Home Tour: Contemporary Living

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When Dieter and Tina Staubitizer began planning their new home at Osprey Landing, they knew they wanted something different. They were leaving their country-style home and were looking to create a simpler, more contemporary space.

The planning began five years ago, taking six months to iron out the details: where the rooflines would meet, where the bedrooms would be located, what features were a must.

Dieter and his company, New Victorian Homes, built the home over the course of a year and a half, taking the time to find the right trades people and materials.

The open space, soaring ceilings and abundance of windows have made the deeper, modern colour treatments possible in this sleek home. Plain, wide moldings, painted dark, accent the deep reds and smoky greys, creating the perfect backdrop for eye-popping art. “We tried to do something a little different with dark colours rather than light colours,” says Dieter, adding that there are very few hanging fixtures in the home and are, instead, replaced by recessed lighting, a design choice made on purpose to blend with the contemporary look and feel.

While moving from one room to the next, the eight-foot-high doors lift the whole structure, offering a grand, airy welcome to those passing through. “We also used little accents like black light switches and plugs and all our heaters are black,” Dieter says, adding that they decided to go with stainless steel appliances and accents wherever they could. They also avoided using curtains in the home, opting instead for “really, really cool, contemporary blinds” that create a clean, polished look and keep the windows clear of clutter.

Though he notes that they kept the exterior fairly traditional, with muted green HardiePlank siding that looks like traditional wood clapboard but is actually fibre cement board and stone accents, the interior was a whole other story, meant to remain uncluttered with straight, plain lines.

Designed for the comfort of the whole family, the two-storey home has been separated into spaces. “We have two children and we wanted each of their bedrooms to have their own bathroom,” says Dieter. “Our bedroom is on the main floor. The kids are getting a little older so we wanted to be a little more separated from them.”

Maple stairs, kept modern with tempered glass where railing posts would be, climb from the centre of the home to the kids’ bedroom floor without taking away from the open feel of the soaring 18-foot ceiling of the great room. At the top of the stairs, a huge, leather chair, accompanied by a matching ottoman, is the ideal location to read the afternoon away.

To the right, Max, 17, has kept his room simple. Painted creamy beige, his collection of hats acts as art. Mya, 12, on the other hand, is embracing her third room theme in three years. Pink and green mingle with splashes of yellow and blue to create a funky, fun space to host her travel keepsakes and photos. The colour carries into her en suite with a polka dot shower curtain at the end of a fuzzy leaf bath mat trail. A cosy guest room sits in between the kids’ spaces, awaiting the next sleepover.

Dieter and Tina now have their own space on the main floor, situated off the great room, making the whole home more accessible to them. “I love the main floor bedroom,” says Dieter. “We’ve always lived in two storeys and it’s great being close to everything.” Their bedroom suite includes a soft loveseat and a wall of windows to let the light in. The en suite spa comes complete with a large, tile shower with plenty of space to indulge in an extended steam.

The main floor is also home to the great room and its cultured stone, wood-burning fireplace, as well as a stone accent wall, adding texture to the airy space. The stone was chosen for its similar characteristics to the natural Bell Island rock used on the golf course and provides just the right amount of separation between this space and the sprawling kitchen and dining area.

Since Newfoundlanders spend most of their time in the kitchen, Dieter says, they planned their kitchen to be a place where family and friends would want to linger and socialize. They have achieved this with a curved, bar-topped island, lined on one side with sleek, black bar stools while red and black glass tile backsplashes lend a burst of colour to the coffee-coloured cabinetry and Newfoundland granite countertops. Beyond the bar, an eight-seater dining table with room for more carries the colour across the room with red, leather parsons chairs. A pantry takes over one end of the dining space and features a wine rack that can hold more than 100 bottles at a time.

Two striking paintings hang on either side of the stone fireplace at the far end of the room. Works of a famous French painter and family friend, Jean Claude Roy, who spends half the year in France and half in Newfoundland and who is currently working on a 200-foot-long historic tapestry in Conche, they depict the train trussle in Port Blandford and a castle in France.

French doors open onto a large patio featuring a 12-person hot tub. An outdoor propane fireplace keeps the company warm as they enjoy the quiet green space.

“Most of our time is spent in the living room and in the kitchen,” says Dieter. “It all kind of runs together.” From enjoying the media centre of the great room to cooking family meals in the kitchen to doing a load of laundry in the mudroom, “that’s where everything happens.”

Although Dieter enjoys every aspect of his family’s new home, it’s the two wood-burning fireplaces that he fancies the most. “We’ve got a fire going all the time,” he says. “We didn’t use propane. We wanted something a little more natural that gave off a lot of heat. It’s kind of a hobby going out and getting the wood and making the fire.” Able to heat the whole house with just one fireplace, the home was designed to be very energy efficient.

Built for comfort, the home features extra attic and wall insulation, full basement insulation, upgraded air-tight electrical boxes and an upgraded heat exchanger keeps the heat in during the winter months and out during the summer months.

This contemporary, four-bedroom, 3,000 sq. ft. home also features a finished basement with a den for the kids and their friends, an exercise room, tons of storage and a funky yellow bathroom with a blue glass tile wall and a porcelain tile floor.

“Max likes the rec room in the basement,” says Dieter. “It has a large TV and it’s private when he has his friends over.”

Dieter made sure he had first choice of the lots along the golf course and chose a large piece of land right at the entrance to the lush facility.

“I just thought the location was beautiful,” he says. “We have the largest manicured lawn in St. John’s.” Enjoying no traffic for four months of the year and having ample space to walk the family’s two energetic Border Collies, the Staubitizers can’t think of a better spot to spend their days. “The kids go sliding on the golf course in the winter time and we’ve got the golf club there which we can go over to and have lunch or supper.”

This story first appeared in the spring, 2011 print issue of Home & Cabin