Max­i­mum liv­abil­ity

Clever de­sign de­tails add space and light

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

THERE’S a sin­gu­lar rea­son why bi-level cab-over de­signs re­main pop­u­lar with fam­i­lies. That rea­son is none other than func­tion. With four dis­tinct lev­els — the base­ment, an ex­pan­sive foyer sit­u­ated seven steps below the main level, the main level (front-ori­ented dining room, great room, bed­room wing with two bed­rooms and four-piece bath and a mas­ter suite perched seven steps above the home’s main level — The Ash­wood VIII is an ex­cep­tion­ally liv­able home.

One of Hil­ton Homes’ most pop­u­lar plans, a few mi­nor tweaks have made it even bet­ter, said Hil­ton’s Spencer Cur­tis.

“The first thing we did with this home was re­design the out­side to give it a more tra­di­tional feel,” he said of the 1,723 sq. ft. de­sign “That type of look will fit in per­fectly with the tra­di­tional, ur­ban vil­lage look that is go­ing to be the trade­mark of the next devel­op­ment in this area, Devon­shire Vil­lage.”

While the home’s square footage might sound a bit on the small side, that’s not the case at all. Add in the fact the lower level of­fers about 1,000 sq. ft. of space to de­velop into two more bed­rooms, a bath­room, rec room and stor­age, and you have a home that comes in at a to­tal square footage that ex­ceeds 2,700 sq. ft.

In short, The Ash­wood VIII, is a very de­cep­tive home on ev­ery level, start­ing with the base­ment.

“The great thing about this de­sign is that you get mas­sive win­dows down­stairs,” said Cur­tis. “In fact, there are three ab­so­lutely huge win­dows that let all kinds of light pour into the base­ment. That makes for an in­cred­i­bly liv­able lower level that can be con­fig­ured to meet the needs of an ac­tive, grow­ing fam­ily.”

That liv­abil­ity ex­tends to the home’s foyer — and then on to the main level. Set seven steps down from the main level, it’s a space that was de­signed to of­fer a seg­mented, func­tional space for vis­i­tors to doff their footwear and other as­sorted garb with­out feel­ing hemmed in.

“It’s a nice wide space — there’s even room for a bench for you to sit down and take your shoes off — that re­ally wel­comes you into the home in func­tional style,” he said. “The func­tion comes from an an­gled walk-in closet to the left, and a gor­geous (24-inch) taupe porce­lain tile floor that not only looks great, but is easy to main­tain.”

Ascend the seven steps up to the main level, and you’re greeted by a for­mal dining room that’s po­si­tioned to the right, neatly de­fined by maple rail­ing with stylish glass in­serts. Right from the get-go, there’s a pal­pa­ble feel of space and light — some­thing that comes from a pair of clever de­sign de­tails.

First, the main level ben­e­fits from vaulted ceil­ings through­out. Sec­ond, large win­dows at the front and back of the home make for a pleas­ant, light­filled in­te­rior.

“Flow is ex­cep­tional from the dining room on back into the kitchen and fam­ily room,” said Cur­tis. “And while the big win­dow over the front door and the win­dow on the dining room’s front wall add light and de­tail, the vaulted ceil­ing is the key to the plan. It gives you a real feel­ing of space no mat­ter where you are on the main floor.”

Mean­while, the key to the great room’s ex­cep­tion­ally func­tional de­sign can be summed up in three words (okay, four): pro­por­tion, and sub­tle seg­men­ta­tion. The kitchen is a de­light to spend time in due to all the light that pours in from a pic­ture win­dow and pa­tio door on the rear wall — and the fact there’s plenty of room to move both in the kitchen, and dinette area.

“I ab­so­lutely love the way the great room turned out — the vaulted ceil­ing, huge win­dow and an­gled pa­tio door give you a real sun­room feel, while the is­land (per­fectly sized at three feet by 7.5 feet) of­fers func­tion, but doesn’t get in the way,” he said. “Not only that, but you can have a big ta­ble for four in the dinette and there’s still lots of room to move around. The fin­ishes — cap­puc­cino and thun­der maple cab­i­nets, maple hardwoods and (taupe) lam­i­nate coun­ter­tops re­ally warm up the area.”

Im­me­di­ately ad­ja­cent to the kitchen, the fam­ily room is de­fined by beige ber­ber car­pet — and a stun­ning (op­tional) fire­place/entertainment unit combo.

“All the space and light in the fam­ily room is, beau­ti­fully punc­tu­ated by a 42-inch lin­ear (gas) fire­place with porce­lain and glass tile. We opened up the entertainment unit to pro­vide room for big­ger TV’s, and the tile ties in with the tile in the foyer.”

The home’s crown­ing touch is a twolevel bed­room quad­rant where the two kids’ bed­rooms and four-piece bath has been placed in it’s own se­cluded wing, while the mas­ter suite is sit­u­ated seven steps above the main level in its own pri­vate, el­e­vated world.

“It’s seg­mented by the maple rail­ing with glass panels off its own lit­tle hall­way — the panels give the en­trance an nice open, airy feel,” said Cur­tis. “A dou­ble en­trance tran­si­tions into a huge bed­room with two large win­dows, a desk/sit­ting area by the win­dows, a mid-sized walk-in closet (with win­dow) — and deluxe (op­tional) en­suite with jet­ted cor­ner soaker, five-foot shower and cap­puc­cino maple van­ity. It’s a true re­treat with its big win­dow, and soaker with ledge for wine and or can­dles.”

In all, The Ash­wood VIII of­fers ex­cel­lent value for a fam­ily look­ing for a home that max­i­mizes liv­ing space, thereby max­i­miz­ing their life­style.

Kitchen fin­ishes in­clude cap­puc­cino and thun­der maple cab­i­nets, maple hardwoods and lam­i­nate coun­ter­tops.

The dining room is neatly de­fined by a maple rail­ing with stylish glass in­serts.

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