It isn't often that the flooring in a new home is a show stealer.
That's because your attention is usually drawn to design features such as a dramatic entrance (soaring ceiling, grand staircase), fabulous finishes (cabinets, countertops), or a perfectly placed collection of windows that showcases a water view and allows natural light to flow freely into a home.
While 74 Silver Sage Cres. in Sage Creek, one of Hearth Homes' newest show homes, possesses a host of eye-catching yet practical design features, it's the flooring (which runs through all of the main level, excluding the bedrooms, mudroom, main bath and ensuite) that immediately catches your eye.
"It's called French bleed hickory," said Hearth Homes' Rob Wickstrom. "With so many homes these days having dark hardwood floors, we wanted to do something different. We were fortunate to find this flooring, a hand-scraped hickory that features nice colour variations and a grain that adds texture. And even though it's lighter than normal in colour, it's still warm."
To further differentiate 74 Silver Sage from other show homes with darker colour schemes, Wickstrom and his design team went with a lighter colour palette (predominantly beige with taupe accent walls placed in strategic areas to add warmth) and lighter-hued cabinets and countertops.
"The countertops (and two-by-1.5-metre island) are light taupe Caesar stone, while the cabinets are maple with a light portobello coating," he said. "To add contrast, we put in a taupe glass-tile backsplash that goes beautifully with the lighter colours. All the finishes -- the flooring, cabinets, countertops, backsplash and paint colours -- work together nicely. The great room is very bright, so we made sure we had enough dark tones to create a warm feel."
There's a simple reason -- well, actually two reasons -- why 74 Silver Sage's main living area is so bright. First, the home's rear wall has been outfitted with a ton of glass. Second, the great room has a vaulted ceiling.
"The great room is where everyone seems to gather, so we wanted to make it as livable as possible. The vaulted ceiling is high enough to add volume, but not so high that the area loses its cozy feel," Wickstrom said. "We then took advantage of the ceiling height by putting in oversized windows -- one in the living room and another (along with a door that leads to a huge, partially-covered elevated Trex deck) off the dinette. They not only let in all kinds of natural light, but also give you a great view of the wetlands out back."
Just as the view is dynamic, so too is the great room's layout. It starts in the kitchen, which has all kinds of aisle space thanks to the perfectly proportioned island. It provides not only a prep area, but storage and seating for two, all while never compromising flow. A corner pantry adds storage space, while another eating nook positioned by the double sink adds a space where two more can eat.
A large window next to the sink was another thoughtful touch.
"We put that there to provide another view of the water and to allow even more daylight to enter," Wickstrom said. "Even if you're doing the dishes, you've got a view to the front and side."
Meander into the living room/dinette area, and there's a two-sided, taupe cultured-stone fireplace that gives the living room a private yet open feel. Meanwhile, the dinette easily holds a table for four and is privy to more of the scenic water view through the glass door behind it. There's also a front-oriented dining room (which could serve as a flex space) and a compact wing that houses a four-piece bathroom, second bedroom and a main floor laundry/mud room.
To the left of the lower-level stairwell -- which is framed by a maple railing with tempered glass inserts, with the two-sided fireplace seemingly suspended above -- is the master suite.
"The rear wall features a huge three-part window to highlight the view and, again, let in as much natural light as possible," Wickstrom said. "We put a chocolate-brown cork floor in the ensuite along with a corner soaker tub on a taupe accent wall with a big obscured-glass window above. For contrast, we combined a white (three-metre) vanity with brown granite countertop and white Kohler sink. There's also a five-foot tempered-glass shower with rain head next to the tub."
Take the short trip downstairs from the master suite, and the 1,800-square-foot home is completed in style by a walkout lower level that offers 1,300-plus square feet of practical, naturally lit luxury.
"There are two more bedrooms, including one with a water view through a rear wall of windows. There's a sitting/media area next to a games area and wet bar (which offers a door to a covered patio on the rear wall), and a wing that contains the fourth bedroom, media room, bathroom and huge storage/mechanical room and under-stair storage," Wickstrom said.
"We're really pleased with how the home turned out. I think it offers a good balance between luxury and practicality."
Builder: Hearth Homes
Address: 74 Silver Sage Cres., Sage Creek
Size: 1,800 sq. ft. with walkout basement
Lot size: 56' x 182'
Lot price: $200,000 including GST
Contact: Linda Frenz-Cove, Hearth Homes Sales Consultant, at 204-228-0447