HOUSE & HOME
OF THE MONTH
ART AND SOUL
IN A DRAMATIC RENOVATION, A VANCOUVER
COUPLE PAYS HOMAGE TO GREAT MODERN
WORKS — AND A VIBRANT FAMILY LIFE.
Text by Ellen Himelfarb Photography by Martin Tessler
There comes a time
in the lives of most collectors — whether they’re amassing
lava lamps, snowglobes, Russian nesting dolls or 20th-century
art — when they must either alter their collection to suit their
home, or alter their home to suit their collection.
Sylvia and Sam Ketcham had far too great a collection of
contemporary art to want to stow any of it away, so when they
reached their tipping point, they completely rebuilt the interior
of a clapboard Georgian revival house in a leafy central
Vancouver neighbourhood to accommodate it. Not that the
76 H&H JANUARY ’08
five-bedroom home is swallowed up by do-not-touch canvases
by contemporary masters. Not at all. In the Ketcham residence,
the essential gallery effect is mitigated by a fun-for-the-whole-
family decor that welcomes adults and kids alike.
The story of the Ketchams begins in New York 15 years ago.
Sylvia was a Parsons School of Design grad originally from
Chicago, Sam the son of a lumber company owner who grew
up in rural Williams Lake, B.C., and in Vancouver. Each of
them influenced by their respective mothers — Sylvia’s was
dating an architect who visited New York and took the couple
Styling by Richard Johnson, Troutwerks