When it comers to real estate, square footage can be misleading. Homes often seem either smaller or larger than their listed size.
The Ventura Custom Homes show home found at 129 Larry Vickar Dr. West in Devonshire Village falls into the latter category, said Evald Frederiksen (Quest Residential Real Estate), sales representative for the two-storey, 1,657 sq. ft. design. "Ventura’s design team has done a lot of good things with the available space in this home (The Stradford)," said Frederiksen. "Even though the home is 1,657 square feet, it seems much bigger than it is. It’s just a very efficient design from the ground floor on up."
Right from the get-go — which would be the home’s L-shaped foyer — the Stradford’s layout is well thought out. Not only is the foyer spacious, but a hallway to its left contains — this is going to be a recurring theme — a pair of spaces that are a good deal larger than might be anticipated.
"There’s a main floor powder room and a laundry/mud room," he said. "They’re well-placed in the sense that they’re nicely hidden, not exposed. Both spaces are accessible, yet are out of the way. And the laundry/mud room is absolutely huge; people just love how big it is. There’s also a door that provides access to the attached double garage, as well."
Unlike many new-home designs, the Stradford isn’t totally open in its conception, Frederiksen said. "The home isn’t wide-open from the foyer. There’s a short (about six-foot) hallway that leads into the great room — it just allows you just a peek of the great room. When you arrive in the great room, you find one, large integrated space."
Thanks to feedback from past customers, a front-oriented dining room was eliminated. Instead, there are three distinct spaces in the great room: kitchen, dining area and family room. "We found that the need for dining rooms had fallen off, so Ventura’s designers designed a very comfortable, functional area," he said. "The island kitchen is a good size, you can fit a table for six to 10 in the dining area, and the family room is bright and spacious. A nine-foot ceiling makes the area even bigger, while a patio door behind the dining area and large picture window in the family room let in tons of natural light."
The nine-foot ceiling isn’t the only standard design feature in the great room, either. Under-cabinet lighting, a pantry and two-tone assembled thermofoil cabinets with crown mouldings come standard, as well.
"People love the fact that the cabinets (white chocolate and cappuccino thermofoil) are stylish, but aren’t an upgrade. They offer a nice contrast, and go beautifully with the (standard) taupe countertops. They look great, and are more affordable and user-friendly than quartz or granite, which need to be sealed. All you need to do is put down a trivet, and you’re good to go."
While Ventura didn’t go overboard in decking out the Stradford with all kinds of flashy, optional finishes, it does contain a few upgrades: a taupe glass-tile backsplash in the kitchen, fireplace/entertainment centre in the family room and wide plank-laminate flooring that runs through the great room and foyer.
"We spend a lot of time with people talking about options and where the best value is," Frederiksen explained. "In this case, the backsplash costs about $635, the fireplace with cantilevered entertaining unit is about $6,700 and the laminate flooring is about $3,500. The laminate flooring is a good choice because it’s one surface, and doesn’t break up the great room, and is very durable. A lot of people will go without the fireplace and leave the cantilever for their entertainment unit."
Given the main floor’s efficient layout, it’s no surprise that the Stradford’s upper level makes sense from an ergonomic standpoint. The stairwell that leads up to it is extra wide, there’s little in the way of hallway space, and all four spaces — main bath and three bedrooms — are all (again) more spacious than expected.
What you see is what you get, said Frederiksen. "Take the main bath, for example. What you see here are standard features: a nice vinyl soaker tub/shower unit, thermofoil vanity, laminate countertop, smart vinyl floor and high-quality toilet. The bathroom is also very spacious, as are the two secondary kids’ bedrooms."
In the case of the master suite, you actually get more than you’d expect, he added. "It’s absolutely huge at 15 feet by 13 feet — you’ll see lots of bigger homes that don’t have a master this size; you just don’t expect it in a 1,600 sq. ft. home. You also don’t expect an oversized walk-in closet (the size of a small bedroom) and spacious, three-piece ensuite."
Downstairs, there’s about 670 sq. ft. of livable space that can be utilized to further increase the Stradford’s already high level of utility. "You can put a fourth bedroom, full bathroom and nice-sized rec room down there," said Frederiksen, adding that the home can be purchased for about $375,000 with basic finishes. "This is a well-designed home in a great area that delivers all kinds of good surprises."