Welcome to Easy St.
As an affordable home to accommodate a family and a business over time, Easy St. lives up to its name.
The three drivers given to Deborah Ross Design Company for the design of Easy St. were family life, work life and budget. The family has two young children, runs a property development business in England and enjoys an active mountain lifestyle in Whistler, B.C. The British workday happens at the same time as children sleep and get ready for school. The design-conscious clients needed a home that allowed for the disentanglement of work/life functions, as well as a place to showcase their capacity to create a budget-conscious, up-to-the-minute space. With an eye on resale, the house needed to appeal to a wide market of future buyers in a resort. All design moves had to be valuable fiscally, practically and aesthetically.
The front door opens onto full height seven foot wide stairs which lead up to a floor to ceiling window looking straight into the forest behind the house. The staircase creates a visual and spatial divide between the offices and family home. Dark exterior siding clads the wall on the work space side of the house with white drywall on the family side. The home space and the office space are not connected on the top floor; two sets of stairs in the house add to separation of uses. Future buyers could easily repurpose the office side of the house into a mortgage helper suite.
Durable family friendly design elements include flat weave vintage carpets for sound absorption in spaces wherever kids roam, concrete floors and the aforementioned exterior cladding inside.
To maintain the $450/sq.-ft. budget, the concrete encasing the underfloor heating was left exposed with a humble machine-troweled finish. The same tile and counters throughout the house meant less wasted materials and delivery costs to Whistler. Instead of an expensive entryway chandelier, a mobile the clients can take with them was installed below a spotlight.
To avoid future expenditures, the house was designed to grow with the family. The children’s spaces contain beds and storage appropriate for adults, currently dressed down with kids sheets and filled with toys and stuffies. The plexiglass framed art works now and is sophisticated enough for a teenager. The kids’ toilet and bathroom, both equipped with mirror and sink, are separated to avoid future primping conflicts.
The living room can also evolve. Currently a playroom exists in half the living room with sight lines blocked from the rest of the living space by a built-in dining credenza and a room divider. That divider houses a TV and books on one side, toy bins and more books on the other side and is built to split apart and fit against the walls when the playroom is obsolete. A fireplace, a requisite feature in the Whistler marketplace, is also incorporated in the main floor as well as acoustic panels for sound absorption, which evoke snow-covered peaks, a solitary nod to this mountain location.
Photography by Ema Peter Photography