Part of the beauty of this classic French Country acreage estate lies in discovering it. It’s tucked away, just outside of Komoka, on 50 acres overlooking a calm and tranquil pond brimming with wildlife.
The couple built the home from scratch almost 20 years ago on a parcel of land the owner had purchased in his early 20s. “We scrimped and saved every dime for five years. There was nothing on the property, no trees, and where the house is now was essentially a mud pile,” recalls the owner.
The home had great bones and a stunning exterior. The interior spaces, however, were more utilitarian. As their two children have grown into teenagers, plus two, four-legged German shepherd chums, a refresh was in order.
Three years ago, the fun began: interior spaces were restructured, creating an open-concept design and an award-winning kitchen (Best Kitchen Cabinetry, London Home Builders’ Association Awards), along with a pretty master retreat.
To assist with the project, the couple brought on Erika Friesen of Erika Friesen Design, along with contractor VanderMolen Homes Inc. Floor-to-ceiling windows now frame peaceful water vistas across the rear wall of the bungalow. The family-friendly home is relaxed and warm, where things can get nicked and scratched and the dogs are welcome everywhere.
Lots of storage was key and a fabulous kitchen was a must-have. “I knew I wanted a black slate floor and a white distressed kitchen,” says the owner, who has an excellent eye for design. They now have a new gas range, a huge island, an oversize side-by-side upright fridge and freezer, hidden charging stations and two dishwashers. Erika found a great selection of sleek chef’s grade appliances at London Major Appliances. A walnut ladder emphasizes the room's height but also allows access to the extra-tall, distressed hand-glazed cabinetry, crafted by London’s GCW Custom Kitchens & Cabinetry Inc. The farmhouse sink, leathered Van Gogh quartzite countertop sourced from Granite by Design Ltd. and black industrial pendants by Shades of Light complete the look.
The central hall was widened to six feet and the rear of the home has become essentially a wall of glass. A fireplace was moved to the far wall to open up the12-foot ceilings. They bumped out the walls in the master bedroom to accommodate a long vanity, and in the kitchen to create an oversize pantry. Raw wood and beams (Riverside Millwork Group) draw the eye up.
The fireplace surround, fashioned from oxidized raw metal and stone, now takes centre stage in the open-concept great room that extends from the kitchen.
But it’s the master bathroom where some of the prettiest design features can be found. Here layers of texture, sheen and shape meld into eye candy – a curved wall swathed in small pebbles sets the backdrop for the sculptural Issa freestanding tub by Zitta Inc. The curved wall also acts as the gateway to the shower, which sports a floor-to-ceiling window. The exquisite fixtures, from the Aquabrass tub filler to the Riobel shower and faucet were sourced from London Bath Centre.
The lower level, where the kids have their rooms, walks out to the pool and the pond. They added a gorgeous contemporary entertainment unit across one wall, with a secret door to an entertainment room, crafted by Martin Jesko Custom Cabinetry.