February 25, 2024

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For three generations — and with the latest arrival of their first grandchild, the start of a fourth — a Toronto household’s Satan’s Glen property has been a spot to collect, to ski, hike and take refuge from the pressures of metropolis life. However the home accommodates greater than household reminiscences. It’s additionally house to a captivating assortment of artwork and people items gathered over a few years of travels in Canada and overseas.

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The unique chalet was constructed within the late sixties by the daddy of one of many present homeowners. The positioning was ideally suited, nestled right into a hill overlooking a large view of ski hills and woods, only a two-hour drive from town. Because the household grew, additions and enhancements had been tacked on as wanted, till finally they realized that greater than a refresh was wanted; it was time for an overhaul. They referred to as in household pal Peter Berton of +VG Architects for assist.

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Peter was already aware of the chalet; he had even visited it socially. “They approached me to do a renovation, however I used to be reluctant — I felt I couldn’t repair it,” he confesses. “It had been added on to over a few years and didn’t make a lot sense architecturally. However I drew up some drawings for them anyway.”

It was not lengthy after work obtained underway that your complete workforce — consumer, architect and native builder Blake Farrow — realized that renovating the chalet was a hopeless trigger. The choice was made to take it down and begin over, designed to take care of the spirit of the previous however with the practicality and luxury of a house constructed for the Twenty first century.

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The brand new chalet was made to match the footprint of the unique. This solved some sensible building challenges, nevertheless it had one other vital impact: it allowed them to recapture favorite views and pathways that had been a part of household life for the previous 50 years. On the identical time, it was an opportunity to proper some wrongs within the configuration of the previous place.

Amongst these had been the exchanging of a cluttered, convoluted format for giant, ethereal rooms made to let in mild and views; to assist the inside communicate to its spectacular environment; and, not least, so as to add loads of locations to show the couple’s treasured art work and sculptures the place they might be loved by all.

From the driveway, the chalet appears smaller and extra intimate than its 3,300-square-foot proportions, with wooden siding stained a smooth greenish black, comparatively modest home windows dealing with the aspect of the hill, and a welcoming mahogany entrance door underneath a beneficiant overhang.

The brand new constructing matches the footprint of the unique, permitting the household to recapture favorite views and pathways. Picture by Picture by Scott Bowlby

However on the opposite aspect, overlooking the ski hills and woods within the distance, the home opens up totally to the sunshine: virtually your complete elevation is totally glazed, and a giant deck off the good room shelters a lower-level walkout from the household room to the woods past and entry to the patio with a constructedin sizzling tub.

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The vault of the good room rises 20 ft or so at its peak, with a glass-railed mezzanine that casts mild into the upper-floor hallway and permits a transparent view of the hills. (The mezzanine and nice room’s A-frame additionally reprises a favorite function of the previous chalet.)

Having lived for years with a cramped, tiny kitchen, explicit care was given to the brand new mannequin. Peter and designer Kimberley Johnston collaborated on the smooth elmwood-and-grey color scheme, white shiplap ceiling and marble-topped island sufficiently big for further prep area or feeding children. To 1 aspect, a beneficiant pantry gives loads of storage.

A slender window set excessive above the sink is completely positioned for a view of the street above the chalet, enabling the viewer to see precisely when the shuttle bus to the ski hills will arrive. One other, a lot greater window together with the kitchen allows a reasonably view of bushes and an abundance of sunshine.

The window gives a show spot for a giant metallic rooster, probably a former weathervane, one in every of many works of folks artwork dotted round the home. One wall of the kitchen is taken up with a wood-lined show case, custom-designed for a rotating assortment of favorite items, from a carved wood turtle from close by Singhampton to hand-painted English pottery.

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The hallway that joins kitchen and eating room is massive sufficient for one of the crucial putting items in the home: an enormous canvas by Saskatchewan artist Greg Hardy, one in every of a number of notable Canadian artworks on show. Across the nook, the eating room gives a comfy spot for household eating surrounded by favorite furnishings and different items: a hand-carved wood bench from Newfoundland set at an previous pine farm desk; clean-lined Japanese chairs from Maruni add a contemporary edge. Within the alcove behind, a tiny wood canine sled workforce, its driver clad in a fur coat, races alongside a shelf.

Downstairs, the household room has turn into a communal gathering place for hanging out, watching motion pictures and enjoying noisy video games of foosball or shuffleboard. As with the remainder of the home, it’s additionally a gallery, with each “vital” works – together with a framed Richard Johnson {photograph} of ice huts – to a parade of traditional folk-art animals. The gathering features a hand-carved rooster by Eddie Mandaggio; a “wind weight” within the type of a cow, used to steadiness old school windmills; and a black solid horse, used to promote Dawes Black Horse Ale.

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For Berton, the way in which the chalet embraces its hillside website and views is the most important success of the brand new design. “Now you actually really feel you might be within the panorama, as an alternative of hidden away from it,” he observes. “Earlier than, it was fairly closed off and darkish, however now it’s open and ethereal. It actually revitalized the entire property.”

However for the householders, it’s a bit extra private. “The furnishings are from a pal’s retailer in Oakville; our contractor is a friend and fellow cottager; we’ve recognized Peter for years, in fact; and even among the supplies used within the building got here from pals of ours in enterprise. So there’s been an actual sense of friendship within the constructing of this home, proper from the start.”

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