Truth be told, few young families looking for a move-up home can comfortably afford a luxuriously appointed 2,500-square-foot home.
Which is why Signature Homes created the Duffrin II, said the company's sales representative for Bridgwater Lakes, Maximum Realty's Jeff McArthur.
"Originally, this plan started out at 2,600 sq. ft. (with the Duffrin), but we worked it down to just over 1,800 sq. ft. with a young family in mind," he said. "The idea was to create a home that was affordable, but that was still big enough to meet the needs of an active, growing family."
From the foyer on in, the concept behind the Duffrin II -- which officially measures in at 1,837 sq. ft. over its main and upper levels, with another 750 sq. ft. of livable space available downstairs -- was to build a home that was equal parts style and function, with the end goal being a home that delivered unsurpassed value.
A tour through the home's main level notifies you rather quickly that the goal was attained, and then some. To start things off, guests can doff garments and footwear in a six-foot-wide foyer demarcated by taupe porcelain tile, which not only looks great, but is a low-maintenance surface that needs just the occasional sweep or wet mop.
The tile then transitions seamlessly into medium-hued, hand-scraped (engineered) hardwoods that lend an immediate warmth to the Duffrin II's interior. Then, to the left of the foyer is a space that can serve multiple purposes, said McArthur.
"It's a space (9.8 feet by 11 feet in size) that can be used as either a formal dining room, office, sitting room or even a bedroom. We actually had one plan where we turned it into a family room, and then turned the family room into a bedroom so it could be next to the visitable main-floor bath to create an in-law suite," he said. "The home's layout is flexible -- it's not set in stone."
That commitment to functionality continues in the great room, where two key design features simultaneously add space and style to a trio of well-conceived spaces. In the kitchen, a bay window next to the dinette area increases function, while a cantilevered picture window has the same effect in the family room.
"The bay window by the dinette area does two things," said McArthur. "It opens up more space around the table, and, with its three windows, increases the amount of light that comes into the kitchen. In the family room, the cantilevered picture window not only looks great, but it adds space and style. There are also patio doors between the kitchen and family room that creates a buffer space that nicely separates the two areas."
While the hand-scraped maple hardwoods are an option, it turns out a pair of rich finishes in the kitchen -- maple cabinets and granite countertops -- are not.
"With Signature Homes, maple cabinets are a standard finish, while the granite countertops are a summer bonus feature," he explained. "If you're looking to save some money, we can put in laminate countertops, vinyl flooring in the kitchen and carpet in the family room -- and leave the family room's back wall blank instead of having an entertainment unit on it. That would bring the price of the home down to about $429,900 from the show-home price of $483,900."
No matter what trim buyers choose, one constant remains: the home's simple -- and effective floor plan. Aisle width in the kitchen is ample, making for a navigable space made all the more functional by a corner pantry and seven-foot by four-foot island with double sink and eating nook for two; a cool stainless/tile backsplash also adds a welcome element of style and texture.
Meanwhile, the adjacent family room is just the right size, said McArthur.
"At 18.5 feet long by nearly 10 feet wide, there's plenty of space to move around, yet it's small enough to be a cosy, intimate space," he said. "The hardwoods are a good choice, as they add warmth. There's also a compact wing off the family room that contains a visitable powder room and door for access to the (double) garage."
Head upstairs via an extra-wide staircase to the second level, and you encounter an efficient, L-shaped layout that places the two secondary bedrooms (both oversized with large vertical windows and double-mirrored closets) to the left and the master suite to the right defined by a one-third stub wall with dark oak capping.
Not only is the master suite private, but it's also larger than normal at 13.5 feet by 18.1 feet.
"There's tons of space and light in the bedroom, as well as plenty of room for a bed, furniture and even a corner reading chair or desk," McArthur said. "There's also a mid-sized walk-in closet behind a dark-stained oak door. The taupe colour palette really goes well with the carpet (a darker shade of taupe) and does a nice job of tempering all the light that comes in from the big windows."
The bedroom's crowning touch is a well-appointed ensuite with taupe tile floor, soaker tub set in a backdrop of white porcelain tile, a cappuccino maple vanity -- and a handy linen niche to the right of the vanity.
Add in a bright lower level that adds 750 sq. ft. of space to the livability equation (bedroom, bathroom, rec room and storage) and you have one very family-friendly home.
"The Duffrin II is a simple, straightforward design that's efficient, stylish and affordable," he said.