Sitting just a pebble’s throw from the ocean on B.C.’s ruggedly beautiful Sunshine Coast, Lara and Rick Irwin’s vacation home is laid-back and playful — the type of place that makes you smile when you walk in the door. “I wanted something with wit and whimsy and zero grandeur,” says Lara. Go inside the relaxed interior, aptly named Ebb Tide, that embodies exactly what a summer home should feel like.
The south-facing home was built to be “sea safe,” says Lara. Vinyl windows from Innotech are a smart and low-maintenance choice for the salt-air climate.
Nautical touches, like the vintage boating sign and pendants from Hudson Valley Lighting, add personality without going overboard. Industrial stools share the space with modern white dining chairs for an unexpected mix. The floors are Alaskan hand-scraped, fumed and oiled oak from Sullivan Source — a handsome counterpoint to the lighter fir ceilings.
A Viking range and double stainless steel apron-front sink from Wolseley are workhorses when Lara is entertaining a crowd, as she often does. A runner from Pottery Barn adds nautical flair.
Open stainless steel shelving in the kitchen keeps practical items close at hand. The island houses storage and a microwave.
A niche in the hallway behind the kitchen contains a bar area, which Lara layered with photos, drawings, collectibles and slim lamps from Da Vinci’s Home.
In the dining area, an airy glass pendant hangs over a vintage industrial table from Scott Landon Antiques. Inexpensive white chairs from Ikea pair with end chairs from Brougham Interiors slipcovered in blue linen to complete the high-low mix.
Simplicity and translucent layers are key to the great room’s serene feeling. Its focal point is a double-height fireplace wall clad in white Balinese stone from Bravo Floors.
The living room’s neutral palette ensures that nothing distracts from the view, which is highlighted by the black-framed windows. Slipcovered furniture from Brougham Interiors keeps the mood casual, while a sculptural rope floor lamp from Anthropologie adds texture.
An exotic-looking chaise and block print-style rug from Pottery Barn define a reading area in the peaceful principal bedroom, which is painted Hardwick White (5) by Farrow & Ball. A vintage Churchill poster from Bakers Dozen Antiques enlivens a corner wall. French doors offer direct access to a patio.
The principal bath’s pebbled floor tiles, from Bravo Floors, bring a natural, beachy feeling indoors. A skylight makes for relaxed stargazing from the soaker tub, by Wolseley Mechanical Group, with a graphic celestial print nearby for reference.
The utility room was built to accommodate a bank of battered 1930s lockers from Chicago, a find from Scott Landon Antiques.
Here is Lara in front of Ebb Tide’s breezeway, which separates the main living quarters from a guest studio. A sconce from Barn Light Electric introduces the home’s nautical motif.
Cozy and private, the second-floor guest area above the garage houses twin beds, a change room, a lounge area and a bathroom. Lara found the octopus bedding on Etsy.
A root chair found at Chintz & Company adds whimsy to the seating on the covered deck.
It’s a quick commute across a flagstone patio to the beach.
Two identical zinc- topped tables from Pottery Barn on the patio (only one is visible here) are low- maintenance and seat up to 16. Strings of outdoor lights from Restoration Hardware twinkle into the night to keep the party going.
A teak chaise is the perfect spot to enjoy a sunset cocktail on the pebbled terrace, which is surrounded by indigenous grasses.