House Beautiful: Unique Mid-Century Rancher “like living in a resort”
Looking for privacy and some peace and quiet, the couple built their dream home in North Saanich.
Six months after buying a new home in North Saanich, Veronica and John Mustoe realized it was a perfectly “good” home, but they weren’t happy.
It lacked privacy and the noise from construction did not provide them with the peace and quiet they wanted at home.
“I thought we had to hold on, but John started looking and kept going past this lot (also in North Saanich),” says Veronica.
They were already familiar with White Wolf Homes, who built the house to specifications. John had previously spoken to White Wolf Homes owner Kyle Velikovsky to see if he had any homes for sale and now there was one in the perfect location, surrounded by mature trees.
The company, which was established two years ago, builds about four to five custom homes for its clients every year and completes 12 to 15 custom residential homes.
Although framing hadn’t even begun, John was convinced the home would be ideal for them as he knew other homes designed by White Wolf Homes matched their style and the flat, one-acre lot offered the ‘isolation.
Still, Veronica wasn’t sure she would even consider buying another home so soon after their recent purchase, but she agreed to accompany John to walk through the property.
At that time, the house was framed, but there were no doors or roof, and it would be difficult to envision the backyard construction site as a future pool oasis. Still, John was determined and the couple took the risk of buying before they even sold their recently acquired home.
“I had such a good feeling about this house,” John said of the mid-century rancher under construction.
“I looked at the windows and said this house was going to be amazing.”
Standing in the now-completed home and gazing up at the 16ft ceilings with slanted windows framing the pool, deck and separate guesthouse, it’s obvious that John and Veronica’s forethought has paid off. They moved in February 2021 and have loved living there every minute since.
“I can’t believe how lucky we are to have this home,” John says of the finished product, which makes the couple feel like they’re living in a resort thanks to its high-end amenities and finishes.
In fact, when Veronica was asked if she still wanted to go out of town for her birthday this year, she chose to stay home because the house has everything a luxury vacation home would offer.
And although the home is a spec home, any choices made by White Wolf Homes were ones the couple say they would have made themselves.
“If John and I were to design a house, this would be it…We thought it was a bespoke house for us,” says Veronica, who expertly decorated the house and added her own touches home design.
For example, the couple added wave pattern tiles to add interest at the end of a long white hallway. They also plan to bring color to the dining room by adding wallpaper and warming up the space with a new rug.
Light-colored wide-plank wood floors run throughout the home, including the kitchen and entryway, but large porcelain tiles are used in the master bathroom, pantry, and laundry room. A smaller, darker tile is used in one of the bathroom floors with a lighter geometric patterned tile running from floor to ceiling.
The three-bedroom home is 3,200 square feet and has an additional 1,000 square foot cottage. So there is plenty of room for themselves, the visitors and their three dogs – six-year-old Stella and seven-month-old Maverick, both French. Mastiffs. They also have a bulldog named Angus who wants to be in the pool all the time.
“Dogs live their best life,” she says.
A fully tiled bathroom, located in a wing of the house near the swimming pool, is also the perfect place to hose down the dogs after an outing. The dogs dry off with heated towels and enjoy the heated tiled floor. The functional bathroom is far better than any outdoor dog shower the couple could have dreamed up for their pets.
The couple’s adult children and three grandchildren, aged four, two and one, are regular visitors.
“They have the best time coming here and the kids have their own little floaties. It’s a great entertainment space where everyone can easily be together in the same space,” says Veronica, adding that they also have seven siblings who enjoy visiting.
There’s also plenty of space inside for the family clan to get together thanks to the open-plan, airy living room, dining room and kitchen.
The feeling of spaciousness is created by the butterfly roof which begins 10 feet by the kitchen and dining room but is vaulted 14 feet at the top, where the fireplace provides a dramatic focal point. The feature wall surrounding the modern fireplace features a combination of walnut and white tiling as well as a raised marble hearth with under lighting. Between this and the view of the outdoor swimming pool, visible at the entrance, entering this house definitely offers its breathtaking moments.
Developer Velikovsky says this house is one of his favorites.
“I think a lot of people love mid-century modern homes and the modern look in general,” he says.
“We had this vision for the property to be a rancher with a swimming pool surrounded by nature in a U shape. In the past we have built many modern farmhouses, but this one was different and very unique. A one acre flat lot in North Saanich is very rare, so we wanted to build something special.
“Normally when I finish a house I think I would change this or that, but with John and Veronica’s house I wouldn’t do anything different,” he says.
The couple find the home offers everything they need, from their own separate office spaces to a master bedroom in a separate wing of the house. The master bedroom also has a feature wall paneled in solid walnut and an en-suite bathroom with a free-standing tub and huge glass shower wall panels under a skylight.
John notes that the workers who installed the shower told him that these were the biggest pieces of glass panels they had ever put in a shower.
“There are so many great features like this throughout the house,” he says.
Veronica points out that the baseboards and oversized doors are all solid wood, the kitchen has top-of-the-line appliances, and the builder opted to install expensive concertina patio doors outward instead of inward. opt for cheaper sliding glass doors. And the pool has an automatic and retractable cover to name just a few of the many advantages of the house.
And while the Mustos are delighted with their home, Velikovsky says his challenge now is to find suitable land because he receives so many requests from other potential clients who want something similar.