When homeowners Roger and Pauline began to build their estate in Uxbridge, they were determined that it would speak to four things: harmony with the landscape, quality design, the health and comfort of all occupants, and environmentally friendly design. The result: a meticulously planned and maintained property that met & exceeded their initial goals.
Surrounded by lush perennial gardens, wild meadows, and Durham Forest, the estate rises from the 1.68 acre property; an Algonquin blend stone silhouette, surrounded by natural landscaping. The larger roof overhangs and contrasts with the rolling land and forest.
The design of the property was intended to blend into the landscape and reflect the surrounding environment. “We chose Uxbridge as a flight from pollution, urban noise, and traffic density,” says Roger. “We wanted a balance between urban convenience and country life.” The Township of Uxbridge is located in a cozy valley on the northern slope of the Oak Ridges Moraine, filled with pockets of suburbia, farmland, all-inclusive shopping six minutes from the house, a historical downtown, and meandering forests filled with walking trails; so much so that it has received federal designation by Industry Canada as The Trail Capital of Canada.
A walk around the ten-year-old home reveals that it has been kept in pristine condition, having housed only its original homeowners. Entering the home through the solid mahogany door reveals an impressive wainscotted foyer with 10 foot crown moulded ceilings, a rotunda, a foyer office off to the side, and a grand staircase. The Frank Lloyd Wright inspiration can be seen throughout. From the custom-forged, handmade light fixtures to the wainscoting and gleaming solid maple floors, the grand residence is intended to make a statement while feeling comfortable and homey at the same time.
The open-concept family/kitchen/dining/great room reveals expansive windows, flooding the space with natural light, and providing a picturesque, private view of the landscape. “This is one of our favourite areas in the home,” states Roger. “The sun going across the back of the house is unbelievable: it lights up the whole area. The panoramic view of the veranda, meadow in the back of the landscaping, and the forest in the back of the meadow…it’s idyllic.” ‘
While the open concept nature of the space allows for the flow of conversation and guests; each area also has a very clear designation: from the butler’s pantry and chef’s office to the kitchen, to the lounge/sitting area and the great room: it’s intended to allow for family gatherings, and easy entertainment of friends or business guests. The kitchen is a gourmet cook’s dream, with an expansive granite island and countertops. The extra space between the island and counter and allows for heavy-duty cooking. The butler’s pantry has its own sink, along with upper & lower storage, as well as granite tops.
A main floor bedroom was a practical inclusion, allowing for family flexibility. The sunroom on the southwest side, with its stained glass windows and fireplace, and the stone sitting area off the great room are also nods to Frank Lloyd Wright. “The great room walks out to the veranda with a solid cedar ceiling, Algonquin blend stone wall and pillars – it’s classic Frank Lloyd Wright,” says Roger.
The radiant floor heating in all interior tiled areas – bathroom floors, mudroom, and showers included – is also an enviable feature on cooler days. Each tiled space has its own individual thermostat for added convenience.
Upstairs, the flexible living area allows for family relaxation, recreation, and conversation. The two spare bedrooms, family bathroom, and walk-in linen closet ensure that there is plenty of room for family or guests. The oversize master bedroom is a luxury unto itself. The expansive room allows for both companionship and personal space, with his and hers walk-in closets, as well as his & hers ensuite spa bathrooms; each with Jacuzzi tubs and radiant floor heating. The spacious walls can accommodate large art pieces, which can complement the rear view, featuring landscaped space and natural meadows, backed up by the Durham Forest. “On a clear night, you can see an expansive view of the stars,” notes Roger. “The noise factor is negligible, which blends very nicely with the quiet country setting as well.”
This beautiful home was not the first custom property for Roger and Pauline, but it was the first time they were involved in every step of the design and construction management process, ensuring it was built to the highest standards and using the greenest options available. “We opted to have our driveway double-brick edged with Georgia Gold stone,” explains Roger. “It provides a firm, non-toxic driveway and ensures that the water will permeate through the stone into the sand underneath.” Brick edging and stonework blends into the flagstones leading up to the front door, framed with pink thyme.
The plywood sheathing was the first environmentally-based upgrade. “Today’s construction often uses particle board,” Roger explains. “The problem with this is that it’s mostly glue and chemicals that hold it together. The gassing off process takes years, and we didn’t want that, ” explains Roger. “We opted to use plywood for the home’s sheathing – while there is glue involved, it’s a lower percentage that would be used for particle board.”
There were several structural updates as well, including enhancing the size of the studs and centres: 2 x 6 studs and the floor 2 x 12 on 12 inch centres. “You can’t get a developer-built house like that,” says Roger. “With solid studs and joists, these floors have no squeaking, noise or bounce.” After researching, Roger and Pauline decided to use a blown-in foam called Icynene throughout, even in the garage, rather than the more hazardous pink insulation: “Icynene is water-based, has minimal chemicals, and has a very high R-value, which means the home retains heat or cool air very well.”
While Roger and Pauline initially designed the property as their dream home; ultimately they wanted a more travel-based experience for their retirement, and decided to downsize and put their house on the market with PropertyGuys.com. “One of the greatest compliments we’ve received from friends is that they could move in here and feel at home immediately,” says Roger. “That’s truly the feel we want the property to have.”
An added bonus for the future owner is that due to the open concept design, the home is very convertible. The full set of architectural design, mechanical, electrical and landscape plans will also be provided to the buyer. Roger and Pauline imagine that the friendly and secure neighbourhood, and the connectivity within the open-concept home will allow for a new family to easily integrate themselves in to the home and community. Like the Algonquin blend this home is constructed of; this home is a perfect blend of urban and country; combining harmony with nature with the sophistication and quality of a custom-built home. If you’re looking for a solid community and all the conveniences of city life, this may just be the place for you!
Interested to know more about the amazing architect Frank Llyod Wright? Check out his page on Artsy to learn more about his works.
Amy is a communications associate for PropertyGuys.com Durham Region and contributor for Welcome Mat.