Vancouver, BC, CA | Montreal, QC, CA
As you know Sidney Harper is a major jet-setter designer who lives between Vancouver and Montreal, depending on a project you might find him all over the globe. Along with his usual jaunts to Paris, London, Rome or New York Sidney travels to Asia and the Middle East.
Recognized for his widely acclaimed high-end projects Sidney Harper has also been delivering distinctive, innovative style to more moderate projects, offering his clients incredible value. All his designs are geared toward creating a feel of the ultimate in elegance by using functional, yet innovative space planning and detailing in tandem with dramatic interplays of luxurious props and material.
With his background in visual presentation and portfolio with names like Hermes, Fendi, Prada, Celine or Dunhill and the list goes on. He is involved in many creative disciplines constantly expanding and exploring new possibilities.Interior design is only one of them. He also designs furniture and home decor for a few international companies. He paints, mostly commissioned work and whenever he finds some free time for his own pleasure.
After successfully completing a major project in the U.S. last year, for one of the mining tycoon's. Sidney went back to Montreal to spend the holidays with a good friend of his who at that time was working for one of the North America's top suppliers of hand-made carpets. Mr. Torabi, who had heard about his work and was very impressed with his creativity and style.
While visiting his friends offices in Montreal he was approached by Mr. Trabi to do the design for his principle residence, in posh Outremont, on Mont Royal Street, of which construction just begun few weeks prior to their introduction.
Most of his client are referred by other clients, some with tastes as eccentric, unusual and distinct as they are themselves, extremely wealthy, where budget is not really an issue. Over the years he also has learned not to accept just any project unless he is completely sure that the project is going to be a success.
So, after getting to know the client he agreed to take the project... It took him some time analyzing clients life style and needs, reflecting the rich and colourful background of Mrs. Torabi, born and raised in S.Africa of Greek descent and her husband of Persian without interfering with a vision he and his lovely wife had for for their new home... after days of deliberating.. Decision had been made the house was to be Metro-Mediterranean with a touch of neo-classic underlying an African sophisticated motive.
As usual he was able to deliver it all with a major twist... and they loved it, so does every one who walks into their new home. One thing that he liked about his client was that upon gaining his confidence, he gave Sidney carte blanche on the project, including structural/floor plan alterations, architectural detailing, design and landscaping.
The colours chosen create a feeling of perpetual sunshine despite the amount of light, or the weather outside.....the colour transition between rooms is subtle but distinct, creating a comfortable cohesion. You are not aware of it while you are in one room looking into the other until you actually are in the other space.
The custom made mouldings and door/window casings were painted in soft monochromes as well as high ceilings creating no boundaries ... opening the awesome grand space even further.
Sidney said "I wanted the walls including doors etc.. to be a background to the art, furniture and people not vice-versa"
Though this 8.000 sq.ft 4 level (7 bedroom and 6 bathroom, living room, dinning room, butlers kitchen, media room, sauna, games room, exercise room, nanny's quarters, open space state of the art kitchen * with top notch Wolf appliances* fantastic dinette and a family room..) house has a great open floor plan with fantastic cathedral high ceilings, yet by using a creative floor borders and pocket french doors he created sense of cosines, elegance and comfort, without compromising the space.
Every little detail of this house interior was carefully chosen... custom made and specified... from Benjamin Moors colours, hi end appliances custom made hardwood American birch floors and stairs for which the colours were mixed right under Sidney's supervision, Italian marble and granite ordered directly from Italy ( which slabs he picked one by one to the annoyance of the suppliers.... lol ), to Italian designers light fixtures brought from L.A. and Vancouver.
Talking about lighting, as in real estate - 3L's stand for location location location .... so in interior design you find ....3L's Sidney says....lighting, lighting, lighting and believe me in this house you'll find mere than 300 + lights (primary, supporting and ambiance dimmer controlled ) every one said it was crazy... now they are all speechless....."it is not too much nor it is too little it is just perfect amount giving perfect control over the ambiance" says Sidney.
The main kitchen and butlers kitchen was so unusual he had to drown the specifics on the floor...(while working with one of the best cabinet makers in Montreal, who did fantastic job) The deep brown floor borders in the family room flow into and become dinette floor solid colour. The heated kitchen floor is made of an incredible monochromatic bronze 24"x24" Italian tile that caries the elegant curve of the "bar like" massive island right on the floor. You'd have to see the eyes of the workers when Sidney instructed them to carry installation of the tiles right up to the ceiling.
Every bathroom has a unique granite counter top so does the kitchen and the back-splash made of the same granite as the counter top. The back splash is an art itself uncommon ... tall with the top edge of it rough and unfinished creating slightly rustic and a very dramatic effect.
Sidney said that the most difficult part of the project was trying to explain some of his ideas to the trades man or to the client. Hearing them saying. "we have never done or seen it" are you sure that it is what we want " will it look good? , that is not a standard, it can't be done etc..
Sidney says " I don't believe in that phrase… it can't be done..... IT CAN , he says ... if only one really wants and is willing to gets the knowledge ... "
Now, when they see the final product they are all very proud of working on it... saying this is one of the most beautiful and elegant homes they've worked on, that is nice to hear.... he says.
Of course the best was yet to come.... Interior Decor.
Sidney traveled miles looking for perfect unique and interesting pieces... he was extremely lucky in his findings, he tracked down some of the most beautiful furniture and art pieces... for example at one of the high-end auctions he picked 2- 16th century Nigerian bronze heads, original hand carved Zairian and Zambian statues and masks. Some of the North American and European top artists adorn the walls of this house as well as numerous antique furniture pieces from Asia, Europe and Quebec Candad (some pieces are still waiting to be delivered).
And last but not lest...
One thing Sidney definitely had no problem with finding was the CARPETS... as mentioned before Mr. Torabi is one of the top suppliers of carpet with a very successful e-commerce business (ecarpetgallery.com) .... Sidney literally checked thousands of carpets, picking some of the most beautiful hand made winners you can find; each worth of thousands of dollars. Most of the once he have chosen called Chobi and it is one of his favourite styles, particularly because it goes with any decor so if one has a mixture of styles like modern and antique, Chobi can pull them together . Sidney particularely likes that stye for its understated yet sophisticated beauty...
Well balanced french stile landscape with the simple elegant oval fountain in front of the entrance, circular roundabout walkways complementing the style of the house and a 3 level stairways outside are as impressive as the interiors.....
His client was so happy with their new home that in fact he asked Sidney to assist him in new corporate image for his company.
One year later and $1.4 million dollars ticket....( though apraised at mere $2.4 ) Mr. Torabi's home is a pride and joy of Torabi family and a design treat to their visitors.