Oct 15, 2019 | Carpet One Floor & Home
Every once in a very long while, you get the opportunity to really stretch yourself as a designer and truly embrace your creativity: not the client’s, not the contractor’s, but your own. This is truly one of the greatest pleasures in this business of design.
A few years ago, the chance to create a one-of-a-kind show home came across my desk. Colbray Homes, a long-time builder client I had worked with for many years at Red Deer Carpet One, approached me to work on a million-dollar-plus show home, with all the bells and whistles. I was given the opportunity to create the budget, work on the blueprint with their talented team, and select all exterior and interior finishes—whatever I could dream up! From the initial stages of the plan to the last fluffed-up pillow, this project consumed my mind and heart for about a year and a half.
At the outset, I met with the Colbray Homes owners, the sales manager, my design partner, and the architect and began to create a home that would be original, functional, and, above all, appealing to their mainly acreage-oriented clientele. Over a few days, we visited dozens of other show homes to see what we liked, what we didn’t, and what we felt our home needed to stand out in a very competitive market. With input from the whole team, the talented architect was able to present a plan that represented our joint vision. This was no small feat; we bombarded her with ideas, and she managed to bring them all together in one unique plan. After a few small tweaks and revisions, I was ready to start the next eighteen months of planning, shopping, designing, procuring, staging, and decorating.
Our home design market in Central Alberta, Canada, hadn’t yet caught up to the “modern farmhouse” aesthetic that has become so popular in many urban areas, so I decided to use this project to bring my own unique vision of “modern industrial farmhouse” to Red Deer. However, I knew that this design tends to come across as predominately feminine, and I didn’t want that. I wanted the house to come across as gender-neutral, appealing to both men and women.
With a project this size (over 5,000 square feet), it was important that I start early. I knew I wanted to include some custom furnishings that normally take six months to deliver, so this was the first area I decided to work on. Being in the center of the province was perfect for shopping! I spent many hours on the road, driving back and forth between Calgary and Edmonton to find the perfect furniture pieces with a focus on scale, texture, and style. I wanted to pay homage to the queen of modern farmhouse design, HGTV’s Joanna Gaines, and I was even able to purchase some decor from her shop in Waco, Texas.
I spent many weekends and days off hunting for bargains and unique finds that would wow the delighted homeowner as well as the many, many prospective clients who would visit the show home. I also started my shopping quest online. My previous show home projects had been nowhere near this large: I was often only decorating and staging 1,000‒2,000 square feet. With the magnitude of this home, I needed to shop online, and I started stockpiling my finds. I shopped for about six months, loading up my storage room with what eventually became ten carloads of furniture and decor. Luckily for me, my husband was willing to help along the way, hauling heavy and awkward pieces into the house and making sure they were delivered safely.
As construction on the home progressed, the next stage was to select the interior finishes. Thankfully, at Red Deer Carpet One Floor & Home, we have a showroom full of incredible products. We carry flooring, tile, brick, paint, countertops, blinds, draperies, wall coverings, and more: basically, everything I needed for the interior finishes of the home.
Because the home was intended to be family-friendly, I selected a beautiful, neutral, honey-toned luxury vinyl plank flooring throughout the main level and basement. Upstairs, I chose ResistA® SoftStyle carpet over HealthinEx® memory foam cushion. The flooring carries a 50-year warranty and The Beautiful Guarantee®: If it wasn’t what the client wanted, our store would replace it at no cost to them. Luckily, they loved every product we installed!
For wall coverings, I used thin brick (real sliced brick that can be installed over drywall) and shiplap as central features of the house. I used the thin brick on columns in the dining/kitchen area, on columns in the unique micro-office, and as a backdrop to the stunning en suite wetroom shower. The shiplap was painted white and applied to the fireplace, the powder room wall, the mudroom lockers, and the inside of the grid work on the living room ceiling detail.
As a centerpiece of the large kitchen, I chose a gorgeous Cambria countertop and designed a unique front waterfall for the U-shaped island. The island design was something I had never seen before, but I was sure it would be show-stopping—and it was! I decided on classic black-and-white kitchen cabinets with gold and black lighting accents and hardware, complemented by soft mocha hickory for the range hood, floating shelves, and accent countertop. In the bathrooms I went a little bolder, combining a beautiful navy cabinet with gold and black accents.
Another important design surface of the home is the ceiling! For the master bedroom ceiling, I chose beautiful antiqued and distressed hardwood by Provenza Floors. Yes, flooring on the ceiling is a thing! In one of the children’s bedrooms, we installed a distressed, whitewashed Armstrong laminate on the ceiling. The results were beautiful and less costly than any of the reclaimed hardwood options we had been considering.
After all these finishes were painstakingly installed by our team of finishers, tilesetters, and installers, we were finally ready to begin staging, decorating, and furnishing the home. My design partner and I began to pull the overall space together. This was the point when I could really put my creative touch on the space. Mixing chunky-knit textures in cushions and area rugs with distressed leather, linen draperies, and farmhouse decor gave the home its unmistakable style—a modern, but warm and livable, farmhouse look.
After four weeks spent staging, the home was ready to be unveiled and turned over to the builder. What a success!! Feedback on the overall design and style of the home has been overwhelming! In the first week alone, the show home had over a thousand visitors, and Colbray Homes was delighted with the results. Many people have mentioned that they feel it is the nicest home they’ve ever been in!
On top of all the wonderful feedback from the local home building industry, the public, and potential buyers, the home was a finalist in the Canadian Home Builders Association’s 2019 National Awards for Housing Excellence, and we won the Building Industry & Land Development (BILD): Central Alberta Best New Home and Excellence in Interior Design awards. Most importantly, though, Colbray Homes now has a beautiful show home that helps clients visualize and dream big about their new home. After all, a show home’s purpose is to demonstrate possibilities. With this home, I feel I helped accomplish that objective. I’m proud of the results and looking forward to the next opportunity with Colbray Homes: Another show home has just been given the go-ahead!
Angela Orr Felts is one of ten talented, certified interior designers at Red Deer Carpet One Floor & Home. The local flooring and design center has been serving the Central Alberta community for over 40 years. Their innovative showroom layout offers it all, with inventory in carpet, luxury vinyl plank, tile, hardwood, curtains, countertops, and the largest selection of area rugs in Central Alberta, Canada. Their commitment to excellence and unmatched customer service has won the retailer many consumer choice awards over the four decades they have been serving their community.@CarpetoNerd