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Innovation & style

Awesome lake view tops off new Huntington Homes show home

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Huntington Homes' Rob Swan demonstrates the Blum automatic hinge system in the kitchen of 192 Lake Bend Road (below) in Bridgwater Lakes.

BORIS MINKEVICH Enlarge Image

Huntington Homes' Rob Swan demonstrates the Blum automatic hinge system in the kitchen of 192 Lake Bend Road (below) in Bridgwater Lakes.

When you enter the kitchen at 192 Lake Bend Rd. -- Huntington Homes' latest show home in Bridgwater Forest -- nothing looks out of the ordinary.

That is, until you get to the vertical lift (stainless steel and glass) European cabinets that hang over top of the invection cooktop that contrasts magnificently with the white/grey quartz countertop into which it's set.

"All you need to do is touch the bottom edge of the cabinet to open it," said the tour guide for 192 Lake Bend, Huntington Homes' Rob Swan. "To close the cabinet, all you need to do is touch a switch on the inside edge of the cabinet, and it will close on its own. It's a brand-new product on the market, so we wanted to put it in the home because it's so cool -- and functional."

In a word -- OK, make it three -- the 2,318-sq.-ft. bungalow (with walk-out basement that adds another 1,585 sq. ft. of liveable space to the home's more-than-ample square footage) is cutting-edge cool on more than one front. First, there's the touch-activated vertical lift cabinets in the centre of the kitchen.

Look over to the front (left-hand) portion of the kitchen, and you see (the key word is see) a butler's pantry that is open to the rest of the kitchen.

"Normally, a wall divides the pantry from the kitchen, but this time, we took it out to actually make the pantry a part of the kitchen," said Sheldon Swan, who heads up Huntington's design team. We thought it would be a concept that would appeal to people -- it really opens up the kitchen and increases its function with its sink, four-door pantry and extra cabinets."

Meanwhile, the rest of the kitchen is nothing to sneeze at, either. A plethora of dark portobello maple cabinets and a huge island with sink, taupe quartz countertop and eating bar for five simultaneously add storage and function, while a huge picture window on the kitchen's rear wall provides a lake view and lets in loads of natural light.

However, while the rear wall with its wall of windows (plus a patio door to a two-part balcony -- more on it shortly) makes for a spectacular water view, another feature on the wall opposite the kitchen in the family room catches your eye.

"The focal point of the family room is a huge entertainment centre built around the big flat-panel TV in the centre," said Rob Swan. "The background behind the TV is etched glass, which looks absolutely amazing. We finished the unit off with white lacquer drawers and pull-up cabinets that really make the etched-glass background pop."

Then, there's the family room itself, which benefits from a host of cool features. To the left of the outside-the-box entertainment unit is a huge picture window that not only floods the area with light, but frames the water behind the home. Between the picture windows in the kitchen and family room is the aforementioned patio door that leads to the balcony.

"The part of the balcony next to the kitchen is split into two areas," said Rob Swan. "The portion off the kitchen is covered, and is surrounded by a glass/screen surround, so, if there are any bugs out, you don't care -- you can enjoy the gorgeous lake view without being bothered. You can then use the uncovered portion to barbeque and sit outside and visit. It's just a great area."

A second focal point inhabits the great room in the form of a two-sided, floating gas fireplace with a white tile surround. It not only adds extra panache to the area, but also serves a second purpose, said Sheldon Swan.

"We went back to a more dedicated dining room design, so we used the fireplace to divide it from the family room," he said. "There's a tray ceiling above for extra style and definition, and I think the wide-plank (engineered) oak hardwoods (which run throughout the entire great room area) look great."

Because the home is essentially divided into thirds on the main level, the floor plan is very efficient and maximizes privacy. The bedroom wing (located to the right coming in from the front entrance) houses a bedroom with water view, a four-piece bath and bedroom off the foyer -- plus a novel (and very handy) feature.

"Seeing as the laundry room is downstairs, we thought it would be neat to include a small laundry room in the design of the main floor. We call it an express laundry room. It's got a stackable washer and dryer, and is a great spot to duck in and do a quick load of laundry without having to go downstairs," said Rob Swan. "It's great if you're on the run, or have guests."

Across the way -- in a wing all by itself -- is the master suite, which qualifies as a true, luxurious retreat.

"It's basically got it all," he said. "You've got the water view through the wall-wide picture window in a huge bedroom that's totally separated from the ensuite. You then walk down an actual hallway to the ensuite, which features a six-foot soaker tub tucked away next to a wraparound wall that increases privacy, a five-foot tempered glass/tile shower, (light) taupe heated-tile floor and a big walk-in closet loaded with built-in (portobello) maple storage units plus a transom window for light."

Last but not least is a massive walk-out basement that features a sunroom (with taupe cork floor) next to two huge windows at its rear, a media area, games area with wet bar, two more bedrooms (both with water views; one has a walk-in closet) and all kinds of storage space."

"This is a stylish yet practical home that offers space, great views and a cool feature around almost every corner," concluded Rob Swan.

lewys@mts.net

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition September 28, 2013 F7

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