By Laura Goldstein
With meticulous detailing, Kelowna based interior designer, Trisha Isabey of Isabey Interiors has created a show home – worthy residence while meeting real-life requirements for her family of four.
“I sat and drew this home, then I told my architect at Baxter Design that I wanted a meandering house,” Isabey laughs. “That meant I wanted the rooms to unfold into each other rather than in straight lines.”
And unfold they do as each room in the 6,000-square-foot Highpointe home, cleverly reveals a calculated, albeit enticing glance of the next. Entering the house built by Harmony Homes, a playful array of gigantic ceramic Pop Art red cherries by Arteriors adds a palatable punch of colour inside six wall niches and a witty take on the Okanagan’s celebrated fruit and wine abundance.
Then your jaw drops.
The spectacular, open-concept living room immediately brings the Valley and Lake Okanagan inside through floor-to-ceiling windows soaring two storeys in height. Opposite, a floating glass and hardwood staircase leads to family bedrooms from a 2ndfloor catwalk that gives a birds – eye view over the entire main floor.
“I wanted to be able to see from the front door all the way outside,” Isabey of Isabey Interiors explains. “I wanted a home built for two things: We love to entertain so the main level is built for guests. That means kids’ bedrooms can’t be near the kitchen and dining room as they were in our last home where noise drove everyone crazy, because they go to bed early. The rest of the home is very family- oriented so it’s the perfect separation of the two.”
Keeping a parental eye on her children ages 7 and 10 was also a priority especially with a pool outside. The rectangular kitchen features a “Take-Out” counter with barstool seating that overlooks the pool. Large accordion-folding Nano windows open to hear her children and their friends playing and also through which snacks or lunch can be passed to kids in wet bathing suits without them having to run inside. “My goal was to have the kids enjoy being kids outside as much as possible,” she says. The mini putting green, (a salute to her husband Kevin, a former golf pro,) adds to the outdoor fun.
A home office also overlooks the outdoor pool and will do double -duty as a guestroom if a grandparent needs main floor accessibility in the future.
“I’m a ‘no device Mom’ especially at the kitchen table and I wanted to make it as conducive to conversation as possible,” Isabey relates. Working with award-winning Kelowna kitchen designer, Carolyn Walsh, they planned a family -friendly gathering place in which the four sat across from one another. “We did an eating bar off-set from the island in hardwood that makes it look like it flows into the walnut floor seen in both the kitchen and in the living room,” explains Isabey. High-gloss white cabinets are balanced with matte charcoal grey. Texture is accomplished for the backsplash in an innovative combination using wallpaper between fusion glass. “Dan Ransom of Fusion Glassworks in Kelowna fused a European wallpaper called Micabetween two pieces of glass and it gives such an interesting look,” Isabey relates. “First we experimented with fabrics and then I said, ‘let’s try wallpaper ’and I brought him about a dozen. It’s such a cool idea because you don’t have to worry about grout lines and it’s super easy to clean with Windex.”
Ironically, Isabey’s intuitive artistic talents seemed to have sprung from an untapped well of creativity. An investment advisor by trade for 15 years, she switched careers to interior design five years ago when a friend asked her to design a commercial show suite. The rest, as they say, is self-taught history, and her passion has blossomed into Isabey Interiors, a six-person interior design firm specializing in commercial, residential, and hotel luxury living.
No worries about having to call guests twice to dine. A dazzling sculptural hand-cut brushed gold and pewter, crystal -ringed Vaasapendant from Cameron Design House in London, England, entices everyone into the dining room. Isabey had two wine fridges built into either side of one wall and created floating shelving on another using aircraft cable. She was presented with a 2018 Gold Tommie Award from the Okanagan’s building industry for this innovative room design.
Isabey loves splashes of bold colour and while her living room seating arrangements exude relaxation, the rooms come alive with spectacular limited edition photographs of colourful landscapes by Australian fine art photographer, Peter Lik.
“I think I really planned this house out well because it addresses lifestyle on each level,” she explains. For example, the lower level is a gathering space for all ages: a graded home-theatre is open concept with a casual seating area nearby, a full gym for workouts and a large playroom off a hall is filled with toys and costumes for kids to dress-up.
On the 2nd floor, towering sculptural containers of potted orchids on the catwalk help differentiate the spaces between rooms. “This part of the house is all for family,” affirms Isabey. “From the den where we can cuddle with the kids and watch TV,” (a kitchenette with coffee maker and dishwasher hidden behind a partition is her indulgence,) through halls filled with framed baby photographs, unify to create an unpretentious sanctuary.
“You know, I like to utilize every room and in order to do that you need to think about your lifestyle first,” says Isabey of Isabey Interiors. “We want our kids to grow up in this home – I’ve already planned where they’re going to park their first car!”