After a long, unfruitful search for a house where they could live out their retirement, these homeowners enlisted the help of Chris Lacey of Bowcey Construction to build their custom dream home. Designed by Katherine Ball, with interiors by Rosemary Ball (both longtime friends of the homeowners), this James Bay dwelling features 3,200 square feet of living space over three levels, complete with an elevator, with the future in mind. “Homes equipped for aging in place are becoming a popular way to build,” says Lacey. “The owners needed a full-height basement, which meant digging a 12-foot hole on a tight city lot.” Although the excavation was tricky, adding a basement allowed the couple to maximize their living space within a small footprint.
The efficient layout includes a gym, an office, a media room, a bathroom, and a mechanical room in the basement. The main living spaces and a second office occupy the ground floor, with three bedrooms upstairs. The three-sided Bellfire fireplace serves as the focal point of the living area, where the entire mantel and fireplace enclosure has a three-inch overhang to give the fireplace a built-in look. The mantel is wrapped with Norr porcelain tile with mitred corners for a clean, contemporary aesthetic. In the kitchen, a hard-working island overlooks the patio with Caesarstone Calacatta Nuvo countertops, providing seating, storage, and ample workspace. A concealed Cattura Downdraft hood fan rises out of the cook top with the push of a button, while the pantry houses a wall oven with an integrated microwave. The kitchen also features a power drawer for charging devices.
“As a striking architectural feature, the central staircase visually connects the three levels and involved multiple trades working together,” says Lacey. “A steel mono stringer supports the structure, with steel plates recessed into the custom wood treads for a flush look. The railing was designed in AutoCad to ensure that all the posts and rails lined up with each other.”
Other standout features include the main floor laundry room’s Mutina Puzzle tile in Edge Smoke with a matte finish, which adds a geometric motif to white cabinets and walls. In the powder room, a blue glass vestibule sink sits like gallery art on the simple quartz-top vanity. A Dutch door with a triangular cut-out window leads to the mudroom, where the owners’ dog can wait for wet paws to dry. Dutch- designed Hakwood hardwood flooring is environmentally responsible and is used in the primary living spaces.
Upstairs in the primary bath, a 12-by-12 foot modern glass-block window filters light above the tub, which “floats” above LED kick- plate lighting, and is similar to the vanity design. To highlight the Bisazza pink glass mosaic tile in the shower niches, Lacey installed LED strip lighting into a customized pre-wired track during the rough-in construction stage. The rest of the shower wall has a griege- coloured brick wall tile, while Caesarstone Quartz Reflections adorns the vanity and bench.
“With new seismic codes and energy-efficiency requirements getting more strict, it’s harder to make renovations make sense,” says Lacey, who handles both remodels and new construction. This custom build allowed the homeowners to create a home that checks everything off their wish list and meets their needs over the long term.