Photos: Inside a Family Home with Summer-Cottage Vibes

If you love the beach, why leave?

July 19, 2018

By Julia Dilworth / Photo: Kyoko Fierro

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.


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Photo: Kyoko Fierro

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.

Photo: Kyoko Fierro

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.

Photo: Kyoko Fierro
Photo: Kyoko Fierro

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).

Photo: Kyoko Fierro

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).

Photo: Kyoko Fierro

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.

Photo: Kyoko Fierro

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).  

Photo: Kyoko Fierro

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).

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