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This article was published 31/5/2013 (1367 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
When the design team at Parkhill Homes looked at a sprawling lot in Deer Pointe Park, two clear objectives emerged.
Due to the gorgeous natural surroundings -- water behind the home, mature trees and stunning prairie vistas -- the first objective was to design a home that would bring the outdoors indoors. The second goal was to create an interior that differed markedly from the plethora of homes that feature dark finishes that tend to cause one show home to look like another inside.
In short, this home was to have a personality all its own.
"Basically, we wanted the home to not only bring the outside in, but have a fresh look inside," said Parkhill Homes' Lori Thorsteinson. "To achieve that, we surrounded an open-concept floor plan with lots of glass, and then used a variety of different finishing materials to get that fresh look."
As light-filled as the home's main living area is, the first thing that captures your attention is the quality of the finishing materials, starting with the hardwood floors.
"I just love them -- they're knotty oak hardwoods with a lighter. near-distressed look, so the dark knots really stand out to give the floors a more textured look," she said. "The idea was to have lighter hardwoods so that features like the cabinets, countertops and even the backsplash would really pop."
Mission accomplished, as darker tones in the maple cabinets (weathered slate), countertops (black granite) and backsplash (tan/taupe glass tile) contrast beautifully with the flooring. At the same time, the lighter-than-normal colours add warmth without sucking up all the natural light that flows so freely throughout the great room.
At the same time, flow throughout the great room is exceptional thanks to a key design feature.
"Our main goal with the floor plan was to provide a flexible space," said Thorsteinson. "To do that, we put in a less formal dining area near the front of the home, which really opened up the family room. The island kitchen is also nice and open with a wide aisle, too. There's also lots of counter space, and the big island (with raised eating bar) seats three. A pantry right off the mudroom at the front of the kitchen also makes it easy to load in groceries from the garage. It's a very functional layout."
It's also a unique layout in that the family room's rear wall is a three-part picture window (with transoms above) that not only lets in loads of natural light, but serves simultaneously as a front wall for a four-season sunroom.
"Everyone who's gone through the home has loved the idea of having a sunroom right off the family room. It's a nice, big space that extends the living area, and provides a place where you can go visit or just go to unwind after a long day. Another three-part picture window on the rear wall gives you a beautiful water view, and there's also a patio door that provides access to a covered balcony that overlooks the water."
Next comes the home's most unique design feature: a door off the master suite that provides access to the sunroom.
"Of course, the master suite was designed for function, but above all, it was designed for people to enjoy," she said. "With that in mind, it shares the two-sided gas fireplace with the sunroom, has a huge picture window. It really captures the view, and is a very calming space. The bedroom is capped off by a luxurious ensuite with six-foot soaker tub (placed beneath an obscured glass window), corner shower, big walk-in closet with built-in storage and heated tile floor."
Not to be overlooked is the family room, which is not only huge (and sports a gas fireplace with cultured stone surround), but bathed in natural light courtesy of its rear wall of windows -- plus a picture window in the dining room, a door with glass centre and sidelights on the opposite wall.
"We wanted an open feel coming in, with a big, welcoming foyer, lots of windows and an open, U-shaped stairwell (with window over it) to the right. From there, the home opens up even more."
Head downstairs to the walk-out lower level -- which houses 1,700 sq. ft. of liveable space -- and that feeling of openness continues. Two huge windows placed either side of a patio door that leads to a covered (stamped concrete) patio provide a view and illumination, while a wide-open rec room contains a media area and games area. The flooring, meanwhile, isn't carpet. Rather, it's the same oak hardwoods that run through most of the main level.
"We were able to put them in because of the basement's structural wood floor," she said. "Not many walk-out basements have hardwoods. I think it's a feature that's not only unique, but really ties in nicely with the natural surroundings. The basement is also very functional, too. There's a big fourth bedroom, an office with picture window, and a three-piece bath."
As fashionable as the home is -- it won a silver award in the Spring Parade of Homes - Parkhill's design team is most proud of how well the home functions up and down.
"It's a flexible home that you can entertain in, or just sit back in to enjoy the private country setting. It's also in a rare, unique area close to all kinds of amenities. We're really pleased with how it turned out."