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Tour a Rustic + Chic Canadian Timber-Frame

"Urban chic" meets "rustic retreat" in this Canadian timber frame.

Photography by Sean de Lima


For some, building a custom home means living the dream worlds away from everyday life. For others, that dream is realized right in their own backyard. “My clients wanted to build two houses — one in the mountains and one in the city,” says Kevin Gray, owner of Kevin Gray Interiors in Calgary. “But after looking at costs, they couldn’t take on two projects without sacrificing many of the elements they desired, so we built their mountain home in the city.”

The three-level, five-bedroom house that backs up to a river in downtown Calgary, embodies the “urban rustic” theme the owners and their team were striving for. They wanted traditional timber-frame elements, but a richer, darker look, so that was the jumping off point for the entire design, explains Gray.

“We didn’t want it to look like it was plucked out of the forest and placed in the city,” he says. “Instead, we wanted it to have an urban sensibility; a sophisticated look with eclectic notes.”

To accomplish just that, Gray started from the outside and moved in, creating contrast in colors, texture and themes. Reclaimed materials are found throughout the house, from the floors to the walls, and they’re paired with surprisingly modern touches, including copper fixtures, slate countertops and sleek lighting fixtures. Combine these furnishes with the rich furnishings in copper, gold and teal, and the result is a lesson in mix-and-match perfection.

“A timber frame project like this is always challenging because there are more details to coordinate between design and construction, which you don’t get on conventional homes, but the reward is worth it,” says Gray. “We love having happy clients who talk glowingly about their home, which is certainly the case here.”

See also A North Carolina Timber Home is Worth The Wait

Home Details

Square Footage: 4,765
Architect: McDowell & Associates, 403-245-8361
General Contractor: Koronko Custom Homes, 403-678-3340
Interior Designer; Custom Furniture Throughout: Kevin Gray Interiors, 403-453-6860
Timber Provider: Hamill Creek Timber Homes, 250-366-4320

Tour the Rustic + Urban Chic Canadian Timber-Frame