natural stone, including plenty of marble, oak, metals, cast bronze, and patinated brass, was used extensively.

There is a cast metal post running through the island, sculptural bronze pulls, Bocci plugs, and marble casing surrounding the new stained-glass windows. Furthermore, the kitchen is decorated with Apparatus light fixtures, Restoration Hardware stools, Bzippy ceramics, and Kelly Wearstler wallpaper. 

Kitchen with modern draped and countertops.

Ema Peter Photography

In the living room, the subtle palette is elevated through the two Curtis Cutshaw black-and-white wall sculptures that mirror the fireplace, while the television is concealed by the built-ins. In the private spaces, Segal’s elegant, serene take continues via textured wallpaper, marble vanities, feminine mirrors, and photography.

Modern living room with marble fireplace.

Ema Peter Photography