This weekend’s White Rock Modern Home Tour will offer tour-goers the opportunity to step sandy foot inside a modern, rustic beach house on the Semiahmoo Bay. The “OShaun” house – a pormanteau of the owners’ names, pronounced “ocean” – was designed by Owen and Shauna Poppy of Surfside Construction. Featuring amazing views of the bay, sunshine, and salt air, the home is a cumulative combination of ideas and materials that stands as a testament to a life built on love.
We had the chance to sit down with Shauna and Owen to chat about the carefree White Rock experience, the joys of sleeping outside, and Mother Nature’s artwork.
Q&A w/ Owen & Shauna Poppy, Surfside Construction
Your home that will be featured on the upcoming White Rock Modern Home Tour is named “OShaun,” which acknowledges both of your names and the life you’ve built together. What did this partnership look like as you designed and built your home?
– We designed OShaun while living in “old West Beach” — talking for endless hours on the weathered deck while looking out at the ocean. We were married on the steps/easement beside Old West Beach, so it’s a sentimental, special place on earth for us.
– OShaun symbolizes a new relationship. It’s a new location for us both – a fresh start.
– We brought nothing into OShaun that was not apart of Owen & Shauna, or “us.”
– We built our love for each other while designing and building OShaun together.
You’ve described the home as a “cumulative combination of ideas and materials”. How does this play out in a cohesive design experience?
– The White Rock experience is carefree. The concept for the exterior is a modern space influenced by panoramic views and local to the beach side. There is a focus on indoor/outdoor living, and a conscious design to live “loft style”.
– The home’s design reflects our long love of the”weathered,” rusty Semiahmoo canneries across the bay.
– The raw natural materials are seasoned by the sun, salt, wind. and rain. We’ve let Mother Nature work her magic.
– The timbers reflect piers and “floating” cantilevered decks to enhance the feel of looking off the edge of a wharf.
– The grafitti garage door is “moving art”. We enjoy the colourful trains that pass by us each day across the street at the Beach.
How do your design choices reflect the kind of life that you want to lead?
– Open living, with salt air & bright sunshine inside and out. The loft style reflects the casual beach lifestyle of White Rock.
– The design allows for entertaining year round, whether in or outside.
– The whole front of the house opens to the water on all 3 levels, blurring inside and out, and creating flexible spaces.
– We love to sleep outside. Owen made our bed frame with castor wheels so we can roll it out onto the deck under the stars. The hammocks on the upper & lower decks were handmade by the “Hammock Man,” and provide a second option to have a snooze.
What were some of the biggest challenges in designing and building the home?
The challenges were typical to hillside construction, with the steep terrain. Owen decided to lock in the lower foundation with the new garage while living in old West Beach. This secured the main excavation and alleviated shoring costs by a two-stage build.
What features of the home should tour-goers by sure to keep an eye out for?
– The reclaimed 1939 fir posts/rails, main entrance, and powder room vanity
– Corten weathering steel outside and inside
– The “floating decks”
– The “wave wall” which mimics the sand when the tide is out
– The reclaimed fencing from the old Muffler Shop on Marine & Oxford that reads “No Parking”
– Copper detail
– Watch for the wind to catch the “wooden gear” mobile
– There’s a hidden TV behind native art wall using a pulley system
– Reclaimed ironing board wall from old West Beach.
– Silver “rain” wallpaper
– Natural, earthy elements of Mother Nature – her Artwork.