When you're in the lower level of a home, it's never a bad thing to be taking in a lake view as you play a friendly (or competitive) game of pool.
Or to be able to head out a nearby set of patio doors to a covered patio for a little barbecueing. Or to simply lounge languidly in a sitting area framed by a set of windows that affords another soothing view of the wetlands that run behind 54 Highland Creek Rd., Artista Homes' newest show home.
The walkout basement is only one outstanding feature of the two-storey home, which encompasses more than 3,500 square feet spread over three levels of creative yet functional living space.
"Our designers are always pushing the design envelope," said Artista sales representative Elliot DiDomenicantonio. "It wasn't an easy home to create, what with all the intricate design details. All the effort was worth it, though. The response to the design has been amazing."
Little wonder, as each level is defined by the same three key elements: space, light and style. Take the great-room area, for example. Instead of putting the kitchen, dining area and family room into one large space, Artista's designers sunk the family room down three steps and put down oak hardwoods rather than the grey tile that runs throughout the kitchen and dining area, further defining the area.
A series of huge windows on the rear wall serves two purposes, said DiDomenicantonio.
"All the space is nice, but by itself, its impact is only minimal," he said. "But put in all kinds of big windows, high ceilings and some unique finishes and features, the main living area becomes what it should be -- a wonderful spot to entertain or enjoy family life.
"Little things like the tempered-glass divider (with stainless steel railing) and sunken living room keep the spaces separate but connected, while the hardwoods tone the area down a bit."
Though the scheme is on the modern side -- whites and greys are predominant -- it works. Grey quartz countertops provide contrast beside white (glossy) thermofoil cabinetry, while a grey porcelain tile floor, which looks very much like concrete, adds texture and a modern sort of warmth. There's even room for a dinette area for four adjacent to patio doors, which helps maximize the wetlands view.
A four-foot-by-10-foot island with eating nook for four, built-in ovens, gas cooktop (with pop-up hood fan), a double sink and big pantry add utility to an area that's extremely easy to navigate by dint of wide aisleways.
A wide foyer with an office to the right (with sliding, tempered-glass door) and tempered-glass windows that provide a sightline into the family room round out the main level with style and functionality.
Whereas most of today's new-home designs place the stairway at the front of the house, Artista's designers opted to place it off the kitchen -- another unique feature.
"Our designers felt that people often focused too much on the stairs, so they put them out of the way," DiDomenicantonio said. "That allowed us to do something a little different upstairs."
That different feature is a 10-foot-long saltwater aquarium that occupies the right side of a spacious loft area (with a huge window on its rear wall) on the upper level's first landing.
"The idea with Artista is to always do something different," he said. "It's a creative touch that adds character to an area that could be used as a reading area, sitting area or office."
Moving up to the next level reveals three bedrooms -- two good-size secondary bedrooms with walk-in closets, and an imaginatively designed master suite.
"You don't see many homes with master bedrooms like this one," said DeDomenicantonio.
"First, there's an incredible view of the wetlands below. Then the ensuite, set three steps down from the bedroom, is divided from it by black, stainless steel mesh.
"It's a combination of traditional and modern design elements with a jetted tub, tempered-glass shower, dark-grey ceramic tile floor and polished cement sink on a white thermofoil vanity. It's pretty cool."
Although the home is filled with more than its fair share of wow factor, he says livability hasn't been sacrificed.
"The layout of this home is really functional. Minimal hallways create more usable space," DiDomenicantonio said. "If you're looking for a place to get away from it all that allows you to enjoy all life has to offer, this is a home that will allow you to do that."