Best of both worlds

River Heights clas­sic blends char­ac­ter with mod­ern ameni­ties

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

AS al­lur­ing as River Heights is, there’s one fac­tor that some­times de­ters peo­ple from buy­ing in the area: the age of the homes. While it’s true char­ac­ter comes with age — and there’s no deny­ing homes in River Heights are laden with it — so do de­fi­cien­cies, par­tic­u­larly in the area of a home’s liv­abil­ity. In many cases, an 80 or 100-year-old home will have to be up­graded in key ar­eas (kitchen, bath­room, elec­tric, me­chan­i­cal) — a deal breaker for many prospec­tive buy­ers. How­ever, there is the oc­ca­sional home that doesn’t re­quire ex­ten­sive up­grades, and 251 Cordova Street is one of them, said Cory Kehler of Re/Max Pro­fes­sion­als. “This is a home that’s been ren­o­vated over a pe­riod of four years,” said Kehler. “An ad­di­tion was put on the rear of the home to make way for a new kitchen, and all the me­chan­i­cal, plumb­ing and elec­tri­cal sys­tems have been up­dated. There’s no knob-and-tube wiring, and in­stead of a boiler and no air con­di­tion­ing, this home ac­tu­ally has a new forced fur­nace with HRV, and cen­tral air con­di­tion­ing.” That said, when you hap­pen to glimpse the home from the street, it looks like any other River Heights clas­sic with its stucco ex­te­rior, hunter green-trimmed, lat­ticed win­dows and cedar shake roof. Poke your head in­side, and it’s a dif­fer­ent story. A quick tour through the home re­veals a be­guil­ing com­bi­na­tion of tra­di­tional and mod­ern de­sign fea­tures that meld to­gether beau­ti­fully. “The home was ac­tu­ally built in 1930, but with the ren­o­va­tions, you now have a home that gives you the best of both worlds — yes­ter­year char­ac­ter, and mod­ern ameni­ties,” said Kehler. “This home was a labour of love; the de­tail in this ren­o­va­tion is in­cred­i­ble. New win­dows were cho­sen to match the old char­ac­ter, new doors are as close to the de­sign of the old ones as pos­si­ble, all the orig­i­nal oak hard­woods were re­stored, ceil­ing mould­ings were matched, and the clas­sic, high base­boards were re­tained.” As im­por­tant as it was to re­tain char­ac­ter, it was equally im­por­tant to in­fuse the home with mod­ern ameni­ties — hence the thor­oughly con­tem­po­rary kitchen that in­hab­its the ad­di­tion at the rear of the 2,500 sq. ft. home. “Like the mas­ter suite (more about it a bit later), the kitchen was ex­pressly cre­ated to pro­vide its res­i­dents with mod­ern ameni­ties,” said Kehler. “One of its big­gest draws is the fam­ily room at its rear, which fea­tures a wall of glass with a se­ries of win­dows and doors that al­low nat­u­ral light to stream in­side. Pa­tio doors lead to a large, cov­ered deck, where you can ac­tu­ally see kids play­ing in the pri­vate, fenced back yard from the fam­ily room, and kitchen. The fin­ishes — cherry oak cab­i­nets, taupe gran­ite coun­ter­tops, tan tile floor and top-end stain­less ap­pli­ances — are gor­geous.” Mean­while, the home’s front por­tion leans more to the clas­sic side. A for­mal dining room with wain­scot­ing on the walls runs off to the left of the kitchen, while a living room with or­na­men­tal brick fire­place across the way pro­vides a big, warm space to visit with guests. “No de­tail has been missed,” said Kehler. “Brand new win­dows in both the dining room and living room — all the win­dows in the home are new — match the home’s clas­sic char­ac­ter, and the re­stored oak hard­woods just gleam. De­tails like ceil­ing mould­ings and the wain­scot­ing in the dining room re­tain the home’s char­ac­ter, while other fea­tures, such as two over­size tran­som win­dows over the fire­place in the living room, add char­ac­ter, and let in more nat­u­ral light.” Like the home’s main level, its up­per level has been mod­ern­ized by re-pur­pos­ing the bed­rooms. “The old third bed­room has been turned into a full bath with claw­foot tub, tem­pered glass shower and a nice touch, an old-style hexag­o­nal tile floor that takes you back to the era the home was built in,” he said. “The van­ity is also old-style with its grey mar­ble coun­ter­top and sink, and sim­ple de­sign with routered de­tail­ing.” Then, the for­mer main bath was turned into a space that of­fers con­tem­po­rary con­ve­nience. “It’s now a sec­ond floor laun­dry room, a fea­ture you don’t of­ten see in River Heights homes of this vin­tage,” said Kehler. “And the for­mer mas­ter bed­room is now bed­room num­ber two, with lots of space and tons of glass on both sides to let in all kinds of light.” The spa­cious new mas­ter bed­room, it turns out, is as mod­ern as they come with a lux­u­ri­ous en­suite, walk-in closet (with win­dow) and an­other very de­sir­able amenity. “It comes with its own pri­vate bal­cony with per­gola,” said Kehler. “The bed­room it­self is huge, and the en­suite — it’s a com­bi­na­tion of new and old de­sign themes — comes with a tile floor, tem­pered glass/tile shower, clas­sic claw­foot tub and old style light fix­ture. It’s a space that’s a won­der­ful com­bi­na­tion of old, and new.” Kehler said one more de­sign fea­ture makes the home unique in River Heights. “It ac­tu­ally has an at­tached garage with loft stor­age. You don’t see that of­ten in this area.” In a nut­shell, 251 Cordova pro­vides you with the best of both worlds, he added. “You could de­cide to build new, but you can’t get char­ac­ter like this, plus all the mod­ern ameni­ties. Add in a su­per-cen­tral, ma­ture lo­ca­tion, and it doesn’t get any bet­ter than this.”

This house in River Heights boasts char­ac­ter with a mod­ern fin­ish.

Con­tem­po­rary con­ve­niences such as match­ing sinks are

found in the main bath­room.

Crown mould­ing tops off the space in the mod­ern kitchen. At left, more mod­ern fin­ishes.

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