As the old saying goes, you can't re-invent the wheel.
You can, however -- with a bit of imagination -- add a fresh new dimension to it. That was the goal with the Albany IV, a 1,876-square-foot cab-over design located at 141 Drew St. in South Pointe, said Hilton Homes' Spencer Curtis.
"We were striving to reinvigorate the cab-over with this design," he said. "We took an existing design and tweaked it in a number of areas to freshen it up, starting with the exterior elevation, which we wanted to give a new, contemporary look."
Mission accomplished: From the garage's jauntily angled roofline to the coppery-red aluminum siding build-outs that frame the garage and master suite's window above, to the home's entrance, which features a pillar encased in more of the stylish siding -- a series of five horizontal windows also surrounds the front door to the side, and above -- the Albany IV's exterior is at once dynamic and inviting.
If those novel design features weren't a hint that the home wasn't going to be another ho-hum cab-over design, the foyer immediately notifies you the home is going to be anything but boring.
"The drama starts with the exterior, then continues on the moment you set foot into the foyer," said Curtis. "It's exceptionally wide with an area to the left of the entrance (it's about seven feet by six feet in its dimensions) that provides room for whatever you like -- a sitting area, bench to sit down and take your shoes off, or even a home office."
Finishing materials are also rich, providing a prelude to what's to come once you ascend the seven steps to the main living area.
"The flooring is a gorgeous off-white porcelain tile, which not only looks great, but is very durable. Then, we did the risers between the stairs in tile to tie into the home's dark-light theme," he said. "A one-third wall with tempered glass cut-outs frames the dining room in style, and we put a coat closet and laundry room to the right of the foyer to add function."
Once on the main level, the first space that greets you is the aforementioned dining room, which opens onto the hallway that leads to the great room area. A generously proportioned space, it feels even larger thanks to a vaulted ceiling overhead.
At the same time, the dark-oak hardwoods that define it add texture and warmth, while the windows next to the front door allow daylight to flow in through the glass cut-outs in free-flowing fashion.
The dark-oak hardwoods then transition back into the off-white porcelain tile once you enter the kitchen area. Curtis said the design objective for the great room was a simple one.
"We wanted to make it contemporary, interesting and functional," he said. "For example, we did the tile floor in increments of two-by-two, one-by-one and one-by-two tiles to vary the look and add interest. Then, we jazzed up the kitchen by putting in cool grey quartz countertops along with two colours of cabinets -- thunder maple and off-white. The contrast they create with the grey tile backsplash is awesome."
An extra bank of cabinets over the fridge is a direct result of the high ceiling, he added.
"The vaulted ceiling allowed us to put more cabinets (with glass centres) up high. They not only look great, but add extra storage."
Adjacent to the kitchen -- which also features a seven-foot by four-foot island with eating nook for two, a corner pantry and extra-wide aisles -- is an oversized dinette area with room for a table for four, six if necessary. Then, there's the family room, which is defined from the tile kitchen/dinette area by another infusion of dark-oak hardwoods.
"The rear of the home is very bright due to all the glass (patio doors behind the dinette area) -- particularly the huge (12-foot by seven-foot) recta-linear window in the family room -- and the vaulted ceiling, which not only creates visual interest, but increases the feeling of volume," Curtis said. "The focal point of the family room is a ribbon-style fireplace set in a black tile surround that was staggered for visual interest. I just love the window -- it looks great and lets in tons of light."
As might be expected, the home's pièce de résistance is the master suite, which -- being set seven steps above the main level -- was designed expressly to be an ultra-private sanctuary of sanity.
"What a retreat it is," he said. "It's just a huge space that starts with Thunder-stained double doors, and it has some really neat features such as separate his-and-her walk-in closets, something you don't see very often, as well as a big, cantilevered window that injects all kinds of light into the room -- and opens up room for a reading area."
Next stop is the ensuite, which like the bedroom, is big and bright.
"It's a well-appointed space with a corner jetted tub, tile floor, Thunder maple vanity with dual sinks and a five-foot shower tucked out of the way to the right. The grand scale of the bedroom and ensuite give you the space and amenities you need to decompress after a long day."
With another 1,000 sq. ft. of livable space available downstairs -- good for two to three more bedrooms, a huge rec room, four-piece bath and tons of storage -- the Albany IV's reinvigorated design is perfect for active, growing families.