By Shelora Sheldan | Photos by Joshua Lawrence
What began as a simple kitchen renovation in Monica and Michael Miller’s 1950s bungalow in Oak Bay, evolved into a six-month-long labour of love. The resulting first-floor expansion truly celebrates the couple’s passion for colour and Mexican colonial architecture.
“We interviewed four or five designers,” says Monica, who was born and raised in Mexico City. The project truly came to life when they talked to Ines Hanl of The Sky is the Limit Interior Design Concepts. Having owned a home in Merida on the Yucatan peninsula herself, Ines was familiar with the 18th-century hacienda style the couple wanted.
“It was love at first sight!” Monica says of their creative collaboration.
Coming up with the design for the home’s interior was “a little like creating a theatre set,” Ines recalls. Her design included archways to bring architectural interest to the entryway, living room, kitchen and new dining room. Barrel ceilings were used in the entryway and kitchen to add height in order to accommodate wrought iron lighting fixtures. The expanded patio accommodates outdoor cooking and dining, and windowed patio doors maximize natural light and showcase the south-facing views of the garden
and mountains beyond.
Colour infuses this home, from the hand-painted Mexican tilework to the azure-blue appliances and painted built-in niches, which are all offset by hand-distressed wood cabinetry and textured walls.
“Even on a grey day,” Ines says, “the colours are so vibrant and emanate so much heat.”
The home is a perfect balance of old world meets new world with just the right amount of wow factor.
“It’s our sanctuary,” Monica says. “Our happy place.”
General Contractor: Abstract Developments
Interior Design: The Sky is the Limit
Millwork: Hobson Woodworks
Countertops: Vetrazzo recycled glass countertops from Floform
Appliances: Trail Appliances
Plumbing: Victoria Speciality Hardware
Windows & Exterior Door: Pella Windows & Doors
Interior Doors: Masonite through Slegg Lumber
Painting: Amira’s Painting
Tiles: Decora Tile in Victoria, annsacks.com, aventetile.com, artobrick.com