The Dufferin, Signature Homes, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Waverley West Design Offers Something Different

Waverley West design offers something different while keeping families happy

Sat Jul 24 2010, Winnipeg Free Press

By: Todd Lewys

The lot of a home builder — especially those upon whom “custom builder” status hasn’t yet been conferred — is a tenuous one.

While they strive to differentiate themselves from their competitors, there has to be an element of restraint in the designs they conceive. After all, it’s not a good idea to come up with a home design that’s way outside the box. The idea is to be different in a unique, functional way, not over-the-top different.

Consequently, when the designers at Signature Homes drew up the plans for their latest show home – the 2,600 sq. ft.-plus, three-bedroom (plus bonus room) Dufferin, found at 31 Edington Point in Bridgwater Forest — they made sure to pick their spots and really make each feature count.

“All our plans are a bit different,” says Jeff McArthur, Signature Homes’ area manager for Waverley West. “We’re trying to be more customized, yet, for lack of a better term, deliver track-builder pricing.”

Although the Dufferin is all about space — it’s aimed squarely at providing gracious family living — it’s far from being one big empty. A prime example of well-used and defined space is the great room area, which features a novel L-shaped layout. That layout is then filled out nicely with three-quarter inch (dark) ash hardwoods, dark maple cabinetry and shimmering grey (arborite) countertops that resemble granite.

“It actually took on the L-shape by necessity. It’s the result of having a recessed garage (a product of the strict builders guidelines in Bridgwater Forest). Ultimately, it worked out well. You get an island kitchen with dinette area by a big bay window at one end with deck doors in the middle,” he says. “The doors create a nice buffer that separates the kitchen from the living room.”

The result is a great room that’s open but separate — and plenty spacious. That’s due to another thoughtful window feature, adds McArthur.

“Our designers put a recessed window on the back wall because it added space (in this case for placement of a sofa) and light to the area. It creates a really nice look that sets off the area.”

Unlike many of today’s contemporary homes — custom, or otherwise — the living room does not have a built-in entertainment unit or fireplace.

“We simply did a dark feature wall to add colour and definition,” he says. “In the case of this home, we put in a portable entertainment unit. Leaving the wall open allows you to plug in an electric fireplace, which could be complemented by a corner entertainment unit. It’s up to the customer to do what they want to do with the space. We want to give people options.”

Speaking of options, the front-oriented dining room, which is defined by smart cut-out pillars and a vaulted ceiling, can easily be used for alternate purposes.

“We’ve found that a lot of our customers turn it into an office because the dinette area off the kitchen is so large (with seating capacity for six to eight people). When your needs change, it can then easily be turned back into a dining room.”

That flexibility extends to the home’s upper level, where a very pleasant surprise awaits — a 300 sq. ft. bonus room (with three huge windows and walk-in closet, no less).

“It could be anything you want it to be,” says McArthur. “It could be a media room, play room, exercise room or another office. If you’re entertaining downstairs, the kids can come up here to watch TV or a movie.”

A short stairway then takes you up to the bedroom wing, which houses three bedrooms and a four-piece bathroom. The master suite is off by itself down a hallway defined by a one-third wall with vertical cutouts and dark oak capping. Space and style merge into one neat package in a secluded suite that’s sure to make a great spot to recover from the rigours of a long day.

“There’s lots of room in the bedroom for a king-size bed and accessories. There’s an oversized walk-in closet and a spa-like ensuite with white tile floor, corner shower and a dark maple vanity,” he says.

If all the room and style on the main level and second floor isn’t enough, there’s then another 1,100 sq. ft. of space ready for development downstairs, he adds.

“That takes the home to a total of over 3,700 sq. ft.,” he says. “Our designers put a lot of thought into the details that went into this home, and I think it shows.”


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