Exquisite, Red Tree luxury in lottery grand-prize home
WORDS JOE LEARY, PHOTOGRAPHY ALFONSO ARNOLD
As designer and builder of the BC Children’s Lottery Dream Home, Vic Sanghera has been the man behind many of Vancouver’s luxury grand-prize homes over the last decade.
Vic, president of Red Tree Creative Homes, says he continually challenges himself to never “rest on his laurels” and to maintain a fresh and unique vision on each project.
Over the last 15 years, Red Tree has established itself as a leader in luxury homes, where creative and unique features are a staple in each, and attention is paid to every minute detail.
The process is methodical and collaborative.
“You look at the property first—what kind of exposure does it have? What does the topographical layout look like? Where is the best light going to come from?” he says. “We bring the architect on-site and go over all of these details and then look at designing the main floor first.”
He adds: “Once we get the layout of where the kitchen and family room should go, we always design the house after that.”
To create such beauty involves a collective effort. First, you take the luxury brand, Red Tree, and partner it up with industry juggernaut Mortise Group of Companies. Add in the design expertise of Alexandra Hristova of A2H Design Studio—a cutting-edge designer who likes to push the bounds of design—and then add the tenacity of upstart builder/realtor Sunny Duhra.
Mortise Group of Companies, under CEO Baljit Johal, is a leader in home building, having developed into a top-flight residential company, working on custom homes, townhome and condo developments and subdivisions.
Recent projects such as Isola, Marka and Nova are widely regarded as innovative, well-crafted and clearly sought-after by today’s consumer market.
The assembled collective of partners allowed this magnificent structure to display the many features that define a luxury home. And the result is a breathtaking grand prize for BC Children’s Hospital.
The $2.8-million-dollar, 6,200-square-foot spectacle sits on a 9,100-square-foot lot in South Surrey and is one of eight Grand Prize Home packages available for viewing at bcchildren.com with all proceeds funding BC Children’s Hospital Foundation.
Teri Nicholas, President & CEO of BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, notes that “The support that the Dream Lottery generates can help advance research that will help transform healthcare for kids across BC. Our research team is committed to pioneering world-leading research on treatments and cures for the thousands of children who receive care from the hospital each year.”
Being in the luxury home business for 15 years, and having seen emerging trends evolve, does a designer’s vision similarly change over time?
“I would say so, yes,” says Vic. “I always wanted to do luxury homes and when I first got started, I wanted to do ‘wow’ factor here and ‘wow’ factor there. But now, if families are paying top dollar for a home and they want to make it their forever home, they want everything on all floors. You can’t ignore the basement anymore; you can’t ignore any aspect of the house.”
Vic’s mission is to always push his personal creative boundaries and not replicate previous designs.
“We have ‘creative’ in the name of our company and I want to make sure that we are always doing something different and always taking it to the next level.”
There’s no particular recurring theme, but it is kind of cyclical, he says, adding, “More modern features are back in demand; the exterior is more modern now and lending itself to colour.”
Like building an actual pseudo-British-style pub, replete with the red phone booth for one of his luxury clients, Vic says the sky’s the limit when it comes to special requests. If you can visualize it, he can conceptualize it.
And when it comes to recurring requests?
“The majority of people are focused on the kitchen these days,” he says, noting that in many instances, home-entertaining usually occurs around the kitchen’s island.
“In this house, we designed the kitchen with a more European feel: high-end cabinetry and clean lines, and with a wine wall right beside it. People love to entertain and the kitchen is where everybody congregates. But there’s also demand for ‘man caves,’ theatre rooms, home gyms and saunas.”
As for what constitutes a “luxury” home, Vic says, “It’s definitely not the size because I think you can make any space into a luxury home with a luxury feel. It’s the actual room and how you design it around the features that we put into that space. You could have a 2,000-square-foot luxury home, by having more features in it.”
The clientele in pursuit of the luxury market is, indeed, diverse.
“I would say more of the customers are younger as, generally, when people get to their later years they’re downsizing. Once families get into their thirties and forties and are generally well-established in their careers, they’re looking for a high-end home.”
There is no limit to Vic’s range.
“I can do something with every space,” he says.
Spoken like a truly innovative builder.
Erin Cebula: At home with “souper” powers
WORDS JOE LEARY X PHOTOGRAPHY Alfonso Arnold
As the face of the BC Children’s Hospital Dream Lottery, TV personality Erin Cebula not only emerged unscathed from the COVID-19 lockdown, but also with a newfound passion to cook.
“Being at home forced me to explore lots of new recipes and while my go-to is not super sexy, I am a bit of a soup wizard. In fact it’s my ‘souper’ power,” she says. “I can make just about any soup you can imagine and I have this ability to take pretty much anything and whip up something really quite delicious.”
She adds: “I believe that food’s about love so whatever I do create I’m focused on making it with love. Plus, after a while I burned out of watching television.”
Erin said she also came out of the lockdown with an appreciation for her husband.
“I’ll tell you that I love my husband even more,” she says.
As her lockdown repertoire in the kitchen has expanded, so too has her role with the BC Children’s Hospital Dream Lottery.
“We’re going to be visiting and doing more videos and commercial features from the different prize homes, and I’m going to be all over BC to give people a closer look at what these packages are about.”
Being photographed in scores of luxury properties—how does her personal accommodation compare?
“I think my property is gorgeous,” she says. “We moved into a brand new condo in the West End and it’s the first time ever having a brand new anything. We started from scratch with bare walls and came with basically nothing, having left our previous place to rent furnished. We had a mattress and lived for the first month like starving students as we accumulated.”