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kitchen designed by Riesco & Lapres in a home in Point Grey, Vancouver (Shai Gil/Shai Gil)
kitchen designed by Riesco & Lapres in a home in Point Grey, Vancouver (Shai Gil/Shai Gil)

Designers reveal secrets behind their style Add to ...

Nancy Riesco and Rebecca Lapres are the duo behind Vancouver’s Riesco & Lapres Interior Design. The Globe asked them to reveal the colours, materials and secrets behind their style.

Paint colour: Benjamin Moore’s Soft Chamois OC-13 for walls. It’s one of those “whites” that can be described like a good red wine: “well balanced with a velvety structure.” It goes with anything.

Front-door colour: Front doors are another thing altogether. We like a statement that says “you will want to know the family behind this door.” Two of our favourites are Benjamin Moore Baby Fern 2029-20 and Citron 2024-30. These colours are visible through the greyness of our fall and winter weather on the West Coast and bloom like our gardens in spring and summer.

Countertop material: Honed white engineered stone is our go-to in a kitchen. It’s timeless, resilient and – regarding style – infinitely versatile. In a master bath, we love to use Statuario marble – the warm, dramatic patterning of the gold and grey veining is elegant and dramatic, and works in both modern and traditional interiors.

Tile: At the moment, encaustic cement tile from the Cement Tile Shop, the Geometric Collection.

Furniture: We both love the Lima chair by Tacchini, and Lee Industries’s modern interpretation of a wing-back chair.

Best way to make a room feel spacious: Furnish it in neutral tones punctuated by bright points of colour, or by painting walls, ceiling and trim white and using furniture with slender profiles and limited ornamentation. Choosing large pieces (sofas, buffets) with exposed legs allows for one’s sight to move through the piece and cuts down on “visual weight.”

Favourite lighting trick: Not a terribly exciting “trick,” but we put dimmers on all overhead lights, and we use lots of floor and table lamps – spaces can be defined by the pools of light that wash them. Use pierced metal lanterns in an entry or bedroom. When switched on, the pattern of light that is dispersed throughout the room is magical.

Best DIY projects: Covering an existing lampshade in a patterned fabric; painting a ceiling in an unexpected colour; and bringing autumn branches into the house.

Best use of $500: Buying a (new or used) bookcase for your living or dining room and filling it with books and objects; sewing a wide border of contrasting fabric to the bottom of your old drapes; or replacing your kitchen faucet or cabinet hardware.

Our design rule: It’s our client’s home, not ours! Design your clients’ home to be the best space for them. There is no room for ego.

Signature room: This kitchen in Point Grey, on the west side of Vancouver, blends different eras and styles of design with natural materials in a clean and very balanced way. Each element was carefully chosen to create a happy mix, but without creating visual clutter. The Jielde pendants are new but the design has been the same since 1953. The bar stools are a new modern design, but they have a hand-hewn look. In the background you see unpretentious flowers arranged in a free-form style in bottles and various vases in front of a wall hung “salon-style” with various styles, sizes and value of art, in different styles of frames. The mix of colour, texture and shape is very important to us; there must be a harmonious balance of all three.

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