A version of this article originally appeared in the Spring 2017 issue of OUR HOMES The Niagara Region, p.22. Find local businesses in our Niagara directory.
Homeowner and author Dee Willson and her husband Jeff Wozniakowski were watching a stunning sunset over Lake Ontario from the Port Dalhousie shoreline when they noticed something spectacular: a for sale sign.
Knowing nothing about building a home, environmental tests or shoreline restoration, they sought out the guidance of builder Brent Pym of Pym & Cooper Custom Homes Inc. who helped them navigate St. Catharines’ requirements for land stability and shoreline protection.
Shoreline contractor RWC & Company Inc. manoeuvred huge cranes and trucks down a steep slope ending in beach and lake, moving five- to seven-tonne stones.
The owners designed a three-storey, 3,500 sq. ft. house, including lower-level walkout, with a complicated witch-hat roofline and several dormers. Believing a front door is the focal point of any house, they hand-designed oversize iron and glass doors topped with an intricate iron arch, a beautiful entrance brought to life by Niagara Pre-Hung Doors. The owners found large urns of a suitable proportion for the entry at Hamiltons of Pelham.
Full-length windows and transoms were installed so every room had an amazing view of the water.
With the external components under way, including stucco by Schuit Plastering & Stucco, they turned their attention to the internal details. Inside, the first thing you notice is the striking view of Lake Ontario. Second is Emporium Carpet & Flooring's dark oak floors in a herringbone pattern; a nod to the French chateau facade. Fixtures from City Lightz to set the mood of each room.
The main level is open-concept with 10-foot coffered ceilings and a floor-to-ceiling library. Almost every door in the house is a pocket door to save floor space. Built-in storage is in place in lieu of closets, so the bedrooms need little furniture.
Other favourite features include the walk-in pantry off the kitchen and the glass railing that surrounds the substantial back porch and hot tub for an unobstructed view.