No small feat

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

BE­ING an in­ven­tive, imag­i­na­tive lot, builders rel­ish the op­por­tu­nity to rise to a chal­lenge. That’s ex­actly what hap­pened when Spencer Cur­tis and his de­sign team at Hil­ton Homes were given the re­spon­si­bil­ity of build­ing a spa­cious home on a lot that was sig­nif­i­cantly nar­rower than nor­mal at 54 Ap­ple­ford Gate in Bridg­wa­ter Lakes. Turns out, they more than met that chal­lenge. “We’re re­ally happy with how the home turned out,” said Cur­tis of The Char­lotte, a brand-new 1,839 sq. ft., two-storey de­sign. “While the home was built on a nar­rower foot­print (a 36-foot-wide lot, to be ex­act), it doesn’t feel small at all.” To make the home feel big­ger than it was, Cur­tis and his team de­cided to give the main liv­ing area a feel akin to a loft. “The en­tire main floor has a loft-like feel due to two de­sign char­ac­ter­is­tics: It’s open from front to back, and the de­sign also max­i­mizes light from front to back by plac­ing (large) win­dows in strate­gic spots,” he ex­plained. “We wanted the great room to have a cool, open feel that al­lowed for easy traf­fic flow and the en­trance of loads of nat­u­ral light.” Right from the foyer on in, flow is ex­cel­lent. A sub­tle de­sign fea­ture was used to am­plify that feel, said Cur­tis. “We put in a high-end (medium brown/taupe) vinyl floor that looks like hard­woods that has the “planks” all flow­ing in the same di­rec­tion – from the front to the back of the home. The great thing about this prod­uct is that it not only looks like hard­woods, but is very durable with its in­dus­trial ori­gin. You can put it in high traf­fic ar­eas and know that it will stand up beau­ti­fully to all the wear and tear.” Not only is the floor­ing func­tional (and fash­ion­able, to boot), but so too is The Char­lotte’s floor plan. The foyer is wide and wel­com­ing, with a laun­dry room (with win­dow) and pow­der room placed off its left-hand side. The two spa­ces were placed there for spe­cific rea­sons, said Cur­tis. “The laun­dry room is handy yet out of the way – it could also serve as a pocket of­fice, if nec­es­sary – and the pow­der room is in a spot that’s con­ve­nient for company to use,” he said. “Our fo­cus with this de­sign was to pro­vide res­i­dents with all the el­e­ments they need to live as com­fort­ably as pos­si­ble. It’s great to have lots of bells and whis­tles in a home, but above all, it has to be func­tional.” Take a few strides into the home’s main liv­ing area, and it quickly be­comes ap­par­ent it’s not only func­tional, but fash­ion­able, too. A wide-open great room houses a kitchen with mid-sized is­land with eat­ing nook for two to three, a cor­ner pantry and a va­ri­ety of fin­ishes that com­bine to cre­ate a space that’s warm (and there’s that word again) highly func­tional. “We went with white up­per cab­i­nets and brown maple (Thun­der-stained) cab­i­nets for con­trast,” Cur­tis ex­plained. “The white cab­i­nets go beau­ti­fully with a (beige/tan/taupe) tile back­splash, while the Thun­der cab­i­nets and brown floor­ing add warmth. The aisles are wide for ease of move­ment, and even the pantry door, with its brown trim — all the doors in the home are brown (wood) in­stead of white — adds another (wel­come) touch of warmth. There’s also a large din­ing area in a jog off to the side of the kitchen.” Mean­while, the ad­ja­cent fam­ily room is sub­tly sep­a­rated from the kitchen by a tan porce­lain tile sur­round that frames the gas fire­place in the fam­ily room, which fea­tures a can­tilevered TV niche, steel-blue colour pal­ette and a huge pic­ture win­dow. “I think we achieved what we wanted with the great room — a cool, open feel with is­land kitchen you can hang out at, a big din­ing area that opens onto the kitchen, and a kitchen that opens up beau­ti­fully onto the fam­ily room,” he said. “It’s a very liv­able area that’s ideal for fam­ily life and en­ter­tain­ing.” The same could be said for The Char­lotte’s up­per level, which was de­signed to mimic its main level in its liv­abil­ity quo­tient. “An ex­tra-wide stair­case makes for ex­cel­lent traf­fic flow up, while the main land­ing is wide and bright thanks to light that en­ters it through the master bed­room’s dou­ble-door en­trance, and from huge win­dows in the two bed­rooms (placed side-by-side) on the op­po­site side of the land­ing,” said Cur­tis. “The re­sult is an up­per level that’s filled with nat­u­ral light.”

It’s also filled with util­ity. Both sec­ondary bed­rooms are larger than nor­mal with dou­ble clos­ets, and the master suite is big and ex­ceed­ingly well-equipped. “As master suites go it’s quite large, as it’s about 18 feet wide,” he said. “The big pic­ture win­dow is can­tilevered, and there’s room for a read­ing area, too. There’s a big walk-in closet, three-piece en­suite with five-foot shower, (tan) porce­lain tile floor and a Thun­der maple van­ity. It’s a great re­treat.” Another 740 sq. ft. of liv­able space down­stairs (rec room, bed­room, bath­room, stor­age) takes the home’s to­tal square footage to just un­der 2,600 sq. ft., all of it well-used. “I think this home of­fers ex­cel­lent value,” said Cur­tis. “There’s lots of space, the floor plan works re­ally well, and there’s no short­age of style. It’s a solid, well-thought-out home with a lay­out that you can live in, and love.”

The din­ing room, kitchen and fam­ily room are spa­cious, and an open, in­te­grated de­sign cre­ates ex­cel­lent flow be­tween spa­ces.

The great room is a bright, open area char­ac­ter­ized by rich fin­ishes and seam­less flow.

The master suite – which is 18 feet wide – is a bright re­lax­ing space that of­fers respite from the day’s rigours.

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