As they rode the ferry to make their first site visit to Cadboro Bay—a community on the southern tip of Vancouver Island named for the Hudson’s Bay Company brigantine that sailed in 1837—designers Chad Falkenberg and Kelly Reynolds of Falken Reynolds took a picture of the sea spray the vessel was making as it cut through the water. “It looks exactly like Verde Alpi marble,” says Falkenberg. “It’s that same deep, rich green colour, which you don’t really experience in the Georgia Strait unless you’re on a boat looking down.”

Low Lines: The low horizontal line of the concrete and steel fireplace keeps the lounging area feeling intimate despite the 11-foot ceilings. The Bocci 73V glass pendants above the IZM dining table bring in a touch of the blue view beyond. Photo by Ema Peter

That serpentine marble, akin to a boat’s-eye view of the northern Pacific, is now one of many elements connecting the home to its oceanfront setting—and to its homeowners, an active couple with three sons. Having relocated to Victoria from Edmonton six years prior for their teenagers’ athletic pursuits, the clients wanted their new 5,400-square-foot, two-level primary residence—designed by architect Christian Floyd and built by Billy Thistle from Point Break Developments—to be an extension of the beach, albeit through a modern, minimalist lens. During the couple’s first meeting with the design duo, driftwood became a source of inspiration. So, concrete floors in the home feature a shade of grey that is a near-perfect match to the darker sands in the Pacific Northwest, while a continuous light-stained hemlock in the ceiling and soffits references the tone of a silvery, sun-bleached log as it softly warms up the bungalow-style main living space and coaxes the eye out to the bay.

Lit from Within: A strategically placed skylight in the stairwell is designed to naturally bring in light above artwork from Victoria-based artist Joe Coffey. Photo by Ema Peter

The sea view is clear from the back side of the house, where the kitchen flows seamlessly to the outside. Barbecuing is a family pastime, so the Caesarstone cooktop counter, Corian drawer faces and marble backsplash—all West Coast-weather tolerant—continue through to the exterior side, bisected only by sliding glass. On the interior side, the thin, quarter-inch stainless-steel counter on the island will patina with time, akin to the ocean’s smoothing and buffing of rocks along the shoreline, while the streamlined custom steel pendant above illuminates both the work surface and the hemlock ceiling.


Cozy Corner: Beach-toned linen bedding on the Cassina Cab Night bed in the primary bedroom are from Vancouver’s Sömn Home. A window seat provides a reading nook with bay views. Photo by Ema Peter

Highly functional spaces maintain a relationship to the outside too. In the mudroom, a lengthy skylight floods the space with light and a narrow vertical window serves up a glimpse of evergreen trees, while durable Fenix millwork conceals sports gear and includes built-in dog dishes and a faucet for the family Labrador. The lower-level gym, which opens to the pool deck, flaunts its own big ocean view.

Open and Airy: The bungalow style of the main level keeps all the essentials up top—primary bedroom, a second bedroom, kitchen, living room, dining area and a workspace. Photo by Ema Peter

Connection to place extends beyond the home’s immediate coastal locale. The couple are ardent supporters of local art and design, and own an extensive collection that includes Western Canadian artists Takao Tanabe, Allen Sapp and William Perehudoff. Save for that oceanic Verde Alpi in the primary ensuite and sky-blue Bocci 73V pendants above the dining table, the art provides the only other presence of overt colour. “It’s also an evolving collection, so it was important for us to plan multiple spaces for different pieces of substantially sized art,” says Falkenberg. “Art shouldn’t feel like it’s part of the architecture—rather, a layer on top of it.” Lighting and low-profile furniture, such as the custom console in the dining area, were chosen to ensure that different locations could accommodate various large-scale works.


Function and Form: In the mudroom, a hardy concrete bench allows for kicked-off shoes to be tucked underneath while providing a step up to access the shelf and cabinets above. Rows of hooks offer easy access to come-and-go coats. Photo by Ema Peter

Many of the furnishings and finishes also nod to the nearby, melding the clients’ prairie roots with their current coastal life. Bedside tables, dining chairs and a coffee table from Edmonton-based furniture designers IZM are the perfect match for the family’s original Iconoclast dining table from the same brand, refinished to complement the home’s millwork—which the client enthusiastically did herself. Sconces from Edmonton’s Tomnuk illuminate the primary bedroom, and Pebble sconces and a Pipeline floor lamp from Vancouver’s AndLight feature in the ensuite and living room, respectively. In the powder room, a stretched 87.3 series Bocci fixture hovers above a solid white marble sink, which was quarried up-island and custom machine-carved at Duncan’s Matrix Marble and Stone.

Hey Squirrel Friend: A horizontal blackened steel plate, protecting white drywall above the Stuv fireplace, returns to the floor, acting as the termination of the concrete hearth. The angled metal creates a natural home for Carollyne Yardley’s La Mer Squirrel. Photo by Ema Peter

In describing the home’s warm minimalism, Falkenberg uses a word that all who weather the West Coast will be familiar with: layers. There is colour, used sparingly and expressed subtly and tonally. Then texture, ranging from the knit fabric on the Moroso Gentry sofa in the living area to the stainless-steel kitchen island, which was designed by Broadwell Metal and sandblasted to soften its reflectivity. Finally, there are transitions, as seen in delicate framing around larger structures, such as the thin black metal line that connects the living room fireplace with the white wall above. “It’s almost imperceptible,” he says, “But it feels more refined. Those little details—if we didn’t have them, it would feel cold.” Like that splash of Verde Alpi, it equates to the coolest kind of warmth.

Check out more of this stunning home (photos by Ema Peter):


This story was originally published in the July/August 2023 print issue of Western Livingfind the digital issue here.