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

WHEN it comes to pick­ing one newhome de­sign over an­other, it’s of­ten the lit­tle things that make the dif­fer- ence.

The is­land in the kitchen of 10 Ty­chon­ick Bay, a two-storey show home by A & S Homes, is a prime ex­am­ple of how a sub­tle de­sign fea­ture can be a real game-changer.

“In this case, A & S’ de­sign team ex­tended the is­land from four feet long to eight feet long,” said Cen­tury 21 Car­rie.com’s Ken Smith, A & Ssales rep­re­sen­ta­tive for the prop­erty in Kil­do­nan Green.

“Peo­ple love it be­cause it gives you in­creased flex­i­bil­ity. The ex­tra space (seat­ing for two if de­sired) can be used as an area for kids to do home­work on so that par­ents can watch them, or can be used as a serv­ing area while en­ter­tain­ing.”

Al­though this ver­sion of The New­cas­tle II de­sign is “only” 1,778 sq. ft., the home feels sig­nif­i­cantly larger than it ac­tu­ally is. The lay­out is in­tu­itive and makes the most of the space avail­able, while the ceil­ings are higher than nor­mal, es­pe­cially on the main floor. A wealth of win­dows also al­lows light to flow in freely, cre­at­ing a bright, pos­i­tive in­te­rior am­bi­ence.

It’s a home that’s em­i­nently live­able, Smith said.

“I would say the lay­out in this home is one of the best I’ve seen. Take the is­land area. The is­land is func­tional, yet it doesn’t in­trude. Aisle width is am­ple on ei­ther side, so flow is ex­cel­lent. Yet, you still have all that util­ity.

“The other thing that re­ally stands out is the ceil­ing height. Ceil­ings on the main floor are nine feet high, and that makes a huge dif­fer­ence be­cause rooms feel big­ger, and more light flows in. Putting in a nine-foot ceil­ing al­lowed for in­creased win­dow height. That trans­lates into more light com­ing in.”

While the great room is an open-con­cept de­sign, it is by no means a big box with three spa­ces hap­haz­ardly strewn around in­side and sur­rounded by lots of glass. The floor is at once sen­si­ble and stylish, Smith said.

“To me, it’s an op­ti­mum set-up. You’ve got a func­tional kitchen with plenty of prepa­ra­tion area, lots of counter space, a big dinette area (with room for a ta­ble for six) by a big win­dow and deck door, yet you’re still close to the fam­ily room. The kitchen is the per­fect size be­cause you’re never dis­con­nected from your guests when you’re en­ter­tain­ing.”

In­deed, The New­cas­tle II’s great room is a won­der­ful place to en­ter­tain due to the ex­cel­lent syn­ergy A & S’ de­sign­ers cre­ated be­tween space and fin­ishes. The kitchen has suf­fi­cient width and depth, and the fam­ily room is also plenty big.

To top things off, ac­cess to the for­mal din­ing room is seam­less: A cut-out in the wall be­tween the din­ing room and fam­ily room (filled with a tem­pered-glass in­sert) adds style and light while sub­tly unit­ing the two spa­ces.

At the same time, the fin­ishes in ev­ery space are prac­ti­cal and el­e­gant.

“There are wide-plank maple hard­woods that pro­vide a mod­ern look along with warmth and tex­ture,” Smith said. “In the kitchen, you get Weather­stone maple cab­i­nets, (white/grey) gran­ite coun­ter­tops and a mir­rored back­splash, which is a de­sign fea­ture I haven’t seen be­fore. It looks great.”

The fam­ily room, which ben­e­fits from the high ceil­ing and a huge pic­ture win­dow, is no slouch ei­ther, he added.

“There’s a gas fire­place with tile sur­round, which is a stan­dard fea­ture — the en­ter­tain- ment unit is op­tional. At 18 feet by 13 feet, it’s a nice big space that eas­ily holds a chair, love seat and couch. It’s de­fined by taupe car­pet­ing, and is a great spot to visit af­ter din­ner.”

Up­stairs — the up­per level and lower level stair­cases are next to each other to save space — the floor plan is again well-thought-out. The sec­ondary bed­rooms, both 10 feet by 11 feet in size, are in their own pri­vate wing next to a four-piece bath with soaker tub.

The mas­ter suite, which mea­sures a spa­cious 13 feet by 15 feet, is then in a well-fin­ished world all its own.

“It’s a very pri­vate space that fea­tures a deluxe en­suite with six-foot jet­ted tub set in dark brown tile (same as the floor, which is heated), a five-foot cor­ner shower and maple van­ity with grey/white quartz coun­ter­top (with dual un­der-mounted sinks),” Smith said. “There’s also a huge win­dow in the bed­room that lets in all kinds of light, as well as a mid-sized walkin closet with am­ple stor­age space.”

Head down­stairs — where there’s room for a bed­room with walk-in closet, a big rec room, four-piece bath and plenty of stor­age — and the log­i­cal lay­out con­tin­ues.

“It’s a nice, use­able base­ment be­cause of an­other sub­tle de­sign fea­ture: The tur­ret at the front of the home al­lowed for the stairs to be moved out, which opens up room, hence the space for a walk-in closet in the bed­room,” Smith said. “The re­sult is a home that of­fers about 2,600 to 2,700 sq. ft. of live­able space.

“This home is a won­der­ful de­sign from top to bot­tom with its space, seg­men­ta­tion and style.”

The stair­cases are lo­cated in the tur­ret at the front

of the house, open­ing up space else­where.

The fam­ily room has a gas fire­place and ben­e­fits from

its high ceil­ing and huge pic­ture win­dow.

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