Waterfront Mid-century Modern Beach House Retreat – Pender Island

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This fabulous beach house retreat is located on Pender Island, located in the Gulf Islands, British Columbia.  It was designed and photographed by Johnson + McLeod Design Consultants.  The project encompassed the renovation of a 1968 home, which is comprised of 2,800 square feet (260 square meters) of living space with three bedrooms and three bathrooms. The designers respected the original home’s spirit while honouring the beautiful natural environment that surrounds it — “it’s a fresh Pacific Northwest take on midcentury modern.” The clients wanted the home to function as a place for escape and entertaining.

The lesson we can take away from this excellent design is the ability to capture views from the home and to create transitional space, where the lines are blurred between indoors and outdoors. In the Okanagan valley we have, with the excellent view properties the hillsides give us, the ability to create homes that are bright, fresh and airy. Take the time to enjoy this home and think about how you would like to experience some of the excellent design details shown here.

The flagstone driveway leads to a set of stairs that in turn, lead to the front entry. This is experience is a wonderful one, with views to the ocean  and other Gulf Islands. I have boated in this area many times and it is truly breathtaking. Poets Cove and Point Browning are a short boat ride away. Winter Cove and Boat Pass are also close.

This view shows the home nestled into the hillside, with decks off the main floor and concrete patios off the basement level. The views from all areas of the home are spectacular.

An enlarged view of the main floor deck shows outdoor seating around a fire pit. 10 mil glass frameless railings allow the view to not be broken, but enhanced

Looking the other way on the deck, the view out to the water and islands is the definition of serenity. I wonder if the “H” is for happy? I would be.

From the start of this renovation, the designers were focused on transparency and light, and bringing long sight lines through the space and out towards the stunning vistas. Maintaining continuity throughout the interiors was of utmost importance to the design. One of the ways that the designers achieved this was through the use of running planked floor tiles comprised of Italian porcelain, which simulates wood. Radiant heat flooring was also installed. The flooring is also used as a feature wall behind the media center to add warmth to the space.

This is one of my favourite views of the home. The vault of the ceiling, the change in the floor elevation accentuated with bold, wood stair treads, the pop of colour with the orange accents all come together in a harmonious vista.

Echoing the stair and rail detail from the entry, this view shows the continuity in the design. Excellent!

Floor to ceiling windows were used in the renovation to allow the owners to enjoy views out to the ocean for spotting boating and sea life. The vaulted ceilings were painted white to help keep the space bright and airy and to hide any uneven surfaces left behind from the renovation.

The kitchen and dining area are not overdone, they embrace the spirit of mid-century modern design. Not pretentious, but fun and lighthearted

The kitchen design is best expressed by the oversized window looking out to the view. Who wants to be cooking all the time in a vacation home. Is this the “kitchen of the year”? No, but the view is a one for all time.

No matter where you turn in this home, there is something fantastic to look at.

Sylvain Boulanger, an architect I worked with for about three years, many years ago,  taught me that corner windows pull you towards the view. He was right then and it shows here.

Take a minute and enjoy the sweeping view illustrated in this image. So well done.

Cosy seating around the fireplace. Lots of room to gather for conversation and laughter.

A media area where, if you get tired of watching T.V., there is always the ocean.



One of the three bedrooms in the home.


Even in the bathroom, you cannot escape the outdoors.



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