EcoLux☆Lifestyle: Janie Hungerford Repurposes Heritage as Modern Luxury Living
Interior Designer Janie Hungerford has a design sensibility which combines the ease of West Coast lifestyle with a vibrant palette and a sophisticated blend of décor styles. Her expertise spans from residential to commercial projects, including complex heritage renovations.
It is at 5237 Angus Drive in a classic Shaughnessy Tudor home, where in an early morning media walk-through that the modern interior is revealed. The Tudor has undergone a three-year makeover which saw it transform from dark and boxy to a chic and comforting home now on the market for $10.68M.
While maintaining its heritage exterior, the 4,702-square-foot interior was treated to streamlined plan that includes rich woods, bubble tiles, textured fabrics, and pops of colour with artwork by the brilliant Bobbie Burgers. Hungerford and her team created a fresh family environment and a playful contrast to its textbook Tudor exterior.
This home is open and spacious each room flowing into the next. The office is quaint yet functional, the mudroom has scene-stealing Ann Sacks concrete tiles, and the chef’s kitchen is loaded with a SubZero fridge and freezer, Bosch dishwasher and Cambria countertops. Upstairs is the three children’s rooms and a master suite with private balcony, walk-in closet, and wonderfully indulgent bathroom.
As an entrepreneur and a mother of four, Hungerford thrives on a belief that a healthy work/life balance fosters a more creative environment for her team and it has been paying off. Hungerford Interior Design has been featured in leading Canadian design publications, including House & Home, Western Living, Westcoast Homes & Design, and a 10-page spread in a House & Home Makeovers 2017 special edition.
Following a degree in Film from Queens University, and an interior design diploma from the British Columbia Institute of Technology, Hungerford earned her associate’s degree from the esteemed Parsons School of Interior Design in New York City, where she learned to cultivate her creativity beyond the ordinary rules of design.
In a city where the value of heritage homes is constantly in flux, how do you feel history factors into our sense of history and community?
Vancouver has many lovely older homes that are slowly being demolished to make way for new builds and many that remain standing have fallen into disrepair. Because of this, the landscape of our city is changing. The level of detail in these heritage homes from a design and architecture standpoint, as well as the construction quality and craftsmanship, needs to be acknowledged and is often no longer appreciated.
As a 4th generation Vancouverite raising the 5th generation, I grew up in neighbourhoods filled with these beautiful homes with second staircases and hidden rooms. They were giant in scale and not only beautiful but majestic. It is from these memories I draw my inspiration. There should be a balance between history and innovation, and as a designer this mixture of old and new allows me to thrive and feel creative with each new project.
What sets the Hungerford team apart from other design companies?
At Hungerford Interior Design, we pride ourselves in creating unique spaces for each of our clients. Our design is informed and inspired by the energy of the space and the people that will live in it; the results are a reflection of who they are and what matters most to them. We do not design houses. We design homes.
We do not have a signature style. When you walk into a home we designed, you may not immediately know that we were the ones that designed it. It is important to us that each of our clients knows that they are not getting a formulaic approach to design and that their project will not look like any other.
We are not afraid to use colour in our designs if our client is open to it. We live on the West Coast, and Vancouver suffers from periods of grey in the winter. When designing for this environment, we like to use colour and light strategically to bring energy and life into the spaces. We also create spaces with neutral palettes, but ultimately the direction of our design is based on who our client is and what they love.
If you had the opportunity to work on any project in the world – what would your dream project look like?
I get to work on them all the time! If I had the chance to have free reign over the renovation of a beautiful old building in Europe that would be an incredible opportunity. I enjoyed working in New York, but never worked on a home in The Hamptons so that would also be a lot of fun and a completely different aesthetic. I love a challenge and a space that requires a lot of thought and creativity to come up with the perfect design to honour the history and fully serve the eventual use of any space.
Your studies gave you an amazingly strong background in visual arts and design – how do you marry the two and how are they reflected in your designs?
I have studied both film and interior design which are two powerful forms of visual art. In film we use light, perspective, layout, strategic thinking and the eye of the artist to bring those together in a cohesive way that is impactful to the viewer and tells a story. The same elements go into the design of a home. The difference is simply the form of media
In my studies, I discovered the art of storytelling. When we design a space, we are telling the story of the people that will live there and the building that will support them. We help create the flow of their daily lives. They influence the design and it continues to influence them long after we are gone.
I look forward to sharing more from this amazing team as they continue to create and recreate in 2018!
The Hungerford Team L to R: Bri Ragona, Ania Wilczewski, Janie Hungerford, Nico Smutylo, Alex Haukaas
Hungerford Interiors team photo by Kyrani Kanavaros.