A lit­tle bit coun­try...

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

NO mat­ter what type of home they’re en­deav­our­ing to de­sign, Jeff Baert­soen and his de­sign team at Par­a­digm Custom Homes al­ways has the same ob­jec­tive in mind.

“To us, use of space and func­tion­al­ity is al­ways of para­mount im­por­tance,” Baert­soen says. “With this de­sign (The Stone­haven, a 1,975-square-foot bun­ga­low), we didn’t want any wasted space. At the same time, we went a bit more tra­di­tional with this one, with a bit more of a coun­try feel.”

In­deed, The Stone­haven has a dis­tinct coun­try feel — that is, within an en­ve­lope that’s at once en­ergy-ef­fi­cient and con­tem­po­rary.

The en­ergy-ef­fi­ciency comes from the home’s Power Smart gold rat­ing; the con­tem­po­rary styling comes from an open-con­cept de­sign that isn’t too overtly open-con­cept.

“This is a very en­ergy-ef­fi­cient home that also has what we con­sider to be one of our most ef­fi­cient floor plans to date,” Baert­soen says. “The en­ergy-ef­fi­cient starts from the ground up, where we have a struc­tural wood floor in the base­ment. We spray-foamed all the joist cav­i­ties, and the foun­da­tion has an R27.5 in­su­la­tion value. The R value in the at­tic is 50. Those and a host of other fea­tures make this a very ef­fi­cient home.”

On the main level, a well-thought-out floor plan makes for an ex­tremely ef­fi­cient lay­out. From a wide, re­cep­tive foyer (where you’re greeted by a two-sided gas fire­place), the home es­sen­tially is di­vided into three quad­rants: the bed­room wing to the left, great room (liv­ing room, kitchen and dinette) area straight ahead and a se­cluded laun­dry/mud- room wing to the right.

“First off, we thought it was im­por­tant to keep the laun­dry/mud­room area out of the line of sight — no one wants to see where all your stuff is piled up. At the same time, the mud­room is huge, with our sig­na­ture Kid­die Kub­bie (locker-style) area with a big closet across from it and a sep­a­rate laun­dry room,” he ex­plains. “We in­stalled cof­fee-coloured Cer­atec Imola Eko ce­ramic tile to fin­ish the area off in style.”

It’s then on to quad­rant two, an open-con­cept, yet sub­tly seg­mented great room area. That seg­men­ta­tion starts in the foyer, where a two-sided fire­place — set in dark brown cul­tured stone (also found on the stair­well wall) — di­vides the great room from the foyer. The kitchen is then set far enough to the right to give you a glimpse of what’s there, while still pre­serv­ing pri­vacy (and, mer­ci­fully, the mess of dishes by the sink).

“We didn’t want the great room area to just be one big box,” says Baert­soen. “To com­bat that, we went with vari­able ceil­ing heights — 11 feet in the foyer, 12 feet in the liv­ing room and 10 feet in the kitchen. The dif­fer­ent ceil­ing heights and tray ceil­ings in both the liv­ing room and kitchen also de­fine the spa­ces and gives the area some dif­fer­ent dy­nam­ics.”

Mean­while, it’s ap­par­ent keen at­ten­tion to de­tail has been paid to two other key de­sign el­e­ments: flow and fin­ish­ing ma­te­ri­als. Thanks to wide aisles and an over­sized dinette, there’s plenty of room to move in the four-foot-wide by seven-foot-long is­land kitchen. A dif­fer­ent col­lec­tion of fin­ish­ing ma­te­ri­als then co­a­lesces to cre­ate the coun­try am­bi­ence Baert­soen and com­pany was looking to ef­fect.

“To cre­ate a rus­tic feel, we went with three-quar­ter oak hard­woods with a lowlus­tre fin­ish that not only look very rus­tic, but are also very wear re­sis­tant. For con­trast, we went with cream-coloured glazed maple cab­i­nets that have a dis­tinct coun­try flavour. We then fin­ished the kitchen off with gran­ite coun­ter­tops and a pantry with cream­coloured shelv­ing.”

The great room is then fin­ished off by a huge dinette area for six to 10 — and an ex­pan­sive liv­ing room with built-in niche for a 50-inch flat panel tele­vi­sion — and mas­sive win­dows that let in loads of nat­u­ral light.

“We went with the light cab­i­netry be­cause dark has been in for so long. It’s all about the colour pal­ette, and how ev­ery­thing ties in.”

Fi­nally, there’s the third quad­rant, a pri­vate bed­room wing that con­tains all three (large) bed­rooms and a main bath­room — with deep soaker tub set that ri­vals the mas­ter bed­room’s en­suite in el­e­gance. Of par­tic­u­lar note is the fact there’s no tub — jet­ted, or soaker — in the en­suite.

“Only a small per­cent­age of cus­tomers want a tub in the en­suite. That’s why we put the tub in the main bath and went with a five-foot tem­pered glass en­clo­sure with body spray in the en­suite,” Baert­soen says. “We also went with re­verse glazed (brown) cab­i­nets — the home would have been too bland if we’d gone with lighter colours through­out. You also get a great view of the golf course through three huge win­dows, too.”

With an ad­di­tional 1,800 sq. ft. of space to de­velop down­stairs, The Stone­haven can be out­fit­ted to of­fer more than 3,700 sq. ft. of well-used — and well-ap­pointed — space in a quiet, pri­vate coun­try set­ting.

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