Love the liv­abil­ity

Square-footage boost el­e­vates Sage Creek bi-level

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

SOME­TIMES, it’s the lit­tle de­tails that can take a new home de­sign from good to great. An ex­am­ple of that is the Ken­dal, a 1,520-sq.-ft. bi-level de­sign, said Hearth Homes sales manager Liam Milne. “This ver­sion of the home is up ap­prox­i­mately 100 square feet from three years ago. The ex­tra square footage al­lowed us to make three key changes to the floor plan.” Those three changes en­com­passed mak­ing the mas­ter bed­room big­ger, putting in a main-floor laun­dry and mak­ing the main floor’s over­all square footage a lit­tle more gen­er­ous. Although sub­tle, those changes have in­creased the main floor’s over­all func­tion­al­ity, said Milne. “Although adding 100 square feet doesn’t seem like a big in­crease, it ac­tu­ally makes a big dif­fer­ence. The ex­tra bit of space added in the great room ac­tu­ally en­hanced traf­fic flow in a big way. Our goal was to make the home as ac­ces­si­ble as pos­si­ble on the main floor, and the ex­tra space helped us do that.” Adding the ex­tra space — plus the main­floor laun­dry — ac­tu­ally broad­ened the home’s ap­peal, he added. “As popular as the floor plan was be­fore, it’s be­come amazingly popular with both young cou­ples and empty nesters. The open-con­cept de­sign is quite ver­sa­tile, so it works well for empty nesters, who like to en­ter­tain, and young cou­ples with young chil­dren. It’s a sim­ple, yet ef­fec­tive de­sign. It’s not a cramped plan at all — there’s lots of space to move around.” In­deed, there is lots of space to move around, yet each space — the dining area, kitchen and fam­ily room — are dis­tinct en­ti­ties, a byprod­uct of hav­ing enough room to cre­ate buf­fer spa­ces be­tween each area (thus cre­at­ing a feel­ing of sep­a­ra­tion). “The plan is open with each space be­ing very ac­ces­si­ble,” said Milne. “Yet, each space is pri­vate. The great room is open, but not so open that it has that wide-open ware­house look some homes have.” At the same time, the en­tirety of the main floor is sur­rounded by glass — loads of it, all of it well-placed. No mat­ter where you’re stand­ing on the main floor, light streams in from lit­er­ally ev­ery an­gle, cre­at­ing an in­te­rior with a cheery, pos­i­tive vibe. Mean­while, a novel (and strik­ing) ceil­ing treat­ment adds in­ter­est above. “The ceil­ing is vaulted over both the fam­ily room and kitchen, but is nor­mal over the dining room,” he said. “It not only cre­ates in­ter­est and de­fines each space, but also helps the great room feel larger.” While the in­te­rior is bright, stan­dard in­te­rior fin­ishes en­sure the bright­ness isn’t over­whelm­ing: medium brown lam­i­nate hard­woods, gran­ite coun­ter­tops (in­fused with three shades of taupe) and a com­bi­na­tion of white (up­per) and slate (lower) maple cab­i­nets. “I think the fin­ish­ing ma­te­ri­als give you just the right bal­ance of bright­ness; we also put a dark-brown fea­ture wall be­hind the dining area to add an­other darker colour tone to the mix. Ev­ery­thing works to­gether won­der­fully well.” Which is to say the en­vi­ron­ment cre­ated by the floor plan and sur­round­ing fin­ishes is about as good as it gets; the bal­ance of flow, fash­ion and func­tion is near ideal. “The dining area — which eas­ily holds a ta­ble for six that can be ex­tended to seat 10 — is only steps away from the kitchen, which fea­tures a seven-foot gran­ite is­land with seat­ing for three,” Milne said. “It al­lows for good flow on ei­ther side, while the white sub­waytile back­splash re­ally pulls the colours out of the cab­i­nets and coun­ter­tops.” Like the dining room, the fam­ily room is just mere steps away from the kitchen. And like the other two spa­ces, its de­sign is sim­ple, yet strik­ing. “We placed an elec­tric fire­place in cul­tured stone in the mid­dle of its rear wall with big, ver­ti­cal win­dows on ei­ther side. We also placed an ex­tra win­dow on the right-hand wall be­tween the fam­ily room and kitchen to let in ex­tra light,” he ex­plained. “A lot of peo­ple are now go­ing with elec­tric fire­places be­cause they give you the look you want, are eas­ier to use and save money.” As for the bed­rooms, bed­room No. 1 one is next to the foyer ad­ja­cent to a four-piece bath with soaker tub. The main-floor laun­dry — placed in be­tween the two bed­rooms — is con­ve­niently sit­u­ated and also acts as a divider. Off in a world of its own, the mas­ter suite is a per­fect fortress of soli­tude. “It’s just the per­fect size with a huge pic­ture win­dow over­look­ing the backyard deck,” said Milne. “A six-foot hall­way takes you to the en­suite and its five-foot shower, and there’s also a mid-sized walk-in closet off to the right. The bed­room is a real pri­vate space where you can take a much­needed break.” Head down­stairs, and you en­counter a framed-in lower level with about 1,000 sq. ft. of us­able space that ri­vals walk-out base­ments in its bright­ness. “It’s an awe­some area sur­rounded by huge win­dows — es­pe­cially in the mas­sive rec room — with two more bed­rooms, a four-piece bath and a large me­chan­i­cal/ stor­age room. Once you fin­ish it, you have a home that of­fers just over 2,500 sq. ft. of liv­able space. Priced at $489,900 in­clud­ing ap­pli­ances, gran­ite coun­ter­tops, maple cab­i­nets, lam­i­nate hard­woods, deck and garage as stan­dard fea­tures, and you have an em­i­nently liv­able home that of­fers ex­cep­tional value.

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