Nature's Art Gallery
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Bronze tinted glass is the solution to privacy when you live in a house full of windows. The bronze creates a reflective surface that allows residents to enjoy ravine views from inside the home without being observed by prying eyes from the outside. It's just one of the finer details that owners of high-end properties demand, according to builder Patrick B. Coulter. “We work at the top of the market,” says Coulter. “The client makes every decision and we fulfill their wish list.”
Brad Abbott of Abbott Designs was the architect of this magnum opus of thoughtful design and Patrick B. Coulter & Associates Inc. acted as builder and project manager. “It all starts with a 38-page questionnaire that assesses the homeowner's needs and lifestyle choices,” says Coulter. Next, a massing model is assembled, taking the lay of the land into account and the home's solar impact for both the seasons and time of the day. Room relationships are then determined and next the sizing of each individual interior space. Calculations are made right down to how many shoes or shirts a client could expect to own to how many individuals will be dining regularly or might be expected to attend a party. The result is a very personalized structure that meets every criterion of its residents.
The master en suite at 121 Timber Leif Ridge, for instance, has two ‘his and hers' vanities and two water closets situated at opposite ends of the uniquely laid out bathroom. A large central shower stall, accessible from both ends, divides the two areas. The privacy afforded by this discreet layout offers a measure of mystery to each individual's personal cleansing ablutions. An outdoor Zen-like patio enclosure with teak deck chairs directly off the room is where the couple reunites for rest and reflection following bathing.
Steps away, down the hall, another special feature of the master wing is found – a private wet bar, equipped for coffee and nightcaps. “For those Do Not Disturb moments,” says Coulter. The generous master also possesses a private covered exterior terrace constructed with Brazilian IPE decking. “It sparks when it's cut,” says Coulter, due to the high iron content. The panorama through the trees to Georgian Bay is the perfect setting to relish that morning java in solitude before the crash and bang of family activity intrudes on a couple's reverie. These little considerations can have a great impact on relationships, delivering stress relief and supporting depth of intimacy.
Each aspect of this residence's layout has been given this kind of forethought. The exterior of the home was designed for both visual impact and ease of workload. Low maintenance landscaping with native plantings, along with 15-year pre-finished wood siding, a striking black steel roof with R50 insulation and a Crestron Home Automation system gives residents the freedom to lock up and head south whenever the fancy strikes. The Crestron state-of-the-art control system permits monitoring of every single security, climate, lightning and audio/video system remotely from a smart phone or iPad. If someone merely approaches the property, surveillance monitoring captures his or her image and streams an alert immediately to the homeowner's Smartphone. The system will even lower the automated blinds in a pleasing orchestration of uniform movement.
From the outside, the home's 5,170-square-foot magnitude is virtually undetectable. “The building its essentially built into the edge of the hill,” says Coulter. “Allowing full-sized windows on both levels in appreciation of letting nature in. From the street side, it looks like a bungalow but from the back of the home you discover it's a two-storey house.” The appearance of a two-car garage is also deceptive. The home essentially has a three-car garage, but the third bay is at the rear of the home on the lower level, where the golf cart is stored. Golfers can exit the recreation room and motor directly to the Georgian Bay Club.
Given the size of the home, it was important to the homeowners that efficiency of heating was properly addressed. The home enjoys four separate heating zones all controlled by the Crestron system – one in the master suite and the others in the main public area, recreation room and guest rooms, which enables heating adjustments for unused areas.
Enter the front door and you are in the upper level of the home. Wiarton flagstone flooring takes you all the way through the foyer, mudroom and powder room to the left, up to the doors of the guest bedroom, deliberately housed on the first floor to accommodate elderly or disabled guests who may require wheelchair access.
Turn right off the foyer and the
flooring transforms to Northern Wide Plank hardwood as you pass an agreeable stone
accent wall that separates the main entrance from the primary living area. The attractive stone is Kettle Valley grey granite and is the same material used on exterior façade and on the fireplace in the great room, bringing an overall coordinated look to the home. “It arrived as one giant slab after being blasted out of the Alberta side of the Canadian Rockies,” says Coulter. “We square cut it all by hand.”
Enter the open concept kitchen, dining area and great room and you are visually treated to an expanse of vaulted and
coffered ceilings enveloped by windows that turn the bountiful views of Georgian Bay into the home's art gallery. Eye-catching narrow strips of Brenlo poplar wood are inlaid into the ceiling, harmonizing with the hardwood flooring below. “It adds a texture and dimension to the space if you don't use the same material on the upper and lower,” says Coulter.
The gourmet kitchen, with cabinetry by Greg Andrews of Clearview Woodworking, is supplied with two separate islands, a main cooking countertop and an extensive coffee bar. All four are bedecked in exotic Kosmus granite, which falls into the same tonal group as the stone fireplace in the great room. “It's all the same vista,” says Coulter.  “Looking into the great room, or back to the kitchen. So you want it to be complementary.”
Directly off the kitchen, a welcoming enclosed outdoor terrace with Marvin multifold retractable doors protrudes from the structure. “It's a favourite of the homeowners,” says Coulter. “It reproduces a feature they enjoy in homes found down south. The ability to feel indoors and outdoors at the same time adds dimension to the house.”
Descend to the lower level and you are treated to an elegant recreational paradise. The home office, fitness room and two more bedrooms also live on this level, including a third luxurious en suite bedroom and the children's en suite bunkroom. All windows here are again, full-sized, offering lush views of the treed yard, wood-burning fire pit and patio area beyond.
The games room with blue-felted billiards table, card table and a brightly lit dartboard is serviced by a family-sized wet bar with beverage chillers and LED lighting that changes colour on demand for added atmosphere. A flat screen TV wall-mounted beside the billiards table ensures no golf tournament will be missed during the family Snooker tournament. The main feature of the room, however, is the lavish 10-foot digital projection TV surrounded by deep lounges that assures no pleasure goes unanswered.  When it comes to watching major sporting events, “size matters,” says Patrick Coulter.
121 Timber Leif Ridge in The Blue Mountains is currently on the market represented by Steve Simon of LifestylesNorth.
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