Carol and Maarten, a professional couple from Toronto, spent over five years scouring the Township of Mono before finding the ultimate setting for the country home they now call SplitRok, named after the unique Bruce Trail geological features that surround it.
Their real estate agent, Karen Layof Right At Home Realty Inc., Brokerage, connected them with Toronto architect Harry Morison Lay, who came highly recommended, although not related.
The couple remembers meeting with Harry on the side of the hill where they articulated their hopes, wants and needs for the country home. Harry says he always counsels his clients that they not hurry the design stage. “You have one chance to get it right – the time invested in the planning stage is crucial,” he says.
The meadow site, hidden on all sides by hardwood forest, was the most important factor in placing the house. Harry says his intent was to design a building that “respects the landscape but heightens the reason for being there.”
The design was inspired by the style of a bank barn, incorporating a low building built into the hillside and bisected by a breezeway that serves as entryway to the meadow.
Rudy Vandenbergof Classic Renovationswas hired as general contractor. Harry comments, “Peeling away the hillside, Vandenberg extracted tons of blonde limestone that now appear as a feature in the front garden. The large entryway accommodates several people at a time and features a long bench and hooks along the wall with an earthy slate floor from Caledon Tile Bath & Kitchen Centre.
A stone fireplace in the living room by Kema Masonryis a focal point and a natural gathering place in the cooler seasons. Patterned rugs warm the wood floor and add texture to the cosy décor. The kitchen offers a panoramic view of the meadow. The large island is topped with the same hemlock as is the floors.
A winding staircase installed by Stair Wayzleads to the second floor that is still a work in progress.