Photos: Inside a Family Home with Summer-Cottage Vibes
If you love the beach, why leave?
July 19, 2018
The front door swings open and you’re greeted with fresh white walls of nautical-inspired shiplap—it’s the perfect introduction to Christy and Dan Murphy’s “big beach house” in the hills of North Vancouver. In addition to loving blue and a Cape Cod cottage aesthetic, Christy, the VP of communications at Cactus Club Cafe, says she got a lot of her home’s inspiration from vacations in California. “My dad and stepmom lived in California, so we would go down there a lot.” Her dad passed away two years ago and never got to see his daughter’s finished house, but late nights around a firepit, year-round relaxing on heated decks covered with sweeping overhangs, and the laid-back coastal aesthetic of ocean blues and weather-beaten woods—these were all elements that Christy wanted to bring into her own home to pay tribute to her dad.
A five-split eclipse door folds away to connect living and dining areas to an expansive back deck, an outdoor living room with plush white sofas, geometric-print indigo pillows and a wooden-bead chandelier. The pool wasn’t in the original plans, but daily summer use from five-year-old daughter Marlowe and her crew makes it seem more than worthwhile. Even the kitchen, a balance of navy and palatial white-with-grey-vein stone, opens wide onto a poolside bar ideal for keeping tabs on swimmers or refreshing dinner-party guests.
The Murphys’ house has become what they always envisioned: a locus for close friends and family to enjoy their slice of West Coast paradise together—where the door’s always open, the firepit’s always ready for s’mores, and a rainy day never means you have to retreat inside.
Sail Away Wide-plank wire-brushed oak flooring, plus custom wood treads and trim, warms up white shiplap in the entryway and stairwell of this beachy North Vancouver home.
Family Ties While a Gray Malin photograph of Bondi Beach channels the home’s beachy vibe, wood shelving sourced from Westport, Ontario, (the hometown of Dan Murphy’s mother) reiterates the family-first design.
Magic Kingdom Maximizing the outdoor space was paramount for Christy and husband Dan (a longtime sportscaster for Sportsnet), so a heated and generous roof shelters the family’s al fresco living room for year-round enjoyment (left).
Pool Time The Murphys worked with friends Leanne and Matt Leon of E2 Homes to bring their indoor-meets-outdoor vision to life. The pool was a late add, but daughter Marlowe makes use of it daily with her friends. From left: Logan, Emily, Ella, Marlowe and London (bottom centre).
Tropics Transported Brushed-gold hardware, smoked glass and a chic navy-and-white palm-leaf wallpaper from Serena and Lily make this one of Christy Murphy’s favourite rooms.
Ocean Blues A grey-blue grasscloth wallpaper, nautical neutral bed linens, beaded wood chandelier (a steal from Restoration Kids) and another hit of shiplap continue that shoreline feel in the master (right).
In the Navy A darker take on the home’s palette sees a deep navy kitchen balanced with large-format grey-veined white stone slabs and matching white millwork. Peach, the family pup, loves it too (bottom right).