Postwar Construction Meets Prewar Charm in Victoria

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I have a moderately unproven and probably not-all-that-accurate theory that shopkeepers and restauranteurs are preternaturally adept when it comes to the task of homemaking. If you think about it, the skill set and networking needs of both vocations are strangely similar—you need to know how to entertain, how make people comfortable, how to arrange a beautiful centerpiece, and who to call when you need something fixed or built. This is why, when it came time to purchase a home for their growing family, Carey and Erv Salvador seemed enviably cut out for the job. Carey is the owner of a charming vintage homewares shop called Pigeonhole and Erv is the restauranteur behind two Vancouver-area restaurants—The Whip and Lucy’s East Side Diner. Like a pair of decor-inclined Planeteers, the couple’s biz-savvy powers were able to combine to transform a 1952 Victoria, BC house into a show-stopping, timeless home with aesthetics and references that span centuries.

With a little help from their contractor friend Mack Kurtz, the couple was able to swiftly expedite the renovation process, making the home move-in ready over the course of just one summer. Afterwards, it was all about adding a little charm! Beautiful hardware, vintage pieces, and objects culled from Carey’s store add old world character to the home, and spaces have been creatively reinvented to maximize comfort and entertaining possibilities—an unused room was transformed into a miniature espresso bar; the kitchen and dining room combined for a warm space ideal for small parties. Overall, with four bedrooms and beauty to spare, the home is the perfect abode for a growing, creative family. —Max

Photographs by Kelly Brown

  1. Kate says:

    I have driven by the Pigeonhole in Victoria and have never been. I’m off to check them out. I’m so pleased to see a home in Victoria featured today.

  2. Jessica says:

    visited Pigeonhole yesterday for the first time–beautiful towels, linens, and manly soaps! Merchant and Mills patterns too!

  3. Jill says:

    Any chance of sharing where the dining room lights are from?

  4. Rita Marie says:

    The dining room seating is awesome. Loving that card catalog.

  5. Alice says:

    I love the dining room table! The texture and color are amazing. Looks great with the map.

  6. helen says:

    i am loving this house! (and it’s local for us:)) so many details that draw you in and made me look twice! please could you tell us where the light fixture over the dining room table is from?

  7. Carey says:

    Hi Helen & Jill,
    We ordered the light from Crate and Barrel.

  8. Leslie says:

    This is such a beautiful space, but I have to say my favorite part of the post is really the Captain Planet reference, Max…haha.

  9. Yoda123 says:

    Having troubles with the slideshow. One page isn’t fully loading so I can’t get past the page to get to the next picture. :(

    1. Grace Bonney says:


      I’m so sorry- can you tell me what browser and version you’re using?


  10. Shannon says:

    This is just stunning…every. single. detail. *swoon*

  11. Charlotte says:

    What are the kitchen counters made of? They’re beautiful!!

  12. Erin says:

    Hi, your bathroom vanities are very handsome! Would you mind sharing the source for them? Thanks.

  13. It looks great. I’ve seen so many vintage furniture pieces going to waste. It’s so nice that there are still people who can save this treasures and turn them into something beautiful.

  14. emily says:

    i really love all the brown in this home! and, I’ve always dreamed of having a store counter in a kitchen, so needless to say I am in love with the kitchen. great house tour!

  15. Carly says:

    Hi, Grace.
    I’m having the same problem Yoda mentions, using Safari on my iPhone. Not sure which version of safari, but I have an iPhone 4s. I had this problem with one of the sneak peak slide shows last week as well. Thanks! :) Love the new site!!!

    1. Grace Bonney says:

      hi carly!

      can you tell me (or send a screenshot) about the problems you’re having on safari? i’m using safari on my iphone now to test, but i might have different operating software. your phone should detect the mobile version of the site- can you tell if it is? or is it trying to load the full desktop version?


  16. Julia says:

    Gorgeous, all of it. We are redoing our dining room right now. Thanks for the inspiration!

  17. Each room seems to be more beautiful than the last. This is a completely stunning house tour — not in that hyper-designed, artificial way, but in a really loving and thoughtful way. Probably one of the only tours where I wouldn’t change anything. Just lovely.

  18. helen says:

    Thank you. Now I’m stalking it obsessively;)

  19. yoda123 says:

    Hey, FYI I’m still having problems loading the 4th page of the slideshow on my iPhone using Safari. It’s the mobile version. I will try to load a screenshot–the rest of the page loads (I think), except for bottom half the slideshow picture plus the next buttons. I wanted to make sure it just wasn’t the end of the slideshow so I checked this post on my laptop and see there are 21 slides in the slideshow. (Perhaps it would be nice to give a slide count?) In any case, I love the new site.

    1. Grace Bonney says:

      Hi Yoda

      Is this will all slideshows or just this one? I’m testing this on safari on my phone (iPhone 5S) and can’t replicate this error :(


  20. This house is one of my favorites so far. The dining room, bathroom, and master are absolutely amazing. My favorite thing about the kitchen is that wonderful reclaimed island. I’ve walked all over that neighborhood in Victoria but I don’t recall seeing their store. It’s on my list for the next time I visit which will hopefully be soon! My husband has never been to Canada but I love Vancouver and Victoria! I just have to twist his arm!

  21. Jan says:

    I absolutely love, love, love this beautiful home! I recently downsized to a tiny war-time home and have already incorporated many similar decorating ideas. My next project has got to be the kitchen (Christmas baking has made that need very clear) and I had tentative plans/ideas of opening up my living room/dining room to the kitchen, using of all things, gray base cabinets with white upper ones. Black and white tiles? Oh yes, that too.

    On a side note, Big Chill appliances are available in Canada from Elmira Stoveworks located here in Southern Ontario. I’ve had Big Chill on my radar for some time and luckily for me, I’m located very near the manufacturer. Elmira Stoveworks doesn’t make Big Chill but you can order from them. They actually manufacture stoves that are truly ‘antique’ style.

    Thank-you for sharing this lovely home with us. I’m not a designer in any way, shape or form so it helps me feel comfortable to know that my ideas could turn out as gorgeous as this!

  22. Annalisa says:


    Lovely home! In picture #8 of the espresso area, what is the item that appears to be holding a piece of text? It’s so interesting-looking…

  23. Mori says:

    Erv & Carey, you guys have really outdone yourselves! It looks fantastic! It was always a pleasure working with you guys! Congrats on a job well done!

  24. Amy says:

    I would love to know where you got the bathroom vanities!

  25. Erin says:

    I really love your master bath vanities. Can I ask where you found them? Really lovely home!

  26. madeline says:

    I love everything about your house! But I can’t stop think about your kitchen floor tile. Can you share the tile pattern or maker?

    1. Lauren says:

      I actually recently found it bc I want it too! It’s Harvey Maria parquet charcoal!

  27. Jessica says:

    i am in love with the light fixture above the dining room table and would be so thankful to know the source!

  28. Carey says:

    Thank you all for the lovely and kind words.
    To answer some of your questions:
    Kitchen floors: Neisha Crosland
    Bathroom vanity: Restoration Hardware
    Dining Fixture:Crate and Barrel
    Kitchen Counter: Quartz
    Contractor: True North Carpentry in Victoria BC
    Design Spinge also has a full source list.

    Xoxox Carey

  29. Tanya K says:

    Stunning home!!!
    I’m wondering if you would kindly share your paint color on the dining room walls?

  30. Shannon Wilson says:

    I would love to know the source of the kitchen appliances! Gorgeous…

  31. Rachael says:

    I love this apartment! Completely my style, old & quirky. Lots of interesting details & great use of colours. LOVE the kitchen & that vintage map.

  32. Rachel says:

    Where are the white brick tiles on the bathroom wall from??

  33. Scott says:

    Where did the kitchen tile come from? What’s the material?

  34. Heather says:

    Your home is gorgeous! What color paint is throughout? In your dining room? Thank you!

  35. Torrie says:

    I love this! I can’t find the resource list- can anyone tell me where it is located? Those kitchen tiles are so pretty, and I’d love to find Neisha Crosland tile in the United States. Thank you for sharing your lovely home!

  36. Nicole says:

    Who makes the floor tile? It’s amazing!

  37. Ashley says:

    So charming! I am swooning over the terrarium in the bathroom, it is lovely. Would you mind sharing where it came from? I need this in my life:)

  38. jacibeal says:

    Would you mind sharing the link to Designsponge’s resource list? Loving the dining room paint…..many thanks!

    1. Grace Bonney says:

      hi jacibeal!

      which list did you mean?


  39. Kari says:


    I think the request for the list comes from Carey’s comment, above: “Thank you all for the lovely and kind words.
    To answer some of your questions:
    Kitchen floors: Neisha Crosland
    Bathroom vanity: Restoration Hardware
    Dining Fixture:Crate and Barrel
    Kitchen Counter: Quartz
    Contractor: True North Carpentry in Victoria BC
    Design Spinge also has a full source list.

    Xoxox Carey”

  40. Jaci says:

    Hi there,

    I’ve searched desperately for the source list on DS, to no avail. I am specifically interested in paint colors. Bedroom, dining room and living room.


    1. Grace Bonney says:

      Hi Jaci

      We provide any sources the home owners give us, but not all of them provide a full list or remember names. I’m sorry :(


  41. Jillian says:

    Love you kitchen cabinets!! Would love to know where you purchased your lover cabinets, it if you painted them, who’s color is it? Been searching for a color like that and cant find it anywhere.

  42. Jenna says:

    Love this. What are the paint colors used for the cabinets? I love the two toned grey and white look!

  43. Claire says:

    Any chance you remember where you got the Edith Piaf print that was in the bathroom?

  44. Ryan says:

    Love this look. Wonderful arrangement and use of old furniture, would like to have these kind of chairs at home. these days many people go for modern stuff, but these classic things have special place.
    Thanks for sharing .

  45. Jessica says:

    Do you happen to know the style of the kitchen floor tiles? I went to Neisha Crosland site, but no luck finding. Thanks!

  46. Allison says:

    Was wondering who the manufacturer and style i
    s of the bullnose tile used in the bathroom. Having trouble finding something similar online and I’m really digging it.

    Thanks, Allison

  47. Dale Lynn says:


    I’m curious did you paint your cabinets? If so what kind of paint did you use and colors?

    Thank you!


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