17.8.11

Luxury Home

“An upfront interview process allows this Vancouver design firm to meet
all the design needs of busy professionals”.
Luxury Home

Luxury Home Patricia Gray IncPATRICIA GRAY INC
story by Romy Schafer
photos by Roger Brooks

For nearly 30 years, Patricia Gray of Patricia Gray Inc. has been creating one-of-a-kind residential installations for individuals too time-pressed to contemplate their design wants and needs, much less deal with the inherent challenges of renovating a room or entire home. “Most of the clients I work with are busy professionals, so I handle all the details for them,” says Gray, principal of the Vancouver-based design firm, which has executed projects in the United States, Canada, Japan, Singapore and Africa.


“All the details” typically range from ascertaining a client’s needs and wants to designing custom furnishings to arranging amenities. “I offer a complete service for my clients—everything that’s required in making a space personalized for them,” she says, noting that she also does full design-build project management.

LUXURY HOME PATRICIA GRAY INC 1Thousands of sheets of silver leaf were hand applied to the recessed ceiling, reflecting the crystal chandelier, sunlight through the floor-to-ceiling windows and the water of False Creek.

Gray’s recent installation at Vancouver’s The Erickson—a 17-storey residential tower designed by and named for world-renowned architect Arthur Erickson—illustrates her complete-service approach. When a busy San Francisco couple commissioned Patricia Gray Inc. to turn their spacious two-bedroom, three-bath condominium into a second home for impromptu visits, the designer looked to a luxury, five-star hotel for her inspiration. “They wanted a home that they could come to on the spur of the moment and everything would be ready for them,” she explains. “I set up flower delivery, maid service, laundry service and concierge service, so the clients can just send emails [to these service providers] when they decide to come to Vancouver. When they leave, the maid service cleans everything up.”

LUXURY HOME PATRICIA GRAY INC 2Limestone countertops and backsplashes, SieMatic cabinets and Miele appliances give the kitchen a modern, European look.

So how does Gray, an award-winning designer who studied at the Parsons School of Art and Design in Paris and the University of Ferrara in Italy, determine clients’ design preferences and needs—something they often don’t know themselves? “I arrive at that through my extensive interview process,” she explains. “I ask them how they’re going to live in their space, what their entertainment requirements are, what their family requirements are [and so on]. Then, I get to know them, and the style evolves by osmosis.”

Thoroughly acquainting herself with clients’ lifestyles at the project’s onset enables Gray to develop a complete design concept for them, “so they know exactly what their home is going to look like when it’s finished, before we even start,” she says. “Everything’s designed and priced. Then, they approve the concept and the budget, and I proceed from there,” ultimately handing over a completed, customized new home.

But, as every experienced designer knows, the journey from the initiation of a project to its completion can be filled with challenges. “There’s a lot of coordination to do with all the different suppliers and sub trades involved,” Gray explains. “It’s one thing to be able to design something very beautiful, and it’s another thing to be able to execute it. The great challenge is in the execution—it’s like putting together a gigantic jigsaw puzzle. All the pieces have to fit together, and everybody’s got to work together to bring it to fruition.”

LUXURY HOME PATRICIA GRAY INC 3Adjacent to the kitchen, accordion-style doors open the entire 20-foot width of the balcony. Views of the downtown Vancouver skyline and the mountains can be seen in the distance. Patricia Gray Inc. custom pillows in Sunbrella fabric. 

For Gray, working with high-level tradespeople and artisans is key to a successful, problem-free renovation. “I have quite a wonderful group of people that I’ve built up over the years that can execute my designs,” she says. “I think that’s one of the bonuses my clients have in me—my intellectual knowledge, all the years of experience I’ve had and having the right people working with me. I have a wonderful contractor who I can totally count on. Everyone I work with shows up when they’re supposed to and completes their jobs on time and on budget.”

Creating custom-designed furnishings like tables, seating, media and wall units, pillows and artwork further enables Gray to create personalized spaces for clients. “I have a millwork company, an upholstery workroom, a drapery workroom,” she explains, adding, “What I do is very unique and very specific for each client. I like to think of my design as couture. Everything is custom-designed and made specifically for each client.”


This penchant for designing home furnishings has led to a new business venture for Gray: a line of custom furniture based on some of the limited edition, custom pieces that she’s created for past projects. At press time, possible manufacturing partners and marketing initiatives for the line were still being worked out, according to Gray.

LUXURY HOME PATRICIA GRAY INC 4The master bedroom is on a corner, with windows along two walls. Patricia Gray Inc. custom motorized silk draperies and roller shades control the natural light reflecting from the silver leaf ceiling. The linens are by Frette bedding with an Hermes throw and Patricia Gray Inc. pillows made with Jim Thompson fabric.

Creating elegant, personalized spaces will no doubt continue to be Gray’s métier. When asked what she considers the most rewarding part of her job, she quickly responds, “When I hand over the completed project to my clients—when all the months of work are finished, and they see everything in its beauty and perfection.”

Discover more about Patricia Gray.

PATRICIA GRAY INC is an award winning interior design firm writing about lifestyle and
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2011 © Patricia Gray | Interior Design Blog™

33 comments:

  1. The silver-leafed ceiling is something I have never seen before. The reflected light fills the room it a spectacular way: almost as though it were floating.

    Anna

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  2. I remember years ago seeing a silver leaf dining room ceiling made from tea paper squares. It was in the NYC apartment of Mary Tyler Moore and it was stunning. Obviously, it made an impression on me, because I believe it was in the mid-1980s and I never forgot how it looked. It still is a classic idea, in my opinion, beautifully executed here.

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  3. Cate Emond18/8/11

    Hi Patricia!

    I absolutely loved the photos of your design project, specifically the kitchen and the balcony shot.

    Cheers,
    Cate

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  4. This project and story says it all. I had the opportunity to work closely with all those sheets of silver leaf and see the project transform.
    Patricia is amazing at describing her vision to a trade quality, perfection and meet the deadline.
    Thanks for having me involved :)

    Darrell Morrison

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  5. Renae18/8/11

    Beautiful Patricia, just beautiful.
    xx

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  6. Hi Patricia,
    I've been a fan for quite some time now and I must say, the spaces you've created are spectacular! What stands out for me is that your creations are all so varied and unique and obviously tailored to the clients taste and needs. You must be a good listener (which is hard to find). The kitchen is beautiful and will go into my file for inspiration!
    Kim

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  7. This is a beautiful design, Patricia. Congrats on the wonderful story.

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  8. Wonderful blog, posts, pictures...all of it is most inspiring.
    Greetings,
    -Eva Maria

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  9. Diane Farirs Gallery Vancouver18/8/11

    Favulous! Now let’s get you to do one featuring ART for a blog for us!!!!!!

    You do this better than anyone….

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  10. Hi Patricia; So pleased to read your blog. You have done such fabulous work and I am so proud of you. Love you lots Auntie Anne

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  11. Patricia,

    Congrats on a wonderful project, great article, and I agree the prize is the look in your clients eyes at the end of a magical collaboration...bliss. All is well at that point in time.

    Bette

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  12. Duxburys19/8/11

    BEAUTIFUL!! : )

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  13. Patricia, I love, love this residence. The silver leaf ceiling is fabulous, The bedroom and that view, oh my! Bravo!

    xoxo
    Karena

    Art by Karena

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  14. Must be a great interior designer, those rooms are gorgeous. Thank you for sharing this post!

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  15. I always like a room with a view. It makes me feel like I'm on a different place each time I wake up in the morning. Excellent interior designs!

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  16. Simply stunning. Mind you, the view helps, not only with the look, but the influence too!

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  17. Anonymous4/9/11

    "Exceptional homes for EXCEPTIONAL people"
    For ordinary people is only but a dream. wow

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  18. Patricia your blog is beutiful!! I loved spaces you have created and I found the room with the balcony amazing!! thanks for sharing this wonderful posts and making us dream....

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  19. Very inspiring project - thanks for posting this. Your blog is a work of art.

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  20. This is a really beautiful home

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  21. Great post..............! This work is very nice!!! Your blog provided us with important information to work with. Great home decorating creates a beautiful home that is a reflection of your lifestyle. . I learned many things from your post. Thanks...........!

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  22. Fluff8/10/11

    Love this quote: "It’s one thing to be able to design something very beautiful and it’s another thing to be able to execute it"

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  23. Wow, beautiful design. The balcony is amazing! so serene.

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  25. I cant express my feelings that how much i like yyour interior designs,Out standing and fabulous!

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  26. Love the view :) And really nice interior.

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  27. Really great designs - bella!

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  28. This is the apartment i have always dream. Specially the balcon area.

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  29. This is a Very beautiful design, Patricia. Congrats on the wonderful story.

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  30. Hi there.. Em totally impressed with the interior of this home. And I think that this 1 is best for a family..
    luxury Homes In Minnetonka

    ReplyDelete

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