Antigonish Vacation Rental
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Nova Scotia Dream Vacation
Dar ix-Xemx

Nova Scotia’s Premier Oceanfront Luxury Property

“Dar-Ix-Xemx”, Maltese for House of the Sun, is a luxurious, private retreat nestled in a three acre ash grove perched directly above Antigonish Harbour, a picturesque tidal bay that flows from the Atlantic Ocean on the northeastern shore of incomparable Nova Scotia. It is a place where your privacy and serenity are assured.



I designed the house to capture the many moods of the sun as they change over the day. Most of the main spaces, including the deck, are oriented toward the west, perfect for watching the sunset over the bay while sipping a chilled aperitif. More than 50 oversize windows and 20 skylights provide stunning views and create an atmosphere as close to nature as one can get indoors!

Each of the rooms has special features that make choosing a favorite impossible.

The main floor is 1500 square feet of open-concept living ringed around the kitchen, the traditional focus of homes in Nova Scotia. I love to cook and I think it shows. The only “wall” in the kitchen is a 15-foot bank of windows that peer out over ash and spruce trees to the bay, a spectacular panorama to contemplate while whipping up Sunday-morning pancakes. Solid maple countertops – 35 feet of them including one just for baking – snake around the room. Quality appliances include a Jenn-Air downdraft stove, built-in full refrigerator and full freezer, dishwasher and trash compactor. There is also a 50,000BTU gas barbeque for easy grilling. You’re sure to find any equipment you require during your stay. I’ve got all the basics, plus many extras. When you’ve finished preparing your gastronomical feast, eat in the kitchen or at the table in the window-flanked dining room, which seats 8 to 10 comfortably (or up to 16 when combined with the kitchen table.)
Kitchen & Floors
The kitchen flows into the sunroom which, facing south and west, is plastered wall and ceiling with windows and skylights. Even in the winter, the room feels cozy. Despite all the glass, the room stays relatively cool in the summer even without air conditioning (which I have never found necessary), as does the rest of the house. This is because of the state-of-the-art low-E windows, the cooling shade of surrounding trees and the 30 tonnes of embedded concrete in the floors which help absorb excess heat. In the winter, a radiant in-floor heating system provides a comfortable climate. The sun warms things up nicely too!
I have furnished the house with older materials wherever practical. Wide antique boards panel most of the floors. Doors are 150-year-old solid refinished wood. The light fixtures are antique too, as is most of the furniture except for a few modern pieces here and there. Beautiful and intriguing original artwork, which runs mostly to impressionist and post-modernist, adorns the few walls not dominated by windows. Renowned national artist Nancy Stevens, loosely described as post-Impressionist, has paintings on display for purchase.
Entertaining & Relaxing
Adjacent to the sunroom, I designed the 24'x18' living room for relaxation and entertainment. Furnished with overstuffed couches and a massive, antique Persian rug, it’s a great place to host an impromptu Scrabble tournament. On crisper evenings, throw a few logs in the Vermont Castings wood-burning stove and settle in to watch a film. A hidden entertainment centre holds a Satellite TV, DVD/CD player, VCR, record player and audio cassette player. Five speakers provide surround sound for a true theatre effect. There are also speakers in the dining room and on the main deck. Videos and music are provided. Also located on the main floor are a laundry room and a walk-in coatroom to shed sandy shoes and other bits after a satisfying walk on the beach.
Upstairs are three large comfortable bedrooms. The Master Bedroom is a spacious open-concept retreat utterly unique in design. Awaken to forest and ocean views from eight large windows. Integrated into the room is an oversize, antique claw-foot pedestal bath – ideally situated to watch the sun take its evening dip in the bay, perhaps after you do! Also integrated into the main space is a European-style mini-bathroom with an antique washbasin and toilet.
There is also a separate 8’x4’ walk-in shower (with five windows and a skylight, too!) The queen-size bed is wrought iron and comes with a featherbed and the softest sheets imaginable. The rest of the furniture is antique. Two generous step-in closets and a comfortable reading nook complete the room.
The second bedroom has a queen bed and faces west to the water and south to the ash grove. The third bedroom has a double and twin-sized bunk beds. This room overlooks the garden and also has a lovely water-view of the mouth of the Antigonish Harbour. Both bedrooms share a full bathroom and each has ample closet space.
If more bedroom space is required two private, fully self-contained apartments are available for rent during the summer months. The flooring in each apartment is cool, custom-finished polished concrete. Each comes with a fully-equipped kitchen and private bathroom. The bedrooms and the living rooms have beautiful views of the water through large, full-size windows. Each bedroom has a queen or double bed and a full closet. There is also a futon in each living room for additional sleeping space. The apartments are located below the main floor and each entrance is completely private and secluded. A generous deck graces the sunset side of each apartment.
Observation Deck
Another unique feature is an unusual indoor/outdoor observation deck, inspired by the petit balcony terraces of Parisian apartments. It sits on a level of its own, 40-feet off the ground, and is accessible from the third floor. Eat breakfast a deux and enjoy expansive views of the harbour. If you’re lucky, you may glimpse a seal or one of the many eagles that nest on the bay’s islands!
The Deck & Yard
Back downstairs and accessible through the sunroom or living room, a tri-level deck hugs the south and west sides of the house. After an evening sundowner settle into one of the comfortable deck chairs - on a clear night, you can pick out entire constellations and shooting stars. The deck has a large, custom built picnic table and a patio set, including lounge chairs, for al fresco dining or just relaxing.

Click Here To See A Full Comparison of All Major House Features