Brilliant by design – Sooke News Mirror

– Words by Angela Cowan Photography by Don Denton

After 15 years building high-quality custom cabinetry for clients’ new homes, Ann-Marie and Jason Fifield of Heronwood Custom Cabinetry finally got the chance to use their expertise for their own dream home, and the result is a beautiful farmhouse with both a traditional and sleek design that overlooks spectacular views of Mount Prevost.

Having already thoroughly renovated their rural home in Duncan, the couple had no immediate plans to build when they bought the four-acre lot next door to theirs five years ago.

“It was dense forest and we actually bought it as an extension for our boys to go mountain biking and play,” explains Ann-Marie.

She and Jason slowly started building a list of design ideas and drafting some visions for the property.

Then: “Just as COVID-19 was approaching, we thought we needed more space and a home office, and we started the process with Pacific House Design,” she says.

With two young boys and their dogs running around, quality, durable materials were paramount, making sure the space was both functional and beautiful.

Completed last July, the farmhouse is light and airy, the black and white exterior finishes are classic and stylish, and the interior design has been carefully planned to make the space consistent and elegant.

A streamlined front entrance offers a simple sofa and row of wall hooks next to a double set of floor-to-ceiling cabinets, keeping the view tidy as you enter the great room, where a beautiful stone hearth surrounds a wood-burning fireplace beneath a cathedral-peaked ceiling.

Revolving, it is normal to continue to the kitchen, where a large island of light quartz and natural oak provides a large space for sitting, eating, cooking or chatting. The house has custom fitted wardrobes throughout—shelves flanking the fireplace, by the front entry, in Ann-Marie’s expertly designed home office—but here in the kitchen, Heronwood’s expertise really shines, especially in the details.

A furniture staircase runs along the inside of the island, making it easy and comfortable to get up and prepare meals. Added panels and posts enhance the traditional aesthetic, while the light quartz countertops lean more modern and sleek. Satin brass hardware elevates the already elegant white cabinetry, along with the curved two-stage crown molding and wide window trim. Glass cabinets line the top, lit by a soft glow from within, while an all-glass cabinet next to the window provides an ideal place to display favorite dishes.

Inside the cabinets are some of the most interesting features. In addition to the paneled fridge and freezer, several doors reveal ingenious designs. There are rollouts under all sinks to prevent anything from getting lost in the alcoves. An appliance elevator on one side of the island houses the couple’s mixer, ready and easily tucked away when they’re done. The corner cabinet by the large china farmhouse sink is fitted with a mechanism that is half lazy Susan and half pull-out, which swings out in a semicircle and then pulls out the deep inner shelves. Even aside from the charm and beauty of the design, the house is remarkable in that it has absolutely no unusable or wasted space in the entire design.

Leaning in that efficiency, a butler’s pantry around the corner doubles as a laundry room and mudroom, once again utilizing every square foot for its best use. A media room, Ann-Marie’s home office and the master suite anchor the other three corners of the ground floor. Upstairs is the boys’ domain, with two bedrooms—each fitted with an overlapping wall to add a pop of color—a bathroom with dark honeycomb tiles and a quartz concrete countertop, and an open-plan playroom.

“I threw myself on the carpet,” Ann-Marie says with a smile. “It’s wool and I absolutely love it.”

The thick pile under the feet and the sloping roofline in the boys’ playroom evokes a cozy feeling of living on the mountaintop and gives the family a familiar feeling in the new building.

“I love it,” Ann-Marie says. “We’ve always had old character homes, so to have this one sloped ceiling it still has that old house feel.”

Back down, especially striking is the collection of lighting fixtures.

“I was very picky with the lighting package we chose,” notes Ann-Marie.

The chandelier in the great room—a gorgeous black iron ring studded with exposed vintage-style orbs—creates an instant showpiece that catches the eye. But even more impressive is the second chandelier that hangs at exactly the same height from the outer pointed patio roof. In the afternoon the pair of lamps creates a beautiful mirror effect; At night, the reflected glow seems to grow, connecting the warm living room with the vast sky and stars beyond. That iron finish is reflected in the dining room fixture, square but with similar lamps, connecting the two spaces. Also complementary are the brass-finished library lamps atop the built-in shelves around the fireplace and the pendant cone-shaped fixtures above the island.

Amazingly, the entire build only took about eight months, even amid pandemic delays and obstacles.

“Our high level of efficiency and organization allows our company to build houses on time,” explains David Vandine of Vandine Construction. “We don’t waste time. Something happens every day on our projects and I think I am most proud of our attention to detail and the high level of quality we provide to our customers.”

“Every room has beautiful custom closets,” he adds. “The kitchen has become beautiful and the whole house was taken care of down to the last detail. We have been using Heronwood for our cabinets for a long time and we will definitely be the first to recommend them to our customers.”

“Quality was important to us,” adds Ann-Marie. “We wanted less square footage, and with the lighting, plumbing, milling throughout the house, we wanted to bring quality into that. And with Vandine Construction, we were so impressed and happy with how they managed the project. our build on time – which is not typical in the industry – and we were constantly informed throughout the process, which made our first build seem feasible.”

They did the build from scratch and were able to approach every decision with great care, in part because they spent so long planning the build.

“We were our own designers in the process, so paint details, trim details, our hardware for the doors, everything was really thought through prior to building,” she explains. “It was important for us to stick to the style of design throughout the house. Making sure everything felt connected to the design. Even with my office it’s green and then my son’s signature wall above it is green. And my other son’s room is blue, and the media room below it is blue.”

“Since we started our business 15 years ago, I dream of one day being the customers,” she says with a laugh. “And that’s exactly what we need.”

This beautiful house is going to the market, and Brian Danyliw with The Agency will be the listing agent.



Home design Pacific West

Interior design:

Heronwood custom cabinets

Construction & Interior Finishing: Vandine Construction, Strickland Finishing Carpentry

Interior drywall:

Gordon n’ Gordon Interiors

Painting: Black Sheep Painting

Cabinets and milling:

Heronwood custom cabinets

floors: hardwood valley floors; carpet from Jordans Flooring Nanaimo

Tiles: City Tile, Cowichan Tiles

Doors: Windsor Plywood

Windows: Westeck windows

Lighting: McLaren Lighting

Sanitary fixtures:

Splash Bath and Kitchen, EMCO

Worksheets: Flo Form

Wood stove: Fireplace on the South Island


Raven Stoneworks

Devices: Coast Devices

Exterior siding:

Joneson Siding and Soffits

Story courtesy of Boulevard Magazine, a Black Press Media publication

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