Small Wonder: A West Van House That Could

Obakki founder and philanthropist Treana Peake finds that homey feeling in her little West Van beach house.

October 5, 2018

By Stacey McLachlan / Photo: Janis Nicolay

West Van

Coming home used to look a little different for fashion designer and philanthropist Treana Peake. “We had an 8,000-square-foot house with an infinity pool with doors that opened up wide. It was such a beautiful house, but it didn’t feel homey,” she explains.

She travels constantly for work (her clothing brand, Obakki, takes her to New York and Japan; her charity, the Obakki Foundation, takes her to Sudan to drill and monitor wells), and husband Ryan Peake is on the road regularly, too, touring in a little band called Nickelback, so having a home base that felt like home was critical. “I wanted a house where people didn’t need to take off their shoes and could come over with their dogs,” says Treana.

West Van

Two years ago, they found just that: in a quiet West Van neighbourhood, the couple and their two kids (aged 13 and 15) settled in to what Treana calls “just a little beach house.” She’s being modest—the bright-and-airy Craftsman home, with its panoramic views of Howe Sound, is hardly a shack—but there is a beautiful humbleness to this space. It eschews flash to let the cliffside locale do the talking, and the Peake parents have added personal touches inside in the same unfussy vein: a twin set of overstuffed Restoration Hardware sofas covered in slouchy linen; a bay window lined with a dozen cacti; built-in shelves brimming with well-thumbed cookbooks; personalized art projects gifted from Ryan to Treana tucked into the corner.

West Van

On a Sunday, you’ll find Treana in the kitchen all day, coaxing one of the kids into helping her with a tagine recipe (she’s an avid cook), or out in the fire-heated cedar Japanese bath she set up in the backyard. Ryan might be in his studio, the kids in their rec room upstairs. On warm summer nights, the family paddles around together in kayaks or dives into the ocean right off the rocks. Treana’s work raising money and building wells in Sudan through her foundation can be demanding—“it’s such a special place, but pretty challenging,” she says—so time spent in tranquility with family is particularly important. “Sometimes I have music, but usually I’m listening to geese and hawks and eagles. It’s so mindful,” says Treana. “This house makes you slow down and spend more time together.”

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