Unique with­out be­ing weird

Waver­ley West de­sign of­fers some­thing dif­fer­ent while keep­ing fam­i­lies happy

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

THE lot of a home builder — es­pe­cially those upon whom “cus­tom builder” sta­tus hasn’t yet been con­ferred — is a ten­u­ous one.

While they strive to dif­fer­en­ti­ate them­selves from their com­peti­tors, there has to be an el­e­ment of re­straint in the de­signs they con­ceive. Af­ter all, it’s not a good idea to come up with a home de­sign that’s way out­side the box. The idea is to be dif­fer­ent in a unique, func­tional way, not over-the-top dif­fer­ent.

Con­se­quently, when the de­sign­ers at Sig­na­ture Homes drew up the plans for their lat­est show home — the 2,600 sq. ft.-plus, three-bed­room (plus bonus room) Duf­ferin, found at 31 Ed­ing­ton Point in Bridg­wa­ter For­est — they made sure to pick their spots and re­ally make each fea­ture count.

“All our plans are a bit dif­fer­ent,” says Jeff McArthur, Sig­na­ture Homes’ area man­ager for Waver­ley West. “We’re try­ing to be more cus­tom­ized, yet, for lack of a bet­ter term, de­liver track-builder pric­ing.”

Al­though the Duf­ferin is all about space — it’s aimed squarely at pro­vid­ing gra­cious fam­ily liv­ing — it’s far from be­ing one big empty. A prime ex­am­ple of well-used and de­fined space is the great room area, which fea­tures a novel L-shaped lay­out. That lay­out is then filled out nicely with three-quar­ter inch (dark) ash hard­woods, dark maple cab­i­netry and shim­mer­ing grey (ar­borite) coun­ter­tops that re­sem­ble gran­ite.

“It ac­tu­ally took on the L-shape by ne­ces­sity. It’s the re­sult of hav­ing a re­cessed garage (a prod­uct of the strict builders guide­lines in Bridg­wa­ter For­est). Ul­ti­mately, it worked out well. You get an is­land kitchen with dinette area by a big bay win­dow at one end with deck doors in the mid­dle,” he says. “The doors cre­ate a nice buf­fer that sep­a­rates the kitchen from the liv­ing room.”

The re­sult is a great room that’s open but sep­a­rate — and plenty spa­cious. That’s due to an­other thought­ful win­dow fea­ture, adds McArthur.

“Our de­sign­ers put a re­cessed win­dow on the back wall be­cause it added space (in this case for place­ment of a sofa) and light to the area. It cre­ates a re­ally nice look that sets off the area.”

Un­like many of to­day’s con­tem­po­rary homes — cus­tom, or oth­er­wise — the liv­ing room does not have a built-in en­ter­tain­ment unit or fire­place.

“We sim­ply did a dark fea­ture wall to add colour and def­i­ni­tion,” he says. “In the case of this home, we put in a por­ta­ble en­ter­tain­ment unit. Leav­ing the wall open al­lows you to plug in an elec­tric fire­place, which could be com­ple­mented by a corner en­ter­tain­ment unit. It’s up to the cus­tomer to do what they want to do with the space. We want to give peo­ple op­tions.”

Speak­ing of op­tions, the front-ori­ented din­ing room, which is de­fined by smart cutout pil­lars and a vaulted ceil­ing, can eas­ily be used for al­ter­nate pur­poses.

“We’ve found that a lot of our cus­tomers turn it into an of­fice be­cause the dinette area off the kitchen is so large (with seat­ing ca­pac­ity for six to eight peo­ple). When your needs change, it can then eas­ily be turned back into a din­ing room.”

That flex­i­bil­ity ex­tends to the home’s up­per level, where a very pleas­ant sur­prise awaits — a 300 sq. ft. bonus room (with three huge win­dows and walk-in closet, no less).

“It could be any­thing you want it to be,” says McArthur. “It could be a me­dia room, play room, ex­er­cise room or an­other of­fice. If you’re en­ter­tain­ing down­stairs, the kids can come up here to watch TV or a movie.”

A short stair­way then takes you up to the bed­room wing, which houses three bed­rooms and a four-piece bath­room. The mas­ter suite is off by it­self down a hall­way de­fined by a one-third wall with ver­ti­cal cutouts and dark oak cap­ping. Space and style merge into one neat pack­age in a se­cluded suite that’s sure to make a great spot to re­cover from the rigours of a long day.

“There’s lots of room in the bed­room for a king-size bed and ac­ces­sories. There’s an over­sized walk-in closet and a spa-like en­suite with white tile floor, corner shower and a dark maple van­ity,” he says.

If all the room and style on the main level and sec­ond floor isn’t enough, there’s then an­other 1,100 sq. ft. of space ready for devel­op­ment down­stairs, he adds.

“That takes the home to a to­tal of over 3,700 sq. ft.,” he says. “Our de­sign­ers put a lot of thought into the de­tails that went into this home, and I think it shows.”

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