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Love It Or List It Vancouver: Mary & Calvin

Fourteen years ago Mary and her siblings came together to purchase this house for their parents. However, despite the stunning mountain and ocean views, it’s situated on a hill in which Mary’s parents were anxious about due to traditional Chinese Feng Shui beliefs, one should not live on a hill, as a slope without significant plants and trees will have little nourishing energy to offer. Needless to say, they weren’t sold on the house but that didn’t stop Mary and Calvin as they decided to go ahead and purchase the home for themselves instead (even though it wasn’t the perfect home that Calvin was in search of!!).

While Mary is aware that their house is in desperate need of renovations to make this space more comfortable for the both of them, she is quite content with their current location considering the fact that it’s a two-minute drive to their family owned restaurant and there are multiple delis and cafes nearby. While Calvin is also a fan of the convenient location, he ultimately struggles to call it home, even after all of these years. As soon as I heard that, I knew right away that my main goal was to not only complete their renovation requests, but I had to succeed in making this house a home for Calvin!

Love It Or List It Vancouver - kitchen

Mary and Calvin made it quite clear that they love to entertain (being restaurant owners and all, it comes quite naturally!), they also have quite a large family, so cooking large meals in a tight kitchen and fitting everyone into one dining room to enjoy each other’s company was literally impossible!

Love It Or List It Vancouver - dining room

With that being said, we managed to create a beautiful open concept kitchen and dining area by removing some walls and pushing the dining room into what used to be the living room. With all of this new-found space, they can easily wine and dine their friends and family comfortably (and ALL in one area of the house … SCORE!!). Complete with all new appliances, a custom island, and new luxury floors throughout from Eckowood Real Hardwood floors, this was a space made in entertaining HEAVEN!

Love It Or List It Vancouver - kitchen
Love It Or List It Vancouver - dining room
Love It Or List It Vancouver - dining room

To tie the kitchen and dining space together (and make it even COZIER) we updated their fireplace with a brand new gas insert from Valour Fireplaces and refinished it with this gorgeous Dekton veined white marble slab by Cosentino creating a tranquil, inviting space for all to enjoy.

In addition to the kitchen and dining area, we desperately needed to revamp their living room (or should I say, Mary’s Jewelry making factory!!) so we started by removing the walls that separated the kitchen from the dining and living room which quickly opened up the main living space and with help from Mary and some of Calvin’s family members we picked out a brand new couch that Calvin would LOVE and sink into while winding down from a busy day.

Love It Or List It Vancouver - living room
Love It Or List It Vancouver - living room

Last but certainly not least we refreshed the front entry for a warmer, more welcoming feel which is much more inviting not only for guests but for Mary and Calvin as well! A while back Calvin took on the project of moving the laundry room from downstairs to upstairs and while he got off to a good start, it was still a work in progress, so we lent him a helping hand and completed it for him, hiding a stackable washer and dryer behind what looks like a closet in the entrance – this will surely save some blood, sweat and tears down the road (and give him more time to kick back on that new couch of his!)!

Love It Or List It Vancouver - front entryway
Love It Or List It Vancouver - front entryway

While all of the stunning renovations beautifully transformed their home and opened up Mary and Calvin’s eyes to the potential of their current home there were a few requests I was unable to complete. Due to an unexpected HVAC failure in their restaurant, funds had to be pulled from the renovation which prevented me from tackling their master bedroom, enlarging their ensuite, creating a jewelry studio for Mary and landscaping the backyard for their dog, Hockey. So, while we were able to increase the value of their home by $175,000…they felt they just needed the outdoor space for their beloved pup…and Todd found them a stunning home that offered just that (plus more!) and needless to say, though they loved the changes we made, they decided to move forward and list it!

Ya win some, you lose some, right Todd?! Lol!!! Until next time…

A big thank you as always to Janis Nicolay for the gorgeous photos!!

Make sure to visit HGTV Canada for more on this Love It Or List It Vancouver episode and to see more photos of the reveal click here! Also, be sure to follow Love it or List It Vancouver on Facebook so you don’t miss a thing!

I’m already counting down the days until next week’s reveal … fingers crossed they LOVE IT!!



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  1. Jillian I almost died when I saw this episode. I have watched your show all of twice, this being the second time. When I saw the house I gasped. This was the house I spent the first six years of my life before we moved to Vernon BC in 1991.

    My dad put in the cedar hedges along the sidewalk and the basement suite downstairs. This was the house we brought my sister home from the hospital. I remember smashing my head on the mantel of the fireplace while playing hide and seek and getting blood everywhere. My dad taught me how to make scrambled eggs in that kitchen and it was the only thing I could basically cook until I was 20. We had a lot of great memories there.
    Over the years we have driven by it and we always wondered what the inside looked like. It was neat to see it on the show, not much has changed. You did an amazing job updating it. I recorded the show and can’t wait to show my parents. What a crazy fluke. It totally warmed my heart. I hope the next owners will make great memories in it like my family did.

    1. OH MY GOSH!!!! That is so crazy Laurel!!! I’m so happy you stumbled upon this episode. It really is a beautiful house and it sounds as though you have SOOO many amazing memories there. Love it!! Thank you for sharing!!!! Say hello to your parents!!! XO

  2. Jillian you looked adorable in this episode. I loved your reveal dress. I also loved this couple. They seemed so much more realistic about what their budget would allow, and gracious even though they ended up listing.

  3. Jillian, you definitely outdid yourself on this one! I’m always obsessed with all the designs and follow your blog religiously. Where is the dining room table from?

  4. Amazing floor choice! We searched the shopping guide for the specific Eckowood floor (looks like a walnut!?) but we can’t find this specific episode 🙁 Any chance you know? Thanks!

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