While you might expect farmers Gord and Christine Quaile to live in a traditional farmhouse, the couple, who have lived and farmed in Greely outside Ottawa all their lives, recently built a stunning new home with Greenmark Builders Inc. that is striking and contemporary.
“We purchased this farm in 1985 and our intention is to live here forever,” Christine says. She explains that she and Gord had previously built a traditional two-storey home on the property where they raised their children. Now, their daughter and son-in-law live in it with their grandchild and Christine and Gord live in the au courant 2,300 sq. ft. bungalow next door.
Greenmark Builders is known for building energy-efficient homes that reflect their clients’ particular vision. “Christine wanted us to be creative,” says Mark Kranenburg of Greenmark. Her confidence in the builder allowed them to create unique features, including the backlit ceiling in the living room, created by nesting three boxes into each other, lit by LED striplights.
Christine says everything in the house, from the dishes on their dining room table to the light fixtures from Arevco Lighting, is new to the home and chosen specifically for this house. The fireplace is faced with two huge slabs of Italian travertine, one of the first installations of this material in the area.
“Isn’t it interesting we spend the first 50 years accumulating things and after that you spend your time decluttering and downsizing,” Christine says. “In this house, everything has a purpose. The only furniture we brought with us was our bedroom suite, which will be a family heirloom one day.”
With the master wing to one side and their home office to the other, the main living area is located at the centre of the house. The open-plan living room, dining room and kitchen provides an expansive view of the Quailes’ farm.
“Gord was concerned he was losing his view of the farmyard,” Mark says. “We tried to make sure he got the same view from the new house as he did from the old, or as close to as possible.”
Bringing even more of the outdoors in is the spacious sunroom: with a high peaked roof, windows on all sides and screens to allow summer breezes in, the room is a cosy spot to enjoy the view of the season, without having to deal with insects or intemperate weather. “This is our first summer in the new home, and I expect this will be my favourite room in the house,” Christine says. “I think we’ll be spending a lot of time there.”