Green home design 2011
Every year we see designers take on the challenge to create a home that incorporates element of green design. This year's winner shows that you can have a truly modern home without compromising on luxury and style.
The unusual and striking cantilever design of the front entry is inspired by airplane design. The roof itself is sheathed in a standing seam metal roof panel with a factory-applied finish. The underside is clad in tongue-and-groove cedar. The cantilever, supported by two steel beams, features a slight slope that allows water to drain into integral gutters along the roof’s perimeter. The home exterior is clad in smooth and scraped synthetic limestone and fiber-cement panels, a product composed of 50-percent recycled content (fly ash) and wood-fibre pulp supplied from sustainably managed forests.
Set in a landscaped garden that incorporates native and ornamental grasses from the surrounding region, and in keeping with the style of this home, the plants and shrubs were chosen to complement the vertical design of the house. English oak creates a privacy fence to buffer the outdoor space from the road and provide a screen of privacy in the spring and summer months. Conifers were added in the front garden to lend texture during winter months. Potted grasses, which soften the pathway, will require little maintenance throughout the year.
Although artificial turf has been installed in the side garden, the front section features bluegrass, which will require only biweekly watering. Flowering perennials include Shasta daisies, black-eyed Susans, coral bells, salvia, Russian sage, yarrow, shrub roses and Snow in Summer, a ground cover that will provide a blanket of white blooms twice per year.
A palette of pineapple, charcoal gray and soft white lends a sophisticated, urban sensibility to the living room. It’s important to use lots of pattern and lots of texture because that’s what this room is about. "We wanted to make sure that people felt comfortable in here, wanted to stay and loved being in the space," says interior designer Linda Woodrum.
A limestone-topped cocktail table with iron base is among the room’s outstanding accents, as is the side chair, fashioned from two 80-year-old radiators, which adds an element of comic relief. "It’s whimsical. It’s fun. It’s the first thing that catches your eye when you walk in the room," says Linda.
Dark wood cabinetry with frosted glass panes and stainless steel hardware exudes industrial style while grey quartz clads the countertops. The neutral surface serves as a casual foil for more colourful accessories. A yellow kitchen island serves as both a work and dining space. A built-in Energy Star®-qualified, six-cycle dishwasher makes quick work of kitchen messes. A 3-watt LED pendant fixture illuminates the kitchen island. The design adds visual interest while not blocking the view of the backsplash from the front door. Pendants, suspended from cable, continue the modern loft-style design while not competing with the kitchen’s most outstanding features. Five acrylic and chrome barstools surround the island. Fashioned with hydraulic lifts, the chairs provide a see-through view of the island. Seating encourages connection between guests and hostess in the kitchen.
Appliances include a double thermal-bake oven complete with a convection cooking system and an Energy Star®-qualified French door, bottom-mount refrigerator. A stainless steel hood doubles as sculpture in the kitchen. The stainless steel hood is Energy Star® qualified, offers a powerful 300 CFM motor and features energy efficient fluorescent lighting.
A T.E.D. (The Energy Detective) monitor keeps tabs on household energy usage. The dashboard operates as a standalone system or can be tied into the home’s iPad. The portable devise records data so the user can track usage by hour, week or month.
Fresh fruit, displayed in antique-style wire baskets, delivers the needed hint of color. Fresh herbs stand at the ready for the home cook. Chrome display trays deliver splashes of sparkle on the countertop and easily convert to serving pieces.
The dining room, flooded with sunlight, is designed to accommodate casual family mealtime as well as entertaining. Comfortable seating and colourful artwork set the stage. Cellular shades reduce energy loss by up to 50 percent and accommodate all privacy needs in the dining area. Crisp white linen drapes, hung at the very top of walls, visually heighten the dining room and provide an additional layer of insulation during the winter months.
Interior designer Linda Woodrum selected glicée prints on fine art paper by American artist Melissa Wood to grace the dining room’s far wall. The style echoes the design of ikat-print pillows in the living room. "They add so much drama to the space," she says. "And it’s a way to really enliven that spot."
The dining table, handmade in Argentina, features a semi-tropical hardwood top and a hand-forged metal base. A marriage of rustic and formal, the table’s hand-forged metal base and chair legs create their own architectural design element. The natural edge of the wood slab adds character to the dining room table. The hand-rubbed finish complements the hand-scraped maple flooring.
A ceiling-mounted, wave-shaped light fixture features adjustable track lights.
A loop rug in a soft acorn shade anchors the space.
The front patio, clad in permeable pavers and buffered by conifers, offers a cozy conversation area. An outdoor gas fireplace, faced in thin-set brick, provides both warmth and ambiance.
Contemporary-style sofas, upholstered in outdoor fabric, feature aluminum frames and synthetic wicker bases — both recyclable. Two cube-shaped, industrial-style coffee tables were handcrafted from sustainable wood by carpenter David Brown. Throw pillows, sourced locally, lend a cozy feel while echoing the design style of brickwork and patio pavers.
Casual and durable dinnerware is the perfect choice for the front patio space, where a morning coffee is as apropos as after-work cocktails.