When Sara Brown thinks about the best interests of her clients, she considers the words of admired British designer Ilse Crawford.
“We spend 87 per cent of our lives inside buildings,” Crawford once said. “How they are designed really affects how we feel, how we behave. Design is not just a visual thing. It’s a thought process, a skill. Ultimately, design is a tool to enhance our humanity. It’s a frame for life.”
Brown brings these principles into her work on the interiors at Lily Terrace, a new residential community from Lanstone Homes in the heritage district of Fort Langley.
“I want my clients to always feel that they are coming home to a place of comfort and warmth,” says Brown, of Sara Brown and Co.
That sense of affection for the homeowner comes through in Brown’s use of modern-country influences at Lily Terrace. Brown’s respect for heritage influences, paired with more contemporary pieces, creates a feeling of warmth.
Visitors to the display space will notice the ways in which Brown brings in unexpected touches. Notably, she places a pair of narrow shelves on to each side of the oven fan in the kitchen, a spot where visitors would usually see bulkier cabinetry. The thin metal is an elegant touch that serves as a showcase for more decorative pieces and its narrow silhouette seems to open up the entire space.
“The saying ‘it’s all in the details’ could not be more true than in this scenario,” she says. “I wanted to ensure the open shelves did not feel too bulky, hence the thinner approach.”
The developers are appealing to the tastes of downsizers and professional families who are attracted to the Fort Langley’s historical features. An artist’s rendering of a Lily Terrace living area reflects something of a modern farmhouse look, with elements such as iron light fixtures. Brown sees these features, within a palette that is otherwise contemporary and light, as part of the building blocks of the character, and the “layering and building” a story.
“Keeping the walls a warm white, and upholstered pieces neutral in a natural linen colour is a great base to start any design concept, whether it be modern or traditional. Adding texture and contrast through smaller elements begins to build that story.”
Texture and sensuality are critical, she adds. “I am a huge advocate for designing for all five of the senses. Texture is such an important part of building that story.”