King City House

King City, Ontario

Set among the charming pastoral landscape of King township, this renovation is the perfect marriage of home and garden. A contemporary design blended with naturalized landscaping gives the homeowner the benefit of both a modern and rural experience.

The original faux-Roman villa was quite different from the modern hilltop retreat existing today. It was an elaborately decorated (circa 1980) house with quirky aesthetics, a problematic layout, no relationship to the view, and numerous structural issues.

In addition to overcoming these challenges, the homeowners needed to accommodate an active house full of guests, but also maintain a comfortable and cozy setting. Most importantly, they wanted a close visual and physical connection with the landscape.

The landscaped gardens by Landcare utilize a modern layout with reference to the rural environment of King township, creating the sense of being outside in nature even when you’re inside.

In deference to that operatic view, the design is calm and low-key, with white walls and simple, natural embellishments: a hearth of Muskoka granite that tapers to the ceiling, with a mantel made from a barn beam brought from the old house; and high above, a coffered ceiling of natural fir planks, which adds warmth to this big room. It’s a perfect backdrop for a lifetime collection of unpretentious furnishings and family pieces and artwork, some of it by the couple’s son, a developer and artist.

Dramatic Before-and-After Reno Creates Modern Hilltop Retreat from Faux Roman Villa in King   

 National Post

In contrast to this dramatic view, the interiors are modest and the overall mood is calm, natural and low-key. The kitchen wing, originally designed for caterers, needed reconfiguration. The kitchen was relocated to directly face the great room, allowing for a new sunroom overlooking the pool. The opposite wing contains several guest bedrooms that are open and connected to each other, but also have a sense of privacy and separation.

As you enter the great room, you are immediately struck by the enchanting view achieved from framing the rolling hills and forest along the entire back wall.

The master suite is a retreat within a retreat. Accessed by a separate doorway directly off the great room, it has a walkout to a private deck that comes with its own view. Even with a large bathroom and dressing area, the master suite feels unassuming and cozy.

The material palette of the house perfectly blends the softness of wood and the harshness of concrete. The original terracotta stucco was replaced with horizontal fir siding, stained dark blue in some areas and left its natural tan colour in others. Outside, an infinity pool and concrete patios for lounging and dining are divided by gardens. This wood cladding is reaffirmed in the patios and pool area, tying the two areas together harmoniously.