Behind the beauty and magic of the Kerrisdale Gardens are three passionate and European-influenced designers from Riesco & Lapres. For years, Riesco & Lapres has been beautifying the homes of Kerrisdale residents in ways that speak directly to the heart. They know the subtleties of what makes a home fit in this stunning neighbourhood, and so it was no question that the Kerrisdale Gardens would only be complete with their touch.
How did this project connect with you on a personal level?
NANCY: In my early adulthood, I lived in and travelled extensively through Europe. You cannot help but be influenced by the European surroundings. There are those tall windows and huge moldings. There is just something about the way the architecture makes you feel. You feel grounded. You feel good. You can feel the quality around you. When I finished living abroad, got married and settled down, I was drawn to Kerrisdale in search of a home that would bring back that same feeling.
All three of us have lived in Kerrisdale. Andrea grew up here. Rebecca and I raised our families here. It felt natural to design the Kerrisdale Gardens, because we’ve been immersed in the culture and style for so long. We know so many people in the neighbourhood, because they’ve been our clients or friends or the parents of our kids’ friends. We’ve been invited inside so many of Kerrisdale’s gorgeous heritage houses. So, of the endless creativity and thought that we poured into the Kerrisdale Gardens, a lot of it was already within us.
How did the traditional Kerrisdale homes influence your design choices?
NANCY: There are subtleties in materials and design that you see across Kerrisdale, and these indeed were an influence. But I think it was more the experience of growing out of my traditional home that inspired my vision for the Kerrisdale Gardens. You find that dream home, and you live there a long time. Then your kids get older and your lifestyle changes and you realize that, while beautiful, your home doesn’t suit your needs anymore.
The art of designing the Kerrisdale Gardens was in carefully choosing what to replicate and what to let go. We needed to identify all those elements that make you feel good about home, that allow you to see the craftsmanship, that make you feel the sincerity behind the design. And then we needed to weave those details with the new. Good design makes you happy. It makes your life easier to live. With the Kerrisdale Gardens, it was about taking all those lessons I had learned about how our needs change, and using them to design homes that would continue to grow with people’s lives.
How do you imagine people experiencing their homes at the Kerrisdale Gardens?
REBECCA: People in Kerrisdale take a lot of pride in their homes. Interiors are elegant. Streetscapes are quiet. It’s a soothing place to live. Similarly, for the Kerrisdale Gardens, we made design choices that were quiet, subtle and inviting, leaving you to make little discoveries as you walk through the space. A lot of the light fixtures have a curvilinear aspect, which is soft and harmonious. Easy to move through and past. Easy to live with. We used a beautiful fabric drum pendant in the powder room to create a feeling of subtle distinction.
This calm in the design acts as a canvas for people’s stories—objects from their travels, furniture from family inheritances. We imagine people living in the Kerrisdale Gardens with all their treasures. Designs are waiting for each homeowner’s signature—familiar touchstones of home, perhaps blended with the new possessions of a fresh start. In my work, I love to mix classic forms with contemporary materials. I feel this allows for the natural evolution of a home, rather than designing a contrived, picture-perfect showpiece in a single style. The Kerrisdale Gardens have been designed in just this way.
How did you add intimacy to the contemporary open format?
ANDREA: A feeling of intimacy begins in each home’s private foyer. Like a traditional home, the front foyer has a defined sense of entry—unlike other contemporary layouts where you walk directly into living space. From there, we choreographed every sightline, so that when you are in the living room, you feel like your are in the living room, with subtle details masking the view of kitchen cabinetry, and so forth. Finishings are integrated throughout the interior design to give each room its own exclusive feel. Also, we created large and flexible spaces, allowing for the intimacy of large traditional furniture and the flexibility to balance both form and function. A beautiful interior is important. But it must work well and be flexible to your lifestyle and needs.
Tell us about the details. Which do you love best?
ANDREA: Some of my favourite elements are the natural materials we’ve selected. A calacatta marble for the vanity that has a beautiful depth, colour and tone, with burnished brass legs that are an unexpected detail. And the warmth of the wood—quarter-cut walnut and rift-cut white oak for the respective design schemes. All these classic materials were used in a fresh, new way with very clean, simple lines. We also paid close attention to the balance of matte and polish, so that you have a beautiful play of light.
What do you feel is the greatest value of living in a home so exquisitely designed?
ANDREA: I believe that design allows us to inject art into our lives. It immerses us in the art of living. As designers, our work is about creating a timeless environment that helps people enhance who they want to be and how they want to live. Good design supports us functionally so that we can enjoy each day, but ultimately its artfulness connects us to our humanity—life is beautiful and good design reminds us of this.
In our continuing effort to improve and maintain the high standard of The Kerrisdale Gardens development, the developer reserves the right to modify or change plans, specifications, features and prices without notice. Materials may be substituted with equivalent or better at the developer’s sole discretion. All dimensions and sizes are approximate and are based on architectural measurements. As reverse and/or mirrored plans occur throughout the development please see architectural plans for exact unit layout if important to you. Illustrations, renderings and marketing materials provided are an artist’s conception and are intended as a general reference only and are subject to change without prior notice. Please ask one of the helpful sales staff to reference the architectural set of construction drawings for most accurate dimensions and other details. Please refer to disclosure statement for specific offering details. E.&O.E.