Words by Adrienne Dyer. Photos by Jody Beck.
Built from imagination rather than technical drawings, this 2,500-square-foot rebuild showcases the skill and artistry of co-builders, Billy Thistle of Point Break Developments and Aaron Johnson of Deckadence Construction. “The homeowners are extremely passionate about their home,” says Johnson, who collaborated closely with Thistle to adapt and customize the design as their clients’ ambitious ideas evolved.
Inside and out, the house is a mastery of wood craftsmanship. Clear, custom cedar siding clads the house and guest gazebo, with tropical red balau decking and a slate roof.
Thistle designed the floating concrete slab staircase which required one continuous pour, with recessed lights under the nosing. A copper belly band wraps the house, even visible through the 13-foot, commercial grade curtain wall windows that extend from the basement to the main floor. The copper, also used for gutters and trim, will eventually age to a brown and green patina.
The homeowners’ collection of Indigenous art includes a massive central totem by renowned Canadian carver, Klatle-Bhi, a friend of the clients. “Positioning of the central totem was critical,” says Thistle. “The totem was cut from a single log, split in two and hollowed out to hide a structural steel post, then put back together. We hid the seam with a band of copper.”
Thistle and Johnson paneled the walls with reclaimed barnboard, filling gaps and knotholes with copper. On the floor, hand-scraped black walnut floors feature blonde elements that tie into white-washed hickory cabinets in the kitchen. Black walnut window liners provide a transitional accent feature between the glass and rustic walls.
The upstairs loft contains one bedroom, with the master suite on the bottom floor. Throughout the master ensuite and walk-in closet, dark marble, and black walnut cabinetry and walls provide a rich backdrop for stunning glass panels, also designed by Klatle-Bhi.
Travertine floors and a huge, gilded mirror in the closet bring lightness into the rooms. With so much time and artistry invested, this home was as much a labour of love for the builders as it was for the owners. Using rich and varied natural materials applied with their combined skill, Johnson and Thistle translated their client’s intangible ideas into the home of their dreams.