My Digs: A Cottage in the City

"Inspired by spaces and encounters that feel treasured and well-loved, I style the world to tell a story… welcome to the NARRATIVE - my gathering place for what's inspiring me creatively for all things beautiful living."
                                                   - XX, JENN


A few weeks ago we had the opportunity to peek in to the ultra chic pad of local interior designer Gillian Segal, and take a glimpse at her interpretations of style, mixing glamour with modern. Her upscale take on playful meets traditional was detailed perfectly to suit her personal taste, which is what we – as designers – try to achieve for each of our clients: a beautifully designed space that is a true reflection of the personalities of those who call it home.

This week we are touring a recent project of Gillian’s firm – one close to her heart, as it was the renovation and redesign of her parents’ house. Combining modern updates with handcrafted statement pieces, the overall effect is striking yet inviting.

What is it (describe your house/condo/apartment): It’s a shingled cottage originally build in the 1930s.  We bought it and renovated about 22 years ago, and recently re-renovated (bathrooms, kitchen, dining room) with our daughter, who is an interior designer.

Occupant: Dr. Philip and Anda Teal, and our German shepherd and Sheltie.

Major selling feature: The cottage look and vibe charmed us. It’s on a private corner lot with trees for the squirrels and birds (which we love to watch) and is located in Kerrisdale. We love the updated/contemporary cottage feel.

First thing I changed: We gutted and renovated the house, adding an upstairs; we decided to keep the footprint of the house, and clad it in shingles to honour the heritage of the home. We added a bank of southern-exposed French windows and doors that span the living, dining and kitchen areas.

Feature I brag about: A mirror hanging in our dining room, handcrafted by our daughter, Gillian (of Gillian Segal Design) and her colleague Katherine Gordon (of Nexus Construction).

That one conversation piece: The Andre Petterson painting of a horse kneeling at a pond. Having had one daughter that is an equestrian, this piece reflects our love of horses.

The décor: We are very organic people – we love animals and the outdoors – and this is reflected by what is on the walls.  While I love a more traditional cottage look, my husband gravitates towards more contemporary pieces. I love neutrals and he loves colours, so our updates were all about ways to marry both of our loves in one space.

The story behind the art/antiques/collectibles: The floors are one of our favourite features of the house.  They’re quarter cut oak floorboards that were salvaged from a mansion on Bellevue Drive in Vancouver; the wood had been custom milled for a ballroom, and there was sufficient wood for the entire main level.  We recently had it re-stained and it looks just as good as when we move in over 20 years ago.

Downsides: Now that the children are out, it is a little big for just the two of us.

Neighbourhood haunts: Blaqsheep for coffee, La Buca for dinner.

Compared to your last place: Our last place was a rental. This house is full of warmth and character.

Favourite apartment/house/condo activity: Gatherings with family/friends in our kitchen/dining/living areas.

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