A view of the dining room area in Claudia de Veaux’s Victoria Avenue home. Don Denton photography

Home Sweet Home for Technical Writer

A peaceful sanctuary in South Oak Bay

  • Sep. 14, 2018 11:25 a.m.

-Story by Devon McKenzie

Story courtesy of Boulevard Magazine, a Black Press Media publication

Like Boulevard Magazine on Facebook and follow them on Instagram

Tucked away on a quiet street in the heart of South Oak Bay is Claudia de Veaux’s sanctuary — a 2,500-square-foot home built in 2012 with three bedrooms and three bathrooms.

But for Claudia, it’s more than just a home; it’s where she can breathe deeply, think clearly and take time for herself. Because when she’s not in Victoria, she’s in the thick of the tech industry in the Silicon Valley.

As a technical writer, Claudia spends weeks at a time away from home, so when she does get to come back to Oak Bay, she’s exactly where she wants to be.

“I grew up in Seattle, so I always loved the Pacific Northwest,” explains Claudia. “My sister moved here and married a Canadian and eventually, I decided I wanted to be here too, so I made a five-year plan to move here and I did it. Really, it was one of the only times I’ve actually had a concrete plan,” she says, laughing.

After moving to Victoria in 2001, Claudia bought a home on Beach Drive but eventually sold that property and moved to Saanich.

“It was central, I guess, but I always found myself back in Oak Bay — especially at the beach,” she explains. “Whether it was walking the dog, or just enjoying a walk alone, it was just where I wanted to be and so, the hunt was on.”

A quiet corner in in the home. Don Denton photography

After an entire year of looking, Claudia bought her Victoria Avenue home in 2016 and has been happily adding to the blank canvas a new home acquisition provides since then.

“I just love this house,” she says, motioning around the spacious and bright open concept living/dining/kitchen area, which is at the rear of the house overlooking a private, manicured back yard and standalone garage.

“My favourite part is all the wall space and natural light which is absolutely perfect for my art,” she adds.

Coming from an artistic family — many of her paintings are by her father and sister — the home offers ample wall room for the display of art in various forms. Along with her art collection, Claudia has a striking collection of vintage glass insulators which line the window sills through the kitchen. The natural backlighting makes the insulators sparkle and shows off each piece’s unique attributes.

“Collecting those, it’s addictive,” laughs Claudia. “I’m not usually big into the decorating aspect of a home, but with this house I’ve really been enjoying it.”

Another quirky feature in the kitchen is her collection of android figurines, a nod to her professional background, which she has cleverly displayed in the built-in wine rack in the kitchen.

“I don’t drink so it turned out to be the perfect use for that space,” she says, smiling.

Robot like figurines in the kitchen. Don Denton photography

Moving through the main floor, Claudia’s office is located near the front of her house. Aiming to travel less and find a better work/life balance, she wanted the perfect place to be able to work from home uninterrupted. A custom desk, which she had built to spec for her needs, fills the far and back wall of the room and a full, almost floor-to-ceiling window allows for plenty of natural light.

“I have no trouble working from home,” she says. “I find it very satisfying to be able to work from here when I can and having a beautiful office does help.”

Also at the anterior of the house, near the front door, is the staircase to the second floor. Stepped windows on the front of the house bathe the stairwell in natural light, which is accented with paper-look globe light fixtures that Claudia picked out herself. Again, more art dons the walls through the hall upstairs, which goes off at an angle. It’s a feature Claudia noticed right away.

“It just adds that little aspect of the unexpected, rather than just having a straight line to the back of the house,” she says.

Off the hall to the right and left are two guest bedrooms, which are vital as Claudia’s children and family love to come visit, as well as the guest bathroom. Ahead, at the end of the hall, is the ample, airy master bedroom and en suite bath which overlook neighbouring yards filled with mature trees.

“I love the view out back,” Claudia explains, adding that the whole bedroom has a very serene and tidy feel to it. “I almost feel like I’m walking into a room at a Four Seasons in the city, which is a pretty nice thing to be able to feel every time you come into your bedroom.”

A view of the master bedroom. Don Denton photography

It’s been just over two years since she moved in and Claudia says she couldn’t be happier.

“I always wanted a pretty house. Not necessarily cozy, but pretty, and that’s exactly what I’ve been able to create here. For me, this house is all about the art; I look at it and enjoy it every single day that I’m here,” she says.

“I moved here to get out of the rat race, I had some political motivations too, but either way, I was very driven to do it. Victoria is home now and I’m always happy when I come home.”

In a world where things are moving faster than ever and many things are in a constant state of flux, Claudia feels grounded in her Oak Bay oasis.

“I guess you could say Canada brings clarity,” she says, laughing.

Claudia de Veaux looks over part of her glass insulator collection. Don Denton photography

Just Posted

Fraser Valley Bald eagle festival explodes in popularity, draws thousands to Mission, Harrison Mills

Weather, news, social media contribute to high turnout, says president

Wide variety of art for sale at Art from the Heart show

Student art show runs Nov. 30 and Dec. 1 at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre

Blues group Angel Forrest Trio at Bozzini’s in Chilliwack

Award-winning band from Quebec performs Nov. 28

District of Kent to implement snow fence pilot project

$8,000 project to help prevent hazardous, drifting snow, and more from Kent council

PHOTOS: Fraser Valley Eagle Festival

Mission photographer Bob Friesen shares some of his images with the Record

VIDEO: B.C. legislature clerk, sergeant at arms suspended for criminal investigation

Clerk of the House Craig James, Sergeant-at-arms Gary Lenz on administrative leave

B.C. police watchdog calls for investigation into police board spending on former Victoria police chief

Police Complaint Commissioner says accountable and transparent review is in public interest

South Korean named Interpol president in blow to Russia

South Korea’s Kim Jong Yang was elected as Interpol’s president edging out a longtime veteran of Russia’s security services.

E. coli outbreak linked to romaine lettuce sickens 18 people in Ontario, Quebec

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says it’s working with U.S. authorities to determine the source of the romaine lettuce those who got ill were exposed to.

Trump defies calls to punish crown prince for writer’s death

The U.S. earlier sanctioned 17 Saudi officials suspected of being responsible for or complicit in the Oct. 2 killing, but members of Congress have called for harsher actions, including cancelling arms sales.

British, EU leaders to meet as Brexit deadline looms

The U.K. and the European Union agreed last week on a 585-page document sealing the terms of Britain’s departure.

Richard Oland was killed ‘in a rage,’ prosecutor tells son’s murder trial

The verdict from Oland’s 2015 murder trial was set aside on appeal in 2016. Richard Oland, 69, was found dead in his Saint John office on July 7, 2011.

B.C.’s HMCS Edmonton rescues two more sea turtles

Warship credited with a turtle rescue earlier in November

Former NHL player and coach Dan Maloney dies at 68

Maloney coached the Toronto Maple Leafs and Winnipeg Jets

Most Read