See Inside A Small & Serene Mountain Retreat
Soft ocean breezes, lush greenery and mountains dotting the horizon — designer Carrie McCarthy’s small family cottage has all the perks of a tropical isle, but is located on B.C.’s Pender Island, known as the Hawaii of Canada for its mild sub-Mediterranean climate. The 830-square-foot cottage was designed using local materials and tradespeople, and has a surprisingly minimalist interior, almost Scandinavian in its restrained white palette and simple but luxurious materials. Sit back, relax and click through to see inside the serene space.
The home’s classic shingled exterior looks at home among the evergreens.
“We wanted to make sure the materials and color palette were cohesive inside and out. We started with the dry-stacked rock patio, chose dark grey shingles to go with that, then concrete floors and so on. When the doors and windows are open, it all flows together,” says Carrie.
Carrie took the beautiful sight lines into account when designing the extra-large french doors that lead from the great room out to the patio. She and her husband, Cameron Thorn, left the ceiling beams exposed for a rustic look. The strong lines add architectural interest to the pale, neutral room.
In the great room, the TV is offset to balance the window on the other side of the fireplace. Natural textiles are a cozy addition to the modern space.
A built-in bench between the modern fireplace and french doors creates a sunny reading nook. Storage inside the bench (and an identical bench on the other side of the fireplace) houses pantry items and bed linens. A sliver of a window frames a pretty view to the forest.
A large, nubby sisal rug grounds the all-white space and injects natural texture over the silky poured-concrete floor.
A sculptor by training, local craftsman Ronny Henshaw approached the dry-stacked patio and retaining wall like a work of art, integrating it with the house and the landscape.
The kitchen has all the mod trappings of a larger city home. A tall, slender fridge allowed for more counterspace, while neutral Silestone counters continue up the wall to create a seamless backsplash that doesn’t scream “kitchen” in the open-concept space. An oversized length of burlap softens the utilitarian kitchen table.
Carrie’s collection of modern pottery — a mix of pieces from local artisans and thrift stores — finds a home on the kitchen’s open shelving, reiterating the handmade ethos. Sleek lower cabinets are simple and practical.
A bench under the coat hooks provides storage in the entryway. Mottled poured-concrete floors add depth and dimension, and also conceal dirt in the high-traffic areas.
Cameron took great care in crafting the stairs from hemlock, then whitewashing and varnishing them several times. Practical stair lights with the romantic look of tealights create ambience. Mounting the handrail on the top of the balustrade is a unique touch.
A low bed is edgy in its minimalism and gives the sleeping loft a youthful energy. The wardrobe rack keeps clothing housed at the cottage to a minimum — all part of the family’s desire to live simply while here. An Ivano Redaelli chair has sink-in comfort.
A simple wooden cube serves as a bedside table in the upstairs loft. The sleek white task lamp lends an industrial note.
Tucked into the peak of the bedroom ceiling, an unfussy table made from leftover MDF is a simple workspace with a sweeping view. A modern-classic chair continues the room’s austere aesthetic.
Serene and elegant, the cabin’s one bathroom employs the same palette and materials.
Whitewashed plank floors give the loft a Scandi vibe, which befits the wooded setting. A wall hanging made from collected pieces of driftwood is an appropriately rustic note. Leighton sleeps in a little nook under the eaves, until his captain’s bed is complete.