Yugoslavian-Canadian Builder Designs Her Oakville Home


This seasoned builder blends work and family with beautiful results.

A version of this article originally appeared in the Fall 2017 issue of  OUR HOMES Oakville Burlington Mississauga, p.30. Find local businesses in our Oakville directory. 

Life begins and ends with family, according to Niki Micevic, speaking about her mom, custom homebuilder Mara Micevic, who is President of MGM Development Design & Build.
“My mom arrived in Canada from the former Yugoslavia at 15 years old,” says Niki. “She spoke no English and arrived without her parents. She’s worked hard, built a good life and a very successful business. She taught us that in Canada, if you work hard you can do anything because it’s a country in which anything is possible.” 
Mara Micevic loves to build – it’s her passion. She also wanted to build something lasting, a business where she could work with her children one day. She got her wish. They’re all involved in MGM. Niki, in particular, played a major role in the design of Mara’s home build. What was the toughest part of the job for Niki? Colour! “My mom’s not big on colour, she loves white and grey. I really had to work on her to add the soft sea-blue touches,” laughs Niki. As a homebuilder and designer, says Niki, it’s hard to sit still. Every day is different, and every day is busy with lots of projects on the go. Mara did stand still long enough to design and build this house for her and her husband – a two-storey Muskoka-style home on a tucked-away street a stone’s throw from Lake Ontario. At 4,000 square feet, it’s not small, but it manages to remain cosy, a result of cohesive design elements and a calming colour scheme.
The home’s many luxury details include a glossy marble-slab entrance, maple floors in espresso, solid wood doors like the African Mahogany front door with its frosted swirl glass panels sourced from Byrcon Wood Products, custom plaster ceilings, New England-style square panelling, which turns the staircase wall into a stunning feature wall, and more. The craftsmanship is superb, in large part because Mara has spent 20 years assembling a reliable and talented team of tradespeople. 
A bright transitional kitchen opens to the family room with a view onto the Muskoka porch. “Mom is extremely neat, so millwork panels cover appliances and a walk-in pantry hides clutter.” The shimmering mother-of-pearl mosaic backsplash tile is from Ciot. Grill inserts on cabinetry are a lively change from glass, adding depth and interest. 
Niki terms the dining room a transitional space, in deference to the highly detailed recessed ceiling and mouldings layered around arches and doorways. Chrome legs on the harvest table, metal frames on artwork and the elegant chandelier’s metal touches add a modern feel to the open space. There are no formal doors; in fact, almost all rooms on the main level are open to each other creating a smooth, seamless vista.