“Charming Island Retreat”: Stephane’s 600-Square-Foot Family Project on the West Coast

Stephane got in touch with me to share a little house he designed for his mom and aunt. It’s on a small island off the West Coast of Vancouver.

The house is not big, just 600 square feet. Stephane made the bedrooms as small as possible to have more space in the living area.

To make the most of the small space, he put the bedrooms, bathroom, and kitchen in the back half of the house. This left a nice big living space in the front half.

Stephane worked on this project with his family during the COVID-19 lockdowns. The house follows the traditional way of building in the area but also has some modern touches.

The two sisters who commissioned the house planned it as a joint project during the pandemic. They spent their time working on it while the lockdowns were going on. The house sits on top of a hill with great views of the Olympic Mountains.

Building on rocky ground was a challenge. They had to anchor the foundation directly onto the bedrock at the cliff’s edge overlooking a ravine below.

The house is small, only 600 square feet, but they made the most of the space. The bedrooms, bathroom, and kitchen are in the back half of the house.

The front half has a big living area with a 12-foot-tall wall facing the sun. This wall has floor-to-ceiling windows and a large sliding glass door that connects to the deck.

They placed other windows carefully to get lots of sunlight and nice views. The design of the external wall going up to the roof is unique. It adds a dynamic and elegant touch to the project.

The deck below is made warm and inviting with clear-stained cedar boards. The idea was to make the house look open and friendly, like a smiling face.

If you want to know more, see more pictures, or buy the plans, you can visit Stephane’s website.

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