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May 4, 2024

new trends in home decor

New build Burfield Townhouse by Meranti Developments LTD. for Charmaine and Edward Clarke. Photo by Dom Koric Photography

Transforming older homes in Sun Peaks into modern mountain sanctuaries involves a delicate balance of preserving the best of traditional charm while infusing contemporary elements for comfort and style. 

Efficiency renovations may include updating infrastructure, such as heating, insulation and windows, while modernizing with smart home technology and sleek finishes can elevate the property’s appeal. For those seeking more affordable options, refreshing ski resort properties can involve simple, yet effective updates such as painting walls to brighten interiors, refinishing wooden floors for a fresh look and incorporating cozy textiles like faux fur throws and cushions for a warm ambiance. 

Artist Charmaine Clarke is an interior designer helping Sun Peaks homeowners achieve their aesthetic and practical goals. Exemplified by her own Burfield duplex built by Meranti in 2018, Clarke personally favours the modern mountain mojo with a hint of country charm. 

“Design elements are harmonious with the use of lines throughout, both horizontal and vertical,” she explained. “The red wall is a conversation piece and primary accent in the home.” 

When creating concepts for others, whether it’s a forever home or a second home, she strives for a unique vibe reflective of the owners’ personality, needs and lifestyle. 

Sun Peaks Homes from the early aughts to today 

“Most homes or vacation rentals in Sun Peaks were built in the early 2000s when the resort saw a significant increase in demand for rental properties,” Clarke said. “If you have had the opportunity to visit most of these places like I have, you see a common trend amongst most builds.” 

Dated elements typically include fireplaces of river rock with low square gas fires, pine or cherry wood trim and doors, bulky furniture, laminate countertops, walls painted in terracotta, yellow or green, multi-coloured slate field tile, carpet or dark wood floors and dim, warm lighting. 

“Fast forward 24 years to now, and we are starting to see a completely different trend,” she said. “We have moved on from the pine and moody browns and have adopted a fresher, cleaner look by incorporating more whites, grays and neutrals.” 

Fireplaces have gone linear, using masonry or tile with electric fires. Pristine white for trim and doors brightens up the home and is easy to accent. Kitchens sport granite or quartz countertops with grey or light tile, which is also reflected in bathrooms. Walls are neutral, sometimes with a splash of colour or wallpaper as an accent feature, just like in Clarke’s own home. Laminate or vinyl flooring, which is more durable than carpet is trending and LED lighting, which uses less energy, makes homes bright. 

Merging modern elements with existing traditional trappings is also popular. This could involve preserving original architectural features like exposed beams or stone fireplaces, while adding fresh furnishings and fixtures for a seamless blend of old and new. 

Ultimately, the goal is to create inviting retreats that embrace both the rustic allure of the mountains and the comforts of contemporary living, appealing to winter enthusiasts and summer adventurers alike. 

Goodbye maximalist, hello minimalist 

From the antiquated dark and over-sized direction, furniture has morphed to minimalist. 

“By focusing on the ‘less is more’ approach, contractors and designers have succeeded in providing homeowners with a more modern and welcoming space,” Clarke explained. “The simplicity of the design also gives homeowners far more freedom to accent the space to suit their personal taste without conflicting with any of the existing elements.” 

Working with Meranti Developments Ltd. for the last five years on larger scale interior projects, she has also developed a long list of tips for cosmetic upgrades. 

“A fresh coat of paint goes a long way – something neutral and light in colour can change the entire look and feel of a home,” she pointed out. “Ornaments and trinkets can clutter a room, simplify your space! Throw pillows, accent rugs and blanket throws can freshen up a room and add a splash of colour, comfort and softness to a space…..but don’t get too carried away!” 

With the plethora of local artists choosing Sun Peaks as home, she suggests reaching out for original artwork, prints and photography – Lone Wolf Gallery, Alpine Images and ArtZone Sun Peaks are great resources. Handmade artisanal tables can create an instant wow factor, sprucing up any living room. For example, the wood and resin dining, coffee and end tables made by custom furniture specialists, Canyon Ridge Studio in Kamloops. 

On the outside of Sun Peaks’ homes

Gear and mud rooms are vital for sporty Sun Peaks Home Owners. Photo by Dom Koric Photography
Gear and mud rooms are vital for sporty Sun Peaks Home Owners. Photo by Dom Koric Photography

For the warmer months, decks and patios are important – a relatively easy fix is to find a large outdoor accent rug. 

“Something durable and easy to clean,” Clarke advised. “Avoid boxy, closed-off patio furniture which small animals can nest in – instead get chairs with legs.” 

She recommends a fire bowl or fire table for cool alpine summer nights. String lights with glass or plastic bulbs add ambiance. Any plants should be alpine-friendly as they need to be able to cope with dramatic temperature fluctuations, and patio doors need to be high quality to withstand mountain elements. 

With many homes in rental pools for significant segments of the year, there are many Sun Peaks homes-specific requirements. 

For example in condos, lock-up storage for owners or cages in communal garages. In townhouses, garages with ski racks, shelving and electric vehicle hook-ups, and for all, ample parking spaces. 

With owners, renters, cleaners and various services coming and going, effective shareable door lock systems are vital. Smart technology has recently entered this arena. A new collaboration between Schlage and Airbnb, is simplifying entry and exit logistics for hosts and travellers. 

Through this integration, access codes are delivered via the Airbnb app, streamlining the check-in and check-out process. Hosts can also extend a guest’s reservation as needed in the Airbnb app, and the code will automatically update to remain active through the updated reservation length. 

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