“When you design a restaurant, you design with hunger in mind and create a darker space with accents of red and orange which elevate a room’s energy level. Never blue — that supresses hunger,” says Jillian Harris, designer of the PNE's 2014 Prize Home. “In residential homes, I gravitate towards the exact opposite – white, creams and neutral. I look for wow and vintage pieces that stimulate conversation.”
A piece that would be at home in a New York penthouse, the high back sectional sofa with nail head trim is fluffed with white and gray scroll pillows. Flanking it are a petrified tree stump side tables. Big in the decorating world these days, they add a rustic beauty to the home in their natural state still bearing a few cracks, nicks and knots.
It’s hard to believe that it was the lure of an electric range that excited people to buy tickets for the first prize home ever offered in Vancouver back in 1934. Today inside the 80th anniversary Prize Home, the kitchen is still a favourite for its innovative appliances and slick style.
“An integrated cappuccino maker was a no brainer,” says Jillian. “I bought one for my home too. It’s amazing. People come over and you can make them a custom cup at push of button – latte, Americano cappuccino, whatever. For the Prize Home I integrated as many appliances as possible for a streamlined feel.”
Dark brown veneer cabinetry is a beautiful contrast to the white quartz countertops with teak tractor-seat barstools. Vintage in appearance, but new from Pine Lighting, the aged brass pendants above the kitchen island with integrated wine fridge, were exactly what Jillian was looking for to suggest an eclectic vibe. Staggered stone backsplash in a Moroccan pattern complement the light gray perimeter cabinets. A walk-in pantry is a practical touch complete with wire pull out drawers.
The dining room will host many family gatherings around the whitewashed trestle dining table finished with Windsor dining chairs and a brass multi-light chandelier above. Making most of the space, a floating bar features glass-front cabinets and a modern wine display inspired by the local vineyards and winetasting opportunities in the Okanagan.
Upstairs the heavenly master retreat features a white king-sized upholstered wingback bed reminiscent of angel wings and dressed in white and taupe bedding with a few coral-coloured deco pillows. Mirrored quatrefoil night stands add interest while French doors with transom windows fill the room with weekend sunshine.
Standing on tiptoe to get a glimpse between the heads of other enthused fairgoers, to say the ensuite is gorgeous is an understatement. There’s an opulent freestanding oval bathtub, custom made floating vanity with white quartz countertop accented with cute pink towels and an invigorating shower room surrounded in stunning Woodgrain Marble – a veined polished natural stone.
While voguish on her own, Jillian admits she’s taken by the iconic boundary-pushing design of LA-based interior designer and fellow-blogger, Kelly Wearstler. As a tribute, Jillian throws in a few fun surprises, like the resin monkey bookends in the home office and whimsical art.
And in case you’re wondering, did this prize home with its wrap around deck and flirtatious style have enough soul and personality to impress Jillian’s ultimate critic?
“When I took my parents to tour the house my dad said, ‘I want this house, I want this house!’ And of course my parents can’t buy a ticket so my dad was devastated that he couldn’t win the house. I told him not to worry though, that I knew a good designer that could help him with design and make his home look just as good!”
The PNE Prize Home at 2901 E Hastings St. is open daily for viewing from 11am until late during The Fair’s duration -- August 16 to September 1. Free parking and entry at Gate 2 off Renfrew St. Tickets (5 for $25 or 15 for $50) available at the PNE, online at pneprizehome.ca or by phone at 604.252.3688. Draw date for Grand Prize is September 4, 2014.