Unique six-sided home on Vancouver Island embraces connection to ocean and sea

Ocean views from small peninsula are breathtaking

  • Jul. 8, 2019 7:30 a.m.

– Story by Darcy Nybo Photography by Don Denton

Story courtesy of Boulevard Magazine, a Black Press Media publication

Like Boulevard Magazine on Facebook and follow them on Instagram

Quick Facts:

# bedrooms: 3

# bathrooms: 3 full, en suite and 2 half

1 den

1 media room

Sq. ft. of home: 5,000

Sq. ft. of deck: 1,800

2-car garage

fireplaces: 2 – 1 wood and 1 gas

reno/build time: 16 months

items saved: fireplace and structural open beams

Every now and then you find the perfect lot with a home that screams for a renovation. Clare and Brent Carson found just that in a six-sided home in Ladysmith.

“We fell in love with it immediately,” Clare says. “[The previous owners] had taken advantage of the ocean views and the small peninsula on the lot, but not as much as they could have. We went one step further and opened up the space to take full advantage of the views from the property.”

Indeed, the views are breathtaking. A pair of deer wander onto the small wooded peninsula in front of us as Clare describes some of the activity they see from their home.

“Just the other day we had a pod of four orcas come through. We’ve seen gray whales out here too. There are usually seals in the bay as well as sea lions, otters, deer, eagles, herons, woodpeckers, loons and dozens of other birds. We are keeping the whole area off the deck in its natural state for the animals.”

No matter where you are — in the kitchen, dining room, office or living area — there’s a view of the ocean. Nature is in full abundance here. The lot has a microclimate perfect for Garry oak and arbutus, making it highly representative of life on Vancouver Island.

Chris Lundy, of Westmark Construction Ltd., helped create the Carson’s dream home.

Brian Hemingway, a noted Vancouver architect, was an integral part of the team and conceptualized the design of the house as per the owners’ vision,” Chris says. “It was a great design — and then we had to make it work structurally. There were areas of the house that weren’t square and a lot of math and geometry was involved. We took the entire home down to its original framing. There was also an intensive seismic retrofit to meet current codes.”

“When we first saw this place, I envisioned expansive decks,” Clare says. “The deck is my favourite place. It’s a living space for us. It doesn’t matter what the weather is doing … It faces so many angles that we can always find a comfortable area. There is also a glass overhang to protect us from rain. Every morning the sun rises over De Courcy Island and it’s stunning.”

But there is more to this hexagon-shaped house than the views.

“We love the work Mari Kushino Design did on designing the interior of the home,” Clare says. “I love to cook and I love a big space to cook in. I’ve always wanted a house where it’s possible to talk and cook at the same time. Besides, people always gravitate to the kitchen. There is enough space in here that I can have four people chatting with me on the other side of the island.”

The kitchen’s large island has an Italian quartz countertop and raised bar at the back with leather-textured black granite. The kitchen cabinetry is saw-cut white oak by Thetis Cove Joinery.

“We wanted all our appliances behind cabinetry,” Clare says.

The magnificent 21-foot-high stone-faced fireplace is the core feature from which the living area, dining room and kitchen flow. The actual firebox opening is an impressive four feet high by six feet wide.

“The fireplace is a central structural component in the home as all six of the exposed Douglas fir timbers meet up at the fireplace,” Clare says. “We refaced the fireplace with 80 per cent natural-edge stone and 20 per cent ocean pearl stone from K2 Stone here on Vancouver Island.” She adds, “My favourite part of this build was combining the existing structural timber with new timber. Brian Hemingway took a very average design and turned it into something spectacular. We created continuity with the exterior timber as well as the additional timber used above the doors and windows. They all match the colour of the arbutus trees in a small grove to the left of the living area. This house blends perfectly with the headland of the property.”

While building a six-sided house is not common, it is quite doable. The architect created a nice flow by using the same shape and slightly different sized tiles on the main living area and the outdoor decks, making the transition almost seamless from indoors to out.

“There were so many people helping us create our dream home,” Clare says. “It was obvious that many of the trades took great pride in what they brought to the build. Even the people who did the insulation took pride in their work.”

Clare wanted to create a hotel feel in the master suite.

“I loved the idea of floor-to-ceiling windows to be able to see the water when you are in bed. We also wanted the steam shower and the tub to have ocean views. We installed a Fleurco freestanding bathtub at an angle to one of the glass walls for a relaxing view of the ocean.”

The master suite also has a gas fireplace. Add that to a large, walk-in closet with matching his-and-hers dressers, and the resort atmosphere is complete.

Also on the upper level is a butler’s pantry, which leads into a large mudroom and shower area created for holding wetsuits. There’s also a laundry room with cubbies for the kids and space for the pets. Off the mudroom is a gym with ocean views.

To the left of the front entrance, off the great room, sits an office area and a staircase that leads down to two bedrooms, each with their own en suite. To the far right of the entrance, off the kitchen, is another set of stairs that leads down to a theatre room with two levels for seating. There’s also a wet bar, mini fridge, sink and a half bathroom.

While renovating a home of this shape was a large job, Clare and Brent never felt too stressed out.

As Brent notes: “We had an on-site foreman, Chris Defoe. He was instrumental in problem solving and marrying architectural details with structural details. Having him on site made the build less difficult.”

“Oh, I agree,” Clare says. “It was great having him here because there were so many areas where we had a hard time envisioning how things would work, and Chris would find a way to explain it to us.”

Chris Lundy agrees that while complicated, the renovation was fairly stress-free.

“A renovation of this magnitude takes on a life of its own and the entire team has to be constantly adjusting during the process. There was great collaboration on this project between all the trades and the owners. There was a lot of problem solving and delays due to unforeseen structural problems, but at the same time there was this mutual trust between the contractor and the client.”

With the renovation now complete, the Carsons are content to watch the ever-evolving show Mother Nature provides.

“We love the privacy and the close connection with nature,” Brent says. “Everything out there changes as the tides go in and out. You never know what you’re going to see next.”

Home & GardenLifeLifestyle

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Vanier students have put together a new video about road safety. Image, screenshot
Too many driving infractions, say School District 71, Comox ValleyRCMP

G.P. Vanier students also put together a video about safe driving and school buses

Jordan Jay Ward is wanted on a Canada-wide warrant for two counts of manslaughter. Photo supplied
Wanted man from Calgary may be in the Comox Valley

Jordan Jay Ward is wanted on a Canada-wide warrant for two counts of manslaughter

The City of Courtenay has received an application for a cannabis retail store at the Crown Isle shopping centre. File photo
Cannabis retail proposal draws mixed reviews from Courtenay residents

Coast Range Cannabis has applied to the City of Courtenay to operate… Continue reading

The 5th Street Bridge will be repaired next year. File photo
Former Courtenay councillor suggests waiting a year to repair bridge

In the opinion of a former member of Courtenay council, a year’s… Continue reading

Rotary District 5020 president Rod McKenzie (in chair) agreed to test out the CVCDA ramp and experience it from the perspective of an individual who relies on a wheelchair to get around. McKenzie is being prepped by Comox Valley Wheelchair Sports Society president Stephane Roy. Submitted by CVCDA
Accessibility the focus of Comox Valley Child Development Association Telethon

The Comox Valley Child Development Association Telethon will look markedly different this… Continue reading

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Our Home on 8th, the Port Alberni Shelter that opened in March 2019, has 27 extra ‘extreme weather’ spaces for people who need a place to get out of the cold. (SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News)
BC VOTES 2020: Mid-Island candidate plans occupation of shelter to protest homelessness

Graham Hughes says homeless situation a ‘crisis’ in Port Alberni

Parksville’s Jared Huggan won $75,000 playing BC/49. (BCLC/Photo submitted)
Vancouver Island man $75K richer after purchasing winning lottery ticket at Nanaimo Walmart

Parksville’s Huggan plans to purchase electric bike for partner

Actor Ryan Reynolds surprised a Shuswap family with a special birthday message to their son who was worried he’d be alone on his 9th birthday on Nov. 24. (Tiffanie Trudell/Facebook)
Ryan Reynolds text almost gives away Shuswap boy’s birthday surprise

Deadpool actor helps remind eight-year-old Canoe resident he’s not alone

Courtenay council
Subdivision proposal causes stir in Courtenay neighbourhood

Courtenay council approved second reading of a rezoning application to subdivide a… Continue reading

The Cowichan Steelheads’ Jesus Martinez (left) and the Cowichan 49ers’ Daryl Rodgers chase down the ball during Saturday night’s all-Cowichan clash at the Sherman Road turf. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Cowichan masters derby takes unexpected turn with broken leg

Soccer community comes together in midst of battle

Larry Whetstone is concerned about the condition of Jeffries Road, where he has lived for 30 years. (Robert Barron/Citizen)
Poor condition of rural road in Cowichan has resident fed up

Transportation Ministry says repair plan under development

Most Read