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London Camaclang, Author at Novell Design Build



Elevate Your Kitchen Cabinets – Advice Featured on Redfin

  • By London Camaclang

We were recently featured by Redfin with some advice for elevating your kitchen cabinets. As the largest feature in most kitchens, cabinetry is always one of our top considerations!

Here was our top tip for homeowners:

“To upgrade your kitchen cabinets, consider requesting all visible end panels match the finish on your door fronts – these are called gable ends. Often millworkers will have a standard flat profile for end panels. The additional cost is worth the added visual interest it brings to the space.”

Novell Design Studio

Our Kitsilano Residence is a great example of these gable end panels in a modern, eclectic home. For this family, the kitchen, dining and gardens were key gathering spaces in their home. We’ve designed these spaces with this in mind, and added details to keep them visually tethered. With gable end panels, and with storage wrapping around the corners of the kitchen, these cabinets maximized space while creating a soft transition between rooms.

Novell Design Build Kitsilano Residence Kitchen and Dining
Kitsilano Residence – Kitchen and Dining Room with Custom Cabinetry

Read the full list of tips on Redfin here:



Felicity: a shared space for Vancouver’s independent creators

  • By London Camaclang

Welcome to Felicity 

Felicity is a personal office studio and creative space located in the Dunbar-Southlands Neighbourhood in Vancouver. We design-built this Signature Shed with Novella Outdoors in 2020 and are now opening the space to Vancouver’s local creative community.

Felicity provides some much-needed flexible space for artists, writers, remote workers, students and independent creators. In exchange for free creative space, we will ask for your feedback on Felicity, on Google Reviews or Houzz Reviews and for your participation:

Visitors will be featured in an artist profile, writer’s spotlight, or visitor’s profile, and will have the opportunity to connect digitally with other visitors. We hope to provide a platform for visitors to share stories, connect with each other and support other local creators.

‍We look forward to hosting you!

Features and Amenities

  • Private workstation in Felicity
  • Access to the garden and green space
  • Covered, outdoor table in the backyard
  • Eight electrical outlets
  • Dimmable ambient lighting
  • Built-in floating table
  • Storage bench with cushion
  • Work chair and small seating poof
  • Electric heater with thermostatic control
  • Openable windows and skylight
  • Lockable door from the interior
  • Natural light and green surroundings
  • Lush garden surroundings
  • Outdoor table under cover
  • Water station
  • No wifi
  • No washrooms on site

There is no cost to visiting Felicity. In exchange for a free shared space for creators, we ask visitors to:

  1. Respect the space, and follow our general site rules
  2. Provide feedback on Felicity via Google Reviews or Houzz Reviews
  3. Participate by providing some information for your artist’s profile, writer’s spotlight or visitor’s profile. This profile allows visitors to connect with each other, share their work, their thoughts and stories. More guidelines for respectful content will be shared upon your visitor’s confirmation.


Felicity is available for single-day booking requests, with 1-2 people per booking. After receiving approval, visitors will be given the exact address of Felicity. Visitors are free to arrive and leave within that day, as long as they follow our general guidelines.



New WFH Solutions with Novella Outdoors

  • By London Camaclang

This year, a whole new market for working at home has emerged. The world has experienced an unprecedented rise in people working from home (WFH). And as our lifestyles have changed, we’ve been asking our homes to adapt with us. There is a universal need for beauty, calm, and purpose in our home – now, more than ever. 

It’s time to invest in long-term solutions. If your WFH setting isn’t a dedicated space, it’s going to be difficult to get any work done, let alone your best work. This is when frustration sets in, and the idea of working from home is abandoned. Whether you are working remotely, a student at school, or a budding entrepreneur, it’s important to invest in your space. We shouldn’t have to compromise our well-being or personal space in order to achieve our goals!

Featuring the Chickadee 206 Office Studio

The Chickadee 206 Office Studio is the first Signature Shed from the Novella collection to be released. It is design-built to provide the calm, comfort and practically organized space that a work-from-home day requires.

While we love to see our homes adapt over time, renovations and additions aren’t always realistically possible. We’ve found that walking a few steps across your garden to a dedicated space is the best way to start your day.

Invest and add property value to your home.

Pre-pandemic, sheds were valued for their utility. Now, they’re one of the smartest investments you can add to your property. A Novella is an extension of your home — long-lasting, beautiful, the easiest way to add square footage to your home.

If you’re in the housing market right now, our two-week installation timeline could be the extra boost your property needs. Our simple construction process and prefabricated elements ease the experience of adding to your home. Depending on your zoning, you may be eligible to add an additional 60-100 square feet to your property without a building permit. Contact us for a complimentary site evaluation.

If you have a work-from-home job, new studies, or professional endeavours coming up, your investment may be tax-deductible, as well.

The Chickadee 206 Office Studio, and our Chickadee 206 Base Model are currently available for summer 2021 installations. Contact us to book your installation date, or talk to us at our contactless open house! Appointments are open in the Dunbar neighbourhood of Vancouver, BC.

With Novella Outdoors, we can now provide full home and outdoor services, including general and custom landscape services. Explore the full collection at Novella Outdoors, and discover what’s possible in your backyard.



Custom Curved Dormer Inspired by Gingerbread Turrets

  • By London Camaclang

Inspiration for this Vancouver infill arrived in gingerbread form.

We fell in love with the idea of a turret …. and not just because it was covered in icing! Throughout our Design Build process, the turret has changed in location and size. The final design is a charming, custom curved dormer.

Framing this roof has been so rewarding and we wanted to share the process so far. We can’t wait to see this spectacular space completed.

This Vancouver infill is a laneway home that benefits from an additional boost in square footage. We’ve framed the custom roof to include varying slopes, custom curves, and vaulted height above the entrance and main staircase. Stay tuned for updates as our team moves into the next phases of this construction!



Women In Construction Week Proves Vibrant for Novell Design Build

  • By London Camaclang

Since last Monday, we have been celebrating Women in Construction Week and International Women’s Day 2021. The discussions we’ve started and contributed to will keep going all year long.

We are committed to being a positive force in this industry for equal gender opportunity. This effort includes engaging with our community, professional associations, encouraging more women into residential home building, and empowering women to excel when they join.

We are proud to have a female founding director, Laurel James, who leads our diverse team. We have over 45% of staff represented by women, and know that every member is here on their merits, not because of their preferred gender.

Women in construction include a variety of professions. We are proud to say this represents every department and level of our Novell Design Build.

Laurel James is our Director and the first chair of HAVAN’s Women’s Council. She has strong feelings about the idea of a gender-balanced team.

For all her volunteerism and leadership for equality in our industry, Laurel believes that the best person for the job should be employed and supported. Women will rise to challenges and can prove their skills if presented the opportunity. While Novell Design Build doesn’t hire based on gender, it isn’t a coincidence that we’ve achieved near-gender parity on our team. Laurel and the rest of our team invite women into construction conversations often and encourage them to apply when a job opportunity arises.

Complacency, when it comes to gender hiring practices, simply isn’t an option and definitely isn’t a pseudo-solution.

The result of Laurel’s work is that we find women in construction, in all trades and professions, who believe that they are alone in their work. Women in construction aren’t alone, but our numbers are not rising at the rate we need. We need to do better.

Women in British Columbia represent only about 4.5% of the skilled trades and that number has barely moved in decades.” reports the BC Centre for Women in the Trades.

If we could attract just 5% more women in BC, the massive labour shortage would be filled.

This week, we celebrated each other’s achievements. Five of our female team members shared their experiences and challenges with the residential design build industry. They represent a future where it’s not strange to see a woman accomplishing skilled labour, managing an office, designing a home, managing a construction project, or running a company.

We #ChoosetoToChallenge by being really good at what we do. A challenged world is an alert world and from challenge comes change.

Novell Design Build for #IWD2021 and #WomenInConstructionWeek featuring 5 female team members.

See more on Instagram @NovellDB.



Kerrisdale Residence is a Finalist in the 2021 Georgie Awards

  • By London Camaclang

We are thrilled to announce our Kerrisdale Residence has been selected as a Finalist for the 2021 Georgie Awards®. This award is the 3rd accolade granted with special merit to Novell Design Build’s Kerrisdale Residence. It was recently awarded two Finalist honours at HAVAN Awards for Homebuilding Excellence.

Thank you to everyone involved who made this project possible. We could not create such meaningful homes without our incredible team, wonderful clients and network of great vendors.

Our Kerrisdale Residence project was a major renovation in Vancouver, BC. As Finalist in the Georgie Awards, this project has now earned 3 professional recognitions.

Every aspect of this home was designed to feel open and welcoming. This was possible in the kitchen because we engineered the home’s structural beams to be hidden within the custom millwork cabinets. This allowed for the rest of the living space — the dining room, family room and entranceway — to be opened. What was once a house full of walls and hallways became an open concept modern home. 

We’ve built the custom millwork to hide a refrigerator and offer custom storage solutions for all the family’s cooking and hosting needs. The cabinets are beautiful in their own right, but the hidden refrigerator has become a favourite party reveal.

Read more about the behind the scenes process for this project!

This will be the 28th annual Georgie Awards® hosted by the Canadian Home Builders’ Association of British Columbia (CHBA BC). The Awards Gala will be held virtually in March 2021.

Georgie Awards® was established in 1992 by a group of industry professionals who decided to start a housing awards program, not for economic benefit, but to provide value to the residential construction industry and communities throughout British Columbia.

We are honoured to be included in this celebration of excellent homebuilding. This is Novell Design Build’s 15th anniversary, which feels like a fitting time for such extra celebrations.



Novell’s Sunset Residence is Featured on Houzz for Best Tiled Accents

  • By London Camaclang

Novell’s Sunset Residence is showcased on this week’s Houzz Feature: Best Tiled Accents Beyond Bathrooms & Kitchens.

We’re inspired by these 21 examples of tile-accented living areas. They prove that the perfect tile can transform any space — and the options are limitless! Consider using custom tilework outdoors or in unexpected areas for an exciting surprise.

It’s important to note that many different feelings can be evoked with accent tile. The pattern often isn’t our only consideration; the type of tile, scale, size, texture and surrounding context makes for a vast range of tile opportunities. Just check out our Shaughnessy Residence and Kitsilano Residence to see just how impactful tiles can be! This is why it’s important to have a close dialogue with your design team in order to find the right fit for your home and lifestyle.

Scroll through Houzz’s feature round-up for some examples of tile-accented outdoor fireplaces and lounges, hallways, stairs and more!

Here are a few more photos from our Sunset Residence.

The fireplace is the home’s full-height focal point. Its bold colour scheme is a collection of incredible tiles, custom installed. The horizontal layers of tile are arranged to pull your eye upwards. We’ve balanced the fireplace’s visual interest with a light design rationale for the rest of the room. The white and neutrals in this living space come together to create an overall calming place to rest. In this way, the fine details of this home slip into the realm of the sublime.

Outside, we worked closely with our custom tile setters to make sure that the exterior finishes were seamless and waterproof. These tiles reflect light and make visitors feel bathed in sunlight, even in the darkest of rainy days.

Finally, the kitchen received a custom tile installation as well; although, the design rationale here is meant to add value without adding distraction. This kitchen feels light and spacious. If you look closely, you can spot some key details that add to the functional flow of this kitchen!

Thanks for joining us! Feel free to share your favourite accent details with our team on Instagram or Twitter. We’d love to hear your thoughts.



Trailblazing laneway design in Vancouver, before it was cool.

  • By London Camaclang

Our Grandview Laneway Residence was an early trailblazer for laneways in Vancouver. We defied convention and problem-solved tiny living before it became the hottest topic in home design.

Here are a few behind the scenes features of this incredible laneway:

1. Balanced private and shared space

We flipped this home upside down and gave our clients an upstairs area for cooking, relaxing and entertaining. It provides a big open space (yes, even for a laneway) with spectacular views to the East and South.

The upstairs lounge and kitchen area are great for gathering with family. In exchange, the private bedroom, bathroom and storage areas offer a restful area. We made sure to install radiant floor heating to keep this space cozy! 

2. Master at saving space

There are too many hidden drawers to count! While a modern interior was important for the overall aesthetic of this home, it wouldn’t be liveable without some key storage solutions. In the kitchen, we balanced easy accessibility with beautiful facades. 

Many considerations were made in regards to ergonomics and visual sight lines. Storage that is difficult to access is storage that you won’t use in your daily life!

Where do you think we fit the mechanical room? Well, suspended horizontally in the upstairs deck of course!

3. Eco-friendly and sustainable design

People are happier in a green environment than in grey surroundings!

Between the pavers, we planted some creeping thyme, and put a little plum tree in their small yard! An herb garden and downspout garden was a must-have for these excellent chefs.  

By building a living roof, we climate-proofed this laneway.A green roof provides a rainwater buffer, purifies the air, reduces the ambient temperature, regulates the indoor temperature, saves energy and encourages biodiversity in the city.

Landscape design is required for new laneways, but it is often overlooked in laneway features. For our Grandview Laneway, we went further and ensured that those connections to the outdoors were meaningful and relevant for the owners. 

4. Vaulted ceilings and custom 360 degree space

In addition to the wide views from the upper balcony — which captures the rising sun in the East and the Southern sun rays — we created lofty views inside the home!

We’ve vaulted the ceiling height 12 feet in the air to create custom, 360 degree CD storage! It is an audiophile’s dream — for the storage and the acoustics.

In sum, laneways are delightful homes!

Living in a small home does not have to mean making huge sacrifices. By balancing thoughtful and discerning design, laneway houses can support exceptionally comfortable lifestyles. (Yes, even in Vancouver.)

This project has been featured in Montecristo Magazine for applause, the Vancouver Sun for tiny living, Apartment Therapy contests for small living, and in Vancouver Heritage Foundation Laneway House Tours! For these stories, visit our Blog archives for Laneway Homes.

This is a behind the scenes look at our Grandview Residence, in celebration of our 15th year anniversary. Follow our full celebrations with #15yearsNDB on Instagram and Twitter!