Ami McKay welcome a new family to the neighbourhood with a festive dinner party.

On any given day, Pure Design’s Ami McKay creates, reimagines or renovates spaces for a multitude of clients. But this year she brought home her signature ethos—light and airy with layers of texture—when she and her family relocated to a new space. “I was heartbroken to leave our old house, but we needed something bigger,” she says. “Little did I know that I would end up loving our new place even more—I have a bathtub! Our four kids aren’t on top of each other anymore!”

McKay’s new tree-fort-like aerie overlooks the ocean in Lions Bay and has evolved from the previous all-white palette observed in her former home—now there are saturated hues. “This time, I wanted my space to be more colourful, more joyous, more about love,” she says. Her inspiration came by way of meeting Salma Mohammad, a Syrian refugee who McKay and a group of friends helped sponsor to Canada (along with Salma’s husband and their three young children).

McKay had a light-bulb moment when she discovered that Mohammad was formerly a tailor while she herself had been collecting and stockpiling fabrics from all her years of globetrotting. Out of this happy connection sprang Pure Pillows: each pillow, sewn by Mohammad, is made with antique and vintage textiles from far-ranging locales like Vietnam, Thailand and Africa, with profit sharing going back to the newly arrived family. The pillows land on shelves this December at McKay’s Pure design studio; for now, though, they’re showcased on her soft white furniture and are almost too pretty to sit on. Instead, says McKay, “I come home from work, pour myself a glass of wine and lie down on the rug.

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Mohammad and husband Nihad Alghazala, as well as their three children—Ivan, Rabarin and Rebaz—enjoy Christmas dinner with McKay’s family. “Salma is always cooking me amazing meals at her house; I’m so honoured that we get to cook for her,” says McKay.

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PersonalSpace_AmiMcKay_003.jpgThe hand-sewn Pure Pillows on the sofa (a joint venture between McKay and Mohammad) plus an extensive art collection in the home add vibrant pops of colour throughout—like Andrea Padovani’s large-scale work in the living room.

PersonalSpace_AmiMcKay_004.jpgFir trim around the doors and windows as well as bamboo floors help provide a simple backdrop to the home’s predominantly white pieces.

PersonalSpace_AmiMcKay_005.jpgThe traditional gingerbread house is made by Vancouver’s the Uncommon Cake.

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PersonalSpace_AmiMcKay_007.jpg"You'll never see a red-and-green Christmas from me!" says McKay. Her seasonal decor is all about natural fibres, like felted Christmas ornaments and bits of nature incorporated in from the outdoors.

PersonalSpace_AmiMcKay_008.jpg“The house is West Coast in design, but I’ve got my Moroccan boho thing going on,” says McKay.

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