Ag­ing grace­fully

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

CHOOS­ING a home, to put it mildly, can be a daunt­ing task. On one side of the pref­er­ence ledger, buy­ers de­sire a new, or newer home be­cause it will be con­tem­po­rary and re­quire fewer up­dates than an older home. The down­side to buy­ing newer is that you’ll be pay­ing higher taxes and will be in a com­mu­nity that might not be as cen­tral (or ma­ture) as you might like it to be. The other side of that ledger en­tails pur­chas­ing an older home in an es­tab­lished, more cen­tral com­mu­nity. Only prob­lem is, the home may well re­quire ex­ten­sive up­dates. To buy new or old — that, in­deed, is the ques­tion. Royal LePage Dy­namic Real Es­tate’s Garry Parkes said he may have the so­lu­tion to that quandary: an up­dated two-storey home found at 148 Elm St. in north River Heights. The re­sult of those ren­o­va­tions, which in­clude a new kitchen and fam­ily room, is a mas­ter­ful fu­sion of clas­sic River Heights charm and mod­ern ameni­ties. Take the home’s hub, for ex­am­ple. The kitchen/fam­ily room area is as con­tem­po­rary as you’ll find any­where, said Parkes. “Its de­sign is ex­tremely func­tional — there’s a dual-sided penin­sula that seats four to six, black/grey gran­ite coun­ter­tops, cus­tom cherry cab­i­nets, a built-in oven and gas cook­top and oak hard­wood floor­ing that make for a space (which mea­sures 10 feet by 17.2 feet) that’s func­tional, and beau­ti­ful.” The func­tion doesn’t end there. Walk to the end of the kitchen, and you find a land­ing set two steps down. It not only con­tains builtin cherry stor­age cab­i­nets, but also of­fers some­thing very rare in vin­tage River Heights homes: a dou­ble-at­tached garage. “At ap­prox­i­mately 22 feet by 28 feet, it’s a large garage that comes with an ex­tra-high 18-foot-wide door, elec­tric opener and stor­age area above the garage stall,” he said. “Like a new home, you can park your car in the garage and bring your gro­ceries di­rectly into the kitchen, which has lots of cab­i­nets and a pantry with pull-outs to store all your wares.” Then, the sec­ond part of the 12-year-old ren­o­va­tion adds even more func­tion to the area: a fam­ily room set down one step from the kitchen, plus another bonus ad­ja­cent to the area, which mea­sures in at an ex­pan­sive 14.3 feet by 19 feet. “There’s a gas fire­place with built-in cherry wood en­ter­tain­ment cen­tre, and a three-piece bay win­dow that not only lets in tons of nat­u­ral light, but cre­ates ex­tra room for a sec­tional or a sofa and chairs,” said Parkes. “There’s also a pa­tio door that leads to a cov­ered deck and pri­vate back­yard that’s ideal for grilling steaks and burg­ers. It’s also a safe, fully fenced spot for kids to play in.” Head to­ward the front of the home, and a clas­sic cen­tre hall floor plan takes you to a din­ing room (to the left of the front en­trance com­ing in) and a liv­ing room to the right. Turns out, there’s more to the liv­ing room than meets the eye. “The liv­ing room is an ab­so­lutely beau­ti­ful space with oak hard­woods, a wood-burn­ing fire­place (set off by a cul­tured stone stack above, cap­puc­cino maple man­tel and built-in cab­i­nets ei­ther side), coved ceil­ing and pot lights. There’s also a (nine-foot by 15 foot) room off the liv­ing room that can be used as a sun­room, den or play room.” Im­me­di­ately across the way is the (12.6 foot by 14.1 foot) for­mal din­ing room; then comes another un­ex­pected fea­ture head­ing back to­ward the kitchen/fam­ily room. “It’s a fea­ture you don’t of­ten see in homes this old — a two-piece bath,” said Parkes. “If you’re en­ter­tain­ing, your guests won’t need to go up­stairs to use the wash­room.” Speak­ing of the home’s sec­ond level, there’s ac­tu­ally a level that pre­cedes it, he added. “There’s ac­tu­ally a den/of­fice off the first land­ing. It’s a won­der­ful space that’s sur­rounded by four win­dows and comes with oak hard­woods. At one time it was a bed­room, but it now makes a great den with all its nat­u­ral light.” Next comes the full-fledged sec­ond level, which fea­tures three bed­rooms and a three­piece bath. “All three bed­rooms are a good size, and fea­ture large win­dows and good stor­age space,” Parkes said. “At 12 feet by 13 feet, the master suite is a com­fort­able space with a large win­dow, dress­ing/closet area, three­piece en­suite and warm earth tones on the walls.” The home’s lower level also ranks as a pleas­ant sur­prise. With good ceil­ing height (not al­ways the case in 86-year-old homes) and de­cent space, it of­fers a recre­ation/ games room, laun­dry room and over­sized bath­room that houses not only a shower, but wet sauna with cedar ac­cents.

“This is a solid, straight, beau­ti­fully up­dated clas­sic home in a ma­ture, cen­tral lo­ca­tion that close to ev­ery­thing,” he said. “It’s the best place to be in the city, and you can have the best of both worlds – orig­i­nal River Heights character with mod­ern func­tion­al­ity.”

Head down­stairs, and you find a rec room with ceil­ing

pot lights, a me­dia cen­tre and newer car­pet­ing.

The master suite’s earth tone colour pal­ette makes it a

space that ex­udes warmth and re­lax­ation.

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