River of Dreams

Maximizing the gorgeous water and mountain views were a priority in this handcrafted home

By Dennis McCloskey
Photography by Mike Goodman

Residents of Campbell River, 270 kilometres north of Victoria on British Columbia’s Vancouver Island, are intrinsically linked to their coastal city’s natural amenities of ocean, mountains, wilderness, and mild winters where snow is measured in millimetres. So it’s no surprise that a man-made attraction such as a luxury, ocean-view development with custom-built homes on the south end of Discovery Passage in this east coast island city of 31,200, would garner attention from retired or semi-retired folk from B.C. cities to the south and on the mainland.

One such home is in a small, six-lot development called the River’s Edge Campbell River by Sagewood Homes. Handcrafted homes are and will be built with views of mountains, Quadra Island, and Discovery Passage which lies along the coastal Inside Passage shipping route and where giant cruise ships can be seen from the backyard as they make their way to and from Alaska.

Sagewood Homes is a two-year-old, full-service home building company owned by husband-and-wife team Kris and Debra Bauchman who were in the home building business before embarking out on their own by creating “customized, dream homes with handcrafted quality and imagination brought to life with excellence.” The couple have lived in Campbell River since 1988 and have four children ranging in age from 23 to 28.

Kris says he and his wife employ a freelance team of contractors, designers and architects to build homes on an owner’s chosen lot anywhere within the Campbell River/Comox Valley area, or they’ll design a home to fit the lifestyle and needs of a client. “We call our work hand-crafted because we offer hands-on quality craftsmanship at every stage of the build,” he says.

Kris is keen to describe the luxury home in River’s Edge that his company built for a couple from Duncan, B.C. who purchased the lot six years ago. It sits on one of the lots on the 2.5-acre development with average-size lots of 82 by 168 feet. The semi-retired couple from Duncan, half-way between Victoria and Nanaimo on Vancouver Island, had the Bauchman’s build a 4,240-square-foot home on three levels on an estuary of land where the river meets the sea.

The exterior lap siding is Hardie Plank, known for its strength, beauty and durability in all kinds of climates. Roof tiles are laminated architectural shingles called IKO Armourshake which has the natural look of real wood shakes and retain their good-as-new appearance after years of deflecting harsh sunlight and resisting algae.

A concrete driveway fronts a three-car garage with metal doors that are embossed with a green texture. Grey-coloured stone facing, at ground level at the front of the house and garage, is imported from a limestone quarry in China.

The focal point inside the open-concept home, that was created to emphasize and maximize the water view, is a gourmet kitchen, dining room and great room.

This main floor area is conspicuous by the installation of exotic hardwood flooring called Kayu Kuku which is a straight-grain, dark-colour wood from Southeast Asia. Large casement windows allow for a spectacular view of water and mountains that is the essence of tranquil South Island living in Campbell River.

Kitchen countertops, including the kitchen island, are titanium granite. Imported Italian 16×16-inch tiles were laid between the island and appliances. A gas fireplace in the Great Room is made of the same imported stone from China that is seen on the front of the house. Walls on the main floor are painted in a product called Gobi Desert. Wall crown mouldings are darker in tone, with paints called South Kingston, Toffee Crunch and Raffia Cream, with Gobi Desert along the floor level. Outside, on the main level, the roofline was taken out to allow for a covered 16-foot deck.

Upstairs in this five-bedroom home, with 3.5 floor-heated bathrooms on various levels, is the master bedroom with its toffee-coloured Brazilian hardwood flooring under a drop, or ’tray’ ceiling with eye-catching cove LED lighting and a floating crown. Tray ceilings break up an ordinary flat ceiling line and add a variation in height to create architectural interest and spaciousness. The en suite bathroom features a walk-in closet, a Prelude bathtub by Aria Tubs, ceramic sinks (or ’vessels’) made by Art Bath, and a glassed-in shower with rainshower head. LED lights under the toffee-stained walnut cabinets come on automatically as one enters the room.

The home’s lower level with walkout is a combination TV room with gas fireplace, bar, and a 12×14-foot gym. The basement’s media room is outfitted with a 7.1 Surround Sound system and there’s a 5.1 Surround system in the upstairs Great Room. As well, a NuVo Home Audio System is linked throughout the house and connected to the computer and iPod docking system with keypads in the main rooms.