by Danielle Pope / Photos by Dasha Armstrong
When Becky Julseth and her family found the property they now call home, it wasn’t the house that convinced them. In fact, it may have been a clear “no” until they saw the backyard.
“It was like walking into the Butchart Gardens,” says Julseth. “I remember thinking, ‘Are you kidding me?’ The woman who lived here clearly spent her entire time gardening. There was this incredible catalpa tree with its huge elephant ear leaves and we just knew. We wanted our child to be in this backyard.”
Even though the surroundings clinched the deal, the 1949 art deco-inspired bungalow by the Gorge Waterway would need some serious revisions to work for a young family. To help with the transformation, Julseth recruited designer Raubyn Rothschild, principal of Rothschild West Design + Planning. The first pillar of the mission: bringing the beauty of the outdoors inside.
“We love the art-deco and mid-century motifs, but my 6’2″ partner was ducking through the alcoves and we realized this would be a serious renovation project,” says Julseth. “When this place was built, the garden and its tree weren’t out there and there were no windows on that side of the house. We wanted to prioritize that scene, like you would an ocean view.”
Down to the Studs
Rothschild was able to bring the family’s wish list to life with a down-to-the-studs reno that included reinventing the layout, opening the house to the backyard and creating storage to suit family needs.
“The house was very closed in, so we started on the perimeter first. We wanted to bring in light and openness to create vistas while you’re in the space, while maintaining some definition of the rooms,” says Rothschild. “Becky has such great style, but how she and her family interacted with the interior fell flat too, so we wanted to create appropriate areas for things like storage, TV and art in a way that worked for how they actually lived.”
INTERIOR DESIGNER: Raubyn Rothschild, Rothschild West Design + Planning
BUILDER/CONTRACTOR: Matt Kinnee, Kinnee Contracting
COUNTERS: Kings Granite
FLOORS: Cherry Point Hardwood Flooring
LIGHT FIXTURES: Wayfair, CB2, Illuminations
WINDOWS: Starline Windows
WINDOW COVERINGS: Ruffell & Brown Window Covering Centre
FIREPLACE: Pacific Fireplace
LANDSCAPING: Living Harmony Landscapes