Yesterday, I made the half-hour trek to Oakville from Toronto with a friend of mine to visit the Princess Margaret Lottery Showhome. The $4.3-million house is one of several prizes to be won in support of Toronto's Princess Margaret Hospital and it is quite the prize, indeed! Designed by architect Ray Murakami and House & Home magazine publisher Lynda Reeves, the 4000 square-foot house sits on a half-acre lot in a beautiful Oakville neighbourhood, just minutes from the town's historic Lakeshore Road. The house was designed to be a modern interpretation of a traditional Ontario farmhouse with prairie design principles (clean lines, durable materials) guiding much of the architectural layout and facade. Below are some photographs from my tour.
A beautiful, soft-gray limestone mixes with vertical wood siding stained a deeper shade of gray to create a monochromatic effect that is anything but boring. The metal roof by Vicwest adds a third layer of texture to the exterior. Landscaping was done by Ron Holbrook, designed to be simple but formal.
The exterior of the house was intentionally designed to look as though it has been added on to, with contrasting materials and intricate angles, unified and subdued by the neutral colour palette.
My friend Winnie, above, was impressed by the drapery by Kravet, which was hung with the stripes traveling horizontally to contrast the soaring height of the great room. (Below is the view of the great room from the upper hallway.) The enormous limestone fireplace is impressive but simple. Furniture by Ralph Lauren Home. Table by Michel Zelnik.
Our guide for the tour was House & Home magazine editor Mark Challen, shown here in the beautiful kitchen, which features an AGA stove, an enormous marble island and no upper cabinetry to keep the room feeling fresh, bright and modern. What I also loved is that the appliances were kept nearly entirely out of sight. Built into the island are refrigerator drawers by Jenn-Air, a microwave drawer, dishwasher and a wine fridge - all kept out of view. A larger, Fhiaba refrigerator is located not far off in the adjacent servery, hidden behind cabinetry veneer by Rettie Restoration.
Among the best features of the home are the windows by Dundas Woodwindows and Specialties. I love how geometrically simple they are, allowing the light to pour in. The oak hardwood floors throughout the home were stained a pale, milky tone to keep everything feeling light and clean.
The master ensuite bathroom was very dramatic with ceramic tile cut in long, wood-like lengths to keep harmony with the rest of the flooring in the home. Marble tile on the walls, a glass shower and frosted-glass toilet enclosure reveal how every detail was considered in this home. And how about that tub!