Photos: Inside a Stunning Coastal Retreat
Expansive gable windows and French doors offer an uninterrupted vista of the Pacific.
April 4, 2017
British Columbia is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever visited. So it makes perfect sense that just a short ferry ride from Vancouver, a coastal home would wrap its arms around its surroundings. “The owners wanted some timber frame and natural elements to tie it in with the site and felt that it should be a low-profile structure from the road,” says architect Kevin Simoes of Streamline Design. “They wanted a beautiful home on the inside but didn’t feel the need to showcase that from the street.”
They went with a simple A-frame and incorporated timbers for most of the structural components. Simoes’s design was restricted by the narrow lot, which has setbacks on three sides, including the ocean side. “The site really dictated what we could do in regard to the footprint and layout of the house,” he says.
Working with designer Jonalyn Siemens, he created a minimalist yet charming getaway that’s beautiful inside and out.
At a Glance
Who lives here: This is a weekend retreat for a designer and her husband
Location: Sechelt, on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia
Size: 3,400 square feet; 3 bedrooms, 3 1/2 bathrooms
That’s interesting: The home was built with a sustainably harvested Douglas fir timber frame and has a metal roof and a rainwater collection system
An open great room, dining room and kitchen comprises a big part of the main level. “It’s very popular with us to design this way and join all these open spaces,” says Simoes. “In this particular house, it allowed the great room and dining room to be slightly smaller than we would normally make them but still feel like they have more volume than they actually do.”
The exterior is Douglas fir timber frame made without the wood’s heart. Simoes explains that because wood shrinks and expands, you don’t want to work with the heart, or centre pith, of the wood. Non-heart wood is less likely to expand, contract or twist over time.
The kitchen features high-gloss white Euro cabinetry by Merit Kitchens, a stainless steel square tile backsplash from Custom Flooring and KitchenAid appliances (with the exception of a Miele dishwasher).
“Normally we wouldn’t put this kind of beam structure in a space where only the vertical post is needed,” says Simoes. “But we wanted to add additional visual interest, and the beamwork helps to define the kitchen space, not only when you’re down below looking up, but also when you’re up in the loft looking down.”
He integrated the structural post that supports the ridge beam into the kitchen island. “Rather than have a stand-alone post, we wanted to incorporate it into the island to give it a little bit more mass and to ground it.”
The master bedroom is on the main level, and you can see through the two-way fireplace into the great room.
We wanted the master bathroom tub to be the focal point of the room,” says Simoes. “The owners love to sit here and feel like they’re on the ocean.”
The cedar back deck runs the entire 45-foot length of the house.; a log staircase from the main floor deck leads down to a gazebo and a path to the ocean.