Homes Photo Credit: Ema Peter

Photos: We Love This Black, White and Neutral North Vancouver Home

As designer Andrea Rodman demonstrates, the key to a light and bright home is a little Scandinavian influence and a touch of black.

When Pamela and Sergio Spadavecchia were planning their new home in North Vancouver, they sketched out a few ideas to start. Their previous place was dark and moody, so they knew they wanted to lighten up. They had a couple of active boys—and, along with them, a whole load of sports gear—so some of the planning would need to account for less-than-tidy dumps of equipment at the end of a game. And, most importantly, the couple loves to entertain (Sergio is the cook of the family), so the space would need to work both for intimate dinner parties and larger gatherings of friends.

The couple were working with Blackfish Homes as their builder, and as Pamela dug around on Houzz looking for ideas for the interiors, she spotted designer Andrea Rodman’s projects and booked a meeting. “We hit it off right away,” Pamela recalls—and so they got to work.

Homeowner Pamela Spadavecchia and her son, Nico, relax in the main living space, which is oriented to the great view outside the windows—even the pair of U Turn chairs from Bensen can pivot around.
Spadavecchia wanted the staircase to be a dramatic focal point in the home, so Rodman created a design that appears to float in the space.

Rodman’s first step was to build on the Spadavecchias’ wish list, starting with the colour palette: brightening up the space meant bringing in a modern Scandinavian-influenced design with whitewashed oak throughout and black accents on architectural features. Pamela had brought a portfolio of concepts for Rodman, including several ideas for a dramatic staircase design. The end result would be visible from outside the home, so it was important to both Rodman and the Spadavecchias that it be a central feature on the main floor. The staircase now appears to almost float in the room, in part because Rodman designed the handrails to sit on top of the glass that borders the treads, rather than in the more traditional side position. The mounting hardware for the treads is black, allowing it to disappear into the frame of the staircase.

Playful black Moooi Random lights also line the entranceway. “We thought bringing in the Moooi lights would be an opportunity to play with some form, and also repetition,” says Rodman. “You’ve got two big features here, but they balance each other out.”

The main floor is host to a lounge area and the kitchen, both designed to allow room for the kids (or dinner-party guests) to stay included while prep happens in the kitchen. The furniture is decked out in cool greys and whites, with a pair of comfy swivelling U Turn chairs from Bensen that easily pivot toward the party or to the view out the windows. In keeping with the beachy-calm palette, Rodman designed a feature wall lined with wooden slats, a warm and organic contrast to the large-format porcelain tile that lines the nearby fireplace.

The kitchen gets a touch of rustic with a Restoration Hardware table.
In the powder room, Rodman had bevelled Bianco Carrara wall tile installed on the walls, creating shadow and visual texture.

In the kitchen, the vibe remains modern, with a touch of rustic thanks to a grey Restoration Hardware dining table with a weighty concrete base. It’s a white and bright space, where lacquered cabinets pair with painted white oak. Stunning Brizo faucets bring an artful touch of black to the space.

And for all that hockey gear, there’s a room in the garage so that the boys, now 13 and 15, can unload when they get home—including a small second laundry room attached to help deal with it as it arrives. “I didn’t want the mudroom to be all of their gear, dumped everywhere as soon as they get in,” laughs Pamela. “It’s easy access to get to it from the garage.”

Upstairs in the master bedroom, Rodman designed a quiet respite for the couple with both cozy throws and soft pink accent pieces. Grasscloth in a warm charcoal covers the wall opposite the bed, perfect for downplaying the TV while picking up on the peek-a-boo view to those Moooi lights outside the door.

In the master bedroom, Rodman brought in soft fabrics and cozy throws to warm up the space.
Charcoal-coloured grasscloth lines the wall at the foot of the bed, which has the effect of minimizing the appearance of the television.
In the master ensuite, bathers in the Aquabrass tub get the best view of all, elevated on a platform.

In the master ensuite, the Aquabrass Caicos bath becomes a focal point, elevated on a platform to take in the view. And that same space is where Pamela has her dressing room. “We have such big windows, it didn’t make sense to walk outside the bathroom to go into a closet,” she says. “It’s so much easier to have everything in one place.”

Both designer and homeowner credit each other with the vision of the home, managing that rare feat of staying in sync with a plan that feels completely natural, as if created just the way the space was meant to be. “She really has such an architectural eye,” says Rodman of Pamela, and the latter offers the same opinion right back. “We had similar ideas, colour schemes, and I knew she had a great eye for design,” says Pamela. “She was wonderful to work with—and she kept me in line with the concept we came up with.”

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