Something EVERYONE for
Versatile home aims to appeal to wide range of buyers
WHEN Lori Thorsteinson and her team of designers created the floor plan for the 1,590-square-foot bungalow at 88 Autumnview Drive in South Pointe, their goal was simple.
“This time around, we wanted to create more of an informal home, a home geared toward meeting a variety of needs,” she says. “We wanted it to work for a cross-section of people, from young families to young couples without children, families with older children and empty-nesters.”
The first ingredient in that recipe was to make the home’s main living area — the kitchen, dining area and great room — as habitable and functional as possible.
“To accomplish that, we went with an open plan. They’re popular because they’re informal and are good for entertaining. At the same time they provide lots of function, and there’s little in the way of wasted space. Our goal was to utilize every bit of space.”
Thanks to the open-concept floor plan, space isn’t a problem: Flow into and through the great-room area from space to space is seamless. For starters, a wide ceramic-tile foyer has ample room to allow guests to divest themselves of outerwear and parcels upon entry into the home. The foyer then gives way to charcoal-maple hardwoods in something of an extended foyer to allow easy entry into the great-room area.
Here, there’s an angled island kitchen with eating nook for three (complemented by charcoal-maple cabinets, black Caesar Stone and beige-flecked countertops and a slick, textured, white-tile backsplash with glass-tile trim. The dining area, while informal, is by no means small, easily holding a table that seats six.
Add a snazzy, double-sided gas fireplace set in a grey tile surround and the great room is as fetching as it is functional.
“The finishes we used are on the darker side. Thorsteinson says. “In order to do that, there had to be lots of light, so we went with (four) large windows and a deck door along the back wall. All the natural light coming in brightens the interior and provides balance to the darker colours.
“At the same time, the design is very functional. The kitchen can handle lots of traffic, and the owners can come straight into the kitchen from the garage with groceries or hockey bags from the walk-through entrance. There’s also a main-floor laundry room right off the kitchen.”
While the design is open, there’s enough segmentation by way of the angled island and placement of furniture to define the different spaces. Yet, everyone in the room can still connect and enjoy some of the views, while items such as dirty dishes are hidden from view by a raised ledge on the island.
“One of the great things about the open design is that the hosts can interact with guests while preparing food, or watch the kids while cooking,” Thorsteinson says. “The kitchen has been designed to hold more than one person. At the same time, everyone can enjoy the two-sided fireplace, or watch TV on a big flat panel perched on an entertainment unit that has six drawers for storage, plus several upper cabinets for more organization.”
Somewhat surprisingly, given the open-concept layout, the bedrooms aren’t on display. Instead, Parkhill’s designers decided to put up a wall with standard-sized entrance to enclose the three bedrooms and main bathroom in their own wing. The two large secondary bedrooms are at one end, the master bedroom at the other, with the main bathroom in the centre.
“It keeps the bedrooms in a private area while it services guests in the sense that the main bathroom is still very accessible,” Thorsteinson adds. “Creating a feeling of privacy was the main goal.”
That objective was attained, especially with respect to the master suite. Empty-nesters and parents of young families alike will appreciate the secluded feel, a well as the luxury that permeates the master suite and its luxurious ensuite.
“The master bedroom is roomy and private, while the ensuite (which also contains a walkin closet) is a timeless design with whirlpool tub, custom-tiled glass shower, heated ceramic floor and charcoal-maple vanity with curved sink,” she says.
“There’s a big, obscured glass window over the tub and two big vertical windows in the bedroom. We always put in the biggest windows possible to keep the interior bright.”
Finally, there’s a drywalled lower level with about 1,300 square feet of livable space. A PowerSmart gold home, it boasts a mouldreducing SecoAir system, HRV and humidifier.
“That gives you nearly 2,900 square feet of livable space, which is plenty for families or empty-nesters,” Thorsteinson says. “We think this is a progressive design, with the flexibility required for family living and easy entertaining.”