By Athena McKenzie

The clean modern lines of this North Saanich home gracefully showcase its stunning ocean view setting, creating a welcoming haven the owners are thrilled to call home.


Flat-slab painted doors on the cabinetry, Caesarstone counters and sleek stainless steel appliances give the kitchen a very modern feel. The homeowners commissioned several works from U.K. artist Julia Brooker. These can be found throughout the house, including this painting in the dining area. Photo by Joshua Lawrence

Constructed on a parcel of land that seems carved from the wilderness off Land’s End Road, the house named “Modern Tranquility” by its builder Graeme Mann of GT Mann Contracting, brokers an elegant harmony with its magnificent surroundings.

“It has super modern lines, very square and linear, and it sits on an elevated acre, which overlooks the water,” Mann says. “It’s very forested and has this amazing ocean view.”

The three-bedroom, 3,000 square-foot home sits at the end of a winding 300-foot driveway, surrounded on three sides by forest and on one side by the mountains and the sea: affording the perception of seclusion, despite its convenient proximity to Sidney and Victoria.

Mann worked with his clients, a couple who retired here from the U.K., to create their vision. The homeowners’ wishlist for the build specified an ultra-contemporary home with a design that allowed for an extreme amount of light and maximized the property’s views of Salt Spring Island and Mount Tuam.   

To realize these goals, the most favourable placement of the house was far back on the lot, creating a major challenge with access.

“We had to do a fair bit of work and massage the land,” Mann says. “There was what looked like an old logging road, so we incorporated that to get in to the site.”

The exterior of the linear two-storey, split-level structure is finished in acrylic stucco and Vancouver Island tongue and groove cedar. The clean lines and simple palette extends into the interior of the home — and its natural setting is reflected in the choice of finishing materials.

Along with the dramatic K2 natural stone fireplace, the house gets much of its inviting warmth from the floors, a distinctive wide-plank white oak with a slight hand scrape to it.

“The owners showed me a picture of the floors they had in the U.K. to see if we could find something similar,” says Mann.

While the home’s palette is muted, there is still colour all around — the myriad tones of nature on display through the floor-to-ceiling windows.

“It’s like bringing the outside indoors,” says Mann. “It doesn’t matter where you look, you have this amazing vista.”

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The wide kitchen island is ideal for food preparation and allows the homeowners to entertain friends around it while cooking. The oversize fridge and freezer are from Frigidaire Professional. Photo by Joshua Lawrence

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Builder Graeme Mann’s favourite part of the house is the owner’s home office. The concrete wall comes up all the way through from the lower level and halfway through the office and is topped off with a glass sheet, making it feel like part of the open-concept home, but still allowing for a sense of separation. Photo by Lance Sullivan/Concept Photography

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Photo by Lance Sullivan/Concept Photography


A dramatic statement wall in the bedroom features Pintura Wallcovering Lovat wallpaper by Roma. The bedroom offers a stunning view of Mount Tuam on Salt Spring Island. Photo by Joshua Lawrence


While much of the home’s décor is minimalist, unique items such as a horse statue from the homeowner’s travels to Greece, add visual interest. To give the sense of a floating staircase, the hardwood treads are mounted in the concrete wall. Photo by Joshua Lawrence

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The home’s natural aesthetic is carried into the bathroom, where the soothing palette is complemented by the pebbled feature wall and pebbled shower floor. The ocean, Mount Tuam and Cowichan Bay can be seen from the freestanding soaker tub. Photo by Lance Sullivan/Concept Photography

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Photo by Lance Sullivan/Concept Photography

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Photo by Lance Sullivan/Concept Photography

Project: GT Mann Contracting
Excavation: Don Mann Excavating
Lumber and Interior Doors: Slegg Lumber
Plumbing: Specialized Plumbing and Gas
Electrical: Rob Jones Electric
Drywall: South Island Drywall
Floors: Hourigans Flooring
Stone: K2 Stone
Fireplace: South Island Fireplace & Spas
Cabinets: Harbour City Kitchens
Finishings: Ground Up Custom Carpentry
Windows: Ply Gen Canada
Interior Glass: Royal Oak Glass
Exterior: DeCicco Bros. Stucco
Landscape: Listco Landscape & Irrigation
Custom Front Door: Karmana Joinery