I wonder if this is the case for everyone, but the older I become the more I appreciate my family. And the more I realize how much of an inspiration they are to me. This trip to Victoria is no exception.
My family are a creative spirited lot. Yes we eat crumpets and drink english breakfast tea like many 'British Victorians' do, but we're not in the least bit uppity. Behind our tweed curtain my father paints and my mother weaves. My brother loves being outdoors and my sister, like I, is constantly expressing herself by crafting her garden and home.
About twenty-two years ago, my sister and her partner began constructing a homestead on two and half acres in The Highlands outside Victoria. Basically an irregular hilly slice of stone and evergreen terra firma, during that time they've created a quintessential west coast home amidst a lush garden oasis by their very own hands. From septic system to roof, from backhoe to garden clippers, these two have blazed their way from start to near finish.
Multi-tasking several projects at once, they've served as my mentors and inspiration when it comes to building your dream. I've seen the blood, sweat and tears, and witnessed their own style evolution from conservative to contemporary. A few years ago, when I arrived to see the renovated kitchen and new family room addition, I was blown away at how modern their design was, their daring choice for stone counters, and how seamless the addition integrated with the original house. Now the contemporary addition is serving as the basis for their remodel of the rest of the house, where they are infusing a new personal style on a well-loved home. Their experience is a lot like my own as of late...where reinvention (and financial stability) allows one to indulge in domestic desires that were once only dreams.
This trip, a celebration of birthdays and anniversaries, is also providing me the opportunity to relax in nature. Although in Toronto I enjoy my own 15x30 foot outdoor respite, which has just undergone its own tweeking by my landscape architect Dan Nuttall (stay tuned, coming soon!), here I get to connect in nature mountainside complete with deer, eagles and fox, all without leaving my sister and her partner's place.
Strolling through their mini 'Buchart Gardens', lounging on the covered terrace, soaking in the hot tub, or perched on the cantilivered sundeck staring at the mountains, moon and stars, I'm surrounded by their love, their inspiration and their manifested dreams. What better way to get the creative spirit flowing?