Humans of The Coast | S1 E1 “Hanson Land and Sea”
The West Coast is known for two things: rain and trees – and lots of both. So, how do you build a home that elegantly represents these surroundings?
Meet Marlin Hanson, a Sunshine Coast native who recently designed and built his gorgeous wooden home in Port Mellon, overlooking Howe Sound. The house – which features large overhangs, cedar shingles, an outdoor shower and living green roof – nestles unobtrusively on the property, giving way to the vast expanse of forest and mountains that frame the land.
“It’s relatively small, but it’s big enough,” Marlin says of his 1,200 square foot home, which took him five years to build. “I wanted it to be an open feeling, but have a bit of mystery.”
The interior of the house is characteristic of the Hanson family design style: vaulted ceilings with the exposed rafters and round perlin. Just the simple timberwork. A massive masonry stove from Quebec makes its bold statement in the centre of the living room, which is just about the only piece inside that isn’t custom made. Everything from the simple slab dining table to the custom barn-style door have been dreamed up, milled and finished by Marlin.
Outside, Marlin also has a fledgling orchard, which he’ll use to make his own cider one day. And he has plans to build a chicken coop to fulfill his egg cravings.
It was this home project that inspired Marlin and his brother, Ryan, to create Hanson Land and Sea – a local business that specializes in designing and building custom projects, including saunas, tables, and larger structures like homes and barns.
The Hansons – who spent the earlier part of their careers in marine construction – do land-based projects, predominantly with timber. Much of the wood is salvaged from logging operations and private owners in the area. There are, in fact, a good number of massive old logs that have been lying around for decades, going to waste. The Hansons treat these old treasures with dignity, taking the best parts of their raw beauty and showcasing them front and centre in the designs. These perfectly imperfect materials inspire and shape the end product.
“Both my brother and I like problem solving and we like design,” says Marlin. “But, we like to keep it simple.”
Most of the millwork is done at Marlin’s property, where he has a shop – an “office” if you will. This is a family operation, through and through. Whether it’s collaborating with their dad or being closer to their young children, the Hansons have managed to strike a good work-life balance.
So, it’s no surprise that Marlin enjoys his spare time on The Coast just as much as he enjoys his work. His favourite ways to explore are heading out on the water in his skiff, checking out one of the lakes near Pender Harbour or the beaches near Gibsons and Roberts Creek.
“The best part of the Sunshine Coast is the summer. Every summer, I feel just as I have my whole life,” he says. “I love going in the ocean. The air feels just a bit fresher. I do the same thing I’ve done my whole life. I go to the same dock, jump off it and go swimming and it feels just as good as it always did.”
Connect with Hanson Land and Sea on their website at hansonlandandsea.com, or on Instagram and Facebook.
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