Artista li­cence

Unique, func­tional house has plenty of space, wet­lands vista

Winnipeg Free Press - Section F - - HOMES - By Todd Lewys

WHEN you’re in the lower level of a home, it’s never a bad thing to be tak­ing in a lake view as you play a friendly (or com­pet­i­tive) game of pool.

Or to be able to head out a nearby set of pa­tio doors to a cov­ered pa­tio for a lit­tle bar­be­cue­ing. Or to sim­ply lounge lan­guidly in a sitting area framed by a set of win­dows that af­fords an­other sooth­ing view of the wet­lands that run be­hind 54 High­land Creek Rd., Artista Homes’ new­est show home.

The walk­out base­ment is only one out­stand­ing fea­ture of the two-storey home, which en­com­passes more than 3,500 square feet spread over three lev­els of cre­ative yet func­tional liv­ing space.

“Our de­sign­ers are al­ways push­ing the de­sign en­ve­lope,” said Artista sales rep­re­sen­ta­tive El­liot DiDomeni­can­to­nio. “It wasn’t an easy home to cre­ate, what with all the in­tri­cate de­sign de­tails. All the ef­fort was worth it, though. The re­sponse to the de­sign has been amaz­ing.”

Lit­tle won­der, as each level is de­fined by the same three key el­e­ments: space, light and style. Take the great-room area, for ex­am­ple. In­stead of putting the kitchen, din­ing area and fam­ily room into one large space, Artista’s de­sign­ers sunk the fam­ily room down three steps and put down oak hard­woods rather than the grey tile that runs through­out the kitchen and din­ing area, fur­ther defin­ing the area.

A se­ries of huge win­dows on the rear wall serves two pur­poses, said DiDomeni­can­to­nio.

“All the space is nice, but by it­self, its im­pact is only min­i­mal,” he said. “But put in all kinds of big win­dows, high ceil­ings and some unique fin­ishes and fea­tures, the main liv­ing area be­comes what it should be — a won­der­ful spot to en­ter­tain or en­joy fam­ily life.

“Lit­tle things like the tem­pered-glass di­vider (with stain­less steel rail­ing) and sunken liv­ing room keep the spaces sep­a­rate but con­nected, while the hard­woods tone the area down a bit.”

Though the scheme is on the mod­ern side — whites and greys are pre­dom­i­nant — it works. Grey quartz coun­ter­tops pro­vide con­trast be­side white (glossy) ther­mo­foil cab­i­netry, while a grey porce­lain tile floor, which looks very much like con­crete, adds tex­ture and a mod­ern sort of warmth. There’s even room for a dinette area for four ad­ja­cent to pa­tio doors, which helps max­i­mize the wet­lands view.

A four-foot-by-10-foot is­land with eat­ing nook for four, built-in ovens, gas cook­top (with pop-up hood fan), a dou­ble sink and big pantry add util­ity to an area that’s ex­tremely easy to nav­i­gate by dint of wide aisle­ways.

A wide foyer with an of­fice to the right (with slid­ing, tem­pered-glass door) and tem­pered-glass win­dows that pro­vide a sight­line into the fam­ily room round out the main level with style and func­tion­al­ity.

Whereas most of to­day’s new-home de­signs place the stair­way at the front of the house, Artista’s de­sign­ers opted to place it off the kitchen — an­other unique fea­ture.

“Our de­sign­ers felt that peo­ple of­ten fo­cused too much on the stairs, so they put them out of the way,” DiDomeni­can­to­nio said. “That al­lowed us to do some­thing a lit­tle dif­fer­ent up­stairs.”

That dif­fer­ent fea­ture is a 10-foot-long salt­wa­ter aquar­ium that oc­cu­pies the right side of a spacious loft area (with a huge win­dow on its rear wall) on the up­per level’s first land­ing.

“The idea with Artista is to al­ways do some­thing dif­fer­ent,” he said. “It’s a cre­ative touch that adds char­ac­ter to an area that could be used as a read­ing area, sitting area or of­fice.”

Mov­ing up to the next level re­veals three bed­rooms — two good-size sec­ondary bed­rooms with walk-in clos­ets, and an imag­i­na­tively de­signed mas­ter suite.

“You don’t see many homes with mas­ter bed­rooms like this one,” said DeDomeni­can­to­nio.

“First, there’s an in­cred­i­ble view of the wet­lands be­low. Then the ensuite, set three steps down from the bed­room, is di­vided from it by black, stain­less steel mesh.

“It’s a com­bi­na­tion of tra­di­tional and mod­ern de­sign el­e­ments with a jet­ted tub, tem­pered-glass shower, dark-grey ce­ramic tile floor and pol­ished ce­ment sink on a white ther­mo­foil van­ity. It’s pretty cool.”

Al­though the home is filled with more than its fair share of wow fac­tor, he says liv­abil­ity hasn’t been sac­ri­ficed.

“The lay­out of this home is re­ally func­tional. Min­i­mal hall­ways cre­ate more us­able space,” DiDomeni­can­to­nio said. “If you’re look­ing for a place to get away from it all that al­lows you to en­joy all life has to of­fer, this is a home that will al­low you to do that.”

The in­cred­i­ble view of the wet­lands from the mas­ter bed­room.

PHO­TOS BY BORIS MINKEVICH / WIN­NIPEG FREE PRESS

The imag­i­na­tively de­signed mas­ter suite, which has a great view of the wet­lands.

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