“Pretty much all of the art is either mine or something I made with a friend,” she says. And as we sit at the long dining table surrounded by her creations, the Edmonton native quickly explains what brought her back from Vancouver in 2016, where she lived for five years. “I come from a big Italian family, and I really missed them, so having a big table that extends was important.”
It’s a beautiful piece, tucked up against a big-family friendly bench, and it has a great view of the property’s coolest feature: a backyard patio shelter with a wood-burning pizza oven. There was originally a fence splitting the pie-shaped yard into a thinner slice, but it seemed unnecessary when the owner’s cousin moved in next door with his family. “They love pizza, and we had decided to build this gazebo, so we laid the concrete, stained the wood and put the lights up, then just rolled the oven out onto the cement slab to enjoy.”
“We” means her and her father, who is a partner in Ackard Contractors Ltd. and bought the property while his daughter was in Vancouver. He had been mulling over what to do with it when she returned. “He actually woke up from a dream and had this vision of how to make this small property work. And I had lived in downtown Vancouver and kind of liked the smaller space.” The father-daughter duo then went to work, with dad doing the big deeds and daughter doing design over about nine months. “He was the mastermind for the layout, like situating the bedrooms on opposite sides, or putting the bathroom under the stairs, and I did all the specifics, like which products were used, how the tile should be laid out, and drawing pictures for how it should all look.”
She also included specific subtle curves that don’t so much contrast as they do soften the home’s rectangular bones. “I tried to have this modern feel that’s also very comfortable,” she explains. “From the rounded taps and sinks to the circular artwork on the walls — I call it ‘organic connections’ because they’re all separate but sort of tie together in style. In design, when something stands out, that usually means it’s not working. But when it’s done right, things seem to all fit together.” Just like family.
Ballet Edmonton’s Home Tour successfully took place on September 18 & 19, 2021. This annual fundraiser allows patrons to see inside custom homes while supporting the arts in Edmonton.