Although they had done a couple of home remodels, building a home from the ground up was a new experience for Sue and Alec Berkman. Even before finding the perfect lot on the Semiahmoo golf course, they had a good idea of the feel they wanted to capture.
Early on, the Berkmans knew they were not going to find all they wanted in an already built home, but they wanted to stay in Semiahmoo. The couple had sketched up their new home in some detail before meeting with building designer Jerry Roetcisoender of JWR Design. He suggested they get an interior design team and a contractor involved early in the process.
The Berkmans already knew they were going to work with their son, Ben Berkman, to do both the hardscape and landscape. Sue and Ben were committed to retaining as many trees as possible and blending the house into its surroundings. As a landscape architect, Ben’s goal was to incorporate modern forms and proven materials to create and enhance a “sense of place”.
JWR recommended Markie Nelson Interior Design as a perfect fit for the Berkmans’ vision of the living spaces of the house. She understood that the exterior architecture and elevations suggested a theme for the interior design that seamlessly blends with the environment.
“The owners had a plethora of pictures of their furniture, art, accessories, and artifacts, which provided the inspiration for the color palette and a strong backdrop for the dramatic collections,” Markie says.
These proved to be instrumental for space planning and lighting. The interior architectural details, colors, and finish materials add strong textures including fluted oak and walnut cabinet details, wall coverings, and custom lighting.
“They had a clear vision for their beautiful ‘forever home’ which guided the team throughout the entire design process,” Nelson continues. “I greatly appreciated the creative freedom to capture all of the design elements from the exterior, interior and landscape architecture into a harmonious and timeless design.”
JWR also suggested Kelly Zender of Welcome Construction to do the build.
“The best thing we did was getting Markie, Ben, and Kelly into the project early. Their knowledge and input into the design process made everything so much smoother”, says Sue.
The Berkmans stayed involved from beginning to end with the choice of products and materials.
“From the cabinets provided by Old World Kitchen Cabinets to engineered studs and special treatments for the drywall finishes and minor onsite construction modifications, I had the opportunity to add my thoughts to the build,” says Alec. “The end product is almost exactly what we set out to accomplish, maybe better.”
Owners: Sue and Alec Berkman
Home Design: JWR Design
Interior Design: Markie Nelson Interior Design
Construction: Welcome Construction, Inc.
Landscape: Ben Berkman, L.A., A.S.L.A.
Photography: Chris Eden / Eden Photography