These handy young homeowners have a knack for home design and renovations. After tackling three home reno projects together, the couple took their finely tuned wishlist in search of their forever home. However, the dream home they envisioned never materialized and the couple hired Norm Friesen from Peninsula Design and Steve Smith at SC Smith Building, to design and build a 2500-square-foot rustic contemporary farmhouse with four bedrooms and two-and-a-half bathrooms on an acre of verdant land in North Saanich.
With sustainability and durability high on their priority list, the couple’s build goals centred on making the least amount of environmental impact while using materials that would stand the test of time. “We want the house to last for hundreds of years rather than see it bulldozed 50-100 years from now,” say the homeowners.
Considering the couple’s reno acumen, they knew that their flooring choice would be crucial to the home’s foundational look and feel. In consultation with West Wind Hardwood, the couple requested a rustic looking hardwood floor that would be hardwearing while also providing a warm homey feel with a prominent grain and exposed knots.
“We had been to West Wind Hardwood for previous projects and were drawn to their friendly and knowledgeable service. They also do their own custom milling so that was part of the appeal for us. We originally wanted local wood but fell in love with the texture and colour of ash. They know where their wood is coming from at West Wind — where it is grown and harvested and that is really important to us.”
Joel Radford, manager at West Wind Hardwood, reports that the couple came to the shop with ideas of their own and requested a hardwood that was durable, rustic looking and fairly light in colour. “They chose rustic grade ash in four different widths which had the advantage of using the whole tree as opposed to specific widths that create a lot of waste. We were happy to be able to mill it all for them as well,” says Radford.
West Wind took the overwhelm out of decision making by providing the owners with samples to take home and try in their space. “We showed West Wind a photo, described what we liked and they sourced it for us. They get just as excited as homeowners and their passion shows in the end product. We are expecting a baby so we wanted a flooring that will tolerate a lot of wear. We’ve even dragged furniture across the floor and there was no damage — it’s very hard and hides a lot.”
Traditionally used for cutting boards and chopping blocks, hard-working eastern maple was sourced from West Wind Hardwood for the kitchen island’s butcher block. When scratches or dings appear, the maple can be sanded and refinished back to new.
More stable and slightly harder than hardy red oak, ash flooring in high traffic areas will prove durable over time. Its very long wood fibres provide unparalleled flexibility and stability. Think baseball bats. For this young couple starting a family, dents and scratches are inevitable but the prominent grain and knots will keep them less visible and will add character over time.