How far you willing to go? Stuart Island is one of the few places the US/Canada border deviates from a straight line. Victoria, BC is south and west of it. To get there you have to have a boat or a plane because the ferries don't run there. There's a $1,950,000 estate for sale that has a deep water dock and is beside the airstrip. It even has a hangar. The main house is 3 bedrooms and 1 bath spread out over 3,384 square feet; but the real appeal is the solitude, the ambience, and the style. As long as it juts out into the Pacific Rim, it might as well pull in some Japanese influences, too.
When you don't expect many visitors, but you have the money to hire the right designers and architects, you can create a house that meets your needs and style, rather than what fits in with the rest of the neighborhood. The style is a mix of Northwest lodge with Japanese simplicity. The main materials are wood and glass. The thick beams fit in with the local forests. The glass is an obvious choice with the view to the southwest of the Salish Sea. Outside is cedar shake. Inside is a stone fireplace and lots of natural wood. The kitchen focuses on function, not ostentation. The furnishings are comfortable, not showy. They may go, but anything modern will probably be out of place.
One house isn't enough, so there are three, with a bunkhouse, and a tea house. See, you can have guests and still have solitude. Shuffle each set of guests off to their own abode, probably putting the kids in the one with the bunks. They maintain the style, except for the tea house. The tea house embodies Japanese elegant simplicity with shoji screen walls, tatami floors, and an ikebana alcove. They call it a tea house, but it could be a distinctive set of sleeping quarters.
Unless you plan to live there year-round, you may need one of those extra houses for a caretaker. There's a lot to take care of. Imagine tending all of those houses, the 29.49 acres, and making sure the dock and the hangar are ready to receive arrivals. There might be some interesting calls to both countries for air traffic control and maritime crossings. Make sure you bring in enough supplies to stay a while. There are no shops on the island, and a bit of bad weather or a troublesome engine could keep you there longer than you expect. Of course, that might be just what you are hoping for. An excuse to get away, and stay away, as long as you like.
· 500 Harbor Vista Dr, Stuart Island [Estately]
Written by Tom Trimbath