This week on the Nodi Notebook we share the journey of the incredibly talented husband and wife duo Alyssa Lewis, founder and director of Studio Block, and Nik Andrishak, co owner of Cube Millwork's in creating a home together, the magic that is the Sound Residence.
Located in Lion’s Bay, British Columbia, Canada. With the Ocean on one side and the forest behind, this home offers an equal amount of disconnect that we all crave in todays modern world, whilst also offering a sense of belonging. Where neighbours become friends and inclusive town events take place, this home is embedded with a strong sense of connection with its community and surroundings.
The floors layered with our rugs offering a natural place of connection between people and their environment - we couldn’t think of a better home that truly echoes the essence of Nodi, Thank you Alyssa.
Below we take a peak inside this beautiful home, from the striking black cedar exterior to the calm, tranquil Scandinavian style interior. We feel at home already.
What a major project to undertake as a couple — how was it working together as a team? Any major lessons learned along the way?
It was definitely a major project to undertake as a couple! We had previously worked on a renovation together (a much smaller one) and after that felt fairly confident that we could take on a bigger project. It ended up being bigger than we had anticipated in the end but we are super happy with the results.
Working together as a team also had its share of challenges. We both run our own businesses and did this project on the side, so we really haven't had much time to relax and enjoy each other's company over the past few years while completing the project. We now both have a clear understanding of our strengths and weaknesses when working on projects like these together. The beautiful thing is that we have come to realize through the process that we compliment each other perfectly, supporting each other in what we lack and having an incredible combined skillset.
How did you embrace the original features of the home while still maintaining a modern way of living? Were there original features that were kept or restored?
The existing interior with its wide hallways and uniquely-shaped windows perfectly framing the outside environment were features of the home that initially drew us in and we ended up keeping. Other than that, the interior had been untouched for 30+ years so all of the finishes had to change and the floor plan needed to be adapted to suit modern life. Outside, the simplicity of the boxy modernist exterior was another quality we enjoyed about the home, which mostly remained the same with superficial updates— a fresh coat of black paint, new frameless glass railings, and cedar decking.
The biggest disconnect with the house as a whole before it was renovated was how the interior spoke to the exterior. We wanted to capture the modernist aesthetic that could be seen outside and transform the interiors with a similar ethos. In the end, the clean lines and simplicity of the outside was repeated inside, and only contrasting in dark and light.
What are the special touches that transform a house from being just a space, to a home where you truly belong?
The overall design of the home emphasizes simplicity, and because of that didn't really become inviting and warm until furniture and accessories were introduced. It was an exciting moment when I could finally infuse these simple spaces with a sense of home.
My style is definitely a cross between high design, democratic design, and embraces the artist. Likewise, our home speaks to my/our personal style with items I've made from furniture to artwork, artisanal objects found in my travels, and items purchased specifically for the project (our cherished Nodi rug being one of them!). In general, I/we like to be surrounded by things that are wabi-sabi in nature and often have a handmade quality to them.
To me, a home is a place of thoughtfully curated items that capture memories of your life, offers refuge from chaos with softness and ease, and encourages the passing of light, and that is what we created.
I’m sure you must have a few dos and don’ts after taking on such an enormous project together! Any suggestions or considerations for those wanting to transform a space of their own?
We both do this professionally, so I think the biggest take away for those who might not be in the industry is to hire professionals. Interior Designers are often overlooked as being decorators and not being as involved as we are. When hiring an interior design studio such as ours, Studio Block, we take your project from concept to completion and are knowledgeable about every step along the way. The results that can be achieved are vastly different and thoroughly considered. Same goes for contractors, and sub-contractors.
For those in the industry wanting to take on a similar project with a partner, make sure find ways to create work/life balance in your relationship so that the project doesn't overtake you. Also, assign roles and responsibilities early on and trust in your partners abilities to perform.
And what does the future look like? Any plans to do this again or to take on another project?
I think we both want to take a bit of a break and focus our attention on our individual companies. With that said, it won't take us long before we are itching to start up a new project as it is in our nature. We love what we do and often can't get enough of it!
Thank you Alyssa and Nik for sharing your journey with us. We are in awe of what you have created. Click here to further explore the creative interiors of Studio Block or here for our featured rug the Tasseled Wool in Dove.
Imagery by Jon McMorran Photography and Gillian Stevens Photography