A SLEEK, LIGHT FILLED RESIDENCE TAKES ITS CUES FROM THE SURROUNDING ENVIRONMENT AND THE FAMILY THAT CALLS IT HOME.
It’s the light that gets you. It streams in from the soaring windows, greeting you as you enter and illuminating everything it touches. Your eye systematically moves to the almost panoramic views, bringing the vast open space of the outdoors in. This is where you can usually find Dal Jagpal, writing in her journal daily, meditating on the day ahead. “I believe a home is defined by the people inside it, so we wanted big, open spaces that can be filled with all our friends and family,” Dal says, who along with her husband Roger share the space with their three children.
For the Abbotsford residents, it all started with the idea that Dal wanted her children to be closer to their school. This simple task was soon transformed into an innovative building project when the couple found a five-acre secluded lot that hit all the right notes (including being a stone’s throw away from the local school). The family camped on the site to gain a personal connection with the land before deciding to build a modern hideaway from the ground up.
Working with Andy Friesen of Su Casa Design (who has made his own mark on the architectural landscape of Abbotsford), Friesen had just returned from a trip to Las Vegas and was inspired by the architectural innovations and contemporary spaces he had seen. Together, they set out to create a modern structure that broke the more traditional Abbotsford mold, but remained true and highly connected to its surrounding environment.
Friesen set the house back from the road, allowing the natural landscape to take centre stage. Featuring two-storey windows that span the back of the home, Friesen used a unique combination of materials like natural timbers, aluminum and stone to create visual interest.
An expansive open-floor plan can be found within, where the two-storey windows and cathedral-like ceilings let the light stream in all day long. The rooms overflow from one to the other and the family moves easily between the living room, a multi-purpose dining space and kitchen before entering an informal family area where the Jagpals’ read and watch TV together. The space is punctuated with a dramatic, open staircase that rises from the living room and leads to the second floor.
With floor-to-ceiling windows making up most of the home, it becomes clear that the most striking design element isn’t really a design element at all—the surrounding landscape is continually changing the look and feel of the Jagpals’ home, if not begging you to step outside. Which is exactly how the Jagpal family lives: Dal can often be found running through the trails, while the whole family spends time playing and living outdoors.
Elements from the outside inspire throughout: a branch-like lighting fixture hangs over the kitchen island, wood detailing on the cabinetry, walls and furniture add warmth and texture, while muted tones of grey and sand mimic the natural stone found throughout the property.
Completed last spring, the Jagpals’ home is a continually evolving space that perfectly caters to a life lived both inside and out. Friesen couldn’t be happier seeing his initial vision become a dynamic reality for the family that calls it home, adding: “this house is exactly what I would design for myself, I keep telling Dal and Roger if they ever want to sell, give me first option!”