Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION
Fit and function
Savvy floor plan makes A&S design feel ample
These days, a 1,600-square-foot home is often perceived to be on the small side.
Granted, when compared to the 2,000-plus-sq.-ft behemoths that seem to be popping up all over the city's new-home landscape, a home measuring in at under that magical 2,000-sq.-ft. mark seems to come up short in the all-important space category. That is, unless the home is a bungalow and is the beneficiary of a meticulously designed floor plan.
Once you walk through the Denmore II, it becomes evident space is not an issue whatsoever.
"The idea behind this home -- which was designed with the input of people who had bought the previous model -- was to create a very functional home in every area," said Re/Max Peformance Realty's Rob Hutchison, A & S Homes' sales representative for the Denmore II, which is situated on a pie-shaped lot at 133 Drew St. in scenic South Pointe. "A home doesn't need to be big to be functional. If you distribute the space properly, a 1,600-sq.-ft. home can live much bigger than its listed square footage."
That is indeed the case with the Denmore II. The excellent use of space starts in the foyer, which, while plenty big, feels much bigger due to its layout and the subtle, yet significant design features that surround it above and on its sides.
"One of the first things A & S's design team did was angle the wall to the left of the foyer. That does two things. First, it opens up the foyer. Second, when you walk in to the home, you don't see the entire home, you just get a glimpse of the dining area and great room. A 10-foot ceiling above and open staircase to the left open it up, and the grey tile floor not only defines it, but provides a stylish yet durable surface for people to leave their shoes on. There's a huge walk-in closet to the left and there's even room for a bench next to the door."
Rather than going with a square, box-like great room design, A & S's design team went with a rectangular area with the kitchen and dining area at the front and the family room at the rear.
The kitchen/dining area is an ergonomic marvel, as the left-hand wall was bumped out to create room for a long, galley-style kitchen. Doing that then opened up the width needed to create an area for a table for six -- and a four-foot aisle between the table and an 11-foot taupe quartz island with eating nook for two on its end portion. The great room's design is clean, linear and works well in all areas of the great room.
"What I really like about it is the fact that all three spaces (kitchen, dining area, family room) are distinct, yet connect together beautifully," said Hutchison. "It's a very functional plan. The family room isn't oversized, but there's still tons of room for furniture, while the space -- which is just the right size, and defined by an angled wall -- has a nice, intimate feel to it. The kitchen is also functional with all the (dark maple) cabinet and (taupe quartz). The great room's darker tones -- which include medium brown/grey maple hardwoods -- are then offset by plenty of natural light, which flows through it via four vertical windows that surround the family room, a window over the counter on the left-hand wall, and a deck door with glass centre off the end of the kitchen.
"I love the vertical windows -- they provide both light and privacy," he said. "The great room is capped off by the family room, which features a gas fireplace with (vertical) grey tile surround and pewter inserts next to a dark maple entertainment unit. The fireplace is a focal point, but not an overpowering one. It's subtle, like the overall design of the great room."
That subtle design includes slick little segmentation tricks that not only make for quietly defined spaces, but add character. An example is the aforementioned right-hand wall. Its angle not only defines the family room, but the master suite as well.
"The angled entrance leads to a brief hallway that creates extra privacy; there's also a mid-sized walk-in closet to the right," Hutchison said. "The room itself is mid-sized with a big picture window, so it's bright and there's plenty of space. The fact that the bedroom isn't huge allowed A & S's design team to make the ensuite bigger. That enabled them to create a deluxe space with heated (grey) tile floor, corner jetted soaker tub and a five-foot shower. It's a beautiful, restful space."
Not surprisingly, the rest of the home is designed with efficiency and function in mind. There's a separate bedroom wing with two large bedrooms and four-piece bath and a main floor laundry/mudroom. Then comes the clincher: a lower level that offers about 1,400 sq. ft. of space to develop into a rec room, four-piece bath, storage space -- and one or two more bedrooms.
"The basement is wide-open with only one telepost," he said. "With about 3,000 sq. ft. of livable space, the Denmore II is a brand-new plan that offers excellent function and style."
Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 8, 2014 F7
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