There have been a multitude of new builds and complete renovations in the Richvale neighbourhood of Richmond Hill, Ont., over the last several decades. West of Yonge Street and south of 16th Avenue, the area is teeming with both young and established families, diverse restaurants, plenty of shopping, schools and parks. “It’s a sought-after community because it offers the best of city conveniences, as well as proximity to Highway 407 and lots of green space,” says Iva Pelaic, a Toronto-based real estate specialist and founder of GTA Modern Homes real estate services.
When it came time for the family that now lives in this impressive abode to build their dream home, they were set on living in Richvale. The couple has older sons and wanted a house big enough so that their children could stay over and have their own private space. “The house was intended to provide them with space for their growing family—a place where their grandkids could stay and play,” says Marco Vieira, the principal of Epic Designs Inc., the Toronto-based architectural design firm that designed the house. “They wanted a contemporary house, an open floor plan where possible, while still keeping some separation in certain parts of the house. A home office was a must-have so that they could work from home and be easily accessible to family and visitors coming to the house.” Their wish-list also included lots of natural light (Vieira says they maxed out the number of permitted windows) and an elevator, which was installed to access all floors conveniently. “The goal was to make it feel comfortable and accessible. It may come across as a large home, but because of the size of the lot, it fits very well into the established fabric of the neighbourhood.”
What Epic Designs came up with was a 6,300-square-foot home built by Buildcrest on a 70-by-300-foot property. Surrounded by trees and near a park, the four-bedroom abode is on a street that boasts homes in various sizes and styles. “We wanted this house to be set apart from the rest in its exterior design and open plan, and we didn’t want it to look like a traditional home,” says Vieira. Pelaic says the builders and designers really nailed this. “What makes this home so great is that there are few modern homes in the area.”
The first-floor layout is very open, there are super-high ceilings and you can see the stunning backyard from pretty much every room. “Positioning the stairs in the middle allowed us to create a centre core; the common spaces were built around the heart.” Wood plays a huge role in the design. “The use of wood products on the exterior was to create a warm feel and add these accents to stone and stucco—it adds colour and they complement each other,” he says. “The wood then allowed us to connect the exterior to the minimalist interior, and we continued using wood inside to get that warmth.” Wood is featured in the kitchen, which was designed to be clean and streamlined, and the master walk-in closet.
The interior is definitely showstopping, but perhaps the most striking part of the home is the designed and developed backyard. “The design was mainly focused on creating a house and setting that mimicked a resort or had a spa-like feel,” Vieira says. Including a pool and cabana were must-have additions, but the homeowners soon decided they wanted to extend their living space, so they opted for a covered patio and outdoor kitchen, complete with everything they need to host family and friends during the warmer months of the year. “The home really embraces the idea of not only open-concept living, but it celebrates that connection between the interior and exterior living areas.”
Photography by Samantha Keay