Western Living Design Week | Q&A w/ Anicka Quin

5768 Primrose Place. Architect, Interior Design: Anja Henche, ah-design

For the second year in a row, the Vancouver Modern Home Tour (Sept. 20) will be featured as part of Western Living Design Week  (Sept. 18 – 28) – a weeklong celebration of design packed with art shows, talks, fundraisers, live auctions, galas, and award shows. We couldn’t be more thrilled to partner with Western Living and share in their mission for the week—to give design-lovers the tangible experience of stepping foot inside the spaces they admire from afar.

We caught up with Western Living’s Editor-in-Chief, Anicka Quin, to chat about Design Week, designophiles, and debunking the myths of modernism.

Q&A w/ Anicka Quin, Editor-in-Chief, Western Living

Modern Home Tours is thrilled to be partnering with Western Living Magazine’s Design Week! What’s the mission behind Design Week?

We created Western Living Design Week in 2013 as a way to connect with our readers in the real world—beyond the pages of the magazine. It’s that rare opportunity for them to physically interact with the spaces that they fall in love with month to month – and the Modern Homes Tour is a perfect example of that. We’ve spotlighted the home by Kelly Deck in our September issue, and readers now have an opportunity to see what it’s like to actually be in that space – to have a real life touch point. All of the events we’ve included in Western Living Design Week connect the design community with designophiles – and it’s a lot of fun to put together.

kelly deck
1316 Arbutus Street. Architect: Sheridan Macrae. Interior Designer: Kelly Deck Design

We’re excited about the homes on the tour, which you curated. What sort of criteria did you have in mind when selecting homes for the tour?

I love debunking the myth that modernism is cold. So often I hear from people that they could never live in a modern house, because it’s too cold—but the homes on this tour are full of life and warmth, yet they’re all very modern in design. The important thing to is put yourself in the centre of the home: modernism really celebrates the way people live, whether it’s breaking down artificial barriers between indoors and out, or creating spaces that have everything you need, and nothing you don’t. The Hodgson Design Associates home, for example, is spectacular: who wouldn’t want that backyard, with its gorgeous pool and beach cabana? Yet it’s very family oriented: the living room opens out on to that pool in the summer, and the kitchen is killer, perfect for transitioning from breakfast with the kids to parties in the evenings. It’s modern, but incredibly warm.

5012 Marguerite Street. Architect: David Thom, IBI Group. Interior Design: Hodgson Design Associates
5012 Marguerite Street. Architect: David Thom, IBI Group. Interior Design: Hodgson Design Associates

What should tour-goers be sure to look out for?

I think all of the homes are incredible! But 135 East 17th has a really interesting story: it’s sustainably designed, but it doesn’t feel like it’s sacrificed style at all. The second-floor patio is a dream. The home Kelly Deck designed on Arbutus has great examples of hidden storage, and the West 23rd home’s use of light, skylights and open stairways is really inspiring.

135 East 17th Avenue. Architect: LWPAC – Oliver Lang Builder/Interior Designer: Vanglo Sustainable Construction Ltd.
3140 West 23rd. Architect: Frits de Vries Architect Ltd.

Apart from the Modern Home Tour, what other Design Week events are you most looking forward to?

Garden Dialogues is a great new event that gives people access to the gardens of private homes, including some designed by Cornelia Oberlander, the west’s greatest landscape architect. We’ve designed a tablescape for this year’s Dinner By Design – an amazing event that brings over a dozen designers together to create stunning rooms, which guests can view over a cocktail hour, or over a plated dinner. And Fashioning Cancer is brand new this year too: it’s a live auction of ten dresses (truly works of art), with catering from Hawksworth and performance by Bif Naked. Plus, there are stores all over town with great events – too much to list here!

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