Ocean Home

April/May 2012

Ocean Home magazine is for people who love the luxury oceanfront lifestyle, from home design and decor to world-class beach resorts, villas, hotels, and destinations.

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purchased. It was fortuitous that Vancouver Island has some of the best craftsmen from all over the world living and working on the island, and their talents and knowledge were much appreciated on this project. Schreiber knew how to hunt down inter- esting antiques that would dovetail perfect- ly into the Country French design scheme. One of the prized finds is a French antique coal-burning fireplace surround. "I wanted the house to have modern amenities, but [also] to look like it had been here for 100 years," Wolfswinkel says, not- ing that hers is a true "sun-catcher house" with rooms angled to catch the day's chang- ing light and the varied views. By the end of construction, the struc- tures and all living spaces comprised a wonderful stew of reclaimed materials, and custom reproductions that contribute to the charm and warmth of the house. For example, when the original home was taken down, the old wooden beams were saved for reuse here. And an original prison door, Number 15, that was once used in a movie the first owner had starred in, was salvaged in the razing and is now the door to—of all things—a powder room. "On the inside of the door, there are marks that look as though the prisoner was counting the time he had left," Wolfswinkel notes. There are seven styles of custom-made doors throughout the home, all reproduced in Italy, and the door to the kitchen pantry is an exquisite antique from France. All of the wood flooring is reclaimed American Elm from the island. Even some of the unu- sual plantings were saved, such as the giant cedar that was started from a seedling— now 30 feet high— and the unusual arbutus grove that remains flourishing. The nearly four-acre property is com- prised of the 2,100-square-foot guest cot- tage, which has three bedrooms and two full baths, and the 13,000-square-foot main house, each of whose five bedrooms has a private bath and individual terrace. The main house also has three additional half baths, a billiards room, a wine cellar, and a tasting room. Both the main house and cot- tage have pantries off the kitchens as well. In addition, Orchid House is, as Wolfswin- kel explains, a getaway within the getaway. "The conservatory is as great a place to go and read as it is to listen to music, dance, or head over to have wine and desserts when I am entertaining," she says. Plans also exist for a caretaker's house and a two-car garage. To maintain a casual country feeling, Sch- reiber kept the main floor living space open as a great room/country kitchen and added seven fireplaces with dreamy spun-stone chimneys that twist up off the slate roof. He also introduced a remarkable 17th century antique fireplace from France and added a wood-burning pizza oven to the kitchen. The landscaping plan executed by Rusnak Gallant Ltd. focused first on open- ing the overgrown areas that obliterated the views, then followed with plantings and paths punctuated by stepping stone patios, all adding color and texture to the land. "I wanted to create a story—one where different views were revealed," says prin- cipal Twyla Rusnak. "To accomplish that, I designed a series of gardens, including a formal garden closest to the main house… The property was planted so that the views changed with the seasons and also by the sections with the different water views." The planting mix includes annuals and perennials, a cutting garden, topiaries, and a multi-colored tea rose garden. And with the temperate climate, Rusnak also successfully introduced apple, pear, and apricot trees. "As you move away from the house, the gardens and plantings require less mainte- nance. The owner loves flowers and wanted flowers blooming all the time," explains Ru- snak. They add just one more layer to this breathtaking home's already astounding appeal. Mille Fleurs is available for weekly rentals, weddings, or events. Price available upon request. 480-403-4010, millefleursvic- toria.com. 67 paradise found Opposite, clockwise from top left, the kitchen; Mille Fleur's guest cottage, complete with water views; a graceful curved staircase; a stunning patio over- looking the ocean; a formal dining room; one of many watery vantage points; an upstairs fireplace; a million- dollar water view and R&R spot; the home's double-height great room.

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