Andrea McLean

Big Sky Beach House – Andrea McLean Studio

A stunning private residence earns IDIBC 2022 Robert Ledingham Award
Wednesday, October 12, 2022
by Cheryl Mah

Big Sky Beach House is a private residence located near Vancouver’s Kitsilano Beach that successfully takes design cues from modern Australian beach houses. The 2,400 square foot house evokes simplicity, creating a contemporary home that is cozy, and warm.

Designed by Andrea McLean Studio, the paired back approach to materiality including walnut, concrete, and linen delivered a home that is both sophisticated and relaxed.

To maximize the efficiency of the floor plans, the design employs a reverse plan with the living levels up for full access to sunlight, natural breeze and views while the bedrooms are on the ground level.

“Space limitations were a big challenge. This is a 33’w lot, so the space planning needed to be efficient. Pocket doors were used in some areas in order to limit encumbrances, and to join spaces by blurring the lines between rooms. Materiality was used consistently, in particular, the walnut millwork,” says interior designer Andrea McLean. “The millwork also allowed us to conceal storage, structure, and mechanical drops.”

The millwork, by Lauten Woodworking, is exceptional.  To achieve a rustic warm wood with character and texture, a number of flat cut Walnut veneer bundles were sourced with natural colour variation and defects from different logs. All the plumbing and appliances are white. The same tile is used in every bathroom. Every floor is concrete. The linen drapery is also consistent.

“It goes without saying that a good client relationship, and trust is essential to a successful project. What was unique with this project, is that our clients were really one of the design partners. They were very dedicated to the vision, and maintained the vision throughout the project. The result is a home that is a true representation of their aesthetic, lifestyle, and values,” she says.

The project earned double honours at the 2022 IDIBC Awards of Excellence, receiving an Award of Excellence and the Robert Ledingham Award. The firm also won an Award of Excellence and Specialty Award for White Rock Residential.

Winning the Robert Ledingham Award is an emotional and personal experience for McLean. Her first job as a junior designer was with Ledingham.

“During that time I was exposed to the highest level of design, and hard work. This time groomed me and left a lifelong impression on me. Bob was warm and giving, and extremely talented, patient, and professional,” says McLean. “He taught me the importance of interior design, and how careful observation can be applied to any design problem with a poetic outcome that betters the lives of those experiencing that environment. Yes he had impeccable taste that was unmatched but what impressed me most was that his design approach went way deeper than surface aesthetics.”




Interior Designer: Andrea McLean, RID
Photographer: Ema Peter

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