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The Globe and Mail

Designer Darcy Jones crafts a cliff-side home with a brawny heart

Coldstream, B.C. house blends burned fir siding, steel, and concrete

In a 100-year-old ranching town called Coldstream, designer Darcy Jones has created a 1,900-square-foot residence. Ther envelope reflects the same rugged quality of the surrounding landscape, made of burned fir siding, raw unpainted concrete block and bare

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‘Crude modern’ is the term I use,’ says Mr. Jones. The use of rough unfinished materials for the exterior has a very pragmatic purpose. They age well, are inexpensive and require a minimum of maintenance.

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Details such as exposed screw heads and lacquered rusted steel rails also reference the industrial aesthetic of farm machinery, and “found” artifacts – such as an old barrel, a dog house and a picnic table – have been left in place. It’s a down-to-earth farmhouse for the 21st century.

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‘I was inspired by the gnarled and almost burned seeming bark of the area’s Ponderosa pines and the silvery Saskatoon bush that surrounds the site,’ says Mr. Jones.

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Most of the house is expressed as a wood-and-glass volume that cantilevers more than two metres off the foundations. The ephemeral effect of the floating forms is grounded by the earthy materials and the drama of the drop

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Every space is maximized for usage – beginning with the carport at the entrance way that includes an upper-level pottery studio, moving through to the children’s playroom/guest room and the hallway office space off the master bedroom, and peaking with the custom-built kitchen table with slide-in benches that extend the living area when not in use.

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The inside is all streamlined sleek. The kitchen has been designed to fit like a glove with custom cabinetry and maximized storage area at every turn.

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