When working on the new Copeland Creek Executive Estates forest development project, the team at A.N.T. Homes knew exactly where to find their inspiration: in the property itself.
“We were very fortunate to find and work on this piece of property, so we wanted to celebrate that with what we build here,” says Norm Ezekiel, Operations Manager for A.N.T. Homes.
The 21-acre piece of land outside Midland is covered in beautiful hardwood forest, with mature maples and oaks forming a green canopy above and an open, walkable understorey beneath. The paved Tiny Township trail connects to the property, offering an easy walk or cycle in to Penetanguishene to the east, or along 25 kms of rural trails to the west and south. The site is also just a five-minute drive from the incredible sand beaches of Georgian Bay. The site is rural, but with modern amenities like high-speed internet and natural gas.
To make the most of this location, the team from A.N.T. designed the homes around just 10 gorgeous lots. Most are one to two acres in size, with the largest coming in at 6.3 acres. Homebuyers will be able to choose where on the lot their home is built. “You might want the home near the back of the lot, so you have a winding driveway through the trees. Or you may want it nearer the road to get maximum sun exposure,” says Norm. “Because these large lots are nice and deep, we can accommodate that and give everyone maximum privacy.”
A.N.T. has developed six designs for the site, each of which can be customized to suit the homebuyer’s tastes. All have three bedrooms, 2.5 baths, and are around 2,500 square feet. And while there are significant differences in the layouts, they all share similar design features.
“A.N.T Homes is known for quality custom home styles. Continuing with that trend our team built features that suit the area, and the new homeowners’ needs,” says Norm.
The model home is the Bradley, a bungalow with a three-car garage. It showcases many of the features that are available in all of the homes, along with some upgrades.
Designer Samantha began by considering the property itself. “We wanted to make reference to the forest throughout these homes,” she says.
That’s evident as soon as you walk in through the front door: your eye is drawn toward the back of the house where a massive stone fireplace is flanked by tall windows that look out into the woods. The effect is astonishing, creating the illusion that the fireplace is standing in the woods, and the forest and the living room are one and the same.
That impression is enhanced by the choice of natural hardwood flooring, which captures some of the colour tones on display outside the window.
Colour and texture
Other design features acknowledge the forested setting in more subtle ways. The kitchen cabinetry, for example, has white uppers and natural wood lower cabinets. “It gives you the elegance and clean lines of the white cabinetry, which everyone wants these days, but also gives you the warmth and traditional feel of wood,” says Samantha. “The interiors are all wood – it’s like a little discovery when you open the white pantry door and discover the natural wood tones inside.”
Colour and texture are used in a similar way in the master bathroom, where burnished gold fixtures play against the cool white tile. “We gave much consideration and attention to maximizing the homes’ beauty, while staying kind to the budget,” says Norm. Brushed gold brings a warmth to the room, evoking the look of sunlight dappled through golden autumn leaves.
Small details have been used throughout the homes to make a big difference. The trim around the windows and doors, for example, isn’t something that people always pay attention to, but it can make a big difference in the feel of a room. A.N.T. has installed millwork that harkens back to the complex woodwork used in turn-of-the-century homes – wide door and window casings, baseboards and crown molding with complex profiles that tease the eye and offer visual interest. “You see a lot of homes with tall doors like these, but too many builders forget about the trim that you need to complete the look,” says Samantha.
“Paying attention to the right details can achieve a lot without adding a great deal to the cost.”
In the model home, the trim work is particularly impressive in the dining room, which features wainscotting panels and a coffered ceiling with crown moldings. “If you’re going to have a traditional dining room, which this model does, then it makes sense to lean into that with traditional design details,” Samantha explains.
Not all of the higher-end features are on display, though. One that is shared by every home on site is the state-of-the-art fire suppression system. “There are sprinklers in every room, and water storage tanks on site,” says Norm.
And all of the homes are designed with flexible, livable traffic flows. “We wanted to reflect the way people live and give people options for what will suit them best,” says Samantha.
“At the end of the day, you want your home to be beautiful, but it also has to be functional. I believe we’ve achieved that.”
TEXT A. WAGNER-CHAZALON | PHOTOS ANDREW FEARMAN