This past year, Sarah Weinberg and her husband Eric Gindlesperger drew up plans for a carriage house behind their present 1920s home to serve as their primary residence. They wanted to build a custom home from scratch on a small budget, and lease out their other home. With assistance from architect Annabel Vaughan from publicLAB Research + Design, framers and consultants from Britannia Construction Design, TM Custom Woodwork and Alpine Pacific Construction, their downtown Squamish home became a fact. The attention to detail and character throughout the method demonstrates their fire in personalizing their home.
in a Glance
Who lives here: Sarah Weinberg, Eric Gindlesperger and their cat Meow Meow
Size: 570 square feet of living area in a 1-bedroom, 1-bathroom carriage house
Location: Squamish, B.C., Canada
Newly developed structures can’t have living space on the first floor due to the possibility of flooding. The floor level is Gindlesperger’s blacksmith shop and the second floor is their dwelling area. Weinberg says that this was one of the biggest struggles of constructing their home. “I didn’t know more about the city bylaw when I was planning it,” she says. The property’s design underwent several alterations due to that. “The initial design didn’t include a shop either, until I married a blacksmith!” She says as she gladly shows off their work-in-progress shop, complete with its own bathroom.
The vintage chest of drawers in the kitchen have been employed as a cabinet for extra space. The area rugs were accumulated throughout Weinberg’s time in Chile and Nepal and the majority of the textiles are from her travels there, as well as to South America, Asia and the Middle East.
The couch features hand-stuffed down cushions made by Suzi Beyerstein and Weinberg’s mom Linda Weinberg.
A pair of tall, narrow doors leading to the bathroom and bedroom were given to Weinberg with a client. The couple’s friend Thomas Mortensen, of TM Custom Woodwork at Squamish, cut them down and framed them to match.
The seating and dining area was initially intended to function as living room, while this place was planned to be a workplace. Weinberg says, “We just moved in, so we’re still discovering the way the distances work best.”
A framed photograph of the couple’s wedding at the desert of Nevada during Burning Man is displayed atop a thrifted coffee table. Alongside some of their favourite cookbooks is an arrangement of ginseng and rosemary in a clay vase.
Their marriage in Burning Man was a spontaneous event that Weinberg says, “only should have occurred.” It was their first time in the festival, and Weinberg’s mother was able to come despite the distance and conditions. Gindlesperger and Weinberg were wed in a structure referred to as ‘Zoneatopia,’ which was convenient since they “were at the zone” Weinberg adds, “Burning Man came naturally, and the exact same love and fun that brought us there affects our home.”
The kitchen includes Ikea cabinetry and green bamboo flooring. A 24-inch gas stove was chosen for its design, size and quality.
Weinberg conveys that building and designing your own space is a continuous process with unlimited possibilites, even on a medium budget. Their next project will be to paint the walls in deep yellows and reds and to have one of the pals help tile an organic shaped backsplash in the kitchen.
Gas Range: Fisher & Paykel
Door panel drapes: Ikea
Weinberg’s shell collection sits on the window sill in the restroom. The shells are from world travels and her “love for the Earth.” This collection is something Weinberg has carried during her entire life in numerous houses and countries. She adds, “When I put them up (a while in the garden and a number of years at the house), it certainly means that I am home.”
Weinberg’s face lights up when I ask what her favourite room in the house is; it’s definitely the bathroom. “The shower has been my inspiration and just kind of came together. I wanted a sexy and luxurious shower experience,” She says. “The teal-colored glass tiles add the sensation of a waterfall. I reside in the cold but I really like the warm seas, warm evenings and the great wine and hot dance moves which accompany that!”
Features include built-in shower lights, a custom tile layout, an overhead and hand shower and recessed closets. Gindlesperger was careful to prevent pooling by ensuring a precise angle for proper water flow.
The mirror is a Weinberg family heirloom. Details like the abalone shell soap dish, easy hardware and crisp, clean cabinetry and sink make the bathroom a relaxing area. Aboriginal Canadian artist Norval Morrisseau painting picks up the color of the blue accent wall.
Sink cabinets: Ikea
The stairs resulting in the front door show off custom metal work by Gindlesperger.
They are are enthusiastic about the next phase of the construction. “Eric is constructing his blacksmith shop in the garage and we’re adding a covered carport/living green deck off the south side with a ‘door to nowhere’ which will cover the entry stairs,” Weinberg says.
Gindlesperger, Weinberg and their cat Meow Meow in the home.
The couple loves living in Squamish with its small town environment which includes access to the urban environment of Vancouver which includes nightlife and restaurants, and the natural environment including coastal mountains for biking and skiing. Weinberg says, “We all know our neighbors, we encounter them on the streets our friends drop by unannounced and people are here to support each other”
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