Beach House Beauty

lifestyle magazine online london

"Port Stanley’s Dolphin House reborn"

Sometimes the best way to fix a problem is to start from scratch. Such was the case with a Millennium Construction and Design renovation of a home on Port Stanley’s Main Beach.

The layout of the original home was broken up with separate rooms and low, beamed ceilings and small windows fronting the lake that created a closed-in feeling. The new homeowners wanted to open it up to create a more airy beach-house ambiance.

After exploring various options, including expanding the space, Millennium’s Mark Vaandering suggested a more economical solution – taking down the existing structure and rebuilding.

The new three-storey home has exceeded expectations, say the homeowners, who are pleased they were able to capture the essence of a lakeside home.

High ceilings, simple lines, light colours – creamy off-whites and soft pastel tones – plus the warm, weathered look of distressed hickory flooring blur the boundary between indoors and out.

The main level encompasses an open-concept kitchen, dining area, and living room anchored by a gas fireplace with a cast stone mantle and surround. Floor-to-ceiling windows offer panoramic beach and lake views. Sliding patio doors lead to a wooden deck off the living room and a semi-circular deck off the kitchen, the lower level of a turret-shaped extension with balconies off each level.

The kitchen’s focal point is a 5-by-10- foot island topped with a single slab of granite, in brown tones that echo the beach sand. Cream-coloured Shaker cabinets and bead board backsplash convey a timeless simplicity but hide some unique conveniences. For example, one cupboard contains a cooking counter, for appliances like a toaster or slow cooker, with an electrical outlet that is live only when the doors are open.

A pantry and beverage centre are tucked beneath the front stairway.

With an eye to the future, a central shaft was created to eventually house an elevator. The stairway winds around the shaft, which currently offers extra storage space.

The second level comprises three guest bedrooms, a bathroom and laundry facilities.

The upper level houses the master suite, including a home office area and another laundry closet. Stretching across the back, the bedroom features oversized windows plus a cathedral ceiling with porthole window at the apex. It also showcases a double-sided gas fireplace and expansive his-and-hers walk-in closets. The ensuite bathroom includes a free-standing tub, glassed-in shower and double basin vanity topped with Carrera marble.

The exterior vinyl board and batten siding is a distinctive bright Costal Blue, with contrasting white trim.

The home had been known locally as the Dolphin House, due to dolphin figures embedded in the original stucco. In a nod to that, the new home sports dolphin images in two street-facing windows on the stairway landings.