111 SPRUCE HILL RD., TORONTO
Asking price: $2,599,000
Lot size: 35.4 feet by 120 feet
Agent: Shea Warrington, Homeward Real Estate Brokerage
Many homes have a centrepiece; one room that is the focal hub. But what do you do if that special space is outside, like at 111 Spruce Hill? For owners Shea Warrington and John Scoffield, the solution was simple: Create a seamless border from the inside kitchen/family room to the courtyard with the help of massive Sunflex bi-folding custom glass doors that span the width of the back of the house.
“I designed the whole house from the barstool [at the outdoor bar] closest to the garage in that courtyard,” said Mr. Scoffield, explaining how central that space is to his home.
The back story
When they first bought the home, there was no barstool. Mr. Scoffield and Ms. Warrington purchased the house from family friends in 2009.
Originally the house was a classic family home: balloon-framed, two storeys, wood siding.
“When we bought the house we knew there was a dominant crack along the grade line, so we also knew that building a new house was imminent,” said Mr. Scoffield.
Building a home from scratch is never an easy task, but Mr. Scoffield and his wife had the added challenge of having four little kids in tow. And given that they had to raze the old establishment to the ground, the family had to relocate for the duration of the new build.
They moved into an apartment not far away on Kingston Road.
“That was a humbling experience for all of us,” he said. “But it also taught us that if we wanted to have something as great as this [house], we had to put in the time. The kids really learned about sacrifice.”
Their sacrifice lasted nearly a year as the house was built, but Mr. Scoffield says it was worth the wait. The end result is a family home, modern in its layout and clean in design.
The new house has two types of spaces: open, communal areas and private “distinctive spaces,” as Mr. Scoffield calls them.
A prime example of this is the “kids’ floor,” which is on the second storey. Each child has his/her own room. The twin boys are on the east side, the girls are on the west. There are two bathrooms on either end of the floor and in the middle, there is an open area, almost like a common room, making the entire floor feel like a sophisticated dorm unit.
The communal kids’ living quarters is perfectly contrasted by the privacy of the master suite on the floor above. The top of the stairs leads to a spacious bedroom with its own rooftop lounge that is nestled amongst the branches of the big trees in their backyard. On a clear day, you can even see a slice of Lake Ontario if you gaze south.
“When you lie down in our bed, you can’t see any houses. All you see is treetop,” said Mr. Warrington. “It really feels like you’re in a treehouse.”
The other luxurious feature of the master suite is the capacious bathroom. It has two vanities, but unlike traditional double vanities, these are separated, allowing each spouse some elbow room while brushing his/her teeth. And it’s not just square footage that makes the bathroom large, it’s also the high ceilings, which permits a statement pendant lamp to hang over the tub.
The main room also is a reflection of the private/open balance concept. In the front, there are two smaller, private rooms: the formal dining room and an intimate sitting area.
The other end of the house features the big co-jointed kitchen/family room and courtyard (when those big bi-folding doors are open). It is clearly the heart of the house, and Mr. Scoffield’s and Ms. Warrington’s favourite space.
Their favourite feature
The courtyard is divided in three main areas: there is the bar (complete with a tap) and a barbecue at the back, a hot tub tucked away against the north end of the house, and the lounge area that seats 20 people.
When the sun is shining, there is no better spot to entertain, Mr. Scoffield insisted, especially since when the doors are open, the kitchen is right there.
The kitchen also holds another detail that is cherished by Ms. Warrington: the live-edge, single slab, silver maple dining table that hangs off the marble kitchen island as if it’s defying gravity.
“My only requirement when John was designing the home was that we were able to eat in the kitchen with our kids,” she said.
Ms. Warrington was surprised to get an offer to buy the house last week, even before the listing became active. She says the home is now sold, “over asking.”