Homes & Design Photo Credit: Robert Lemermeyer

Summer Getaway: Rebuilt Modern Lakeside Cabin

When a fire destroyed their beloved lakeside retreat, a Calgary couple turned tragedy into a bold new beginning.

kootney cabin

Architects are rarely granted a do-over, but with this home Calgarian Jeremy Sturgess got his. Less than a decade ago, his absolute best and most supportive clients had him design a home on the shores of Kootenay Lake that made them very happy and attracted widespread acclaim, including publication in this magazine. And then, a couple of years ago, they came back and asked him to do it all over again—except with a wider scope and a bigger budget. Could it get any better?

kootney cabin

Well, actually, yes—the circumstances could have been much better. The issue for Sturgess was that those absolute best clients happen to be his sister and brother-in-law, Carol and Dick Johnson, and the reason for the fresh start was a fire that destroyed the first home, along with a lot of their precious art and belongings. Not the ideal circumstances, obviously, but there was a bright side. However loved it was, the first home had its flaws. Moreover, the passing years brought changes to the Johnsons’ life that a new place could better suit.

 

kootney cabin

Sturgess is sitting in a coffee shop in Vancouver, with wife and business partner Lesley Beale, as he relates some of these changes. The couple recently bought a place in Arthur Erickson’s live-work Waterfall Building, which they expect to make their new, part-time base—much as the Johnsons have done, in their case alternating between the Kootenays and Mexico. Meanwhile, the Johnson family now includes grandchildren who are happy to spend as much time at the lake as possible. Sturgess describes how they replaced the home’s original formal entrance with a much more casual boardwalk and stairway that descends down the hillside toward the water. Turn right, and there’s the master suite (on the same level as the common rooms this time around, in deference to creaky knees). Turn left and there are expanded quarters for visitors, providing both hosts and guests with maximum privacy.

kootney cabin

The house is more than an hour from the nearest supermarket, and it’s become clear that lots of storage is essential. So behind a smart Poggenpohl kitchen that’s completely free of upper cabinets, there’s a massive walk-in pantry. Another fundamental change responds to a site constraint that Sturgess says he simply missed the first time around. Situated almost on the water and facing toward the south and west, the old home and its outdoor areas were blasted by relentless sun. The new design, almost a Z-shape, takes that into account, providing a choice of sun or shade.

kootney cabin

Sturgess has designed several homes for the Johnsons over the years, and one byproduct is that they have become very sophisticated clients. This time, interior choices were in a large part theirs, with many of the materials—two container loads, in fact—shipped up from Guadalajara. (Everything arrived intact except for one sink that was smashed open by vigilant customs agents.) The white marble floors his sister chose received Sturgess’s approval, as did the turquoise tiles for the kitchen wall. The couple were worried about what the architect might think of a huge outdoor pendant featuring multiple starburst shapes, but Sturgess loved it.

kootney cabin

kootney cabin

In other cases, Sturgess had to do the cajoling. The first house burned due to a freak accident in the chimney, and Carol was reluctant to see any sort of open fire in the new design. But she now appreciates the Danish Rais wood stove that Sturgess talked her into. And what of the home’s signature red exterior, which guarantees that no one will ever end up at the wrong place by mistake? Sturgess is well known for his embrace of colour, so was this another case of arm-twisting? No, says Carol. In fact, red happens to be her favourite colour. wl

SOURCES
Architect, Jeremy Sturgess, Sturgess Architecture, Calgary, 403-263-5700, sturgessarchitecture.com. Builder, Dudley Custom Building, Jaffray, B.C., 250-429-3663, dudleyscustombuilding.com. 
EXTERIOR | HardiePanel, Slegg Lumber, Victoria, 250-478-5509, slegglumber.ca; Northern Building Supply, Vancouver, 604-321-6141, northernbuilding.net; Convoy Supply, Calgary, 403-207-3400; Edmonton, 780-439-9300, convoy-supply.com; Regina, Roofmart, 306-721-6355; Saskatoon, 306-931-1001; Winnipeg, 204-233-7169, roofmart.ca. Cedar oculus, Boards by George, Argenta, B.C., 250-366-4235, boardsbygeorge.ca. Windows, Marvin Windows, Vancouver, 604-291-9411; Calgary, 403-726-1575, marvin.com. Star mobile, Horse statue, Birdhouse, client’s own. Glass doors, MW Millwork, Creston, BC, 250-402-6455, mwmillwork.ca. Larch deck, Perry Ridge Paneling, Winlaw, B.C., 250-226-7530. Coloured deck chairs, Home Hardware, Victoria, 250-382-4663; Vancouver, 604-253-1747; Creston, BC, 520-428-9388; Calgary, 403-948-5535; Edmonton, 780-417-0696; Regina, 306-525-2758; Saskatoon, 603-374-5515; homehardware.ca. Custom parota stairs, Dudley Custom Building, Jaffray, B.C., 250-429-3663, dudleyscustombuilding.com. Timber, Bob Wiebe’s Mill. LIVING ROOM | Designer White Beauti-Tone Designer series, Home Hardware, Victoria, 250-382-4663; Vancouver, 604-253-1747; Creston, BC, 520-428-9388; Calgary, 403-948-5535; Edmonton, 780-417-0696; Regina, 306-525-2758; Saskatoon, 603-374-5515; homehardware.ca. Marble flooring, rug, floor lamp, clients’ own. Black chairs, reclining chair, Kilian International Design, Calgary, 403-270-8800, kilian.ca. White sofa and cushions, Sofas and Sillones, Mexico, sofasysillones.com.mx. Coffee table, Sacred Journey, Gray Creek, BC, 250-227-6865; Calgary, 403-262-7716, sacredjourney.ca. Door, windows, Marvin Windows, Vancouver, 604-291-9411; Calgary, 403-726-1575, marvin.com. Rais Rondo fireplace, Greenworks Building Supply, Vancouver, 604-685-3611, greenworksbuildingsupply.com; Hearth and Home Fireplace Specialties, Calgary, 403-258-3732, hearthandhomefireplace.com; Wood Energy Store, Edmonton, 780-452-4988, woodenergystore.com. Black post, Comfort Welding, Creston, BC, 250-428-7464. Statue, Rafael Araiza, rafaelaraiza@gmail.com. Ceiling fan, Big Ass Fans, Lexington, KY, 1-877-244-3267, bigassfans.com. Laurel Cormack tree paintings, Virginia Christopher Fine Art, Calgary, 403-263-4346, virginiachristopherfineart.com. Eglo floor lamps, Illuminations Lighting Victoria, 250-384-9359, illuminationsbc.com; Superior Lighting and Bath, Nelson, BC, 250-354-4363, superiorlightingandbath.com; Robinson Lighting and Bath Centre, Vancouver, 604-879-2494; Calgary, 403-245-8637; Edmonton, 780-453-5714; Saskatoon, 306-664-2389; Winnipeg, 204-784-0111, rlrbc.com; Richardson Lighting, Regina, 306-525-8301, richardsonlighting.com. Table and red chairs, Kilian International Design, Calgary, 403-270-8800, kilian.ca. Candlesticks, Kootenay Forge, Crawford Bay, B.C., 877-461-9466, kootenayforge.com. Track lighting, Home Hardware, Victoria, 250-382-4663; Vancouver, 604-253-1747; Creston, BC, 520-428-9388; Calgary, 403-948-5535; Edmonton, 780-417-0696; Regina, 306-525-2758; Saskatoon, 603-374-5515; homehardware.ca. OUTDOOR SHOWER | Glass windows, Classic Glass and Trim, Creston, BC, 250-428-5347. Shower, clients’ own. KITCHEN | Beauti-Tone Jewels paint, Home Hardware, Victoria, 250-382-4663; Vancouver, 604-253-1747; Calgary, 403-948-5535; Edmonton, 780-417-0696; Regina, 306-525-2758; Saskatoon, 603-374-5515; homehardware.ca. Island, Cabinets and Countertops, Poggenpohl Alberta, Calgary, 403-301-0288, poggenpohl-porsche-design-kitchen.com. Kettle, Kilian International Design, Calgary, 403-270-8800, kilian.ca. Wolf Range, Trail Appliances, Victoria, 250-475-1511, Vancouver, 604-434-8711; Calgary, 403-253-5442; Edmonton, 780-434-9414, trailappliances.com; Coast Wholesale Appliance, Victoria, 250-475-0277, coastappliances.com; Midland Appliance, Vancouver, 604-608-0600, midlandappliance.com; Denca Cabinets, Calgary, 403-252-5552, dencacabinets.com; Appliance Gallery at LightForm, Edmonton, 780-455-8807, appliance-gallery.ca; Rick’s Custom Cabinets & Renovations, Regina, 306-352-6044; Midtown Appliance World, Saskatoon, 306-242-8363, saskatoonappliance.com; Stalwart Appliances By Design, Winnipeg, 204-786-4879, stalwartappliances.com. Laura Sharp vase, White Owl Ceramic Studio, Calgary, 403-399-8946, whiteowlceramicstudio.ca. Marble flooring, fruit plate, client’s own. Faucet, Superior Lighting and Bath, Nelson, B.C., 250-354-4363, superiorlightingandbath.com. Peter Ivens painting, Elevation Gallery, Calgary, 403-609-3324, elevationgallery.ca Eglo lights, Illuminations Lighting Victoria, 250-384-9359, illuminationsbc.com; Superior Lighting and Bath, Nelson, BC, 250-354-4363, superiorlightingandbath.com; Robinson Lighting & Bath Centre, Vancouver, 604-879-2494; Calgary, 403-245-8637; Edmonton, 780-453-5714; Saskatoon, 306-664-2389; Winnipeg, 204-784-0111, rlrbc.com; Richardson Lighting, Regina, 306-525-8301, richardsonlighting.com. KitchenAid fridge, The Brick, Victoria, 250-360-2300; Vancouver, 604-734-7963; Calgary, 403-516-2450, Edmonton, 780-930-6200, Regina, 306-721-4400, Saskatoon, 603-244-1400, Winnipeg, 204-788-6500, thebrick.com. Rancilio cappuccino machine, Espressotec, Vancouver, 604-244-7989, espressotec.com. Phone, Panasonic, Trail Appliances, Victoria, 250-475-1511, Vancouver, 604-434-8711, Calgary, 403-253-5442, Edmonton, 780-434-9414, trailappliances.com; Future Shop, across the West, futureshop.ca. DECK | Cedar flooring, Boards by George, Argenta, B.C., 250-366-4235, boardsbygeorge.ca. Silver roofing, Home Hardware, Victoria, 250-382-4663; Vancouver, 604-253-1747; Calgary, 403-948-5535; Edmonton, 780-417-0696; Regina, 306-525-2758; Saskatoon, 603-374-5515; homehardware.ca. Larch siding, Perry Ridge Paneling, Winlaw, BC, 250-226-7530. Lights, client’s own. Fan, Turlock Electrical Contracting, 250-551-4671, turlockelectric@shaw.ca. Broil King BBQ, Rona, across the West, 866-283-2239, rona.ca. Table and chairs, Gunther’s Mobilia (closed). Railing, Comfort Welding, Creston, B.C., 250-428-7464. Railing glass, Orchard Valley Glass, Creston, B.C., 250-428-3455.

Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Instagram Diary