Surrounded on three sides by 40 kilometres of ocean shoreline and rich agricultural land, North Saanich boasts a high ranking for some of the most sought after properties on Vancouver Island. For this Victoria raised, NHL Boston Bruins player, Matt Irwin and his wife Chantel, the Saanich Peninsula region seemed the ideal setting to put down roots after a demanding hockey season. Starting with a half-acre of private tree-lined land, the couple hired Dave Stephens from Lida Homes to custom build them a 6000 square-foot, five bedroom, five-bathroom dream home.As first-time homeowners, not only was it is an unusual circumstance to be building such a capacious home, but it was completed in only eight months while the Irwins were away. As Irwin’s former coach with the Saanich Braves in 2003, Stephens had already earned Irwin’s confidence and the couple were impressed with his trasparent approach and commitment to building quality homes for remote clients.
As home building from afar becomes a reality in our modern world, Stephens states that Lida Homes has successfully implemented construction software that provides daily, up-to-date, information on the construction schedule and budget.
It’s as easy as clients logging into their specified account to discover the status of the build and their current budget. Based on a transparency model, if the scope of the project changes, the clients can see the immediate impact to the overall budget and schedule.
“At any point, clients can determine if they are over or under budget which helps inform their decision-making. It has removed any major issues that can occur with the lack of communication or miscommunications,” adds Stephens.
With a traditional, country-style home at the top of the couple’s wish list, their specific design requests comprised of a contemporary open concept layout ideal for entertaining and plenty of windows to capture the natural beauty that surrounds the home. To embrace the natural light, the couple wanted a catwalk across the upper floor that would maintain the views from the front door to the great room, while connecting the top floor bedrooms.
Defined by its attention to detail, the open-plan chef’s kitchen hits all the luxury marks. Beveled cabinets in rich espresso anchor the open flow of the main floor and contribute to the kitchen’s timeless country feel. The understated light cream backsplash and quartz countertop offer a refreshing contrast to create balance in this traditional design.
Comfortably seating four, the spacious eat-in island provides ample counter space and a prep sink. Fusing the country vibe with industrial inspiration, the Trent Austin designed, swivel bar stools maintain the room’s inviting and comfortable feel. A built-in bar with wine rack on the upper cabinets was thoughtfully placed next to the french doors to create a smooth transition to the deck that runs the length of the house. Stephens adds that indoor and outdoor surround sound, wired directly to their phones, is the piècederésistance for this entertainment space.
Cultured stone fireplace surround extends vertically to become the room’s focal point while accentuating the double story high ceilings. The expansive stone hearth draws your eye to the elegant and functional built-ins on either side of the fireplace. Two story high windows saturate the great room with light and bring the natural surroundings into the living area and upper floors via the catwalk.
The farmhouse style dining table, with ornate legs and high back seating, imparts a more formal, old world charm in this relaxed great room.
The catwalk embraces the two story windows to capture the view of the lush landscape from the upper floor. Contributing to the home’s cohesive flow, the entire main floor, stairs, upper hallway and bedrooms are all finished in a rustic engineered hardwood.
A sumptuous freestanding soaker tub, dual head walk-in shower, twin vanities and heated tile flooring grant this luxurious bathroom its spa-like status.
A wood panel bed in soft grey complements the rest of the home’s rustic rural feel and, with the gas fireplace, contributes to this master bedroom’s relaxed appeal.
The grand foyer, with its impressive statement window and ranch-style doors, delivers a striking welcome to guests while introducing the daring proportions of this laid back country charmer.