Principles of feng shui incorporated into the design of Burnaby house
by Jane Vorbrodt
photo of Imu Chan of FSOARK by Jane Vorbrodt
Yuen Huang always knew he wanted to build his own home — a space to be enjoyed with wife Jia, three-year-old son Yii and his parents.
Such a home would also be a legacy to pass on to future generations.
Huang selected a site on a hilly area above Brentwood Mall in Burnaby, a quiet neighbourhood where his family had settled after arriving in Canada from Taiwan in 1978. The newly completed home now fits in easily with its neighbours — mainly well-maintained two-storey mid-century houses on wide lots — but it’s far from typical.
Painted a warm grey, it has a low metal roofline running horizontally across its face, a modern nod to traditional Asian architecture.
“When we were designing this house, we could have built a humongous big-box square with three floors,” Huang says. “But I said, don’t try to be the biggest and the baddest. You have to show some respect to the neighbourhood. Blend in, with class and quality.”
It’s clear from the outset that this is no ordinary home.
Woodworking couple micro-customize their east-end Vancouver home
by Jane Vorbrodt
family organization station at the Watt house (photo by Jane Vorbrodt)
Over the past six years, Phil and Rebecca Watt have been transforming a once-neglected east-side Vancouver house into a cosy and well organized home through the integration of creative storage and living solutions.
The Watts share their 900-square-foot space with their sons — aged four and eight — and an international student.
“It’s a shame when people rip everything out, unnecessarily, not picking and choosing what is good,” Rebecca says. “I like to work with what is existing, to be thoughtful about it, to make it work.”
It’s easy for Rebecca to see the potential in a building. After all, before the couple chose their house, they had already renovated several other homes, condos and kitchens.
For them, this one was perfect: it had good bones and required little adjustment in terms of layout. Most of the work to be done was cosmetic.
It doesn’t hurt that both Rebecca and Phil are woodworkers.