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Elaborate Problems
Require Elegant Solutions




2022 / Residence
Elaborate problems

Project Status:

British Columbia

Project Area:

After listening to the Codes’ hopes for the project, the team at Ritchie designed and built the modern farmhouse Harlee and Shay wanted. Featuring high-quality finishings and plenty of natural light, the home stayed within the Code’s budget and even saved them money down the road through an energy-efficient design.

“The home is lovely, the space is exactly as we wanted, and the views are stunning! The house is super stylish, functional and not opulent or high maintenance at all. I love driving up to the house, and I often catch myself saying “Wow, it is so cute! It is perfect.” 

Craftsmanship easily gets lost in extravagance. For those who prize design and quality, finding the right craftsmen transcends the need for ornamentation.


Harlee Code, a clinical social worker, and Shay Code, a former VP at IBM, left the city looking for simplicity, for a place where they could pursue their dream of running a vineyard/winery where they could live. So, they bought a 13-acre plot of land near Okanagan Falls and got to work planting their vineyard. To make sure their home/winery matched their expectation, they hired an architect to design the space. 

When they got the plans back, the simplicity they desired was gone, hidden by an overwrought home that would either blow the budget or force them to compromise on quality. 

The Codes quickly realized they needed to start over from first principles. Ultimately, Ritchie won their confidence by bringing together their vision, their budget, and their unique desires and land to create a modern farmhouse that met their standards.


The Codes wanted a simple modern farmhouse-style home/winery that would nestle into the vineyard they planted. Unfortunately, their initial effort to design the home through an architect resulted in a style that didn’t respect their desire for simplicity or their budget. So, they threw the plan away and started again from the beginning.

Burnt once, the Codes needed someone they could trust to take over the build. Based on a friend’s recommendation, Harlee and Shay approached Ritchie Homes to see if they were the right partner. To balance their design and functionality goals with realistic expectations, Ritchie took them through a series of costing exercises. This effort to get to know what the Codes wanted and needed, and what they didn’t, gave them the confidence to fully trust Ritchie.


The project came with a set of innate challenges on the property. The Codes had prioritized the vineyard on the property, planting vines where the plants would flourish. This left a uniquely shaped plot of land for the house, which had to be accounted for in the final design. 

Along the way, Ritchie also faced geo tech challenges and Rights of Way complications that directly affected how and where the Codes’ home could be built.

Through the project, Ritchie worked within the physical, legal and monetary limitations to design and build the Code’s dream home. Despite the restrictions, Ritchie’s design took advantage of the views on their property and offered the new empty nesters plenty of room to entertain while maintaining a low-maintenance floor plan so Harlee and Shay could focus on running their new winery. 


Both the pandemic and an unseasonably hot summer brought their own sets of environmental challenges to the build. 

Like any project undertaken during the pandemic, COVID created difficulty in almost every facet of the build. By maintaining open communication with the Codes, Ritchie was able to pivot when required while maintaining their focus on the Codes’ wishes.

Locally, the summer weather got so hot that it made work almost impossible during the heat of the day. Instead of stopping the build and blowing deadlines or plowing ahead and risking workers, Ritchie brought in a temporary air conditioner to make sure the build stayed on schedule.

“We are very proud of this project, and the end result. The Ritchie team was especially in tune with our thoughts and crafted us a home that was exactly as we wanted.”

Because they were confident Ritchie would address concerns proactively and effectively, Harlee and Shay were able to enjoy the creativity of the construction process. The finished home exceeded their expectations both in the design and the functionality for their needs, while still coming in under budget. As a bonus, the simple and efficient design achieved Step 4 in BC Energy Step Code (one step below a net-zero-ready home).