Home Tour | Island Ranch by Sophie Burke Design and Laura Killam Architecture

Located within the Discovery Islands in British Columbia, Canada, Island Ranch by Sophie Burke Design and Laura Killam Architecture embodies an innate connection to nature.

Island Ranch is located on a remote, off-grid island at the entrance of Desolation Sound in British Columbia, Canada. The wild and rugged coastline is known for attracting Canadians during the summer months, retreating to seasonal cabins. After camping on site for a season, the clients asked Laura Killam Architecture and Sophie Burke Design to design their ‘ranch outpost’ where they could spend most of their time outdoors with family and friends. Cue: natural materials and stripped-back design details, where an indoor-outdoor connection at every moment is paramount.

Having worked previously on the client’s coastal beach house, Vancouver-based Laura Killam Architecture and Sophie Burke Design were approached to collaborate on a ‘ranch-style’ home that promoted an informal, outdoor lifestyle for a family of six. “They appreciate a no-fuss, casual approach to summer living, and they wanted the ranch to feel like a carefree, fun, remote escape,” Sophie says.

Located on a windswept bluff between a pine forest and a high meadow, Island Ranch harmoniously blends indoors and outdoors, as each space directly opens up to the natural surroundings. The ranch, which is purposely built low to the ground to meld with the natural setting, is made up of two structures in an L-shaped configuration – the Cabin, which comprises the living spaces, and the Barn, providing a space to unwind along with a sheltered breezeway. Outside, a shower and bathing area allow the clients to immerse themselves in their surroundings. 

“The diversity of sheltered outdoor living spaces expands the interior living area, encouraging a rhythm where the family and their guests pass from exterior to interior, blurring the lines between the two,” Laura says.

Workstead Signal Sconce

The Workstead Signal sconce in the living area. 

Integral to the brief was promoting a warm and rustic idea of rural living, which posed the opportunity to “really pare back the design elements and incorporate only what would support the rural experience,” Sophie says. Once a paddock for cattle, the surrounding meadow inspired the home’s stripped-back palette, which was “kept minimal and consistent from the exterior to the interior as a way to blur the building’s envelope.”

Raw, textural timber is a recurring motif throughout each space. The interior walls are clad in rough-sawn cedar, which has been stained a weathered grey to blend into the exterior. The exterior will eventually turn silver with sun exposure to “echo the trees found in the forest beyond.” Warm, earthy hues maintain a refined yet inviting atmosphere, while durable furnishings bring the rustic ranch vernacular to the fore.

“We want guests to feel relaxed, at ease, and connected to the natural world around them” upon entering the family retreat, Sophie affirms.  

Workstead Orbit Sconce

The Workstead Orbit sconces in the primary bedroom. 

The walls are clad in rough-sawn cedar, which has been stained a weathered grey to blend with the exterior.

The outdoor shower and bathing area promote simple, rustic living. 

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