By Lisa van de Geyn
Photography by Gillian Jackson
Heritage Lake Estates is as charming as it sounds. The scenic gated community is nestled just outside of Guelph, Ont., in the enchantingly quaint village of Aberfoyle. Mere minutes from Highway 401 and outside of the busy, bustling city centre, it’s the type of locale that homeowners who seek balance flock to. While close enough to all the amenities a resident could ever ask for (fine dining, shopping, fabulous entertainment and sports facilities), Heritage Lake is positively idyllic for those who yearn for a more private, quiet setting — a place where lush green space, kilometres of walking trails and a sparkling 60-acre lake exclusive to residents take centre stage. It truly gives homeowners the best of both worlds. “It feels as if there’s nothing else around us, but it’s just a short drive to the highway. Well maintained common areas make it a truly beautiful place to call home,” says Eve Claxton, the co-owner of Claxton & Marsh, an award-winning custom builder that focuses on luxury, net-zero and net-zero-ready homes in the Guelph area. (President and owner Shawn Marsh is her husband and business partner.)
There are 75 homes in the Heritage Lake Estates community, and Claxton & Marsh’s latest offering is this extraordinary bungalow that majestically sits on a half-acre backing onto conservation land. With 4,000 square feet of living space across two levels, the home has truly been built and designed with any homeowner in mind. “We feel that what most people are looking for is a community that has a wide spectrum of residents that range from professionals with young families to those who are retired. Bungalows within this kind of community are not just for empty-nesters. People sometimes have an inaccurate assumption of what a bungalow is and it’s not until they walk in and see it for themselves that they realize it offers the perfect living space. We’ve converted many families who favoured a two-storey home to bungalows,” explains Claxton.
The exterior, designed to emulate the French countryside, offers true European flair. But when you enter you immediately step into a truly modern abode. “There are plenty of contemporary finishes on the inside, and the outside is characteristic of what you’d see in Europe,” she says. There are sensational 14-foot ceilings on the main floor, making the space feel incredibly grand. “When you walk into the foyer, you immediately see a staircase with custom stair rails that leads to the lower level, plus, there’s a wellappointed powder room. The spacious great room is adorned with custom plaster mouldings and mantel,” she says of the stunning open-concept floor plan. There are also floor-to-ceiling windows and sliding doors, high-end light fixtures and dark-coloured engineered hardwood in a chevron pattern in the more formal rooms. The classic white-and-black kitchen is dramatic and features a 20-foot island clad in gorgeous, honed quartzite counters, which can accommodate seating for eight. It includes a top-of-the-line appliance package with double ovens and a walk-in pantry. “It’s the perfect home for entertaining. The oversized covered patio off the breakfast room allows homeowners the ability to accommodate guests both inside and out,” says Claxton. “This particular home was tailored with two bedrooms on the main level, and two additional bedrooms on the lower level. Each of the bedrooms is outfitted with walk-in closets and an ensuite access.”
The lower level certainly doesn’t feel like a basement, thanks to an abundance of natural light with window sizes that range from five to eight feet with armour stone window wells. “The oversized windows really create a super-comfortable living space similar to the main floor,” she says. There’s also a games room, rec room plus two bedrooms with ensuites, complete with radiantly heated floors, making the space feel extra cozy. “This house truly has every modern convenience,” Claxton says. “I can’t imagine anyone wouldn’t love a stunning luxury home built in this beautiful and exclusive community.”