Multiplexes are coming to BC, are you ready for the change?

Lot multiplication is forced by the BC government, is this the right solution for our society? #MULTIPICATION

There has been much news about construction happening in the province, especially after new demand from the BC Government forced municipalities to add densification to their single-family homes.

June 2024 is the deadline for municipalities in BC to change their single family home zoned lots to multifamily so they can support 4 units or up to 6 units in some areas.

North Vancouver Modern home designer

Vancouver Multiplex home designer

I’d like to explain a bit more so every citizen knows their rights under the new bylaws.
Everyone needs an accommodation to live in. Some people buy a condo or rent one, and others buy land, or old homes and convert them to their needs; and others buy newly built ones.
Though, today’s topic will focus mostly on single family home lots, as most municipalities¬†call them ‚ÄėRS-1‚Äô.
Some municipalities, like the city of Vancouver, have changed their bylaw, and all single-family lots can be built in multi-units of three to four and, in some cases, up to six, and all sold separately to different homeowners.
But would that apply to all lots, or rather, every lot has to follow that?

Difference between single family lots and multiplexes:

Easy renovation

Fourplex homes are coming soon!

Traditionally, each single-family lot was eligible to build:
1. One house in a lot
2- One house with a legal secondary suite under one ownership
3- One house with a legal secondary suite plus a laneway home under the same ownership (in some municipalities, the allowed units were only two units. That means if you had a laneway home, you shouldn’t have a legal secondary suite on the same house)
But with the new bylaw that has been demanded by the BC Government to municipalities, the following units can be built along with the three mentioned above: Considering the fact that all municipalities are reviewing their bylaws and are under revision until June 2024.
4- A duplex unit on a lot sold to two separate owners
5- A triplex on a lot sold to three separate owners
6- A triplex home plus a laneway home on the back sold to four separate owners
7- If the property is close to a major transit connection, the lot can have six-unit buildings, and the ownership as a rental is under negotiation.
For all the options above, before closing a contract with a contractor, have your designer or architect confirm your preferred lot condition as well as your preferences, and then you can establish your contract with your home builder.
The architectural drawings are the first issue to be resolved under this frequency. There are many other drawings and engineers involved during your building permit applications, and someone has to take care of them all for you.


What defines a building? 

Designing a building is not just locating different rooms based on their functionalities and making a box to house people. (this might be a common practice in some countries or done by many developers who don’t care about society.)
But I want to ask my readers, are you looking for a shelter to house you, or do you want to live in a home that can satisfy your soul, provide comfort, and fulfill your happiness?

A society in which the government and developers just care about creating shelters without fulfilling human needs, learn the lesson the hard way by experiencing unhappy people.

Neglecting community building leads to family issues, crime, suicide, and abuse..

AI is an exceptional tool to be used by humans who can create a place to live, work, and thrive. to enjoy life and create memories, to grow old and have fun with other members of the community, and to contribute to society.


What do you need to supply to the city for a building permit?


The drawings to submit to the city are as follows:
1. Lot survey drawing (done by a professional survey engineer)
2. Architectural drawings, which include floor plans, elevations, cross sections, details, and code-related information. A professional designer can provide up to four units in a lot.
3- Landscape drawing or arborist report if there are trees involved on the property
4- Energy report provided by a professional energy advisor to present the building meeting new code requirements
5- Structural drawings with required details
6- Structural paperwork and schedules
7- Interior design drawings for the better understanding of the homeowner to learn about the finished products (not required by the city permit)
The electrical load calculations should start soon at the design stage if there is a requirement for an electrical panel upgrade from 200 to 400 amps. The paperwork should start soon as this process will take some time as well.
Different municipalities have different timelines for going over the provided documents, and some are more strict than others in some aspects of these documents.
If you are busy and don’t want to get involved with all the paperwork, have your designer apply for the permit on your behalf. They will have to fill out a form supplied by the city to allow that person to act on your behalf. (your agent)
In that case, the agent will let you know of any special changes required or any payment requests by the city and they will manage it in a much more hassle-free and less time-consuming manner for you.


I would like you to share your thoughts and let me know what you think. Our homes and our workplaces mean so much more to us than a shelter and a place to perform a work activity. So we have to take care of them as best as possible.
Do you believe AI can do the job?


Share your thoughts here

Do(es) AI replace architects?

Have you used AI in your line of work or entertainment? #AI

We all know the new buzzword these days is AI and how it is replacing many jobs. Every industry is already using AI or is in the process of implementing it.  

Architects and building designers are experiencing improvements in presentations and even design using AI technology.

contemporary interior design

contemporary interior design

We can see the improvements that AI brings across the board to different sectors, including 3D rendering, that are jaw-dropping. But to be honest, can an AI do a good job designing a workplace or living space to suit your needs?
It depends on who you ask. If you ask a developer who just wants to cut costs and make more profit from every bit and piece of the project without caring about the comfort of the tenants. Then, yes, AI can be an excellent tool for generating the most efficient sets of drawings to meet the local zoning and building codes in a fraction of the time and cost.
However, this comes with the enormous sacrifice of losing creativity and human touch.

Should we let our lives be run by Science?

North vancouver interior designer

North Vancouver interior designer

You see, AI is being created by right-sided brain people (scientists), and based on science, the world around us is created by matter (or quantum physics, which believes all existing things are from energy). Basically, our five senses (touch, seeing, hearing, taste, and smelling) allow us to experience whatever exists in three shapes: solid, gas, or liquid.
What science cannot describe and is lacking are the sensations we experience as humans. The laughter on cracking a joke, the experience of the first kiss, the joy of sipping your favourite drink while sitting on a balcony watching the kids playing, or the experience of touching the skin of loved ones can not be comprehended by AI or science.
If science and AI cannot understand these emotions and sensations, how you would allow them to provide a service to you to duplicate these feelings?

What defines a building? 

Designing a building is not just locating different rooms based on their functionalities and making a box to house people. (this might be a common practice in some countries or done by many developers who don’t care about society.)
But I want to ask my readers, are you looking for a shelter to house you or do you want to live in a home that can satisfy your soul, provide comfort, and fulfill your happiness?

multi-generational home

multi-generational home

A society in which the government and the developers just care about creating shelters without fulfilling human needs, learn the lesson the hard way by experiencing unhappy people.

Neglecting community building leads to family issues, crime, suicide, and abuse..

AI is an exceptional tool to be used by humans who can create a place to live, work, and thrive. to enjoy life and create memories, to grow old and have fun with other members of the community, and to contribute to society.

What do you think?

I would like you to share your thoughts and let me know what you think. Our homes and our workplaces mean so much more to us than a shelter and a place to perform a work activity. So we have to take care of them as best as possible.
Do you believe AI can do the job?


Share your thoughts here

Express And Celebrate Cultural Diversity Through Design

How do you express and celebrate the cultural diversity in your community? #StopAsianHate

Vancouver has an amazing cultural mosaic. The multicultural society shaped within the last century has been woven of many cultures around the world. This makes Vancouver one of the most desirable cities in the world for the past several years in a row.

We celebrate our diversity and enjoy living in a neighborhood comprised of Indian, Chinese, Caribbean, Iranian, Korean, Philippians, Japanese, and so many other nations.

We are so lucky to have the best of the whole world in one city. The diverse culture creates a lively, vibrant society and offers peaceful life under one flag.

As a home designer, I had the privilege of working with representatives of many different cultures and learning a lot from each. I grew to understand their lifestyle, their beliefs, and what makes them different. I learned how to design their home to align their culture and life philosophy with modern technology and limitations.

It’s a marriage between ancient philosophy and modern lifestyle. Without our city’s extraordinary diversity, I wouldn’t have been exposed to such rich cultures, and that means having no chance to expand the horizons and enrich my design with new approaches.

For instance, I designed and build a laneway house and their main house renovation for a Chinese client with many strong ties to Feng Shui. Not only have we learned how to corporate together and get along, but I also discovered a philosophy of health, peace, and harmony that helps me improve the well-being of all my new clients

Express And Celebrate Cultural Diversity Through Spiritual Harmony

Chinese temple detail

Feng shui is not the new word in the world of interior design. It represents an ancient Chinese philosophy that helps people find balance in the way they live their lives. Harmonizing your spirit also means harmonizing your lifestyle, and that includes the space you live in. Feng shui is about merging living spaces with nature through spatial design. 

It’s based on the idea of the living force every person shares with other living things. The name is Qi (“chee‚ÄĚ), Ki, or Prana, and marks the life energy that connects everything in nature. It exists in every cell, flows throughout our minds, souls, and bodies, providing vitality and the unique feeling of being alive. A person with balanced energy is filled with joy and zest for growth.

But what about Prana? 

That’s where things are getting even more interesting. As I learned from another client, a big believer in Buddhism, Prana is not much different than Qi. It’s a Hindu philosophy based on harmonizing life energy through yoga, natural medicine, and meditation. Hindu literature often describes Prana as the energy we receive directly from the Sun.

Both clients desired the same: specific implementation of design principles in order to promote well-being and harmony, allowing their energy to flow undisrupted throughout their homes, in order to improve their overall quality of life.

The History of Feng Shui

Celebrate the diversity

The concept of feng shui has been gradually finding its way in the Western interior design world for the past several decades. However, its origins are very ancient. The oldest traces are leading to tombs dating back as far as the Neolithic Age. Some feng shui principles have been easily recognized in their construction. 

It’s not surprising, if we know that the philosophy originates in astrology. Most ancient cultures designed burial plots to mirror the order of celestial objects, such as stars. Through time, the practical body of the philosophy found more ways into daily life, eventually spreading into modern assets like interior design and urban planning all around the planet.

When we celebrate cultural diversity in the right ways, we discover similarities rather than differences, reaching the roots that connect us all.

What Connects Feng Shui And Well-Being Philosophies 

The name feng shui comes from the two words that mark two essential elements of life. Feng means wind (air) while Shui means water. The phrase itself comes from an ancient poem celebrating the connections between nature, human life, and all its environment.

The fundamental approach is to allow qi to flow through your home, eliminating all possible disruptions on its way. Feng shui has many principles to follow, and those may include everything from furniture design to precise placing your plates and glasses. 

Perhaps the most well-known principle is how to position the bed. According to Feng Shui, you should never place a bed under a window. However, it’s OK to place it against the wall next to a window, or even better -between two windows. The secret is in the symmetry. It supports the flow of the chi energy without disturbing your sleep.

Now, where do we find the principles of symmetry in our world? Not surprisingly, in the origins of modern architecture. 


 What Vitruvius called the “proper agreement between the members of the work itself” is nothing else than symmetry. The ancient Greek philosophy knew the word “symmetros” meaning “measured together.” Our modern English word “proportion” is derived from the Latin word “proportio” which describes the relationship of the parts/segments/portions. In short, the ideals of beauty and harmony all grow from the same roots and keep connecting us for thousands of years, from the times when the world was much bigger. 

 And yet, today, when you can go around the world in a day, instead to celebrate cultural diversity as a common heritage, we put walls in our minds and barriers in our souls.

Harmony Is All Around Us 

We have long adopted the staples of beauty as the matter of symmetry and proportion above all. Today, humans all around the world spend large amounts of money in an attempt to achieve the ideal body, ideal face, ideal environment. The fact is, symmetry and proportion are, virtually and literally, part of our DNA.

Designing the perfect building or a perfect interior is strongly related to the human body. All parts must be put together meaningfully, but it can happen in many ways. One thing is certain – all outcomes depend on proportion, and the best ones are rooted in symmetry.

The Harmony of Contrasts

Abu Simbel, Egypt

Ancient Egyptian art is consistently admired mostly due to the value ancient Egyptians placed on harmony and symmetry. Its perfection comes from the cultural value of ma’at – which literally translates as “harmony” – which was central to the ancient Egyptian civilization. Ma’at was in everything, from the social order to every creation. The “oneness” was the symbol of ‘chaos’ while the gods introduced duality. The ma’at, the universal principle of harmony in ancient Egypt, dwells in the contrasts: day and night, male and female, light and dark.

Or, as the ancient Chinese Feng Shui philosophy would say – yin and yang. 

The philosophy of yin and yang is a concept of duality. In it, the opposite forces connect and must work in tandem in order to create true harmony. Yin is passive, subdued, soft energy, while yang is progressive, aggressive, and bold.

And then, there is also wabi-sabi. Traditional Japanese aesthetics that is taking over the world by storm is based on the acceptance of imperfection. It’s a philosophy of appreciating the beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete” in nature, where it exists and occurs. The principles of Wabi-Sabi lay on asymmetry, but also on the appreciation of both natural objects and the forces of nature. In short, it tends to find harmony in perfect simplicity. 

So once again, why we tend towards chaos and oneness when the true well-being lies in the harmony of contrasts?

Express And Celebrate Cultural Diversity For More Colorful Tomorrow 

Celebrate the diversity - the power of symmetry

People who see diversity as adversity sometimes are led by fear and a lack of self-confidence. We need to try and see the matter from a different perspective. Fear of the unknown leads to ignorance, and ignorance is the enemy of self-improvement. As a society, we have to come together, get stronger and stop hate and violence against all that is different from us, and that includes Asians or any minorities.

As a society, we grow happier, wealthier, and greater when united and organized against poverty, ignorance, and selfishness.

I encourage all to stay strong, stay safe, and instead of hating each other try to keep focus and limit your exposure to negative news coming from media. We should empower ourselves with self-control and not surrender the control of our lives to the media and those who want to take advantage of our innocence.

Stay safe, stay strong and stay healthy.

Valentine’s Day Home Remodelling: A Gift That Lasts

Valentine’s Day is only a week away, and many homeowners around the world are feeling somewhat demoralized. We’re still locked out of life, in one way or another. For some, it might be a relief to avoid wandering the jungle of chocolates, flowers, jewellery, perfumes, and all those stuff that we have all seen a million times before. But then again – why skip the celebration? Instead of cluttering the silly little gifts that might never be used, opt for a gift that bears a real and lasting value. Something like a Valentine’s Day home remodelling.

Why Valentine’s Day Home Remodelling

Well, we may think of a reason or two‚Ķ Let’s say:

  • You are most likely spending more time in your home than ever before. That means some details have become dull or irritating, and some minor issues that you have never been noticing before suddenly turn significant. Even if everything seems perfect, refreshed surroundings open new horizons and do wonders for motivation. 
  • You are single, and all the fuzz about Valentine’s Day is merely annoying. But you do love your home, don’t you? Why not giving it a gift? Yes, any other day is equally good for such an idea. But that “any other day” often stretches to eternity.
  • Your partner really wants an improved kitchen or a new bathroom. 
  • You are single, and really want an improved kitchen or a new bathroom. 

More Reasons for Valentine’s Day Home Remodelling

Why Now?

According to psychologists, when a person feels stagnant, a major change can be the catalyst to get things rolling again. After spending a year on a stagnant planet, we can all benefit from a boost.

Adapting to meet physical or family needs, making a space more contributory to social interaction, or more efficient, all can enhance the quality of life. Projects inspired by emotional or psychological motives bring great results when accomplished to meet some real, practical necessities. 

Even a small refreshment, or a new appliance, gives a couple more reasons to sit, talk, and work together. As a result, they contribute to healthier relationships.

The Gift of a Problem Solved

While it may not be the ultimate romantic Valentine’s Day gift, at least not according to holiday advertising – it boasts a high value that will grow in appreciation as time goes by. Broken features, bad appliances, leaky faucets, squeaky doors… If one or more of such things present a permanent source of stress for your partner, fixing them with a magic wand might just prove to be the most romantic thing you have ever done so far. Not only that it will improve the quality of life for you both – it will also communicate some subliminal messages, such as “I am paying attention – you’re important.” 

Inspiration for Valentine’s Day Home Remodelling Can Be Found Anywhere

Valentine's Day Home Remodeling - Red Wall Paint

Refresh the Walls

A fresh coat of paint is an effortless way to revive the room. Painting them red can bring a lot of fun and count for one of those “do crazy things together” relationship improvement moments. It’s not only a decoration task; it’s an experience and a way to create lasting memories. Also, it’s one of the easiest and cheapest home remodelling tasks. Even if the final result is not what you hoped for – simple repainting will solve that.

Alternatively, you may catch an early bird and opt for a vivid mix of red with Pantone Colour of the Year 2021 Ultimate Gray and Illuminating.

Pantone Color of the Year 2021

Warm-up With Fire

If you don’t own a fireplace, think of building one…or a few. Apart from a living room, as an obvious choice, think of placing one in your bedroom. A fireplace can be just the right addition for the upcoming Valentine’s Day. Perhaps you can’t go out on a date, but with a little effort, your own home can do a perfect hosting job.

Refresh Lighting Fixtures

Nothing affects the mood and overall room atmosphere like lighting, and updating the regular fixtures is a smart move. Low brightness patterns, hidden fixtures, ambient lighting with subdued colours deliver a soothing, restful effect, while high levels of crisp white light promote activity.

A bedroom environment will see a lot of benefits from changing the lighting system. Pick the right lighting solutions that will add some romantic flair, and install dimmers. Diffusing lamp designs with discrete illumination produce a relaxing, quiet, stress-free mood. Besides the amorous dimension, this setting also promotes tranquillity in all senses, which is useful for improved communication. 

Crystal chandeliers are back, and you can utilize them in many ways to add a serious style boost to your home. Try it in the bathroom and turn utility space into a seven-star luxury spa retreat for you and your partner. We’ll be back on this later.

For extra Valentine’s flair, try red lighting fixtures. A sassy and red light draws attention and works magic as a visual feature where least expected. Red bedside light shade will inspire and energize, especially as an accent, a light touch of stand-alone colour.

Valentine's Day Home Remodeling - Red accents

Another cheeky way to use red is a vanity light or kitchen ambient lights. Accent red is a great example of breathing life and energy levels into a neutral space. 

Update the Kitchen

Valentine's Day Home Remodeling -kitchen with red counter

If your partner enjoys being a designated house chef, he or she would surely be delighted with an updated kitchen. The good side of this project is that it doesn’t have to break the budget. A Valentine’s Day home remodelling gift can be as simple as refreshed countertops or upgraded appliances. A full kitchen remodelling would also include brand new cabinetry, plumbing, floors, and perhaps changing to a new, more functional layout.

Valentine's Day Home Remodeling - Red Backsplash

Updated appliances can also add more fun to meal preparation and provide you with some quality time together

Turn Bathroom Into a Spa Retreat

Valentine's Day Home Remodeling - Red bathroom accents

If your budget is limited, start from details, such as red Valentine accents. Neutral bathroom colours are a perfect canvas for all sorts of accessorizing. The next step could be updating your faucets and showerhead – it can convey the feeling of having a full remodelling job done. 

A new programmable thermostat will help in maintaining the right temperature during long showers. Support this feature with low-flow showerheads that minimize water waste while retaining the same pressure. Additionally, you may try vapour and steam generator for a bit of extra challenge. Shower benches for relaxing are also a good idea. 

Valentine's Day Home Remodeling - Red faucets

Still, if you’re ready to invest in a serious bathroom remodel, you might just end up feeling like you’re in a brand new home. In a good way, of course.

A luxurious bath is an experience that enhances all kinds of love: to your home, to yourself, to your partner. Spa-like master bathrooms significantly improve the lifestyle, help relaxation and promote better connection with self and others.

Not many things can instantly warm up a romance like a therapeutic whirlpool tub with candles and scents. For additional romantic points, support the whirlpool tub with a sensual dual walk-in shower with body jets.

Valentine's Day Home Remodeling - Red walls

A couple of impressive focal points can elevate the bathroom design to become yours and your partner’s favourite place in the house, a private sanctuary for regular dates. If beautiful views surround your home, consider more opening to outside with ample glass walls or windows. Don’t worry about privacy; a specialized glass will prevent the issues.

If you’re not a fan of modern design, turn the bathroom interior into a fairytale escape, filled with traditional romance and modern glamour, illuminated by a lavish chandelier. 

Luxury-Bathroom-design wallpapers are back
Vancouver architect: Luxury bathroom design

Install an Outdoor Kitchen

The weather will soon be fine, so why not enhance social life with a new outdoor kitchen? This practical and entertaining outdoor space will add a new dimension to all your relationships: with your partner, with your friends, with your home. 

An outdoor kitchen adds a lot of value, not the least to the property itself. You and your partner/family will get extra space to hang out, entertain, and try some new challenges that will bring you more together.

An outdoor kitchen doesn’t have to compete with the regular one. It can be as simple as one small counter space with a grill. But if you want to dress to impress, create a luxury outdoor space with a top-notch cooking station, wet bar, and refrigerator.

When Is the Right Time to Start Valentine’s Day Home Remodelling?

Suppose you are reading this a day before THE day and feel disappointed now. Don’t be. A plan is enough. Make basic preparations, talk to designers and contractors and see what they can do for you. Or call us and check how we can set it all up for you. A ready-made plan can make an ideal Valentine’s day gift. Present your loved one with a list, and spend time talking about ways to make you both fully involved in a process. Step by step, you will be investing in a better and happier future together. Finally, it sounds like a better investment than perfume and a box of chocolates, doesn’t it?

Sources: [1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9]