This serene and ordered central foyer and sitting room perfectly introduce the Lutyens-like character of the large river valley home recently built for this family of four. The indigenous Canadian St-Marc-des-Carrieres stone flooring, and custom-designed bronze trim create a rich, deep, masculine solidity, brightened by smoked mirror insets and the mosaic jewellery ottoman fringe handmade by artist Nancy Zboch in precious crystal, found glass, ceramic, wood and metal.
   This richly coloured and textured room is the warm heart of a family home. In keeping with the overall robust, yet refined, approach to the interiors, it is replete with unique elements and materials. The fireplace mantel is St-Marc-des-Carrieres limestone. Below the exquisitely detailed oak ceiling panelling, the massive waterfall island is Brazilian Saturnia granite. Oak flooring grounds the space; the cabinetry is mahogany. Under the custom oil-rubbed bronze range hood is a contemporary mosaic “painting” by artist Nancy Zboch. Capturing and reflecting light and movement, its transparent and opaque glass, mirror, ceramic and copper leaf are sealed, making a perfectly functional backsplash.
   Skillful layering can be seen where the sitting room opens into the expansive great room. The local Eremosa stone tile walls establish remarkable warmth and richness and the smooth stone surfaces contrast with the lush, strié chenille upholstery and soft wool drapery treatments. The vertical piercing of the archway columns provides a striking counterpoint to the cadenced horizontal pattern of the wall panels   
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   The formal dining room’s simple elegance is deceptive; founded as it is on layer upon layer of unusual details. Matching a wall alcove opposite, the D-shaped window on the end wall comprises thermopane lights in an iron frame. The reveal line around the recessed centre panel emphasizes the gentle curve of the sculptural transition to the oval ceiling. In the mahogany wall panels, recessed fixtures in the shortened reveals accentuate the resulting crenellation, while washing the ceiling curve with light. Above, floating iron rings frame the Fortuny silk pendant lamps.
   Texture is a key design element in this stately home, as seen in the double-rail-and-reveal detail of the contemporary painted wooden wall panelling, the wooden cladding on the steel stair structure into which stone steps have been set and the contemporary bronzed iron railing.
   The large window in the stairwell presented a challenge, met by meticulous planning of a slightly twisted series of steps to establish a landing in front of it, while providing comfortable ascent and descent. The sinuous curve and drum of the stair structure underscore the skillful solution.
   The barrel vaulted ceiling with recessed lighting emphasizes the serene and orderly nature of this peaceful retreat. Bronze-framed frosted glass partitions conceal the shower and toilet room. Top down/bottom up, bronze-toned fabric blinds create privacy while preserving the view of the lush landscape surrounding this river valley home. Grasscloth covering the foreground storage cabinet adds an unexpected textural element.
   Cleverly integrating ventilation ducts, the painted wood panelled ceiling emphasizes the gracious expansiveness of this tranquil room. Extra-full pale silk drapery flanks the large mahogany framed windows overlooking the forest landscape. Mahogany also completes the St-Marc-des-Carrieres limestone in the custom fireplace surround. The walls are covered in pale grey grass cloth.
   In this much-used lower level room, perimeter bulkheads conceal plumbing and ventilating services, while giving the illusion of greater ceiling height. The wall to wall mirror also serves to visually expand it. The recycled rubber flooring and highly textured stone walls were practical and acoustic choices.
   This lower level relaxation space is much used by the family of four and their friends, whose lives are documented in the colourful collage of photos that is an important element of the décor. Simple, comfortable furnishings are set against a contemporary board and batten wall treatment. Beside the huge ethanol-burning fireplace, a structural niche was filled with a whimsical custom upholstered banquette, its sleek microfiber upholstery contrasting with the highly textured Japanese porcelain face of the fireplace. Together they create a functional and striking focal point.
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