Once upon a time, a tiny guesthouse built in the late 1890s sat in the corner of a wooded backyard in St. Lambert, behind a larger, brick-clad family home. The 600-square-foot shack was in such terrible condition that in 2008, when Jean-Luc Gagnon and Marie-Hélène Larouche bought the property it sat on, the deed of sale included a demolition permit, courtesy of the city.
Throughout the cold months of the year, when most of us are dreaming about our gardens, plant breeders are already hard at work selecting new varieties. It’s a multi-step process involving rigorous field trials at public gardens, universities, nurseries and by individual growers, seed producers and industry representatives.
Stunning bay views are easy to come by in the area of Port Moody known as the Golden Mile. But few homes along it can rival the charm and originality of this one. “I knew as soon as I walked in that it was the house for us,” says the homeowner, who lives there with her entrepreneur husband, twin 17-year-old daughters and a rescued dog of mixed pedigree.
The homeowners had asked interior designer Jennifer Heffel, owner and founder of HB Design in Vancouver, for something that would make them feel that they were in the mountains, but “they weren’t into that clichéd ski-resort stuff,” Heffel says. “They liked alpine contemporary, and the general BC West Coast style that incorporates wood, glass, and open spaces. They wanted clean lines, an uncluttered look, and a bright and airy feeling.”