A DREAM HOME
built for two
T“ A home is not a mere transient shelter: its essence lies in the personalities of the people who live in it.”
— H. L. Mencken
he famed American writer coined these words almost a century before Carman Joynt and Gail Ryan began the process of downsizing. Today, the words still capture this beautiful, thoughtfully designed, adult-living inspired home. It’s been a long journey, but for these two busy and social semi-retired professionals ( she’s all the way there, he’s still working on it), the journey is the raison d’être.
Carman initiated the process almost 12 years ago when he decided it was the right time to re-think their 4,600 square-foot living space off Island Park herself with an empty building lot less than a kilometer to the north, and no home to live in.
! " # $ % a traditional architect, the couple found the artist had a wonderful sense of style and instinctively knew what their needs were as they wound down their
careers, pushed their children out of the nest and embarked on the next part of their life.
In just 24 hours, John had designed ( within a very stringent budget) what has become a unique and beautiful home with all the space the homeowners need to continue their love of entertaining family and friends. The clever design also looks to the future in small, but important details.
“ No knobs, just levers,” says Gail as she points out the door handles. She adds that another smart idea was to make the bathroom counters the same height as kitchen counters to reduce bending over. While it’s impossible to think of this vibrant woman, who has only been retired for three years, as ever being anything but healthy and on the move, both she and Carman are realistic about the future and believe that this home is where they plan to stay.
Apart from the practical side of the house, which includes a multitude of built-in cupboards, it’s the space, the light, the colour and the uniqueness of this showcase home that strike the visitor. Because, although they have & ' where to put stuff when you downsize,” there
was no compromise on style.
In its design, John wanted the home to speak of a journey. Passing through the front entrance, the home welcomes you into a hallway with a 13-foot ceiling. And before the question of “ is there anything you’d do differently” is asked, Gail suggests the hallway should have been wider to better display some of their impressive art collection. One mistake in almost 2,500 square feet? Not bad.
The Canadian Shield made way for a full basement at the back of the house. It features a large and captivating family living area, two was told that couples need separate spaces far away from each other in retirement), and the impressive wine cellar – a must for two avid sommeliers.
Back upstairs, just a few steps up from the main entrance, light and colour awaken the senses – deep reds, dark purples, and the perfect furniture ( chairs built for his height; a sofa designed for hers) placed just so. Artwork is carefully arranged, from well-known older Canadian painters, to up-and-coming artists, some of whom have even been nurtured by these two patrons of the arts.
to display the many mementos the keen travelers and collectors have picked up along the way. In a lesser home these pieces, some functional, some pure art, would be called clutter. But, here, collections this home boasts – the lines, the hide the multitude of small details that make it a whole.
Maybe it’s the feng shui? As “ students” of the and her husband enjoy balance and symmetry in their home and lives. They employed feng shui principals in the design of their stunning back garden as well.
“ This was such a complete change from our shui specialist to assist with general placement issues,” explains Gail. “ Imagine how delighted we were to learn that the ‘ bang wha’ ( centre of the home) fell squarely where our kitchen was destined to be. And the kitchen is truly the centre of our home!”
Perfectly positioned for interactive cooking, " living space. From counters to appliances to backsplash, it gleams elegance, yet works as a highly functional gourmet kitchen.
Gail positively radiates enthusiasm and zest for life. With Carman at her side, in a dream home built for two, how could it get any better?
The Jean-Francois Provost painting above the sofa is from Galerie St-Laurent + Hill and the custom coffee table was made by Allan Gustafson to showcase a collection of antique ink wells. facing page, clockwise: The red chest in the hallway features a custom granite top by Interscapes Tile and Stone Gallery. A James Lahey painting compliments the décor with stunning dramatic impact. Carman
Joynt & Gail Ryan Joynt.
clockwise: Comfortable and stylish basement space was created for visiting adult children. The dining table set for entertaining. The ‘ bang wha’ is precisely where the kitchen is, in the centre of the home.