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Small tweaks transform terrific design to exceptional


The two-storey Hillcrest features a coastal-inspired exterior and a family-friendly design inside.

The second floor loft can serve as a handy hangout for the kids, or as a fourth bedroom.

Natural light flows into the dining room from a pair of huge windows and a sliding patio door in the kitchen.

A stylish entertainment centre serves as the family room’s focal point.

The island kitchen in this Charleswood home is a functional, beautifully-finished space.

Soft earth tones and an abundance of natural light give the spacious master suite a serene, relaxing feel.

As good as a new home design is, it can always be better.

Consequently — despite the fact that the Hillcrest was one of Hearth Homes’ most popular plans — Hearth’s design team decided to make significant revisions to their the 2,177 sq. ft., two-storey show home on Creemans Crescent in RidgeWood West.

"The idea was to tweak the home in several areas to perfect the plan," says project coordinator Ryan Miller. "Our goal was to take a wonderful family home from excellent to exceptional."

After listening to feedback on the previous version of the Hillcrest, Hearth’s design team identified a recurring theme.

"Although the main living area was quite functional in the original design, people said they’d like to see it more open," he says. "They liked the idea of having a formal dining room, but didn’t necessarily want it to be cut off from the rest of the great room."

After much brainstorming, Hearth’s design team arrived at a solution: removing the butler’s pantry in the kitchen to allow for the wall between the dining room and kitchen to be opened up.

It was a move that totally transformed the great room, says Miller.

"First, it increased the size of the dining room. Second, it allowed for the creation of a pillared serving area between the dining room and kitchen. Third and most important, it subtly united the dining room with the kitchen and allowed light to flow through into the dining room from the back of the home."

That light, it turns out, comes from two sources: a huge picture window on the family room’s rear wall — and a glass-filled rear wall to the rear of the kitchen.

"We highlighted not only the family room but the kitchen with lots of glass in an effort to let in more light," notes Miller. "The kitchen got two large windows plus a patio door, a feature that maximizes the southeast exposure. You get the sun in the morning, and all afternoon."

Meanwhile, the kitchen itself is a study in function and contrasting colours.

"To add function, we put in a built-in quartz dining table next to the island’s eating bar, making for combined seating for seven. Light grey cabinets up high and blue-tinted cabinets down low go beautifully with the stainless steel appliances and a sand-coloured quartz countertops while a matte taupe tile backsplash and warm, woodgrain laminate plank floor add texture."

The creativity displayed in the kitchen’s design was then carried over into the adjacent family room, where a simple yet eye-catching entertainment unit steals the show.

"To do something different, we put in a clear four-foot by four-foot electric fireplace with grey MDF surround with a gorgeous chevron pattern," he says. "The TV niche next to it is elegant and huge, allowing for a 65-inch TV."

A wide staircase bordered by tempered glass panels framed by cinnamon maple railing and trim provides seamless access to the Hillcrest’s second floor, which, at 1,195 sq. ft., is actually slightly larger than the main floor.

Like the great room, it’s well-laid-out, ultra-livable — and begins with a family-friendly space.

"There’s a big loft at the top of the stairs that opens onto and foyer below," Miller says. "A huge window on its rear wall, along with another large window over the stairs, let in loads of natural light. Most people keep it as a — it’s a private oasis that would make a perfect hang-out area for the kids — but there’s the option to make it into a fourth bedroom."

Next comes the bedroom wing, which was placed to the right of the bright, airy loft. It holds five spaces: an elegant four-piece bath, laundry room (with window) and three huge bedrooms including an opulent master suite.

"It was tucked away at the end of the hall past the main bath to the left and down a short hallway to maximize privacy. It provides a resort-like experience with all its space, light and gorgeous, spa-like ensuite that comes with a custom shower, soaker tub, textured tile floor and taupe vanity with quartz countertop and dual sinks."

Miller says the tweaks to the Hillcrest paid off big-time.

"Everyone loved it, and it sold about a week after it opened for the Fall Parade. Our main goal was to create an easy-living, beautifully-finished home that appealed to families, with a design and layout that met the needs of parents while providing dedicated spaces for kids. The changes worked, taking the home to a new level of style and function."


Builder: Hearth Homes

Address: 11 Creemans Cres., RidgeWood West (Charleswood)

Style: two-storey

Model: the Hillcrest

Size: 2,177 sq. ft.

Bedrooms: three plus second floor loft

Bathrooms: 2.5

Price: $689,000 (Includes lot, upgrades & GST)

Contact: Linda Frenz-Cove, Sales Manager, 204-228-0447


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