Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Have it all by ditching the hall

The Molise maximizes space by losing passageway

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Turns out The Molise -- one of Sterling Homes' most popular new home plans -- is an expanded version of another popular plan.

"It's actually a spinoff from The Montego, a similar but smaller plan," said Qualico Homes' single family sales manager, Dale Penner. "Basically, our designers added about 160 sq. ft. and tweaked the design in several key areas. Some of the changes were subtle, but when you put them all together, they combine to make a big difference in how the home functions."

The most notable feature about The Molise -- a 2,164-sq.-ft., three-bedroom (plus loft) two-storey design -- is how well the available space is used. Scrutinize every area of the home and it's difficult to find much in the way of wasted space. The home's upper level is a great example of using all the space available in the most efficient manner possible, said Penner.

"Once you get upstairs, it takes you a few seconds to realize there's no hallway -- the master suite, second bedroom and a four-piece bathroom and a (double) laundry closet surround an extremely wide landing in a very efficient U-shape. Then, on either side of the stairs, there's a loft (to the left coming up) and a third bedroom (to the right). The extra width in the landing and on the staircase (which is four feet wide) makes for exceptional flow."

Because space wasn't spent unnecessarily on a hallway, it could be transferred into the bedrooms and loft; all of which offer generous square footage. The master suite is (rightfully) the largest of the bunch at almost 14 feet by 16.6 feet -- not including the ensuite and walk-in closet.

"I think the master suite is a big, beautiful and well-appointed space," Penner said of the home, which can be found in River Park South at 10 Elsey Rd. "You enter through an angled, double-wide entrance into a huge room where the bed is framed on either side by vertical windows as well as a transom-style window above. The bedroom then opens on to a deluxe ensuite that has a corner soaker tub (beneath a large obscured glass window), a mocha tile floor, four-foot shower and cappuccino vanity. It's a very functional -- and elegant -- space."

More of that functional elegance can be found in the loft area next to the tempered glass/maple bannister that defines the upper level stairwell.

"It's a good-sized space (at 10.8 feet by 12.3 feet) that adds another element of flexibility to the home's upper level. Depending on your needs, it can be used as an office, media area or playroom. Or, it can easily be converted into a fourth bedroom. The choice is entirely up to the homeowner," he added.

Meanwhile, The Molise's main level is an ideal blend of function and fashion. While the design is largely open-concept in nature, there's enough segmentation to ensure you don't feel as if you're living in one big box. The foyer and dining room comprise the front third of the home, while a family room, dinette area and island kitchen complete the rear portion of the home in well-balanced style.

"The dining room has been set away from the great room, but is still easily accessible via a four-foot-wide doorway that was placed between the two areas," explained Penner. "Again, there's not a lot of wasted space, so the dining room merges seamlessly into the great room. With its dark (maple) hardwoods, a buffet niche framed by cultured stone and all its space, its a great spot to host dinner. It could also be used as a play area if you have young kids -- another flexible feature of The Molise's design."

Both the kitchen and family room are exceptionally spacious -- and well-laid-out. The kitchen is an ergonomic marvel, due in large part to a compact, perfectly proportioned island that allows for wide aisle widths while offering seating for two at the same time. Thanks to being positioned by a bay window, the dinette area (for four) is generous. Nine-foot ceilings also add further to an already expansive interior feel.

Tons of light flows in through the large windows to create a bright space, while the dark hardwoods, cappuccino maple cabinets and grey granite countertops combine to create a warm ambience. That warm feel extends into the family room, which is defined beautifully by an arched entranceway framed by dark maple pillars. A gas fireplace with cultured stone surround and maple entertainment units on either side adds a texture-laden focal point into the mix.

The main floor is finished off in practical style by a compact wing off the foyer that contains a laundry/mudroom with door for access to the attached double garage, a smart two-piece powder room and a handy storage closet.

Another 797 sq. ft. of liveable space is available for development downstairs, taking The Molise's total square footage to just under 3,000 sq. ft.; not an insubstantial amount of lebensraum.

"You can add even more function and flexibility to the home with a big fourth bedroom, huge rec room, four-piece bath and loads of storage space," he said. "Our designers did an outstanding job of taking a successful plan and making it that much better on every level."

lewys@mts.net

DETAILS

Builder: Sterling Homes

Model: The Molise

Style: Two-storey

Size: 2,164 sq. ft.

Bedrooms: 3 plus loft

Bathrooms: 2.5

Address: 10 Elsey Road, River Park South

Lot Size: 40' x 115'

Lot Price: $100,383.50

Price: $447,900 (including lot & GST)

Contact: Brenda Johnson, New Homes Sales Consultant @ 946-2740

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition August 18, 2012 F5

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