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contents p r e m i e r e i s s u e • s p r i n g | SUMMER 2 0 1 2

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expressions 8 art scene Calgary’s vibrant arts scene is spotlighted in our photo feature of some of the city’s most intriguing art

editor’s choice 12 a modern vintage Peggy and Brien Perry pop the cork on their River Park home

innovations 18 eye on custom homes The City’s sophisticated side evident in its infill homes

42 interior design Introducing a chic alternative to stainless steel appliances

home spotlight 22 Astoria custom homes

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12 ON THE COVER. Peggy and Brien Perry’s custom infill home across from River Park. Designed by Florida-based architect Bill Weber of Weber Design Group Inc.

The Charleston recreates the distinct style of an English Manor with sophisticated high-pitch rooflines, tall windows and natural stone detailing

26 theriver As the city’s first luxury estate condominium, TheRiver features incomparable opulence, impeccable location, perfect functionality and a life of refinement and culture

30 albi homes

As Albi celebrates their 30th anniversary this year, the multiple SAM Award winner’s Wellington model is available in several Calgary and area communities

34 ovation at westgate park

Ovation’s outstanding features deserves all the accolades they get, as this final building in Intergulf-Cidex’s trinity of towers on Bow Trail continues to impress

38 Legend developments

Spring Valley Lane mountain estates offers a community of distinctive, top quality custom homes tucked away on a quiet tree-lined street in Calgary’s southwestern edge

feature 46 street of dreams Peek inside the lavish custom lifestyle that is Willow Creek at Bearspaw

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editor’s message

If I had a million dollars … Calgary is without a doubt one of the wealthiest cities in Canada; we’ve got more corporate head offices than any other Canadian city except Toronto, we’re the heart of the oil and gas industry, and we’ve got one of the youngest, most upwardly mobile populations of any major North American metropolitan centre. In short, the economy has been relatively good to Calgarians. We’ve got money to spend and, especially when it comes to our homes, we’re not shy about it. It should come as no surprise, then, that the $1 million-plus new home and condo market is so robust. In Calgary’s inner-city alone, more than 721 homes valued at over $1 million have been sold in the last four decades. That’s nearly 200 multi-million-dollar homes a year — recession or no — and that’s just the inner city! When you take into account prestigious suburbs like Elbow Valley, Heritage Pointe, Hawk’s Landing, Watermark at Bearspaw, among others, as well as the numerous luxury penthouse condo suites, the number climbs even higher still. No one knows this fact more than we here at Source Media Group, where our New Home Living and Condo Living monthly publications have kept our finger on the pulse of Calgary’s new home market for the past eight-plus years. Most of what we present in those magazines, however, is not truly custom. Because, when we say custom, we mean custom — and so do Calgary’s high-end builders. This is where DOMUS comes in. DOMUS is a Latin word derived from ancient Roman usage where a domus was the type of house occupied by the upper classes and wealthy. It’s also the name of this brand-new, high-gloss, high-end full-colour magazine that focuses exclusively on Calgary’s upscale home market — be they funky infills, sprawling acreages, suburban estate homes or high-end high-rises. Calgary is far from being a cowtown, and DOMUS proves it. In this, our inaugural issue, we explore this exclusive world guided by a host of veteran homes writers. The esteemed Richard White brings us his unique take on the infill history of Calgary in his Eye on Custom Homes column. For our Editor’s Choice feature, well-known local real estate writer Andrea Cox talks to Peggy and Brien Perry, who were generous enough to allow their lovely new home to grace the cover of our first issue. There’s more to luxury living than just having a big house though, so we’ll be including lifestyle features too, like our regular photo feature on art galleries. Meanwhile, local designer par-excellence, Alykhan Velji brings his inimitable style to his design and décor column. Of course, bottom line, it is all about the homes themselves, and we’ll feature several each edition — complete with bigger, better and more photos than any other real estate publication in town. In this issue we turn the spotlight on Albi Homes, Astoria Custom Homes, Legend Developments and, on the condo side, THERIVER luxury condos (home to the most expensive condominium ever sold in Calgary) and Ovation by Intergulf-Cidex. It’s lifestyles of the rich and famous, Calgary-style, and it’s available free three times a year mailed to select neighbourhoods plus on exclusive DOMUS racks located around town at places like the Calgary Farmer’s Market, Southcentre and Bankers’ Hall. So, whether you’re a builder, buyer or just like to look at the pretty pictures, welcome to our DOMUS. Thanks for visiting, and we hope you come again.

PUBLISHER

Source Media Group info@sourcemediagroup.ca ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER

Jim Zang jim.zang@sourcemediagroup.ca Editor

Pepper Rodriguez pepper.rodriguez@sourcemediagroup.ca ART director

Jean Faye Rodriguez jean.rodriguez@sourcemediagroup.ca graphic designers

Dave Macaulay dave.macaulay@sourcemediagroup.ca Megan Sereda megan.sereda@sourcemediagroup.ca EDITORIAL ASSIsTANT

Aaliya Essa aaliya.essa@sourcemediagroup.ca EDITORIAL

Andrea Cox, Alykhan Velji, Richard White PHOTOGRAPHY

Don Molyneaux, Ken Taylor of VRPhotos, Jim Zang ADVERTISING SALES

Lynn Leong lynn.leong@sourcemediagroup.ca accounting

Donna Roberts accounting@sourcemediagroup.ca Issue 01 • ISSN 1929-4581 (Print) ISSN 1929-459X (online) Copyright 2012 by Source Media Group Corp. Material cannot be reprinted in whole or in part without the expresssed written persmission of the publishers. Source Media Group agrees to advertise on behalf of the advertiser without responsibility for claims or misinformation made by the advertiser and acts only as an advertising medium. Source Media Group reserves the right to refuse any advertising at its sole discretion. DOMUS™ is published three times per annum with copies available for distribution at more than 1,500 locations every month. DOMUS™ accepts editorial submissions by electronic mail only. Please forward any submissions including all personal information to: cleditor@sourcemediagroup. ca. Unsolicited submissions will not be returned. Advertising information available only by request.

Pepper Rodriguez, Editor pepper.rodriguez@sourcemediagroup.ca

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Contact: Source Media Group Corp., 207, 5809 Macleod Trail S.W. Calgary, Alberta T2H 0J9; Tel 403.532.3101 Toll free 1.888.932.3101; www.sourcemediagroup.ca


art of this world

CYBELE YOUNG “Where Did You Find These?” Newzones Gallery Cybele Young is a Canadian artist who studied at the Ontario College of Art and Design. Young has been featured in many publications for her work creating tiny

IGOR POSTASH

sculptures using Japanese paper. Since her

“Town Where I Hide - Sunday” - Webster Gallery

time in college she has received many awards

Igor Postash is an artist who wears his heart on his sleeve, or rather his canvas.

and grants, including spending last summer

Postash came to Canada from Kiev, and his past certainly has had an effect on

in Paris for four months, the Canadian

his work as he uses this as a medium to communicate various emotions. Postash

Council rewarded her with the artist’s

is an artist that feels every brush stroke, his sense of humour can be seen in his

residency grant.

work, helping bring his paintings life.

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art scene

Stev’nn Hall

Réal fournier

“Sunburst” - Axis Gallery

“Friend’s Horse” - Webster Gallery

Stev’nn Hall, born and raised in Ontario, has been interested in art

Réal Fournier, an artist with a very intriguing and creative

since he knew what art was. He studied at Concordia University in

mind, paints 3D paintings on large canvases. Fournier has

Montreal, where he learned about film, painting and photography.

a unique talent that he continues to perfect. His work is

Hall has a knack for mixing photography with paint, making his

part fantasy, part reality — he has had some pieces first

work both intriguing and bold. His ability to transform a landscape

manifest as a dream, which he then brings to life, and

photo with paints breathes life onto the canvas.

voilà! there it is for all to see.

Clifton Roy Cheek “Avengers” - Gainsborough Gallery Clifton Roy Cheek is an artist with many different talents. At the age of 12 he won his first award, the beginning of a very fruitful career. He then went on to developing his skills with sculpting: wax, clay, polyform, and wood. His bronze cast figures have garnered him the highest praise both nationally and internationally.

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CLéMENT LEMIEUX “Cosmic Kiss” - Webster Gallery Born in 1946, Clément Lemieux, originally from Levis, Quebec, even at a young age was drawn to art. He began working with wood, transforming and shaping pieces, as well as creating colours that enhanced them. Lemieux’s popularity grew in Toronto when a sculpture of his sold for $26,000.He was published in the Canadian Arts Sales Index for 2003-2004.

CAROLE DANYLUK “High Rollers” Gainsborough Gallery Carole Danyluk studied at both U of A and U of C, where she received her BA in Art History and a degree in Art Education respectively. It was the time spent at U of C, where she was introduced to bronze casting, that directed her interests as an artist. She describes working with bronze in a way that the artist must truly focus and be “willing to surrender” themselves, as this allows the piece to take shape.

NICOLE ST. PIERRE “Escapade” - Webster Gallery Nicole St. Pierre, originally from Montreal, was born in 1953, and has been a painter for over 27 years. St. Pierre is inspired by all living things around her, as she displays in her paintings, her work is very much a depiction of her free spirit. Her technique, working with vibrant colours and textures, are the details that make her paintings come alive. 1 0 • D O M U S • s p r i n g | s u m m e r 2 01 2


art scene

DENIS CHIASSON “The Reef – Le Recif” Webster Gallery Denis Chiasson is an artist with a background in graphic design; this crosses over into his technique when creating a painting. Chiasson has his own flavour, this comes across in his work quite vividly, as he uses thick lines, which enhance the images. Chiasson also paints females nude, these pieces are very subtle and shy, yet they are very beautiful and stunning.

KEVIN SONMOR “Tors Cove Vanitas” Newzones Gallery Kevin Sonmor is a painter who knows no boundaries. His work can be described as dark and distant, though still present and lively. It’s both modern and classic, creating a fine balance between the different styles. Sonmor has a contemporary edge that is clearly seen in his use of shades, evoking emotions, yet still maintaining a little mystery.

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editor’s choice

A modern vintage Peggy and Brien pop the cork on their River Park home By ANDREA COX n PHOTOGRAPHY BY DON MOLYNEAUX

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editor’s choice

L

ike a fine wine that has to be aged toreach perfection, Peggy and Brien Perry’s new home needed some right time to bring out all its charming potential. In the late 1990s, the Perrys fell in love with the location of a 50-by-125-foot corner lot across from River Park in Calgary’s inner city neighbourhood of Altadore. They were less enthused, however, with the 2,000-square-foot 1957 ranch-style fixer-upper that graced the property.

“The home needed some attention, but it was everything that we could afford at the time,” says Brien. Both of them loved the location, though, saying it was perfect for raising their three young children. Fast-forward 13 years — with their kids all away to college, the Perrys are now hip empty nesters with a passion for entertaining. “We love good food and wine,” says Peggy, one of Calgary’s best-known wine connoisseurs and the vice-president of Willow Park Wines & Spirits. They felt it was the right time to bring forth their vision for a modern dream home that brings together their shared love for entertaining and passion for travel and remain on the original lot that they have come to call home. Although their initial plan was just to renovate the existing home, it soon became apparent that a total tear-down was inevitable. “We really didn’t start out with the vision of building a new home,” says Brien. “We got a quote for a new roof and new windows and the energy guys came in and just laughed about the lack of insulation and it just went on. In the end it was smarter for us to build new.” When the decision was made, serious plans began in earnest in January 2011 and the new home was built less than a year later and the Perrys were able to spend Christmas last year in their new home. They are currently working on the landscaping. Brien and Peggy are ardent design fans, and the couple took a hands-on approach in creating their dream home. Peggy managed the project – she was on-site four hours per day – and, together, the couple clothed the interior spaces. “We had a strong vision of what we wanted and we decided that we would build and furnish the house ourselves and if we didn’t like it at the end, then we would hire an interior designer to fix it,” Peggy says with a laugh. Inspired by European architecture, the couple, who are avid travelers, wanted to emulate the feel and flavour of Italian design as well as create a feeling of being in the park with three-storey glass curtain walls, wide-open spaces for entertaining, a fabulous kitchen and a “nice wine cellar.” 14 • D O M U S • s p r i n g | s u m m e r 2 01 2


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editor’s choice

Armed with some preliminary sketches penned by Brien and a mortgage financed with RRSPs, the couple commissioned Florida- based architect Bill Weber of Weber Design Group Inc. to assist with the final drawings. “We had seen his work and really liked it,” says Brien. With an atypical floor plan spread across five levels, this 6,800-squarefoot contemporary glass palace boasts breathtaking views of the park and is filled with Italian furnishings sourced from Milan (the couple brought home a container of goodies from a shopping trip last March). There are several comfortable sitting areas spread across the second level great room, where a three-sided fireplace set in a marble column in the middle of the room brings a sense of European grandeur amidst the glass house aesthetic. The design blends technical mastery with an artist’s attention to detail. There is the danger that a modern minimalist design can tend to look cold, but by using materials with rich textures the overall effect has created a cozy, contemporary balance. The Perry home features Carrera marble from Tuscany, maple hardwood sourced from Quebec, hand-crafted stained glass feature windows and hand-blown glass fixtures sourced from Europe. Interesting design features abound from sexy sliding barn doors to a stunning three- storey foyer with custom-designed glass and mirror art. “We chose things that we loved and we used art to inspire us,” explains Peggy. The wine cellar is 11-feet-by-7.8feet with a cement floor and two cement walls. The ceiling and other two walls are insulated to keep house heat away. A small slot in the cement floor was left to allow for natural humidity. “We have not calculated it out ‘to the bottle’, but estimate that the cellar could comfortably hold 800 to 1,000 bottles,” Brien says. The home also exudes an ethos of sustainability with a wood-burning oven that can heat up 2,000 square-feet, and solar panels to heat the domestic hot water. One boiler supplies the needs of the infloor heating and three fan coil furnaces. The end result is just what the couple envisioned. “We don’t have a lake place or a mountain place, so this is our gathering place — a place where our three children and their families can come and visit,” says Peggy, while seated in a brushed leather Italian armchair overlooking the park. “It’s comfy.” Asked what their favourite part of the home is, Brien says: “Our favourite part is a difficult choice, since many aspects of the home worked out much like we had hoped. If we have to pick a favourite it would be the feeling of being in the park while inside the house because of the floor to ceiling windows.” As for the price, as the old saying goes: if you have to ask, you can’t afford it.  D 1 6 • D O M U S • s p r i n g | s u m m e r 2 01 2


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eye on custom homes

Calgary’s infill tradition The City’s sophisticated side evident in its infill homes STORY By Richard White n PHOTOGRAPHY BY JIM ZANG

C

algary has one of the most diverse and sophisticated housing markets in Canada — everything from rambling ranches to palatial penthouses, from intriguing infills to magnificent manors. This is not surprising given Calgary has some of the most innovative and leading architects, home builders and developers in North America. For example, did you know Calgary has the first man-made lake community in Canada? Lake Bonavista was developed in 1967. One of the most interesting phenomena of Calgary’s housing market in the past 40 years has been the ever-increasing demand for new inner-city homes, i.e. infills. The original “skinnys” were created in the ‘70s when 50-foot lots were subdivided into two 25foot lots so two houses could be built where once only one stood. This trend continued until the mid ‘90s when the demand for larger inner-city homes grew and custom home builders responded by tearing down the tiny cottages and building a single new home on the 50-foot lot. For some, these are technically not an infill as the lot has not been subdivided and density of housing not increased. Others, however, say any new construction where the density of development on the lot has increased is infill development. Recently, when I questioned Ross Aitken Sr., of RE/MAX Central, about infills, he indicated that “within Calgary’s Real Estate community, an infill would be described as a new home built on an old lot

in an existing community, typically a 25-foot lot or maybe a 30 or 35-foot lot, but rarely would the term “infill” be used in marketing a home on a lot larger than 35-feet.” He went on to share some interesting factoids. Calgary’s first million dollar, 25-foot lot infill was sold in 2006 in the community of Parkhill (photo at left). Since then, over 57 “skinnys” have sold for over one million! And furthermore, since 1975, over 721 inner-city homes have sold for over $1 million. The CM16GT Box The “sweet spot” for infill development is the CM16GT Box (the area bounded by Crowchild, Macleod, 16th Avenue North, Glenmore Trail). Don’t believe me? Just take a walk or a drive in this area and you will discover a construction site on nearly every block. Most cities would die to have such a strong demand for high-end housing in their inner-city. It is a testament to Calgary’s evolution of our inner-city as a place of status just like New York, London and Paris. Did you know Calgary boasts one of North America’s largest and successful infill projects over the past 15 years — Garrison Woods? This 1,600-unit Phase One redevelopment of Calgary’s historic inner-city Canada Armed Forces base was the vision of Mark McCullough, who was General Manager, Real Estate Alberta, Canada Lands from 1996 to 2010. McCullough championed “new urbanist” principles to create a mixed-use, mixed-density community of townhouses, single-family, multi-family and refurbished military homes that is now one of our most fashionable and desirable communities. s p r i n g | s u m m e r 2 01 2 • D O M U S • 1 9


custom homes

Wayne Gambell, owner/ president City Core Developments.

MLS.ca Surfing Recently, I surfed mls.ca for homes over one million in the CM16GT Box. I was shocked to find over 100 “million dollar” homes on the market inside The Box. And when I searched for those over $2.5 million, I found 25 homes available. Furthermore, my assumption that most of the million dollar homes would be in the traditional tony ‘hoods of Mount Royal, Roxboro, Elbow Park, Britannia, Bel-Aire and along the Briar Hill and Crescent Heights escarpments was wrong! They were scattered more or less evenly throughout The Box. Again, a very positive sign that Calgary’s posh new home market is not isolated in the suburbs, or in a few inner-city neighbourhoods. Today, a new multi-million dollar home is just as likely to be found in Altadore or West Briar Hill as it is in Mount Royal. And it is not just single family homes that are commanding multi-million dollar listings. In May, a 5,626-square-foot condo in the uberexclusive, new TheRiver project by Vancouver’s Ledcor Properties along the Elbow River in Mission sold for a cool $8.9 million. Custom Home Builders from A to U: Recently, while dog sitting in Altadore, a quick 30-minute walk with Roz uncovered 14 different custom home builders — from Astoria to Urban Image Fine Homes. City Core Developments is probably the largest inner-city home builder — their signs are everywhere. Wayne Gambell, Owner/President, City Core, informed me that “while infill housing started 2 0 • D O M U S • s p r i n g | s u m m e r 2 01 2

Just Outside the CM16GT Box Did you know that Currie Barracks (east of Crowchild at Richard Road) is quickly becoming Calgary’s newest millionaire infill community, with a number of builders (Mission, Empire and Greenboro) offering tony estate homes. The one that really caught my attention was Valour Park Townhomes by Greenboro. Not your average townhouses, they have three levels and underground parking garages with elevators that take you directly to your home. Some even have detached garages at the back as a garden home, for visiting friends, kids or parents. Who knew Calgary has trendy million dollar townhomes, like New York or Paris? in the ‘70s, it really took off in the ‘80s. These are what we call first generation infills and the changes in design since the early years has been dramatic. Now we build three storey homes, basements under the garage, second stories on top of the garage, extended decks with living space underneath and underground tunnels from the garage to the home. He goes on to say “customers are looking for green alternatives, curved staircases, butler pantries, basement wine cellars, exterior fireplaces and kitchens.

Last Word I am always surprised by the diversity of architectural styles being created by this second wave of inner-city development. No cookie cutter homes here. This is custom home builders’ heaven! Anything goes when it comes to architecture — Tudor, Colonial, Craftsman, Victorian, Mid-Century Modern or Contemporary. Though sometimes I shake my head saying “what were they thinking,” for the most part, I

I was shocked to find over 100 “million dollar” homes on the market inside The Box. Today, the demand is higher than ever for larger lots so we can build bigger homes with more bells and whistles.” This year City Core will build 30 homes in the inner city, all over $1 million. Gambell feels Calgary is fortunate that its inner-city residential communities are very attractive to the high-end homeowner. “When I talk to people from the US, I have to explain that in Calgary, living near downtown is very desirable. If there was no demand for inner city redevelopment, our inner-city communities would have become rundown like they often are in American cities.”

find the eclectic design sensibility of both the old and the new visually stimulating. Urban village guru, Jane Jacobs said a vibrant neighbourhood should evolve organically with one third new, one third old and one third renovated. Calgary’s inner-city communities fit Jacob’s mold for vibrant communities to a T!   D n  Richard White is managing director of 3D visualization at Riddell Kurczaba Architecture and former executive officer of the Calgary Downtown Association. He has been writing on urban art, culture and architecture for more than 20 years.


home spotlight

ASTORIA custom homes English charm Nobody knows refinement like the English, and this feeling of cultured elegance and pampered finery exudes from every room of Astoria Custom Homes’ magnificent The Charleston show home in Willow Creek at Bearspaw. As part of the Street of Dreams parade, The Charleston can be expected to have a distinctive wow factor and, with a price tag of $2.5 million, it certainly shows. But Astoria goes beyond the mere flash and bang of a show home to create a home that builds on its utter functionality with a distinctive flourish. “It’s a home that the family can truly enjoy, each feature has a function and not just for show. But, saying that, The Charleston does have everything to make a perfect home for entertainment,” says Astoria Custom Homes President Darrel Hasse. The Charleston recreates the distinct style of an English Manor with

Rustic, yet elegant, the showpiece of the great room is the two-way fireplace. Full-height stone surrounded by handcrafted woodwork gives off visual warmth and a timeless appeal.

The gourmet kitchen has all the ingredients of a culinary centerpiece, including traditional-style rich cherry cabinetry, rustic fixtures, granite countertops and the cutting-edge appliances.

sophisticated high-pitch rooflines, tall windows and natural stone detailing. The oversized entry door sets the tone for the handcrafted beauty of the more than 5,000-square-foot home (including the exquisitely developed basement). A perfect union of traditional elegance and modern luxury, The Charleston is visually stunning, yet so utterly comfortable you may never want to leave.

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n PHOTOGRAPHY BY ken taylor of VRphotos


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home spotlight

ASTORIA CUSTOM HOMES The classic elegance of The Charleston comes through with the thorough attention to detail and craftsmanship that Astoria has become known for. Heavy mouldings, paneled walls and the stunning seven-inch-wide hand-scraped hardwood flooring combine for the full-flavoured character of the home. The walk-out basement was designed for entertaining and features the next generation in media rooms, including a 159-inch interactive rear projection video screen complete with multi-colour LED lighting and up-lit bar counter. The master bedroom features eight-foot-high four-panel French patio doors to the rear deck. The beautifully designed ensuite features an ornate barrel ceiling, marble flooring and a freestanding tub and steam shower .

Ranging from a two-bedroom, 906-square-foot suite, to a 3,323-square-foot four-bedroom plus loft residence, Ovation infuses form and function with contemporary flair in all their 18 available floor plans.

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home spotlight

THERIVER THERIVER’s stately flow There comes a time in every city when a high-end development will come to define the luxury lifestyle of residents. In Calgary, that development is THERIVER. As one of the city’s first luxury estate condominiums, it features incomparable opulence, impeccable location, perfect functionality and a life of refinement and culture. Located by the serene banks of the Elbow River in the innercity community of Mission-Cliff Bungalow, TheRiver recently broke Calgary’s real estate records as the most expensive condo ever sold in the city when a 5,260-square-foot unit sold for $8.99 million. Comprising 27 tower units and 11 townhomes, TheRiver has already sold close to half of The Tower suites in this 38 unit development, including four sales of over $5 million each. THERIVER represents a new benchmark for excellence and luxury never before seen in Calgary.

THERIVER’s dreamy gourmet kitchen is the envy of every chef in the city and includes the ultra-exclusive Downsview cabinetry, which is making its Calgary debut here. It also features elegant Caesarstone countertops and the most modern appliances, including Wolf Ranges and Subzero refrigerators. 2 6 • D O M U S • s p r i n g | s u m m e r 2 01 2


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home spotlight

THERIVER Interiors feature floor to ceiling windows that incorporate views of the Elbow River and Rocky Mountains into your home. Fully engineered, custom stained hardwood flooring in a variety of patterns and colours to suit every need, handsome built-in cabinetry are an added option that adds to the appeal. Sumptuous, elegant, lavish — these are the words that will come to mind when you enter this beautiful new ensuite bath. Enjoy your own stylish custom designed vanity with Caesarstone surfaces and natural stone-polished backsplash. Equipped with a sleek shower with ceiling-mounted square rain showerhead, it’s the perfect way to get you started in the morning. THERIVER redefines quality in thought, design, and execution. South facing triple glazed windows captures passive solar heat in winter, while extended west-facing fins reduce heat intake during summer.

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home spotlight

ALBI HOMES 30 years of uncompromising quality and craftsmanship For the past three decades, Albi Homes has made a name for itself as Calgary’s most trusted builder of upscale family homes, a premiere luxury home builder that focuses on uncompromising quality, service and craftsmanship. The innovative design and value that goes into all of their homes becomes obvious as soon as you enter one, but having the ability to create these residential jewels in some of the best communities in and around the city is an integral part of their success as well. Started by Tom Mauro in 1982, the company has been built upon a strong foundation of timeless European architecture and old world values. Mr. Mauro’s values of honesty, integrity and commitment to excellence and attention to detail form the core values of Albi Homes and these same values continue to be the driving force behind the company today. “We are very fortunate to be able to partner with the city’s best land developers and build in great communities,” says Robert Toth, Marketing Associate at Albi Homes. Albi currently has show homes in: Timberline Estates, Aspen Summit Park, Elgin Estates, Auburn Bay, Cranston Estates, Cranston Exclusives, and the Shores of Westmere Estates. “Soon, we will be opening spectacular, new show homes in other prestigious estate communities, including: Artesia in Heritage Pointe, The Ridges of Valley Pointe Estates, The Vistas of Tuscany, and in Riverstone Estates in Cranston where we will be building full custom homes on lots that back on to the Bow River and Fish Creek Park. All of these communities are open and selling currently.”

Wellington 5 in Aspen Summit Park. The romantic air that The Wellington exudes has made it one of Albi Homes’ most popular models with its variations offered in five of its communities. The Wellington starts at 3,076 square-feet.

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Albi Homes knows all about building great homes, but the real enjoyment comes in the fact that they are building relationships with their customers. “Our goal is not to be the biggest builder in the city, but instead offer the best quality, luxury homes and an unparalleled level of customer service. We have a 96 per cent referral rate and we are working hard to bring it up to 100 per cent,” says Toth. “We demonstrate transparency and, through an independent third party, we survey all of our homeowners on their building experience and on their satisfaction levels with Albi. This feedback is available for anyone to inspect.” As Albi celebrates their 30th anniversary this year, the multiple SAM Award winner, including finalist for the 2011 Builder of the Year, is now in premier communities building some of the most distinctive family homes with a critical eye on detail. So be it by a lake, on top of a ridge, by the banks of a river or a pond, near a golf course or in the inner city, Albi Homes is sure to have a location and a premium estate home to suit their market’s needs. 3 2 • D O M U S • s p r i n g | s u m m e r 2 01 2

Madison 7 in Aspen Summit Park. Featuring 2,866 square-feet of bright, open-concept flows on two levels, The Madison caters to family function with abundant storage, a second level laundry room, and a spacious bonus room for ample hospitality and ease.


home spotlight

ALBI HOMES

Monticino 3 in Timberline Estates. The 3,825-square-foot Monticino 3 is a true demonstration of Albi elegance in Timberline Estates. The French Country architecture sets the tone of arrival with 10-foot ceilings on the main and nine-foot ceilings on the upper floor.

Albi Renova. Another component of the Albi family of companies is Albi Renova. The attention to detail and craftsmanship that goes into building a new home is the same level of quality and expertise that is available to homeowners considering a renovation project. The team at Albi Renova work hand in hand with their customers to make the whole experience memorable and stress free. s p r i n g | s u m m e r 2 01 2 • D O M U S • 3 3


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home spotlight

ovation at westgate park Applause, applause Ovation at Westgate Park’s outstanding features deserves all the accolades it gets, as this final building in Intergulf-Cidex’s trinity of towers on Bow Trail continues to impress. With incomparable prices to match, Ovation stands testament to Calgary’s resilient condo market. Just steps away from Westbrook Mall and Shaganappi Point Golf Course, Ovation is a thriving community that offers the utmost in active living, whether it’s golf in the summer or cross-country skiing in the winter. There are also tons of choices for shopping, dining and recreational pursuits all nearby, and downtown is a short 10-minute drive away. It is also just across from the future LRT station so the rest of Calgary is just as accessible. The 32-storey high-rise is the tallest of the three buildings in the Westgate Park complex that includes Brava and Encore. Fourbedroom lofts and three-bedroom townhomes with all the upgrades are upwards of $1 million. Ovation has 157 highly polished apartment style units, including suites with a second-level loft, it also has 16 townhome residences — all are of the sleekest urban design on this side of the Rockies that gives Ovation its aura of unmatched luxury. Best of all, each suite is ready for occupancy. n PHOTOGRAPHY BY ken taylor of VRPhotos

Ovation’s bathrooms feature contemporary wood cabinetry with stainless steel hinges, granite countertops and imported ceramic tile flooring for a sleek, relaxing spa-like ambience. s p r i n g | s u m m e r 2 01 2 • D O M U S • 3 5


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home spotlight

ovation at westgate park Smart floor plans combine with ample natural light and, expansive windows to let you take advantage of an airy free-flowing living space. Tasteful hardwood flooring throughout and sophisticated design features, such as granite countertops and ceramic tile flooring in the kitchen, make being at home one of the most natural things in the world. With their expansive floorto-ceiling windows, every unit has been carefully designed to take advantage of the spectacular views surrounding the community — the majestic Rocky Mountains and rolling foothills, the Bow River Valley, and the scintillating skyline of the city’s downtown core. Each home is air-conditioned and reflects a natural elegance and modern feel. The flexible nature of the space allows it to easily shift from your restful haven at the end of the work day to an intimate party setting for friends.

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home spotlight

LEGEND developments Legendary appeal You’ve heard about luxury custom homes, but how about an ultra-luxurious custom community? This is just what Legend Developments offers in its Spring Valley Lane mountain estates, a community of distinctive, top quality custom homes tucked away on a quiet tree-lined street in Calgary’s southwestern edge. There are 20 lots of over 10,000 square-feet in this exclusive gated, hillside community and only five lots are left. Lots range in price from $475,000 to $490,000. And their 4,528-square-foot show home exemplifies the best of what they have to offer. Legend Development’s Dak Kerr says he wanted to create a “street like the one where you grew up” — with comfortable, nature friendly homes designed to compliment the topography and offer a unique sense of style based on Arts and Crafts features and finishes. Each home in this bareland condominium development is designed to fit the slope and shape of the lot, with mature Aspen trees providing a sense of nature and privacy. Sandstone retaining walls on each walk-out lot complete the uncommonly natural feel of this urban enclave. Not only are you surrounded by natural landscaped beauty of shady lane, but all lots have views of the rolling foothills and Rocky Mountains beyond.

n PHOTOGRAPHY BY don molyneaux

The show home is a walk-up bungalow that features a distinctive retro vibe, with dramatic Tigerwood hardwood flooring and a massive sandstone column housing the gas fireplace, it’s easy to imagine Don Draper and the rest of Mad Men cast meeting in its swanky, spacious great room. s p r i n g | s u m m e r 2 01 2 • D O M U S • 3 9


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home spotlight

LEGEND developments The frameless shower wall/door in the attached ensuite of the master bedroom is an example of the dedication to elegance that Legend has for all their homes, but comfort is never far behind either as they also have in-slab floor heating. Nine-foot ceilings with elegant flat-painted ceilings are standard for any Legend home, and combine with the Tigerwood hardwood flooring and the tall windows for an executive chic look. The show home also has a custom designed and built Maplewood sliding door ensemble and wall panels. The Subzero/Wolfe kitchen appliances blend with the back-painted glass backsplash to create a seamless flow. The wide and welcoming foyer of this walk-up bungalow is enhanced by the elegant wood railing and glass panels and its open-toabove design.

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interior design

white on white Introducing a chic alternative to stainless steel appliances n By Alykhan Velji

Stainless steel has long reigned as the appliance colour of choice in any modern kitchen. However, those opting for a dramatic design statement can now delight in the cool, crisp lines of the new Brilliant White collection from Miele as the minimalist look is taken to the extreme. 4 2 • D O M U S • s p r i n g | s u m m e r 2 01 2


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interior design

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seamless, stylish kitchen has always been the goal for any home, and achieving that classy, upscale look is easier than ever with Miele’s latest kitchen innovation. Founded in 1899, this German manufacturer didn’t always make high-end appliances. They actually got their start producing cream separators. Fast-forward 113 years and they fit the highest-end appliances in the market with gold-plated fittings. A steadfast dedication to their mantra: “Immer Besser” — a German phrase that translated to English means “Forever Better” — has allowed Miele to stay atop the ultra competitive world of kitchen appliances. I witnessed first-hand what the saying really meant when I was asked to join the Miele team in Canmore for a fabulous night of gourmet food and wine in one of their custom kitchens. Copious amounts of food and wine later, Miele shared one of the secrets to their success: custom functions that nobody else can do, like German manufacturing, quality control, and of course the automatic programs that each appliance can offer. The night in Canmore was to celebrate the launch of their new Brilliant White line of appliances. The look really accentuates the cool, puristic, design of the kitchen. This look, which has been a huge trend in Europe, was specifically designed for integration into an extravagant ambience for the discerning customer. Finally, designers and consumers have a choice in the appliance market that isn’t stainless steel or hidden by cabinet doors. High gloss white is an attractive option in high-end kitchen design. The clean lines and seamless look lends itself well to the hyper-modern look that so many designers, and homeowners, gravitate to. They make a kitchen sparkle, but don’t overpower. Homeowners seeking out increasingly sophisticated and stylish design statements in their kitchens can now enjoy the ultimate with the Brilliant White Collection by Miele that accentuates sophisticated, contemporary design of the kitchen. The Brilliant White collection includes a Speed Oven, Steam Oven, Convection Oven, Built-in Coffee System, and a Plate/Cup Warming Drawer. Items that are a must in any high-end kitchen. The best part: not only do they look good, they perform, offering chefs (or wannabe-chefs like me) all the chance to prepare perfectly cooked meals with their Master Chef function, with over 100 automatic programs built right in. Taking the guesswork out of cooking with amazing results every time. “Immer Besser” indeed.  D n  Alykhan Velji is the president of Alykhan Velji Design and has been featured on TV shows such as HGTV’s Designer Superstar Challenge and My Rona Home. He specializes in both residential and commercial interior design projects.

A kitchen with white interior design is undoubtedly an ideal setting irrespective of the fact, whether you prefer contemporary or classic, rustic or ubane. As white is a neutral shade, there is endless decorating options ranging between contemporary and classic. 4 4 • D O M U S • s p r i n g | s u m m e r 2 01 2


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feature

Street of Dreams

Peek inside the lavish custom lifestyle that is Willow Creek at Bearspaw n By PEPPER RODRIGUEZ

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The Charleston from Astoria Homes (photo A, B and C). Photos by Ken Taylor of VRPhotos. The Palasso from Canterra Custom Homes (photo D, E and F).

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illow Creek at Bearspaw may be just a few minutes from Calgary’s western border but the lavish, luxurious lifestyle on display at the Street of Dreams show home parade is worlds alway, as the custom show home event of the summer unveils the kind of multi-million dollar mansions most of us can only dream of. “We want to give Calgarians an opportunity to see the kind of lifestyle available with custom home building, the skill of the builders, the latest trends in home décor and architectural design,” says Street of Dreams President David Straughan. The four custom home builders featured in the Willow Creek at Bearspaw parade certainly live up to expectations, as the show homes are all equally breathtaking in their design and execution. Each sits on a two-acre lot, featuring living space from 4,000 to 5,000 square-feet and worth from $2.3 million to $2.9 million. On display are The Charleston from Astoria Homes, The Palasso from Canterra Custom Homes, The Castello from Hyatt Homes, and The Dante from Laratta Homes. The Street of Dreams is a pay-as-you-enter show home event and will run until July 2. It will be the first of two high-profile Street of Dreams events in Calgary this year, with the next one planned for the fall in Heritage Pointe just south of the city. For more information, go to www.streetofdreams.com  D

The Castello from Hyatt Homes (photo A, B and C). The Dante from Laratta Homes (photo D, E and F).

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DOMUS Spring/Summer 2012  
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