Western Living Magazine
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Introducing Western Living’s 2022 Designers of the Year Award Winners
WL Architects of the Year 2022: Measured Architecture
WL Robert Ledingham Memorial Award for an Emerging Interior Designer 2022: Studio Roslyn
We've got a case of cabin fever.
There’s no formula for an ideal summer cabin: some are architectural masterpieces that stand out from their surroundings, while others fit so organically within the natural landscape you might even believe they were there as long as the trees. But no matter what your style, the best cabins are an escape from the everyday.
Cabins are meant to bring people together, and this Battersby Howat-designed home pulls off that goal with plenty of modernist style. With a family that includes three children and nine grandchildren, this beachside hideaway is always lively. The homeowners originally bought the property in 1971, when the area was just a mishmash of summer cottages, and then built their dream home-away-from-home: a cabin designed to withstand the wind and rain, optimize the views of the beach, and (most importantly) provide a space where children can play and adults can relax. Check out more gorgeous summer-fun pics here.
This 680-square-foot Pender Island cabin, designed by Everest Lapp, fits right in with the surrounding wilderness thanks to its wood finish and its green roof. The exterior may fit in organically with nature, but the interior features a few modern touches, like a slick Ikea kitchen and a collection of mismatched Eames chairs. See the rest of the space here.
Marc Boutin‘s cabin in Bamfield B.C. fits so organically within the natural landscape that if you weren’t looking for it, you just might miss it. In fact, this humble 840-square-foot house only required two trees to be torn down to make way for it—though it still manages to fit five people and two dogs comfortably. What’s cool about this cabin is not just its small environmental footprint, or its proximity to the beach, but rather the open-concept layout, which places a rectangle around a central cube: when privacy is needed, different sections of the cabin can be closed off with aluminum sliding doors. Check out more photos of this innovative cabin design here.
When Dan and Carolyn needed an inspiration for their summer home on Mayne Island, they found it watching Something’s Gotta Give, and set about building a 5,000-square-foot Hamptons-style home with the help of local craftspeople. But it doesn’t just look good: it does good too, thanks to a sustainable design that utilizes geothermal heating and a septic system that reuses water for the gardens. With fun additions like a floor hockey rink in the basement and a clubhouse for building projects, Dan says “there’s always a place for the family to come together.” Check out the family-friendly cabin here.
There seems to be a recurring theme of cabins with open concepts—and this Osburn/Clarke-built cabin is no different. They used many dark materials such as black walnut cabinetry, but the natural light that pours through the windows keeps the space bright and airy and colourful furniture (like an orange Belgian-linen armchair) balance out the moody hues with some fun. Check out more photos from this Gulf Island cabin story here.
As if a 3,000-square-foot cabin built right on Kootenay Lake isn’t cool enough, the designer had to go and install a loggia—a room with a glass wall, intended to capitalize on the view of the water leading up to the mountains. See the full cabin here.
This summer cabin doesn’t try and blend in with its surroundings. Surrounded by greenery and water, the bright red pops. But there’s also the intruiging Z-shape of the design, which accounts for the ample sunlight in the region and provides extra shaded areas in the cabin. See more of this smartly designed cabin here.
This glass jewelbox of a house was built with a modern vibe, including large windows are their to appreciate the natural surroundings. “When you experience the house, you’re very much in awe of the natural environment and very respectful of it,” says designer Alda Pereira. “It’s more about the outside than the inside.” Check out the complete Sunshine Coast home here.
This Mitchell Freedland-designed house in West Vancouver is living proof that great things can come in small packages. Yes this beach house is rather modest by West Vancouver standards, but the fact that it is a manageable space within a beautiful landscape, and only a few feet from water, make it something to behold. See more photos of this sleek beach house here.