Untitled combines clean lines and time-honoured materials in calming beachside home



Still Life house by untitled [design agency]

Canadian design studio Untitled [design agency] has used materials that will age gracefully, such as limestone and fir woods, to create a calm ambiance within its renovation of this Vancouver home, which has been shortlisted for a Dezeen Award.

The 223-square-metre duplex residence, called the Still Life house, is located in the beachside neighbourhood of Kits Point in Vancouver.

Wooden table with wooden chairs
Still Life house features fir wood elements

Invited to give the interiors a complete overhaul, the design studio set out to balance the house’s traditional architectural forms with contemporary interventions. It called the design process “a practice of restraint.”

“During the early stages of the project, the homeowners were after an unapologetically modern interior, which proved to be challenging,” explained the studio, which is led by designer Daniel Ching.

Wooden floors and oak cabinetry by untitled [design agency]
Oak cabinetry in the living space

“The dialogue between the intrinsic architecture of the home and a true-to-form modern interior became disjointed,” the studio said.

“As the interiors were developed, a softer interior language came to light. While a strong language of clean lines was maintained, the material palette was steeped in old-world traditions, which became a key design element.”

Clean lines in the kitchen
A neutral colour palette is used throughout the house

The studio selected a palette of unifying materials and colours that were used throughout the house. These include traditional materials such as limestone – used on the counters and fireplace hearth; fir wood floors, and oak cabinetry.

To balance the design’s minimalist appearance, the studio avoided modern-engineered finishes and instead opted for unadorned materials that will patina over time.

Functional elements such as kitchen appliances and storage are concealed behind oak cabinetry.

“With an absence of adornment, materiality and proportion were key design elements of this project,” said the studio. “Every visible angle was studied. As such, a great amount of time and energy was put into developing harmonious details, which can be appreciated throughout each room.

The interiors are furnished with vintage furniture collected by the homeowner, including collectible pieces by George Nakashima, Hans Wegner, Charlotte Perriand, Poul Kjaerholm, and Norman Cherner.

Neutral colours in the bathroom
Limestone and wood were also used in the bathroom

Influenced by the owner’s collectible furniture pieces, Untitled [design agency] also created bespoke furniture specifically for the house including a dining table, bookshelves, writing desks, beds, and night tables.

“We believe in design defined by modern minimalism and clean lines while emoting a sense of warmth,” concluded the studio. “The Still Life house is a manifestation of this philosophy.”

Still Life house has been shortlisted in the apartment interior category of this year’s Dezeen Awards, where it will compete against five other projects, including Toledano + Architects’ Wood Ribbon apartment in Paris.

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