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News, Blog Features & Design Build Insights



Residential Construction Needs Women in Trades.

  • By Laurel James

Women represent only 4.5% of the skilled trades in BC.

Women represent only 4.5% of the skilled trades in BC. Residential construction needs women to help close the trade shortage, in fact: it won’t recover without women.

A 5% increase would close the gap — but let’s aim higher. As part of our celebrations and efforts this week for International Women’s Day, we want to share all the ways women in construction #ChooseToChallenge, everyday.

Our Director, Laurel James is the first Chair of HAVAN’s Women’s Council.

With 115 members and growing, Women’s Council aims to ENGAGE the industry at large, EMPOWER women to excel and ENCOURAGE more women into the industry. ⁠

As one of their efforts toward these goals, they host regular events including an online Café Series. It’s an opportunity to connect with other professionals in residential construction, drink some wine together, listen to a moderated panel, and participate in an engaging conversation!

We are excited for the next Women’s Council Café Series on Wednesday, March 24 at 4:30 pm. Three highly experienced women from the trades world will be sharing how they found their career paths, diversified their skills, and continue to thrive in our industry today.

– Angela Cacase, founder of and Owner of A.Marie Design&Build LLC
– Kahla Lichti, Electrician by day and Published comic book writer by night
– Sandra Brynjolfson, Assistant Business Manager for IBEW Local 213, past Coordinator at the BC Centre for Women in The Trades (BCCWITT), a journey electrician for over 20 years, and a mentor to other tradeswomen
– Moderated by Sean Tobin, TCA Electric

Join the conversation at ✅



This is how we #ChooseToChallenge

  • By Laurel James

Happy International Women’s Day 2021! The theme this year is #ChooseToChallenge.

Today, women around the world are celebrating each other’s achievements, raising awareness against bias, and taking action for equality.

A challenged world is an alert world and from challenge comes change.
We #ChooseToChallenge.

Supporting and celebrating women in residential construction is an important part of Novell Design Build’s culture. We are proud to have more than 45% of our team represented by women, in all parts and all levels of the company.

This week, we will be celebrating with our team (and the rest of the globe), the social, economical, and cultural achievements of female leaders around the world. Just one day isn’t enough.

Follow along 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.



Celebrating Novell Design Build’s 15 Year Anniversary

  • By Laurel James

On behalf of the entire Novell team, thank you to everyone who has been with us over the years. Congratulations to our incredible Directors, Laurel James and Angelito Camaclang for building such a positive force in our community. Thank you to everyone that has been celebrating Novell Design Build’s 15 year anniversary with us!

Laurel James and Angelito Camaclang founded Novell Design Build in 2005 on a belief that homebuilding is done best when every corner of the home is crafted with a Design Build benefit. We continue to provide creative and innovative solutions to match every custom home. Together, Laurel and Angelito have developed an iterative process that keeps the human aspect central. Novell’s work wouldn’t be possible without our excellent team, professional colleagues, associations and our local community. Over the last 15 years, Novell Design Build has become the thought leader for Design Build firms and continues to provide meaningful living spaces across Metro Vancouver.

Over the last 15 days, we’ve been offering behind the scenes insights into some of our previous projects. In celebration of 15 years of Design Build, we will be continuing to update our portfolio with additional Design Build insights.

We are turning our sights on the next 15 years ahead.

  • Novell Design Build is expanding our breadth of service to the outdoors in a strategic partnership with Novella Outdoors. This includes essential outdoor services, custom experiences and a curated outdoor marketplace.
  • We are continuing to provide custom homes, laneways and coach houses to the City of Vancouver, the City of North Vancouver, the District of North Vancouver, the District of West Vancouver and the City of Burnaby.
  • Novell is leading our industry in better business practices and supporting innovative projects with our professional associations to improve our local community. Learn more

On social media, you can explore these stories and more by following #15yearsNDB.



The Early Bird Gets the Best Outdoor Deals!

  • By novelladmin

The Novella Outdoors Marketplace has launched just in time for the online shopping season. As a Novell(a) insider, use #EARLYBIRD for 10% OFF your purchase until November 30th!

Here are some of our favourite items, available now:

The Turkish Cotton Throw in Blue

  • Turkish Throws are known for their great softness as a blanket, and versatility as a towel.
  • This towel is handmade in Turkey by traditional artisans, with 100% Turkish cotton. Its detailed weave showcases the beauty of the fabric and quality craftsmanship. Turkish cotton is known to get softer with every wash!

Green Glass Lantern

  • This stunning lantern provides soft, glowing LED light for 150+ hours!
  • The cable-row texture and green-tinted glass offer a beautiful array of soft warm lighting.

The Portico Family Feast Table

  • The Portico Family Feast table is perfect for any gathering or outdoor event. Crafted from solid Acacia wood, this table features double expansions for flexible outdoor living.
  • At its most compact, the table is 71″ long and can be twice expanded — to 86″ or 102″.

Shop local this Black Friday weekend!



Vaulted Heights and Unlacquered Gold in our Kitsilano Residence

  • By novelladmin

For this #15yearsNDB behind the scenes insight, we’re looking at some of the most beautiful hidden features of our Kitsilano Residence.

We must start with this spectacular back entrance! The kitchen and garden were key gathering spaces for this family, and we wanted to kept them tethered. These tall custom wood doors allow the light to enter, while grounding the details of the kitchen with a deep and calming hue.

When stepping inside, the home’s custom millwork kitchen offers plenty of storage, and space to display the family’s favourite cookbooks. These cabinets and the tall ceilings help offer a lightness to the room.

Guests get a small peek from around the corner of this space, but the view to the outdoors truly can’t be beat!

Warm leather, dark fixtures and strategic use of colours make for the perfect balance between the homeowner’s design aesthetics. This home balances its modern features and sleek profiles with an eclectic decor rationale.

The powder room in particular offers some terrific colour and texture. The walls are articulated with a dramatic display of Calcutta hex tiles. These are offset with a restored antique vanity, light fixture, and unlacquered brass fittings throughout. The shower door is a single glass pane with gold hinges. To complete the design, custom installed wall coverings splash the ceilings with — you guessed it– more gold.

This home was entirely replanned and expanded to accommodate a growing family. Vaulted ceilings and designer lighting pieces celebrate the interior volumes of the home. They offer an element of surprise and a feeling of distinction as our built-in details respond to the interior.

The den boasts a custom cast fireplace, and a built in executive office. This features 12 foot tall custom shelves that reach up the vaulted ceiling, and fold into a custom built-in desk.

Overall, this home’s old-world feel is a space that is joyous to inhabit. Its eclectic mix of detailing was thoughtfully executed by our creating team, and installed by our talented crew. We loved bringing some extra lift back into this early century home.

Photography: Latreille Delage Photography and Tudor Barbacuta.

This behind the scenes insight is part of Novell Design Build’s countdown to our 15 Year Anniversary. Follow this excitement with #15yearsNDB!



Announcing: Extended Services in a Strategic Partnership with Novella Outdoors

  • By novelladmin

We’re excited to announce an expanded breadth of services in a strategic partnership with Novella Outdoors. In addition to custom new homes, laneways and major renovations, Novell Design Build and Novella Outdooors provide everything necessary for exceptional outdoor living.

This partnership has been long awaited. A custom home wouldn’t be complete without a distinctive outdoor space. We are giving a warm welcome to Novella Outdoors as our everything outdoor contractors.

Contact us for your custom home, now including outdoor services & experiences:
– Landscaping & Hardscaping
– Decks, Patios & Repairs
– Excavation, Sitework & Tree Services
– Pergolas, Trellises & Arbours
– Outdoor Kitchens & Dining
– Firepit Lounges
– And much more.

Expand your home,

Live exceptionally.

Novella Outdoors

Novella Outdoors also provides Signature Sheds. Explore their collection of customizable Base Models. Currently being installed in a backyard newar you is their feature Work at Home Wonder: the ideal backyard workspace and studio.

It’s perfect for an executive office, entrepreneurial station, creative studio or homework station. Find your best workflow for the new year.

We look forward to adding one to Novell’s backyard as well!