Building Simplicity and Style
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From the moment you see the house, you think 35 Eugenia Street in Barrie is something quite different. But once you enter through the front door, you are sure the home is one-of-a-kind.
Built by Mike Carty, the owner of Level Design Build, the very original dwelling is home to Carty and his family.
It features a very modern design that sets it apart from the brick bungalows and two-storey homes in the east-end area of Dundonald and Codrington streets.
“That's what I'm passionate about,” explained Carty. “Modern design. The minimalist approach. Clean, simple lines.”
The home is very bright and spacious. Pocket doors on the mudroom in the front entrance slide over the opening, quickly and easily, offering the ability to immediately conceal a mess – should the children leave one!
The open concept living area is warm and inviting, with a double set of oversized patio doors offering lots of natural light. This makes the room a great spot for all those house plants that need the sun.
The kitchen is streamlined and efficient. The island allows for ease of conversation with guests or family members while meals are being prepared or dishes are being done.
Moving upstairs, the bedrooms are both
spacious and inviting. The master bedroom features a massive walk-in closet with both a “his” and “hers” side. The ensuite bathroom is delightful. The T-wall vanity allows the shower and the toilet to be located behind, allowing for the utmost privacy. And this is an extremely handy feature when you realize the home – by design – has no window coverings.
The bathroom vanity has reclaimed barn board on the sides, which serves to give the room some rustic warmth.
Carty, a big fan of using reclaimed materials, said his home also boasts wooden floors and doors that were made from the wood of old pickle barrels that he happened upon by sheer chance a few years ago.
The 2,700-square-foot home sits on the foundation of the original bungalow that was on the lot. After purchasing the property, Carty tore it down to the foundation and used the existing footprint to create a home in keeping with the philosophy of Level Design Build.
“The home is very linear. There is no wasted space in this home.”
Nor was there much wasted labour or materials, Carty added.
“Every time you cut on an angle, there's waste. There's wasted materials and wasted labour.”
With the clean, simple lines of modern design, materials are used to the fullest. And with fewer angles and therefore less cutting of materials, there is less labour.
“Our philosophy is to keep things simple,” Carty said, adding it is his view that there is a lot of waste in a “traditional” build. “We need to think about conserving materials, energy, etc. We need to think about our waste. We need to think about our purchases.”
Homes with a modern design are very functional homes.
“You have to think about how you are going to live in the home and design it accordingly. We spend a lot of time in our homes and we should enjoy it.”
The builder also encourages people to think smaller. Smaller homes take less material and labour to build. They also cost less to maintain.
Society is in this vicious cycle where people live in big homes and then have to pay for all the maintenance and upkeep, which means there is less money for things other than the home. And maintenance can be time consuming too, leaving people with less time for family and other important things, he explained.
Carty, who has been interested in design since as far back as he can remember, used to build Post and Beam homes. Then, a few years ago, he was presented with what he described as an amazing opportunity. A designer came to him and asked him if he would be willing to build a custom cottage.
He did. And since then, he and his company have built numerous cottages and homes in and around the area. His home is one of three homes in Barrie that have been built by Level Design Build.
The unique look of his home garners a lot of attention. Carty held an autumn open house at his home on Eugenia Street to let interested folks see the home for themselves.
“People are drawn to it. It's something you would usually see in larger cities.”
He also agreed to have his home included as part of the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Barrie Showcase of Homes this fall. The fundraiser is an annual event fundraising event in the city and allowed even more people to see the unique and modern design offered by Carty and his company.
And Carty believes in building homes that are very well insulated.
“I am a big believer in insulation, particularly sprayfoam insulation. It's a premier product that gives a much better value. You get a full seal, which gives the home a much better R-rating.”
This all circles back to Carty's motto about cutting down on waste.
A home with better insulation does not waste energy when it comes to heating and cooling the home.
“You can have a great furnace, but if there are leaks (in the home) it's not efficient.”
Although his company can design and build, they are also very willing to work with a client's designs to create the unique look that the client desires.
For more information on Level Design Build,


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