This Cabin Resort Has Been Lovingly Restored Into a Modern Rustic Retreat

Who: Jesse Keefer, Bodega Cove
Where: Galiano Island, British Columbia, Canada
Style: Vintage Pan-abode Cabins

Just a short ferry trip or plane ride from Vancouver, British Columbia, Galiano Island offers ocean views with a mountain backdrop and a unique microclimate welcoming guests year-round. Nestled here is the newly restored and beautifully serene cabin resort Bodega Cove.

Jesse Keefer purchased the nearly 50-year-old property in 2016, and set out to restore it while keeping the iconic vibe and adding modern design elements and amenities throughout. "Since I was child I was drawn to nature," he says. While his sister property Bodega Ridge welcomes group events like retreats and weddings, this location is more intimate. "They both provided me a great opportunity to live in a beautiful environment and to share it with people who need a respite from their lives in the city."

Keefer works on a renovation.
credit: Shayd Johnson
The cabin exteriors before renovations.
credit: Shayd Johnson

The first priority was saving the 1960s red cedar cabins instead of tearing them completely down. Keefer designed the interiors with his friend and longtime collaborator John Parfitt. To save money, Keefer opted to be his own general contractor, which he says, "proved to be an extreme challenge."

Small windows and rooms were opened up during the renovation.
credit: Shayd Johnson
The work in progress.
credit: Shayd Johnson

Over the course of two years, natural materials were used whenever possible to create this unique getaway. The once dark cabins were opened up with more windows for natural light and less walls divided up the interiors.

Custom red cedar headboards designed by Brent Freedman of Gamla were added. "Instead of being rustic logs, they are delicate strips. The contrast is compelling," says Keefer.

Adding a bit of luxury to the rustic setting, heated flooring and comfortable beds were musts. Handmade Bocci light fixtures provide a striking contrast to the wood environments.

Custom Bocci light fixtures.

Another important touch for Keefer was installing deep soaker tubs in the one bedroom cabins. "We literally fired up a chainsaw and opened up into what was a part of the original kitchen to create space. Every bedroom should have a bathtub in my opinion!"

As Keefer reflects on how it all turned out, he sees the calmness all around. "I am obsessive about my love for the business and pleasing my guests. I feed off peoples' love for Galiano Island and use it for inspiration."


Siobhan Murphy

Siobhan Murphy

As an Emmy Award winning creative director, writer and producer I have worked on content for brands like Disney, BravoTV, TBS, Universal, E! and MTV. But I mostly love rearranging furniture and repotting plants at home.