Picture this: beautiful sandy beaches, lush green hills and a pastoral island setting that inspired the classic novel, Anne of Green Gables. Add a striking post-and-beam home to the mix, and you have the recipe for the perfect getaway retreat.
“It’s a place where we can completely relax,” says Paul Rivers, describing the 1,900-square-foot cottage that he and his family own on Canada’s Prince Edward Island. “The moment we arrive, our worries begin to lift away.”
Looking at the peaceful setting along the Gulf of St. Lawrence adjacent the Atlantic Ocean, it’s easy to see why Paul and his family were initially so drawn to the island. Breathtaking views of sea and sand vie for attention with vistas of gently rolling hills dotted with sleepy farmhouses. Paul and his wife, Lynn, discovered the beauty of the coastline while vacationing there about a decade ago.
“We were on our way to dinner, and we pulled over to check out the north coastline,” recalls Paul. “We walked across a field with waist-high brush, and when we finally reached the shore, we were just overwhelmed by the beauty of it as it came into view. We knew it was where we wanted to build our getaway.”
A few years later, Paul and his wife purchased a 4-acre lot with 250 feet of ocean frontage on the island’s north shore. The secluded setting borders national parkland and offers easy access to the beach. The property already housed a structure — a 1960s A-frame — but it wasn’t in great shape. The couple decided to replace it with something more modern.
“We wanted something that would reflect the beauty of the setting and maintain some of the local character,” says Paul. “We also wanted to use the footprint of the original structure and expand upon that.”
Simple and Efficient
Drawn to the idea of a pre-engineered home in the post-and-beam style, the couple soon discovered Linwood Homes of British Columbia. “The aesthetics of their designs seemed perfect for our site,” recalls Paul. “We also loved their flexibility with building materials — we wanted cedar shakes and a metal roof so that our house would respect the historical flavor of the area, and Linwood was able to accommodate our needs.”
The couple selected Linwood’s The Albion plan, a one-level design (plus full basement) with a center area flanked by two small wings. The master bedroom wing is situated perfectly to catch the morning light, while the kitchen-dining wing is angled to capture vistas of the western setting sun. The center area great room boasts 17-foot ceilings and affords breathtaking ocean views.
“We love the idea of one-level living since we often have elderly relatives visit,” explains Paul. “We also plan to keep this house forever, so it made sense to plan ahead for our own needs down the road.”
Another high point of the plan is its energy efficiency. “The home maximizes light through the use of large windows that maximize solar gain,” explains Heather Starke, director of marketing at Linwood. “The site-specific design makes the most of natural heating and cooling patterns. In addition, the home features eco-friendly western red cedar shakes and Douglas fir interior beams — about 75 percent of the package is made from renewable resources.”
Local builder Rob Sanderson pieced together the home package and finished the exterior landscaping. “He did a phenomenal job,” shares Paul. “He’s a local builder with a long history in the area — in fact, his father had built the original A-frame structure on our property.”
Square footage: 1,870 (plus basement)
Builder; landscape designer: R.D. Sanderson Construction (902-626-8583)
Designer; timber provider: Linwood Homes (888-546-9663; linwoodhomes.com)