deep in a majestic forest you’ll find this home retreat

Almost invisibly nestled amid Gambier Island’s majestic forest, a surprise awaits those with a keen eye who take the time to search… an elegant, post-and-beam home inspired by a deep-rooted sense of environmental stewardship and a desire for gracious entertaining spaces, plus the whimsical charm of a child’s tree fort.


 A two-storey fireplace made of ceramic tiles with metallic glaze creates a dramatic focal point for the entire home. 
A two-storey fireplace made of ceramic tiles with metallic glaze creates a dramatic focal point for the entire home. 


Indoor and outdoor living intertwine in this 3,300-square-foot, three-level dwelling where every room — from the casual loft above the two-storey living room to the opulent master ensuite and the state-of-the-art media room — is focused on dazzling ocean views. Soaring windows, a 20-foot lift-and-slide patio door system, and continuous glass railings around massive decks enhance the ambiance of airy lightness — although, in fact, this residence is anchored directly into granite bedrock. Interior finishings are a dramatic blend of texture, colour, and minimalism that’s distinctly modernist with just a hint of retro. 

“The great room is my favourite,” says owner Gary Mynett. His gesture encompasses a soaring, two-storey fireplace made of large-format ceramic tile with a metallic glaze, colourful pops of orange from toss cushions and a comfy-looking armchair/ottoman set. Just outside, the living canvas of lush, natural foliage is framed by expansive banks of windows.


 Spectacular views of the nearby marina.
Spectacular views of the nearby marina.


Perhaps the most astonishing is the fact that this site is accessible only by water — all materials were barged in and either hand-carried or meticulously craned from sea level up the steep slope. Adding to the intricate choreography of getting everything to its correct spot was Mynett’s commitment to leave existing trees undisturbed. After 18 months of painstaking construction, the result is a residence that appears to simply morph effortlessly and organically from the ground.

Although rustic looking from the outside, the technology, geothermal heating, and whole-house automation is pure 21st Century. An integrated Control 4 system links music, video, security, and heating through a central hub that’s as easily accessed via laptop or smartphone as from one of the interior control panels. 

“Not only does this system allow the owners to monitor their home’s security remotely, it means they can ensure comforts like heat and music will be turned on whenever they arrive,” explains Graeme Huguet, president of My House Design/Build/Team, the company that designed and built this home which won a Gold Georgie for Best Custom Home Valued $1.5 to $3 million.

Ultimately, despite the challenges, it’s clear this one-of-a kind residence achieved its goal of becoming a home that fits its setting rather than attempting to force the setting to fit the home. And that really does say it all.

Photography by Patrick Barta