Tweak­ing it to the max

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - FRONT PAGE -

AS good as a new home’s de­sign might be, it can al­ways be made bet­ter. Which is ex­actly what the de­sign team at Ster­ling Homes did when they sub­tly tweaked an al­ready suc­cess­ful home plan, The Mon­tara: make the 1,675-square­foot bun­ga­low bet­ter in sev­eral key ar­eas. “The tweaks started with giv­ing the home a new el­e­va­tion to give it even more curb ap­peal,” said Derek MacDon­ald, mar­ket­ing man­ager, Qual­ico sin­gle fam­ily homes. “Its ex­te­rior looks very re­fined with its cul­tured stone ac­cents and clean lines — it’s a home that re­ally catches your eye when you’re walk­ing by. That rich look ex­tends inside; the home was de­signed to of­fer up­scale fam­ily liv­ing.” Be­cause it’s a show home, The Mon­tara comes loaded with — get this — more than $100,000 in op­tions. As such, the home truly de­liv­ers on it in­ten­tion of pro­vid­ing a fam­ily with an up­scale en­ve­lope in which to co-ex­ist. How­ever, as fetch­ing as those op­tions are — they com­bine to cre­ate a warm, re­lax­ing main-floor am­bi­ence — the floor plan sets the ta­ble for the fin­ishes. Were the floor plan not func­tional, it would be nearly im­pos­si­ble to en­joy the sur­round­ings to the fullest pos­si­ble ex­tent. The Mon­tara’s func­tional floor plan starts in the foyer, which is ex­tra-wide — and feels that much wider due to the pres­ence of a for­mal din­ing room to its left. A brief hall­way then leads into a T-shaped great room that’s open, yet deftly di­vided into three dis­tinct spa­ces. “The great room’s floor plan ba­si­cally de­fines each space for you in a seam­less, sub­tle way,” said MacDon­ald. “It starts off with a very func­tional kitchen with a nine­foot by four-foot is­land with eat­ing nook for three and a choco­late-stained maple base that con­tains a wealth of cab­i­nets for ex­tra stor­age.”

By Todd Lewys Mean­while, the re­main­der of the kitchen’s co­pi­ous col­lec­tion of cab­i­nets con­trasts sharply (in a good way) from the choco­lat­es­tained is­land. “Up­per cab­i­nets are a beau­ti­ful white maple — the up­per cab­i­nets have glass in­serts,” he added. “The coun­ter­tops are a sharp-look­ing (stri­ated) taupe lam­i­nate. A cor­ner pantry adds ex­tra stor­age space; a choco­late brown glass tile back­splash makes the white cab­i­nets pop and ties in nicely with the is­land.” A jog to the left — a sig­nif­i­cant one, at that — yields space that houses an over­sized dinette area (for four), which is placed next to a huge win­dow and pa­tio door. “It’s a well-de­signed area,” said MacDon­ald. “There’s lots of room be­tween the dinette and kitchen, so it doesn’t feel boxed in. Not only is there plenty of room for a ta­ble for four, but the pa­tio door also gives you ac­cess to another great fea­ture — a cov­ered deck that’s ideal for grilling steaks and vis­it­ing with guests.” Another buf­fer area cre­ates wel­come sep­a­ra­tion be­tween the dinette area and fam­ily room, while a nine-foot ceil­ing and loads of glass placed all around the great room makes for a nat­u­rally bright great room. “There are large win­dows ev­ery­where, so the great room is just flooded with day­light,” he said. “The fam­ily room is a beau­ti­ful space that’s de­fined by a tray ceil­ing (an op­tional fea­ture) above and whose fo­cal point is a gas fire­place with strik­ing cul­tured stone sur­round with maple en­ter­tain­ment units on ei­ther side. The high-end lam­i­nate dis­tressed oak floor­ing, which runs through the whole great room, is warm, and it looks so good, you’re hard-pressed to tell it isn’t real hard­wood floor­ing.” A one-third, dark-capped stub wall that de­fines the stairs also de­fines the front of the fam­ily room — and a hall­way that leads into the home’s ul­tra-pri­vate bed­room wing, which is ac­tu­ally much more than just a bed­room wing thanks to a sound er­gonomic de­sign. “I think the bed­room wing is an ex­cep­tional use of space. Es­sen­tially, Ster­ling’s de­sign team took one cor­ner of an open­con­cept home and ded­i­cated it to be­ing a quiet, pri­vate and ef­fi­ciently-de­signed area,” MacDon­ald said. “Both sec­ondary bed­rooms are large (at 12 feet by 10 feet each), there’s a big four-piece bath and laun­dry/mud­room with ac­cess to the 21foot by 23-foot dou­ble garage.” Then, there’s the master suite, which is set off in its own lit­tle cor­ner of the world. “It’s close to the common area for quick ac­cess, yet it’s set away from the kids’ rooms for pri­vacy,” he said. “The bed­room was de­lib­er­ately mid-sized (at 12.6 feet by 12.6 feet) to leave ex­tra room for the en­suite, which I think was a great move.” And how. Not only is there loads of room to move, but there’s loads of nat­u­ral light that flows in from an ob­scured glass win­dow set over a nice, deep soaker tub. The spa-like space is fin­ished off in style by a taupe tile floor, five-foot shower and French white van­ity; it’s even wired for sound so res­i­dents can soak in style to the sooth­ing strains of their favourite tunes. “The master bed­room is what it should be — a true re­treat,” said MacDon­ald. He added that be­cause The Mon­tara is a bun­ga­low, there’s all kinds of liv­ing space to de­velop down­stairs. “Con­ser­va­tively, there’s 1,200 sq. ft. to de­velop into me­dia and games ar­eas, a bed­room or two and stor­age. With the base­ment, you have a home that of­fers nearly 3,000 sq. ft. of to­tal liv­ing space. It can also be built for a lit­tle over $400,000 with ba­sic fin­ishes, as well. You get the same great floor plan, just not the high-end fin­ishes. Ei­ther way, it’s a great home that’s loaded with func­tion and style.”

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