April 2, 2018

At Fairways, Zenterra’s planned community of townhomes overlooking Surrey’s Peace Portal Golf Course, designer Gene Guindon had fun with creative pairings of contrasting materials as he embraced the return of luxury and glamour.

Guindon likes to flex his design muscle by mixing and matching, incorporating materials one would find among modern decor into a more conservative setting. Velvet, which injects a touch of luxury into spaces populated by harder materials like tables and countertops, is one such element.
“​Velvet is back at the right time,” says Guindon. “ The design industry has definitely headed back to adding a little more luxury and glam.”
He notes that the return to super soft materials in home accents around the home was inevitable after the popularity of mid-century and industrial design took hold.

“There were the years when industrial and mid-century [design] was popular,” he says, and it was just a natural progression to swing back to adding some softer touches.

“This doesn’t mean industrial and mid-century are cold and out of fashion. You’ll still be seeing mid-century pieces and shapes, but pairing with velvet-covered upholstery is a perfect way to soften up an industrial end table or mid-century dining table.”
One show home features a peacock velvet Madeleine bed set against gold-spattered wallpaper, “again, pulling in that luxury touch, but not overdoing it,” Guindon says.

The hard surfaces of the kitchen provided a perfect spot for Guindon to add more velvet. He used a smoky navy blue velvet on counter stools. “They are wonderful against the stone counter and grey kitchen cabinets — a classic colour combination.”

Going glam came easy for Guindon, who says he has a preference for coupling warm materials with durable solids — like the gold and navy blue, and peacock and gold colour combinations against grey flooring, white stone and grey cabinetry in the kitchens and bathrooms.

“I have to say my favourite element used, would be the combinations of navy blue and gold and the peacock and gold.”

Guindon says he felt free to be creative and daring with materials, thanks to his guiding companion at Zenterra.

He works closely with Zenterra’s sales manager Bryanna Christopherson, who shares feedback from homebuyers. “We really try to keep [improving] each project. A lot of thinking goes into the small details.”


What: A boutique-style development of 22 townhomes in four wood-frame buildings backing on to Peace Portal Golf Course

Where: 303 – 171 St., Surrey

Residence sizes and prices: Four-bedroom, three-level homes ranging to 2,110 sq. ft.; from $769,990 (Three-bedroom homes have sold out.)

Developer and builder: Zenterra Developments Ltd.

Sales centre: 2280 163 St., Surrey

Hours: noon — 5 p.m., daily

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