Beauty and brains

Artista’s geo­ther­mal show home eye-catch­ing, ef­fi­cient

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

RTISTA Homes’ Frank Cotro­neo comes straight to the point when asked about what his com­pany’s ob­jec­tive is with each new home they build.

“We want to build homes that will catch peo­ples’ at­ten­tion — our goal is to build homes that break new ground in de­sign each time out,” he says. “Our homes are as artis­tic — and log­i­cal — as pos­si­ble.”

To put an em­pha­sis on log­i­cal, Artista built a 2,276-square-foot show home in Bridg­wa­ter For­est (at 123 Bri­dle­wood Rd.) that is not only a highly creative de­sign, but an en­ergy-ef­fi­cient one, as well.

“With the trend to­ward build­ing ecofriendly homes, we de­cided to go with a geo­ther­mal heat­ing and cool­ing sys­tem,” Cotro­neo ex­plains. “Granted, go­ing that route adds an­other $25,000 to $30,000 to build­ing costs, but it even­tu­ally pays for it­self, usu­ally in about 10 to 12 years.”

He adds the re­sults have been im­me­di­ate in terms of low­ered heat­ing and cool­ing costs.

“Putting in the geo­ther­mal sys­tem had a huge im­pact on the heat­ing bill this win­ter. In­clud­ing the lower level, this is home is over 3,000 sq. ft. Yet, the heat­ing bill has been only $50 a month. That’s amaz­ing.”

So much for the ef­fi­cient part: Let’s get to the im­por­tant stuff, which refers to two key ar­eas: the home’s wow fac­tor, and how the home’s func­tion par­al­lels it (or not).

As for wow fac­tor, 123 Bri­dle­wood has

Aplenty of it. The first at­ten­tion-catcher is an el­e­vated area — di­vided from a slick Euro­pean/mod­ern-themed kitchen by a tem­pered-glass wall — with a stone wall at the rear. “We wanted to at­tract at­ten­tion with the stone wall and tem­pered-glass di­vider,” says Cotro­neo. “I guess it worked, be­cause peo­ple just stand in the kitchen and go ‘Wow!’ We ac­com­plished two things with the room — first, we in­tro­duced dif­fer­ent ma­te­ri­als into the home, and we cre­ated a se­cluded loft or read­ing area that peo­ple can re­ally en­joy. You can also see down into the gym be­low.”

Mean­while, with its eight-foot Cae­sarS­tone is­land (and coun­ter­tops), tem­pered-glass back­splash with lime high­lights that bring out the alu­minium/glass cab­i­netry over the stove, char­coal maple cab­i­netry and hand­scraped nat­u­ral maple floors, the kitchen is at once fash­ion-for­ward and func­tional.

“In here, our goal was to take the home to the next level, to make it mod­ern, yet func­tional. It’s a fine line, though. Even though we want to be in­no­va­tors, we didn’t want to make is so mod­ern that the area lost func­tion­al­ity,” he says. “To in­crease func­tion­al­ity, we placed a main floor laun­dry/ mud­room right off the kitchen. It’s tucked away neatly off the garage en­trance, only steps away from the kitchen.”

With a 14-foot ceil­ing, huge win­dows and a three-sided fire­place that deftly de­fines the liv­ing room from the din­ing room, the great room area is not only artis­tic, but func­tional.

“It’s what we wanted to achieve — a bright, mod­ern space with clean lines,” Cotro­neo adds.

Like­wise, the home’s up­per level is not only a vis­ual de­light, but er­gonom­i­cally sound. Large fam­i­lies will en­joy an ex­traw­ide stair­well (with cool new ca­ble rail­ing sys­tem) and gen­er­ous up­per land­ing — as well as gar­gan­tuan bed­rooms, high­lighted by a lux­u­ri­ous mas­ter suite with dra­matic dou­ble (frosted-glass) door en­trance.

“This is a spot where we want peo­ple to come to re­lax,” he says. “Things like a heated ce­ramic tile floor, big jet­ted tub and custom-tiled shower with tem­pered glass sur­round help you do that in style and pri­vacy. There’s tons of room in the bed­room, as well as a walk-in closet with built-in shelv­ing, in­clud­ing glass shelves with a lime green back­ground.”

While 123 Bri­dle­wood’s main level is open­con­cept, the lower level was in­ten­tion­ally seg­mented, says Cotro­neo.

“Our think­ing there was that peo­ple would en­joy hav­ing their own sec­tion to do their own thing while still be­ing part of the whole ex­pe­ri­ence — there’s an ex­er­cise area by a huge win­dow, wet bar, games area, me­dia area (just off the stairs) and a huge bed­room. We’re re­ally proud of the work­out area, be­cause it’s a good size, and not dark and dingy. It’s a bright area where you can en­joy your work­out.”

In a nut­shell, 123 Bri­dle­wood proves — be­yond a shadow of a doubt — that cre­ativ­ity

and ef­fi­ciency can co­ex­ist.

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