Location: Bradford, Ont.
Builder/developer National Homes
Size 1,504 to 3,455 square feet
Price Mid-$400,000s to $640,000-plut
Sales centre: Corner of Professor Day and Breeze drives, north of Highway 88 in Bradford. Open Monday to Thursday from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday by appointment only; weekends and holidays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
At National Homes's model homes, the question most visitors ask – after the price – is where the furniture comes from, says its marketing director, Deena Pantalone. So the developer approached two popular American-based retailers to furnish its model homes and provide complimentary design consultations, seminars and discounts for purchasers at its latest project in Bradford.
"This is the first time West Elm and Pottery Barn have ever done model homes for a builder in Canada, so that adds a bit of extra cachet," Ms. Pantalone says. "And our purchasers will receive a 10-percent discount at their stores."
Elegant contemporary and casual decor will complement the modern floor plans of three model homes available in the first phase of the Forest, which will offer 54 homes on 36- and 40-foot lots abutting a wooded area by Professor Day Drive and Eighth Line. "We've showcased a new generation of design in terms of looking at the way families live in their homes," Ms. Pantalone says. "The formal living rooms are de-emphasized on all the plans – or in some places we've completely eliminated them – and we've focused on the kitchen and family room areas."
For instance, people can move seamlessly between rear great rooms, open breakfast areas and kitchens anchored with islands rather than peninsulas.
"It's all about the circulation and flow for modern day living," she says. "It allows for more than one chef in the kitchen at a time recognizing that families … might have two up in the morning getting things organized, or cooking in the evening after work, whether a parent and a child or two parents."
Cassidy & Co. Architectural Technologists also formulated the collection of 15 plans with two-to-five bedroom variations to speak to different demographics.
For instance, couples with adult children may gravitate toward the Primrose model, which features a 2,440-square-foot plan with a dining room and an elevated living room with 12-foot ceilings opening above to a landing leading to four bedrooms. Meanwhile, the 3,442-square-foot Yorkshire model befits families with younger children, with a library and teen retreat for studies, two bedrooms with en suite bathrooms and walk-in closets for extra privacy and a large mudroom and two-car garage for surplus gear.
"We've done a great job with drop zones, like the garage accounting for space for everything from strollers and hockey bags to all the recycling bins and garbage," Ms. Pantalone elaborates.
Standard appointments will consist of nine-foot ceilings on the main floor, hardwood floors and oak staircases, as well as stately stone, stucco and brick façades with large windows.
Although occupancy begins in fall of 2015, there are established schools, community centre and new library nearby, in addition to a historic downtown core, farmers' market, big box stores and restaurants.
"You've got … the charm of old Bradford, but modern convenience, as well as being so close to the 400 highway and 20 minutes from the 404 with good access to the GTA," Ms. Pantalone says.