Image: Ariana Tennyson | Design: Jaclyn Peters
For one Manitoba couple, retirement living means plenty of travel, plus a cozy place to hang their hats.
For many retired or semi-retired people, life feels even busier than when their careers were in full swing. That is certainly true for these snowbirds, who spend winters in Palm Springs and summers at their cottage in Lake of the Woods, Ont. With such a full travel schedule, they were spending little time at their high maintenance 6,000-square-foot main residence, which backed onto a golf course in Steinbach, Man. So when a potential buyer approached with an attractive offer, the pair jumped at the opportunity to downsize. They sold their home almost fully furnished and bought a modest-sized lot that overlooks protected land. “We were starting from scratch, which was both exciting and terrifying,” says one of the homeowners.
They temporarily settled into a condo with some of their personal belongings, and hired local architect John Duerksen to design a retirement abode that was just the right size. To finesse the interior, designer Jaclyn Peters was brought on board. After living in their previous house, which had dark wood floors, kitchen cabinetry, granite and paint colours, they craved something with a completely opposite feel. With the slate wiped clean, homeowners, architect and designer created a vision for the new place. “We asked for bright, modern and functional,” says one of the homeowners.
Their new 1,700-square-foot contemporary home is awash with light from expansive windows and a high timbered ceiling. White oak flooring reinforces the warm yet airy aesthetic and is echoed in the ceiling, which is clad with custom-stained fir planks. The furnishings were kept simple, with plenty of natural materials to add texture to the modern space.
“We focused on warmer tones and neutral shades,” says Jaclyn. “Everything is muted and very cozy.” The kitchen is small and simple, stylish and functional. Having a master bedroom and office on the main floor, and two spare bedrooms on the lower level, means the home works for day-to-day living à deux and seamlessly allows for plenty of guests during family get-togethers.
At less than one-third of the size of their former house, this place meets the couple’s needs perfectly, and they couldn’t be happier. Says one of the homeowners: “It was a fun project, and we are thrilled with the end result. The size is just right for us now.”
The simple design of the soft silvery grey kitchen cabinets is complemented by the artful veining in the quartz backsplash and the natural texture of the rattan stools.
Designer Jaclyn Peters came up with a chic and functional design to fit the small footprint allotted for the kitchen. Hits of black in the pendant lights, cabinetry hardware and faucet ground the kitchen and coordinate with the black-framed windows throughout.
This bar area on one side of the kitchen eases congestion in the main workspace. This fir-clad ceiling is a focal point in the open-concept main level.
The striking beamed ceiling in the living room slopes down toward a wall of windows that look out to protected land and flood the space with light. Plenty of wood – ceiling beams, floors, furniture – brings warmth to the bright modern interior.
The fireplace surround in the living room is made of the same quartz as the kitchen’s countertops and backsplash. The shiplap wall treatment above the mantel provides architectural interest. Grey shagreen nightstands bring another layer of texture to the cozy bedroom.
Jaclyn designed the bed in soft sage green velvet to match one of the colours found in the vintage rug (brought from the owners’ previous home).
Clerestory windows let in lots of light while maintaining privacy in the master bathroom. Quartz, heavily veined with grey and gold, makes up the tub surround and countertop.