n 2012 we we’re asked to collaborate with a contractor friend to help with this amazing ‘two penthouses into one’ conversion at Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver. This was a very challenging but ultimately extremely rewarding renovation, resulting in a Georgie Award for the designer Michele Buchamer from Miccaro Designs, for her creative and breathtaking wine cellar.

The apartment owners were ideal clients; they knew what they wanted yet were open to suggestions and feedback from all of the professionals involved. The project was a true collaboration of contractor, client, designer and trades. The mood of the project was always positive and there was a consistent mutual respect between all parties involved enabling great communication and therefore outstanding results!

Permitting was the first encounter. As we were taking two separate addressed strata lots and merging them into one there was a lot of legal, strata and safety considerations to go over and therefore: delay. When we finally got the permit to go ahead the fun began…. along with the challenges of course.

Next, the main challenge we faced was the plumbing. Configuring a mechanical system on the top floor of an occupied building makes it a little tricky and also quite invasive for the neighbours below. We were fortunate enough to have amazing people downstairs, who aside from being patient with us were also extremely accommodating. On several occasions our work required us to enter the apartments below to undertake plumbing work and for the subsequent city inspections. With a little bit of neighbourly chit-chat (and a bottle of Merlot here and there), we became besties with the neighbours which allowed the collaboration to continue smoothly.

This apartment is a fully automated ‘smart home’. The Control 4 system runs everything from the light switches to the digital picture frames on the walls. The blinds can be set on a timer to automatically drop in the evening and you can turn the heat back up from your smartphone on your way home from a vacation so it’s all toasty on your arrival! Did you forget to set the alarm or turn the lights off? No problem – there’s an app for that. Pretty cool stuff!

Michele from Miccaro Designs is responsible for the stunning award-winning design. Being a long time friend of the owners it was a natural selection for them to choose to work with her. Because she knew them so well she completely understood their vision and style and was able to create (with our help of course) their unique and perfectly suited ‘decadent’ home.

Throughout this home is a presence of functional luxury. From the tile bordering the living room carpet to the warm inviting walnut millwork housing the electronic brains of the home, the feeling that emanates is one of high quality, yet homely comfort. The captivating view on the 12th floor at the end of Lonsdale Quay has been amplified with an outdoor space designed and built to complement the warm luxurious interior. It is the perfect place to have the whole family round for a summer BBQ and watch the boats cruise by or sit with a glass of wine around the gas fire pit on a winter night admiring the city lights.