When entrepreneur and designer Edilka Anderson decided it was time to relocate, she couldn’t have asked for a more sublime place to build her dream home than Heritage Lake Estates. Here’s how the remarkable team at architecture and design firm Claxton + Marsh helped bring her plans to fruition.
By Lisa van de Geyn
Photography by Janelle Gokule


Edilka Anderson never saw herself leaving Toronto. But, like so many of us, the pandemic opened her eyes to a different way of living. You could say COVID was the catalyst for Anderson’s decision to relocate her family, moving from her townhouse in the city to a sprawling abode in the idyllic village of Puslinch, Ont., just outside of Guelph. “I had always dreamed of having a resort home — something that had all the amenities I was looking for and surrounded by nature. I love Toronto, but I knew I couldn’t get what I wanted in the city,” she says. “So, I started looking for properties outside the city in early 2021. I happened to be on Instagram one day and came across a gorgeous backyard that got my attention — it was my dream backyard. I clicked and found out it was in Guelph.” Anderson’s extended family live in the area, so she was intrigued. “I called my brother, a realtor, who told me the property I saw was in Heritage Lake Estates.” Within days, Anderson had an appointment to visit the development — which features 75 beautiful homes, kilometres of hiking trails and a 60-acre lake exclusively for residents — and the rest is history. “I fell in love the moment I drove through the gates. The houses were stunning. I like to be surrounded by beauty, and knowing my family was nearby made the decision even easier. There was only one lot left and I put down a deposit the next day.”

Anderson, a designer and the franchise owner of KARE (an Oakville, Ont.-based lifestyle design and decor store offering everything from chic furniture pieces to glam accessories), always wanted to build her own home. The team at Claxton + Marsh, an award-winning custom builder that focuses on luxury, net-zero and net-zero-ready homes in the area, was ready to build and assist in the design of this spectacular 5,000-square-foot high bungalow situated on a half-acre corner lot.

Known for their extraordinary exteriors that emulate French-countryside estates and striking, modern black-and-white interiors with high ceilings and big windows, Claxton + Marsh’s experts were delighted to work with a fellow designer. “It was a really inspiring project to work on. Edilka’s store and style are so rich — you get a true appreciation of who she is the moment you walk inside KARE. It was a satisfying change for us to work with gold and other bold selections in this contemporary space. It allowed us to step outside of our norm for a change,” says designer Tasha Claxton.

” An eclectic combination of textures, energizing hues and lavish materials, as well as cool antiques mixed with new pieces, this abode is as stylish and comfortable as it is unique.”



An eclectic combination of textures, energizing hues and lavish materials, as well as cool antiques mixed with new pieces, this abode is as stylish and comfortable as it is unique. “I love black and white — they’re neutrals for me in my design — so I have a lot of that, but they’re mixed with shades of browns and gold with a feminine touch. The design and aesthetic are truly representations of me,” Anderson says. The open-concept great room and kitchen area are her favourite spots in the house. “This space is purely for entertaining and family time without screen time. We hang out at the kitchen island and spend time making food, drinking and enjoying each other’s company,” she says. The kitchen features cabinets designed to look like wall panelling, it has pops of flashy gold, and the countertops are porcelain. “The gold veined porcelain we used is called Calacatta Luxe — which suits its name by being highly luxurious and impactful,” Claxton says. The great room is mostly outfitted in modern KARE furnishings, but there’s a glamorous antique grand piano dating back to 1902 that Anderson refurbished, which perfectly describes the eclectic way she mixes old pieces with new.

Down the hall and past a gallery wall is Anderson’s principal bedroom. “I call it my wing. It’s 100 percent me — it’s very feminine, pretty, stylish and it’s exactly what I wanted,” she says. “It’s done in black, white and sandy colours with hints of gold and crystal. We paired a beautiful century-old Louis Vuitton chest and an antique chaise. It’s very personal to me.” Claxton says the ensuite is just as show stopping — notably detailed with lots of pearl hues. “The most spectacular part of this space is the marble mosaic floor, which runs throughout the entire ensuite floor and carries into the shower. The whole room has Great Gatsby flair.”

The basement is where Anderson and her kids watch movies and play games, but it’s also where her office is. “The moment you enter the office space, you are immersed in natural light that the grand windows let in. The glass entrance door allows the room to feel open — it’s a quintessential space to work and feel refreshed. The colour scheme follows the rest of the house: black, white and gold with a dramatic pop of fuchsia from her couch. Edilka has an exceptional eye for bringing colours and textures together that are well thought out,” says Claxton.

“I didn’t see the house until it was finished, and you can only imagine my reaction when I did the walkthrough. Together, we created this masterpiece, and it was exactly the house I dreamed it to be,” Anderson says, adding how pleased she was to work with Claxton + Marsh. “The whole process was a dream — seamless from start to finish. They understood me and what I wanted and helped to make my home a haven; I never want to leave. It was a beautiful experience, and I am very grateful.”

“Together, we created this masterpiece, and it was exactly the house I dreamed it would be.”