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Written by Nicolle Hodges
Photography Paul Grdina

Thinking about the gap between design that creates a feeling of being part of a house and design that feels like being separate from it raises the obvious question: What is “good design,” anyway? It is not merely an exercise in superficial aesthetics but an evocation of feeling, driven by the unique responsibility to shape the human experience within four walls.

By Lin Stranberg

Steve Jobs was famous for his commitment to design, putting painstaking thought and effort into every detail of every Apple product he released. Jobs was passionate about the value of good design. “Design is not just what it looks and feels like. Design is how it works,” he said.

Interestingly, his interest in design began with his love of his childhood home, one of thousands of modernist tract houses inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright and built by developers like Joseph Eichler in the 1950s for working-class families in California.

All these years later, good design still tops the wish list when people decide to build or renovate a home. Design goes beyond the blueprints to plan the way a home is built or renovated and how the project will work. The aptly-named design-build process, a design-oriented delivery process that rose to prominence with its success in large-scale construction projects in the past ten years, is now the most sought-after method in the North American construction industry. Nearly half the construction projects in the U.S. use the design-build approach, and it’s recognized as the best for savvy residential clients as well.

With traditional project delivery, the owner must manage contracts with both the designer and the contractor, which can often lead to confusion, miscommunications and an adversarial relationship when things go wrong. In the design-build process, the owner manages only one contract with a single point of responsibility. The contractor and designer work together at the same firm, providing unified project recommendations to fit the owner’s schedule and budget. Any changes are addressed by the entire team, leading to collaborative problem-solving and innovation instead of excuses and blaming. It is this culture of collaboration and the single point of responsibility that make all the difference.

On the local front, Vancouver’s Kerr Construction and Design is a standout in the residential design-build field. Founder Doug Kerr is confident the company’s design-build approach is key to their home building and renovating success, and that good design is fundamental to the process. By bringing the design process in-house, Kerr Construction can complete a design process before any construction even starts, enabling his team to manage quality, stay on schedule, and keep the costs on budget. “It’s tricky balancing the creativity that will pack a “wow” with the practicality of engineering, and then mixing in the communication skills needed to help a customer identify the must-haves that will truly enhance their lives, and then package it all up in a way that the city will approve the permits. It takes a team with a lot of diverse skills and a lot of communication among the different departments,” Doug Kerr says.

“Having everyone in-house where we can control the whole process speeds it up, reduces communication issues, and sets up the project well from the beginning so we stay on time and on budget. Plus, our clients love having one point of accountability.” Kerr Construction and Design’s mission statement is “To build and renovate homes that enhance people’s lives.” Clearly, that has to start with the design process. To keep projects on time, on budget, with the quality and features you want, the best way to go is a good design-build firm.


Materials: Calacatta gold marble, solid brass + 24k gold plated,
brass gear train mechanism.
Dimensions: H. 170cm | 66,9”
W. 85cm | 33,4” D. 32cm | 12,5”

This is a piece marked by great sentimental value, because it is inspired by the grandfather’s tender figure and his old clocks that accompanied our childhood. Now these unique beauty pieces add a classic and classy touch to our modern spaces. The Grandfather floor watch is a creation that combines this classic beauty with a contemporary and irreverent visual that ennobles any environment. Because this piece combines feelings and memories shared throughout the world, the Grandfather floor watch was designed with five watches representing five great capitals of fashion and design.

时髦、现代、充满魅力,这套位于俄国莫斯科的公寓是一个年轻家庭的住所。设计师叶卡特琳娜.拉什莫诺娃 (Ekaterina Lashmanova)为他们设计了清新时尚的室内空间,她设计的并非只是个家,而是一个充满创意与灵感的生活空间。从高高的天花板到讲究细节的窗帘,一切都是由能工巧匠特别定制的。

来自丹麦的Steen Skaaning是做木匠出身,对家具有一双挑剔的眼睛,设计、用料、做工,一样不能马虎。“我知道什么才是好家具!”他有些自豪地说。

他拥有的Inspiration家具店位于西6街,4万平方尺的展销厅里,各种品牌的家具都是经过他的挑选才得以跻身于此,比如意大利名牌Natuzzi Italia。在这里,Natuzzi Italia拥有一个7000平方尺的店中店。

文/ Kelly Bai; 图/ ROSKO Family Design

在这所名为“Savage Ground House”的房子里,设计师将现代与传统的方式兼而用之,打造了一个富丽堂皇又极具艺术特色的空间。它共有两层,面积达1100 平方米。在这里,每种装饰材料都有其代表意义:比如大理石柱子代表着力量与权势;水晶代表着纯净与敏锐;黄色金属则是取之不尽的活力与热量的象征。

从市中心顺着Pender街往东走,就在胜利广场(Victory Square)的旁边,一幢百年历史的老建筑里藏着一个别有洞天的现代家居概念店。这个两层面积达1.2万平方英尺的小楼,是Avenue Road在西海岸的第一家概念店,其他几家店分部在多伦多、纽约和迈阿密。

Avenue Road一直是设计师们的灵感源泉,创始人Stephan Weishaupt十几年间世界各地搜罗最佳的创意作品。从家具、灯盏、厨房、建筑产品到各种家居饰物,大量优秀设计师的原创给人以启迪,让那些好品味的客户在这里寻到让他们满意的独特而个性的东西。

尽管关于风水的规则繁多,我们还是建议您借助专家的帮助,在自己的家居设计中融入风水的理念。Infinity Living 的老板Robbie Sharda 就用该公司打造的“DeCourcy Grand”项目作为范例,阐释了一所漂亮的宅邸是如何利用风水来聚拢能量。这个项目也是大温建筑商协会Ovation Award $100 万以上最佳定制房屋大奖的参赛项目。