When my husband and I decided to build a new home we knew we wanted it to be welcoming and comfortable. But it was the sudden death of my dear cousin Dale that truly inspired us to create a space that would be a sanctuary for friends and family – a place where people could laugh, cry, sing, dance, eat, drink and feel completely loved. When I was growing up Dale’s house was the gathering place. It was also where I went when I was having a bad day. We lived close by — and I would often bike to her house when I was having a teenage drama and she would always welcome me with open arms, home cooked food, and unconditional love. She always made you feel special. She also knew how to have fun, and her parties were filled with music, games, and laughter.

Our west coast inspired (and Dale inspired) home, perched along Patricia Bay beach in North Saanich just outside of Victoria. is the perfect place to watch an eagle soar, a blue heron glide, and amazing sunsets. We often enjoy watching folks horseback riding along the beach as the sun glistens off the water and pinch ourselves that we live here. But what makes this house so suited for us is the unique design — that not only allows for a view from every room, but is open and multi-functional. Our kitchen opens up to our dining and living room — and can be converted into a table for 30, a dance floor, or living room concert hall. And yes, all these things occur regularly.

One of our favourite places to sit and enjoy a cold glass of wine on a warm summer evening is the upper deck where we wave to the many friends who drive or bike by. And sometimes they stop in spontaneously and join us. Our designer, Cydney Hellier Gray, is often one of those guests and we always thank her for listening to us and designing a home that feels more like a dear friend then it does a house.

As our daughter prepares to go away to university in the fall, we are not only cherishing time with her, but the time we have with all her many friends that drop in and join us for dinner, or marshmallow roasts in our outdoor fire pit. Our 9 year old son is also holding on to every moment with his sister. Whether they are having a water fight on the deck, or looking for shooting stars from the roof — this home has become a place for them and us to create so many amazing memories.

There is just something about the design of this house — it inspires us to live better and give more. Thanks Dale and Cydney — for helping create a better house than we would have ever dreamed up ourselves!

Categories: Lifestyle

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