Nurture Nature

Nurture, Nature and the Painterly Eye

by Linda M. Langwith

The feature home in our December issue is a Deep Cove residence that presents the perfect marriage of classic and contemporary. Fresh, modern and functional, yet wearing the mellowed terracotta patina of a Tuscany pavilion with its emphasis on outdoor living spaces, the residence was designed by the owner to meet the couple’s lifestyle needs.

With their family raised and launched, a new chapter in their lives unfolded, offering opportunities to focus on projects dear to their hearts by creating the ideal environment for work and pleasure.

This 2,200-square-foot residence asserts itself through harmonious blocked effects and vertical lines, yet fits so beautifully within the seaside neighbourhood of eclectic homes. Sited on a north-south axis designed to flood the interior living spaces with sunlight in winter, offer welcome shade in summer and, on the north-facing studio side, provide ideal lighting conditions for painting, the home’s solidity is reflected in the polished concrete columns and in the heated, dust-free honed concrete floors.

Within the open plan living space of the main floor, where the various areas flow easily into one another, generous windows suggest a seamless transition to the natural world beyond of meadow and forest. The dark window frames provide a bold statement, rather like the owner’s collection of paintings, where lines are integrated with softer, impressionistic colours. Indeed, one can see the painterly eye at work in the design process.

Furnishings in these communal areas offer a pleasing mix of old and new, reflecting the couple’s individual tastes. Modernistic Le Corbusier sling chairs in arresting animal hide are quite at home with the more solid Giuliano Gusti leather sofa. The antique Victorian dining table, with its capacity, when all the leaves are in, to accommodate 18, embraces and welcomes family gatherings that sometimes spill out through the French doors onto the terrace, sheltered by a wisteria-covered pergola. Designed by Montreal’s Studio Nova, the modern light fixture suspended over the table continues the dichotomy between new and old that manages to enhance and enchant by bridging the gap between eras and styles. Custom-designed built-ins include a crisp white contemporary china cabinet that is perfectly at home with an antique Dutch oak cabinet, a much-treasured family heirloom.

The kitchen is bright and ergonomically functional, with a purpose-built pantry, gleaming quartz countertops, glowing mosaic tile features and a brilliant window treatment that quite does away with the need for a backsplash, flooding the area with additional light and offering pleasing views of the patio and garden. The utility room off the kitchen contains the washer and dryer as well as the thoughtful convenience of a laundry chute.

Upstairs, warm maple flooring covers a heated concrete slab. On a practical note, cast iron plumbing reduces noise between the levels, ensuring a very quiet home. The guest suite comes complete with its own mini kitchen and seating area, while a wall bed tucks efficiently out of way when not required. The spacious master bedroom merges seamlessly onto the generous concrete deck that is also accessed from the guest suite. This outdoor sanctuary, with comfortable seating and Mediterranean-style pots filled with flowers and greenery, looks down upon a garden of lush herbaceous borders, with seasonal displays of colour and a tactile mix of hardscapes. The master ensuite is layered with shimmering sheets of aqua tile, while the sumptuous Carrara marble vanity and tub surround would not be out of place in a Roman villa. A sparkling chandelier shines upon an inviting bathing receptacle while the shower is designed to be completely private without need for a door. The enchantment of a surprise rooftop pavilion reached by a short staircase, providing captivating views of Deep Cove and Moses Point, offers the perfect spot for a private breakfast, an impromptu dinner or a meditative retreat.

This home truly embraces the couple’s vision of a thoughtful and sustainable design that meets their current needs, connects so beautifully with the natural world and provides spaces that simultaneously nurture and inspire. What more could one want than to be at peace within one’s surroundings?

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