Living on Vancouver Island means never being too far from the water, and for many of the homeowners we’ve featured in SPRUCE, it’s where they’ve built their dream homes.
Our readers are also fans of waterfront homes, judging by our most-read stories on SPRUCE this year. We continue our tradition of spotlighting our online Reader’s Choices with a look at our most-read custom home features of 2023, counting down from number five to number one.
NUMBER 5 – LIFE ON THE WATER
A three-floor elevator, gym, steam room, complete bar and games room, and custom two-level garage with a car lift may seem like the most exciting components of this dream home, but when you tour its spacious 6,000 square foot interiors, you soon find your gaze upon its inspiring waterfront view.
Tim Agar of Horizon Pacific Contracting, who worked with architect Jonathan Aitken on the project, says in order to take advantage of the home’s location, it was important to blur the lines between indoors and out. “There was a constant collaboration between these two things: you could walk out from the lower level to the big pool, deck and spa in only a few steps,” he says. “With where the home is sitting, it feels like you’re literally hanging over the ocean.”
NUMBER 4 – LUXURY ON THE OCEAN
Designing a 5,000 square-foot home for a couple of empty nesters who wanted to live as close to the water as possible was a ‘once in a lifetime’ project for architect Christine Lintott.
She translated their love of water and flow into a fluid interior featuring natural materials and seamless lines of sight.
Concrete was the driving force in the home’s creation, from the structure to the heated, polished concrete floors, which create a beach-like feel to the house. The owners specially ordered aggregate rocks from a pit in Nanaimo, selecting only those with beach colours naturally mixed in. The concrete was then seeded with colour-themed stones, which were ground into the slabs.
NUMBER 3 – CURVE APPEAL
When architect Franc D’Ambrosio took on the task of designing a custom build in a curiously-shaped lot on a leafy cul-de-sac, he embraced the idea of shaping an abode to suit its triangular shape, rather than imposing a standard structure.
D’Ambrosio describes his ‘aha’ moment in arriving at the home’s ultimate design, sharing the details of a project nestled beautifully along the Uplands waterfront.
“Overall we wanted a home connected to the ocean, a landscaped environment and an emotional connection to nature from the entire house,” says the homeowner, adding that the renowned architect delivered on every front.
NUMBER 2 – ALL ABOUT THE VIEWS
Entrepreneur Justin Tse, customized a downtown Victoria condo, remaking it to suit his lifestyle and taking advantage of its spectacular urban views. The renovation also allows the space to double as a studio and office, from which he films many of his popular YouTube tech and home videos.
Tse’s office centres around an L-shaped desk he custom made from a $2,000 Bo Concept desk, which he already owned and then enhanced with an Ikea wood kitchen countertop and legs from Uplift Desk. There’s also an overhead projector to watch hockey games and NASCAR races in the background as he edits videos.
NUMBER 1 – MODERN DAY LIGHTHOUSE
For the third year in a row, this Ryan Hoyt-designed beautiful oceanside home, as seen in the hit Netflix series Maid, nabs the top spot for Reader’s Choice.
Industrial and farmhouse styles blend for an abode that also enjoys 280-degree views of the Strait of Georgia. The build demanded creative ingenuity to work around serious environmental considerations and an amalgamation of styles.
“This project was a really good example of working with the land and honouring what features were already there, as opposed to trying to make it into something it wasn’t,” says Hoyt. “We had to be as intentional as possible with the space.”
Do you know a home that should be featured in Spruce in 2023? Get in touch.