Updated: May 4
8,384 sq feet of total living
3,783 square feet on the main floor. Plus 818 square feet of guest wing above the porte cochere. Plus 3,783 square feet in walk out basement
4.5 car attached garage
Custom Home Design by Phase One Design
Luxury Home Build by Grandscape Homes
The client worked closely with our Calgary home design team to create this unique and stunning custom home design.
This home was designed for newly empty-nesters. They are a lovely couple who had lived in several homes before, and were currently living in a custom-designed home (not designed by us).
They knew what they wanted. There were elements of their previous home designs they wanted to replicate. But there were also things they wanted to change.
Here were a few key criteria for the design:
Must be a bungalow
Room to display their extensive art collection
Loves entertaining. Their home is constantly bustling with family and friends. Gatherings would range in size from an intimate dinner for 4 to events with over 100 people
They had a home-based business, so spent a lot of time at home
Loved being outside. Loved the forested natural setting of this lot.
Loved European architecture, and wanted to infuse European influences throughout the design, yet have the design modernized to today's trends.
The site is nestled in the community of Springbank, in the Muncipal District of Rockyview. It sits in a private new community, Stonewood, approximately 20 minutes west of Calgary. The site is very natural, and has the perfect balance between a forested setting and a 270 degree mountain view.
In my humble opinion, I think this client purchased one of the best lots in the community, as it sits highest in the community, and relative to the other homes (think - unobstructed mountain views!). The below photo shows only a portion of the 270 degree view their lot has... you can just imagine the ENTIRE view!
Our design team was engaged early on and assisted in selecting the client's lot. There were several lots which were "shortlisted".
We performed a detailed review to confirm future developments would not block their views, also checking other due diligence items. After a detailed assessment, the final building lot was selected.
The building lot is a natural walk out with a sloped grade. As you'll see later, our team intentionally designed the home to hug the contours of the land, thus saving significant money on retaining walls.
THE PIAZZA + CENTRAL COURTYARD
The custom home was designed around the idea of a central piazza, or internal courtyard, inspired by Italian city squares bearing the same name. It was to serve as a central gathering place for friends and family, which was a huge priority for the client.
The courtyard is designed on the central axis of the entire home. You'll notice that the house wraps in a U-shape around this central courtyard. There are many access points from the house into the courtyard.
We designed breezeways which connect each wing, and form the U-shape of the home. The breezeways do double-duty by acting as an art-gallery to display the client's extensive art collection. Dramatic and beautiful ceiling details frame each art piece, and allowing us to properly light each piece.
UNLIMITED INDOOR OUTDOOR LIVING
The vision was to create a floor plan design that created a strong connection between indoor and outdoor spaces. The courtyard itself features many layers of outdoor living.
We designed pleasantly unexpected "outdoor pockets" (think secret gardens) where you can just hang out and relax with a coffee or glass of wine, and enjoy the mountain view, sunrise, or sunset.
Each one of these "secret gardens" were carefully placed to follow the pattern of the sun, to create an outdoor space for every mood, time of day, and whether you were by yourself or hosting a party of 50 (or more). The varying shapes and sizes of each patio make them very usable.
One of our favorite spots is a covered Outdoor Living Room for those nights when it's a bit chilly. It's designed with a convenient motorized screen (think of screens that come down at the touch of a button, keeping out bugs and wind), overhead heaters and a cozy wood-burning fireplace. It's perfect for relaxing with your family or hosting a small group of friends.
The covered Outdoor Living Room gently transitions into the central Courtyard. Our team also designed a partially covered Outdoor Dining area, which is connected with the Indoor Dining area through a set of elegant glass French doors.
It was really important to make the Outdoor Dining feel cozy within the large expanse of the Courtyard. We did this by adding an overhead wood pergola with soft outdoor drapery to create a soft, romantic-like space. For those chilly nights, there is an automated retractable roof that can be utilized to help keep mother nature outside. An antique chandelier is suspended from this pergola to create the ultimate mood.
Of course, no outdoor area would be complete without a pizza oven, and an outdoor kitchen. All this is conveniently located just outside the main Butler's Pantry.
COOKING + CATERING
Much of our clients' lifestyle centered around cooking and entertaining. The open-concept floor plan features an expansive chef-style Kitchen that overlooks the Dining Nook and Great Room.
Large windows flood the Kitchen with light throughout the entire day. We intentionally eliminated upper cabinets along an entire run of cabinets, and in order to add windows to have a mountain view while standing at the sink. A large 5' x 12' island provides tons of prep space and seating.
A Butler's Pantry serves as a prep kitchen, and gives the main Kitchen almost double the storage. This includes a second fridge and freezer unit, a second sink, microwave (no microwave in main kitchen).
The Pantry houses small appliances to keep them out of the main kitchen workflow area. It's designed to be an extension of the main kitchen, and also as a flow through to the Outdoor Kitchen area. The butler's pantry is also designed so caterers can easily function within it, and when our client hosts large events and parties.
And of course, it needs to be beautiful. An entire wall of windows overlooking the Interior Courtyard provides plenty of view and natural light.
Our client loves to entertain. They regularly host family and friends. Their entertainment style ranges from small intimate dinners, to weddings and family events with 100+ guests.
It was important to design for all these different scenarios.
When you're entertaining with a handful of people, you want the space to feel more intimate. However, if you have 100+ guests, you need to have ample room for all your guests, caterers, serving stations, parking, and a long list of other considerations.
The open concept floor plan and connection to the Interior Courtyard provides tons of area for exactly that.
THE PORTE COCHERE
OK, first, what's a porte cochere? This is an home design feature, which incorporates a covered entrance large enough for vehicles to pass through, typically opening into a courtyard.
In this home's design, we introduced this feature to preserve the beauty of the front facade. We all love the function of a garage. But let's face it. Garage doors aren't the most beautiful to look at (even the most beautiful ones!) Especially when you have four of them, as we did in this home's design.
The porte cochere leads you into an interior vehicle courtyard, which splits off into four attached garage parking spots.
THE ULTIMATE GARAGE + "MAN CAVE"
The over sized four-car attached garage is large enough to make any car enthusiast fall in love. We designed this space with lots of extra room for storage and toys.
The extra-high ceilings will allow us to install car lifts. This means this garage can now easily store up to 8 vehicles.
WINE + BAR
Entertaining typically goes hand in hand with a fully stocked wine cellar and bar! This
home features a beautiful curved bar which is one of the main features of the basement entertaining area. The bar flows into the custom wine cellar.
This wine cellar's design was inspired by Old World cellars, is clad with stonework, and can stock hundreds of bottles, all in a fully climate controlled environment. The cellar also doubles as a tasting room.
NOT YOUR ORDINARY BASEMENT
The basement design in this home was given the same love and attention as the rest of the home. Unlike many, our client utilized their walk out basement space regularly, and wanted to take advantage of this space for entertaining.
The bar area and wine are the highlight of this space. The basement floor plan also features a games area with pool table, an open media area, a private gym, an additional guest bedroom, and a large storage room (don't ever underestimate how much we all need storage!)
The large windows capture the mountain view, and flows into an outdoor covered terrace. This terrace is heated and screened, so you can enjoy it year round. Beautiful wrought iron doors connect the entertainment area to the outdoor pool and hot tub area.
POOL AND HOT TUB
Who can forget the pool? The client wanted an outdoor pool accessed from the basement's entertainment area.
The pool features an elegant covered terrace (seen in photo as framed by exterior arches). For those days when you just want some shade. The pool area is defined by a landscaped wall, which extends to the hot tub area.
An outdoor shower let's you rinse off before and after pool adventures. Lastly, there is access to a change room inside the basement - nice and close!
PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE
The home design was intentionally designed as a one story bungalow, with all major living areas on the main floor. This is an important consideration in any "forever home" design. You should be able to stay in your home... well... forever!
We don't like to think about it, but we all age. As we do, our mobility lessens. A bungalow allows us to age-in-place (this is actually a design term), and stay in our homes.
The design does include an upper floor with a two-bedroom guest suite. This is intended for guests and adult children with families returning to visit. This provides separation and privacy for both our clients and their guests.
But otherwise, for day-to-day living, this is all on one floor.
Are you thinking of designing and building your own luxury custom home?
Phase One Design is an award-winning luxury home design firm.
We specialize in custom home design for luxury homes. Specifically tailored to busy individuals and professionals.
Our Vancouver home design team services Greater Vancouver, Gulf Islands and surrounding area, Interior BC including the Okanagan, Kelowna, and Penticton area.
Our Calgary home design team services the City of Calgary and surrounding area including MD of Rockyview and MD of Foothills.