Waterfront Living #4 – An Education in FINE DESIGN


Written By: Ashley Griffin

Occasionally, waterfront homes focus at bit too much attention on the views that surround them, thus failing to address the other important elements that enhance a home such as its layout, amenities, and those tiny design details that separate an everyday home from a truly eye-catching residence.

The opposite is true at each of the new hilltop Bayview residences in Victoria, Canada, where well-known commercial interior architect Patricia Mariash turned her attention to creating homes with interiors and amenities on par with the stunning ocean, mountain, and city views that surround them.

In particular, this three-bedroom suite represents Mariash’s extreme attention to detail and her desire to push the limits of modern design to create a home that is luxurious and yet still highly functional. Her limitless desire to create a sophisticated, high-end home shows in every inch of this 1,727-square-foot unit that boasts a state-of-the-art kitchen, two spa-like bathrooms, a powder room, and a spacious balcony that capitalizes on Victoria’s natural beauty.

After entering the home through elegant, recessed double doors, guests will find themselves drawn to the main living areas to take advantage of the views.

To make possible a home that capitalized on these vast views, Mariash focused on both how the home’s layout would look and how it would function. Rooms that would benefit from an open airy feel were placed as close to the windows as possible, while rooms that demanded privacy were placed away from them.

When deciding where to place the walls that divide these rooms, Mariash also made it a goal to create surfaces that would give the home a gallery feel to help invite in the owner’s personality.

Next, Mariash addressed the minute details that not only five this residence its character but also lend it a penthouse ambiance. Take, for example, the kitchen, where Mariash has gone above and beyond to create an appealing, functional room. Here, the appliances sit flush with the cabinets and are built-ins selected for their function, energy efficiency, and appearance. Countertops are a substantial, rich-looking double-thick granite; custom European cabinets are enhanced with high-end oak wood veneers and solid stainless steel handles that run the full length of each door or drawer.

And  though many industry insiders told her that it couldn’t be done, Mariash even sourced dark gray melamine interiors for the cabinets rather than falling back on the standard cheap white melamine interiors.

Such attention to detail is also evident in rooms beyond the kitchen, including the residence’s living and dining rooms that rest at the kitchen’s hip. The placement of these rooms creates a layout conducive to entertaining and allows that high-traffic rooms to flow into on another while taking advantage of the stunning waterfront views.

The master bedroom sits directly off the living room, giving the owner access to the balcony from the bedroom and again to the views. Plush carpeting, a well-organized walk-in closet, and the suite’s master bath lend the room greater appeal.

As is the case with the home’s second bathroom, Mariash calls the clean-lined master bath “over-the-top well-done.” Mariash fitted it with two white porcelain sinks by Caroma, GORHE bathroom tap sets, crhome bath hardware from Italian design source Columbo, and a Philippe Starck water closet. Acting as the room’s anchor, Italian porcelain limestone colored tile is artfully installed on the floors, base, and walls to heighten the room’s upscale ambiance. Additionally, custom-designed European-built cabinetry with whisper quiet doors and drawer closers gives a refined quality to the vanity when coupled with the full-panel mirror that rests above it and acts as both a backsplash and a dressing area.

Truly spa-like, the bathroom also features a surface-mounted porcelain white soaker tub for relaxation and a sleek, frameless glass shower enclosure with chrome fittings and a built-in tiled convenience bench. In the shower, Mariash used as little hardware as possible to avoid a bulky look, thus adding to the room’s appeal as a retreat within the home.

With the surrounding views and an interior that heeds both function and luxurious design, this entire home acts as a relaxing retreat from everyday life.