BY MARIANNE SCOTT | PHOTOS BY JOSHUA LAWRENCE
When Tara and Libral Furtado decided to custom-build their own Craftsmen-influenced dream home, it was a given that, as the owners of Victoria Stonescape, their home would celebrate the beauty of stone.
Tara and Libral Furtado lived in a tiny 1910 farmhouse for nearly five years while the family home they’d dreamed about was being built next door on a three-and-a-half acre lot. “It took all that time because we wanted to do it right and fund it as we went along,” says Tara.
Victoria Design’s Wil Peereboom designed the two-storey, 7,100-square-foot house with its five-car garage, an unfinished basement and another two-car garage underneath the home, created to store “fun” cars not in daily use. Besides the great room and dining room, the house includes five bedrooms, six bathrooms, laundry room, playroom, office and granny suite.
While many Islanders covet ocean views, this family happily looks out over Blenkinsop Lake and tranquil scenes of fields and grasslands.
“We wanted the house to be timeless, traditional and suited to our country-like neighbourhood,” says Tara. With multiple peaked gables, a porte cochère, a mix of stonework and grey-painted cedar shingles, the home’s exterior evokes the Craftsman-era style, with a splash of West Coast.
Libral, who owns Victoria Stonescape, installed the exterior stonework. “When Toyota moved its showroom, they had to blast the new property’s rock,” he says. “The salt-and-pepper rock is beautiful. I brought 150 tons of it here.”
After breaking the rock into smaller pieces, Libral covered the lower four feet of the home’s exterior walls with hand-chiselled stone, using a tight-joint mortarless technique. The same stonework supports a massive chimney and the coach gate, as well as several walls as landscaping features. All the stonework, which took a year to install, resembles an interlocking puzzle. Double insulation Pella windows and doors, and two heat-pump systems make the house energy efficient.
AN ENDURING ESTHETIC
The Furtados were adamant the style of their home, both inside and out, should withstand changing design trends. Seeking elegance, tradition, hominess and durability, they chose to be their own interior designers.
“If it’s too modern or hip, it dates,” says Tara. “We don’t want to renovate, ever.” The house also needed to be hard-wearing to accommodate the three Furtado children, ages 12, nine and six.
The main floor features a sunlit, 1,100-square-foot great room. It begins with the large kitchen with its eight-burner stove and an array of white, beaded-face-frame, Shaker-style cabinets with applied panel mouldings by Jason Good Custom Cabinets. Storage aplenty. Cabinets with leaded-glass fronts flank a custom hood fan with large corbels. The rest of the vast room, with its white coffered ceilings and gentle arches delineating each area, includes a family dining area with a rustic “can-withstand-any-spills” table, a central space with chocolate-leather living-room chairs and a family room with a floor-to-ceiling grey-granite fireplace and flat-screen television.
A playroom filled with toys and books sits next to the kitchen. The couple placed it there because the children like being nearby during meal preparation, and the parents like monitoring what’s going on. A step away from the kitchen, a small bar with a wine cooler leads to a roomy pantry.
ELEGANCE AND HARMONY
Design elements are repeated throughout the house to provide unity and harmony. A warm light-grey paint (Benjamin Moore’s Balboa Mist) covers every wall. The same white baseboards and oversize crown mouldings are installed throughout. Simply White polished quartzite covers every countertop. Its pearly hues are marbled with subtle charcoal streaks. Except for the entry, bathrooms, mudroom and laundry room, all floors and staircases are covered by engineered, wide-plank oak with a matte finish. The floors in the bathrooms, mudroom and laundry room, however, are paved with Aria Deluxe two-foot-square glossy tiles. Their veined white or dark lava colour blends beautifully with the countertops. Hourigan’s Flooring supplied all floor coverings throughout the house.
The entry is grand with its high, peaked windows. It’s the only area with Gregorio Marmoreal marble flooring. Tara likes the rich, polished look of it. “But it’s so vulnerable and scratches so easily, we end up reserving the entry for guests. The family usually enters the house from the garage into the mudroom.”
The 291-square-foot laundry room deserves special mention and may well prompt envy. Rather than the jammed space often allotted to laundry rooms, this is a place you’d like to hang out in. It features two sinks, two washer-dryer sets, massive built-in storage and a substantial island for folding. It even boasts a three-globe crystal chandelier. “I had such a cramped laundry in the farmhouse, I guess I went a bit overboard on this one,” says Tara.
Crystal is one design feature prevalent throughout the home. One day, when shopping for kitchen and bathroom taps at Splashes Bath and Kitchen, a crystal ball atop a sink pop-up stopper caught Tara’s eye.
“I knew at once I wanted these everywhere,” she says. “So all of our knobs, on every drawer and cabinet, are crystal balls. And carrying on this theme, all our chandeliers and sconces are crystal too. I love the way they catch the light and scatter shapes on the ceiling.”
Two staircases, at each end of the house, provide access to the upstairs. “We have two for convenience, privacy and for safety, in case of fire,” says Tara. The master bedroom looks out over the fields; the bathroom features a marble-lined shower and a clawfoot tub. A lengthy walk-in closet stores extensive wardrobes, and another washer-dryer set makes sheet and towel washing a snap. The children each have their own rooms; two of the rooms have chandeliers and one features a whimsical antique automobile fixture. A guest room awaits visitors.
The Furtados are delighted with their spacious home. “We changed the design four times,” says Tara. “For example, we took the office out of the great room, installed arches and added a cathedral ceiling to the master bedroom.
“We took nearly five years to complete it, but it was the right thing. This house will serve us for the rest of our lives.”
Home Designer: Wil Peereboom, Victoria Design
Flooring: Hourigan’s Flooring
Cabinetry and millwork: Jason Good Custom Cabinets
Stonework and masonry: Victoria Stonescape
Bathroom fixtures: Splashes Bath and Kitchen