At Home With Chambar Owner Karri Green-Schuermans

The owner of Vancouver's fave Belgian restaurant welcomes us into her personal kitchen.

Over the past 20 years, the acclaimed, Belgian(ish) downtown restaurant Chambar has hosted tens of thousands of guests. But owner Karri Green-Schuermans doesn’t end her hospitality there. “My house is a revolving door of great people coming through Vancouver,” she grins. “It’s a joke amongst friends—Karri’s hotel.”

Her home in North Vancouver, where she lives with her three kids, was designed as a live/work space but is constantly used for hosting friends—“I love when people feel comfortable enough to slouch on the couch, at home and relaxed,” she says—but in many ways, it’s designed by friends, too. All around the sun-filled 1970s home, you’ll find pieces designed, made or gifted by Green-Schuermans’s creative circle: pottery, paintings, sculptures and plenty of just-right cooking spoons.

Though, really, those pieces are just the finishing touches on a foundation Green-Schuermans built with intention. The house was designed by Barry Smith, a mid- century architect who worked for the great Arthur Erickson, and it carries some of the same spirit: glass and concrete, views of the natural world framed by oversized windows. But a building envelope repair two years ago revealed some structural damage, so Green-Schuermans found herself embarking on a surprise renovation.

Luckily, she had the skills to pull it off. Not just the thrifty-cool design sensibility she’s used to deck out her restaurants (fun fact: the room-dividing wall of windows at Chambar was sourced from Vancouver’s oldest church), but also a childhood spent watching and learning from her carpenter father. “I did the contracting here. I even did the CAD designs,” she says. Now, hardware-free oak cabinets and drawers by McGregor Woodworks line the wall and grey-veined marble from Marble Art makes for a hardy countertop, all providing a serene setting for ceramic vessels or cutting boards from Provide.

Whether she’s designing a restaurant or her family’s home, Green-Schuermans is driven by one question: how do you want to feel in a space? For this host with the most, the answer is easy: “Welcome.”


karri schuermans stands barefoot in her light and airy home kitchen

Shadow Play

The light fixture is from Lightform, laser cut and bent from a single piece of wood. “I like the technical side of it, that it’s been sliced and bent, but I also like that it lets the light through,” says Green-Schuermans. The piece creates interesting shadows on the walls that change throughout the day.


the marble countertops and backsplash of a beautiful kitchen

Strike a Match

Above the stove, the markings on quartzite slabs are aligned to make a dramatic point. “I went to a marbler, and there were these two pieces that nobody wanted but I loved them,” Green- Schuermans says. There wasn’t enough material to span the whole wall, so she inset it into the drywall instead, cutting the studs and structurally reinforcing the wall. “It was a nightmare. This was load-bearing,” she recalls. “But worth it.”

READ MORE: At Home With Rebecca Bree Boutique’s Creative Director

Stir It Up

A dozen wooden spoons are contained in vessels made by friend Janaki Larsen—an accidental collection. “It’s one of those things where people see you have something and they just keep giving you more,” she says.


karri stands smiling next to a tall tree growing in a pot inside her dining room. it's very tall and reaches to the skylight.

A Tree Grows in North Van

When Green-Schuermans was 19, she saw a fiddle- leaf fig tree in someone’s house and it stuck with her. “I always wanted one, so when I walked in here and saw these ceilings, I immediately thought, ‘I could finally have my tree.’” She’s lived in the house for 11 years now, and the tree has doubled in height in that time.

Art Attack

The oversized green resin panel is by Vancouver artist (and friend) George Vergette. Another artistic friend, Todd Inouye, created the work on the back wall: an AI-generated image of a hole printed onto old computer programming paper.

READ MORE: At Home With Vancouver Artist Carla Tak


karri reads a magazine at a wooden dining table in her home.

Face Off

A mask by Bowen Island artist Joshua Van Dyke is made from old skateboards. Hanging next to it is a Maori mask by James Webstade from New Zealand, where Green-Schuermans grew up.

Table Manners

The table was an anniversary present for Green-Schuermans’s ex-husband (and restaurant co-founder) Nico Schuermans. “We used it as the prototype for the tables at Chambar, which my father made,” she says.


a large drawing hangs on the wall in a black frame

Life Story

Maori artist James Ormsby made a custom illustration on archival paper for Green-Schuermans, based on an hour-long conversation with her about her life in New Zealand. “It’s basically a drawing of my childhood,” she says.


a print of a hindu god riding a chicken is framed on the wall, hung above a row of green tiles and a marble countertop. bread and cutting boards sit on the countertop.

The Collector

Green-Schuermans is an avid traveller (recent trips include Sri Lanka and Bhutan) and she likes to bring back artwork as a souvenir. This painting, for instance, by an unknown artist, is from Kerela, India.

Going For Green

“Everything felt too fancy; I wanted something with a homemade quality,” Green- Schuermans says of the vertical, mottled-green ceramic backsplash tiles from Bullnose Tile and Stone. “I grew up in a hippie family so there’s something nostalgic about these for me.”

thick, stubby candles sit on top of wooden pillars on a ledge inside a home.

Wax On

The wooden pillar candle stands were originally on the tables at Dirty Apron (she co-founded the beloved Gastown cooking school, and Cafe Medina as well), but turned out to be a little too tall… so now they live here.