The Votes Are In: Your Favourite Stories of 2016!
Here are the posts our readers loved most this year—beautiful homes, West Coast road trips, designer profiles and more.
We don’t like to play favourites when it comes to our stories, but the numbers tell us that our readership doesn’t mind. This year, you loved gorgeous homes, celebrated the West’s top tastemakers and found travel inspiration from our local getaway guides. Check out our countdown of this year’s most-read Western Living posts…and don’t forget to subscribe to the WL Newsletter so you don’t miss a thing in 2017.
It’s hard to believe this sleek, modern home used to be the epitome of ’90s decor. Now, thanks to a smart renovation, the formerly closed-off layout is open and bright—walls were knocked down and odd angles have been squared off—and the dated finishes are gone, replaced with a sophisticated muted palette and rich textures.
Before its transformation, the house was a standard 1920s one-and-a-half-storey of about 1,400 square feet, plus a dank and dark basement just six feet in height. The renovation involved jacking the house up and filling in the excavation, then building a new ground floor that’s 12-feet tall and at grade, with a small extension at the back to provide a little more living space.
This home in Vancouver’s Mackenzie Heights neighbourhood had been on homeowner Shannon Dawe’s radar for some time—a couple decades’ worth of time. “When I was 16 or 17 and on my way to my grandma’s, I would go out of my way to come down this road to drive by this house,” says Dawe. “I just thought it was one of a kind.” With the help of architect Cedric Burgers, she turned it into the home she’d dreamed of her whole life.
Mayne Island is a place where boats are propped up in front yards in every state of disrepair, doors are left unlocked (and open, actually, with a screen door), residents use the honour system for trading books or selling flowers in public wooden huts, and, instead of bus stops, you’ll find designated car stops (occasionally with complimentary plastic seating) for picking up hitchhikers along the road. It’s the quintessential small-town beach community that’s been head-scratchingly left off the tourist map.
Shielded by snowy trees amidst rocky outcrops, this cabin in Golden, B.C., feels middle-of-nowhere—except it’s right on the slopes of Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, with prime ski-in/ski-out access. A family retreat, it’s a luxe yet down-to-earth alpine hideaway built with hygge in mind.
The laid-back vibe of this charming Gulf Island has our editor-in-chief thinking she might just abandon the mainland.
It was just two years ago that Vancouver-based chef Jason Leizert (Boneta, Save On Meats) packed his knives up and headed east, where he quietly opened Salted Brick. With a couple of years under his belt, he’s now officially a local—so we asked him to choose six spots that sum up his newly adopted city.
With their wineries, tide-to-table seafood, ocean vistas and small-town charm, twin towns Courtenay and Comox won’t be hidden island gems for much longer.
From the architect who pours the foundation himself, to the dress designer who’s influencing international wedding style, to the ceramicist who pairs nostalgia with modernist design, this year’s Designers of the Year are at the forefront of our dynamic design scene. You’re going to want to get to know them.
Welcome to our annual celebration of the chefs, sommeliers, producers, designers, owners, activists and bartenders that make the West the best place to be a food lover. What follows is a list of our 10 winners, but they had some stiff competition: check out our shortlist of 40 finalists from across Western Canada.