Classy char­ac­ter

West Kil­do­nan home fea­tures Ja­panese in­flu­ence through­out

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

LOOKS can of­ten be de­ceiv­ing. A prime ex­am­ple is the home found at 160 New­ton Ave. in Sco­tia Heights. From the out­side, it looks quite or­di­nary. Once in­side, how­ever, it is any­thing but generic. Far from it, said Cory Kehler of RE/MAX Pro­fes­sion­als. “This is a very de­ceiv­ing home,” he said of the 1,253 square-foot home, which was cus­tom built in 1997. “You can’t see it from the out­side, but in­side, this home fea­tures a Ja­panese in­flu­ence that runs through­out. The qual­ity of con­struc­tion and de­tail is in­cred­i­ble. The home is solid — it hasn’t moved at all in 18 years — and its in­te­rior is very unique, ef­fi­cient and func­tional.” That theme starts in the foyer, which in it­self is quite the nifty space. The home’s back and front en­trances were placed at ei­ther end, with a dou­ble coat closet in the mid­dle — and benches on ei­ther side. “This home max­i­mizes both liv­able space and stor­age space, and the foyer really starts the home off in ef­fi­cient fash­ion,” said Kehler. “There’s plenty of room to sit down and take your coat and shoes off, and there’s even stor­age draw­ers be­neath each bench. The home doesn’t have a base­ment, so there’s stor­age every­where in this home, and it starts in the foyer.” From there, the foyer opens onto some­thing that can’t be seen from the front of the home: a bright, spa­cious great room with vaulted ceil­ing. And it isn’t just any kind of vaulted ceil­ing. “The ceil­ing is ac­tu­ally lined with bam­boo,” said Kehler. “There’s gor­geous wood every­where — the ceil­ing, floor (an­gled nat­u­ral maple), en­ter­tain­ment unit (ma­hogany) and even in the kitchen, in­clud­ing a ma­hogany-trimmed hood that can be pulled out, as well as a ton of beau­ti­ful ma­hogany draw­ers and cab­i­nets.” While all the wood­work is im­pres­sive in its warmth and tex­ture, it’s set off all the more by the fact nat­u­ral light fil­ters softly into the great room through a de­sign fea­ture that’s thor­oughly — and won­der­fully — Ja­panese in its deriva­tion. “The home’s south wall is filled with two pa­tio doors with shoji screens that dif­fuse all the nat­u­ral light that hits the rear of the home,” said Kehler. “The screens do a great job of pro­vid­ing pri­vacy, and al­low­ing just enough light to cre­ate a bright, yet wel­com­ing feel. And the en­ter­tain­ment unit is not only beau­ti­ful, but ef­fi­cient with all the stor­age space its draw­ers and cab­i­nets of­fer.” De­spite the fact the home is “only” 1,253 sq. ft., the use of avail­able space is ex­ceed­ingly ef­fi­cient. There’s plenty of room for fur­ni­ture in the liv­ing room, the din­ing area can eas­ily hold a ta­ble for six to eight, and the kitchen of­fers all kinds of util­ity and style. “Even though it’s not a huge kitchen, its level of func­tion is amaz­ing,” said Kehler. “There’s a (penin­sula-style) eat­ing nook for two, a gas stove, pull-out cut­ting board, food prep sink as well as dou­ble sink and tons of stor­age — there’s even a stor­age cab­i­net un­der the fridge, which is set in its own niche about a foot-and-a-half off the floor. It’s an ex­cep­tion­ally func­tional de­sign.” That func­tion ex­tends to a pri­vate wing placed be­tween the liv­ing room and kitchen. It’s an area where the Ja­panese pur­suit of max­i­miz­ing space is front-and-cen­tre. “Its most prom­i­nent fea­ture is a re­lax­ation area (bed with built-in shelv­ing) that was placed in a nook to the side un­der the stairs,” said Kehler. “Op­po­site it is a (12-foot long by five-foot deep) stor­age area hid­den by sliding shoji pan­els. To the right is a sec­ond bed­room with built-in desk and Mur­phy bed; to the left is a me­chan­i­cal/laun­dry room. There’s also a two­piece bath at the end of the hall.” As­cend­ing up to the mas­ter suite is a highly plea­sur­able ex­pe­ri­ence due to the beauty and ef­fi­ciency that sur­round you. To the left of the bam­boo stair­case is a se­ries of emer­ald-tinted, stag­gered dis­play niches and a large win­dow that al­lows for the in­flow of more nat­u­ral light. To the right is a se­ries of shoji pan­els il­lu­mi­nated by lights set be­hind them on the fa­cade that con­ceals the mas­ter suite.

Then, there’s the loft-like mas­ter suite it­self. “It’s a serene, beau­ti­ful— and very func­tional — space,” said Kehler. “The high, an­gled ceil­ing is lined with bam­boo, a huge, south-fac­ing win­dow over the bed lets in all kinds of light, and there’s an en­suite with five-foot by six-foot (low-stepover) tiled shower with rain shower head. It also comes with a big walk-in closet and built-in desk.” Last but not least is the home’s back­yard, where the Ja­panese in­flu­ence is also ev­i­dent. “I love it,” said Kehler. “It’s a court­yard-style yard with in­ter­lock­ing brick pa­tio, pond, flower beds, shed, and shoji gate be­tween the shed and garage. The garage is a heated, over­sized dou­ble de­sign with high ceil­ing and 100 amp ser­vice.” Only min­utes from down­town and a short walk from the river, Kil­do­nan Park and Rain­bow Stage, the home is per­fect for a pro­fes­sional couple. “It’s in a great lo­ca­tion and is a great al­ter­na­tive to a condo,” he said. “It’s hard to beat the char­ac­ter, value and lo­ca­tion that this home of­fers.”

PHO­TOS BY RUTH BON­NEVILLE / WIN­NIPEG FREE PRESS

The kitchen of­fers util­ity and style.

Loads of nat­u­ral light fill the liv­ing room.

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