VANCOUVER’S MOST EXPENSIVE CONDO LISTING IN HISTORY WAS MADE BEAUTIFUL AT THE HANDS OF INTERIOR DESIGNER KARIN BOHN—WHO WAS INSPIRED BY ITS JAW-DROPPING OCEAN AND MOUNTAIN VIEWS.
WHEN Karin Bohn received a call in 2014 from a contractor to renovate a four - bedroom, five bathroom condo at Three Harbour Green tower on Thurlow Street in Coal Harbour, it seemed like a straightforward project. “The client wanted us to change the wall- paper, change the floors,” she explains over coffee at Gastown’s Mink Chocolates.
Little did the designer, who leads a team of seven out of her Gastown-based design studio, House of Bohn, know, that the minor project in the luxury development would evolve into a two-and-a-half-year-long renovation which included gutting the plan and parts of the floor plan.
Even more astounding was the fact that post-renovation, the condo, which covers three floors including two rooftop terraces and boasts 360 degree views of the North Shore mountains on the East and West side, the ocean and Stanley Park, would be listed for sale at just under $60 million dollars—at the time the country’s priciest piece of real estate. “The client, who does real estate development in Beijing, had priced it for the Chinese market. If you were to buy (a condo) like this (there), that’s what you would expect to pay,” says Karin.
Originally built in 2012, the 2016 listing represented a 254 per cent increase from the $16.6 million price tag of its previous sale in 2014. (Since the $58.8 listing, which garnered its share of media buzz in 2016, the owners opted to take the home off the market and sell it privately.)
Not a stranger to high end renovations, (her roster includes high-end residential projects and revamps of retailers including Helmet Salon and eateries Q Shi Q and Anh and Chi), Karin approached this overhaul the same way she does the others. “We start with a blank canvas and never reference a previ- ous space,” she explains.
Karin’s eclectic design esthetic is influenced by diverse cul- tures and eras, including the Chinese and German heritages of her mother and father, respectively. “I’m inspired by nature, fashion, projects don’t end up looking like the photos we picked out.”
For this penthouse, the inspiration for the colour palette and design came mainly from the view; the spectacular outdoor land- scape seen through the floor-to-double-height-ceiling windows. While the unique geometric pattern of the onyx and marble stone flooring in the foyer and the kitchen is a nod to the jagged shapes of the majestic North Shore mountains on display in the distance, the completely white onyx bathroom and naturally coated white oak in the kitchen offer a contemporary, soothing West Coast ambiance with a bit of a ’70s vibe.
Custom furniture in rich materials and earthy hues designed by House of Bohn offsets the subdued cream, tan and white colour palette of the millwork. Blown-glass statement lighting by Bocci in the living room and a Ralph Bucci copper-sheet.
chandelier over the dining room table add interest to the otherwise minimalist décor.
it didn’t come without its challenges, which included concrete pillars, making a layout change near impossible. And then there were the pea soup green floors that the client was adamant about
With its sky-high price tag, the buzz this project garnered has bolstered Karin’s design notoriety, which she’s worked hard to develop over the last ten years. Along with a hefty Instagram following, Karin now has a YouTube channel with two shows— one called which is documenting the renovation of the North Vancouver townhouse she and her husband hope will be completed in January 2018—and there is talk of a TV show on the horizon. And a very stylish horizon it is.
CONTRACTOR | STEVE HANZLICK / TRADEMARK HOLDINGS
LIVING ROOM CHANDELIER | BOCCI FURNITURE |
CUSTOM DESIGN BY HOUSE OF BOHN & MADE BY CARMEL FURNITURE DESIGNS AND BLOOM FURNITURE STUDIO
MILLWORK SOFO KITCHENS
WORDS| LISE BOULLARD, @liseboullard
PHOTOS AMANDA OSTER