Madrona Modern Home

Article by Adrienne Dyer. Photos by Geoff Hobson.

A small footprint lives large in this modern take on the seaside cottage, designed by Keith Baker of KB Design, and built by Chris Walker of Christopher Developments. At just 1,800 square feet, the floor plan looks and feels spacious, with expansive windows and skylights that flood the home with natural light, and a thoughtful layout that allows both light and movement to flow between living areas.

“The modern style is a great way to maximize building height and the volume of space inside,” says Baker, who adds that the design had to fit within strict bylaw limitations on height, setback and the size of the building envelope. But, as he says, “sometimes limitations make you more creative.”


For instance, in order to incorporate a generously sized master bedroom into a small floor plan, Baker created a concise, functional access corridor that integrates the ensuite bath, walk-in closet and laundry, with huge skylights for illumination. To carve out extra accommodation, Walker employed his expertise in municipal zoning bylaws to negotiate and carry out a complete rebuild of the original detached cabana. The result is a 170-square-foot mini version of the main house, complete with a small bathroom and breathtaking ocean views.


The home’s articulated roof adds variation of scale for unobtrusive visual interest that also makes best use of the compact and sloped building site. The Longboard cedar siding is actually an innovative new extruded aluminum product made in Vancouver, providing an extremely durable, energy-efficient finish that pulls off the look of real wood.


Floor-to-ceiling windows and doors that open wide onto a main balcony create an almost invisible barrier between indoors and out. Even the balcony railing panels disappear against the sea and sky beyond. The result is that from inside, the entire house seems to float above the sea, illustrating how, when it comes to artful interiors, space and size are not the same thing.