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Design Inspiration

A Minimalist and Modern North Vancouver Home Makeover

Spring is here and there’s nothing like a complete home makeover to signal the start of a new season. Today we’re sharing a beautifully minimalist home makeover by North Vancouver-based designer Lori Steeves of Simply Home Decorating. Lori has an impeccable eye for modern detail and clean lines while incorporating just the right amount of colour. We think you’ll agree that this before and after transformation is ‘simply’ stunning. Take it away, Lori!  

I’m thrilled to be sharing this 1990’s home located in North Vancouver’s Lynn Valley neighbourhood with you! We were tasked with updating and brightening a dated home with great bones, and you’ll see as you keep reading why this modern home makeover on the North Shore turned out to be one of our favourite projects to date. With the high ceilings and open concept layout, this home had so much potential and we couldn’t wait to get started. Read on to see how we transformed this home into a modern and timeless abode for our clients, including some of my favourite design tips and tricks to keep in mind if you’re considering updates to your own home, too.

Functionality is just as important as design aesthetic

With any home makeover, functionality and liveability are just as important to us as the style and aesthetic. The kitchen layout was already open and functional so the updates were mostly cosmetic in this area to modernize it to suit our clients’ design aesthetic. We updated and brightened the kitchen with flat, all white doors, minimal hardware and a solid surface marble-look countertop and backsplash. 

Modern lighting was used to compliment this space and we also updated the flooring with a high-end laminate option that provides durability to withstand our clients’ two golden retrievers but still brings a contemporary feel. 

The kitchen flows into the dining room, and we furnished this area with a custom, made-in-Canada dining table from Once A Tree’s STUDIO collection and Curvo chairs by Trica Furniture to complete the modern, minimalist look.

An open concept living space is the heart of the home

Creating a functional yet modern, aesthetically pleasing open concept living area was extremely important to our clients. There’s plenty of natural light in this room and we brightened things up even more by painting the walls and trims and furnishing the space with lighter-coloured furniture - and one of our favourite pieces is the Ormont Sofa by Canadian-made Marcantonio Designs

 To add elements of contrast and interest to the space, we opted for darker, moodier accent items - like the Clint Cocktail Table, throw pillows and Jaipur rug (which also resembles an abstract painting)!

Create a peaceful sleep environment with personality

Did you know we spend one-third of our lives sleeping?! That’s why it’s always important to us to create a peaceful sleep environment that limits clutter and ensures complete bliss in any bedroom design. We updated the original, darker bedroom with calm and neutral-toned elements that accommodated both of our clients’ personalities and individual design preferences. 

By sticking to a cool, gray palette and utilizing different shades and textures (like this Winston Bed by Canadian maker, Huppe), we achieved a peaceful bedroom filled with thoughtfully curated accessories that add a personal touch - such as the floral throw pillow and white cork and foil wallcovering on the headboard wall for a more feminine vibe, and concrete pendant shades and geometric-pattern throw pillows for a more tailored look. 

Carry the home’s colour palette through to the bathrooms

With two bathrooms, we took the opportunity to create unique his-and-hers bathrooms in this modern North Vancouver home. Continuing on the theme of modern and minimalist design, we opted for a clean, neutral palette to brighten things up. 

To create a bright and airy feel throughout, we incorporated unique, but subtle design elements such as a floating vanity in ‘his’ bathroom and a silver and white cherry blossom wallcovering in ‘her’ bathroom. 

Add personality, drama and colour with curated art

My final design tip - that works for any space - is to curate thoughtful artwork throughout your home. Art evokes emotion and creates conversations, and we love introducing clients to some of our favourite local artists and their work.

In this North Vancouver home, we love this original oversized piece by local artist Miriam Aroeste over the Edward Console just off the open-concept kitchen and dining area. This piece adds colour and interest to an otherwise neutral, minimalist space without overwhelming it. For more tips on how to curate an art collection for your home, check out another blog post I dedicated to this topic here.

We hope you enjoyed this modern home makeover tour by North Vancouver interior designer Lori Steeve as much as we enjoyed sharing it with you! Whether you’re redesigning your whole home or just one room in your house, get in touch with us today and we let us help you simplify the process. For more design inspiration and tips, follow us and Lori on Instagram! 


Before and After.  Modern and Minimalist Home Makeover

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Luxury Design Tips for Small Spaces

It can be challenging to design and decorate a small space. There are many factors to consider, all of which will affect the final product - from the overall look and feel (you don’t want it to ever feel cramped!), to ensuring your design aesthetic and personality shines through. At Once A Tree Furniture, we want to help you bring your vision to life no matter what the size of your home is. 

Recently, we worked alongside interior designer Diane Bissonnette of Design Connection on a stunning, small space transformation for Global News anchor, Robin Gill. Diane has a true eye for design, so naturally, we asked her to share some of her best tips and tricks for achieving a livable, yet luxurious design in a small space - and she definitely didn’t disappoint. Read on for Diane’s tips for interior designing a small(er) space and check out a stunning, behind-the-scenes look inside Robin’s west coast home!

When working with a smaller space, it is important to not feel like you have to let go of all your full-sized furniture pieces. The secret is in how you select them and their color. 


“Light”-en up your dining space

Pick pieces that are ‘light’ looking, instead of heavy or clunky. In Robin’s dining room, we went with a rounded, oval dining table with skinny legs, which helps give a softer look. Similarly, the dining chairs also feature skinny legs, as do the other accent chairs and even the sofa in this space! Elevating furniture on legs helps to create a lighter overall feel in any space.


Don’t be afraid to make a statement

Don't feel afraid of making a statement, even if you are in a smaller space. In Robin’s home, we’ve done this by utilizing bold contrast with black and white, but you can also do this by incorporating more saturated colors. Keep in mind, a splash of colour is all that’s needed, so be careful not to over do it. The black accents here not only help tie in the dining and living area, but also helps to create depth.


Combine function and style wherever possible

In a small space, it’s important to look for ways to incorporate pieces that are both functional and still speak to your style and personal aesthetic. This luxury Hemrik bedside table by Huppe was a great way for us to combine both a look of contrast in the space while also giving Robin some big, bedside drawers for added storage.


Use artwork to make a statement

Don't be afraid to use oversized artwork in a small space! Just because a space is smaller, doesn’t mean you only need to select smaller art. In fact, larger pieces are a fun and original way to add a touch of personality and luxury to any room in your home. Go bold! It makes a space more interesting with stronger statements, and acts as a conversation piece. Just check out the expressive black and white painting found in Robin’s Kitchen by local artist Michael Soltis and this stunning piece from Robin’s own collection centered over our Mix It Up console table by Trica!


Less is more when it comes to accessories

When adding touches of luxury accessories to a smaller space, keep in mind you want to dress it up without filling it up too much. Less is usually more when it comes to accessories to avoid a cluttered look, and one of my favourite tricks is to incorporate contrast to bring those items to life! By adding some neutral, luxury accessories that feature just a subtle pop of colour to Robin's studded black and white dresser above, we were able to warm up the space and add points of interest without creating a cluttered look.


We hope you found these small space design tips from Diane Bissonnette of Design Connection helpful to keep in mind when bringing a smaller space to life! Whether you’re looking for more design inspiration for a small space, just one room in your home, or even a larger custom home project, we’d love to help you create a unique space to enjoy for many years to come. Get in touch with us today to see how we can help and follow us on Instagram for more design inspiration!

 Photo credit: Roger Mahler

Luxury Interior Design for Small Spaces

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Welcome to a Luxury Vancouver House Tour Designed by Enviable Designs

New year, new luxury house goals! At Once A Tree, one of our favourite offerings includes collaborating with local interior designers on design projects of every size and scale. Recently, we had the chance to work alongside one of our favourite award-winning interior designers, Victoria McKenney of Enviable Designs on a stunning, custom home situated in the Shaughnessy neighbourhood of Vancouver.

Our priority is to bring your vision to life whether you are visiting our showroom for the first time or you’ve worked with us many times before. So, that means working with the best in the business. Today, we’re excited to let Victoria take you on a ‘home tour’ of this beautiful Vancouver home that features everything from bespoke furniture with stunning, unique fabrics and luxurious fixtures which enhance and highlight the architectural details throughout the home.

Read on for all the details, design tips and home inspiration from Victoria herself below! 

After working on this home for the past 2 years, I am thrilled to be taking you on a tour of this stunning custom-built Vancouver home and to share with you my thought process and inspiration for the designs. It is always so rewarding to complete a custom home from start to finish, working with the architect and client to create a beautiful space the clients are able to enjoy for years to come.

Living Room

We were greatly inspired by the architecture of the home, in particular the over-height ceilings, beautiful windows and grand scale of the rooms. Every room in the house, including the living spaces, drew upon these classical elements of proportion, scale, and of course a thoughtful selection of materials and furnishings. From the Canadian-made Delano Nesting Tables to the bespoke armchair and original artwork by Vancouver-based artists Miriam Aroeste and Gabryel Harrison, each piece in these rooms was carefully curated for this space.

Master Bedroom

The master bedroom of any home, I feel,  should always be a space that lends itself to a serene and relaxing sensibility. Starting by creating some visual interest with architectural mouldings throughout the room, we then  focused on using different textures with warm, inviting colours in the soft furnishings to create a soothing aesthetic. The custom headboard, built by Once A Tree Furniture, echoes the ceiling mouldings and features a beautiful fabric and contrasting piping. Each piece in this master suite was thoughtfully chosen to reflect a timeless and tailored approach to reflect a luxurious sentiment.

Stylish and Functional Home Office

With the changing relevance and importance of a home office in today’s environment, we knew it was of paramount importance to create an organized and serviceable space that also honoured the home’s design aesthetic. The natural light inspired us to design a room focusing on lighter colours and to create different seating areas for reflection. We curated a collection of furniture from Once a Tree Furniture, including the Solange Desk by Mitchell Gold+Bob Williams to allow our clients to feel comfortable and constructive in this home work area.

Luxury Kitchen

I always love designing a kitchen! Clients have such specific requirements that I find the challenge of meeting these needs while creating a beautiful space so rewarding. In this home, the custom cabinetry features a creamy white paint colour and is highlighted with marble countertops and backsplash. Details are always so important in perfecting any room so we included custom door panels, stunning hardware and furniture kicks. What I love most about this room though are the oversized Gustavian pendants finished in a polished nickel and linen shade. 


Open Concept Dining Room

The dining room in this home is completely open to the formal living room and foyer so we wanted to create a colour palette and scheme that tied in seamlessly with the other furniture which is visible throughout the main floor. The bespoke dining chairs featuring two contrasting fabrics is a wonderful detail to add pattern and visual interest without overpowering the room. We designed a large custom table in a richly lustrous finish which added a more modern element to the  room while creating a strong and dramatic moment.    

Quality Home Accessories

One of the most paramount aspects of completing a home is focusing on the attention to detail. For every home we design, we curate a collection of beautiful accessories which we style and arrange throughout to create a layered and truly luxurious feeling. In this home, we did so with a blend of beautiful custom pillows, accent mirrors, original artwork  and thoughtful objet d'art as our final approach to achieve a truly elegant home.

We hope you enjoyed this ‘home tour’ through Victoria’s latest luxury design project! Whether you’re about to start on a one room renovation or a newly built custom home, we’d love to work with you to bring your vision to life. Contact us today for more information on how we help you design a unique, livable, high-end space or follow us and Victoria on social media for more design inspiration!  

Photo credit: Tracey Ayton

Luxury Vancouver Home Tour

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OAT Holiday Gift Guide: 10 Canadian-made Gift Ideas To Elevate Life at Home

Given that we’ve all been spending  extra time at home this past year, it only felt right to compile a gift guide with our favourite gift ideas to help your loved ones upstyle their living space. 

Whether you’re looking for a custom-designed, made-to-order piece for your partner, a timeless, yet minimalist decor staple for a loved one or a splurge item for someone special, here are 10 Canadian-made items that double as crowd-pleasing holiday gifts.

For the ‘shop local’ enthusiast:

Marshmallow Ottoman


Photo credit: Trica Furniture

An ottoman is one of the most versatile pieces in any living space, and one of our go-to recommendations for adding a point of interest. The simplicity of our made-in-Canada Marshmallow Ottoman by Trica is a great, multifunctional addition to a space. Whether it’s used as additional seating, an extra table surface from time to time, or as a foot rest, this understated ottoman is the perfect combination of function and style. Available in a wide selection of fabrics, leathers, and finishes, it’s an easily customizable gift that anyone will love for years to come.

Beam Lamp

Photo credit: Trica Furniture

Know someone that could use a home office refresh? The Beam Lamp by Trica is luxury furniture at its finest. Made in Canada from a combination of metal and solid oak, this lamp is functional and doubles as a piece of art. Available in three different sizes with custom finishing options available, this lamp will make a statement in anyone’s WFH set up. 


For the minimalist:

Misha Chair

Photo credit: Once A Tree Furniture

Looking for a chair that can serve more than one purpose? The Canadian-made Misha Chair by Canadel is stylish, functional, and the best part is, its minimalist design means it can be used in any space. Whether it’s for a dining room, an entry way, or even a home office, the clean lines and elegant design of this chair make this a gift you won’t have a problem finding a home for.


Aroma Accent Table


Photo credit: Union Photographers

This sleek and modern side table is what every minimalist’s dreams are made of. Featuring clean lines and a small footprint, the understated Aroma Accent Table by Trica has the right amount of surface area to display treasured keepsakes while still maintaining a low profile. Did we mention it’s made in Canada? 


For the art collector:

Custom painting by a local artist

Photo credit: Union Photographers

From now until December 23rd, we are featuring a handful of our favourite Vancouver-based artists in our showroom. From the natural, botanical-inspired paintings of Gabryel Harrison and stunning landscapes by Krista Johnson to the abstract paintings of Lisa Ochowycz and Miriam Aroeste, there’s sure to be something unique waiting for any recipient on your holiday list this year. Drop by our showroom to check out the wide selection of art available for purchase. After all, an original work of art is one of the best ways to add character and personality to any space!


For the lovers of luxury:

Jak Bar Cart

Photo credit: Union Photographers

Nothing says hostess with the mostest like a stunning, statement bar cart. While we might not be hosting the usual holiday get togethers this year, a bar cart still promises to be a must-have for any living space. Featuring a multi-tiered design and an antique brass frame, the mobile Jak Bar Cart by Arteriors is functional and beautiful at the same time. Not to mention, the lockable casters make it easy to have a cocktail in any room - so that’s a bonus. It’s 2020, after all. 

For the home chef:

It doesn’t get more thoughtful than small batch, hand made home goods by Tracey Ayton Home. Inspired by seaside living, Tracey Ayton Home is your one-stop shop for the foodie in your life:

 Ceramic Berry Bowl by Ceramist Elise Dufour

Photo credit: Tracey Ayton

These handmade, ceramic berry bowls feature beauty and functionality at the same time. Pierced with holes to allow for air flow, these one-of-a-kind bowls can be used to serve fruit on the table right after rinsing. 

 Pinafore Apron

Photo credit: Tracey Ayton

Every chef needs an apron and these simple, yet beautifully crafted pinafore full aprons won’t disappoint. Available in neutral sand or soft blue, these wraparound aprons are a lovely addition to any chef’s kitchen wardrobe.

 Wood Stand


Photo credit: Tracey Ayton

The perfect “catch-all” for any kitchen! Whether it’s used as a surface for frequently used spices and oils or to display baked goods and other festive treats, this minimalist platform is an understated addition to the heart of the home. Made of pine and available in a white wash stain or warm driftwood, the possibilities are truly endless.

Charcuterie boards by Steelwood Design

Photo credit: Tracey Ayton

Charcuterie lovers rejoice! We have a beautiful selection of Steelwood Design’s locally-made and highly sought-after charcuterie boards as part of our holiday pop-up series. Made from reclaimed wood and featuring timeless, sustainable designs, these charcuterie boards are sure to be a hit - and as a bonus, they act as a unique and beautiful piece of art when they’re not serving up a delicious spread.

From now until December 23rd, we are hosting our first-ever “At Home for the Holidays” Pop-Up Series featuring exclusive gifts and decor by local artists and artisans in our showroom. Participating artists and artisans will be donating 20% of their sales from the pop-up this month to local charities including Covenant House Vancouver, Marine Mammal Rescue Center, and the Vancouver Women’s Health Collective. Please keep in mind, COVID-19 protocols are in place and masks are mandatory while shopping in the showroom. For more information, click here or email us at

 10 Artisan Gift Ideas to Elevate Life at Home

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