Bodega Cove Cabins Embrace Nature With Contemporary Design
How an icon of regional prefab design found a second lease on life off the coast of Vancouver, BC
Jarusha Brown, Shayd Johnson, Brian Van Wyk
The 1950s and early 60s saw North America’s concept of vacation completely reborn. Cabins, cottages, second homes of all types popped up pretty much everywhere within an hour or two of a major city. The era helped make A-frames ubiquitous, introduced pre-fab construction techniques, and popularized an idealistic lifestyle of cocktails on the deck while the kids ran amok out back. This was the dream of this original development of cluster cabins just off the shore of Galiano Island, situated some 23km southwest of Vancouver, BC.
The property kept on kicking in one form or another through multiple owners across the decades, though was eventually all but abandoned. Two years ago longtime island resident and design enthusiast Jesse Keefer closed on the property and began the arduous process of bringing it back to life.
Now called Bodega Cove, the 5 beautiful restored western red cedar cabins have been completely refinished from top to bottom. Luckily, the set was originally designed, manufactured, and installed by iconic regional builder Pan Abode, and as such, the old growth stacked cedar log frames were salvageable—as Keefer explains, “we sanded the living shit out of them.” Beyond that, each cabin received a new foundation, all-new wiring, and a fresh roof, among many other upgrades.
With two layouts—one and two bedroom configurations—the modest cabins are each outfitted with high-end furnishings, locally sourced whoever possible. This includes ceramic dishes made by a local craftsperson, wood milled on site, and metalwork by a local fabricator. Beautifully organic lighting from Vancouver-based Bocci is the cherry on top.
As if that’s not enough, rumor has it the property may add an oceanfront bar and community beach as early as summer 2019. In other words, contact Bodega Cove now to see about reservations for later. (In all seriousness, this place is pretty dang sweet, and high on our to-visit list for the year.)