For homeowners and designers alike, it’s always helpful to start with a source of inspiration or a jumping-off point when creating a fabulous interior. In this case, it was the colours in a renowned textile that inspired the fresh look of this West Vancouver home.

When homeowners Linh Nguyen and Mike Tran enlisted designer Karla Amadatsu to decorate their 3,300-square-foot new build last year, they were already familiar with her work. «They saw one of my projects featured in the September 2012 issue of Style at Home and loved the new traditional feel that it had,» says Karla. And this clean-lined, neutral space provided the ideal backdrop for Karla to inject her elegant, timeless style.

That’s where the fabric comes in. «When we started on the project and were deciding on the colour palette, I was influenced by Schumacher’s Chiang Mai Dragon in the China Blue colour-way,» says Karla (who used the fabric in some toss cushions for the living room). «It has this wonderful combination of grey and blue-grey tones that were already present in the house, but it’s a little bit more vibrant with the crisp white and the cobalt.»

Along with the palette, Karla added a layered mix of contemporary and traditional elements to give the main floor a look that’s at once relaxed and sophisticated. The dining room, for instance, is denned by a simple Parsons-inspired oak table and vintage-look French chairs, while the living room features cozy, traditional armchairs and a tailored sofa.

The show-stopping kitchen — which had already been designed by the homeowners — reflects that same old-and-new mix with its Shaker-style cabinetry, grey quartz countertops and lantern-style pendant lights. «The look of the kitchen actually provided great inspiration for decorating the other rooms in the house,» says Karla. And with the home’s oiled oak flooring and grey-painted walls, it was the perfect backdrop for the designer to imbue a lively colour scheme and blend together different materials and styles.

So the moral of the story is this: Whether it’s a piece of fabric or the look of an entire room, inspiration for decorating can come from anywhere.


Comfortable pieces, airy quality, textured fabrics and playful prints.

The living area is a study in balance. Curvaceous armchairs offset a clean-lined sofa and airy side tables lighten up a substantial coffee table.

Upholstered ARMCHAIRS, Pottery Barn.

below A convex mirror is a traditional touch hung on the modern marble mosaic-tiled fireplace. «I thought it was important to have something on the floor-to-ceiling fireplace to break it up and add some contrast,» says Karla.

The KITCHEN Mix Timeless sensibility, modern materials, contemporary accents, iconic elements and functional flourishes.

The kitchen island serves as a spot for food prep but also acts as a breakfast bar. «So there’s a lot of seating for kids or entertaining,» says Karla. The iconic polished aluminum stools are an eye-catching focal point and work with the other shiny and matte metal finishes in the space.

The mix of crisp white Shaker-style cabinetry, sleek grey quartz countertops, marble-tiled back-splash and chef-worthy stainless steel appliances gives the kitchen a look that’s both classic and contemporary.

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