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September 2014 - Novell Design Build



Get Geared Up for Vancouver’s Fall Festivities

  • By Tudor

Even with all the rain, fall is our favourite time of the year. With the year winding up for one last hurrah, we’re looking forward to all the fall festivities taking place in Metro Vancouver. While we wish we had time to do and see them all, we always have to narrow down to our favourites. Below is a snapshot of some of the events we’re most excited about.

Vancouver International Film Festival

September 25, 2014 to October 10, 2014

A perennial favourite of ours, the Vancouver International Festival is one of the five largest film festivals in North America. It showcases an international collection of films from more than 70 countries and also screens many Canadian productions. The Vancouver International Film Centre hosts the Vancity Theatre, which offers programming throughout the year. For more information, visit the Vancouver International Film Festival website.


‘Fish and Cat’ screening at the Vancouver International Film Festival

Vancouver Writers Fest

October 21 to 26, 2014

The Writers Fest seeks to celebrate the written word through poetry, prose and other forms of literature. Held on Granville Island over six days, the Writers Fest hosts authors and writers from around Canada and the world. Authors that have spoken at the Fest include Margaret Atwood, David Suzuki, J.K. Rowling and David Mitchell. Incite, a speaker’s series held throughout the year, is also presented by the Writers Fest and is hosted at the Vancouver Public Library. For schedules and event information, visit the Vancouver Writers Fest website.


David Mitchell, author of ‘Cloud Atlas’ and ‘Ghostwritten’, is one of the many speakers invited to speak during the Fest

Vancouver Farmers Markets

Spring to Winter

Farmers, artisans, musicians–everything is better local. With a rich history of providing local fare, the Vancouver Farmers Markets are perfect for those looking for fresh produce, meats and cheeses, breads and crafts from across BC. The Farmers Markets are comprised of multiple smaller markets spread out across Vancouver, with each offering different foods and goods.

  • Trout Lake Farmer’s Market – Every Saturday, 9am to 2pm until October 18th
  • West End Farmer’s Market – Every Saturday, 9am to 2pm until October 18th
  • Kitsilano Farmer’s Market – Every Sunday, 10am to 2pm until October 19th
  • Main St Station Farmer’s Market – Every Wednesday, 3pm to 7pm until October 1st
  • Kerrisdale Farmer’s Market – Every Saturday, 10am to 2pm until October 11th
  • Mt. Pleasant Farmer’s Market – Every Sunday, 10am to 2pm until October 12th
  • Yaletown Farmer’s Market – Every Thursday, 2pm – 6pm until October 2nd

For more information on market schedules and locations, visit the Vancouver Farmers Markets website.

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Find local fare at the Vancouver Farmers Markets from Spring to Winter

Vancouver Heritage Foundation Laneway House Tour

October 25, 2014

Presented by the Vancouver Heritage Foundation, this self-guided tour takes you through completed (and nearly-completed) laneway homes throughout Vancouver. Are you considering building a small home or just interested in small living solutions? If so, we highly recommend this tour. Tickets are $30 and give you access to every home participating in the tour. Expect a few line ups and come ready to explore! You can find more information about the event here.

laneway house

Our laneway home as part of last years Laneway House Tour–click to find out more




Fall Home Renovation Show

  • By Tudor

The Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association has partnered with the Better Business Bureau of Mainland BC to present the Fall Home Renovation Show.

Come visit our booth over the event’s new two-day format on October 4th and 5th at the Hard Rock Casino, 2080 United Boulevard in Coquitlam. We’ll also be on hand to give free expert advice to visitors as part of the Coaches Corner and Ask a Pro segments.

Admission is free and the Show runs from 10-5 on October 4th and 11-4 on October 5th. Please visit the GVHBA website for more information.



Home Decor & Renovations featuring Novell

  • By Tudor

Talking thoughtful design with Home Decor & Renovations

home decor & renovations magazine

We’re excited to be featured in the Fall issue of Home Decor & Renovations magazine!

Laneway homes are still popular as ever as we catch up with our clients Cal and Patricia and how they’ve settled into their new small home. We chat about the principle of thoughtful design and how we apply it to every aspect of our work.

home decor & renovations magazine


Grab a free copy at the BC Home and Design Show starting October 16th at BC Place.



Back To School, Back To Basics

  • By Tudor

We’re already into a new school year and with back-to-school on the brain, we’re taking a quick look at a design trend that’s become wildly popular with one of society’s most important institutions.  Thoughtful minimalism with surprises of  bold colour characterize a recent wave of school design coming out of countries like Thailand, France and Germany.

School blog novell design build 2


Colour blocking has fluctuated in popularity over the years. Recently we’ve seen its influence in many areas of design including fashion, graphics, interior design and architecture with a fresh whimsy.  We often think of these professions as being very segregated, when in reality, they’re interconnected by trends and disciplines at work in the design world at large.

The direct juxtaposition of austere and vibrancy creates a fun immediate contrast and visual interest.

In building design, perhaps surprisingly, it also has practical uses.

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School blog novell design build 8

Psychology plays a big role in making sure that these are effective environments for learning, wellness and growth.  The image we often have when we think of traditional school design is the oppressive massing and lifeless utilitarian interiors that were prevalent two or three decades ago. Architects and designers have jumped on the bandwagon to breathe life back into schools, redefining the image of institutionalized learning.  We’ve seen this revitalization branch out to other areas of design as well.  Decor, furniture and visual art have undergone a kind of renaissance whereby classical aesthetics and influences are re-energized – even with a touch of whimsy.


Modern take on Dandyism vs Fuzzy school

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Colours have been shown to aid learning and can promote activity. Calming colours like greens, blues and purples help to facilitate quiet study. An energetic colour like red is effective in gymnasiums, where it promotes activity.

School blog novell design build 4School blog novell design build 5Other colours like yellow and orange are better suited for hallways because they encourage movement and make sure students don’t loiter between classes.  There is more than randomness going on here.  Walking these halls, the colours serve as visual cues and prompts, helping with orientation.  Colour-coding different floors or hallways makes navigating through a building, known as ‘wayfinding’, more visceral and obvious.

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Fun to think of this sensory shift, especially when unexpected textures add a new dimension to the equation.  Textures give schools a tactile quality that aid in learning and orientation.  There’s just something comfy about a fuzzy burgundy learning space.

Hard to think of these schools as stuffy institutions.  We see new life and light in learning!