Local restaurant owners turn their oceanfront rental home into a functional and modern art haven for their college-age daughter.
BY NESSA PULLMAN | PHOTOS BY JAMES JONES
When the daughter of Victoria restaurant owners Shellie and Mike Gudgeon was ready to leave the nest, they prepared their old waterfront rental property for a transformation.
Uniquely located in between multi-lane Highway 1 and peaceful Portage Inlet, there would need to be some reconfiguring to make this home a suitable long-term living space for their daughter.
“The home shares the same elevation as the city’s largest highway, as well as nature in its most picturesque form,” says Matthew Jardine, construction lead at Aryze.
Because of the home’s location on the inlet, the builders had to keep the existing foundation to avoid disturbing the marine ecosystem. The clients worked closely with local architect Chris Foyd of BoForm, who designed this home in a U-shaped structure that faces the inlet to block out the highway noise and maximize the tranquil oceanside views.
Coming from a long career as restaurant owners, the couple, along with daughter Isabella, had strong requests to make this a home that could stand the test of time.
“From years building restaurants and living in character homes, we really learned the importance of durability. It will always save you in the long run,” says Shellie.
For Isabella, having a home that reflects her childhood comforts and her art-focused personality was key.
“Growing up in heritage homes, we always had an eclectic style, with the idea of collecting things over time and then finding a way to make them work together,” says Isabella.
Working alongside the team at Bidgood + Co, the Gudgeons were able to express their needs and find a way to make it work with the limited space they had.
“Creating a canvas for Isabella to express her love of art while keeping to her parents’ request for practicality had us scheming, but we found a way to marry the two and create a space that really reflects Isabella’s creative personality,” says Christi Rivard, lead principal designer at Bidgood + Co.
The team designed a two-storey building with Isabella’s suite upstairs and a rental unit below to help with the bills. To make the most use of the one-floor unit for Isabella’s space, the team at Bidgood honed in on her lifestyle and worked from there.
“Isabella would never use a formal dining room, or a flatscreen TV, or even need a traditional closet for that matter,” says Rivard with a laugh. “We wanted to use the space we had to fill her needs, and leave as much room for her to showcase her art and collectibles, because that’s who she is.”
A floor-to-ceiling bookcase in white oak lines the main corridor for her to store books and display antiques she has collected throughout her life.
Rather than having the living room centred around a TV, a custom wood-burning fireplace sits off to the side while large art pieces by Luis Merino bring life to the walls. The open-concept living/dining room is centred around oversized double doors framing Portage Inlet. In the kitchen, a full-height mullion glass cabinet by Woodshop 506 is used for storing kitchenware and showing off more of Isabella’s art.
Growing up around her parents’ restaurants, Isabella dreamed of having her own restaurant-grade kitchen, suitable to fit large pots and pans and full-sized appliances for making large meals and entertaining. To optimize the space, the Bidgood team extended the kitchen counter to create a separate dining area. In the bathrooms, black hardware, arched mirrors and terrazzo tile tie together the home’s modern base with Isabella’s treasures.
Keeping with the eclectic style, the team at Bidgood created a minimalistic backdrop with neutral tones and clean lines for Isabella’s tasteful furniture and striking artwork to pop.
“Working with a multi-generational client group had us finding ways to bridge the gap, all while focusing on creating a durable home that could reflect Isabella’s personality as it evolves through the years,” says Rivard.
Making a space functional while providing every opportunity for the client’s personality to shine through is key to a successful design.
“Isabella — she lives art,” says Jardine. “It drips from who she is and what she wants from life. This home really shows that.”
Interior Designer: Bidgood + Co
Architect: Chris Foyd, BoForm
Construction Manager: Aryze
Plumber: True Home Mechanical
Electrician: Slater Electrical
Doors and Hardware: Emtek interior door handles, custom oak doors
Window Restoration: Loewen Windows
Roofing: Infinity Roofing
Tile: Tierra Sol, Marble Trend Terrazzo (via Island Floor Centre)
Painting: Painting Dept.
Kitchen/Bathroom Millwork: Lacquered 1/2″ shaker cabinets and white oak slab cabinets from Woodshop 506; mirrors and glass cabinets by Silverfern
Custom Millwork: Woodshop 506; custom metal by Silverfern
Finishing Carpentry: AP Woodworks
Flooring: Eckowood (Island Floor Centre)
Glass: Royal Oak Glass
ART: Painting over bar by Megan Dietrich (Madrona Gallery); paintings over sofa by Luis Merino