When designer Negar Ghorashi spotted this 1959 Lewis post-and-beam in the Whytecliff neighbourhood of West Vancouver, it had been in a relatively untouched state for more than 40 years. But something about its location charmed her, the way it was perched up over the water in the woods yet still a part of a small community. “We were looking for the sense of calm that comes from being so close to nature,” says Ghorashi, who moved to Vancouver from Iran in 2001. “And that sense of neighbourhood that was hard to find in other parts of West Vancouver. When we came to see this house, people were out walking their dogs, and those dogs come strolling in now if we’re home and the door is open.”

And despite the chaos on the surrounding property—she and her husband had to haul out 15 trucks’ worth of garbage and dead trees from the yard once they got to work renovating—she spotted the potential. “We could see the feel we wanted to get,” she explains, “although the home didn’t have much to offer—except for that post-and-beam ceiling. My main concern was to keep the ceiling and work around it.” She was also committed to preserving the exterior look of the home and ensuring that it was in keeping with the neighbourhood; to wit, the addition she built to increase the square footage was kept small, and it was designed to not disturb any neighbouring views.

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